Edo stands still for Oshiomhole’s inauguration •ACN, PDP govs, Tinubu, NLC leaders, Dangote, others grace occasion •Oba of Benin, Sultan of Sokoto represented
POLITICAL party affiliations were relegated to the background at the inauguration of the Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, for a second term, on Monday, as governors across different political divides converged on the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, to honour him.
The venue of the inauguration was filled to capacity as market women, traders, students, politicians and captains of industry converged on the stadium to witness the inauguration.
Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos; Rauf Aregbesola, Osun; Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti and Ibikunle Amosun, all of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), were present.
Also in attendance were the Rivers State governor and chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Governors Peter Obi, Anambra; Rochas Okorocha, Imo and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.
At the stadium were former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon; ACN national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; national leader and former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; former Ogun State governor, Chief Segun Osoba; former Ekiti State governor Chief Niyi Adebayo and Senator Chris Ngige.
Other eminent Nigerians at the event included the business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; mother of Governor Oshiomhole, Alhaja Aishatu; president of the Edo State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Peter Imasuen; the Chief Imam of Benin, Abdulfatai Enabulele; ACN chieftain, Chief Tom Ikimi; ACN national vice chairman, South-South, Pastor Eze Iyamu; Chief Raymond Dokpesi; president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NUC), Comrade Abdul-waheed Omar; president of the Trade Union Council (TUC), Comrade Peter Esele and Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon.
The Oba of Benin was represented by his palace chiefs, while the Benin crown prince, His Royal Highness, Eheneden Eredi-auwa, was in attendance.
The Sultan of Sokoto was represented by the Magajjin Sokoto.
At the inauguration, Oshiomhole blamed past administrations in the state for its underdevelopment.
He recalled the daunting challenges he met when he was sworn in as governor in 2008 and how the state had been able to face them.
He added that the support and prayers of the people of the state made it possible for his government to “tame and contain the dark and evil forces of reaction, oppression, exploitation, corruption, and retrogression.”
Governor Oshiomhole stated his plans for the next four years, saying “in the next four years, we shall continue to rebuild faith in government and governance at all levels; mobilise our people to commit to collective growth and development and strengthen institutions for efficient and effective service delivery.
“We shall continue to use information and communications technology (ICT) and ensure that all forms of waste are eliminated in the public service. In collaboration with the security agencies, we shall continue to work hard, to ensure and assure the safety and security of our people.
“Let me pay some brief attention to three issues: agriculture, local government and education. Our goal is increase the gross domestic product (GDP) of Edo State, create jobs for our people and forge strong linkages between agriculture and industry.
“To achieve this, our government will provide substantial incentives such as provision of rural roads and other incentives to promote large scale commercial agriculture. Emphasis will be placed on productive
partnerships, processing and storage that will generate new opportunities for training and income to our small scale industries and farmers.
The governor extolled the contributions of his late wife, Clara, whom he said stood by him in the fight to reclaim his mandate in 2008.
He also acknowledged the contributions of his murdered private secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, and the three journalists who lost their lives during his electioneering, describing them as heroes.
The state deputy governor, Dr Pius Odubu, was the first to be sworn in at exactly 11.49 p.m after he took oaths of office and allegiance administered on him by the state Chief Judge, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, before Governor Oshiomhole was sworn in at 12.14 p.m.