Governor Adams Oshiomhole celebrated his 5th anniversary as governor of Edo state last Tuesday in grand style. After the colourful occasion, Oshiomhole discussed national issues and his life as a widower with journalists and he declared that his greatest regret in life today is the death of his dear wife Clara.
Excerpts from the interview:
It’s your 5th anniversary as Governor of Edo State, but your opponents would feel this elaborate celebration was a waste of state resources
We are not like any other government, our selling point is the trust line between the governed and the government and every responsible and honest steward must as a matter of duty and obligation account to his master. In terms of election, the people are more in number than the elites and so on the occasion of my 5th anniversary and my first year in my second term as I have done over the past four years, it has been a tradition to face the people and tell them what has changed since November, 2008 to 2012 and today but more particularly between last year and now so that they follow the progress we are making.
If you call that extravagance, well that was your choice of words but I call it practical accountability and open governance. I didn’t see people drinking champagne or eating, rather I saw women under the sun, maybe when we finished few people came to the government house to eat.
And I want to lay a foundation that a future government would feel obliged year to year to tell the people what they did with their mandate.
Why have you not remarried since you lost your wife?
I wish you would have avoided the question because really when I talk about my late wife, people may not understand why? You are in a position to judge whether to agree or disagree. When a man in my own case has the privilege of being elected as a state governor or president, your wife’s status changes automatically to the first lady of the state or the country with all the glamour that goes with it.
To have the kind of wife I had, who was familiar with all the police stations in Kaduna and outside, and sometimes searching for her husband who might have gone to work and detained by Police on account of trade union work, it was her lot to stand by me and she bore all the deprivations of a husband you were never sure where he was going to be at the next minute. At a point, she called me an absentee husband.
So for all that and for many other reasons, that is one thing that I regret that she should have been there to also see the other side of life. I have seen it all, in this state now, they are people who will call me the oppressor and you know who they are, the oppressors of yesterday.
If you ask ‘Mr fix it’ who I am, he will tell you I’m oppressing him because I have de-fixed him. It would have been nice for my wife to see life’s full circle; that those guys who feasted on us and cheated, that we have reduced them to political vegetables and placed them on permanent political oxygen.
What’s your take on Anambra election taking place today?
Among all other candidates, Ngige is clearly outstanding because you cannot compare Ngige with a man who worked with a bank that has folded up. So of all of them, I can proudly say Ngige is a proud medical doctor and a senator that has earned respect at the floor of the senate.