No Comments » November 13th, 2008 posted by // Categories: Nigeriawatch



‘Comrade Governor’ Sworn in, Promises 10,000 New Jobs

From Adibe Emenyonu in Benin, 11.13.2008



At 11.50 am yesterday, inside the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State, in the presence of a cheering mammoth crowd, under the watchful eyes of the state Chief Judge, Justice Michael Edopkayi, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole was sworn in as new governor of Edo State.
The swearing-in ceremony was more like a carnival, with the stadium and the adjoining streets filled up with people from all walks of life.
In his inaugural speech shortly after he was sworn in, Oshiomhole who said he wants to be addressed as “Comrade Governor” and not “His Excellency”, promised to create between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs in the public works sector in the next few weeks to address the “unacceptable” unemployment rate in the state.
While recalling his campaign promises, he said his administration would provide compulsory, free and quality education, functional and quality healthcare and tackle insecurity and unemployment in the state “as well as resuscitation of sports to place the state back to its number one position”.
“In days past, this state was foremost in feeding national teams with the bulk of sportsmen and women, many of whom have become stars in distant lands. This government shall quickly put an urgent programme to rejuvenate and vigorously pursue ways and means to restore our pride of place in national and international sports,” Oshiomhole declared.
Oshiomhole, in seeking to empower and encourage the police to more effectively fight crime, appealed to the youths of the state to return to the path of honour and morality for which the people are traditionally known for, adding that he would spare no efforts in seeking to eliminate the social conditions which act as “push factors” to crime.
He, however, served notice on those milking the people through illegal collection of levies to relocate, saying the state would be “too hot” for them.
He declared: “No more oppression and extortion of the poor. All manner of extortions and levies, other than legitimate and legal government taxes, must stop immediately.”
He warned individuals and kingpins who have in the past perpetrated the extortionist levies on the citizens, whether in the market, in the transport sector, in schools or any other sector of livelihood to cease.
Oshiomhole said: “Today is your day… many days for the thief, one day for the owner”, assuring the jubilant crowd that he would run a collective government in which their interests would be the driving force.
“The victory is not mine but your collective will. Today and together, we have chased away the forces of darkness. Today, you can go anywhere and boast that you chose your governor and not the godfathers.”
He also pledged to be accountable to the people at all times.
Oshiomhole, while serving notice that his administration would have no room for corruption, also said his government would not tolerate discrimination which “keeps reminding the people about the accident of their birth place”.
He called on his supporters not to avenge the ill-treatment and the humiliation meted to them by the opposition party saying: “There is no time for revenge. Who are we to hate when God has done justice for us?”
Referring to the historic election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America, Oshiomhole said the challenge of Obama is that the blackman must sit down and think, pointing out that there was nothing wrong with the gene of the black people that inhibits them from providing good governance to his people.
He called on members of the state House of Assembly to join hands with his administration to provide good governance to the people of the state and shun divisions based on parties, even as he promised to co-operate and negotiate with them. He however said that he would not compromise on popular issues.
Oshiomhole congratulated President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua for creating a new political environment in which the rule of law prevails and promised to partner him, with particular reference to electoral reforms with a view to permanently laying to rest electoral rigging in the country.
While paying glowing tribute to the media, he also saluted the courage of justices of the Court of Appeal and the judges of the lower tribunal “for ensuring that justice was done in his election petition”, adding that they had done the judiciary and Nigeria proud and renewed Nigerians’ faith in their country.
Shortly before Governor Oshiomhole stepped out to make his speech, the platform on which he was to make his speech collapsed from the weight of many people who were standing on it.
Oshiomhole and other dignitaries were aided out of the stage until it was put right.
Earlier, his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu, had been sworn in by Justice Edokpayi.
Among dignitaries that graced the occasion were,  Governor of Lagos State; Mr. Babatunde Fasola (SAN) and Governor Peter Obi of Anambra States respectively.
Others were former Governor of Lagos State, Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu; former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, represented by Sen. Ben Obi; Chief Bisi Akande, National Chairman of Action Congress; Chief Audu Ogbe, a national leader of AC, NLC president, Comrade

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