Obaseki, Oshiomhole meet Buhari in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari receiving former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomole at the State House, Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA 

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki and the immediate past governor, Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at separate closed-door sessions in the State House.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, Obaseki said his visit to Aso Rock was to pledge his loyalty to the President.

He said he used the opportunity to discuss the repatriation of illegal migrants from Libya, with Edo having the highest number of returnees, adding that he has already engaged them in skills training and providing monthly stipends to them.

“I have not seen the President officially since I became governor, so I came to pay him a proper visit and to pledge our support, particularly since he got back home from his medical leave and the family accident. So, I used the opportunity to felicitate with him and to wish him well.

“I discussed two critical issues that bother us in Edo. One is the issue of human trafficking and irregular migration. As you know, it is a problem with Edo, which we have accepted, and we have rolled out our strategies to deal with the problem.

“We want to work with the federal government and other agencies of government to end the scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery. It is against the ethos of humanity for us to accept what is going on with our young people today.

“So, I came to see the President to explain what we are doing in Edo State and to solicit for more federal support for our actions.”

On the report that some returnees had expressed dissatisfaction with the stipend given them, the governor said: “That is part of the challenge. The issues are very complex. We have waves of returnees.

“The first set were those brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). They did give stipends to those who were being repatriated, but the last wave of returnees, who were repatriated, nothing was given to them and they were a bit agitated.

“But what we have done in Edo is to help returnees settle and reintegrated back to their families. We give them stipend for three months. So, what we have done this time around is that as soon as we received them and bring them to Benin City, we give them their first month stipend, so that they can go back home and also have money to transport themselves to the skill acquisition centres, which we have set up to train them.”

Also speaking to the newsmen, Oshiomhole said his visit to the Villa was to identify with the President, especially as the government was facing many challenges.

“Well, you know it is a new year and I felt since I haven’t been here since last year, so I came in to wish the President a happy new year and appreciate him for his leadership of the country, because as an All Progressives Congress (APC) activist and loyalist, I am a party man, to reassure him of my absolute and total support for his government and even for 2019.

“I think that in moments like this, nobody should seat on the fence. Our country has challenges and there are huge temptations here and there and it is important he knows that he has men and women who even at this hour, have huge confidence in his leadership ability.”

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