Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved the immediate retirement of the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities, Mr. H. A. Ikhelowa for dereliction of duty. The governor also ordered the immediate sealing off the museum in the state capital and arrest of the manager over illegal operation and non-maintenance of the ground.
Oshiomhole’s approval for the retirement of the permanent secretary was contained in a letter signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere. According to the letter dated January 4, “the governor also approved the immediate suspension of Mr. Nicholas Osemwengie, acting general manager, Edo State Waste Management Board and the Director-in-charge of street lights in the Edo State Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities, Mr. Ejemai Martins.”
According to the letter, “their cases have been referred to the Edo State Civil Service Commission for further action.” The government’s action was not unconnected with an inspection of the governor round Benin City, the state capital last Friday where he saw heaps of refuse in parts of the city and people displaying wares on the walkways and roads. During his inspection of the Museum ground, the governor expressed dissatisfaction with the heaps of refuse left by fun-seekers at the place.
He said the manager of the Museum sublet the place for business without the government’s authority. Oshiomhole also ordered the arrest of a woman found cooking on a equipment connected to the water fountain at the museum. During his inspection of the Oba Market Road, Governor Oshiomhole ordered the instant seizure of wares displayed on the walkways and the road by traders and directed the immediate evacuation of dirt, which littered the road.
Speaking with reporters, the governor said: “We are back to work in the New Year and I am happy that the contractor are back to work. Most of them will return fully to work after the New Year holidays. “I am satisfied with the quality of work and people are excited that the work is going on. You have noticed the job they are doing at the Airport Road and the challenge of the underground drainage and that is extremely important.
Once the drainage is completed, flood from the adjoining streets will now drain into the primary drain, which will now drain it into the river. That means the issue of flooding in this area will be a thing of the past. We are remodelling the road and creating bus stops. We will do more in the second term than we did in the first term,” he assured.