Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has said a stable democracy was dependent on a strong working relationship among the three arms of governments, particularly, the judiciary arm.
Governor Obaseki made the assertion while receiving the outgoing Chief Judge of Edo State, Justice Crownwell Idahosa, during a valedictory farewell visit to Government House yesterday.
Appreciating the Chief Judge, Obaseki commended his administrative acumen that had brought creditability and stability to the state judiciary.
“You have done your best; you have done it creditably well. We are proud of you and the stability you have brought to the judiciary.
“Am happy with the cordial working relationship you established with my predecessor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and relationship you have also established with this administration, we would ever remain grateful.
“If any arm of the tripod must survive, it has to respect the other. I am not of that school that says one arm is more superior to the other,’’ he said.
He said “All arms must collaborate to bring about stability in the state. I see myself as a logical part of the process of the evolution of our democracy.’’
Speaking further, the governor said now that the state was liberated politically, “the next phase is to stabilize the economy of the state and make the people reap the economic benefits that accrue from a stable polity.
“The key ingredient required for economic development is the rule of law. Without the rule of law, without the sanctity of contract, without security, you cannot have economic development.
“If I plan to create 200,000 jobs and more, being able to increase food production and sufficiency, being able to industrialize the state or whatever the aspiration in my manifestoes.
“If we do not have stable judiciary and the rule of law, it is not going to happen and for this to happen the rule of law must be strengthened. I know I have your support to achieve this.
“We all have to walk together to strengthen our judiciary but the bulk of the work rests with the judiciary as we are ready to support you to move the arm forward”.
On the issue of the unpaid entitlement of a retired President of Customary Court of Appeal, Obaseki that the government was already addressing it.
He gave the assurance that while the retired president would receive his entitlement due to him, the outgoing judge of Edo state would also get his entitlement in due time.
“I can assure you today that if I receive your papers tomorrow, your entitlement will be ready by Friday”.
Earlier, Idahosa said that he was confident in the leadership of Obaseki to deliver adding that the judiciary was ready to work with the present administration to move the state forward.
“I am pleased that in our history that you have come to deliver the judiciary. We are ready to work but waiting for the tools. We are ready to collaborate with the government of Edo State.
“I have done my own bit and it’s my pleasure and happiness to bow out but knowing your plans for the state judiciary, I would have loved to work with you but at 65 years the law will not permit me.
“People went on strike for seven months and what they are asking for you have already promised to give it to us (financial autonomy), we are with you as you plan to move the state forward,’’ he said.