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Ex-President Jonathan Hails Obaseki’s Strides in Education, Expresses Hope for Continuity by Would-be Successor - TELL Magazine

Ex-President Jonathan Hails Obaseki’s Strides in Education, Expresses Hope for Continuity by Would-be Successor

Goodluck Jonathan and Obaseki
Obaseki and his guests

Highly impressed by the achievements of Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, in the education sector in the state, Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has eulogised his vision and inclusive policies and expressed the hope that whoever would take over from him would continue with that vision.

Speaking during a state banquet organised in honour of visiting African leaders and other dignitaries where individuals and organisations who contributed to reforming the state’s public education sector were honoured and awarded, President Jonathan said Obaseki has taken education to such a level whereby if continued, it would help.

It was a night for recognition as the First Lady of Edo State, Dr. Betsy Obaseki, presented awards to visiting guests, including Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Mamman Tahir; former Vice President, Namadi Sambo; former President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi; former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, former Vice President of Zambia, Dr. Nevers-Sekwila Mumba; Deputy Governors of Bauchi and Bayelsa States, and other dignitaries from across Africa.

Some other award recipients included the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, GJF, Rosula Foundation, and MTN Nigeria.

Jonathan hailed Obaseki for his drive for inclusive education policies and for recognising groups and individuals who have invested in education in the state.

He said: “I know about Obaseki and governors within the Niger Delta. I have an idea about what they are doing. I kept quiet; but you know that when somebody has a vision, people may not be too happy in some areas. It is very difficult to satisfy the human population, but one key thing is that Obaseki has a vision for Edo people.

GJF Dialogue in Benin
GJF Dialogue in Benin

“I sincerely thank him for that vision. I hope whoever will take over from him, will continue with that vision. He has taken education to a level where if it continues, it will help. Look at what he has done today; he has given recognition to deserving people and organisations that play key roles in the education of our children.”

According to him, “We thank the Governor for his vision of automatic employment to First Class graduates of Edo extraction. It’s only a man that means well for his people that can do this. It is similar to what I did when Sambo and I were in office. We came up with the Presidential Scholarship of Innovation and Development. That was a special program we designed; it had nothing to do with politics.”

On his part, Governor Obaseki said the gathering was organised to appreciate stakeholders for their interest in boosting education in the state, noting, “We want to render our gratitude to each and every one of you who has contributed to where we are today in Edo State. One area that the world has come to recognise Edo in recent times is in the strides we have made in education. Globally, Edo State is recognised as an accelerator in terms of its education reforms, along with about 15 other countries in the world. I believe that Edo is the number one or two of the sub-nationals in that ranking of nations.

“We attribute the success to the support that we received from almost everybody here tonight. When we embarked on a journey to reform our educational system in Edo, we had no choice. But we also did not realise that the success will be this resounding – that the entire world will recognise what we have done or that our children will be learning at the rate they are doing today”.

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