Ibadan — Oyo State governor Abiola Ajimobi yesterday defended the on-going demolition of illegal structures and shanties across the state, stressing that the urban renewal programme currently being executed by his administration is not meant to inflict unnecessary hardship on the people.
Rather, he said, it is aimed at giving the state the necessary facelift.
Governor Ajimobi made the remarks while speaking at this year's edition of Edi-El-Maulud celebrations organized by the state government.
While acknowledging the fact that the demolition exercise has forced the affected people to make some adjustments, the governor assured that the current pain would soon turn into gains.
"It is a known fact that Oyo used to be known as the dirtiest state in Nigeria. But today, even those coming from outside the state will testify that things are fast changing for the better. This, I think, should be our collective joy. So everything we have been doing has been with good intention and not to witch-hunt anybody. We know that it may bring some pains, but I can assure you that the pains will soon turn into gains for us all in Oyo State," he said.
Governor Ajimobi stated that the Eid-El-Maulud celebration was instituted on an annual basis by his administration so as to further uplift Islam, increase people's knowledge about the religion and to continue feeling the pulse of the people of the state, particularly opinion leaders and moulders.
The guest lecturer at the occasion, Alhaji Muideen Salman Hussein, cautioned Muslims against unnecessary fundamentalism, saying there was no need attacking adherents of other faiths under the guise of promoting Islam.
He also stressed the need for tolerance and peaceful co-existence in order to promote peace and harmony in the society.