Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, 57, was yesterday sworn in as the 5th Governor of Edo State, having been elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 28 gubernatorial election in the state.
Obaseki, who took the oath of office and allegiance at 12.24 pm at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, was sworn in along with his deputy, Philip Shaibu. Chief Judge of the state, Justice Cromwell Idahosa administered the oath of office and allegiance on them.
Speaking shortly after his swearing in, Obaseki promised to pursue the well-being and good of Edo people with relentless vigour.
The governor while also promising to start work immediately, said “even though the next four years may look uncertain, we are full of promises”.
Besides, he said his administration would study the ideas of other governorship candidates in the last election with a view to harnessing the good ones into his programme for the good of the people of the state.
Governor Obaseki, while thanking former governor Oshiomhole for his leadership in Edo State, said he would build on his legacy by expanding and strengthening the infrastructure laid down to build a new Edo State.
Recalling his promises to build prosperity for the people of the state, Obaseki said “I have pledged to create 200,000 jobs in the next four years”, adding that the jobs would come mainly from agriculture, just as he promised to fill vacancies in the civil service.
He also promised to empower women through small scale businesses and to pay special attention to the girl-child education, just as he vowed to improve education generally with focus on technical and vocational education.
“We will help small and medium scale enterprises by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive. Edo State government will establish a one-stop shop to provide incentive and support to make it easier for our people to provide goods and services.
“We will continue to consolidate on the gains of the last eight years by continuing the infrastructural revolution and urban renewal intimation which our Comrade started. We will continue to improve on educational infrastructure by building more schools to ensure that education is available to all Edo children. We will equally pay attention to the development of our intra-city roads network to enhance urban dwelling comfort and ease traffic. Lastly, we will complete all ongoing projects,” Obaseki said.
On health, he said his government would partner with the private sector and the international community towards making Edo a centre of excellence in the delivery of healthcare, adding that by his government would place premium on preventive medicine.
He identified the strengthening of the criminal justice system, support for the police and other law enforcement agencies and speedy resolution of disputes as key areas that must be improved upon in order to have a more secured society
He extended hand of fellowship to the opposition parties, remarking that after a hard-fought campaign, he was willing to gather ideas that have been articulated by all parties and integrate them for the transformation of Edo State.
“We are studying and will continue to study these ideas and seek with diligence to select what holds promise for our people and our state. The task ahead is not that of government alone; we are all in this together to bring enviable change to Edo State irrespective of our political, religious or ethnic differences.”
Observing that the task before his administration was enormous, Obaseki, therefore, solicited the support of the people of the state to enable him succeed.
Among dignitaries that graced the swearing-in ceremony were former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, governors of Lagos, Ogun, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi and Plateau states; ministers, captains of Industry, including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Tony Elumelu and Capt. Hosa Okunbo amongst others.