Edo: Obaseki inaugurates LG chiefs despite cries of fraud by opposition


The new local government chairpersons in Edo during their inauguration by Governor Godwin Obaseki

By Jethro Ibileke/Edo

Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, inaugurated the 18 chairpersons declared winners of the state local government elections conducted over the weekend despite protest by the opposition that the poll was fraudulent.

Edo Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) had declared all candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), victorious in all the 18 local governments of the state.

While swearing in the new local government chiefs, including the chairmen and councillors at the Government House, in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Obaseki said he was confident of their capacity to deliver on their new assignment.

He said, “I have worked with every one of them here and know their capacity because I have had assignments for them and know how they delivered on it. I have no doubt in my mind that they have the capacity and what it takes to take the State to where it should be.

“You will all agree with me that local government is perhaps one of the foundations on which our democracy rests. You all saw on Saturday that every polling unit where people voted were residents, so local government is the foundation where our democracy rests, and therefore this very tier of government must be strengthened.

“Gone are the days where we just elect people who can barely read or write to become local government chairmen. I am glad we have amongst you people who have PhDs, and Medical Doctors, among others. So, you possess the requisite backgrounds and experiences you have gathered in the course of life. I believe we have the core of men and women who are properly prepared to manage our local government going forward.”

The governor continued: “Therefore, this mandate requires that you throw in everything that you have and is required to make a difference, as you have the qualification, experience, and know-how; you now must show innovation. As a government, we are moving Edo into the Fourth Industrial era.

“We are connecting all the local government areas in the State with fibre optics connections, we are moving the government to a digital platform and I am sure you will see the advantage of moving your people and the local government administration to catch up with what the State is doing.”

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Obaseki therefore urged the chairpersons to be creative and focus on the key policies and programmes of the government to drive all-around development at the grassroots.

He noted that education is a key priority, urging them to help strengthen the achievement of this administration in the education sector.

According to him, “A lot of innovation has taken place in education in the local government areas as we expect you to support our system.

“We are redesigning our secondary education system and have selected a pilot of about 54 schools to start the digital secondary education from next quarter where our students are going to use computers alone at the secondary level. We need your support as council chairmen as it’s without Federal Government support.

“We would also collaborate with you in the area of the environment as we have done so much in the last seven years but are not proud in the area of sanitation. I urge you to make the area of sanitation a priority as the environment is a big issue around the world today as floods are being experienced due to our neglect.”

He added, “The outcome of the process that brought you to office has been outstanding as I campaigned with all of you around the local government areas and I am not surprised that you won but what amazed me is the love and support, that our people have for our party. Please, don’t let them down as they made it possible for you to be sworn in today, so make them your priority.”

The governor reassured, “I thank the people of Edo State as you made history again. You have shown that you believe in us and will always be there for us. I want to recommit ourselves as an administration that no matter the distraction, or obstacle thrown on our way, you will always be our priority as we put in everything we have to make Edo great again.”

Responding on behalf of other Chairmen, Hon. Tajudeen Alade Suleman, expressed gratitude to the Governor and people of the State for the opportunity to serve them.

He noted, “We reassure you that we will not fail you and the people of Edo State. We would walk around the clock to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people as we hit the ground running, taking advantage of the platform created for us. We will collaborate with you to make Edo the pride of the nation. You have done everything possible for the party to be sustained in Edo State, in 2024 you will produce your successor and your successor will continue from where you stopped.”

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