Tag Archives: Edo State Government

#EndSARS: Edo govt sets up 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry

Edo State Government on Monday set up a 12-man Judicial Panel of Inquiry into circumstances surrounding the #EndSARS protests in the state.

Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., in a statement, disclosed that the Panel has been given 90 days to complete the assignment.

According to him, the Panel was set up “In response to the yearnings of Nigerian youths, as articulated in the demands of the #Endsars protesters.”
The Panel is chaired by Hon. Justice Ada Ehigiamusoe, while Mrs. Joyce Ugbodaga is the Secretary to the Committee.

Other members of the Committee include Bishop Feb Idahosa, (Clergy); Francis Osayi, (ASUU); Comrade Osahon Obasuyi (NYC); Prest Aigbokhian (Civil Society); Mrs Uloaku Uzamere (NCWS); Comrade Pius Efofan (NANS); Pius Okpere (#EndSARS Movement); Comrade Kola Edokpayi (#EndSARS Movement); Mrs Felicia Monyei (Ministry of Justice) and a Representative of security forces.

Ogie said the terms of reference of the Panel are “to receive complaints and petitions from the general public, particularly victims or relatives of victims of police brutality and extra-judicial killings, and to recommend measures, including compensation and restitution, investigation and prosecution, as the circumstances warrant.

“To advise on compensation or restitution to the victims, or- where the victim has been killed- to the family of the victim, based on condition which shall be clearly laid out by the Committee.

“To ensure that compensation is paid within 14 days of the decision to compensate.”

The Panel will also recommend and direct the Attorney General to immediately prosecute all persons responsible for the various crimes committed; recommend measures to forestall reoccurrences in the future and make any other recommendations to government in furtherance of the mandate of this Committee.

The statement further read: “The Panel has been given 90 days to complete this assignment. All hearings will be open to the general public. All interested persons are advised to send their complaints, petitions and suggestions to the Committee.

“The Edo State government fully ascribes to the ideals of the #EndSARS movement, which is driven by the desire for a new Nigeria, within which no man or woman is oppressed, and within which all can realise their true potentials.

“The reform and repositioning of the Nigerian Police Force is an integral part of this move, and therefore we call upon the Federal Government to speedily intervene and take immediate and concrete measures to strengthen the Nigerian Police Force, and ensure that all officers and men conduct themselves in a humane and efficient manner, in alignment with international best practices.”

You have 24 hrs to fish out killers of #EndSARS protester, Edo Govt charges security operatives

Edo State Government on Friday charged all security agencies to fish out the killers of the #EndSARS protester in the state within 24 hours and ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are brought to justice.

Addressing the protesters at the Kings Square in Benin City, Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said the government will not fold its arms and watch harm come the way of young people exercising their rights as citizens of the country.

According to Shaibu, “I have given instructions to the security agencies to fish out those behind the attack. The police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies have been ordered to bring to book those guys that harassed you and killed that young man.

“Some of you sustained injuries, I can see them from here; they have 24 hours to bring the attackers to book,” he noted.

The Deputy Governor further said: “I have ordered that the victim be taken to the morgue; we are going to give him a state burial because the martyrs of this struggle must be remembered. He will be remembered for being part of this struggle. He is a martyr already and by the grace of God, he will never be forgotten.

“By the grace of God, when all these reforms have taken place, it will be on record that he joined the struggle for emancipation. I want to assure you that the Edo Government believes in your peaceful protest.”

Assuring the protesters of the government’s support, Shaibu noted: “We will not fold our hands as a government and watch miscreants brutalize anyone involved in this protest. So, please maintain your calm and orderliness during the protests.

“We are with you in this struggle. President Muhammadu Buhari has also said that there is going to be a reform, but we, as a state, are going to ensure that we have a reform that is people-friendly because the police are meant to protect lives and property not to destroy them. I want to assure you that we are with you on this.”

Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Mr. David Osayende said, “One of us has been killed during this struggle. Sir, we want state burial for that man. We want an end to police brutality; we want the police to stop arresting us without any offence.”

Protest Greets Obaseki’s Plot for a N20billion Capital Market Loan

By Osehobo Ofure

Edo State today has a domestic debt profile that stands at N84.76 billion. In addition to this sum, the state comes first, in the rankings of states with huge domestic debt in Nigeria-second only to Lagos State. Even on foreign debts, Edo state as at March 2020, with a debt of $257.92 milliion comes first in the ranking of states with high foreign debts in the entire South-South of Nigeria.

Last week, the news broke that the Edo state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki was planning to take a loan of N20billion from the capital market to finance his reelection campaign. This is at the time, the State currently services another $150Million credit earlier obtained from the World bank in 2016 and 2017.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who raised the alarm said the alleged plans coming after the governor has drained the state treasury is worrisome. He called on the EFCC, ICPC, CBN, and other financial regulatory bodies to pay close attention to what is going on in Edo State.

He also condemned what he termed the Governor’s shortsighted and irresponsible manner of accumulating debts for the state “for desperate and personally-beneficial political activities”, while also warning financial institutions against granting fraudulent loans to the Edo State Government.

According to him, “After draining the state treasury with his corrupt N15 billion payout to the PDP tax-collectors for the party’s ticket, it has come to our notice that Governor Obaseki is now scurrying around to embark on another borrowing spree with a planned N20 billion bond loan from some financial institutions.

“We find it shocking that after the many tribulations Obaseki’s directionless and incompetent administration has caused in Edo State, the Governor is hatching fresh plans to mortgage the future of the state and her youths with additional loans to fund his desperate political agenda to foist himself on the people for another four years.

He said, “Obaseki already racked up foreign loans that propelled Edo State to number two on the states with the most indebtedness in the country without any commensurate gain in infrastructure, the economy, and security. Efforts to get the Governor to offer accountability on what he did with the loans and the role his private firm, AfrinInvest, played in their acquisition all fell on deaf ears.

“It is therefore heartless, irresponsible, and unconscionable for such a man to even conceive obtaining another loan in the tune of N20 billion for his political godfathers in the PDP who are cashing in on his desperation and lack of integrity”.

Ize-Iyamu then urged all financial institutions to honor the age-long freeze practice observed during election seasons and possible change of government and refrain from granting any loan to the heartless Godwin Obaseki who appears to now be on a mission to completely, ” sell-out our state and the future of our youths”.

Concerned citizens of Edo state under the aegis of Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy(JOFDES) have also been protesting the N20billion loan plot by Mr Obaseki. In protests along major streets in Benin City, the Edo state capital they described the move by the governor as an attempt to mortgage the future of Edo youths.

Messrs Felix Osemwengie Isere, and Marxist Kola Edokpayi speaking for the protesters however, agree with Ize-iyamu that, “if there is any genuine reason whatsoever to approve such a loan for Edo State, it can be considered after the forth coming Edo governorahip election to forestall the mismanagement of the funds under the tension that accompanies elections”.

They said, “the inglorious attempt by the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki to obtain another loan of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty billion naira) from the Nigeria stock market exchange few weeks to the Edo State Governorship elections” is a disappointing and must be condemned.

The development they said is not only worrisome, wicked, reckless, irresponsible and ignominious, “because Mr. Obaseki is fully aware that Edo State is already heavily overburdened by excess debts”, and that at not time in the history of our dear state have we come under the volume of indebtedness that we face today”.

They also said the Godwin Obaseki’s government have displayed glaring cases of financial mismanagement and they, “find no justification for the Government’s desire to acquire another N20 billion naira loan few weeks to the governorship elections”.

The Defence of Democracy(JOFDES) insisted that Edo State’s funds is not meant for financing elections not to talk of money borrowed from sources that will become a lasting yoke on the good people of the state. They described the projects the loan hopes to fund according to the governor as, ” a mere facade and failed projects serving as conduit for siphoning funds for the coffers of the good people of Edo State”.

They called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari Secretary to the government of the federation, the Minister of state for Budget and National Planning, Director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO) Abuja, the Chairman Senate and House of Representatives committees on Local and Foreign Febts, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the Attorney General of the federation, all well-meaning Edo sons and daughters who, “to do everything within their powers to stop this loan from being approved for the governor of Edo State”.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has denied that there is such thing as N20 billion loan proposal by the Edo State Government.

Osehobo is Secretary, Edo State APC Media Council Sub-committee on Traditional Media.

Edo 2020: 18 council chairmen reaffirm support for Obaseki’s reelection bid

…say gov’s disqualification ‘a theatre of political fraud’

The Chairmen of the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Edo State have reaffirmed their support for the re-election bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, noting that they are fully committed to the progressive ideals of the governor and his battle against godfatherism, thuggery and impunity.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Edo State, Hon. Jenkins Osunde and the 17 other council chairmen in the state, the association described the disqualification of Governor Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election as a theatre of political fraud staged with predetermined outcomes and decisions sponsored by the surrogates of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

The chairmen noted, “We the undersigned Local Government Chairmen of all the 18 area councils in Edo State have held an emergency meeting to review what we consider an outrageous and undemocratic process of both the screening exercise as well as the prejudiced decision consequently reached.”

According to the ALGON, “We therefore observe and resolve that the entire screening exercise prior to the beginning and during the process itself was submerged in various surreptitious conduct which in fact cast thick clouds of doubts on the legitimacy and fairness of what should have been an otherwise historic and democratic step for our party.

“That various actions by the Screening Committee, particularly by the way it sought to specifically create malicious publicity regarding Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, has thus confirmed the previously held impression that the screening exercise was a theatre of political fraud staged with predetermined outcomes and decisions sponsored by the surrogates of the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.”

They added that on closely reviewing the activities of the screening committee, it was infallible to posit that the decision to disqualify the Governor constituted a profound affront to decent internal democratic practices of a respectable political party, noting, “The result of the screening exercise was incontestably aimed at diluting the mass-base electoral support for the incumbent Governor by engendering the perception that His Excellency had doubts to clear about his profile.”

The LGA chairmen said that rather than weaken the overwhelming popular support for the Governor, the dubious disqualification by the committee has caused a buoyant and enthusiastic response of support for the Governor across all the senatorial zones of the state.

The chairmen reiterated their support for Governor Obaseki’s reelection bid, noting, “That as the chairmen of the third tier, people-oriented paradigm of Nigeria’s Federalism, we carry with us the hopes and aspirations of our constituencies as we reaffirm our commitment to the progressive agenda of continuity till 2024 for the Governor. All the way with Obaseki and Shaibu.”

Central Hospital fully operational, open to patients, says Edo Govt

The Edo State Government has said that the Central Hospital, Benin, is fully functional and open to the public, even as the hospital management is enforcing safety measures to protect staff and patients in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia, in a statement in response to a video on social media purporting that the hospital was closed to patients, said the content of the video was not representative of the true situation at the hospital.

According to him, “There has been a video circulating on social media about the alleged closure of the General Out-Patient Department (GOPD) and Accident and Emergency (A&E) section of the Central Hospital, Benin.

“The maker of the video purported that the hospital was abandoned and that there was nobody to attend to patients.

“We want to state that that section has only just been fumigated and decontaminated in view of the coronavirus prevention and control protocol, which resulted in temporary vacation and relocation of the unit. The maker of the video only got to the GOPD & A & E section when the protocol was winding down.

“The maker of the video was obviously not aware of this. We understand that she may have been impassioned in demanding that her relative be attended to, however, she only needed to have approached the officials for proper guidance. The hospital is very much open to the public and patients are free to come for consultations and other health needs.”

The commissioner assured the general public that the hospital is in full operation and would continue to take safety and precautionary measures to protect the staff and patients at the hospital.

COVID-19: “Show transparency in your spending,” – Pastor Ize-Iyamu tells Edo state government

The frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has urged the Edo state government to display transparency in its management of the coronavirus disease in the state, particularly in the area of finance and expenses after the Governor claimed in a broadcast that his administration had spent over a billion naira.

In a live broadcast livestream on his Facebook page in the capital city of Benin, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu harped on the importance of honesty, accuracy, and transparency in winning the fight against COVID-19 and charged the state government to offer example by disclosing, in specific detail, its expenditures on palliatives, among other costs which the governor said claimed over a billion naira.

He said: “Accuracy, honesty, and transparency are important values that both government and citizens alike must display for our efforts to yield success. The state government must lead by example in this regard by communicating plainly and truthfully its interventions, the state of affairs, and new developments when they arise. A good way to start would be to disclose, in specific detail, the financial assistance it has offered to medical institutions in Edo state especially from the over N1 Billion the government claimed it has spent in the fight against COVID-19, including a breakdown of expenditures for palliatives.”

Whilst discouraging the use of propaganda and concealment of official information, Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu presented measures that could help the state’s local economy as it makes adjustment to stamp out COVID-19 and how to ensure that people remain alive and in business post-covid-19.

Citing the projections of the International Monetary Fund that predicted Nigeria’s economy could record a negative growth of over 3 percent and the observed reality that the [informal] service sector, the largest contributor to Edo state’s GDP, is most affected by the implemented COVID-19 restrictions, Pastor Ize-Iyamu called for “innovative and palliative measures to immediately respond to the effect of this pandemic, and pro-actively deal with the grim projections.”

In addition to increasing testing capacity to quickly identify confirmed cases and ensuring proper distribution of relief items devoid of already reported diversions and embezzlement, he urged the government to “to articulate an aggressive policy response [in the agriculture sector] to ensure that with the onset of the raining season farmers in the state are encouraged, through fiscal intervention and agricultural extension services, to increase food-crop and animal production across the entire state. In this regard, we urge the government to reach out to all stakeholders in the agricultural sector with a view to quickly formulating the necessary policy intervention in the agricultural sector of the state in response to the pandemic.”

“We urge the government to initiate and encourage the mass production of protective gears and sanitary products such as face masks, protective gloves, and hand sanitizers. The Ize-Iyamu Support Organization and other well-spirited persons have reached out to local tailors and seamstresses to mass-produce face masks using our local fabrics to be freely distributed across the state. This and other suggested measures will yield multiplier effects by increasing cash flow within the state thereby re-energizing the state’s economy which is already suffering from the negative effect of the pandemic,” he further recommended.

Covid 19: Edo govt trains 4218 medical personnel, sets for massive testing exercise

The Edo State Government has embarked on the training of 4,218 medical personnel across the state and stocking up on medical supplies, among other measures being put in place to combat the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Deputy Governor and Chairman, Edo State Response Committee on COVID-19, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said this in a press briefing, Monday, on the state government’s preparedness to halt the outbreak in the state.

According to him, “The Edo State Government has embarked on training of a total of 4,218 medical personnel drawn from the 18 Local Government Areas of the state in the first instance. These persons already have basic training for handling crisis, but their skill-level needs to be updated to contain the emerging trends. They would be undergoing Train-the-Trainers (ToT) sessions, after which they will go back to their respective facilities to train their colleagues. The health workers are drawn from private, state and federal government medical centres.”

He noted that the state was ramping up medical supplies to tackle the pandemic, especially the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which would ensure that any health worker who would be on the frontline during the outbreak would be equipped with complete kits to protect themselves.

He added, “We are also working to increase the number of ventilators and other equipment necessary for isolation of cases, while we work towards containing the outbreak. At the moment, the state has 25 ventilators at the ready, but we have made orders for more ventilators and expect their delivery very soon.

“The Edo State Government will commence massive screening and testing for coronavirus in order to get a statistical sense of how widespread the virus is in the state to ensure effective planning and containment efforts.”

“The enlarged Edo State Response Committee on COVID-19 would continue to meet virtually every day to monitor and manage the state’s response to the pandemic.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in Edo State, Mrs. Faith Ireye said for the two confirmed cases in the state, 71 contacts are listed as the government looks inward to keep over list rather under list.

She said 13 persons have been identified with their samples taken to Irrua Specialist Hospital for testing.

“For those who returned from abroad, over 36 persons were on self-isolation and completed their 14 days and now we are following up with 46 others. Social distancing is important, we should work together to keep the state safe for us all.

Covid-19: Edo Govt arrests school mgt, withdraws licence for flouting closure directive

For allegedly flouting the directive to close all schools in the state, Edo State government has shut down Salvation International School, a privately-owned school.

The government also withdrew the operating license of the school, located along Airport Road, in Benin City.

It would be recalled that in a statement, Secretary to State Government, Osarodion Ogie, had directed that all schools in the state, including primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, be shut down with effect from Monday, March 23, 2020, to curtail the spread the novel coronavirus in the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor, Programme Management Office and Strategic Planning Unit, Dr. Uyi Oduwa-Malaka and the Commissioner for Education, Jimoh Ijegbai, had led a team to lock up the premises of the school.

Oduwa-Malaka said the team responded to a distress call by concerned citizens in the area.

According to her, “against the directive of the state government, management of Salvation International School, allowed students to continue attending lectures in mufti to conceal their identify.

“The management of the school has been arrested, while the school has been sealed off for flouting the directive of the Edo State Government for all institutions of learning to be shut down from 23rd March 2020.”

On his part, the State Commissioner for Education, Jimoh Ijegbai, warned that the government will not tolerate flouting of its directives.

“We hope the case of Salvation International School will be an eye-opener and serve as a deterrent to other erring schools in any part of the state,” he said.

Edo govt, IOM strengthen ties in fight against human trafficking

#EDO

By Ugwuanyi Percy, Benin

…build pineapple processing factory to support returnees

The Edo State Government and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have commenced deliberations to finetune strategies aimed at deepening efforts in the fight against illegal migration and human trafficking in the state.

The Edo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, disclosed this to journalist in Benin City, when she received the IOM Chief of Mission, Mr. Frantz Celestin and his team, who were on a courtesy visit.

The commissioner reassured that the state government will not relent in the fight against human trafficking, illegal migration, and other vices in the state.

Omorogbe expressed appreciation to the IOM’s team for supporting the government in the fight against the menace, noting “The symbiotic relationship that has existed between the IOM and Edo State Government started from onset because their message resonates with our desire for our people; hence we have to key into it.”

The commissioner said the support by the European Union and IOM has assisted the state government in tackling human trafficking and illegal migration.

Omorogbe noted that the opening of the Pineapple Factory at Iguobazuwa in Ovia South West and Ehor in Uhunmwonde Local Government Areas, is momentous and in line with the objectives of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration.

Earlier, Celestin reaffirmed the commitment of the IOM to work with the Ministry of Justice and the Edo State Task Force Against Human Trafficking, noting, “We have an ongoing partnership. Our presence here is to reinforce and strengthen the relationship we have with the Ministry and Task Force.”

The IOM Chief of Mission (IOM) continued, “We always welcome partnership especially from a government entity that is credibly active.

“When you have such a partner, your work will be easy. We will do everything we can to support the efforts of the Edo State Government. There is quite a lot to do because about 42 percent of our returnees are from Edo State.”

He noted, “The essence of our visit is to ensure that we continue to move from strength to strength; to look at specific areas and also at the comparative areas of advantage so we can put programmes and initiatives together to better serve the people.”

Edo Govt demolishes Kabaka’s T. Latifa Hotel

The Edo State Government has demolished T. Latifa Hotel owned by Mr. Tony Adun also known as Kabaka. According to the state government, he violated building laws, ‘as the structure sits across a road in the Ugbor-Amagba axis of Oredo Local Government Area of the state’.

The hotel building was reduced to rubbles on Wednesday afternoon, after an injunction secured by Mr. Adun against the exercise was vacated by the state government.

The government penciled the structure for demolition, as it was illegal, without an approved building plan for a hotel and sitting across a road.

Bulldozers and caterpillars were mobilized to the site for the exercise while security operatives mounted guard to ensure the process was not disrupted by thugs in the area loyal to Mr. Adun.

The leader of the security team cordoned off the area and urged residents and shop owners around the area not to panic while the exercise lasted.

Mr Adun is a political follower of former governor Adams Oshiomhole and pundits are of the opinion that the exercise is actually connected with the political crises between Governor Godwin Obaseki and Oshiomhole.