The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, commissioned six emergency patrol speed boats, in Ologbo, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state, as part of revved-up efforts to boost security in riverine communities across the state.
Obaseki at the commissioning said his government has taken pragmatic steps and increased collaboration with security agencies in the state to ensure the protection of property and the safety of residents.
He was accompanied by the Commissioner for Physical Planning, Housing, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo; Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Osasere Evbuomwan; Permanent Secretary, Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDSOGPADEC), and other top government functionaries
The governor said, “I am here today to commission these emergency patrol boats as part of what we plan to do. The next time I am coming here is to launch a series of water transport boats for you and the communities around the waterways.
"Peace and security is the number one item that we must seek in Ologbo. With peace and security, many investors will come to invest to develop the land. The young people will get very good jobs and the place will be able to develop more. This jetty will be small compared to the port terminals that will be built here.”
Obaseki continued: “I want to bring a lot of skills development, particularly technical institutions to Ologbo. As people come here with their factories and industries, they will need people with technical skills to work there. So, we have to train you as it's never too late.
"You will enroll in something like welding and fitting or whatever you will like so that you will be trained for the industries coming here. So, take advantage of the opportunity when it comes.
"Ologbo and its surrounding communities are very unique because it's a melting point of different people. The Benins, Itsekiris, Urhobos and many others have used the waterways to trade and have done so for centuries. There is also oil production going on in this community with a lot of gas that offers opportunities that many states don't have in Nigeria.
"One of the first things we have done with the gas is to look for investors and used it to generate electricity. With the gas, we can bring a lot of factories, particularly chemical and fertilizer industries and much more but there must be peace and security in the land to make this possible.”
He further noted, "We believe in you and your hard work as we see how hardworking the people of this community, particularly the women are. When I go around the waterways, either the Ossiomo River, Benin River, or Ovia River, I see the commerce and trade being undertaken by women. The government will support you.
"Governments in the past have not been fair as they did not invest in education the way they should have. We must always look to the future, not the past, and see how we can correct the mistakes of the past. The education we are giving our children today is very strong and better than what we received.”
"I am here to launch the six emergency boats which we have ordered and are now here. I promise to come back again to launch a transport service for our waterways. As long as you continue to support us, the industries we want to bring to Ologbo will come while I am still in office,” the governor reassured.
Speaking on behalf of the Ologbo Community, the Secretary of the Community, Deacon Friday Osazuwa, thanked the governor for his developmental strides across the state, adding, “Obaseki is passionate about peace, security, and development in Edo.”
Also, the Iyasere of Warri, Chief Johnson Atseleghe, said, “We have less than 48 hours to the election as the results from that election will show you that we appreciate all you have done for us as a people. We will give you 100 percent of our votes.”