By Sulaimon Sheriff

Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has commended the unwavering support and doggedness of the former Military Governor of Oyo State, Major General Oladayo Popoola (rtd), during the ownership tussle over the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.
The governor gave the commendation on Monday during the 80th birthday thanksgiving service for the former governor, held at the Vine Branch Church, Mokola, Ibadan.
He added that history would not forget General Popoola’s uncompromising stance towards gaining the ownership of the institution of learning for Oyo State.
The governor hailed the former governor for his immense contributions to the advancement of knowledge, technological and socioeconomic development of the state, especially in the education sector.
Extolling Popoola’s rare virtues, Makinde said that the octogenarian’s words of advice and encouragement were helpful, even as he admonished his children to sustain the good name and legacy of their father.
The governor said: “I will, on behalf of the good people of Oyo State, wish you a happy 80th birthday and many happy returns in good health and abundance of grace.
“Even the Bible promised us 70. General was governor when he was 40 years old. Now, he has doubled that age. I became governor at the age of 51 and I am expecting that I will get to 102.
“I also want to say that you are a very rare personality. You invited me twice to your residence and gave me quality advice. You did not ask me for anything personal and when we were having challenges with the issue of Soun of Ogbomoso and LAUTECH ownership, you came out boldly to make your position known.
“You fought gallantly and you and the team brought back LAUTECH to Oyo State. This is an opportunity for me to openly say thank you. May your years be long.
“As for the children and grandchildren, you have a name that must be cherished and that you can be proud of anywhere in the world.”
In his response, the celebrant, Major General Popoola (rtd) appreciated the hands of God upon his life, stressing that the grace of God had brought him far through the journey of life.
He served as the military governor of the old Oyo State between January 1984 and August 1985, during the regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd).
The governor later presented a Toyota Land Cruiser SUV to the former Military Governor at a birthday reception held at the Civic Centre, Ibadan.
While appreciating the governor, General Popoola said posterity would judge Governor Makinde rightly, as he has done well for the state and that was why he was reelected by residents of the state.
The birthday thanksgiving event had in attendance the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who was represented by his deputy governor, Engr. Naimot Salako; Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Mohammed Fadeyi; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff, Otunba Segun Ogunwuyi and other government functionaries.
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor
February 26, 2024.