Oshiomhole restates commitment to governance by rules
• Students apologise to governor over burnt bus
• Fashola opens 33-classroom school, 8.5km road
• Police to prosecute cult heads in state
EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said that he would continue to govern the state by the laws of the land irrespective of whose ox is gored.
The governor, who made the remarks when the leadership of Students Union Government (SUG) of various institutions visited him where they apologised over the destruction of a luxurious commercial bus belonging to the state by students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) last week over the controversial eviction of members of staff of the university who had been occupying disputed property belonging to the state government in the GRA, said: “As governor, I need the courage to make decisions without minding whose ox is gored because what has led to impunity across the country is that government is unable to find the courage to apply rules clearly without looking at faces.
“I made up my mind from a very early age after fighting my battles as you are fighting your battles that I shall commit myself to standing on the side of truth and God will give me courage to do what I am convinced about. That has guided my actions since I assumed office as Governor of Edo State.”
While x-raying the recent court action by UNIBEN against the Edo State government in relation to property owned by the state, Oshiomhole said: “People have been misinformed about the real issue concerning that property.”
He maintained that UNIBEN is not the owner of the said property in the GRA of the state capital but that they belonged to the state government and the court had so ruled, charging the students not to allow themselves to be used by greedy and frustrated politicians at the detriment of their academic pursuit.
The over 200 students, drawn from all tertiary institutions in the state, including Tayo Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor; Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma; Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi; College of Education, Igueben; College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi and Michael Imoudu College of Physical Education, Afuze, said the action of some students of UNIBEN was politically-motivated and would not be condoned.
Addressing the governor, President, Students Union Government, Tayo Akpata University of Education, formerly known as College of Education, Ekiadolor, Mr. Amenaghawon Emmanuel, said: “We are here to show our strong solidarity to you and your entire cabinet because we know, overtime, there are bound to be detractors and opposition but regardless of all these, we want to let you know that those who are with you are more than those who are against you.
“Specifically, I will want to talk about the script that was acted out a few days ago on television. It is glaring to all that those behind the script are agents of darkness that are against the state. It may please you to know Sir that students are presently not in session. The question then is, those that barricaded the highway, where did they come from? Are they actually students? Why did they not burn the bus gift to their own institution? That display actually negates the wish of the generality of students in Edo State.
“So sir, on behalf of the entire students as well as the management of tertiary institutions in Edo State, we want to tender an unreserved apology on behalf of Edolites. We also want to use this opportunity to let you know that we are grateful for the cordial relationship existing between the students in Edo State and the state government.”
In another development, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has commissioned the newly-reconstructed 11 blocks of 33 classrooms and offices at Payne Primary School in Benin City and the Amedokhian-Ugboha road traversing two local councils in Edo Central.
Speaking at the commissioning of the projects as part of activities to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the government of Oshiomhole, Governor Fashola said: “Today I’m very proud and pleased to be here because as I drove round the city, I saw remarkable development in roads infrastructure that had taken place here.
He thanked Oshiomhole for his avowed commitment to restoring educational development in the state.
In his remarks, the host governor thanked Fashola for coming all the way from Lagos to commission the projects.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Police Command has said it would soon begin the arrest and prosecution of heads of secret cults in the state to stem the recent rising cases of cult-related killings, which had resulted in the death of no fewer than five persons in the last few weeks.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Foluso Adebanjo, who stated this at the weekend when he paraded 81 suspected criminals made up of suspected murderers, kidnappers, rapists, defilers, cultists/robbers, cultists/murderers, among others, gave the assurance that the police would double their anti-crime campaigns in 2015.
He said: “Of great concern is the issue of cultism in the state; we have arrested over 40 suspected cultists. These people are going to be charged for murder, attempted murder and related-crimes to cult activities. Another thing I am looking at is that we are going to be arresting them and charging them to court for accessory. If they cannot curtail their members, they will not go free. We are going to go after them; these killings are unnecessary killings that you cannot explain. These senseless killings must stop.”