A former governor of the defunct Mid-West region and Bendel State, Samuel Ogbemudia, has pledged to support Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State for the rest of his life, saying Mr. Oshiomhole had transformed the south south state.
“I will continue to work with you until my grave,” Mr. Ogbemudia was quoted by the governor’s spokesperson, Peter Okhiria, as saying on Wednesday.
He made the pledge when Mr. Oshiomhole the former governor at his residence in Benin.
“I have withdrawn my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), so, I am at home as a non-political, non-partisan politician. But every human being is a political animal, and I cannot say I have left politics.
“But as I have said, I have been with you from the day you started helping me when I was Minister of Labour. That day I called you, and you asked me, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ and I said, ‘I don’t want strike throughout my tenure’, and you said, ‘we were elected to cause you discomfort, and if I don’t do it again, it means I am failing in my duty.’ I said, ‘No, you won’t fail.’ And throughout my tenure there was no strike and we worked well together.
“So, as you have come here, I didn’t see any other way to thank you than to make sure I work with you, and I will continue to work with you until my grave.”
Speaking on the issue of job creation, Mr. Ogbemudia said: “Since the oil price is dwindling, our future now lies on agric. I think anybody living today, and cannot find a white collar job, can get two or three of these ponds, mobile or earth ponds, and produce fish that will give you at least half a million every six months. There is somebody I know who has about two hundred of those ponds. If Edo people handle it, it can produce enough fish for export for the country.”
In his remarks, Governor Oshiomhole paid tributes to the former two-time governor for his exemplary leadership in the State and the inspiration he has provided for humanity.
“I have come to pay you an official visit. There is no Edo man of my age who does not have a kind place in his heart on account of the solid foundation that God used you to lay for our state.
“Now occupying the office, I see what is happening. I am appreciative the more that your solid foundation you laid, you did out of your conviction; they reflect the purity of your heart, and your genuine commitment to uplifting the quality of life of our people.
“So, whatever you did, you did, not because you needed votes. You did because in your heart believed that your people deserved good governance and that government must lay solid foundation, build infrastructure, address all of the issues that you did, set up institutions, encourage people to go to farms, set up technical schools, and in fact, I can’t list them. Even you cannot remember all of the actions.
“And to imagine that you did them as a military man, the people of my generation cannot but appreciate and salute your leadership and exemplary leadership. Even under the military, you were concerned about my personal wellbeing.
So, sir, you have always been there for me, even in my days in labour. And I am very happy. I decided to come this time in a more formal way than I have done in the past.”
According to Governor Oshiomhole: “Your decision to withdraw from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and remain a father of all of us, even as you remain politically concerned about the future of our state, but without being so on a partisan platform, for us, it is yet another example. I have come to congratulate you on your decision. I believe all of us will learn from you. You are still mentally alert, and available to reflect on issues around us, and to proffer advice and suggestions to the stewards of the State.
“May God continue to lead you as a shining example of how we can find peace and relevance beyond the bounds of partisan politics. So, today it is basically to congratulate you for that laudable decision that you have taken. And may God grant you much longer life, good health, more wisdom, and never be tired to advise the government of the day.”