…celebrates his widow at 80 in Birmingham
Ben Peters, Abuja
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has settled the benefits and gratuity of the former governor of the state, late Prof Ambrose Alli. This is coming 34 years after the demise of Alli.
Alli was the first Executive Governor of the former Bendel State (Now Edo and Delta states) between 1979 and 1983 under the then Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). Born September 22, 1929, the renowned Medical Professor died on September 22, 1989.
Obaseki made this disclosure yesterday in Benin City on the occasion of the celebration of the award of the ‘Most Pension Friendly Governor in Nigeria,’ bestowed on him by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP).
Speaking on his commitment to the wellbeing of pensioners in the State by ensuring that their benefits are paid regularly, including outstanding pensions and gratuity, dating over 40 years, he revealed how the unpaid benefits of the former governor were settled last week by the state government.
According to Obaseki, “Last Saturday (August 19, 2023), the widow of former Governor of Edo State, late Prof. Ambrose Ali, turned 80 years in Birmingham, United Kingdom. He has made a lot of sacrifices for us as a State.
“We decided to celebrate with her and I asked one of the children what he thinks is an appropriate present for her mother. He said just do her the honour of paying my father’s benefits while in office. Then I said, you mean Prof. Ali benefits are not paid.’ He said yes. We went into the records, prepared the cheque and took it to her in England. This is to tell you where we are coming from. I’m glad we remembered him.”
The governor was represented by his wife, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, at the 80th birthday celebration of the late governor’s widow, Chief Mrs. Rosemary Alli-Walker.
The Edo State First Lady recognised the enduring impact of Alli’s tenure as governor, noting that the policies and programmes implemented during his leadership, notably in education, urban and rural development and healthcare have continued to shape Edo State’s progress.
She said the former governor and his wife occupy a special place in the hearts of Edo people, resonating with the attendees, who had gathered to honour Chief Mrs. Alli-Walker.
Mrs. Obaseki also lauded her enduring commitment to values such as hard work, diligence, and forthrightness, adding that these values, which she upheld during her tenure as First Lady, continue to inspire the state’s ongoing reforms across various sectors of the economy.
In her response to the felicitation, the celebrant expressed her gratitude to the First Lady for travelling all the way from Nigeria to join in her celebration.
This is as she pledged to support free surgeries for children with cleft lips, an initiative named ‘Operation Smile’.
Recall that Governor Godwin Obaseki had, in 2018, sought and obtained, a posthumous Presidential Pardon for late Governor Ambrose Alli; a request that was ratified by the Council of State in 2020.