By Adeyinka Adedipe
Leaders of Edo South Senatorial district have urged Governor Godwin Obaseki to forgive his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu if the latter begs for forgiveness.
The governor and his deputy are currently at loggerheads as the deputy has approached a Federal High Court to stop his purported impeachment, while Shaibu’s desire to succeed his principal has also added to the rift between the two.
Speaking through its Leader, Senator Ehigie Uzamere, while on a solidarity visit to the governor, the zone said they had come to see the governor and to reaffirm their total commitment to his administration while praying that God gives the governor the wisdom to solve the rift.
He said: “Our leaders from Edo South Senatorial District resolved to visit you. You have done a lot for the State and we are here to support your administration and re-affirm our support and commitment, particularly at this turbulent time in the country.”
“We are aware of what is going on between you and your Deputy and we stand by you and pray God gives you the wisdom to take the right path. The Deputy Governor is a younger brother. If he finds time to come to Your Excellency, please accept him, so we can end well,” he added.
Governor Obaseki commended leaders for supporting his administration in the last seven years.
Obaseki said: “I appreciate you all from Edo South Senatorial District for being a source of support all these years, from the very first time I contested to be governor in 2016. There was massive support in 2020 and to date, you are still supporting me. I thank you for the encouragement.
“We have come a long way. We can point to many achievements we have made in the State. Most times, when we rate development work, we are quick to point to physical structures. Thank God we have enough physical structures to point to as an administration, like schools, hospitals, roads, and more.
“When we came in 2016, what we take for granted today – which is law and order – was not what we have today. Street trading was rampant. Non-state actors were in charge of our revenue. These activities didn’t attract investment into our State.
“We have transformed our educational system through Edo State Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST), which is now a global programme and our administration is getting commendation around the globe. We have a lot of achievements to point to in the State.
“The drop-off ratio of students between primary six and S.S.1 was over 50 per cent. That was what we met. We met many of them in the street but the system we have created took care of this, ensuring that even those that can’t further their education will have the skills to take care of themselves in the future. This is our greatest legacy.”
The governor added that his administration has improved the state’s healthcare system with the Edo Health Insurance Scheme, which many citizens are now benefiting from.
He noted that his administration has created a platform in the entertainment industry for youths in the State to become productive, noting that through the Sound Stage at the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, over 50 Nollywood movies have been produced.
Noting that he has no time for distraction, the governor said: “In two years under the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESSOP), we have allocated over 70,000 hectares of land for fresh oil palm plantations. Various investors are now cultivating nurseries in the State. We are developing businesses in Edo State and creating institutions to train our people to work for those businesses.
“In security, we have trained over 1,500 Vigilante/hunter security networks in the areas of intelligence gathering, and arms handling as we work to train 10,000 more of them to help in securing the State.”
On reforms of the electricity sector, the governor said: “We fought the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) and won to get our own freedom to get electricity. Today, we have invested in our Ossiomo Power Plant and will make further investments in these areas to electrify Edo State and attract businesses.”