…Ascribes Victory to God, Lauds the People for Massively Voting for Him …Promises to Enthrone a Digital Government, Economy …Floats a 20 Year Development Master Plan Basking in the euphoria of his swearing in for a second term berth, Thursday, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has pledged to make the heartbeat State work for
…Ascribes Victory to God, Lauds the People for Massively Voting for Him
…Promises to Enthrone a Digital Government, Economy
…Floats a 20 Year Development Master Plan
Basking in the euphoria of his swearing in for a second term berth, Thursday, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has pledged to make the heartbeat State work for all its citizens and return it to its glorious status as a model state. This is coming just as the Indomitable Youth Organisation (IYO), an Edo-based organisation, has asked him to appoint a cabinet that will help build the state along the path of his “Make Edo Great Again (MEGA)” agenda
Obaseki made the pledge during his inauguration address shortly after he and his deputy, Mr Philip Shaibu, were sworn in at mid day Thursday by the State Chief Judge, Justice Esther Edigin at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
An enthusiastic Obaseki ascribed his victory to God who, he said, made everything possible, and to the people of Edo State who he appreciated for voting massively and resolutely for him on September 19.
Obaseki, who contested on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), won a significant re-election victory on Saturday, September 19, 2020, conducted in all the 18 local government areas of the state, inflicted a massive defeat to his main opponent and Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu; as well as 12 other candidates.
In his inauguration address, Obaseki said he and his team were committed to making Edo State work for every citizen, urging the people to now “stop dwelling on the past,” as it was now “time to take our collective destiny in our hands.”
He enthused: “There is nothing we cannot overcome in moving Edo State forward. What we need is the unity template.”
Stating that “we do not claim to have solution to all problems,” he said his administration had shown the world that there were “superior ways of running government,” and that little wonder his administration had won accolades on responsible governance. However, to make the state great again, the Governor urged citizens to play their part by fulfilling their civic responsibilities to the state.
Governor Obaseki promised to use his second term in office to bring about technology-driven state which level of growth and development will help reduce the level of poverty and want among Edo people.
The Governor said his first term was devoted to seeking partnership that would drive the economy of the state through numerous memoranda of agreement while his second term would be used to consolidate and bring about a better Edo for the benefit of the people.
“We have used the last four years to change how government works with the introduction of memoranda of understanding and memoranda of agreement with organisations and communities, which assist government in allocating responsibilities and relating with the people and other partners in development.
“Our government is committed to working for every Edo State citizen and lifting their wellbeing by ensuring that Edo State grows into a globally competitive economy enabled by technology for the benefit of all her citizens.
“Before 2025, Edo State will develop and grow its digital economy and operate a digital government.
“The digital government we are building will plug into the new digital age and would ensure we deliver better and efficient services to all our citizens.
“In realising our vision as reflected in the MEGA manifesto, we will focus on the following priorities areas:
“Grow our Social Sector by constantly improving our Education, Healthcare System, provision of Social Security and Safety Nets, caring for the vulnerable and the disadvantaged in our state.
“Rapidly develop our critical energy, housing, digital and road Infrastructure, which provides a framework to drive inclusive growth.
“Build the Economy and drive Industrialization, Trade and Investment, to solidify our state’s status as the choice investment destination in the country.
“Preserve the Environment and Public Utilities, to make our state more functional and adapt to the challenges of climate change and rural-urban migration.
“Our major drive will be the clean and green Edo initiative and sustaining our campaign to plant trees and restore the forest,” he said
Other sectors the Obaseki government planned to invest in include:
“Exploiting Agriculture and Natural Resources, by tapping our God-given resources to provide food security, create wealth and improve the livelihoods of our people.
“Strengthen Public Service, Public Finance and Public Revenue, by recalibrating our workforce for the future world of work.
“Sustain Law, Judiciary and Legal Reforms, to ensure justice, equity and fairness in private and public dealings.
“Promote Arts and Culture, to preserve the past, document the present, envision the future, and use our arts and culture as a springboard to develop tourism.
“Revamp the Transport sector, by developing transport infrastructure to a more modern and affordable system.’’
The people should own the government by paying tax, Obaseki said, wondering “Why should we have difficulty paying taxes?” “Government does not have its own money,” he continued. What it has is tax which is used on behalf of and for the good of the people.
He acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic had caused significant distortions in the economy but thanked God for keeping the citizens, and fatalities to the barest minimum.
He, however, urged the people not to be complacent and live under the erroneous impression that the virus had been defeated. The people, Obaseki emphasized, must continue to observe all the COVID-19 safety protocols as prescribed by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and allied organisations.
On the economy, Obaseki renewed his administration’s commitment to make Edo State compete globally through technology and digital economy. The administration will restore hope by building and bringing the economy to a sound footing and drive industrialization
He promised to work very hard to improve the environment and tackle the challenges of climate change.
More significantly, the Governor disclosed that his administration was in the process of developing a 20-year-development master plan for Edo State.
Obaseki ended his address by paying tribute to those, he said, who helped strengthen democracy in Edo State by voting and ensuring their votes counted.
In particular, he praised the effort of a 90-year-old woman who, he said, asked her son to carry her on his back to the polling boot so she could cast her ballot.
He also praised the physically challenged people who braved all odds to cast their votes.
Obaseki profusely praised President Muhammadu Buhari who, he said, showed leadership by ensuring that the cause of democracy was not trampled in Edo state.
He also thanked all religious and traditional rulers, especially the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, for their rock-solid support.
Obaseki also gave his party, the PDP, special thanks “for covering us with the umbrella when we were in political wilderness.”
Recall Obaseki had defected to the PDP from the APC after he was denied the ticket for a re-election during the APC primary due to intra-party wrangling and faceoff between him and the former APC National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.
The inauguration ceremony which was held at the Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, was graced by many personalities. They include President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire; Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeayin Okowa, represented by his deputy; Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike (represented by his deputy); Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Sokoto State Governor, Bayelsa Governor, Mr Diri Nonye, represented by his deputy, Mrs. Karen Banigo; as well as the Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu who was also represented by his deputy.
Other dignitaries include Mr Dan Orbih, the vice-chairman of the PDP, South South, former Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, former Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Mike Ogiadome, the Senator representing Edo Central District, Mr Cliford Ordia, Sen. Matthew Urhohide (Edo South) and a PDP Chieftain, Mr Kenneth Imasuagbon, among others.
Meanwhile, the Indomitable Youth Organisation (IYO), an Edo-based organisation, has asked Gov. Obaseki to appoint commissioners that will help him build the state using his Make Edo Great Again (MEGA) Agenda.
Dr Bright Oniovokukor, Project Director, IYO, made the call while speaking on his expectations from the Governor as he assumed office for his second term.
Oniovokukor, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Thursday, said the Governor should appoint commissioners that could draw out actionable plans to improve the ministries and the welfare of the people.
“In the next dispensation, Gov. Obaseki must carefully select his commissioners based on merit and responsiveness especially now that `Godfathers’ that used to bring lists are no more.
“Making Edo Great Again, tagged MEGA, is a manifesto that majority of Edo people are optimistic about and it should not be left in the hands of people who cannot make MEGA delivery.
“Since the Governor himself cannot oversee the Ministries that should attend to the people, there is a need for him to get capable hands, tested and trusted, who can deliver on this mandate,” he suggested.
He also suggested that the commissioners should be appointed on time as there was no time to waste in making the state great again.
“The Governor should focus on getting commissioners who can strategically analyse the gaps in the state and push them forth as an opportunity for intervention.
“A lot is expected in all the sectors, hence there is a need to look carefully without sentiment or bias to get capable individuals that can put that smile of satisfaction on the faces of the people.
While commending the Governor on his second term inauguration, the programme director enjoined him to uphold the trust the people bestowed on him.