From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Igbo community in Oyo State have given kudos to the state governor, Seyi Makinde, for running an inclusive administration in the state, which has given a sense of belonging to non-indigenes resident in the state.
The community made this known during a consultative meeting on Saturday at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan.
The Igbo community specifically thanked the governor for appointing three members of the community into his administration, adding that the feat was unprecedented in the state and that with the governor’s action, the marginalisation of Igbo in the state has been removed by Governor Makinde.
They declared their strong support for the administration of Seyi Makinde, appreciating him for his commitment in ensuring that the Igbo people are not neglected in the state.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Community Relations (Igbo Community) Kingsley Ike, who briefed reporters at the end of the meeting, said that the Igbo in the state have resolved to cooperate with the present administration in Oyo State to actualise the plans and vision of the governor.
He said that the meeting was aimed at discussing matters of beneficial interest to Igbo in the state. Ike noted that the governor has practically demonstrated that he is always ready to embrace people from other ethnic groups, adding that for the first time in the history of Oyo State, people of igbo extraction are being appointed as aides to a government in power.
‘For the first time in the history of Oyo State governance, Igbo people are being included as members of the governor’s cabinet. Aside my appointment, two other significant appointments of Igbos have been made by His Excellency,’ he said.
‘This is an indication of the commitment of the present administration to ensure that the voice of the Igbo people in Oyo State is heard,’ he said.
He further appealed to other dissenting voices within the Igbo community to come together and chart a way forward for the progress of everyone in Oyo State.
‘I am aware of the factions that exist within the Igbo community, but I am here to clearly state that my focus is not to play any politics but to bring the needs of Ndigbo In Oyo State to the government.
He further added: ‘As a people in a distant land, we must stand together and stand firm, and importantly, cooperate with the present administration.
‘His Excellency, the Governor of Oyo State, has promised to always give a listening ear to the needs of Ndigbo in Oyo state. However, we as a people must cooperate with the administration of His Excellency and I assure you that those issues, complaints and needs of Ndigbo will be duly addressed.
‘We must show him that we are strongly behind his government and will support his vision in every way we can.’
Ike further said: ‘As Ndigbo, we are known to be an industrious and hardworking people who tend to bring light and development wherever we find ourselves. We are innovators and entrepreneurs. We are not here just to be parasites but mostly to join forces with the indigenes to develop the society we find ourselves, while making a good living for ourselves and our families.’
He enjoined Igbos to always abide by the laws of land as as according to him doing so will enhance peaceful coexistence.
He added: ‘Once again, I have gathered us today so we can put heads together and address matters that will benefit Ndigbo and for me to table all these to His Excellency, who I’m sure will not turn deaf ears to them. Remember that this meeting is only a prelude to the main town hall meeting that is coming up.
‘The town hall meeting, in which we hope to have His Excellency in attendance, has been approved and we are only waiting for the date most suitable to His Excellency. Once that is scheduled, I will communicate same to you all. You are the Igbo men of repute and the stakeholders in the community. Let us rub minds together for the benefit of us all.’