•Politicians, others hail former military governor at 84
Former military governor of Old Midwest and Bendel States Dr Samuel Ogbemudia yesterday asked Edo residents to support the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki on September 28.
“I have always appreciated the need to work with women because at the political field, they are very useful. Once they tell you they are with you, they are with you.
“So, I want them to go back home to go and make sure that every one of them here today has a hundred persons queuing behind them to vote for Obaseki,” Ogbemudia said.
He spoke at his 84th birthday celebration hosted by Edo state government.
Obaseki, he said, will continue with the good works of Governor Adam Oshiomhole.
According to the respected elder statesman: “I want to appeal to the people of Edo state through those who are here on the 28th of September is a date of decision, a date that we will decide our future.
“We have two options either to remain as we are and nothing happens and two years from now we will be looking for boats to drive through the roads because they would have been flooded or we work hard, get the right person to carry on where Comrade Oshiomhole left it.
“So that option is staring us in the face but for me I took the option to get somebody who understands good governance to carry on from where Comrade Oshiomhole is leaving it.”
He said the outgoing has left a legacy that history will not forget.
Ogbemudia explained: “This month of September is the last September in a long series of years that Oshiomhole will be a governor.
“By the next September, he will be a member of my club of former governors therefore he has done enough.
“He has left sufficient evidence for historians to appreciate and many years to come they will be falling over each other to determine what make you do this or that and I think you have had a wonderful wisdom and that wisdom will live with you forever.”
He spoke just as the government renamed the New Era College which he built as a military governor in his name.
On why he built the college, Ogbemudia said it was to discover fresh talents after he discovered a gold-winning young lady.
The former two-time governor recalled: “I was coming from University of Benin one morning in 1970 and along New Benin Lagos Road, I saw a girl lifting tyres and trying to load it into that lorry.
“I stopped and took her straight to the stadium where other people were training and I asked the coach to give her the weight.
“When she pulled the weight the distance was longer than that of the record holder at that time and from that moment we took over the girl.
“This girl went on to win all the gold medals available in Nigeria. Well, that night when I got home, it occurred to me that there ought to be a school where children gifted can be trained while they were still young so the idea of New Era occurred.
“As you will appreciate as a military governor, I have the power of the legislature and the executive all combined in one so within 24 hours, the decision to build New Era College had been taken and work had commenced.”
Oshiomhole described Ogbemudia as a great man of wisdom whose advice helped him tremendously.
“I remember whenever I visit you, you always give me a list of what to do and why I should do them and what not to do and why you think I should not do them.
“Whenever I listen to the advice to do those things you advised me to do, I discovered that I always achieved great success.
“We celebrate you because we speak for Edo people. When I visited Igbanke, they said the last time anybody remembered them was Ogbemudia.
“And when I went to Abudu, the people said the last time they had development was when you were governor.
“When I went to Ihievbe, the said the road that linked the community to Auchi was built by you.
“When I went to Michael Imoudu College of Physical Education, they said everything in that school was made by Ogbemudia.”
Ogbemudia’s wife, Yetunde, said she never regretted marrying the retired military officer.
His son, Samuel Ogbemudia Jr said he remained a role model.