Former Governor of the defunct mid-west region and Bendel state, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, has formally announced the withdrawal of his membership of the troubled Peoples Democrati Party (PDP) and has pledged his lifetime support of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state.
Ogbemudia who made the announcement during a visit by Oshiomhole to him, to his residence, in Benin City, on Wednesday, however said he would continue to be a non partisan politician.
“I have withdrawn my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), so, I am at home as a non-political, non-partisan politician. But every human being is a political animal, and I cannot say I have left politics,” he said.
Reminiscing on his relationship with Oshiomhole during his day as Minister in late General Sani Abatch’s junta, Ogbemudia reminded the governor that they have always enjoyed a cordial relationship.
“As I have said, I have been with you from the day you started helping me when I was Minister of Labour. That day I called you, and you asked me, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ and I said, ‘I don’t want strike throughout my tenure’, and you said, ‘we were elected to cause you discomfort, and if I don’t do it again, it means I am failing in my duty.’ I said, ‘No, you won’t fail.’ And throughout my tenure there was no strike and we worked well together.
“So, as you have come here, I didn’t see any other way to thank you than to make sure I work with you, and I will continue to work with you until my grave.”
Speaking on the issue of job creation, Dr. Ogbemudia said: “Since oil price is dwindling, our future now lies in agriculture. I think anybody living today that cannot find a white collar job, can get two or three of these ponds, mobile or earth ponds, and produce fish that will give you at least half a million every six months. There is somebody I know who has about two hundred of those ponds. If Edo people handle it, it can produce enough fish for export for the country.”
In his remarks, Governor Adams Oshiomhole paid glowing tributes to the two-time former governor for his exemplary leadership in the State and the inspiration he has provided for humanity.
Oshiomhole said: “I have come to pay you an official visit. There is no Edo man of my age who does not have a kind place in his heart on account of the solid foundation that God used you to lay for our state. Now occupying the office, I see what is happening. I am appreciative the more that your solid foundation you laid, you did out of your conviction; they reflect the purity of your heart, and your genuine commitment to uplifting the quality of life of our people.
“So, whatever you did, you did, not because you needed votes. You did because in your heart believed that your people deserved good governance and that government must lay solid foundation, build infrastructure, address all of the issues that you did, set up institutions, encourage people to go to farms, set up technical schools, and in fact, I can’t list them. Even you cannot remember all of the actions.
“And to imagine that you did them as a military man, the people of my generation cannot but appreciate and salute your leadership and exemplary leadership. Even under the military, you were concerned about my personal wellbeing. So, sir, you have always been there for me, even in my days in labour. And I am very happy. I decided to come this time in a more formal way than I have done in the past.”
According to Governor Oshiomhole: “Your decision to withdraw from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and remain a father of all of us, even as you remain politically concerned about the future of our State, but without being so on a partisan platform, for us, it is yet another example. I have come to congratulate you on your decision. I believe all of us will learn from you. You are still mentally alert, and available to reflect on issues around us, and to proffer advice and suggestions to the stewards of the State.
“May God continue to lead you as a shining example of how we can find peace and relevance beyond the bounds of partisan politics. So, today it is basically to congratulate you for that laudable decision that you have taken. And may God grant you much longer life, good health, more wisdom, and never be tired to advise the government of the day.
“Already there are small, small low tone conversation about the future; my prayer is that God will guide us to enable the system to democratically produce another governor with a good heart that believes and have passion and the competence to lead our people to a much higher standard than the foundation you have laid and my own modest contribution. You are an inspiration to many of us.”