By Ayo Ademokoya
The gubernatorial aspirant in next year’s governorship election in Osun State under the platform of Alliance for Democracy, Honourable Femi Kehinde has promised to appoint a monarch from each of the three senatorial districts in the state as non-portfolio commissioners if he wins the election.
The aspirant made the pledge during his familiarization tour to the palaces of three traditional rulers in the state. His courtesy visits took him to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Owa Obokun of Ibokunland, Oba Kayode Awoboro and the Elerinmo of Erinmo, Oba Michael Odunayo Ajayi.
At the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Honourable Kehinde intimated Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of his governorship ambition and sought his royal blessings. The aspirant, who had published two books, one of which contained the biography of Oba Ogunwusi, described the Oba’s ascension to the throne as divine and a blessing to the Yoruba nation. He then presented the two books to the monarch, who in turn gave the aspirant his royal blessing.
Enumerating his vision for the state at the palace of Owa Obokun of Ibokunland, Oba Kayode Awoboro, Honourable Kehinde stated that he would make sure that at least three monarchs from the three senatorial districts in Osun State are appointed as non-portfolio cabinet members of the State Executive Council if he wins the governorship.
He recalled that the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo did the same thing in the days of the defunct Action Group in the Western Region in the First Republic. In the Second Republic, according to him, Chief Bola Ige, under the platform of the Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN, in Oyo State also appointed late Oba Oyewale Matanmi, the Ataoja of Osogbo and Oba Bolanle Olaniyan, the Eleruwa of Eruwa as non-portfolio commissioners in his government.
He said, “I have come to felicitate with you on your ascendancy to the sacred throne of the Owa of Ibokun land. My vision is to ensure that agriculture is fully encouraged in our state which is an agrarian society. We will assist farmers and make sure that Osun state becomes the food basket of the entire nation”.
Honourable Kehinde further stated that the youths in the state would be fully engaged and prosperity would once again return to the State of the living spring. According to him, “I will encourage and fully develop tourism in all ramifications including cultural and religious tourism through provision of social amenities while sports and medical tourism which can lead to creation of more jobs for our youths would be further encouraged.
Ibokun land has produced prominent sons and daughters like the late Dr Festus Ajayi former Attorney General of the old western Region, and also Dr Ajayi founder of Ajayi hospital in Lagos and distinguished civil servants like Chief Lola Omojowolo and a host of others. Why I decided to visit the monarch early enough was because of the great respect I have for the people of this land”.
In his response, Oba Awoboro said that he appreciated the meeting between him and Honourable Femi Kehinde, who is a great son of the state. He said as someone who was born and bred in the land, the aspirant knew the pains of the people and would be ready to contribute to the development of Ibokunland. The Oba then prayed that God would grant him all his desires.
The monarch said he never thought of becoming the Owa of Ibokun land but through the will of God and divine providence he found himself sitting on the throne of his fore fathers as the new king of the land which is the centre point of Ijeshaland despite a very long sojourn in the United Kingdom.
‘I was based in the UK before fate brought me home to become king which I never desired but God willed it, I wish you God’s mercy and benevolence in this your endeavour”, Oba Awoboro said.
Honourable Femi Kehinde later presented the monarch with two copies of his recent publications: “Of rusts and Gold ( snippets of History): and “Samuel Ladoke Akintola in the eyes of history”.
He was accompanied to the palace by the Vice Chairman of the Alliance for Democracy in Osun State, Alhaji Najim Alabede; his Campaign Director of Organisation Engineer Segun Apara; retired squadron leader Olarinoye; a serving member of Oyo State House of Assembly Honourable Demola Ige and other members of his campaign team.
On getting to the palace of the Elerinmo of Erinmo, Oba Michael Odunayo Ajayi, the monarch urged both the federal and state governments to always carry the traditional rulers along as they formulate policies that will affect the generality of the people.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that the state government makes the mistake of assuming what kind of amenities the people of an area want without actually determining their needs first through proper consultation with the monarch of the land who feels and knows the pain of his people before these needs are presented to the appropriate authorities. That is why I am happy with what Honourable Femi Kehinde said, that he would run an all-inclusive government which would carry everyone along”.
In his response Honourable Kehinde, who is a practising lawyer of over three decades, former member of the House of Representatives, former counselor in Iwo Local Government, a writer, newspaper columnist and author, restated his determination, if he wins the governorship race, to encourage agriculture and promote tourism in order to provide jobs for thousands of youths in the state. He later presented his two publications to the monarch.