Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Tuesday extolled the morals of a 14-year-old girl, Vivian Ogu, killed for her Christian faith in 2009, urging citizens to make their lives worthy of emulation.
The governor said that the death of Ogu, recently recognised by Pope Francis due to her heroic death – preferring to be killed rather than sexually defiled – was a call for high moral standards.
Obaseki addressed a delegation from the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin, at the Government House in Benin.
“We are on a mission to rebuild our society, and the foundation for rebuilding the society starts from ethics and morality.
“It is not enough to talk about what the society should be like, we want to see people who have worked the talk”, the governor said.
He said that Ogu stood and died for what she believed in.
Obaseki promised to assist the catholic archdiocese in funding the essential structures at the Vivian Ogu Centre in Benin which would be visited during the National Mission Congress holding in Edo in October.
He instructed his Chief of Staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, to get the designs for the Vivian Ogu Street and the Ehimare Street which connected to the Vivian Ogu Centre, for immediate construction.
Earlier, Rev. Fr. Stephen Dumbiri, Leader of the delegation and Chairman of the Organising Committee for the National Mission Congress, said that Ogu, born and raised in Benin, was among the 25 persons chosen by Pope Francis to be celebrated as heroes of the Christian faith.
He said the faith of Ogu would be celebrated during the National Mission Congress and the Extra Ordinary Mission month of October holding in Edo.
The cleric said that a visit would be made to the Vivian Ogu Centre by delegates from all catholic dioceses in Nigeria, the Vatican, as well as the pope’s representative during the congress.
The priest said that the honour granted by the Vatican to Vivian Ogu was made possible through the collaboration of Edo Government and the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin to immortalise her after her death in the state in 2009.
He said that the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin saw Ogu’s international recognition as a call to strengthen collaboration with the Edo Government in upholding the moral standards of youths in the state.
“The collaboration to immortalise Vivian Ogu will go a long way to negate the impression created about the youths of Edo in cases of human trafficking and prostitution,” he said. (NAN)