Godwin Obaseki
  • Charges social groups to uphold peace in rural communities

Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on world leaders to take decisive action to ensure development efforts meet and surpass the pace of population growth; to reduce inequality and engender inclusive growth across the world.

Obaseki, who said this in commemoration of the World Population Day, marked every July 11, noted that growing population shouldn’t be seen as a curse, but a challenge for developing countries to articulate innovative pathways that will drive inclusive and sustainable development.

According to him, “The World Population Day reminds us of the need to be circumspect in a number of policy issues, especially as it affects population growth and its implications for economic development and social cohesion.

“On a day like this, it is imperative to make the case for planned parenthood and family planning, so as to ensure that the world’s population doesn’t become untameable.”

Noting that this year’s theme for the day, ‘Family Planning is Human Right’, makes it imperative for families to determine the size and spacing of their children, he said it behooves government to provide structures for individuals to dream and actualise their dreams.

“Due to its economic implications, growing population has been a double blessing for developing countries, such that many are still struggling to articulate policies to manage the growth and the attendant socio-political as well as economic fallouts of a bulging population.

“However, we cannot wish away the import of human life. Hence, even as the debate and policy actions are tweaked to contain population growth, governments and world leaders should take critical actions to ensure that development meets needs of people, in such a way that they would be assured of support structures to carve out their destinies and live happy, fulfilled lives,” Obaseki added.

The governor said the state government has undertaken a number of development initiatives to help in delivery of affordable, accessible healthcare, quality basic education and to expand the space for wealth creation so as to deepen inclusive growth and development.

He added that the state government would not relent in its efforts in industrialising the state, attracting investments to open up new vistas for economic expansion and deepening reforms to ensure that people have opportunities to express themselves and earn decent wages.

Meanwhile, Obaseki has also urged socio-cultural groups to focus on meaningful deliberations that would foster peace, reconciliation and harmonious living among members of local communities.

He made the submission while delivering an address themed: “The Role of Social Clubs in Fostering Peace and Reconciliation in a Community,” at the 2018 Annual Retreat/Convention organised by Usagbe Club of Nigeria, in Benin City, recently.

The governor, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Hon. Yakubu Gowon, said peaceful coexistence in local communities is instrumental to Nigeria’s growth and development.

He noted that, “through meaningful deliberations, social clubs like the Usagbe Club of Nigeria will continue to provide practicable solutions to sustainable peace and reconciliation in various communities across Nigeria.”
He said: “I strongly believe that it is possible to curb the state of unrest amongst people of different tribes, communities, religions and political groups through concerted efforts by stakeholders such as yours to engender peace.”

According to Obaseki, “Such deliberation would go a long way in driving and stabilising the framework through which other social clubs can become veritable platforms for sustaining peace and seamless process of reconciliation among various communities that make up Nigeria.”

He urged members of the Club to work in unity towards attaining set goals as such clubs are ideal platforms to foster harmonious living.

President of Usagbe Club of Nigeria, Mr. Tony Akiotu, commended the governor for the plans to establish a School of Aquaculture and Marine Technology in Agenebode as part of the promise to reposition the College of Agriculture in Agenebode.