The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, on Saturday, demanded a total representation of the South-West in the cabinet of President Goodluck Jonathan and the creation of Oduduwa State with Ile Ife as its headquarters.
The monarch made the requests among others when the president led notable chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, including the National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, on a visit to his palace in Ile Ife, Osun State.
About 50 other traditional rulers from Osun State and environs were also present to receive the president and his entourage.
The Ooni delegated 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, Oba Ibitoye Adeseun, the monarch of Iresi, 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 Olufi of Gbongan, Oba Adetoyese Oyeniyi, also told President Jonathan that the Gbongan-Iwo-Oyo State boundary has not been completed but was reported to have been completed.
The Ooni prayed for success for Jonthan in the March 28 presidential poll.
In his response, an elated President 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.
In apparent reference to the Speakership position of the House of Representatives, which was originally zoned to the Southwest by the PDP but was eventually lost to the North-West, Jonathan said he would not allow such lapse to repeat itself if given the opportunity to rule the nation for another four years.
“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”, he assured.
The president also promised to implement the report of the 2014 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.
He said, “If you build infrastructure, they will collapse one day. We will continue to build infrastructure but if you make significant changes in restructuring the country, that is a significant and sustainable development”.