SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE CHAIRMAN ONDO STATE COUNCIL OF TRADITIONAL RULERS, HRM, OBA DR. VICTOR KILADEJO, CFR, THE OSEMAWE AND PARAMOUNT RULER OF ONDO KINGOM ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR TO THE ONDO STATE ON WEDNESDAY, 28TH JANUARY, 2015
Mr. President, let me on behalf of all the Traditional Rulers and the people of Ondo State, welcome you and all members of your entourage to our Sunshine State. Even though this is not your first official visit to Ondo State since you became President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, what makes this visit special to us as Traditional Rulers in Ondo State is that it provides the magic moment for Mr. President to see all the Traditional Rulers in their full plumage under one canopy to demonstrate our joy and happiness to have you with us today.
It is very true, that since you became the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you have impacted very positively on the lives of Nigerians with your transformation agenda in the areas of Agriculture, Education, Transportation (especially the rail system, which you have resuscitated and the airports which received heavy doses of renovation). We are particularly grateful for the upgrading of Akure Local Airport to a National Cargo Airport. The ongoing reconstruction and renovation of Benin-Ore-Sagamu Road is also highly appreciated. We are humbly requesting for the dualization of the ever busy Ore-Akure Road.
Mr. President, we want to specially thank you for creating such a conducive ambience that has allowed the very cordial relationship between our son, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, the Governor of Ondo State and your honourable-self to sprout and blossom. Ondo State people have no doubt, benefitted immensely from the dividends of such a fruitful relationship. Our prayer is that the relationship will endure for the greatest good and greatest number of our people in Ondo State.
Your Excellency, perhaps what touches us most as a group is the lack of pride of place that has consistently been denied the Traditional Rulers in the scheme of things. We all cannot ignore the roles of Traditional Rulers which goes beyond being the custodian of our traditions and culture.
We are by all definitions the fourth tier of government and we need to be accorded a commensurate recognition especially now that the constitution is being reviewed.
In conclusion, we are highly delighted to welcome you to Ondo State. We wish you good health and success in your political aspiration. May all your prayers be answered and may Ondo State and Nigeria continue to wax stronger and stronger in prosperity, peace and progress.
Thank you and may God bless you all.
His Royal Majesty,
Oba Dr. Victor Kiladejo, CFR, LL.D, D.Sc.
The Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo Kingdom,
Chairman, Ondo State Council of Obas.