In the Political Configuration

THE PAST: Before Nigerian Independence THE PRESENT: From Independence to the present. THE FUTURE:- Nigerian/Edo Diaspora participation in Home Politics
The configuration of any system is its arrangement which determines the smoothness of the working parts and the relationship of these parts to other parts that interact with it continuously or intermittently to form a society or community living in peace or disharmony depending on the interaction of the components parts. A system can work effortlessly if it is well lubricated and its authority is supported from the lowest economic rung of the ladder to the landing with the components parts happy to play or carry out their role for the total harmony of all. When there is neglect of a component part or parts or the highest economic rung treats the lowest economic rung as if they are irrelevant to the whole system, there will be discordance and this usually results in riots, armed robbery, protests and wanton destruction of state property which are avoidable in a harmonious society where the rulers are real leaders of the people and constitute pillars of society.
In our part of Nigeria, there has been a well laid system of governance which is indigenous to our people and very well respected. There were sanctions for deviant behaviour and reward for excellence. There were agreed behaviours depicted as taboos whereas others were acceptable as societal norm. The people were happy and progressive and in spite of our war like attitude, we were progressive until this well oiled and well constituted system of authority was disrupted from the outside without having another acceptable system in its place. This disruption led to things falling apart and the hold on the population weakened. The situation was further weakened with the introduction of different ways of life which has been difficult to imbibe as they were alien to our people, while the old system lingered on. Orderliness gave way to survival of the fittest and the worship of money crept in from the side with total collapse of the value system. Our traditional ways of worshipping our heroes like great wrestlers, brave soldiers, good farmers, good traders; worshipping our God, celebrating birth and mourning deaths and the various festivals that make us unique as a people have been disrupted. Commercial churches devoid of the way of true Christianity have sprung up everywhere with proportionate rise in armed robberies and adulteries by these numerous dubious pastors in every corner of our towns. Normally our people gave names like Omosigho, Omosukpon, Omoregbe, Omorede which showed our attachment to life and procreation. The child exceeded everything. All that has changed now, as I heard some work men saying in Benin recently, that the dollar has no taboo (e dolla mwen awua). This statement that is pregnant with meaning as the love of money now reaches the most sacred institution amongst our people which is marriage. I will not dilate on the topic as it does not edify us as a people. I am sure you will understand as an Edo man in whom one word turn into millions in his mind analytical process.
To do justice to the political system of today, we should trace from the colonial era and pre-independence. During that period, our people who were very nationalistic had a reference point as the source of our problem; the colonialist. Thanks to appropriate scheming and understanding, our country gained independence without having to go through the likes of Mau Mau war as in Kenya or the fight against the apartheid regime as in southern Africa.The fight for the independence especially of the Southern protectorate of Nigeria was a continuum initiated by
the Edo which resulted in the restoration of the monarchy in 1933 and the crowing of Oba Eweka 11 as the Oba
of Benin.
On Independence, power was seceded to the north with the Premier being Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
in spite of the fact that the north did not really want independence. The second anomaly was the
result of the first census which gave the majority of the population to the north. All subsequent
distribution of the national wealth has been based on that erroneous census to the detriment of the
people of the south. At independence the northern region was given more seats in parliament than the two
southern regions put together. This meant that no meaningful governmental decision affecting Nigeria could be
taken without the consent of the north.
To correct some of these obvious anomalies, Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu a man born
before his time struck in January 1966.
The coup was so complex that one needs to understand the political situation at the time to appreciate the
reasons for the coup. After Nigeria gained independence from the UK, its domestic politics TRIED to emulate
those of its former colonial master by adopting a Westminster style parliamentary democracy. There the
similarities ended. Instead of the cultured debate and sophisticated party political culture of the UK, Nigeria’s
politics fragmented on regional and ethnic lines.
Due to the splitting of the country into three geo-political regions, party politics (and political parties) took on
the identity and ideology of each of the three regions.
The northern region was represented by the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) who’s motto of “one north, one
people” gave a realistic and accurate assessment of its objectives. Southerners viewed the NPC as the party of
the Hausa-Fulani.
The western region’s dominant party was the Yoruba led Action Group (AG) and to the east the National
Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) was controlled by the Igbos.
These regional based parties assured two things: firstly that none of the parties could govern Nigeria on its own,
and secondly that ethnic conflict was only a matter of time away.
When Nnamdi Azikiwe won the Premiership of the old Western Region, he could not govern the region as by
the swearing-in time most of the ministers had crossed carpet to join the Action Group making it impossible for
him to form a government.
This was the birth of ethnic politics in Nigerian political life.
Today there is complete replication of the Nigerian political situation in the three senatorial districts of Edo
State where the Southern senatorial districts has few local government areas as a ratio of the total population of
the state.
Secondly no senatorial district can effectively rule Edo State without the co-operation of the Southern senatorial
district due to the larger population.
Prior to that January 1966 coup, as a result of marginalization, and starvation from government patronage of the
old Benin and Delta provinces by the then Western Region Government, the late Oba Akenzua 11 of blessed
memory led the campaign for the creation of Mid West Region which became the fourth region of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria after a referendum.
The campaign which was intense was ably supported by all especially late Dalton Asemota and totally opposed
by Tony Enahoro in keeping with his party political position. Benin City became the headquarters while late
Jerreton Mariere who was Governor was from the Delta and Dennis Osadebay was premier from Benin
One will be right to say there was equity and fair play at that time looking at the disposition of the three
industries in the region during the period.
The Okpella cement factory at Okpella, the textile mill at Asaba and Ughelli glass factory located to satisfy the
geopolitical areas that made up the region.
Do I remind you as we speak that the old Western Region is yet to give the Mid West Region her share of the
assets and liabilities that accrued to her on the creation of the region.
At the end of the civil war Lt. Col. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia was made the governor of the region and his
administration transformed the region economically, infrastructurally, educationally, in sports and healthcare
making Bendel State the envy of all other States in the federation.
Ogbemudia did no do this job alone.
He surrounded himself with capable, intelligent men with probity, foresight, honour and love of country.Men like late GNI Enobakhare, late OI Afe, Edwin K Clerk, Garrick Aghahowa, Engr Umweni, Engr Odaro,
Chief Pobeni, Tayo Akpata etc.
Some of these men went to their graves with only honour as their single asset as one cannot find the limousine
or marble or glass houses they left behind than a good name, honour and the immortalization of their names by
their good deeds.
We pray that our Heavenly Father grant them peace wherever they may be today? As we speak, there are no
roads or monuments to immortalize their contribution to the development of our state. A mockery indeed.
We had successive military Governors who merely came to enrich themselves without doing anything visible to
improve the lot, of our state. I am aware of one of them who left the state with 37 buses or lorry load. For a
soldier on military posting, that was excessive.
In the second republic we had Professor Ali who won Bendel State for the UPN while the NPN controlled the
central government in Lagos. In spite of his opposition to the Federal Government, he still left his foot prints in
the tide of time.
He will always be remembered for the policy of free and comprehensive education and the establishment of
Bendel State University now Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma.
The third republic came in after a most difficult time in Nigerian history during which period we had the first
ever letter bomb in Nigeria, the acceptance of the world bank loan with a lot of conditionality after a nation wide
debate which concluded Nigeria did not need the loan, attempted coups, imagined coups, palace coup and the
attempt to convert from a military head of state to civilian president and the annulment of the world acclaimed
fairest & freest election in the history of our nation. By the end of IBB regime which was described as the most
disheartening for our people the most dishonest & vague of all regimes in the history of our nation ushered in
another vicious leader after a palace coup that pursued a lot of Nigerians out of the country including some of us
Abacha’s security system was described as second to none but God saved our nation when He intervened and
summoned Abacha
earlier to the great beyond ending the most vicious regime in the history of Nigeria.
Thereafter we had rearrangements that led to the adoption of a new constitution in 1999 and subsequent election
which ushered in the fourth republic.
After being under military dictatorship for so long the people found a new breath of fresh air at their new found
The freedom of the press, freedom to hold political rally, freedom to associate and dissociate which were
hitherto suppressed by the military became the order of the day.
The nation was euphoric and the people expected so much in so short a time which was not possible that within
a short time the four years term was over.
The national President and most Governors of the states won a second term.
Two years into the second term more individuals including myself became restless as we were not seeing the
desirable changes we had hoped for in our state.
While at Federal level there are attempts to fight corruption and revamp the national economy, Edo State was
Grassland were commissioned as fruit factories several times that some of us were wondering if those at the
helm of affairs in the state thought Edo people were blind or brain damaged not to differentiate a grassland from
a fruit juice producing factory in Ehor.
Was it that the political elders wanted a new direction that was not forthcoming from the executive or the
executive unilaterally stopped directing the state funds to appease political elders and godfathers in the state can
never be known?
One thing that is certain is that some of the political elders wanted total control of the state in a way that the
state governor would have became a figurehead.
They wanted total control from appointing to various boards at both national and state levels, to being the de
Facto leader of the ruling political party in the state.
It is true the present government of Edo State failed us but the government was also not given a free hand by the
party elders who refused to relinquish control from behind the scene.
This attitude is similar to what happened in Oyo State where we recall the role of Alhaji Adedibu the strong man
of Ibadan politics; so it was also in Anambra state with Chris Uba being the manipulating godfather. We are
lucky in Edo State as we have been able to manage the situation so far without bloodshed as in other states. For
this we must be grateful to God and our monarch Omo n’ Oba n’ Edo Uku Akpolo kpolor Oba Erediauwa who
has been invisibly moderating Edo State situation to avoid total chaos and bloodshed.I do not wish to go into the details of the woes of Edo people today as the state problems of poor roads, lack of
pipe-borne water, electricity, poor healthcare, poor educational infrastructures, flooding are well known to all of
us gathered here today.
The primary role of Edo in Diaspora is to change the direction and course of events in Edo State government for
the benefit of our people.
There is no group better placed that can do that for the down trodden but hard working and de-enfranchised Edo
people whose ballots do not count for anything due to serious rigging at elections.
Do we fold our hands and watch without doing anything and allow the continued free fall of the fortunes of our
Do will rise from this meeting and set machineries in motion that will right the wrong that has been visited on
our people by subsequent military and civilian administrations.
Should we not say never again and recover our birth rights from those who have stolen it as they have not been
mandated to act on our behalf.
If the elections are not free or fair then the people are de-enfranchised and the politicians would have stolen the
people’s mandate.
Due to the nature of politics in our part of the world one cannot contest election without having a lot of funds
and sometimes raising a small army.
Consequently should we not work out ways and means of generating funds for supporting those we wish to
adopt as our candidates?
Should Edo in Diaspora not mount a strong campaign to educate our people about the ills of politics of bags of
rice and bags of salts especially amongst the illiterates and semi-illiterates in our towns and villages?
Should we not let the electorate know that accepting bags of rice and bags of salt, amounts to buying their
votes, and subsequently their voice, infra-structural and economic development of the state which is ultimately
to the detriment of the people?
That the practice of accepting bags of salt, rice and beans for votes are a tacit approval of subsequent
corruption in the body politics of Edo state.
Those who spent money to buy the rice and beans shared amongst the people usually would want to recover
their expenditures by directing government funds to their personal accounts at home or overseas.
Should Edo in Diaspora not fight crimes by fighting the causes of crimes by way of establishing enterprises,
recreational facilities setting up useful ventures to absorb school leavers and graduates of post national services?
Should we not organise ourselves into co-operative societies or investment companies and use the dividends to
fund these enterprises since it is impossible for one individual to provide the fund for these ventures?
We could also use the accruing dividends to support our candidates, award scholarship, put up infrastructures
like schools, modernise or build a new palace for our monarch, set up computer schools etc.
If we learn to work together we will appreciate quickly that we can achieve a lot and make good progress in the
shortest possible time. Those things we think are impossible will be achieved effortlessly if there is unity and
accountability in our ranks.
When we create jobs opportunities, we will simultaneously be fighting crimes, improving the social security of
our people, and above all have a voice in the scheme of things in Edo State.
If we continue as we are doing which the godfathers would want us to be do, we will never make any progress
in taking active part in revamping Edo State economy and fortunes. Most successful multi-national companies
started as either family enterprises or co-operative societies.
I refer you to read the Black Wall Street.
The setting up of these investment enterprises will generate the needed fund to implement most of our plans and
this can only be done if we trust one another.
In Europe and America where everything works smoothly; whenever there is failure in government, the people
shout and compel the government to perform.
If the government is unrelenting or arrogant, the electorate punish that government at the next general election.
In Nigeria apart from the wrong political appointments and the attitude of the winners takes all, our people are
too docile and undemanding.
For example when NEPA fail, we buy generators to generate electricity;
When the educational system fails we send our wards to private schools,
When there is no pipe borne water we sink bore holes or buy pure water,
When Police fail, we hire private guards.Why would any government officials strive to serve a people who seem to always find an alternative to a poor
government performance?
As Edo Diaspora, we should lead the protest for not only good governance but good services as well.
Nobody, I repeat nobody is going to agitate for our rights for us.
We have to agitate for our rights, our peoples’ rights, our children’s rights ourselves.
Our language is being eroded primarily by Pidgin English which does not help our children in the school or
facilitate the survival of our language.
It is our duty to emphasis the need to teach our language to our children in Diaspora. As our people say if you
cannot speak your language, one is completely lost so every effort should be made to sustain our language, our
tradition and our culture or we will disappear as the UN has forecasted for many African languages.
It is our duty to facilitate its teaching and learning to the SS 3 level and encourage graduate and post graduate
training in Edo linguistic structures to keep our language alive.
As most Diaspora Edo do not depend on Edo State government patronage to survive, they are therefore better
placed to criticise the ills of the government in a constructive way. Teachers or civil servants under the thumb of
the government cannot do anything to protest their situation unless they do so collectively and usually their
leaders are hand picked for punishment by the State government.
The issue of God sons as gubernatorial candidates and godfathers’ desire to impose candidates on the people of
Edo land is still very rife.
It is this perpetuation of hegemonic tendencies that is causing Edo people heebie-jeebies including my very self
as I am perturbed that our state may go into moribund for another four to eight years again.
It is this fear brothers and sisters that will guide my thoughts as we go through the next part of this speech to
produce an effective framework to wrest power from those who govern for the sake of self interest rather for the
interest of Edo people.
There have also been e-mail postings on numerous Edo list serves that a God –fearing Diaspora candidate may
put the state on a better footing compared to what anyone else can do.
My Brothers and Sisters, can this be done?
Can we really have the courage to take the bulls by the horns by nominating one of us to contest positions in
Edo land and back him up spiritually, financially, morally and physically?
You do not send a general to war without a supply line was Collin Powell quote in declining to run for
American Presidency.
Can Edo in Diaspora manage an effective supply line and install a governor in Osadebey’s Avenue?
Working together we will beat any group hands down as everyone here is a representative of an extended Edo
family in Edo State.
The alternative to the above plan is to come out courageously and support one of the gubernatorial candidates
after listening to them or reading their manifesto and plans for revamping Edo State economy and fortunes and
discussing and digesting same.
Such individual will give assurances in the public that his primary aim will be to serve the people of Edo State
with total commitment and without financial allegiance to any political God father.
That he or she will listen to good suggestions and facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for Edo
Diaspora and all others to invest in Edo State economy without having to go through too many doors to achieve
the investors’ desire.
That he work to remove arbitrary clogs in the wheel of progress and facilitate rapid development of Edo Land.
That he will set up an all embracing government including seasoned technocrats in his/her government even if
from the opposition political parties so that at all times we have square pegs in square holes so that Edo State
reaps the utmost dividends of democracy.
Having set the above goals which I think are achievable, we will as Edo Diaspora needs to cross the many
Rubicons on our path to achieve these set goals.
The first Rubicon will be establishing a viable constituted body for all Edo in Diaspora.
This all embracing constituted body will have a well defined constitution, that will incorporate its aims and
objectives, incorporate these numerous isolated Edo Organizations in Diaspora to create a body with a teeth and
a smile by which I mean a human face and a long arm through which we shall have a strong influence in the
scheme of things at home in Edo Land.
A detailed analysis of how to do this can be seen at is nobody who can create what he or she have not seen or imagined. What is baffling is that our present
crops of rulers do not imagine nor do they see when they travel in Europe or America or else they would have
seen what civilisation is and work to transform Edo State in like manner.
As one of us suggested, it is conceivable that they become blind on arrival in Europe or America.
Therefore a well oiled and organized Edo organization in Diaspora will have influence in the scheme of things
in Edo State enabling us to take our place in the centre of affairs and steer Edo State to fulfilment, progress and
economic viability and revert it to the envy of other Nigerian States as we were about thirty years ago.
The second Rubicon is unity of purpose.
This is essentially possible as we already have the unity of heritage.
During our time as Benin Province, we had the same unity which cemented the Benin and Delta provinces as
Bendel State after its creation in 1975. There is no one here who does not know that all of us in Edo State are
from the same quiver as we trace our origin to one point and same lineage.
In the poem EDO…….
They were one in origin;
Yet they are one in Diversity.
Softly and tenderly we rehearse and remember;
That Edo came out of one quiver.
There was a centre, from where they rallied;
Scattered they became, ‘kos of no boundaries.
From Benin, later called a city;
Unto Ogbese, and Udo, beyond Ovia.
From Urhokuosa, and Ehor to Uromi,
unto Auchi, Ibillo beyond Irrua.
From Oka, and Sokponba to Evbokabua,
Unto Ugo, Orogho, Obagie near Ethiope River.
Igueben, Evbohimwin, Ososo, Ora or Irrua,
And Owan, Agbede, Afuze, too near to forget
Our kingdom once touched Idah, Kwara, Jebba,
And dominated Owo, Ifon and Igbo country.
Edo people were one in origin,
Edo are still one in diversity.
Nigerian territories cannot Edo confine,
For thousands migrated within West Africa.
Some in Dahomey now Benin Republic;
Others in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Dakar, or so.
Even Spain retained earlier ambassadors;
If not, where are their descendants today?
Rooted in tradition, their traces are clear;
Traditional ruler ship of kings, Princes and Enogies;
If in doubt, watch their lineage greetings;
They go from one to another, the same.
Cultural artefacts, and foods and attires
Depicted by names or customs and norms.
If marriage does not summarize our oneness,
The rites of passage do settle the matter.
Who argues our personalities are not one and same,
The Bini, Esan, Ora, Owan, Etsakon, Akoko Edo,
Extending to Eka, Urhobo and Ijaw beyond the Delta;
These later groups also remember their roots.
Our people are one in Origin;And also one in Diversity..
When all is said and done,
My brothers and sisters;
One thing we need, to reach perfection;
Edo was one in Origin,
Yet one in Diversity;
And shall continue to be one forever.
(Abridged and Author unknown)
The newly created senatorial districts in the history of our people are arbitrary lines
which should not remove the truth of our oneness as Edo Nation.
A lot of politicians have now capitalised on this issue of zoning which borders on fear of
domination and corruption in government perpetuated by the political godfathers.
All we pray and hope for is to revamp the socio-economic status and viability of our state
in the community of Nigerian States. Therefore to achieve this sole objective we need a
candidate that is de-ethnicised totally, God fearing, truthful, has innate intelligence and
can represent the interest, the yearning and the aspirations of Edo State and her people
in Nigeria and anywhere in the world.
Such a popular candidate will not only be representing all the senatorial districts and
facilitating the placing of square pegs in squared holes to enhance simultaneous
developments of all areas of Edo State but will banish the fear of domination and of not
having my person as governor of the state from the minds of our people.
Zoning of positions brings ABOUT mediocrity and the wrong ruler ship which will be to
the detriment of the socio-economic growth of Edo State. Zoning is retrogressive and is
an anathema to effective and simultaneous development of all areas of any country
anywhere in the civilised world.
Look at the largest democracy on mother earth India, look at the United Kingdom, the
United States of America, and ask yourself if they practice zoning of positions; this non
practice of zoning accounts for why they are where they are today.
The best person should be voted for a post which he or she is well suited so that the
people get better results. Being Benin or Esan or Esakon or Owan is not a qualification
for governorship of Edo state.
The attribute should include, qualifications, exposure, track record, honesty, visionary,
being detribalised or de-ethincised with progressive ethos for our people and originality
in thinking.
We should fight to remove from our body politics the use of money to buy positions and
simultaneously the sale of political positions to the highest bidder because whosoever
buys a political position will want to recoup the money for the purchase which is the root
cause of corruption in our body politics and government.
In the speech of the senator representing Edo south during the 3rd term debate she
effectively stood astride the fence supporting simultaneously her political party position
on one hand and the position of her husband who financed her election on the other.
The first part of her statement completely neutralised the second part of her statement.
That is a typical example of the ill of godfatherism and the effect purchase of party
political positions can have on the performance of elected or selected officers. They
cannot act or speak independently and that is to the detriment of our state.
As Edo Diaspora, we have to fight to break the cycle of money politics in Edo State to
ensure the progress of our people.
The Nigerian Diaspora has assumed a lot of importance. The government of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria under Olusegun Obasanjo is determined to improve the economic and living standard of our
people and believe the Nigerian Diaspora have a huge role to play in this process.
Since 2002 I have been preaching the same thing amongst Edo people who cared to listen.It is this strong belief that led to the formation of Edo Global Organization an umbrella organization
that effectively champions the wishes of Edo in Diaspora. In spite of our few international conferences
and huge investment in traveling expenses we have made very little impact in the scheme of things in
Edo State partly due to in-fighting, lack of unity and partly due to lack of trust and the unwillingness of
our people to commit their finances to achieve any objective without immediate and obvious gain.
The true gain of the success of such a venture as Edo Global Organization is not on individual basis
but state wide as our people will benefit from the provision of basic infrastructures, provision of
satisfactory healthcare, social security and security of life and property in the state if our organization
can ensure the right person is voted into government and continuously advocate for Edo people
fearlessly at every level of government.
Edo Diaspora can work as a team or learn to work as a team.
If we are committed to our course, we will not work to thwart each others’ effort as we are doing
We will be consistent with our efforts to produce the desirable changes in our home state.
You are all witness to the fact that in seven years of his government the President of our country is
yet to pay an official visit to Edo State and Edo State is yet to benefit from Federal government
The reason for this is not far fetched considering the in fighting going on for the control of the soul of
the political life of Edo State and the poor performance of government of the day.
This is detrimental to our people and that is why all Edo Diaspora must be united in attacking this
decay and replacing the current system of purchasing elective positions to a more transparent system
where the vote of the people count and the voice of the electorate are heard and their desires are
In the northern hemisphere if a politician is arrogant and does not listen to the electorate, he is
punished at the pools at the next election but this is not the case in Nigeria where godfatherism,
purchase of positions, thuggery and election rigging is the order of the day.
According to the president, who spoke while declaring open the second Diaspora Day in Abuja on the
25th of July he said there’s no quick fix or short cut to the issue of development, pointing out that
Nigeria was yet to realise its full potential and as such still requires assistance of those in the
Diaspora for growth and to manage its affairs while promising a 10% growth in the national economy.
This tells us the importance people place on Nigerian Diaspora.
If anyone is still in doubt of our importance ask Western Union and Moneygram who will inform that
Diaspora Nigerians sent home up to 5billion American dollars in 2005 and a large portion of that
amount went to Edo State considering our number and family attachment.
If we help to support our family, we are helping Edo State, and when we build Edo state, we are
helping to build Nigeria.
The president also added that those in the Diaspora should emulate their counterparts from other
countries like Israel and India by using our leverage to attract foreign assistance to Nigeria.
In similar vain Edo in Diaspora should use our influence to attract investment into Edo State.
It is gratifying to note what we have since written and suggested for Edo State government has now
been implemented by the Federal Government but it is not too late for Edo State government to
implement such a scheme for the upliftment of Edo people.
For us to be relevant in Edo State politics, we should make our presence felt by the people of our
state by staging the inauguration of this mega Edo Diaspora organization in Benin to show solidarity
with our traditional rulers and the poor people of our home state and emphasis that we shall be with
them all the way until our political leaders plan a new course for our people and make their voice
heard and their vote count.
In this way our activities will be coordinated and duplication of efforts will be removed.
I refer you to to explain step by
step how such organization can be started and sustained.
What is the take home message?
That there is the problem of underdevelopment in Edo land and lack of accountability in Edo State
That the political godfathers are ruining our progress as their godsons run our state like a private
enterprise.That they impose and depose rulers over Edo people as they will. That these posts are practically sold to aspiring godsons for a fee and other promises when they get into government. That Edo in Diaspora has the capacity to influence activities and events in Edo Land if they can act in unison. That Edo in Diaspora should mandate as a matter of urgency the formation or amalgamation of Edo Association in Diaspora for effective representation at state level. That every extended family in Edo State is represented by a son or daughter in Diaspora. That as enlightened people we should de-emphasize our differences and play up our unity of origin and heritage s That our undoubted unity of origin and heritage should be transformed into unity of purpose for the benefit of all.
That we should agitate for our rights always, the rights for good governance and good services always and accountability on behalf of our people. That government should jettison the attitude of the winners takes all and place someone from the opposition party in a post if we believe he or she is capable of doing a better job for the people.
That best individual with the interest of his people at heart irrespective of his village of origin or senatorial district should lead our state and should be supported. In the light of what we know about our state, we should pray that Edo State does not go into moribund for another 4-8 years.
Finally I would like to thank the President and members of Unic Club of Toronto, members of the COP and all our brothers and Sisters who have traveled from far and wide to attend this conference. I wish all of us a safe journey home.
For the representative of the government of Edo State and the Benin Monarch & Edo traditional council, I also wish you safe journey home and implore you to take our message to the people of our state so that they are made aware of our feelings about our homestead.
Thank you May God bless all of us. Oba ghator Okpere. Ise. SEO OGBONMWAN. © September 2006.