Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Edo state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has hinted at plan to immortalise the former governor of old Bendel state, Vice Admiral Hassan Abdullahi (rtd), for the good work he did as military governor of the state.
Admiral Abdullahi, who died last Tuesday in Abuja at the age of 80, was military governor of Bendel state (now Edo and Delta states) from March, 1976 to July, 1978.
Obaseki, who made this disclosure at the weekend while on a condolence visit to the family of the late Admiral in Abuja, said a monument will soon be named after the former governor.
His words “Definitely we are going to name a monument after him as I’m already consulting with my colleague in Delta and when we take the decision we will let the public know”.
The governor who was received by three of the deceased’s sons wrote in the condolence register: “The government and people of Edo State commiserate with the family of Admiral Hassan Abdullahi on the passing of a great patriot and statesman who contributed immensely to the development of Bendel State.
“The people of Edo State (Old Bendel) will eternally be grateful to him for his numerous development projects when he served as governor. We shall miss him and pray that Almighty Allah forgives his sins and accept him in his bosom”.
Speaking to newsmen after the visit, Obaseki said late Abdullahi was governor during the turbulent and tough times in Nigeria adding that “even though he was a military governor, he was able to win the heart and soul of Bendelites at that time”.
According to him, “he sustained some of the policies he met on ground. If you come to Edo today, there are so many buildings and infrastructure that he commissioned while he was governor. In terms of physical environment and governance, he contributed immensely to the development of old Bendel state.
Describing his visit as a solemn event, the governor declared that “we came here to pay homage to a great Nigerian statesman, people who served and meant well for this country.”
He said people like the late statesman “had all the opportunities to make all the money, when they served it was not the spirit to acquire for themselves otherwise he would have bought the whole street here in Abuja.
“But these were people who understood what public service meant, people who sacrificed for this country. People who had access to state treasury but they had a discipline that money for state was meant to develop the people and not individuals”.
Obaseki, therefore, called on Nigerians to emulate people like the late former governor saying “that’s why i have taken time out to come and pay homage to him and commiserate with the family and to say that we are proud of their father and the work he did and to advise and encourage them to sustain his legacies”.