Monday, October 24, 2016 11:58 pm
Gov. Adam Oshiomhole of Edo says he will like to be remembered as factory worker, leader of a textile union, who later “fought the most vicious godfathers’’ to win elections as two-term governor.
Oshiomhole, who will be leaving office on Nov. 12, made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday.
He said, “I want to be remembered as a factory worker who worked and laboured as a daily paid worker in the most subordinates post in textile mill.
“Rising to become leader of the textile union and eventually spending eight years as NLC president, then going back home to confront the most feared and vicious godfathers that monopolised Edo state.
“I fought godfathers, which is essential to make way for liberal democracy.’’
He said he was in the State House to invite President Muhammadu Buhari for a State Visit in Edo, where he would be expected to inaugurate some people-oriented projects executed by his administration.
Oshiomhole stated that the projects to be inaugurated by the president would include a five-star hospital in the state.
He said that he was not worried of being betrayed by the governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, after he must have handed over the mantle of leadership of the state to him.
According to him, Obaseki’s allegiance should be to the people not him.
“That is very important if you say he will disappoint me, I am not the state I am only one out of about four million Edo people.
“So, his obligation and his loyalty should be to the people of Edo State.
“The oath of office he is going to subscribe to says that he will defend the Constitution of Nigeria, he will do everything to uplift the quality of life of Edo people.
“Nothing in his oath of office will include ‘I shall not betray my predecessor’ because I have no interest to be betrayed.
“For me, I have presided over Nigeria Labour Congress for eight years and I had a successor, there was no story of me having conflict with my predecessor. because conflict only arise when you refuse to accept that when your tenure is over, it is over.’’
Oshiomhole said he had no regrets campaigning for Obaseki, saying he acquired the skills right from his labour days fighting the oppressors.
He said: “As for the campaign, and this is the problem, the media picks the negatives from the mouth of those who are the least competent. That I campaigned for him, I was this I was that. That is the way it should be.
“Look at what is going on in the U.S, is Obama not vigorously campaigning for Clinton?
“Is Obama’s wife, the First Lady of U.S is she not as vigorous perhaps much more than Bill Clinton?
“But these are skills I acquire from shop floor which they will never acquire.
“I am a product of struggle as a result of my many years of being exploited, fighting the oppressors, I deployed those skills and I defeated them.
“At a point they said I should allow the man to talk, did the electorate complain?.’’(NAN)
Also, Oshiomhole of Edo said it was a big privilege for him to present the staff of office to an Oba of Benin.
The governor made the statement when he addressed State House correspondents shortly after he paid a thank you visit to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The historic coronation of Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II took place in Benin on Thursday with Nigerians and people of other cultures in attendance.
“On my part, I felt very privileged.
“In my eight years of stewardship in Edo State that assignment of having to hand over the staff of office to the Oba of Benin is the most singular important event that God has given me the privilege to preside,’’ Oshiomhole said.
He said that the first time in the 1930s when Oba Akenzua ascended the throne that same staff of office was presented by the Queen of England when the country was under British colonial rule.
He added that in a recent time, the other time the staff was handed to an Oba was in the 1980s through a military governor who was not an Edo indigene.
“This is the first time an Edo man, full-blood son of the soil, decked in Edo costume, presented the most important staff of office to the man we all celebrate as the Oba of Benin,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole said that the attendance to the event by the Sultan of Sokoto,Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III and a host of other traditional rulers from across the country, was “extremely significant’’.
He said the Sultan was not only of Sokoto but the head of the Islamic Council in the country and was at the ceremony as the utmost religious leader in Nigeria.
“To have the Caliphate across the Niger, extending that hand of fellowship and brotherhood and bringing the Durbar from the Caliphate to Benin to celebrate the coronation of the Oba was historic.
“Those royal handshakes and bonds not only speak to history that had existed before the political amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria.
“It shows that our people, regardless of those interventions by the British authority, that the bonds have always been there and that even today those responsible for our tradition are doing their part to sustain those bonds.’’
He said this was so important at this time that the political class was preaching to primordial sentiments in a manner that threatened the country’s unity when they were frustrated.
“I think that royal handshake and bonding shows that at that level of leadership, Nigeria is one and we are committed to one and indivisible Nigeria and those royal fathers have led us by example,’’ he added.
The governor observed that one of the weaknesses of our country “`is that we don’t celebrate our tradition.
“What was unique was that the Oba observed all the cultural rites in the installation, including the most tedious of trekking certain distance to his palace.’’
He said that the exercise was to enable the monarch to place himself in the position of the common man in order to administer the domain well.
“Seeking for those traditions was extremely important because if you do not understand the pains the people under you go through you can’t have empathy and cannot do justice to them.’’
The governor commended the Bini people for behaving in a mature and orderly manner during the coronation of the Oba in spite of the large crowd.
He said the disposition of the Bini and the attendance of many from across the divide elevated Edo to an uncommon height adding that it could not have been better than that. (NAN)