Hello <<First Name>>,
Two weeks come and go so quickly, especially when you are busy with governance!
The last few weeks, we have been dealing with issues bordering on Oyo State's security, and some have criticised my stand. Some people even labelled me Afonja, a reference to the perception that I am a betrayer of my people.
But, far be it from me to betray the trust given to me. If anything, this is one occasion where I have had to take various stands to protect the good people of Oyo State. And that is why today, I have decided to remind us all of our humanity.
When I was younger, my peers gave me the alias "Makinson" or "Mankind." I earned this title because I was quite liberal with my personal resources and also very accommodating. I see people first as human beings and will not make enemies of anyone by association.
Even as I grew older, I maintained this excellent disposition towards people. I do not treat anyone differently because of their race, gender, religion, social standing or political affiliation.
I remember we gave out a contract in the first few months of my assuming office. Some party members were upset because the people who got the job were from another political party. But that wasn't an issue for me. As far as I am concerned, people should be judged by the content of their character. Competence is more important to me than political affiliation.
I must say that if I was not known for being tolerant, I could not have become the governor of Oyo State. It would have been almost unthinkable to aspire to govern a Muslim-dominated state like Oyo if the people thought of me as a religious bigot. And this is why I cannot suddenly change who I am to please anyone.
I am still the same tolerant "Makinson."
I have taken time to go down memory lane to help us understand that humanity comes above all else. We should not be found among those who stoke up ethnic tensions or seek to punish some people because of where they come from or what they do for a living.
I encourage you to join me in always putting our humanity above everything else.
Talk to you again soon.