The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday said women will continue to be given priority in his administration, reassuring that the government will sustain reforms and policies to ensure a better deal for women in the state.
The governor also promised durable infrastructure, security and other incentives to ensure the influx of investors to boost economic activity so as to improve the livelihoods of the majority of Edo people.
Obaseki gave the assurance while addressing Edo women under the aegis, ‘Edo Diaspora Women for G.O.,’ who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.
According to the governor, “I want to formally express my most sincere gratitude to you all for your sacrifice and the commitment you took on yourselves as Edo citizens to join in defending democracy in our state and country.
“What does this victory mean? It means that democracy is being entrenched; that we have accepted that we have the power to determine who governs us.
“At least, Nigerians now know that when the people decide that this is the kind of government they want and mobilise and God blesses that effort, it will work.
“For me, it was not a deliberate plan; we were just fighting for what we believed was right. We never realised the power of our Diaspora. At one point, the country used to say you don’t stay at home but we put our foot down and worked with you people.
“Edo people, particularly the women, are the strongest and most resilient Africans, and one of the things we did was to remove the stigmatization and I am so glad.”
Obaseki continued: “We were able to stamp out trafficking or reduce it to the barest minimum within a four years period.
“And we have been able to restore the pride and dignity of Edo women. Talking about the Diaspora, I looked at a database some weeks ago, where one of the cement companies said Edo is now the third largest market for the consumption of cement in this country.”
“How did that come about? Money from our people in the Diaspora is really assisting in the development and reconstruction of our state. It tells us that if we can organise government properly that the funds required to transform Edo already exist among us particularly those in the Diaspora,” he added.
The governor said that the intellectual resources and the experience of the Edo Diaspora Women would further help to transform Edo, adding that his government would collaborate with them in the transformation process.
Earlier, founder of the group, Mrs. Adesuwa Obasohan, noted: “We are here today to congratulate you and appreciate the bold steps that you have taken on behalf of all Edo citizens. We know that there is a lot of work to be done.
“We also know that it wasn’t an easy journey. The journey continues and you need all hands on desk; we will support your administration to make Edo great again.”