ABUJA – Senate of the Federal Republic yesterday, resolved that the Benin Airport be renamed Oba Erediauwa Airport as a way of immortalising the late Oba of Benin.
They also urged the Federal Government to “prevail on the relevant Ministry or Department or Agency vested with the duty of effecting the resolution of this motion to so do”.
The resolution followed a motion by Sen. Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South) requesting the Senate to immortalise the late Oba Erediauwa of Bini kingdom for his selfless service to Nigeria in his lifetime.
The motion titled: “Befittingly renaming the Federal Airport, Benin City after the Late Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, CFR, Oba of Benin Kingdom” reads: “The Senate”:
Recognizes the selfless service of the late Oba Erediauwa, CFR, Oba of Benin to our great nation, Nigeria at a time when the services were most important to its existence;
Recounts those very important national duties as:
a. In 1952, Late Oba Erediauwa, as young Prince Solomon Akenzua, joined the Colonial Civil Service upon completion of a law degree from the Cambridge University. He worked extensively in the then Eastern Region as an Assistant District Officer serving as a judge in land cases as well as an administrator in the district which duties he discharged creditably;
b. In 1965, he transferred to the Federal Civil Service, Lagos and rose to the rank of Permanent Secretary – a position he also performed in meritoriously;
c. In 1968, he became the substantive Federal Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Power and Steel which he helped immensely to stabilize for optimum performance;
d. In his capacity as a Federal Officer, he worked closely and tirelessly with the former military heads of state, General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi and General Yakubu Gowon;
e. In 1966, he was appointed by the then Head of State to serve on the Board of Enquiry in the crisis of the same year as secretary. His success in that role is public knowledge;
f. As Permanent Secretary (Cabinet Office) he accompanied the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon to the Aburi Conference in Ghana and served as the Conference’s Secretary. The beneficiaries of his services in that Conference are eternally grateful for his efforts;
g. He served as Permanent Secretary 1 in the Ministry of Health immediately after the civil war ended and helped in formulating the health policies which were second to none at the time;
In early 1970, Papua New Guinea which was on the verge of gaining independence from Australia, requested for a seasoned administrator to be sent to present a series of lectures and tutorials at conferences for the country’s civil servants.
Oba Erediauwa was the administrator sent by Nigeria for the job. To this day, Oba Erediauwa’s efforts in that appointment form a part of that nation’s independence history;
h. After retirement in 1973, Oba Erediauwa worked as Regional Representative of Gulf Oil until 1975;
i. He took up appointment as Commissioner of Finance in the then Bendel State and also helped formulate financial policies which ensured the development of the state;
j. Upon the demise of his father, Late Oba Akenzua II resigned from that appointment and in 1979 was crowned the Oba of one of the oldest, most traditional, most cultural, most revered and most consistent monarch in the world- the Great Benin Kingdom;
k. Between 1986 and 1994, Oba Erediauwa was the Chancellor of Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan in present day Oyo State;
l. As Oba of Benin, he acted as unofficial adviser to successive presidents in Nigeria;
m. In recognition of his immense contributions to nation building, he was awarded the prestigious national honor of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR;
n. He was chairman of the movement that ensured the creation of the present day Edo State from the then Bendel State in 1991;
Latches especially onto, amongst other achievements of this great Nigerian son, his role in the creation of Edo State from the then Bendel State, a role which necessarily made him the Father of Edo State;
Believes that Late Oba Erediauwa’s memory is worth immortalizing when his achievements, numerous selfless services and contributions to Nigeria’s development of this outstanding Monarch which are worthy of emulation and commendation are taken into consideration;
Believes Further that having served in federal capacities as enumerated above and in keeping with the tradition of immortalizing distinguished Nigerians by naming federal structures after them that the Benin Airport be named after Late Oba Erediauwa;
Aware that the Edo State Government House, Benin City, is located within the Kingdom of the Late Oba Erediauwa as several other federal ministries, departments and agencies of the government;
Mindful of the added argument that the Kingdom of Late Oba Erediauwa is host to the Benin Airport and in a state that the late revered