Obaseki hosts US Envoy, says commitment to wealth creation, justice sacrosanct


BENIN CITY- The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the imperatives for wealth creation, law and order and justice administration, are the key drivers of his administration, noting that steps have been taken to ensure a well-motivated judiciary and an enabling business environment for investments.
Governor Obaseki said this on Thursday night when he hosted the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, at the Government House, Benin City, Edo State. The Ambassador is in Benin City for an exhibition of photographs by Chief S. O. Alonge, a photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, organised by the United States Diplomatic Mission and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art at the National Museum, Benin City, Edo State.
Stressing that law, order and justice are major pillars of his administration, he added that building an equitable society must be anchored on peace and justice. To ensure that the state’s judiciary works at optimal capacity, he said the state government invested in training about 150 court reporters and also upgraded court infrastructure.
He added that Edo State is an integral part of Nigeria, and as such was in full support of Nigeria’s unity. “There are certain things that are not negotiable. Nigeria is not negotiable. But it is not just enough to say that Nigeria is not negotiable. Everything has to work for the common man. That is why we are prioritising wealth creation so that people are equipped to contribute meaningfully to society,” he said.
Speaking on the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), he said the state government has been in the eye of the storm, as it has in recent years played host to some of those affected by insurgency in the North East, adding, “We have 3000 internally displaced children at the IDP camp in Benin. I was with them last Christmas, as their Father Christmas. We hope that when these children go back to their homes and communities, they would go with ideal and values from the Edo people.”

Mr. Symington said with Nigeria’s population projected to climb to 450 million by 2050 amid concerns of rising youth bulge and other social economic implications, the country would stand a better chance to exploit its potential if it prioritises justice administration, girl-child education and delivery of good governance.
He said that despite the challenges that may come with a huge population, the onus lies on Nigerian leaders to carve a positive narrative for the country by being benevolent in handling issues of development and justice administration, adding that there was need to embrace everyone irrespective of where they come from, as members of a united Nigeria.
According to him, “If Nigeria goes to 450 million people in 33 years’ time, the country would be the third largest nation, behind China and India. Depending on what you do with girl child education, governance and justice, and a whole lot of other things, if the projection continues that way, by the end of the century, Nigeria would be the second or even the most populous country on earth.”
“When I said this up North, three of the wisest counsellors of great leaders there were surprised and two said Alhamdulillah. I think that describes Nigeria. You are somewhere between being surprised or screaming Alhamdulillah. And it is up to you. But you cannot just focus on one thing, the approach has to be broader. It has to be about caring about people in the North East as well as those in the South East. We have more than two million people displaced in this country, and they are not just from the North East. Now is the perfect time to treat them all as what they truly are – brothers and sons of a united Nigeria,” he added.

Gunmen kill colleague, Traders Association boss

Late Comrade David Osaretin Ohenhen
BENIN CITY-Gunmen suspected to be assassins have miscalculated and fired their colleague during an operation which they also killed the embattled President of Lagos Street Traders Association (LSTA), Comrade David Osaretin Ohenhen has been shot dead in Benin City.
The President was attacked in his private residence at 2, Ehi Street, Off Eboniyeke Street, Off Upper Siluko Road, Egor, Benin City, about 7:15pm, penultimateTuesday.
The bullet fired at Comrade Ohenhen while wrestling the gunmen also killed one of them, bringing to two, the number of casualties recorded in the bloody encounter.
Though the gunman died on the spot his other partners in crime carried his corpse along and dumped it at a spot in the area where it was later recovered by police.
Comrade David Ohenhen, a mechanized farmer and paint dealer however died in a hospital three days after.
His wife, Mrs Evelyn Iziegbe Ohenhen who witnessed the killings said she opened the iron door when she heard a knock thinking they were neighbours who wanted to charge their phones.
The two gunmen, she narrated further commanded her to bring all the money she had as one of them changed direction and engaged her children in a room.
She added that the assailant who had earlier saw N100, 000.00 cash on the table suddenly changed his demand pointed the gun at her husband and ordered her to leave the sitting room.
“As I was begging him to tell me what he wanted and leave my husband alone, my husband bounced on him, they dragged themselves to the door, as my husband was about to lift and throw him off from the upstairs his friend rushed out of the room and shot at my husband killing his own partner in the process.” Mrs Ohenhen narrated.
She revealed that the attack came after her husband returned from court where he had gone to respond to a case of alleged financial misappropriation levelled against him by some executive members of the Lagos Street Traders Association.
Mrs Evelyn Ohenhen disclosed further that her husband and some members of the association fell apart when the N10million given to the union by a political party during the last governorship campaigns was not disbursed according to their desire.
When our reporter visited the late president shop on 50, Lagos Street, it was under lock and key as his costumers clustered around discussing the killing.
Confirming the incident, the Public Relations Officer for Edo State Police Command DSP Moses Nombe said three suspects have been arrested.

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