By EBEN ENASCO KINGSLEY, Benin City
THE Benin Crown Prince, His Royal Highness, Ambassador Eheneden Erediauwa, Edaiken of Uselu, has described Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the messiah of Edo State who transformed the state capital to a modern city.
HRH Erediauwa, who was accompanied by very senior palace chiefs on a thank-you visit to Governor Oshiomhole at the Government House, said, “the indefatigable Governor of Edo State, as I once said in an earlier occasion in Auchi, I also addressed him as the messiah of everything in Edo State. I have not seen anything to change my mind about that up till now. Should anybody be around to contradict some of the things I said on that occasion, they are please free to come out and challenge it, but I have not seen any challenger since.”
“I am here to thank him for many things he has done for the State. He has introduced new concepts. Basically, he has laid a very strong foundation for democratic process and democratic development. The now popular one-man-one-vote which ought to have been since, he brought it to the fore, including campaign against godfatherism, infrastructural development, trying to make Edo State the destination of choice for healthcare, roads, lighting, changing the concepts of the ancient Kingdom, the way it was once interpreted because of the darkness everywhere, and everybody thought ancient kingdom meant that because it was so dark,” he said. He stated that they have forgotten the ancient about the historical part of it that the ancient kingdom meant because it was really ancient going back to the 12thCentury and beyond the 12th Century.
“But people started looking at Benin, the capital of Edo State, once the capital of Bendel, the capital of Mid-West Region. They started to interpret literally as ancient in terms of dereliction. It was dark but our indefatigable governor came and lit it up. I couldn’t believe when I drove through the streets of Benin and everywhere was lit. The streets were all lit up. I really couldn’t believe it. I was in Rome at the time he was doing all this work. When I came in from Rome in one of my visits, I just couldn’t believe I was in Benin.
“So, for that again, Your Excellency, I want to restate our thanks to you. We thanked you already before. We cannot stop thanking you for introducing this development, this new face in Benin. So, on behalf of our chiefs, the traditional institution, on behalf of Edo people, I thank you. As I said, this is a thank you visit, and there are many other things we have already spoken about privately.
“How many ways do I begin to thank you and where do I start? Let me start by the way you made it possible for me to visit Mr. President recently before I embarked on a traditional trip. I appealed to you that I am about to make a major move, attempt a major milestone in my life, not personal to me, but in the life of the institution, in the life of the historical nature of the kingdom. I don’t think I should do such a thing without first informing Mr. President. I wrote a letter through him, and he kindly arranged for the meeting. We know the President’s schedule is a bit tight and he was able to receive us privately. And I want to use this opportunity to thank Mr. President for receiving me at a time he was supposed to be resting.
ALSO SEE: INEC lists guidelines for Edo guber poll
“I also want to thank the Comrade Governor for the wonderful support, that he is always thinking about what to do for the palace, of what to do for Benin people, to express his own gratitude that he has never received any such support anywhere else.
“I want to thank members of the State Executive Council for working well with him. As you come to the end of your tenure, my fervent prayer for you is that since you started well, may God and our ancestors bring his tenure to a peaceful, unblemished end in Edo State.
Responding, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said, “I have had a very special relationship with Your Royal Highness as ambassador.
“I think at every point in your highness’s life, you have shown that you see beyond the temporary exigencies that you have the bigger picture in mind.
“I want to therefore formally congratulate you, your highness, on your formal installation as the Edaiken of Uselu. May the almighty God and our ancestors bless you, give you courage, protection in your new abode which I have been privileged to visit.
“Sir, you have also been very nice to me from the time I informed you of my intention to contest for this office. You were generous with advice and even suggestions, all of which have been extremely helpful. I have had a very uncommon warm relationship with your royal highness, and it is my prayer that this will continue long as you said, and I pray it is forever and ever. I can never thank His Royal Majesty Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, the Oba of Benin enough for his fatherly role in my life.
“His intervention at every critical stage helped to remove any obstacle on our way and that explains the ease with which we were able to accomplish some of the very difficult discussions we have had to take in our determination to renew the city. But Edo is still work in progress, your royal highness, and we are determined to work up to the last day I will hand over the baton to the next person whom Edo people will elect to continue from there.”