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‘Today, I’m Omowale’ — Buhari reminisces on days as infantry officer in Ogun


President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, described himself as ‘Omowale’ during his visit to Ogun state.

In the Yoruba language, ‘Omowale’ means ‘the child has returned home’.

According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, Buhari made the comment while reminiscing on his days as an infantry officer in the state.

The president, who was in Ogun to inaugurate projects executed by the state government, thanked the residents for the warm reception accorded him and his entourage.

Buhari was also bestowed with the “honourary indigeneship” of the state.

“This welcome by the large crowd brings back the nostalgia of my first arrival on this soil as a young infantry officer in the Nigerian Army at the then Lafenwa Barracks in Abeokuta, not long after independence,” the president was quoted as saying.

“The traditional hospitality of the people of this state has not waned a bit. Today, I am ‘Omowale’ and very happy at this homecoming to meet my brothers and sisters whose goodwill I have always enjoyed. Thank you.

“It is also with a sense of responsibility that I receive and cherish the honourary indigeneship bestowed on me as symbolized by the presentation of the key to the Gateway State by Governor Abiodun.

“I will leave Ogun state with fond memories and look forward to enjoying the privilege of my honourary indigeneship.”

PROJECTS AND PROMISES

The president commended the governor for delivering “visionary and trail-blazing projects for the people,” even in the midst of challenging circumstances occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buhari said the projects he inaugurated could not have materialised without the government’s huge investment and commitment to the security of lives and property.

“This has made Ogun state one of the safest and most peaceful States in the country and investors’ destination of choice,” Buhari said.

‘‘You (Prince Abiodun) have justified the mandate of the people of Ogun State. You have represented our Party very well.

“Your Excellency, well done! I am proud of what you have done for your State and your people. You have made our great party, the APC, proud too. You are a worthy example of promises made, promises kept.”

The president said the 14km Ijebu Ode-Mojoda-Epe road would complement the Sagamu-Benin expressway that the federal government is currently reconstructing — which is due for commissioning this year.

“I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects, and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them,” Buhari said.

‘‘It is significant to note that the two road projects being commissioned today are federal roads. This is an example of constructive engagement, cooperation and collaboration between the states and federal government.

“These roads also fit well into our rail transportation masterplan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano, with Ogun State having more rail stations, along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor.”

The president announced that the federal government would consider extending tax credit as a funding option for the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Sango Otta-Idiroko roads.

He also promised to consider the approval of the reconstruction of Sagamu-Ogijo road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited under the tax credit scheme.



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