Obaseki to partner religious leaders on social development
As religious leaders promise to lend their support
Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Saturday morning, hosted religious leaders at the Government House to discuss the place and role of religion within the social framework of the state.
Addressing the religious leaders, the governor thanked them for their support during and after the election, even as he noted that he was not collaborating with them to satisfy political desires, but to achieve social objectives.
He further explained that the issue of street children was important to his administration and explained how the social leaders, being close to the pulse of the society, can work with the government to correct the situation and prevent the land from failing.
“We are very keen on education and are trying to see how we can train the children. You (religious leaders) have a long history in training children. One of my major aims is to create 200,000 jobs, but our style as a government is to be efficient with our greatest resource, which is time, not money”, he said.
Meanwhile, Reverend Felix Omobude, President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, noted that he would have been unlettered had good government policy been absent from the system. He also urged Governor Obaseki to do the best to uphold good governance.
He said, “You cannot please everyone, but if you do good for the majority, you will be remembered. I also want to commend you; we must all realise it is only in an atmosphere of peace we can practise our religions. Be assured of our support and understanding.”
For his part, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh (Ikelebe III) commended the governor and said that the meeting had been a long time coming.
“You are on the right track for calling this meeting because we will leave here and meet, Christians and Muslims, at the interreligious councils, although we hardly ever have clashes at Auchi”.
Also at the meeting were Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Evangelist (Mrs) Margaret Agbonifo, Imam Abdulfatai Enabulele, Chief Imam of Benin, and other religious leaders.
‘We will work with Edo Government to empower children’ – Religious leaders
Religious leaders in Edo State have said that they will work together to empower children and reduce the issue of begging in the state. This was as Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State hosted them to breakfast at The Government House in Benin City.
Speaking with the religious leaders, the Governor noted that the state of street children is one of the reasons he decided to meet with them, especially seeing as they held important roles in the society as religious leaders.
He said, “The state of street children is of burning concern. I am very worried about it. We cannot ignore it. We have come together to deliberate and work on it. A stitch in time saves nine, so, the sooner the better”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Edo State, Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen expressed the readiness of CAN to work with the government.
“Some of these children run to the Church whenever they have problems, but the government should also de-emphasise secondary education and focus on vocational institutions so that the children and youth will have a means of self-employment after school”, he said.
In the same vein, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh (Ikelebe III) noted that the government should assist in the completion of a school for the almajiris as this will extensively remould their lifestyle, which extensively relies on begging for sustenance.
Also on the table for discussion was the issue of religious tolerance to which Evangelist (Mrs) Margaret Agbonifo said, “There should be strong love. Without love, there can be no reform in the land”.
Also at the breakfast meeting were eminent Christian and Muslim leaders including Imam Abdulfatai Enabulele (Chief Imam of Benin), Reverend Felix Omobude, and others.
Governor Obaseki sues for continuous collaboration among religious bodies in Edo
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo has sued for more collaboration among the different religious bodies in the state to sustain the peaceful coexistence already being enjoyed in the state.
Obaseki, speaking to newsmen, shortly after hosting religious rulers drawn from different parts of the state to a meeting at Government House on Saturday, said that more collaboration among religious bodies was necessary to drive and sustain economic development in the state.
According to the governor, “We cannot make any meaningful progress without peace and stability.
“So the starting point is to bring together different religious rulers to interact and talk to one another so that what bind them together is more than what separate them”, Obaseki said.
Speaking about the outcome of the meeting, the governor said that the religious bodies have agreed to form an inter-religious committee to see to the issues affecting Muslims and Christians and deal with them harmoniously.
He said that the meeting was also used to sensitive the bodies about the menace of street children in the state and his administration’s economic programmes.
He said that the state government collaboration with the religious bodies would help to address socio-economic issues in the state.
Also speaking to Newsmen, the Catholic Bishop of Auchi Diocese, Most Revered Gabriel Dunia said that the meeting was apt as it concerned the growth, development and security of the state and country in general.
He said that the religious bodies had agreed to come up with a forum that would set agenda for the overall development of the state.
Also, the Otaru of Auchi, (Ikelebe III) HRH Alhaji Aliru Momoh commended the governor for the meeting and partnering religious bodies with his economic programmes.
He said that it was a good idea for religious leaders to dialogue, apply their skills and intellect for the betterment of the state and country in general.