• Lauds Armed Forces for nation’s peace, unity

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – The Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, says it will be difficult for Nigeria to rely on natural resources alone to catapult itself to the desired el-dorado of prosperity.

This is as he maintained that education and human capital development remain top priority for his administration.

Speaking at a church service, held at Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, to mark this year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, Governor Makinde said no country of the world became prosperous by merely relying on its natural resources alone without other necessary inputs.

A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Governor Makinde as saying: “Knowledge is power and that is why, in this administration, education will still remain top priority.”

The Governor said effective management and usage of the country’s natural resources by those at the helms of affairs remain key in taking “us out of the poverty in Nigeria.”

“And on the occasion of this celebration, when I came in, as I was listening to what the Archbishop was saying, I picked some certain things from his statement”, he said, but added that; “God has blessed us a lot in this country but the leadership has only been managing poverty.”

Though admitting the nation’s huge potential, the Governor insisted natural resources alone can never take any country or society out of poverty.

According to him; “The only thing that can take us out of poverty is how we can organise ourselves and how we utilize those natural resources. We can have an abundance of it and we still waste it.

“As a matter of fact, if we look at the trajectory of countries that have been successful, for example, Japan, they barely have any natural resources but when we look at their people, they utilise the brain God has given to them, developed it and utilised it. Even, they take natural resources from other countries, refine them and sell it back to the countries they got it from at a high cost. So, this is how they were able to take themselves out of poverty.”

The Governor however urged Nigerians to emulate the Armed Forces by organising themselves and doing things right at the right time, stressing the need to look beyond our God-given natural resources and utilise the talents inherent in us as individuals as effective tools to take Nigeria out of poverty.

“One of the things that is fascinating to me is how the Armed Forces have been organised. When you go to their function, I cherish the way they carry themselves,” he said.

Governor Makinde noted huge sacrifices by the Armed Forces, including supreme sacrifices for peace and unity of Nigeria, adding: “I want to appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces because you have done well for this country. Your colleagues have made supreme sacrifice for the unity of this country and for peace of the world because we have a record of members of the Armed forces that actually fought in the World War. So, they have contributed to peace in the world.”

In wishing members of Nigerian Armed Forces and their families a fruitful celebration, the Governor pledged his Administration’s continuous support, saying “So, we know you have taken a lot of risk on behalf of all of us and we just want to say thank you.”

Earlier in his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Reverend Segun Okubadejo, appreciated members of the Nigerians Armed Forces for protecting the lives and property of Nigerians

He admonished them to always put God first in all their dealings, maintaining that members of the Armed Forces were known to be indispensable in the society.

The Archbishop called on leaders at all levels to be God-fearing in managing the nation’s natural resources well to alleviate biting poverty in the land.

Personalities at the service were wife of the Governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Mojeed Mogbonjubola; and General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General A.B. Omozoje.

Others include; Commander 2 Division, Garrison Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General O. O. Soyele; Chairman Nigerian Legion, Oyo State Command, Deacon Micheal Fajimi; military officers, members of paramilitary organizations and many top government functionaries.

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