Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has assured that his government would continue to accord respect to the traditional institution in the state.
Makinde gave the assurance on Tuesday in Ibadan when he paid a courtesy visit to the Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, to congratulate the monarch on his 92nd birthday.
The governor, who said that his administration would continue to give all traditional rulers their dues, gave his approval to the appointment of Babaloja of Oyo State by the monarch.
He urged residents of the state to uphold unity and oneness.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our people to uphold unity. I remember I said during my electioneering campaign that my government would prioritise tackling hunger and poverty.
“Hunger and poverty do not know Christians and Muslims. So, let us tell those who want to divide us with religion that they should steer clear and do the right thing,
“The reason I am here this afternoon is because I was not around when our monarch celebrated is 92nd birthday last week.
“I was at Ondo State. So, today, I came with a full entourage of government functionaries to specially greet you, and I pray that you will live long by the grace of God,” the governor stated.
He further refuted insinuations by some people that a rift existed between him and the Olubadan, saying that there can never be issues between them.
Makinde said that even if there was any misunderstanding between the traditional ruler and him, it would be settled amicably as father and son.
“Those who are fond of peddling negative news about the Oyo state government and what we are doing in the state are saying there is a rancour between Kabiyesi and I.
” Let me say this again that I was brought up responsibly and I will never disrespect elders. Whoever becomes governor should know that the position expires in four years, and if he wishes to seek reelection, he must come back to the people.
“If the people want him, he will be voted for and vice versa. But what about Kabiyesi? Once he ascends the throne, he stays there until he joins his ancestors. So, there is nothing that could have caused a rift between us.
“I want to assure once again, that we will do all that is needed to be done as a government, not only for the Olubadan but also for all our traditional rulers in Oyo State.
” We will always give what is due to them. If there are issues, Baba can call me and we will settle things amicably.
“Some even said I have not come to greet Baba since I became governor, I think the next time they say so, people should be able to tell them to face their business and leave Baba and me alone,” he said.
While confirming the appointment of the Babaloja of Oyo State, Governor Makinde said: “I want to say here that since Kabiyesi has taken such a decision, it is confirmed by the government as well.’’