The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, and his Delta State counterpart, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, on Saturday, reflected on the heydays of the old Bendel State, calling on Nigerians to extend hands of partnership to one another in business, politics and other human endeavours to build a united, prosperous country.
Speaking to journalists during the hosting of Okowa by Obaseki, in Benin City, the governors urged Nigerians to work together for a brighter future, as focus ought to be on “partnership and hope, rather than things that divide us.”
He said that having been part of the old Bendel State, Delta State still shares much affinity with Edo State, adding that the close relationship results in the exchange of ideas and collaboration.
Obaseki said that he briefed his colleague on discussions at the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which Okowa couldn’t attend.
“You know Delta and Edo are sister states. We used to be Bendel State together. He came to Benin City and we decided to discuss issues of mutual interest,” he said.
He congratulated Nigerians on the 57th Independence Day celebrations and maintained that for Nigeria to grow united and strong, there is need for everyone to work together to actualise the dream of the founding fathers.
According to him, “The occasion of the independence calls on us to reflect and begin to appreciate the opportunities we have as a country and the need for us to ensure that we work to have a strong, united and economically prosperous country.
“At 57, we have not done too badly. There are many things that we could have done better, but realising where we are and who we are at this point in time, we need to take the advantages of the weaknesses in the system and aim for a brighter future. I think that is what we need to be doing on this day,” he said.
On his part, Okowa said that the unity of the country requires input from all, stressing that citizens owe as much responsibility as those in government to keep Nigeria united.
He said, “I think there is strength in our unity and we must realise that. Those who are trying to go the wrong path need to realise that there is strength in our unity. We need to begin to partner with each other and talk about hope, rather than things that divide us. We need to begin to work together, from the government to the private sector and indeed all Nigerians.”
Noting that the Nigeria project requires the commitment and patriotism, he said, “We need to stay committed to a common path to develop Nigeria. The more we do that, the stronger we become. Nigerians should realise that it is not just about governance, a partnership among the people is required to move the country forward. We have to stick together to be able to achieve that.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State (right) and his Delta State counterpart, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, addressing journalists when Okowa visited Obaseki in Benin City on Saturday, September 30, 2017.