Being a new year message to public servants in Ondo State by Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN on the occasion of the 1st working day prayer for year 2021, held at the premises of Governor’s Office, Akure on Monday, January 4, 2021
It is my pleasure to heartily welcome all of you back to work for year 2021 and to also wish everyone a prosperous New Year.
Today, being the first day of official business in the year, we are here gathered, as we normally do every year, to appreciate the Almighty God for His blessings upon our lives, individually and corporately, in the outgone year 2020. This assembly will also afford us the opportunity to humbly commit our journey in the New Year unto God’s able hands.
As I often say, the journey so far has been dotted with God’s blessings and protection and we should, therefore, not fail to acknowledge that fact. The challenges experienced in 2020, especially the global COVID-19 Pandemic, the #EndSARS protestations and all forms of security challenges, could only have been tamed the way it was in our State by the good hands of God. In a similar vein, God also in His infinite mercies, led us peacefully through the conduct of the 2020 gubernatorial election in the State. Looking back, we have every cause to thank God. To our religious and traditional leaders, political office holders, elected public officials, the entire Public Service under the leadership of the Head of Service and last but not the least, the entire citizenry of this State, I say thank you all.
This year is significant in so many ways. As we are all aware, our administration will commence its second term in office on 24th February, 2021 in continuation of the actualization of our lofty programmes. The challenges of the recent times, that is, the global economic crisis which came as a result of the global COVID-19 Pandemic and security challenges are still here with us and in the midst of which we must bear all necessary sacrifices and precautions to keep our State going. As a government, we shall continue to keep expanding the frontiers of our development efforts and sustain the delivery of dividends of good governance to the teeming population of the State. As a people, we should be prepared to continually bear the sacrifices of our home-grown efforts to generate resources for the overall development of our dear State. We will continue to sustain our efforts at containing the new wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic and rise up to the prevailing security challenges, facing us. All these, more than before, have imposed new responsibilities on government which must be treated as such and this has seriously affected the finances of the State. I have no doubt in my mind, that with our collective faith in God and unwavering commitment to our shared goals and values, the State will continue to rise above these challenges and soar higher in the New Year.
Ladies and gentlemen, so far, the developmental efforts of our administration are there for everyone to see – both friends and foes. In spite of the economic challenges, we are resolutely creating and expanding infrastructures across the nook and cranny of the State, putting in place an industrial base which has been acknowledged nationally. We are rejuvenating our educational and health institutions and empowering the vulnerables, among other efforts. We pledge not to rest on our laurels. The second term would not be for holiday but for more legacy projects, God willing! Despite the bleak future which the various challenges highlighted above seem to portend, we assure the people of our commitment to the Port Ondo project which shall come to fruition by His grace.
Let me enjoin all public servants to continue to render their statutory services, diligently. You all can bear witness that in the face of the obvious constraints occasioned by externalities, we have ensured prompt promotion and general workers’ welfare. Do not expect anything less! I must, however, reiterate that the dictates of the current realities call for sacrifice.
Let us learn to do more even with less resources and discharge our duties as expected under the new normal foisted on us by the Pandemic and economic constraints. Finally, I have to remind us all as public servants, we should not lend ourselves to partisan political inclinations. The election is over, truly won and lost.
This remark will not be complete without acknowledging the prayer support of men of God for us in the State. I thank our spiritual fathers, both Christians and Muslims. Let me also appreciate the clergymen who have spared time to be here with us this morning and those praying for our State always in their respective churches and mosques. God Almighty will continue to reward your labour of love.
In conclusion, I want to thank our religious leaders, the Head of Service, all public servants, political office holders and everyone who has found time to join us here today. It is my prayer that the New Year will diminish the evil of insecurity, COVID-19 Pandemic, economic crises and usher in fresh opportunities, prosperity, abundance and peace for our dear State.
God bless you all. I wish you all a peaceful, blessed and prosperous 2021.