Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State says contrary to insinuations in many quarters, no state has received any bailout fund from the Federal Government.
He spoke on Saturday at a reception for the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, in Sabongida Ora, Owan West Local Government Area of the state.
According to the governor, the cheering news, however, is that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to seeing an end to the situation where up to fifteen states owe workers’ salaries.
He said: “there is some conversation going on between the Federal Government and the Governors and the president has been extremely positive in recognizing that he does not want to preside over a country whose workers are not paid.
“At the end of the day, it is not acceptable where fourteen to fifteen states cannot pay salaries. The good news is that the president is standing by us and there is always a time lag between when you conceptualize and when you implement.
“For now, no government has got one naira under the bailout arrangement.”
On the Inspector-General of Police who was holding a thanksgiving on his elevation, the Governor said: “the celebrant is not just a man of history, there are many people who could become the I-G, by political connection, but I think he has a very unique ability.
“I also believe that your present elevation is a demonstration of the way you have sought to manage your office , deal with the challenges of the police force without being partisan, This is a difficult position to maintain. As an Edo man, you represent the finest tradition with courage, determination and intellect to your job no matter whose ox is gored”, he said.
Mr. Oshiomhole continued “I think at this time, the I-G would need all the prayers, support and encouragement particularly of Edo people. Let it not be said that the task of policing was made more difficult by the people of the state. And he is serving under a president who will not tolerate indiscipline. He is an I-G to drive changes in the psyche and governance of our great nation,
“It is a thing of pride to our people that coming from a minority, he has risen to become the I-G of the police. But we also recognize that he is coming to office at a very challenging time. This is the time we need such people with security of mind and competence to drive the changes which president Buhari has promised the people by ensuring that the police play their part of providing security to the people.”
On his part, the president of Ora Ekpen Development Association, S. Ahonkhai, said the I-G is forthright, dependable and a man of integrity.
He said “I humbly enjoin all of you to pray for him so that his tenure will become a milestone of the success in the history of the Nigerian Police.”
In an address of welcome, the chairman of the occasion, Ehimika Ifidon, said in celebrating the I-G, the Ora people of Edo State are also celebrating other sons and daughters who have made tremendous achievements in various areas.
Responding, Mr. Arase, said he felt elated to receive the honour being bestowed on him with joy.
He said “I remain extremely grateful for this honour and for the personal sacrifices that you have made to make this occasion a huge success. May the Almighty God return the honour you have bestowed on me and perfect your ways, grant you protection and success in all your endeavour.
“Sabongidda Ora has made my life. It reminds me of the time-tested saying that, ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’. I shall promise three things in return. First in my line of duty, I will continue to project those values that would edify this community. And I will not engage in anything that would bring our communal values to disrepute.
“I promise to give back to Sabongidda Ora and Owan what the community has given to me It is in furtherance of this that I incorporated the Madam Mercy Igbe-Arase nee Ifidon foundation which has been awarding scholarship to deserving Owan West and East undergraduates to enable them fulfill their dreams and make their lives worthwhile. Today, we have fifteen undergraduates that we are sponsoring”, he said.
“I wish to call on Nigeria parents to join hands to restore the dwindling discipline and moral standards and academic fashion of our youth. A community without moral attitude is a community that is threatened with serious social disorder like kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism.”
The citation was read by Mr. Alufokhai while goodwill messages were delivered by Oseriemen Osunbor, Mike Ogiadomhe, Roland Owie and Sam Igbe.
The ceremony attracted many dignitaries including Ehigie Uzamere, Roland Owie, Yisa Braimoh, Arumemi Johnson-Ikhide, Moses Ihonde, traditional rulers, members of the state executive council and old students of Holy Trinity Grammar School, among others.