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Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, said he has directed wards and local governments in the state to forward names as nominations for members of his cabinet begins.

The governor disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday after meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He added that a screening committee has convened to screen the candidates.

The nomination comes about six months after he was sworn in for a second term in office.

The Governor clarified that the process had been delayed due to restructuring of the state civil service for more efficiency.

Having restructured the state’s civil service, Obaseki said he was ready for the Edo political class to give the required political direction to his administration.

“Well, you see I spent the first four years as governor. So, I know what the challenges of governance are.

“We spent the last six months trying to restructure the process of government, particularly the civil service because, no matter how great a cabinet is, if the government and the functions of government are not operating properly, the executive cannot function optimally.

“So, the last six months, we’ve tried to redefine the structures of governance, working through every layer of the civil service, defining the roles, the responsibilities, trying to understand the resources available, and putting in place key performance indicators and scorecards for every MDA in government.

“And this we did, such that the civil servants have no excuse to say they couldn’t do what they’re doing because of political interference.

“So, we’ve tried to keep politics out of government in the last seven months, to redefine the processes to define the structures and define the service delivery criteria for the government.

“Now that we have done that, we now hired a whole crop of civil and public servants.

“We have about 1500 of them we have hired and we’re introducing technology.

“We have, perhaps, one of the best training facilities in the country. And we are now ready for the political class, for the commissioners, to now step into government and do what they’re supposed to do and give political direction to the process of government.”

When quizzed about the duration for the nomination of commissioners, the governor said “Well, as I speak, I have mandated wards, local governments to give me nominations. The nominations are coming in from the wards and the local governments.

“And the selection team is being put in place to screen these candidates for submission to maybe before passing to the state House of Assembly.”

Obaseki also spoke about the ongoing crisis at the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, saying it was an issue of blending the old members and those who joined with him from the APC.

“It’s an ongoing process. I mean, it’s very normal in a political arrangement that when two parties meet even, in fact, in nature, when two rivers meet, it takes a while for them to blend before they get an even call off.

“So, that’s the process we’ve been going through as governments, the people who came with me from my old party who have joined the new party and have to be accommodated.

“The people in the old PDP also have to get used to the new people coming in, and that process is taking a while but it’s settling. It’s not unusual. As long as there’s openness, as long as we are talking, it will be resolved.”

The governor said he had come to the Presidential Villa to meet with Professor Gambari over stolen Benin artefacts that are to be returned from overseas.

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