BENIN CITY – The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has endorsed the people-focused administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki, urging the governor to remain focused on his quest to engender sustainable development in Edo State.
The Ooni, who gave the commendations on Wednesday during a courtesy visit at Government House, in Benin City, the Edo state capital, said the governor deserves all the support he needs to continue in his transformative work as governor of Edo State.
Applauding the governor’s seamless transition from the boardroom to politics, he said, “I am here to associate myself with you for all the good things you are doing and to let you know that we are watching all the good things you are doing for the state. You have brought in your capacity as a player in the private sector, combining your wealth of experiences from the private sector with that of the public sector to take the state to greater heights. You are one of the greatest financial engineers the country has ever produced as your success is there for all to see in the private sector.”
He continued, “I am sure you are applying the same principles in the public sector because the people of Edo State need you to put up a good legacy that posterity will always remember you for.”
He noted that Edo State “is fortunate to have you as governor. You are forthright, disciplined and articulate in all you do. I am very positive that you are going to change the narrative in governance. We in the traditional institution should be very supportive of you. For your laudable achievements in the state, encouragements like this visit should come once in a while. You are not alone. That much I can assure you from the throne of Oduduwa.”
The traditional ruler described Edo State as strategic, adding, “Edo State is consistent and has continued to play strategic roles in this country since we became a republic. You are a very prepared and bold leader. What is critical is that you are one of the greatest financial engineers in Nigeria and I urge you to create more employment opportunities for the youths in the state as they are the future of this country. Please remain focused; complete all the good things you are doing and I assure you, history will never forget you.”
Governor Obaseki thanked the Ooni and his entourage for the historic visit, saying the revered ruler remains one of the progressive traditional leaders in the country.
He said there was a symbiotic relationship between the political and traditional institutions, noting that when governments fail, the traditional rulers suffer the burden.
He thanked the Ooni for his role in peacekeeping in the country, saying “You have been a bridge-builder and transverse the length and breadth of this country, getting people to believe in this country.”
Earlier, Obaseki and the Ooni joined other dignitaries from within and outside the state, in celebrating the prominent Edo son and business mogul, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, who is marking his 85th birthday anniversary.
The governor graced the morning interdenominational church service held as part of activities to mark Chief Igbinedion’s birthday in Okada Avenue, GRA, Benin City.
Other dignitaries at the service were Edo Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu; Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq; former Edo State Governor and son of the celebrant, Chief Lucky Igbinedion; former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase; President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN); Felix Omobude, among others.
Chief Igbinedion is reputed as one of Nigeria’s illustrious entrepreneurs, with a long list of enterprises to his name, including Igbinedion University, Okada; Igbinedion Group of Schools and Independent Television and Radio, among several others.
Obaseki extolled the leadership qualities and the contributions of Chief Igbinedion to humanity, adding that the celebrant has continued to make great impact in the lives of persons within the state and beyond.
“We are proud of our father, who has represented the state well within the country and abroad. He is first in many areas and a great entrepreneur, a diplomat and the first to establish a private University in Nigeria, over 20 years ago. We thank God for his life and what he represents in Edo State. We pray that God keeps him so we can draw from his wisdom and experiences in life as an entrepreneur,” the governor said.