Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
Outgoing governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, upheld his promise to work till about 8:55pm yesterday and terminated his administration.
He subsequently handed over to Godwin Obaseki, the governor-elect.
Also, as part of activities marking the last lap of his administration, Oshiomhole commuted the death sentences of four persons to life imprisonment.
The outgoing governor also made a surprise announcement of the appointment of four permanent secretaries, among them a class room teacher and 46-year old level 15 officer in the state’s Ministry of Justice.
Three flagship road projects – the Upper Lawani road, second phase of Second East Circular road and the Abudu Community road network were commissioned.
Oshiomhole also attended to heap of files on his desk before performing the swearing in of the four Permanent Secretaries.
At a brief handing over ceremony attended by members of the Transition Committee headed by Prof. Julius Ihonvbere and other members of the State Executive Council, Oshiomhole revealed that it was Obaseki that actually first asked him to contest for the governorship many years ago.
He recalled how Obaseki told him about the need to rescue Edo State and he replied four years later that he was ready.
He said Obaseki already knew details of the hand over notes as he was part of the governments without interruption.
“People say I will influence Obaseki but in truth he has been influencing me. In all of the eight years, he has been the brain box of this administration. God gave me the courage to get things done.
“The more I work with Godwin, the more I saw his commitment to transparency and to prudent management of resources which helped to deliver our landmark projects.
“He gets me to sign processed memos I had refused to sign. He introduced people I never met and get me to appoint them as commissioners. He is more familiar with the documents and knows what need to be done.”
Obaseki on his part said he would not fail but put in all his best.
During a thanksgiving mass at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City, officiated by the Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubeze, Oshiomhole disclosed that the gesture was in response to call by the Archbishop of Benin Diocese, Obiora Akubeze, on Oshiomhole to forgive those that offended him.
Oshiomhole who said he believed the four inmates have suffered enough but they need to remain in prison to know that murder is not fun, noted that he acted in line with the advice of the Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy.
Oshiomhole also granted pardon to two persons, a boy and a girl who impersonated the governor and his wife, Lara, on facebook in 2011
Both of them were arrested and the boy was sentenced to seven years imprisonment after confessing to the crime while the trial of the girl is still on.
Oshiomhole said he has ordered the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Henry Idahagbon to sign the necessary documents and get the boy released from prison.
Promising to send both of them back to school and make them become better citizens, he however refused to forgive the now deposed Onojie of Uromi, HRH Anslem Eidenojie II.
Oshiomhole said those seeking forgiveness must confess their sins and he would not allow a situation where the suspended Monarch asked his victim to apologise.
He said to forgive everyone is to compromise on corruption.