Edo State new governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said he would begin work immediately with a view to making the state the true heartbeat of the country.
He spoke before a huge crowd that gathered at the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to witness the swearing in ceremony.
He emerged the fifth governor of the state since it was created in 1991.
Both Obaseki and his Deputy, Philip Shaibu earlier swore to oath of allegiance administered by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Cromwell Idahosa.
Former Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his wife, Iara, were the cynosure of the crowd as he drove into the venue.
They walked round the stadium waving goodbye to the crowd.
Oshiomhole performed his last function by inspecting the guard of honour and taking a salute.
In his speech, the governor said he would hit the ground running to deliver on his campaign promises of bringing prosperity to the state especially in the creation of 200,000 jobs.
Obaseki identified ICT as the key component of realising his objectives, as he promised to make proliferation of broadband a priority.
The jobs, according to Obaskei, would be created by focusing on the state’s comparative advantage in agriculture, agric-business, commerce, industrialization, entrepreneurship, technical and vocational skills.
Obaseki promised to boost agribusiness in the state by keying into the value chain of abundant cash crops.
He promised to employ more workers into the state civil service as well as optimize job creation potentials.
The new governor stated that agriculture would be the focus of his socio-economic programme and that he would move Edo out of its current subsistence farming to commercial farming.
Obaseki said he would consolidate on the gains of former Governor Oshiomhole by completing all on-going projects as well as promote women and youths empowerment.
On healthcare, he promised to partner with relevant stakeholders to make Edo the centre of excellence in health care delivery.
He said he would strengthen the criminal justice system for quick access to justice as well as support the police and other law enforcement agencies for speedy resolution of disputes.
Obaseki noted that the task to build the state is the responsibility of all citizens and as such he would harness ideas of other political parties for the good of the state.
According to him, “We will help small and medium scale enterprises by creating an enabling environment for them to thrive. Edo State government will establish a one-stop shop to provide incentive and support to make it easier for our people to provide goods and services.
“We will continue to consolidate on the gains of the last eight years by continuing the infrastructural revolution and urban renewal intimation which our Comrade started.
“We will continue to improve on educational infrastructure by building more schools to ensure that education is available to all Edo children. We will equally pay attention to the development of our intra-city roads network to enhance urban dwelling comfort and ease traffic. Lastly, we will complete all ongoing projects.”
He stated that after a hard fought campaign, he was willing to gather ideas that have been articulated by all parties and integrate them for the transformation of Edo State.
“We are studying and will continue to study these ideas and seek with diligence to select what holds promise for our people and our state. The task ahead is not that of government alone; we are all in this together to bring enviable change to Edo State irrespective of our political, religious or ethnic differences.
“The task is to bring change to Edo. To make Edo the state of or dream and the true heart beat of Nigeria.”
Dignitaries that attended the event included former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, the Senate President, Dr. Olusola Saraki, represented President Mohammadu Buhari, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, former Governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, Minister of Information, Culture and Orientation, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo, his Kaduna counterpart Nasir el-Rufai, Atiku Bagudu (Jigawa), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun). Others are National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John-Odigie Oyegun, Akeem Bello-Osagie, Tony Elumelu, former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba, governorship candidate of the APC in Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu.