The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has celebrated the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion on his 87th birthday, describing him as a generational gift to the state, Nigeria, Africa and the World at large.
Obaseki spoke to journalists at the thanksgiving service for Chief Igbinedion, held at St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church, Sapele Road, Benin City.
The governor noted: “We thank God for the life of our father, Chief Igbinedion, as he celebrates his 87-year birthday. We pray that God preserves him. He is a generational gift; he has seen and done it all. We thank God for his life of giving, hard work and generosity.I want to join others to wish him well.”
Obaseki continued: “In the last five years, we have been strengthening and re-enacting quality education in the state across all tiers; basic, secondary and tertiary education and re-investing in them.
“In the area of media, we are rebuilding the Observer brand, as well as the Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) Radio and Television brand; we are strengthening them as institutions and equipping them with world-class technology. We are doing so much in the state and can’t explain within few minutes.
“My biggest challenge is what happens when I leave office. People are saying how are we sure that the reforms and changes we have made and are implementing will continue when I leave office. The only guarantee is that we begin to strengthen the institutions.
“We are rebuilding the public and civil service before bringing in political actors into the scene as they will leave in three years when I am leaving but the structures and institutions that we are building will certainly remain and continue to sustain our developmental strides.”
According to him, “We have on-boarded the first batch of the new recruited 300 civil and public servants; we are employing 2,000 in the next three years to strengthen the service and provide services to people of Edo State.
“We were voted into office for the second term on September 19, 2020, to serve the people and in order to do that, we need to define the structure and plan properly, breaking away from the past. The commissioners will not be able to do anything if the civil service is not functioning properly.”
Delivering a homily titled, “I Know My Redeemer Lives,” Archbishop of Metropolitan See of Benin, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubueze noted that “Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion has lived his life for others, giving to all ensuring that he spreads happiness. He must be commended for the love and compassion he shows towards the poor and needy. I encourage all to do the same to change the world.”