Edo State government has immortalized the two-time Governor of the defunct Mid-West and Bendel States by unveiling a statue in his honour at the at the state-owned stadium in Benin City.
Describing him at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium yesterday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State said: “this statue which we have come to unveil today, I believe captures the genuine feelings of Edo people, a small token of formal recognition of your unparalleled service to our people.
“Allow me sir to formally congratulate you on the occasion of your birthday. I am sure I speak the minds of people of my generation and even the younger ones who still recall with very fond memories your outstanding contributions to the development of this great state.”
While eulogising him on his performance as Military Governor of Bendel State, Oshiomhole said, “As a young man, a factory worker in Kaduna, we were all proud to call ourselves Bendelites when you, our father was the Governor of Bendel state.”
The Governor continued, “Today I am here feeling very privileged that I have the honour to sit by you. I think you should feel quite proud, and your family and children should feel even more proud that at this age, you remain a shining example of what a father should be”.
Oshiomhole appreciated him for his selfless role in the development of the state and well as his fatherly advice and passion for the wellbeing of the people of the state.
He said, “Even as we belong to different political parties, there is no time I spend five minutes with your Excellency without devoting four and a half of those minutes in suggesting to me how and what you think I should do next. From what you think I should do for the ordinary people in the village which I will never have thought about to the next most critical road you think we should work on that will bring more relief to more people and even ideas on how we can overcome the financial challenges that confront government.
“So it is clear to me from my interactions that you are troubled, not about the wellbeing of your family, but you are troubled about sustaining prosperity, growth and development in Edo State. That is a true father. I have drawn so much from your experiences, your wisdom and your counselling.
“For me, this statue is important but I believe you deserve much more than this and by the special grace of God, before the end of my tenure, this government must think of something in addition to what we have done to make a statement that Edo people recognise a genuine person that we have in your person.”
Earlier, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia commended the Governor for his wonderful performance in Edo state and for setting a pace for all to follow.
Ogbemudia said “For many years to come, many aspirants who want to be governor of this state will also have to strive to have their names in the sands of time.”
He thanked the Governor and government for erecting the statue saying “I express on behalf of ourselves and family our sincere gratitude to the executive governor of Edo State for generously contributing seriously to the presence of this sculpture to this site. I also want to state that this exercise would never have been possible if his Excellency did not give authority for it to be done and for that we are all grateful to him”.