Demolition in Edo – Between Politics and Immorality

16 Views Comments
Demolition

Demolition

It is surprising that a government that is seeking the people’s support would railroad itself, perhaps motivated by unpopular politics, into taking an action that affects the well-being of the people.

The demolition policy in Edo State is ill-timed; this is why it has not added any value the government. Instead, it has earned the government public resentment and opprobrium.

The comrade governor, the self-acclaimed people’s governor must prepare to bear the consequences of his anti-people policy.

The governor is behaving as one who is not interested in a second term

If he wanted a second term he would not have launched the policy of demolition of illegal structures, along with legal ones, at this time.

I have always known Adams Oshiomhole to be gutsy, but he has to watch his actions if he actually wants to seek a renewal of his current mandate.

This is because there is no positive point of resolution between the conflict, occasioned by the wrongful demolition of some people’s buildings in the indiscriminate exercise supervised by his appointee, Major Lawrence Loye (retd.).

There is an ominous air around Oshiomhole and his politics in Edo as he is trying to lay bad precedent for his government.

This time, he has used the demolition saga to present himself to watchers of his politics in Edo as an enemy of the state.

If he had good advisers, or if he listened to their pieces of good advice, he would have known that he is only using the powers of his office to test his will against the collective desire of Edo people for change.

There is no doubt that his structure within the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state and the political calculations ahead of the July 14, 2012 governorship contest are under a real danger of disintegration.

This is because his actions in the last 10 months have allegedly put wedges between him and some prominent leaders and members of his party.

Indeed, Oshiomhole has shown how politically inept he is by maneuvering himself out of the goodwill of the strategic Edo South geo-political zone, which will account for the highest number of votes in the July 14, 2012 governorship election.

He has also drawn the battleline with the Edo Central geo-political zone under the political control of Chief Tony Anenih.

The governor has been trying to muscle the opposition against his government. Oshiomhole descended heavily on those close to the ousted governor, Oserheimen Osunbor, including the venerable Samuel Osaigbovo Ogbemudia and Peter Obadan, just to mention a few.

He was soon to find an excuse to fight Anenih, heaping the worst forms of insult on him. What did he do? He ran back to the same Ogbemudia whom he had openly vilified.

But then, things seem to have fallen apart as far as this friendship is concerned, with the recent demolition of two houses belonging to the wife of Ogbemudia.

In the entire saga, it is the reaction of Oshiomhole to the incident (demolition) that I one finds curious.

In response to public outcry against the emerging trend of using state apparatus to humiliate political opponents, he ordered the immediate arrest of the chairman of the task force on demolition of illegal properties, Loye. He (Loye) is now being tried in the court of law, charged with misdemeanor and abuse of public office.

In order to justify his action he said, “As you have seen, this building he has destroyed does not in any way affect the moat. There is enough space between the property and the moat.

“The fact that you work for government does not give you licence to visit harm and destruction on innocent people. I am convinced that he acted in bad faith; he acted in mischief. He is a sadist and his purpose is to bring confusion to the community and confuse the people about the genuineness of our intention.”

But when, Roland Owie’s house was also demolished on September 4, 2011, it didn’t occur to Oshiomhole to lambast the task force chairman for not taking directive from the appropriate authority before demolishing the building.

Let me posit here that the fear of Ogbemudia is the beginning of wisdom for Oshiomhole, or how else does one rationalise his reaction after the demolition of Ogbemudia’s houses?

On the chairman of his task force on demolition he continued, “Major Loye is on his own. Without authorisation from the commissioner he moved to this location and brought down this building.

He is not a town planning officer. He is only to carry out demolition after a competent officer identifies a property that offends the right of way. He has assumed the powers of the Ministry of Land and Environment. On his own, without being told, he goes about marking houses indiscriminately.”

It is believed that the governor was simply sending signals to Ogbemudia that if he could take on Anenih, he could take on anybody else in the state.

The speculation is that despite his recent diplomatic statements that Oshiomhole was doing so well and that it would be unnecessary to try to unseat him, Ogbemudia would throw his weight behind a formidable PDP candidate in next year’s gubernatorial election to justify his membership of the BoT of his party.

Really, can the state government feign ignorance of the activities of Loye?

Have properties belonging to prominent ACN members been demolished?

If the theory of Oshiomhole trying to rattle Ogbemudia is true, then it is the height of insult to a man of Ogbemudia’s credentials as a leader in his

own right who must be granted the right to take a political stand.

It is time Governor Oshiomhole retraced his dangerous steps before the tide becomes irredeemably poisonous.

Imadiyi wrote in from Benin

In : Articles

About the author

Nigerian Community,News, Events and more