The Forum of Former Deputy Governors has lauded Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the prevailing peace and the quick pace of development in the state within the past seven and half years.
Chairman of the Forum and former Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Abdumalik Mahmud said “we want to thank you, Mr. Governor, for leading Edo State in the last seven years. For those of us who care to know what was happening in this part of the country, this place used to be very notorious. So, we are sending a message, not only is Edo peaceful, in fact, even the entire Niger Delta is peaceful, despite some challenges here and there.
“Each one of us, especially those of us who don’t know you personally wanted to come and see what you have been doing, but from the few things we have seen, we are convinced and we believe.”
He added, “We established this Forum in 2007 because we wanted to give an alternative platform for leadership, based on our experiences. We felt our experiences can be used, can be tapped.”
The former deputy governors said they would go round to inspect more projects executed by Governor Oshiomhole’s administration before departing the state.
In his response, Governor Oshiomhole said there was a need for the review of the federal allocation formula to the three tiers of government in favour of states, explaining that it would make the states the real centres of development.
According to him, “to understand what is going on in the country and to comment authoritatively on national issues, you do need to move out of Abuja to know the real Nigerians living in the real world and assess them and see what is going on. But also in the context of even development, it is also good particularly as we are canvassing for devolution of powers from federal to state to local government, and concomitant review of the revenue allocation formula to make the states the real centre of development.
“It is nice to go round to see what is changing in states and even local governments, that may help to strengthen the voice for more devolution of powers and a review of revenue allocation formula in favour of states and local governments.”
Oshiomhole appreciated the former deputy governors for the visit, saying “I do appreciate your coming to Edo State, for also making it beyond a ceremonial visit by going round to try to see and assess for yourselves what we call ‘eye mark’, to see what has changed in our the past seven and half years, such that when you come in the future, you will be able to see what is changing because if our country will develop, there must be sustained incremental improvement on the state of development, whether social infrastructure, physical infrastructure, quality of life, etcetera. So, you are most welcome, and whatever we can do to encourage your association, we like to be able to do so.”
The quarterly meeting of the Forum of Former Deputy Governors in Benin was the first to hold outside Abuja, the federal capital since it was formed in 2007.
Among the Former Deputy Governor who paid a visit to the Governor were: Abdulmalik Mohammed, Bauchi; Lucky Imasuen, Edo; Armayau Abubakar, Taraba; Chris Akomas, Abia; Ali Abubakar Jatau, Borno; Kazeem Gbolanranmi, Oyo; Alhaji Adamu Shettima Yuguda Dibal, Borno and Chief Iyiola Oladokun, Oyo.
Others include Suleiman Argungu, Kebbi; Sooko Adeleke Adewoyin, Osun; Onje Gye-Wado, Nasarawa; Rt Hon Peremobowei Ebebi, Bayelsa; Engr Ebere Udeagu, Imo and Patrick Ekpotu, Akwa Ibom State.
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