THE Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Saturday joined other dignitaries to celebrate with the Iyase (Prime Minister) of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, on his 90th birthday anniversary.
At the thanksgiving service in honour of the Iyase at Our Saviour Church, Diocese of Benin Anglican Communion, the Bishop of the Church, Friday Imaekhai, called on Oshiomhole to resolve political differences with his successor, Governor Obaseki even as he urged the former governor to forgive his successor for the state to move forward.
The Bishop then called out Obaseki, Oshiomhole, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, and the Secretary to Edo State Governor, Barr. Osarodion Ogie, to the altar and prayed for them.
Waxing philosophical, the clergy said it was the ground that suffered when two elephants engaged in a fight.
At last, Oshiomhole, Obaseki, Ogie and Okiye embraced and shook hands in compliance with the priest’s directive.
However, at the reception service, Oshiomhole refused to recognise Okiye as Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly while observing protocols.
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Addressing journalists after the thanksgiving Governor Obaseki described the Iyase as an icon of the Benin culture, history and people.
He thanked God for his life, noting “We celebrate him at 90; we wish him good health and pray for God Almighty to continue to protect him and take care of him.”
On his part, Oshiomhole described Chief Igbe as a man of immense discipline and patience, adding, “He is a man of clean heart and truly believes in the development of his community and that explains why he is the Iyase of Benin Kingdom.”
“Everybody prays to reach age 90. From the bottom of my heart, I celebrate with him and his family. I am happy that he has lived long enough to see the investment of his children,” the All Progressives Congress National Chairman said.
Other dignitaries at the thanksgiving service included the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion; former Inspector General of Police, Solomom Arase, former Edo State Deputy Governor, Chief Mike Ogiadomeh; Iyalode of Lagos, Chief Mrs. Bintu-Fatima Tinubu, among others.
Chief Igbe obtained his First School Leaving Certificate in 1947 and graduated with a Cambridge Grade Two School Certificate in 1952.
In 1956, he was recruited into the first Cadet Sub-Inspector Course of the Nigeria Police Force and served 22 years in the service as a Police officer. He served as Commissioner in Ondo and Anambra states. Chief Igbe became the 18th Iyase of Benin Kingdom in 1997.