Opinion

My Re-Election, Hope for Democracy – Obaseki

…Maps out 30-Year Development Master Plan

By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has described his re-election for a second term in office as hope for democracy and participatory governance.

Governor Obaseki, who stated this in his inaugural speech at his swearing-in ceremony, last Thursday, November 12, noted that democracy and participatory governance had been facing a crisis of confidence, both at the local and global levels.

Obaseki was sworn in alongside his deputy, Philip Shaibu, at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

The governor who thanked the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, for according to him, allowing the will of the people to prevail in Edo State, said it was gratifying that the state had taken on the onerous task of restoring faith in democracy, given the challenges which democracy had faced in the country.

Gov Godwin Obaseki, presenting his inaugural address for his second term in office at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Nov 12, 2020.

‘What you, my dear people of Edo State, achieved on September 19, 2020, is the restoration of confidence in democracy and its institutions. We have become a reference point on how the will of the people can triumph in a democracy that functions properly. My re-election represents new hope. I see myself as a vessel in the re-definition of democracy in Nigeria and I am not unaware of the enormous responsibility this places on me,’ Obaseki said.

He continued, ‘Aside from the fact that it restores hope in democracy, our victory also offers us an opportunity to bridge the gap between a challenged past and a promising future. It is time to heal. We are kith and kin with a common destiny. Let’s stop dwelling on the past. It is time to take our common destiny in our hands and commence the odious task of making Edo great again.’

Gov Obaseki also thanked the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), for according to him, covering them with the umbrella when they were abandoned.

The governor identified improved access to quality education; quality healthcare, especially for the vulnerable; development of the critical energy and digital sectors; road construction, in order to build the economy, drive industrialization and make Edo State the choice investment destination, as some of the focus of his administration.

He added that his administration would also exploit agriculture and natural resources to improve food security and create wealth, as well as focus on recalibration of the civil service and promotion of arts and culture.

Governor Obaseki announced that to actualize the key project required for the orderly development and growth in Edo State, his administration had set in motion, modalities to deliver a 30-year development master plan. According to him, the master plan would provide future governments with necessary tools, guidelines & milestones for development planning.

He explained that his government had identified key initiatives that would in the next twelve months, drive public service reforms by accelerating capacity building; finding new ways of working and operationalizing the Civil Service Training Centre as a centre of excellence in training public servants.

Obaseki assured Edo people of value for public funds, transparency and accountability, assuring that his government was committed to working for every citizen to ensure that the state grew into a globally competitive economy that would be beneficial to all.

Among those that graced the swearing-in were President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who were represented by the Minister of Health, Prof Osagie Ehanire.

Others were Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Gov. Diri Duoye of Bayelsa State and top members of the PDP, led by Prince Uche Secondus.

It will be recalled that Gov Obaseki of PDP, had in the September 19, 2020 governorship election, defeated his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the APC.

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