By Sylvanus Okpe
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State disclosed on Monday that he has met with his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and that efforts are underway to resolve the lingering crises which he said were created by “third parties in the state”, stressing that there are no fundamental issues between them.
The governor made the statement while addressing the crowd at the St Paul Catholic Church, in Benin City, where a thanksgiving mass was conducted to mark the 80th birthday of the first executive governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Monday.
According to him, “I thank you very much for the remarkable homily. I listened very attentively and I have taken every word in your remark to heart and very seriously. I want to assure you that we are in pursuit of peace and we will have peace in Edo State.
“We have met – me and my predecessor in office – and fortunately, we do not have any fundamental issues. And because we do not have any fundamental issues, I believe that whatever third parties are trying to propagate I am sure we can talk over it. I assure you that very soon things will return to normalcy in Edo State.”
He said the state government, in line with the spirit of Nigeria’s national anthem, will not forget the labour of past heroes, which he said, shall never be in vain.
“Today we are here to celebrate our own Chief Odigie-Oyegun. On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I want to congratulate you on your 80th birthday,” Obaseki said.
The governor further announced that the state government has named the soon-to-be-completed Civil Service Training Center after Chief Oyegun, to mark his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.
“For your contributions and what you have done for our dear state, I have decided to name the public service academy, which is under construction, after you. We know your passion for public service; we know and acknowledge the contributions you made to public service in Nigeria. Therefore, we have decided to name this edifice which will be completed within the next 60 days, by the grace of God, after you. President Muhammadu Buhari will come and commission the academy, with you standing beside him. It will be known as the John Odigie-Oyegun Institute for Public Administration.”
The Institute, according to the governor,is on “three floors and is made up of large training rooms that will host 220 people. Two halls hold 118 people each. There are seven training halls that will host 58 people each. There is a library, a sick bay, a cafeteria and 12 offices. This facility at any point in time can hold and train a minimum of 900 people. It will be the largest facility for training public servants in Nigeria.”
Other dignitaries that graced the church service to celebrate with Chief Odigi-Oyegun were Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki; Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and his wife, Betty Akeredolu; Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye; the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, Minister Designate, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq; National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus; representatives of the Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II; former Edo State Governor, Chief Lucky Igbinedion; Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, Esama of Benin Kingdom, Commissioners, members of Edo State House of Assembly, among others.