Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has advised Ogun State Governor-elect, Dapo Abiodun, to be ready to step on toes if he wants to be a good leader.
He however warned that the toes stepped on would kick back, but that he should forge ahead.
Ajimobi gave the advice on Saturday when Abiodun paid him a courtesy visit at his Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, private residence.
“If you want to be a good leader and make a change, you must be ready and prepared to step on toes. When you step on toes, the toes will kick you back. Just forge ahead,” he said.
On Abiodun’s entourage were the Deputy Governor-elect, Mrs. Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Senator Lanre Tejuoso; a former Deputy Governor of the state, Prince Segun Adesegun; Mr Tunde Osibodu; Mr Tunde Osinowo; and Mr. Afolabi Salisu, among others.
Ajimobi also advised the governor-elect to prioritise the welfare of the people of his state as a way of compensating them for their overwhelming support.
He expressed appreciation to the people of Ogun State for electing Abiodun and urged him to see his election as a rare opportunity to serve his people and better their lots.
While congratulating Abiodun, who he said was his brother and close family friend, the governor described him as gentle, kind-hearted and an epitome of humility.
The governor said, “When my brother, Dapo Abiodun, intimated me about his intention to contest for the Ogun State governorship election, I told him that he should go ahead and that he would be victorious, by the grace of God.
“I therefore thank God that today he has become the governor-elect of Ogun State. I have every cause to glorify God on his behalf. In the affairs of man, God has always been present. It is this divine presence that has brought him this victory.
“Dapo is gentle, kind-hearted and an epitome of humility. All these he has demonstrated here today through this visit. While I’m congratulating you on this victory, let me state that an opportunity to serve is an opportunity to be Godly.
“You must therefore do everything humanly possible to prioritise the welfare of your people as a way of compensating them for the overwhelming support they gave you which led to your emergence as governor-elect.”
He added: “If you really want to make a change, study your environment; have courage, not only to envision but also to make a difference. Put Godliness above all things and ensure that whatever you do is in the best interest of the people.
“While I will tell you that you should not under-estimate your enemies, let me however say that you should not be deterred by their antics. You can lose a battle but you must win the war.
“You will have sycophants along the way but you must remain focussed. I have no doubt that with the level of your intellectual disposition, you will succeed.”
The governor said that notwithstanding his defeat at the Oyo South Senatorial District election, he had not lost anything other than the opportunity to serve his people and give them good representation at the Red Chamber.
“When I look at my life, I can say without any equivocation that God has been so kind to me. He gave me the opportunity to serve as a Senator and as governor of Oyo State for two consecutive terms.
“For me, that I did not win this (Senatorial) election does not mean that I have lost everything. In fact, I must say that I have not lost anything. Rather, I have only lost the opportunity to serve my people again and give them good representation at the Senate.
“For us in Oyo State, it is joy. God has been so good to us. We have not only served but we have served commendably. We have succeeded in not only providing peace and security, we have also promoted the socio-economic well-being of our people.”
Speaking earlier, the governor-elect said the purpose of the visit was to thank Ajimobi for his support during the election and to seek his ‘wise counsel’.
While giving glory to God for his victory, Abiodun said that ‘some forces’ did everything possible to scuttle his victory, adding however that God, in His infinite mercy, had given him the grace to win.
He commended the governor whom he described as his ‘very good brother’ for staying with him since he started the journey.
Abiodun, who said that he was extremely pained when he heard of Ajimobi’s defeat, however, said that the monumental achievements which the governor had recorded would remain indelible.
“Things like these happen some times which you are extremely difficult to explain. But, you are a good man. You are the father of modern Oyo State. You have turned the fortunes of the state around and I am sure that posterity will judge you right.”