Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja |
President Muhammadu Buhari and Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki had their first official meeting since the latter assumed leadership in his state on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on November 12th, 2016.
Obaseki told State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting on Friday that he discussed critical issues, such as including human trafficking and irregular migration, which have become synonymous with the state.
The Governor said:
“I have not seen the president officially since I became the governor of Edo State, so I came to pay him a proper visit and to pledge our support, particularly since he got back home from his medical leave and the family accident. So, I used the opportunity to felicitate with him and to wish him well.
“I discussed two critical issues that bother us in Edo. One is the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration. As you know it is a problem with Edo which we have accepted and we have rolled out our strategies to deal with them and we want to work with the Federal Government and other agencies of government to end this scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery. It is against the ethos of humanity for us to accept what is going on with our young people today.
“So, I came to see the president to explain what we are doing in Edo State and to solicit for more Federal support for our actions.”
On some returnees expressing dissatisfaction with the stipend given them, the governor said:
“That is part of the challenge. The issues are very complex. The first set that were brought back by International Organization for Migration (IOM) were given stipend, but the last wave of returnees that were repatriated, nothing was given to them and they were a bit agitated.
“What we have done in Edo is that to help returnees settle and [be] reintegrated back to their families, we give them stipend for three months. So, what we have done this time around is to bring them to Benin city and then give them [their] first stipend to go back home to attend the skills acquisition centres which we have set up to train them.”
On the latest on bad portion of Benin Auchin Road, Obaseki:
“We did not spend a lot of money, but fortunately the Federal Government has responded to the issue of the Benin-Auchi road. As I speak now, the Minister for Works is inspecting what has been done on the road; and for those who have [had] the benefit of using that road in the past three months, you will acknowledge that the Federal Government has done quite good remedial work; and we hope that, with the funds that have been released to pay the contractors, they will now begin proper work.”