Obaseki charges Edo people, commuters to plead with FG to allow him fix federal roads


The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said despite several entreaties by his administration, the Federal Government has refused to allow the state government to fix the dilapidated federal roads in the state.

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Obaseki said this while addressing the congregation at the inauguration of the Ministry and the enthronement of Ven. Ebenezer Omeiza Saiki as the second Diocesan Bishop of Akoko-Edo Diocese at St. James Cathedral, Ugbogbo, Igarra, in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state.

The governor, who decried the deplorable state of the roads and the need for urgent intervention to ameliorate the sufferings of the people, called on residents and other road users to plead with the Federal Government to allow the state to take over the roads and fix them.

Speaking to the congregation, Obaseki said, “I promised His Royal Highness (HRH) the Otaru of Igarra that I will be attending the Abba Festival as a special guest a couple of days ago. I actually was on my way but no road to get there, so I went back to Benin.

“I want to repair and fix your road but you have to help me beg them in Abuja to let me do it because they say it’s their own road and will not allow a state to work on their roads and fix them. So, you have to help us beg the Federal Government so that they will allow us to take these roads and fix them.”

On the need for sustained collaboration between political and religious leaders to drive growth and development across the state and country, the governor noted, “If we are to make progress, it makes sense for any leader in government to partner with leaders in the church to understand what is going on with the people they govern.”

He continued: “As a governor who deals with everybody in Edo State, I know the importance of the Church, which is why we don’t joke with the Church and our religious leaders. The role of the Church is so important because people approach religious leaders when they are in need and in a hopeless situation to help them through that challenge. A lot of people come to see the religious leaders but how many people can reach me? They do more for you sometimes than the government does.

“I am here to fulfill a pledge and the promise I made. I met the Bishop about two months ago in Abuja. Our Bishop came to inform me that he will be installed as Bishop today and I promised to be here today.

“We are here to celebrate a great man and join his family to thank God for his life and pray that God will give him a long reign to take care of the flocks in this Diocese. Congratulations to you my Bishop and I am assuring you that we will support you.”

The Archbishop of Bendel Province and Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Most Rev Cyril Odutemu while welcoming the governor and his entourage, said Ven. Saiki will be the Bishop to preside over the Diocese for the next 25 years.

He stated, “I appeal to the governor to support the Bishop. We know there are storms but the Lord will be with you and help you to finish strong. We thank you for the colloquium organized to mark the 60th anniversary of the Midwest Referendum, and the 32nd-year celebration of the creation of Edo State. We thank you for remembering the heroes’ past as you will be remembered for good.”

The clergy admonished, “Friends are many when you are in government and those who will tell you the truth are few because everybody wants your favour, and because of that they will always and continuously tell you lies. God will help you and all members of your cabinet as you will not serve the people in vain. You will achieve your desire on the altar of patience.”

In another development, Governor Obaseki has said his administration has embraced technology through the e-Governance system leading to the archiving of seven million government documents in readiness to transit into paperless government operation from September 1, 2023.

Speaking to members of the Edo State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Blessing Agbebaku, Obaseki said the executive arm of government is concluding its digitalisation processes, requesting the legislative arm to follow suit.

The governor said the new regime will ensure accountability, transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and quick service delivery to Edo people.

According to him, “In the area of digitisation, one of the conversations we will be having with you in a few weeks’ time is to ask what the legislative arm of this administration is doing in terms of digitising the legislature? The Executive arm is concluding the digitisation process already.

“As of today, we have scanned, archived and digitalised over seven million government records and from September 1, we are cutting off and transitioning into a paperless government.”

The governor said prior to his assumption of office, the work environment was hazardous, noting that the exit door in case of fire at the state secretariat building was filled with files.


He noted that his visit to the Secretariat Building on November 14, 2016, enabled him to arrive at a sense of direction on the need for paperless government.

“Today, the Edo State Civil/Public Service is the most digitised in Nigeria with over 5,000 computers and fibre optics connections across government offices. By September 1 this year, like I said earlier, Edo State would go completely paperless, which will make us the first State to achieve this feat. I would be the last governor to work on physical files in Edo State.”

Speaking on the September 1 cutoff date, the Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, said Governor Obaseki has made the state the most e-governance compliant in the country.

“As I speak to you right now, no state in Nigeria is ranked close to us in terms of technology adoption in running the government and delivering effective and efficient services to the people,” Okungbowa said.