BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN—GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Chris Alli (rtd), were among dignitaries that graced the 80th birthday celebration of former governor of old Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia.
Meanwhile, Ogbemudia has insisted that Nigeria was better off as a federation than confederation, as being agitated by some persons.
Calling for more autonomy to be granted states with “corresponding increase in fiscal allocation,” Ogbemudia argued that to make the states more viable in a federal system, the controversial derivation principle should be based on 50 per cent, noting that if “confederation and zonal aggregations are favoured, there should be Midwest Zone for Edo and Delta states.”
He lamented the deplorable state of sports in the country, which he said “has the capacity to gainfully and productively engage half of our unemployed youths. Look at what Europe and America have done with sports. China has since discovered it and is tapping its dividends.
“Sports should, therefore, find a place, a prominent place in our constitution. Government should take the lead and encourage private sector participation and eventual take over. What I say about sports here also applies to agriculture.”
Gowon, under whose military administration Ogbemudia served as Military Administrator of the Mid-West and later Military Governor of Mid-West State, said he always liked to remember Ogbemudia as a versatile and resourceful officer and gentleman.