…Says no fundamental issues with Oshiomhole
…Names civil service training centre after Oyegun
…Oshiomhole absent, PDP stalwarts dominate list of dignitaries
By Gabriel Enogholase & Alemma Aliu
BENIN CITY—Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said he had met with his predecessor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, and that efforts were being made to resolve issues created by third parties in the state, adding that there were no fundamental issues between them.
The governor disclosed this, yesterday, in Benin City, during a mass held at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Benin in honour of Chief John Oyegun to mark his 80th birthday.
However, leaders of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by its national chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, described Oyegun as a national leader at the event.
Other PDP chieftains present at the event were the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion;former Governor Lucky Igbinedion, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, state chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, and other state executives of PDP.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his message described the celebrant as one of the permanent secretaries who distinguished himself when he was head of state of Nigeria between 1976 and 1979.
However, missing was the National Chairman of APC, Oshiomhole and some prominent chieftains of APC.
Though no reason was given for his absence but one of his aides said Oshiomhole had placed several advertorials to congratulate Oyegun.
Obaseki’s stay at the reception was brief as he left with several of his aides to Iyamho, Oshiomhole’s country home where Vanguard gathered there was a high powered meeting with the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi.
He said earlier,:“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, I and my predecessor in office and fortunately, we do not have any fundamental issues. And because we do not have any fundamental issue, 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 Oyegun. On behalf of the people and government of Edo State, I want to congratulate you on your 80th birthday.”
Names civil service training centre after Oyegun
The governor announced that the state government had named the soon-to-be-completed Civil Service Training Centre after Chief Oyegun, for his contributions to the development of the state and the country at large.
He said: “For your contributions and what you did 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 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 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.”
Obasanjo praises Oyegun
Obasanjo at the reception, represented by Gideon Ikhine said: “I recall during my regime as Military Head of State between 1976 and 1979, you were one of the federal permanent secretaries who earned my confidence and respect by dint of hard work and resourcefulness.
“As a civilian governor of Edo State, on the platform of Social Democratic Party, SDP, from 1992 to 1993, your amiable disposition and national outlook were qualities which served you well on the job.”
Oyeyun didn’t join politics to fool electorate—Rev. Fr. Akubeze
Speaking at the thanksgiving mass held at the Saint Paul Catholic Church, Bishop of Archdiocese of Benin, Rev. Fr. Augustine Akubeze, described Oyegun as one of the few former governors “who is living out his faith.”
He said Oyeyun did not join politics to fool the electorate but to convince the electorate and, therefore, urged political leaders to respect constituted authorities, adding that political leaders should know that anybody who wants peace must work for justice.
On the crisis in Edo State House of Assembly, Akubeze urged Oshiomhole and Obaseki to meet and discuss on ways to move the state forward.