Minister was receiving award in Ibadan
The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, has said that she would do everything within her powers to make the dream of an Ibadan State come to pass.
Ms. Akinjide, who spoke with journalists at the Obafemi Awolowo (formerly Liberty) Stadium, Ibadan, shortly after being honoured with a 2013 Merit Award by the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, CCII, at the weekend, said making the ancient city a state was long overdue.
She recalled that among all the former capital cities in the regions that merged to form the nation’s First Republic, only Ibadan was yet to become a state.
Ibadan was the headquarters of the defunct Western Region of Nigeria.
According to her, beside the land mass, the fast expanding city was strong socially, economically and demographically to stand as a state in Nigeria’s federal structure.
The effort to secure a state status for Ibadan has been on for a while and many prominent indigenes of the city have been involved in it.
Ms. Akinjide, who also spoke on behalf of the eight recipients of the CCII 2013 merit award, disclosed that President Goodluck Jonathan always told her how much he was proud of Ibadan and its indigenes.
She said the President often told her that he looked up to Ibadan for political and intellectual leadership in the southwest.
“It is a great thing if you are being honoured in your own domain. You feel prouder if you are lucky enough to come from the greatest city in Africa and your effort is being recognised there.
“We are all proud of this award and we are encouraged to do much more and better in the areas for which we are honoured today,” she said.
The awardees also included a member of the Nigerian Senate, Olufemi Lanlehin; the Prelate of Methodist Church, Nigeria, Sunday Makinde; lawyer, Kareem Latunji; and former Secretary to the State Government and Head of Service, Oyo State, Oladiti Oladapo.
Others were former deputy rector, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Lasisi Balogun; former acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso and Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Otta, Isaac Adebayo; and chartered accountant, Adebisi Sanda.
The CCII president, Adebayo Oyero, in his remark, expressed happiness that Ibadan indigenes were now more united than they were in the past.
“In the immediate past, we have allowed partisan political interests to divide us; that now seems to be a thing of the past,” he said.
Mr. Oyero said that his team had made a significant leap in efforts to ensure the creation of Ibadan State, adding that the issue was constitutional and highly political.
“Right now, we have some challenges, which I will discuss with our political leaders in the three major political parties in Ibadanland – the All Progressives Congress, APC, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Accord,” said Mr. Oyero.
The week-long programme witnessed a number of activities which were rounded off at the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium at the weekend.