By Richard Akintade, Osogbo
Governor of Osun, Mr Gboyega Oyetola has charged the people of the state to refrain from any conduct that may cause religious crisis in any part of the state, warning them against religious intolerance and discrimination.
Oyetola who spoke at the 2019 Inter-Religious Prayer Service to herald the new year, urged religious leaders to do away with sermons that tend to divide the people along their faiths.
The governor stated this just as he called on the civil servants to be more productive in the service and work to justify the salary they earn at the end of the month in 2019.
According to the governor, religious harmony and cohabitation by people of different faiths in the state is fundamental to the progress and development of the state, saying that religious tolerance has always been strengthening the peaceful atmosphere of the state.
He said: “I want to urge all the people of the state to continue living together in peace, irrespective of their religion and political differences. We gathered here today, both Muslims and Christians, to seek the face of God in the beginning of 2019 for the progress of the state.
“We should tolerate ourselves, there should not be religious discrimination and intolerance. Our religious leaders should do away with sermons that do not preach unity and harmony among our people. Our God is one; but we are serving him in different ways.
“There is no religious disunity in Yorubaland. In the olden days, both Muslims and Christians celebrate Ileya together and during Christmas, the Muslims would also join the Christians to celebrate. That has always been the practice for time immemorial in Yorubaland. The society was normal, peaceful and orderly then. We should all do away with any conduct that will cause religious crisis in the state.”
Oyetola also called on the people come out and vote for all the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections, just as he urged them to be peaceful and orderly during and after the election period.
According to Oyetola, Nigeria must not return to the hands of the people that bastardised the economy and subjected the people to untold hardship before the APC came to rescue the country, telling the people to return President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osibajo as President and Vice President of Nigeria.
Warning the people against dumping of refuse in drainages and on the streets, Oyetola urged the people to continue ensuring that their environments are clean and hygienic for healthy living.
Oyetola declared that his administration would build and upgrade Primary Health Centre in all the 332 wards across the state, noting that each ward will have a standard PHC to quality health care delivery to the people.
Speaking the Supervisor for Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, Dr Obawale Adebisi said the interdenominational prayer was put together by the government to strengthen the religious harmony in the state and also pray for prosperity of the state in 2019.
In their lectures, the Mufasir of Osogboland, Sheik Maruf Isola and President, Baptist Conference in the state, Rev. Dr. Paul Kolawole enjoined the governor to be responsive and sensitive to the plight of the people, just as they called on the people to pay tax in support of the government.
The Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Abdulrauf Olawale Adedeji who spoke on behalf of traditional rulers at the event, called on the people to support the Oyetola’s administration for effective delivery of good governance.
Speaking, the Chairmen, Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiation Council, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, Adebowale Adekola and Bayo Adejumo respectively urged the governor to prioritize workers welfare, just as they commended the governor on his promise to continue paying full salary.