Akoko-Edo people excited about my appointment, says new Deputy Gov

The newly-inaugurated Edo Deputy Governor Marvellous Godwins Omobayo has claimed his kinsmen at Akoko-Edo Local Government Area in Edo North are excited about his appointment because it is the first time the area will be so honoured with the post.

Omobayo stated this in his four-page acceptance speech titled: “A day of the Lord: A Day I will never forget,” shortly after inauguration by Governor Godwin Obaseki at the New Festival Hall of Government House, Benin on Monday.

He said: “For my people in Akoko-Edo, it has been joy and excitement. Since colonial times, when the LGA was created, no administration has bothered to tempt Akoko-Edo with the position of deputy governor, even for one day. Akoko-Edo has not produced a state governor, no federal minister or other high-ranking government officers, except for the constitutionally-mandatory ones.

“Etsako has ruled the state as Governor. It has also been lucky to produce some military Governors and vice military Head of State and several ministers. Etsako has additionally produced two Deputy Governors of this state. Owan too has produced a Deputy Governor, some House of Assembly speakers, among other highly-placed government functionaries.

“This history is important to explain why my people are very excited about this appointment, even though it is for only a few months. In the six local government areas that make up Edo North Senatorial District, Akoko-Edo is the oldest and the largest in population, and in voting population. It is the third largest in population in Edo State.

“In 1963, Etsako and Owan were one division, and they had four members in the then Midwest House of Assembly. Akoko-Edo was also a division with four members in the same House of Assembly. Today, the number for Akoko-Edo has reduced to only two, while other LGAs have had their numbers doubled or even tripled. So, we place importance on the decision of the Obaseki-led administration and the PDP to consider Akoko-Edo for this position.

“My Principal, Governor Obaseki, has demonstrated from the outset of his administration that he is aware that Akoko-Edo is being flagrantly marginalised. He therefore took practical steps to bridge the gap, as much as possible. His first Chief of Staff (CoS), Chief Press Secretary (CPS) and Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Research, Documentation and Writing were all from Akoko-Edo.

“He (Obaseki) has further entrenched the practice of appointing two commissioners from Akoko-Edo. In his time too, Akoko-Edo produced a speaker of the House of Assembly, a deputy speaker and chief whip. And today (on Monday), Akoko-Edo people have broken the yoke and shattered the jinx by producing a deputy governor in his time, on platter of diamond, designed by the Almighty and delivered by His Excellency.”The new Deputy Governor also stated that the oath of office he took defined the legal limits that he could or could not exceed while in office.

He said: “Beyond this legal ceremony, it is imperative that l publicly express my profound gratitude to our respected Executive Governor, His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and the leadership of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“After all the very painful and thought-provoking distractions of the past few months, our governor is determined to finish his second term very strong.

“From his dialogue with me, it is clear that he is very determined to bequeath a legacy of peace, unity, progress and visible development to Edo State. A legacy that the next PDP government will find exciting to proudly build upon, and maintain the leadership position Edo has achieved over time, in the comity of states in Nigeria.

“In the few critical months left to tidy up the work of this administration, my job as Deputy Governor is clearly and well cut out. I understand it very clearly. In line with the oath of office to which I have just subscribed, l make a solemn pledge to do all in my power, with God’s guidance, to live up to expectations. I will give all it takes to meet the expectations of my principal, the party, and above all, the good people of Edo State.

“Why me? This was the million naira question l asked His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, when he gave me the surprise invitation for a dialogue about this job a couple of days ago.

“His answer was simple and direct: ‘God!’ He elaborated further: ‘I looked through my history books and discovered that Akoko-Edo has never served in this capacity. I talked to a few key leaders from Akoko-Edo, across party lines, and all fingers pointed at you. The ultimate decision, however, came from God, and l could not say no.’ These were the words of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki, my namesake. A tale of two Godwins, you may say.

“Even though l was dumbfounded, l also could not say no for several reasons. First, my people of Akoko-Edo would never have forgiven me, if l had messed up the only chance God, history and ripe time have given them since creation.

“Second, my mind went straight to the book of Romans in the Bible. In Chapter 9, Verses 15 and 16, God said to Moses: ‘I will show mercy to anyone l choose, and l will show compassion to anyone l choose.’ So, it is God who decides to show mercy and uplift one. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

“I also recall Psalm 75, verses 6 and 7, which says: ‘For promotion cometh neither from the East, nor from the West, nor from the South. But the Lord is the Judge,’ who transfers or reshuffle one and elevates another.”

(The Nation)

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