The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has said that his administration was committed to infrastructural development, especially the capital City, Ibadan.
He said this would help to restore the old glory of the days when Ibadan was the capital of the Western Region.
Consequently, he said that not less than N8 billion would be spent to reconstruct the popular Iwo Road interchange, in Ibadan, the State capital.
The Governor made this known on Friday, when he joined the Muslims to observe the Jumah Service at the Adogba Central Mosque, Iwo Road, Ibadan, saying that the project would be completed between nine and eleven months.
Governor Makinde informed the Muslims at the mosque that the decision to demolish the mosque to pave way for the construction of an interchange was part of government’s plan to make Ibadan a befitting State capital.
Refuting the insinuation that the demolition had religious undertone, he stated that a church along the interchange area would also be demolished.
Responding to varied reports in the public suggesting that he does not like Muslims, Governor Makinde said, “I can tell you that the Makinde whose name I bear today is a Muslim. Whatever I do against those practising Islam, I do against myself, because 60 per cent of my family members are Muslims.”
He revealed that four out of the six top government functionaries in the highest cadre of the current administration in Oyo State are Muslims.
“The Governor is a Christian; the Deputy Governor is a Muslim; the Secretary to the State Government is a Christian; the Chief of Staff is a Muslim; the Head of Service is a Muslim; the Deputy Chief of Staff is a Muslim.
“So, when they feed you with lies outside that I love one religion more than the other, tell them it is totally false and what is important for all of us is to make heaven. It is the work of our hands, attitude and how well we serve God that will determine if we would make heaven or not,” Governor Makinde said.
The Governor stated further that although the State Government wants to demolish the Adogba Mosque and the Church close to it, provision has been made for a new land for the building of a befitting Mosque for the Adogba congregation, promising to personally spearhead the finance for the building of the new Mosque.
He said: “The main reason I decided to come here is, I want it to be on record that, first, I worshipped in the mosque today. Second, what we want to do to this mosque can be likened to the popular saying that suggests that the palace of a king that gets destroyed can only get beautiful later.”
Makinde promised that his administration would try and cushion the effect of the demolition on those who trade around the mosque and may be badly affected by the demolition, saying his administration would not run a government that would demolish and not compensate or make plans for those who may be affected.
The Governor appealed to the Muslims to support the decision for the overall development of the State.