Oyo State governor , ‘Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, declared that the cooperation of the Nigerian Army with the Government and People of Oyo State is responsible for the stable security being enjoyed in the state.
The governor hailed the Army for upholding professionalism while on duties, especially during national assignments, stating that his government would continue to maintain a cordial relationship with the Army.
Governor Makinde made this submission while receiving the new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Taoreed Abiodun Lagbaja, who paid a courtesy call to his office at the Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan.
According to the governor, the level of professionalism displayed by the officers on duty during the 2019 governorship election could not be overemphasised, adding that but for the Army’s unbiased stance, he would also not have won re-election in 2023.
Governor Makinde said: “I am thankful to the Nigerian Army, especially the 2nd Division in Ibadan. I couldn’t have become the governor if not for the professionalism of the Nigerian Army. I also wouldn’t have been reelected if they had been partial.”
The governor, while congratulating the Chief of Army Staff on his elevation as well as the troops on the occasion of the Army’s 160th anniversary slated for Ibadan, noted that Oyo State has continued to remain a stable state in terms of security due to the commitment and cooperation of the Army with the people of the state.
He promised to keep the relationship between the Army and the Oyo State government cordial, even as he thanked the leadership of the outfit for celebrating the anniversary in Oyo State, urging them not to limit the activities for the celebration to the barracks alone.
“We are glad that you brought the celebration to Ibadan. In South-West Nigeria, Oyo State actually is the biggest in terms of land mass.
“We will play our part and contribute to the activities of the Nigerian Army in the state and deepen the cooperation for mutually beneficial activities.
“The present situation and hike in fuel price are affecting our economy; if your teams are to be on full patrol you know what the cost of petrol will be. But we encourage the leadership of the Nigerian Army and Senior Officers not to be discouraged but to be focused.”
Earlier, Major-General Lagbaja said the visit became imperative for the Nigerian Army to intimate the governor of its 160th anniversary holding in the state.
The 23rd Chief of Army Staff pledged to partner with the Oyo State government to further ensure peace and stability in the state and beyond.
He equally commended the governor for various interventions and support accorded the troops deployed across the length and breadth of the state.
Present at the event were the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi; Oyo State Head of Service, Mrs. Olubunmi Oni and the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security Matters, CP Sunday Odukoya (retd).
Others were Director-General, Operation Burst, Col. James Ajibola Oladipo (retd); and Commandant, Western Nigerian Security Network, Amotekun, Oyo State, Col. Olayinka Olayanju (retd).