By Odunayo Oluwabukola, Ibadan
Governor of Oyo State, ‘Seyi Makinde, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the development of the state through tourism, noting that the government will pursue tourism development aggressively under Omituntun 2.0.
The governor noted that tourism is one of the major focuses of his administration to further expand the economy of the state in line with the Oyo State Roadmap for Sustainable Development, 2023-2027.
Governor Makinde made this known on Saturday, when he commissioned the JOGOR Hotel, Ibadan, as part of events commemorating the 60th birthday celebration of chairman of JOGOR Centre, Engr ‘Femi Babalola.
The governor, who congratulated Engr Babalola on his reaching the milestone age, appreciated him for his notable investments in the state and contributions to the development of the state.
He said: “Congratulations to you, Femi Babalola and your wife on today’s birthday celebration.
“I told the celebrant that we are appreciative of his investments in Oyo State.
“As an administration, one of our pillars is the expansion of the economy and under Omituntun 1.0, we used infrastructure development and agribusiness to drive that agenda. But under Omituntun 2.0, we have added tourism development and solid mineral development.
“So, tourism is one sector that is important to us and we all know that hospitality is inseparable from tourism.
This is where we appreciate what individuals like Engr Babalola are doing.”
Speaking further, the governor said all differences between him and the celebrant have become a thing of the past, noting that there is no permanent enemy in politics and that building and maintaining good relationship while in office and thereafter is important, as government would not last but relationship would exist forever.
He added that differences, whether political or otherwise are inevitable among human beings, warning, however, that political followers and party loyalists should always allow their leaders to resolve their issues naturally without taking the ownership of the misunderstanding.
“You all know we had political disagreement and during that time, the thought of revoking the CofO of (JOGOR Centre) popped up, but I said no, because government will come and go but our state will remain.
“I am there today and I will leave the position one day but what will remain is the relationship we would have built. So, we can disagree temporarily.
“But for those who took ownership of the disagreement, where are they today? When leaders have disagreement, the followers should allow them to resolve their issues naturally.
“It is not possible for us not to have disagreements. When we have issues, we just have to resolve them. So, my brother and I are together.
“On behalf of the government and people of Oyo State, I want to say congratulations to you. We want to wish you a happy birthday and many happy returns in good health and also in the service to our state and the country.
“God will give you the strength to live long. By the grace of God, we will be together when you will celebrate 70, 80, 90 and 100 years.
“I also want to celebrate the wife and children. I am happy to see everybody here today because for most of us, we are like ‘Diaspora Parents’ as most of our children are all over the world. That they can come to celebrate their daddy, it is something major,” the governor added.
The celebrant, Engr Babalola expressed his gratitude to God and to Governor Makinde, noting that the governor’s achievements in terms of infrastructure and development of the state in general are unprecedented and remarkable.