Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged Edo and Delta citizens to hold fast to the virtues and legacies that made the old Bendel State outstanding among its peers, calling out leaders of the two states to sustain and build on the heritage of the old region.
Obaseki made the submission in his goodwill message at the birthday celebration of Prof. Pat Utomi, who marked his 62nd birthday anniversary at Ibusa, Delta State at the weekend.
The governor urged the business and political elite in Edo and Delta States to re-direct their focus to re-building and returning the states to a leading spot in Nigeria, wherein things worked for the good of everyone and not for few persons.
According to him, “The defunct Bendel State, which is now Edo and Delta states, was revered as a leading light in Nigeria in the areas of quality education, infrastructure and sports. Then, other states in the country looked to us for direction.”
He said, “Nothing is wrong and new about Nigeria. We all are to be blamed for what is happening in the country today. Nigeria, just like the old Bendel State, worked for us, as a place where people had access to quality infrastructure and education, which made most of us today the best in our chosen careers.”
He added, “If we must get it right, we must begin by upholding truth in leadership. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for example, stood for truth and made the then Western Region work for the good of all. In Edo, we have started by upholding this truth, which made the former governor, Adams Oshiomhole lay the foundation for a society where things work for the good of the people.
“My administration has continued in that line, as we continue to make progress to solidify and sustain a system where resources are deployed for the benefit of everyone and make life better for the people of the state.”
Calling for a united front in tackling challenges of development, he said, “Delta State must not remain behind, but follow in the progress being achieved in Edo State, where things are working. Let us unite to return our states to the leading position in the country.”
He argued that democracy is built from the bottom up, not top down, as the people should lead in the quest for development, noting, “Any policy that will not benefit the people is bad. Political actors should be men and women of integrity. Political actors in Delta State, should join us in Edo State, to return our states to the leading position in Nigeria.”
On his part, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said that people like Prof. Utomi should lead the cause in returning Delta State to the path of progress and prosperity, adding, “The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State should work with people of integrity and intellect that are capable of providing leadership like is obtainable in Edo State, where Governor Godwin Obaseki is providing leadership that benefits the people.”