The crowd was ecstatic. They responded with shouts of welcome, watched with bated breath and endured the weather to welcome their new Governor.
Benin, the capital city of Edo State went agog. Activities across the city stood still and the people who came to the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium went crazy with rounds of endless applause to welcome their new Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains from across the country came to receive the newest Governor in the country.
State Governors present include Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Alhaji Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Simon Lalong (Platue) Nasir el’Rufai (Kaduna).
Also present were former Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aremo Olusegun Osoba (Ogun), Prof. Oserieme Osunbor (Edo), Tony Elumelu, Akin Bello, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, Ondo APC gubernatorial candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, Segun Oni, former military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon business Mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, among other dignitaries .
It was history made as the Adams Oshiomhole bowed out as governor of the state and handed the batton to Godwin Obaseki who from now on will steer the affairs of the state to a new height.
The 57-year-old Obaseki was on Saturday sworn-in as the 5th Governor Edo State, bringing an end to the temperous and highly emotion driven tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
He was elected Governor on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the September 28 gubernatorial election in the State.
Also sworn-in at the well-attended ceremony which held in the main bowl of Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, in Benin, was the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu.
The Chief Judge of the State, Hon. Justice Cromwell Idahosa, administered the oath of office and allegiance on the new Governor and his Deputy.
In his inaugural speech, Governor Obaseki, who promised to continue to consolidate on the gains of the eight years of former Governor, also reaffirmed his campaign promise of creating 200,000 jobs in four years, mainly through agriculture, and to fill all vacancies in the State civil service, by focusing on the Edo’s comparative advantage in agriculture, agro-business, commerce industrialization, entrepreneurship, technical and vocational skills.
While admitting that the task before his administration was enormous, Obaseki solicited the support of all kind-hearted people of the State to enable him succeed.
“We will continue to consolidate on the gains of the last eight years by continuing the infrastructural revolution and urban renewal intimation which our Comrade started. We will continue to improve on educational infrastructure by building more schools to ensure that education is available to all Edo children. We will equally pay attention to the development of our intra-city roads network to enhance urban dwelling comfort and ease traffic. Lastly, we will complete all ongoing projects.”
He said he will pursue the good of the people of the state with relentless vigour, even as he pledged to make his government accountable to the people.
He also promised to focus on women empowerment, saying that a holistic development of any society rests on the amount of support available to the women and that his government will launch intervention schemes to support women.00
To achieve a more secured society, Obaseki promised to strengthen and improve on criminal justice system, support for the police and other law enforcement agencies and speedy resolution of disputes.
He disclosed that his administration desires to make Edo State a centre of excellence in healthcare, for which he said he will “focus on preventive healthcare, as it is better not to get sick than curing sickness,” and will partner with the private sector and the international community.
To achieve his goal of good governance, the Governor promised to harness the good ideas of candidates of other political parties who contested with him, for the common good of the people of Edo State.
“We are studying and will continue to study this ideas and seek with diligence to select what holds promise for our people and our state. The task ahead is not that of government alone; we are all in this together to bring enviable change to Edo State irrespective of our political, religious or ethnic differences,” he said.
The Governor who promised to hit the ground running immediately, noted that the next four years might look uncertain, but added “we are full of promises.”
“We will help small and medium scale enterprises by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive. Edo State government will establish a one-stop shop to provide incentive and support to make it easier for our people to provide goods and services.”
Among dignitaries present at the occasion were former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, business magnate, Aliko Dangote.
However, Oshiomhole was the man of the ceremony as the crowd yelled continously for a well finished tenure.