Mr Godwin Obaseki on Saturday was sworn in as the fifth governor of Edo State, succeeding Adams Oshiomhole, who bowed out after completing two terms of eight years.
Obaseki, who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and won the September 28 Edo State governorship election, was sworn in by the Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Cromwell Idahosa, at about 12:24pm immediately after the Chief Judge had sworn in the deputy governor elect, Hon Phillip Shaibu.
The event held at the Samuel Ogbemudia State had in attendance leaders of the APC and notable Nigerians including outgoing governor Adams Oshiomhole, his deputy, Pius Odubu, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd); Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki; national chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun and the Esogban of Benin, Chief David Edebiri.
APC governors, who attended the event included governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abubakar Sanni Bello of Niger State.
Others notable Nigerians at the swearing in ceremony were Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, Captain Hosa Okunbor, Hakeem BelloOsagie, APC deputy chairman South, Segun Oni and the APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
In his speech shortly after inspection the traditional guard of honour, Governor Godwin Obaseki praised the contributions of his predecessors, Adams Oshiomhole,” pointing out that “major socio-economic developments have been put in place by you, Comrade Oshiomhole, and that “we need to strengthen and expand infrastructures that have been established so that we can have solid foundation to build the new Edo State.
He restated his commitment to the creation of 200,000 jobs in the next four years by focusing on the Edo’s comparative advantage in agriculture, agric-business, commerce industrialization, entrepreneurship, technical and vocational skills.
He promised to fill the vacancies in the civil service and optimize job creation potentials, adding that agriculture will be the focus of his socio-economic programme and that he would move Edo out of its current subsistence farming to commercial farming.
He said, “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, 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.
He promised to focus on women empowerment, saying that a holistic development of any society rests on the amount of support available to the women and that his government will launch intervention schemes to support women.
He identified ICT as the key component in realising his objectives, hence he will make proliferation of broadband a priority.
On health, he said his government will partner with the private sector and the international community to making Edo a centre of excellence in the delivery of healthcare, adding that preventive medicine will be prioritize by his government.
He identified the strengthening of 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 having a more secured society.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for providing leadership and commitment t to the principles of democracy and accountability.
He welcomed contributions from opposition political 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.
He said, “We are studying and will continue to study this 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.