Arson: Edo Govt Gives N10m, Relief Materials to Affected Community

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

A sigh of relief came the way of Bekuma, a community in Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo state which was attacked by youths of a neighbouring community on 30 March 2016, as the state government presented a N10 million cash and other relief materials worth millions of naira to the people.

It would be recalled that two persons were feared killed while about 40 houses, a public school and the palace of the village head of Bekuma were razed when some youths from a neighbouring community unleashed an attack on Bekuma.

Presenting the cash and 150 bundles of roofing sheets to the Oba of Bekuma, Oba Moses Alabi at the palace of the Otaru of Igarra, Oba Emmanuel Adeche Saiki II, Governor Oshiomhole warned that anyone who ever again resorts to arson and killings in the name of reprisals will be prosecuted and sent to prison if convicted.

He said: “If we quarrel, we must not allow it to degenerate to madness as to begin to burn property, burn houses, destroy assets, or even kill people; which is absolutely unacceptable. We must work together, that is, the traditional institution, the local government and the state government, to identify criminals, it doesn’t matter what interest they pretend to canvass. Arson is a serious crime.

“Destruction of property is a very serious crime. Killing is a very serious crime. It is a capital offence in our legal system. I want to make it very clear: if anyone further resorts to acts of destruction, of killing, of arson, Edo State Government will prosecute immediately, and if we secure a conviction, we will send the person to prison. People like that belong in prison. Nothing justifies those levels of violence as to render anybody homeless.”

The governor commended the royal fathers in Akoko Edo local government area for fostering unity among the people, saying: “Let me begin by appreciating your royal fathers, your royal highnesses for working together as royal fathers in Akoko Edo local government because by working together, meeting together, having conversation on matters affecting the people, and various communities in area, you are leading the people by example.

“The important thing, therefore, is irrespective of our locations, irrespective of our dialects, we belong to one race: the human race. And in this local government, you belong to just one local government, Akoko Edo local government, regardless of your dialect or language. We are bound to live together as one people because we are one people. We are bound to make friends across all divides. We are brothers; we are sisters.”

Further details later