President Goodluck Jonathan, in company of notable chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, the Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and other PDP chieftains visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade,on Saturday March 7.
According to Punch, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, demanded a total representation of the South-West in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan and the creation of the Oduduwa State with its headquarters in Ile Ife.
This is the second time President Jonathan would be visiting the palace to solicit the support of the royal fathers and the people of the state to ensure victory in the forthcoming presidential election.
The Ooni assigned the Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, to speak on his behalf. He said, “ We want total representation. There are ongoing projects in Osun State and we know there is paucity of fund but we want you to finish all the projects.”
Commending the President, the monarch of Iresi, Oba Ibitoye Adeseun, said the transformation agenda of the administration and the renewed war against Boko Haram insurgents were laudable.
He added, “ Ife and Ijesa are large enough to form a state of their own. We want you to create Oduduwa State with its headquarters in Ile Ife. We also seek the implementation of the Confab report. We throw our weight behind you.”
The Owamiran of Esa-Oke, Oba Adeyemi Adeniran, assured Jonathan of the support of the royal fathers and the residents of the state in the coming polls.
He said, “Be rest assured that Obas and indigenes of Osun State are solidly behind you.”
The Ooni prayed for God to grant Jonthan success in the presidential poll.
In his response Jonathan promised the monarchs that he would correct all the lapses observed by his administration especially the low representation of the south-west people in his government.
He said, “ There will be political opportunities for the people in the South-West, we will correct all the lapses. People from the south-west will play key role and whatever is due them will be given.”
Jonathan promised to implement the report of the Confab, saying the restructuring of the nation as contained in the report was more important than building infrastructure which he said his administration would also not relent in doing.
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Meanwhile the imprisoned leader of the the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, has blasted President Jonathan in an interview, describing the president as timid and cowardly.