By Ejiofor Alike
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday dissolved the state executive council ahead of his inauguration today for a second term in office.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the Edo governor, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winner of the September 10 governorship election in the state.
Obaseki had polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who got 223,619 votes.
Obaseki ran against Ize-Iyamu and 13 others.
In a statement yesterday, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the inauguration would hold at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, adding that all necessary arrangements for the ceremony have been concluded.
He said: “The inauguration/swearing-in ceremony of Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, will hold on Thursday, November 12, between 11am and 1pm prompt at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
“Due to the prevailing realities of the coronavirus pandemic, we would be having only 750 invited guests at the venue.
“The inauguration is strictly by invitation as crowd control measures have been adopted in line with government’s guidelines to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, parties are to be held across the 18 local government areas of the state to celebrate the event. Party members are also expected to meet at the ward level to commemorate the event.”
He advised guests expected at the event to adhere to the guidelines regarding crowd control.
Osagie also said provision has been made for virtual participation by Edo citizens and other supporters of the governor.
The governor, however, announced yesterday the dissolution of the cabinet at a valedictory executive council session in Benin City. He thanked the outgoing council members for their selfless service to the state.
Obaseki said: “Since I became governor, I didn’t sack any commissioner, but rather they sacked me by resigning from my cabinet. What is important in government are the core values of truth, justice, and fairness.
“When elected to serve the people, let us truly serve the people, as we will give account to God. I can’t claim success alone, what I did was to create the opportunity for you to serve.”
Obaseki urged former members of his cabinet to continue to work and support his administration, adding that “you are all part of this administration and architects of the new design for the growth and development of the state.”
In his remarks, Shaibu commended the governor for his leadership style, adding that all former members of the cabinet learnt from his political ideology.
“You have shown that you are a good leader. I appeal to you to continue with the good works. God has put you as the governor to lead Edo to a greater height and we all will continue to support you,” he added.
Outgoing Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, commended the governor for his leadership style, adding that it prompted the cabinet members to be efficient and effective in service delivery.
The outgoing Commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Mrs. Maria Edeko, expressed appreciation to the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve in his cabinet.