Governor Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, presided over his last State Executive Council session as Governor of Edo State and commended members of the Council for their steadfastness, commitment, industry and resourcefulness which contributed to the success of his administration.
Speaking at the valedictory exco session at the Government House, Benin City, Wednesday, Governor Oshiomhole said, “Let me thank each and every one of you for what God has used you to do for our people, for our great state. Let me say publicly that I do believe the evidence is there, that members of this state executive council are the least paid and work the hardest compared to any other state that I know of. I also know that we have had to work long hours. I recall a meeting we had, starting at 9.00 am, no adjournment and staying all the way to 7.00 am the following day. No break, no adjournment. We all agreed that we would do that and we would not adjourn until we had addressed the issue of the viability of this state so that we can deliver on our promises.”
He said, “I want to thank all of you. May God bless you; may God reward you. And we must have a sense of collective ownership of everything that happened while we were here. I want to apologise to those I harassed, and there is hardly anyone I didn’t, but it can be both ways. I wanted everything to be perfect. The harder I strived towards perfection, the more I realise that it can’t be, and I am still striving. I was always afraid to fail; it has been in nature. I didn’t design it. Thank you for tolerating a lot of that and for appreciating that nothing was personal.
“I am proud of each and every one of you, and as Odubu said, let’s see ourselves as members of a particular class, like you have members of an alumni association, you have a particular class. May God preserve this class, and may the membership of this class continue to advance.”
Oshiomhole continued, “With Godwin, I think one of us is taking over. We have a sense that the man who chaired our economic team with whom we had debates is going to continue. My prayer is that he will avoid our own mistakes and build on our strength and that the economic environment will be sufficiently enabling to enable him to do all of the good things I know he has in his heart, because what brought us together was the Edo project. I know he has passion; he has a commitment; he has the energy and he has the honesty of purpose, and above all, he has the competence. What he will need from us is the prayer for God to enable him to do so well that this club of which he was a member, he will be an example of how members of this club are performing and growing from strength to strength. Thank you so very much.”
Also speaking, the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Odubu said, “I recall with nostalgia the very early days of our relationship. The very first time we met with regard to this project was in Abuja, and it was as if we had known each other for donkey years. We bonded as brothers. I recall again the trying moment, the trying period when our mandate was stolen. You provided exemplary leadership. Mr. Governor, sir, to say that you have performed beyond previously established boundaries will be to state the obvious.
“To also say that you began well and ended well will also be to state the obvious. Mr. Governor, sir, you have changed the Edo narrative.”
Dr. Odubu continued, “Before now, many of us were ashamed to identify ourselves as coming from Edo State. Today, we hold our heads high in various places to say, we are bonafide Edo indigenes. I want to thank you. My association with you has made me a better man.
In you, Nigerians have found a man who is worthy of emulation, a man that is selfless, a man that is dedicated not only to the course of Nigerians but the course of the common man. You have proved that tough times don’t last, but tough people do. You have taught us to fight; you have taught us to fight well. Be rest assured of your place in history because you did the greatest good for the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time. It remains for me, therefore, with blessed assurance to wish you a blessed future. I wish you all that you wish yourself.
Other members of the Edo State executive council took turns to pay glowing tributes to the Governor while the Governor thanked them one after the other