Recently, Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State inaugurated a political association known as Igbo Mandate in the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Osogbo, where he said for a very long time, he has been a friend of Igbo.
Represented by the Director of Finance and Budget, Aremu Tajudeen, he said the Igbo are truly pan Nigerians because any where they go, they take it as their home and begin to contribute towards its development.
He said the formation of Igbo Mandate in became imperative, adding that the state would give it all the support. He said when he was in Lagos as a commissioner he helped a lot of Igbo to get political appointments both in the local and state governments:
“I am here today on the directive of Aregbesola. This is in keeping with his decades of relationship with the Igbo, which began even before the civil war. Igbo Mandate in APC is a platform that we want to use to give living in Osun State a platform, voice and relevance in our party. It is to serve as a rallying point for all Igbo living in the state.
“The governor has promised to give the organisation all the necessary support and assistance it would need to achieve its aims and objectives. He also enjoined other Igbo who are yet to join the mass Igbo movement in the state to join.”
Chairman of the mandate, Chief George Iheonu, said Igbo living in the state are happy with the cordial relationship existing between them and their host community. He praised the hospitality and conducive environment provided by their host community, which is helping them to thrive in the various businesses.
He said Aregbesola who is reputed for being Igbo-friendly is behind most of the achievements, which Igbo are making in the state: “It is because of this we unanimously gave him the title of Enyi Ndigbo (Friend of the Igbo), last year during Igbo Day celebration.”
Iheonu said the inauguration “is our own way of supporting the governor who has been good to us and doing a lot towards the development of the state.
“The transformation going on in the state cannot be denied even by his greatest critics.
“Our problems are many and varied. The ones we created with our own hands. The ones others created for us and even the ones nature bequeathed on us. The giant strides Aregbesola has made in the last seven years is the reason for the formation of Igbo Mandate.
“This will be the first time Igbo who are supporting government will come together as a political group to work for the party. I am convinced that very soon this group would metamorphose into None Indigenes Support Group in APC.
“We will leave no stone unturned to rally all non indigenes into APC. Just last year during my tenure as the president of Ohanaeze the governor released funds for us to celebrate the first ever Igbo Day in the history of Igbo living in Osun State in partnership with Southeast council of traditional rulers. Today, Ohanaeze in Osun can boast of a bus to ease the movement of the members.”
He appealed to Igbo living in Osun State to be law abiding and also to be complying with their civic responsibilities.