BY PETER OKHIRIA
‘Benin is changing. I was watching a documentary on TV the other day and I noticed the transformation taking place in Benin City, I am really impressed” – Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto.
It is exactly 1,094 days since Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was sworn in as Governor of Edo State, on November12, after retrieving his mandate from Prof Oserheimen Osunbor and it has been a very sweet story for people of the state since then.
On assumption of office, Comrade Oshiomhole, fresh from being the Labour Leader Number 1, made a pledge to the people of the state that the decay in which the previous PDP government left the state would be reversed. Before the ACN government, the PDP had held sway in the state for 10 years and they were years of the locust with tales of woes and gnashing of teeth in the state.
Today, just three years after, the promises have been fulfilled and the people now see that government can really work for the people. The success story of the Oshiomhole administration is felt in all parts of the state, from Benin City the state capital to Ososo in Akoko Edo; from Uromi in Esan North-East to Ozalla in Owan West the report is the same: Oshiomhole is working.
The Governor’s magic wand is seen across the eighteen local government areas in the three senatorial districts.
In Benin City, in three years, the Oshiomhole government has completed the Gani Fawhinmi Layout comprising six roads complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Oba Market road complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; stadium road, complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Sokponba road, complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; 2nd West Road complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights.
Also, Akpakpava road complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Sapele Road, dual-carriage way, complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Airport road, dual carriage way, ongoing to be completed with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Siluko road complete with covered drains, walkways and street lights; Upper Siluko road, ongoing project to be completed with covered drains, walkways and street lights; New Fifa Turf at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium with refurbished dressing rooms; ongoing work on the six-lane New Lagos road.
Completed street lights at Upper Soponba; completed street lights at Ramat Park-Agbor road; ongoing road construction at Oro street, Uwa lane, 3rd cemetery, Ihenyan, Five Junction and other adjoining streets, all roads to be completed with covered drains, walkways and street lights. Also, the King’s Square in the heart of Benin City sits proudly with a beautiful musical tune and a water fountain which glows in different colours.
Completed and refurbished
Completed, refurbished, rehabilitated, renovated and rebuilt schools include Adolor College, St Maria Goretti, Niger College, Idia College, Agbado Primary School, Ohonba primary School, Payne Primary School and Olua Primary School, among others.
The 5-Star 120-bed hospital Complex at the Central Hospital is ongoing.
In Edo central, Ekpoma and Iruekpen which have been without water for over 25 years due to the rocky and low level of the water table now boast of potable water as boreholes have been sunk in both places with the Dando drilling rigs purchased by the Government.
Also installed at the two sites are water treatment plants to make further purify the water. Both projects have been completed and the people of Iruekpen and Ekpoma now enjoy potable water. Also there is an ongoing borehole project at Ohordua.
On roads, the Isua-Uzenema road is completed with side drains; the Igueben-Udo road, Igueben-Ewohinmi-Ewatto_Ohordua road; the Amedokhian-Ugboha road; the Irrua-usugbenu-Ugbegun-Ujogba road are all ongoing.
The schools completed are Ewu Junior Secondary School; St John Bosco, Ubiaja; Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua, Ibhedu Primary School, Ohordua, Okaigben Primary School, Ewohinmi and Eguare Primary School, Ekpoma. The ongoing schools projects are Our Lady of Lourdes, Uromi; Our Savior Primary School, Iruekpen. All these schools, roads and water projects are in addition to the rural electrification projects in many communities in the area.
The Women and Children Hospital at Ewohimi has also been completed and awaiting commissioning.
In Edo North, many of the road projects are near completion and subsequent commissioning. These are Ewan-Ojirami-Makeke-Dangbala-Lampese road; Otuo-Ihievbe-Ogben road, Ayua-Jattu road completed with side drain; Iyamo-Iyora road, completed with side drain and a bridge; Apana-Jattu road, completed with side drain; Ayogwiri-Apana-Igodo-Okpekpe road nearing completion. Auchi-Jattu road, ongoing with street lights; Ikabigbo-Jattu road completed; Jattu-Ibie road ongoing and nearing completion; Ivioghe-Igiode-Uzanu ongoing; Ekperi-Anegbete road with bridge, nearing completion and commissioning.
The schools completed are Evbiobe Central School, Sabongidda-Ora; Holy Trinity Grammar School, Sabongida_Ora; Emai Primary School, Afuze; Ohobo Primary School, Afuze; Uokha Junior Secondary School, Uokha; Erevhe Primary School, Otuo; Etuno Model Primary School, Igarra; Anglican Grammar School Igarra; Nigbi Primary School, Elele; Iyamho Primary School; Imhakhena Primary School, Ogbonna; St John’s Boys Model School, Fugar; Our Lady of Fatima, Auchi; Azama Primary School, Jattu; St Angela’s Girls Grammar School; Ekperi Grammar School, Ekperi; Oghomere Primary School, Etskao West; Iyerekhu Primary School.
In addition to these, the foundation stones of three model schools, one in each senatorial zone were recently laid with a promise to build a fourth one solely for boys in Edo South.
“Governor of the Year 2010” by the Leadership Newspaper Group, Publishers of Leadership Newspapers. Also, the NUT honoured him with “Governor of the Year” for his contributions to the education sector at the World Teachers’ Day celebrations on October 5, 2011 in Abuja.
On October 15, Governor Oshiomhole bagged the Nigeria Social Entreprise Report Award (The SERAs_Nigeria CSR 2011 Awards) for his achievements in Education, Healthcare and Infrastructure Development which are the priority areas of the Millennium Development Goals.
The icing on these string of awards is the National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger which the Federal Government has bestowed on him.
No wonder, all the discerning people in the state and outside the state are rooting for him to return in 2012 as Governor of the State including royal fathers, highly respected chiefs, professionals, clerics and the ordinary man on the streets.
* Peter Okhiria is Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oshiomhole.