Don’t Take My Tolerance for Granted, Obaseki Warns Ijaws


• Releases N500m counterpart funding to access N2bn facility
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on Ijaws of Edo State, not to take the State Government’s tolerance for granted.
This is as he has approved N500 million counterpart funding for the state’s SEEFOR public works programme, which will enable it access N2bn from the World Bank for infrastructural projects in the state
Obaseki who made the call in commemoration of the International Day for Tolerance, marked on November 16, each year, said the state government’s commitment to a free society where people could express themselves freely, must not be taken as grounds for violating the law.
“We are creating a culture that appreciates human diversity in all its colours for a robust pool of ideas that would drive socio-economic development at an unprecedented speed in Edo State,” he said.
“To oppose what is cast in law by acts of illegality such as the purported installation of one Godwin Oguyenbo, as the “Pere of Olodiama Kingdom,” an Ijaw community in Ovia North East Local Council Area of the state, is irresponsible enough” he stressed.
The governor urged the few people behind the plot to beat a retreat in the interest of the majority of Ijaw people of Edo State, who had since expressed their willingness to abide by only, laid down laws in the state.
“We are proud of our diversity as a state and our peaceful coexistence, but will not tolerate acts of illegality by any group, who for their selfish desires want to rail-road the peace-loving Ijaw people of Edo State into a criminal aspiration,” he warned, adding that the state government would continue to protect all law abiding indigenes and friends of the state.
The International Day for Tolerance was set aside by the United Nations in its efforts at strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among cultures and peoples. “This imperative lies at the core of the United Nations Charter, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is more important than ever in this era of rising and violent extremism and widening conflicts that are characterised by a fundamental disregard for human life,” the UN said.
The release of the counterpart funding was disclosed by Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Hon. Paul Ohonbamu after weekly Executive Council meeting at the Government House, in Benin City.
He said Governor approved the release of N500 million as counterpart funding for the Edo State SEEFOR public works programme, adding “The sum released by the state government is to enable her access another N2 billion from the World Bank for the funding of infrastructure projects across the state.”
He noted that the projects would spread across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, stressing that the fund would be equally distributed to impact all parts of the state.
He added that over 10,000 youths had been trained on the SEEFOR projects, noting that the initiative would train technically sound workers as well as entrepreneurs, who will contribute to the development of the state.
The government also set up a committee to look into complaints about the activities of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) across the 18 local government areas with a view to resolving them.
The committee is to be headed by the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Hon. Osahon Amiolemen.
Ohonbamu said EXCO has also approved the appointment of Chief Allen Benson Odiko as village head of Akpama (Oiemire 1 of Uneme Akpama) in North Uneme clan, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.
He said the EXCO reviewed the recent Alaghodaro Investment summit hosted by the state, commending residents for supporting the state in its drive to industrialise the state. According to him, “It is fulfilling to see that the planned development of the Benin Industrial Park has kicked-off with the groundbreaking done during the summit.”