By Segun Amure
The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in Abeokuta, on Wednesday sued for peace and national integration among Ogun residents and Nigerians at large.
Governor Abiodun who spoke at the Ogun State 45th anniversary to celebrate the creation of the Gateway state called on the people of the state to shun violence and live peacefully with members of other tribes and residents in the state.
The New Diplomat recalls Ogun state with the appellation ‘Gateway to Nigeria’ following his numerous access points to West African routes was created on 3rd of February, 1976 under the regime of the then military Head of State, late General Murtala Mohammed. The state was carved out of the old Western Region.
Celebrating the auspicious occasion of the state’s creation anniversary, Governor Abiodun said, “Let us also use the occasion of the 45th Anniversary of our dear State to appeal to the rest of Nigerians. We must eschew all forms of violence and learn to live together. We must also appreciate that there can be no development in an atmosphere of insecurity. We must learn to manage our diversity and turn it into our strength.
“There can never be a better lesson in the management of diversity as a source of strength than from us in Ogun State. With over 10 sub-ethnic groups, this diversity has been one of the major forces propelling the development of our dear State. We keep harnessing the strengths and potentials of these sub-ethnic groups for the general good of everyone.”
He further added that, “Today, Ogun State is the home to not just indigenes of our dear State, but people from diverse backgrounds all over the country and even to a lot of foreigners.
“Yes, I agree there may be reasons for us to disagree on certain issues of our essentials. But, we will only disagree to agree and move forward. We must not encourage those stoking the embers of violence for disintegration of our great Nation. A country where tribes and tongues may differ but stands in brotherhood is where unity in our diversity thrives.”
“We all have duties, responsibilities and obligations to aid better understanding of our local and national realities. All we need to do is manage our differences effectively and efficiently and Nigeria will be greater.” Governor Abiodun said.
However, the Governor’s peace message is not unconnected to the recent development between the Fulani community and their host in the state and around Southwest.
It would be recalled that the popular O’odua rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, known as Igboho, had on Monday stormed the Yewa North Local Government Area of the state where some soldiers allegedly connived with herdsmen to beat up farmers and monarchs who resisted the herders from grazing in their communities.
Also, Igboho had earlier issued a seven-day quit notice to herdsmen accused of sundry crimes in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State and enforced the same as he asked his supporters to storm other Southwest states to stop external aggression fuelling insecurity in Southwest.