Teachers Give Obaseki 15-Day Ultimatum To Meet Demands

Edo State Goverment has been given an ultimatum by the state chapter of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUJ).

The union gave the state a deadline of the end of the month to meet up with all its entitlements while also commending the government for the prompt payment of teachers monthly salaries, payment of leave transport grant at point of entry, release of promotions up to year 2015, restoration of annual incremental credits, payment of substantial amount as arrears of retired teachers pensions and investment in the upgrade of primary education through Edo Best programme.

The teachers’ union, in a communique after its State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) meeting held earlier in the month, called on its members to remain calm and await further directives from the leadership.

Pius Osikhena Okhueleigbe and Mike Modesty Itua, State Chairman and Acting Secretary of NUT respectively, who signed the communique, threatened that if the state government failed to address issues raised by the union, an enlarged/ extra-ordinary meeting of SWEC would be convened to take further actions as may be deemed appropriate.

The union lamented the non-implementation of financial benefits of 2013, 2014 and 2015 promotions to primary school teachers since January, 2018, non-implementation of N25,000 minimum wage increases for primary school teachers since May, 2016 and non-payment of 2016/2017 leave transport grant arrears to some primary school teachers.

Other demands include the non-implementation of the already approved extended new nomenclatures for primary school teachers in the state, non- provision of subventions to public primary and secondary schools in the state since year 2012, non-release of 2016/2017 promotions for public primary and secondary school teachers and inadequate teaching personnel in public primary and secondary schools in Edo state which has rendered teaching and learning ineffective in schools.

Edo Records Increase In Sickle Cell Cases In 4 Years

There has been a steady increase in the number of sickle cell cases in Edo state in the last 4 years and the Board Chairman of the Edo State Sickle Cell Centre, Prof. Caroline Omoti, has raised the alarm over the situation on Friday in Benin, Edo State during the presentation of self-care toolkits to people with Sickle Cell in Benin by the Tonymay Foundation.

Omoti further revealed that between 2014 and 2017, the number of sickle cell sufferers on the list of the Centre increased from 4,000 to 7,573. According to her, the commonest type of presentation was Vaso-occlusive and hyper hemolytic crisis.

The Sickle Cell Centre Board Chairman disclosed that some of the proposed treatment plans were to ensure total blood exchange unit/aphaeresis, prenatal diagnostic unit-newborn screening (West wing), small radiological unit-trans cranial Doppler scan, specific days for gentotic counseling and research coordinating unit.

The Edo State Head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, commended the Board Chairman of the Sickle Cell Centre, Prof. (Mrs.) Omoti, for her initiative at repositioning the Centre through various innovations introduced to ensure effective management of the centre.

Mrs. Idahor, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Edo state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Stella-Maris Imasuen, noted that the centre has become a centre of excellence following the effective management.

In his speech, the Chairman of Tonymay Foundation, Andrew Otokhina, lauded the Edo State Government for providing medical care and a centre for sickle cell sufferers in the State.

He applauded Governor Godwin Obaseki for his commitment and dedication to the health and welfare of sickle cell sufferers in the State, even as he appealed for 24-hour service at the sickle cell centre.

Otokhina who donated the medical relief ma adviced sufferers of sickle cell anemia sufferers to always get hydrated, never fall into malaria crisis and avoids stress and infection for children in a bid to live a normal life.

He said the Sickle Cell is not a disease but a disorder and can be managed by medical professionals warning sufferers to desist from patronizing unqualified medical personnel in private hospitals.

Obaseki Bans Night-Grazing, Armed Herdsmen In Edo

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has banned night grazing and armed herdsmen in the state just as he set up a seven-man committee in each of the 18 local government areas to check herdsmen, farmers’ clashes.

The seven-man committee will include the chairmen or heads of the LGAs, the Divisional Police Officers, representatives of the Department of State Services and four representatives from the communities in the state.

Obaseki, who presided over a stakeholders’ meeting with the Seriki Hausa/Fulani leaders from the 18 LGAs in the state, on Thursday, charged the committee to “review all cases of herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in all the local government areas.”

The governor said, “A special team made up of the police, army, civil defence corps and other security agencies in the state will carry out random patrols and search operations. Any herdsman found in possession of firearms will be arrested and charged with illegal possession of firearms as cattle rearers do not need an AK47 to herd cattle.

“We will not accept anyone with firearms and anyone found with arms will face the law. We need information to succeed in this fight and information is vital to the police and other security agencies. We assure you of your safety.

“We have placed a ban on night herding; nobody should herd their cattle at night. We have also placed a ban on hunting activities by people from other states in the name of hunting.”

Obaseki added that another committee that he would head would have the state Commissioner of Police, the Director of the DSS in the state, the Commander of 4 Brigade and representatives of the communities across the three senatorial districts in the state as members.

He noted, “Every three months we will meet with the representatives of the local government committees to review and examine the progress being made in resolving the herdsmen/farmers’ clashes in the state.”

The Chairman, Edo State Hausa Community, Alhaji Badamasi Saleh, advised that a mechanism should be put in place to protect informants as most members of the communities “find it difficult to volunteer information to the security agencies as they fear that their identities would not be protected.”

Alhaji Usman Abdullahi, representing the Hausa/Fulani community in Edo Central Senatorial District, pledged that his people would cooperate with the state government and work with the security agencies in the state to fish out criminals among his people.

Obaseki Appoints SSA On Human Trafficking, Illegal Migration

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has appointed a Benin-based human rights activist, Mr Solomon Okoduwa as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration.

Okoduwa, who has been at the forefront on piblic enlightenment on the dangers of illegal migration and benefits of getting engaged back home in Nigeria and Edo in particular, is the President of Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development and Reintegration (IYAMIDR). He was also a member of the state committee against human trafficking.

Following the reported repatriation of over 5000 Nigerians from Libya, where illegal immigrants went through experiences described by one victim as “worse than hell”, Edo State has witnessed an unprecedented number of returnees.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe on Thursday disclosed that 1,439 returnees had been received by the government from late October to date.

Omorogbe said that after documentation of the returnees, they were allowed to return to their home while others are accommodated by government for reintegration.

The Commissioner said that the state government pay monthly stipend to the returnees, adding that the returnees would later be engaged in an empowerment programme in January.

Edo State is identified as a major contributor of male and female immigrants who try desperate and even fatal ways to get into Europe, usually via Libya. The horrendous experiences of such illegal immigrants again dominated public discourse following a report by CNN, which showed how full bodied Africans were being sold as slaves through auctions.

NDLEA: 86 People Arrested For Drug Trafficking In Edo

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Edo State command has arrested 86 people, suspected to be trafficking illicit drugs.

Mr Buba Wakawa the Commander of the agency in Edo, told the Newsmen in Benin on Monday that the suspects were arrested between July and September this year.

According to him, the suspects are made up of 61 males, including a Malian and 25 females. Wakawa said that 2, 930 kg of hard drugs were seized within the period and that 46.8 hectares of suspected cannabis farms were also destroyed. The commander said the cannabis farms were estimated to be producing 217,414 kg of cannabis.

However, a breakdown of the seized drugs is cannabis (2,929.6 kg), Tramadol (159 grammes), Swino (four grammes), Vegha (26 grammes), Codeine (29 grammes) and Heroin (20 grammes). He said that the agency had successfully prosecuted one Obiora Nkemokonam, who was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment for possessing 20 kg of cannabis.

Wakawa said that two vehicles and two motorcycles had been impounded from suspects in connection with the seizures. He said that 37 drug-dependent people had also been counselled and reunited with their families, while three other people who were currently undergoing rehabilitation.

Wakawa lamented that the drug menace was not showing signs of abatement, calling on stakeholders to strengthen cooperation in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse.

“Drug seizures in the state are on the increase, while cannabis farms are overwhelming. “Cases of drug abuse are also posing greater challenge daily as more victims are getting trapped in the web of drug abuse. “This calls for greater commitment on our part to resist the activities of drug cartels.’’

He appealed for increased funding and logistics support to the command to enable it to surmount its problems.

Protesting Edo Pensioners Causes Traffic Gridlock Over Unpaid Gratuities

The angry protesting Pensioners in Edo State on Thursday continued their protest in Benin City over unpaid pension arrears and gratuities against the threat by the Edo State Government that it would no longer allow stage-managed protest.

The pensioners mounted a roadblock and barricaded King Square thereby causing heavy vehicular traffic in over ten adjoining streets.

Edo State Head of Service, Mrs Gladys Idahor, had in a press statement said: “the state government would henceforth prevent miscreants who under the guise of agitating for pension payment, disrupt law and order in the society, particularly when there is sufficient evidence showing that they are being sponsored by some anti-development agents and mischievous members of the opposition who have refused to accept the verdict of the people.”

The pensioners who are staging their 15th protest brandished placards of various inscriptions which read thus “Gladys Idahor, tell Edo people the anti-development agents, mischievous members of the opposition party that are sponsoring the protesting pensioners in Edo State.”

“To stop street protests by pensioners, pay them their pensions benefits.”

“Obaseki Godwin, tell Edo State what you have done with Paris/London Loan Refunds meant for payment of pensioners entitlements”

The spokesman for the group, Barr. Gabriel Osemwekhai, said the government want to divert the Paris Club Refund by going on to place advertisements on the newspapers to say it was not owing.

“There is money the federal government brought which is the Paris Club Refund money. It was brought to pay all the outstanding arrears of pensioners and serving workers including pensioners gratuities.

” This is the Money they diverted that is making them go all about to bring adverts. They know that people cannot know what is really on the ground. The plain truth is that they cannot dare confront us because they know they are owing us.

“The good side of it is that they paid directly to the bank if anything is in doubt, we will refer to the various banks and let them say where they pay the money to. So, what we are asking for is pension arrears and gratuities, simple. It is not all the noise Gladys Idaho, the HOS is making. That is just an empty noise couple with her empty threat”, he said.

The pensioners alleged that they were owed between five and 42 months pension arrears, gratuity for local government pensioners from 2008 till date and for the State pensioners, it is from 2012 till date.

Buhari Administration Considers Private Enterprise Catalyst For Nigeria Development – Osinbajo

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said President Muhammodu Buhari administration consider private enterprise the vehicle at which nation’s developmental agenda can be achieved.


While speaking at commissioning of Edo State Fertilizer and Chemical Company in Auchi on Tuesday, Osinbajo stressed that for Nigeria to achieve her developmental agenda, private enterprise must be given priority as sole driver of the nation’s economy.



“As you are all well aware, the Buhari administration takes private enterprise very seriously. We believe that government resources cannot bring about the rapid roll out we need, especially in the areas of infrastructure and industrial development.



“It is the private sector that can do so. We are therefore committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest and do business everywhere in Nigeria.


“Every State and Local Government must be involved in the effort to ensure that private businesses thrive and create employment opportunity for our growing youth population.



“By harnessing private capital and the great entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, I believe we can seriously leverage government resources and accelerate economic development.










First let me say how pleased I am to be here in Auchi, I was here in camp as a Youth Corper in1979. I lived here among the warm and friendly people of Auchi for 6 weeks.


I have had the unique honour and privilege of visiting two great industrial enterprises in Edo State, all in one day. Earlier, we were at Okpella to commission the Edo Cement Plant of the BUA Group and the groundbreaking of their second 3 million tonnes per annum line. Now we are here at Auchi and what we have here is a 60,000 metric tonne fertilizer plant.


This state-owned fertilizer plant has been recently rehabilitated, as a Public-Private Partnership. The clear objective of establishing the plant is to boost farming activities and the agric value chain nationwide. This investment is a direct response to the Federal Government’s strategy of growing the Nigerian economy on a zero oil assumption.



Agriculture is that well-known but abandoned pathway to our economic diversification and national prosperity. The fundamental constraint to optimizing agriculture is access to inputs, fertilizer being a fundamental input. On the average, a Nigerian farmer uses 13kg per hectare of fertilizer compared with world average of 100kg per hectare.



This explains why Mr. President negotiated the December 2016 Fertilizer initiative, working with the Moroccan King, aimed at achieving local production of 1 million metric tons of NPK fertilizer for 2017 wet season farming. Reducing costs and delivering finished products at N5000-5500 per bag (formerly between N8-9,000 sometimes N13,000.



This, again, is an enterprise that will create at least 500 direct jobs and several more indirect jobs. It will bring us closer to self-sufficiency in fertilizer production and, perhaps most importantly, boost food production and reduce food prices, ultimately enhancing food security in Nigeria.



To the extent that it makes import unnecessary, this plant will also help us to conserve our hard earned foreign exchange. And to crown it all, I am happy to learn of the plan for a gradual extension of this project so as to steadily boost its output.



I am informed that this is an integral part of His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki’s plan to support and actualize the job creation and food security objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari especially the NPK fertilizer initiative.


I must therefore hasten to congratulate the dynamic and far-sighted Governor, as well as the great people of Edo State, on this great achievement. Not only will this boost the local economy, it will also impact the national economy in a significant way. It is therefore a gift from Edo State to our great country.


As you are all well aware, the Buhari administration takes private enterprise very seriously. We believe that government resources cannot bring about the rapid roll out we need, especially in the areas of infrastructure and industrial development.



It is the private sector that can do so. We are therefore committed to making it easy for businessmen to invest and do business everywhere in Nigeria.


This accounts for the Presidential Enabling Business Council set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the work of which was fortified by the Executive Order No. 1, which I executed on May 18, 2017, on the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment and facilitation of the ease of doing business.


This efficiency and transparency drive is not a challenge to the Federal Government and its officials alone.



Every State and Local Government must be involved in the effort to ensure that private businesses thrive and create employment opportunity for our growing youth population.



By harnessing private capital and the great entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, I believe we can seriously leverage government resources and accelerate economic development.




Let me therefore commend the Edo State Government for this partnership with WACOT, already well known Afro processing company. Barely 3 weeks ago, I was in their rice milling plant in Kebbi State.


Your Excellency, I am therefore very happy to commission this plant, which will further assist us to realise our potentials in this area.


To the Glory of God and for the benefit of humanity, it is my singular honour to commission this fertilizer plant.




Laolu Akande


Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity


Office of the Vice President


29 August 2017

Obaseki Sympathies With Familes Of Auto Crash Victims In Edo

…Set to unveil new traffic wardens, policy

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has expressed his sympathy for the victims and families of those who were involved in the auto crash that claimed nine lives on Tuesday, along Upper Sokponba Road in Benin City, Edo State.

Obaseki, who received the news with sadness and great distress, said: “particularly painful is the fact that the people were only just setting out early in the morning in search of their daily bread when the unfortunate incident occurred.”

He added that the state would soon unveil the new traffic wardens who have been undergoing training to take over traffic management on the state’s roads to check accidents and unprofessional conducts by drivers on the roads.

“The sad event brings the need to enhance the regulation of road traffic in the state into sharp focus. Which is why apart from our commitment to fixing our road infrastructure, we have recruited and trained a group of young men and women in the state to take charge of traffic management in the state,” the governor said.

The visibly shaken governor said that there were no words adequate to express the grief which members of the families of the accident victims have been suddenly thrust into, and assured that “as a government we want them to know that we stand with them in this desperately difficult time. Our prayers are with the friends and families of the victims as well as the entire Edo people in this trying time and our pledge to do all in our power to improve living conditions in the state remains unshaken.”

Edo Impeachment Saga: We’re In Control Of The Situation – APC

The chairman of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Anslem Ojezua, yesterday said there was no cause to be alarmed over the impeachment and subsequent elections that produced a new speaker and deputy speaker in the state House of Assembly on Monday, August 14, 2017.

Mr. Ojezua who gave the assurance at the Government House,  Benin City, after a peace meeting called by the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, assured that the party was still in consultation with  members of the state House of Assembly to ensure that the new  speaker’s election conforms to the party’s power sharing arrangement.

The party chairman explained that though members of parliament t have the  right to choose who they believe will lead them well, he however  stressed that the process must conform to the political framework of the state.

“We sought to find out if there were fundamental issues that led to the impeachment between yesterday and today; but we have found out that there are none, but personal differences among members of the house. Everybody has accepted that a change of leadership has occurred, but it is not over yet. Talks are ongoing to address the issues,” Ojezua said.

He added that leadership change was not new in the legislature as the National Assembly has witnessed similar changes.

Some members (16) of the Edo State House of Assembly on Monday impeached the former speaker, Dr. Justin Okonoboh, and elected Mr.

Kabiru Adjoto as the new Speaker, while Mr Victor Edoror emerged as new deputy speaker, replacing Mrs Elizabeth Ativie.

Mr Kabiru Adjoto representing Akoko Edo Constituency 1, is the fourth  Speaker to be elected in the Edo Assembly from 2015 till date.

INEC Warns Staff Against Extortion

The Edo office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned its staff against extorting eligible voters.

INEC issued the warning as the ongoing continuous voter registration (CVR) in the state progresses.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Obo Effanga, who was at an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin, reacted to allegations of extortion of eligible voters.

He said there was no such complaint before him, but warned that any staff caught in the act would be disciplined accordingly.

Effanga disclosed that over 460,000 permanent voter cards (PVCs) were yet to be collected by their owners in the state.

” We have a total of 1,900,423 registered voter in Edo state prior to the continuous voter registration.

“But we have only distributed 1,445, 749 PVCs while over 460,000 registered voters are yet to collect their PVCs.

“ We have also registered additional 38,448 at the conclusion of the first phase of the CVR,” he said.

He said the commission had created additional six registration centres to give eligible voters the opportunity to register in the ongoing second phase of the CVR.

While cautioning eligible voters against double registration, he warned that the commission would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who flouts the law.
He said the commission was at the NUJ to seek collaboration with the body in the area of sensitization of the electorate, particularly those in the rural area on the need to register.

He added that “only the INEC card will enable you to perform your franchise.’’

AFAN Appeals For Allocation of Sobe Farm Settlement Slot

EDO State chapter, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, (AFAN), has appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to allocate prepared farm slot to its members at the Sobe Farm Settlement and other farm settlements across the three senatorial district as directed by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The Chairman, Edo AFAN, Chief Emmanuel Odigie, made the appeal in Benin, after a courtesy call on the Commissioner, Hon. Monday Osaigbovo, at his office midweek by the association.

Chief Odigie who appeal to the state government for a permanent office accommodation in Benin City for the association, said, AFAN have acquired 20,000 hectares of farmland in Edo South senatorial district for commercial and cluster farming, which according to him, “the state government have promises to prepare the 20,000 hectares for the association.”

The Edo AFAN Chairman further appeal to the state government to give agricultural loans to farmers in fulfillment of Governor Obaseki’s promise during his governorship campaign in 2016, while urging it to revive all old farms settlement as well as build new ones.

The Edo AFAN boss who is also the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of OGHODUA FARMS enjoined the state government to partner with agricultural consultant by purchasing land preparation equipment and give same to these consultants on “balance and carry” basis so that they can rent to farmers at a cheaper price to enable them prepare their farm land.

He disclosed that, the association have liaise with security stakeholders, herdsmen and cattle owners, in other to stop grazing on farmlands and killing farmers, especially women, adding that, the association have discovered a plant that will scarce cattle away from grazing on people’s farmland.

While noting that, the association have trained farmers in the state on how to farm on one land forever, without the application of chemical, he said, “We are not oblivious of the investment the Edo State government have put in revamping agriculture, such as the Anchor Borrowers Programme, Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, and many others which include in no small measure are very important in this new agricultural revolution.”

Meanwhile, the Edo AFAN Chairman have commended Governor Obaseki for the plan construction and rehabilitation of rural roads to boost agriculture.

“The governor really try in his plans to construct earth roads in our rural areas, I must commend him because it will create employment, check rural areas for development, do not forget it will provide enough food even at a very cheaper rate,” he said.

Credit: The Nigerian Observer