Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; one of his predecessors, Lucky Igbinedion; and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State were among the dignitaries who attended the 80th birthday mass in honour of a former Governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
Also at the mass held at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Benin City was the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus.
Also, the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; the wife of the Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki; Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu; and the state Chief Judge, Justice Esohe Ikponmwen, attended the mass.
Archbishop Augustine Akubeze of the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin presided over the mass attended by Bishops Gabriel Dunia of Auchi and Donatus Ogun of Uromi, several priests as well as church and state dignitaries.
Akubeze in his homily described Odigie-Oyegun, the immediate past National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, as a humble, patriotic and fine politician who devoted his life to the development of the country.
“Our political leaders should know that those who want peace must work for justice for all Nigerians, knowing that justice brings peace and development,” he said.
The cleric urged leaders in the country to work for justice in order to get peace which, he said, was the only means of achieving developments.
The archbishop also commended the developmental stride of the Obaseki-led administration, which, he said, were so feasible in all the three senatorial districts of the state.
“In you, we have seen a technocrat who doesn’t believe in wasting state resources but rather believes in using the finances to work for the good of the people,” he said.
Akubeze also commended the state government for applying the rule of law to seek justice for the crisis in the state House of Assembly.
He urged Obaseki and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to work together to build a stronger Edo State.
While condemning the current state of insecurity in the country, the cleric called on all the stakeholders to join hands together to tackle the challenges.
In his remarks, Obaseki disclosed that his administration had decided to name the Public Service Institute under construction after Odigie-Oyegun.
He said that the institute would be completed within the next 60 days and would be inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor explained that the institute, upon completion, would be able to accommodate a minimum of 900 trainees at a time and would be the largest public service training institute in Nigeria.
He added that there were no fundamental issues between him and his predecessor in office, Oshiomhole, assuring the state citizens that things would soon return to normal between them.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the occasion was also attended by ministers-designate, Osagie Ehanire and Olorunnimbe Mamora; former Deputy Governor, Peter Obadan; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Frank Okiye; and the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri, among others.