When Ekiti ex-Gov Oni worshipped with Oyebanji at Govt House Chapel

By John Odunjo

“It is good to contest an election. It is also good to challenge the outcome in the court. And after then, you move on. We should run politics. Politics should not run us. This is the time we should all join hands together with Governor Oyebanji to develop the State”.

Months after the last governorship election in Ekiti State that produced Mr Biodun Oyebanji of the All Progressives Congress as state governor was conducted, former Governor Segun Oni and Social Democratic Party candidate in the election was in court to challenge the victory.

Although Oni pursued the case from the Election Petition Tribunal to the Appeal Court, after the court cases, he has moved on, saying everything is not politics.

The governor, Oyebanji, on his part, had after the court cases, made good his promise to visit Oni and as well other former governors in the state, political party differences notwithstanding, to move the state forward

So, when Oni stormed the Government House Chapel on Sunday morning to join Governor Oyebanji for the Sunday worship, it was not surprising to many people in the state as what has been the vogue since Oyebanji assumed office was a new dimension to politics.

Oni, who came with some members of his immediate family and political associates, arrived at the chapel, located inside the Government House complex, Ado-Ekiti around 9.55am and was received by the Governor.

Former Governor Oni said he was in the service to fulfil a promise he had earlier made to Governor Oyebanji to come and worship with him at the Government House Chapel, having missed the opportunity to join the Governor for the special thanksgiving service held on October 22, in commemoration of his first anniversary in office.

Oni recalled that his last worship at the chapel was on October 15, 2010, the day he was removed from office by the Court of Appeal.

The former governor, in his address to the congregation, called on stakeholders in the Ekiti project to join hands with Governor Oyebanji to achieve a landmark success for the collective progress of the State.

He emphasised the fact that politics remains an avenue to serve the people, adding that election and election petitions are part of the constitutional processes of democracy.

Oni said, “It is good to contest an election. It is also good to challenge the outcome in the court. And after then, you move on. We should run politics. Politics should not run us. This is the time we should all join hands together with Governor Oyebanji to develop the State”.

Engr Oni expressed delight at the transformation being experienced in the state within the last one year, saying that it an attestation to Governor Oyebanji’s exemplary and visionary leadership.

He said, “I have come here to fellowship with everybody, especially my brother, the Governor and to also tell politicians, we should give our self holiday sometimes from politics and politicking”.

Oni lauded Oyebanji for various infrastructure projects as well as the ongoing efforts at ensuring all abandoned projects are completed including the Ado-Ifaki Road, adding, “I will say he has being very impressive, he is a gift to us as a people and I believe that he has a perfect composure to move us forward”.

The former governor called on the the incumbent to continue to trust in God for the realization of his shared prosperity agenda even in the face of the meagre resources available to the state.

Governor Oyebanji thanked the former governor for his love for Ekiti State and for his commitment to the development of the state.

Oyebanji, who described the former governor as a selfless leader who genuinely love and worked for the growth of Ekiti People, said the state would forever be grateful to him for his selfless service to people of the state.

Oyebanji said, “I thank Your Excellency for this remarkable visit, which I consider a demonstration of your love for me and for our dear state. For you to come around and worship God with us shows you love and support our development efforts.

“One think remarkable about you is that you love Ekiti people and Ekiti people love you. You are selfless and you live in the heart of the people.

“That I won the election does not mean I am better than you. It is by God’s grace. And you have been a pillar of support to us, immediately the court case ended.”, Oyebanji added.

Oyebanji also used the avenue to appreciate all former governors of the state for their support for his administration, not minding political party affiliations.

Assuring the former governors that his administration would continue to prioritize the welfare of the people, Oyebanji urged stakeholders to come and contribute their expertise and resources for the overall development of the state, emphasizing that progress knows no party lines.

The Chaplain of the Government House Chapel, Pastor Segun Awolumate, who hailed the humility and simplicity of both former Governor Oni and the Incumbent Governor Oyebanji, urged politicians and public office holders/seekers to take a cue from the lifestyles of the two leaders.

Among those at the service were the Deputy Governor, Mrs Monisade Afuye; Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Adeoye Aribasoye; Head of Service, Engr Sunday Komolafe and some top government officials.

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