The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the imperatives for wealth creation, law and order and justice administration, are the key drivers of his administration, noting that steps have been taken to ensure a well-motivated judiciary and an enabling business environment for investments.
Governor Obaseki said this on Thursday night when he hosted the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, at the Government House, Benin City, Edo State. The Ambassador is in Benin City for an exhibition of photographs by Chief S. O. Alonge, a photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, organised by the United States Diplomatic Mission and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art at the National Museum, Benin City, Edo State.
Stressing that law, order and justice are major pillars of his administration, he added that building an equitable society must be anchored on peace and justice. To ensure that the state’s judiciary works at optimal capacity, he said the state government invested in training about 150 court reporters and also upgraded court infrastructure.
He added that Edo State is an integral part of Nigeria, and as such was in full support of Nigeria’s unity. “There are certain things that are not negotiable. Nigeria is not negotiable. But it is not just enough to say that Nigeria is not negotiable. Everything has to work for the common man. That is why we are prioritising wealth creation so that people are equipped to contribute meaningfully to society,” he said.
Speaking on the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), he said the state government has been in the eye of the storm, as it has in recent years played host to some of those affected by insurgency in the North East, adding, “We have 3000 internally displaced children at the IDP camp in Benin. I was with them last Christmas, as their Father Christmas. We hope that when these children go back to their homes and communities, they would go with ideal and values from the Edo people.”
Mr. Symington said with Nigeria’s population projected to climb to 450 million by 2050 amid concerns of rising youth bulge and other social economic implications, the country would stand a better chance to exploit its potential if it prioritises justice administration, girl-child education and delivery of good governance.
He said that despite the challenges that may come with a huge population, the onus lies on Nigerian leaders to carve a positive narrative for the country by being benevolent in handling issues of development and justice administration, adding that there was need to embrace everyone irrespective of where they come from, as members of a united Nigeria.
According to him, “If Nigeria goes to 450 million people in 33 years’ time, the country would be the third largest nation, behind China and India. Depending on what you do with girl child education, governance and justice, and a whole lot of other things, if the projection continues that way, by the end of the century, Nigeria would be the second or even the most populous country on earth.”
“When I said this up North, three of the wisest counsellors of great leaders there were surprised and two said Alhamdulillah. I think that describes Nigeria. You are somewhere between being surprised or screaming Alhamdulillah. And it is up to you. But you cannot just focus on one thing, the approach has to be broader. It has to be about caring about people in the North East as well as those in the South East. We have more than two million people displaced in this country, and they are not just from the North East. Now is the perfect time to treat them all as what they truly are – brothers and sons of a united Nigeria,” he added.