BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has celebrated the Catholic Archbishop of Benin Archdiocese, His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. Augustine O. Akubeze on his tenth year anniversary as an Archbishop, saluting his contributions to the development of Edo State and Nigeria.
Obaseki, who at the weekend led top government officials and other dignitaries to a book launch in commemoration of the archbishop’s tenth year anniversary, described Akubeze as one who is readily available to provide solutions and support to the government.
The governor was joined by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke; Chief of Staff to Edo State Governor, Osaigbovo Iyoha and the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion.
Others are the Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide; member Representing Oredo Federal Constituency, Hon. Ogbeide Ihama and a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, among others.
Unveiling the book titled, “Exercise of Prophetic Ministry, selected Homilies and Addresses of Archbishop Akubeze,” the governor hailed the Archbishop for his sacrifice and selfless service to God and humanity.
According to him, “For me, it is a rare privilege as a non-catholic to have been invited to come and unveil this seminar works. I didn’t hesitate when I was told to come and unveil this book, because for me, it’s a privilege to honour someone who has been one of my pillars.
“The Chairman of the occasion, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, told us more about who His Grace is and what he represents to us as Christians and a leader in this country. But personally, he means even more, because you all know what we have gone through politically.”
He continued: “But more importantly, as a community, you may not understand the depth of the decay and rot in our society. But as a leader, he is always looking for a solution; one person who has always been there to provide solutions and support for us in government has been His Grace.
“When we were thinking through how to deal with our educational system, we called on him and asked him to send somebody to come and help us in thinking through the ideas.
Same thing happened with reforms in healthcare and charity, among others. In fact, he has made himself that unspoken head in our government.”
“For me, unveiling this book today is a privilege; not just because it offers me an opportunity to say thank you in a very modest manner, but also to identify with the reason for which he has written this book. He needs to raise a resource to continue to pursue those charitable causes to which he has dedicated his life,” the governor added.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the book launch, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, described Akubeze as a simple clergyman with a kind heart, who has made worshipping God appealing to the people.