8th January, 2018
The Edo State Government said it is currently investigating complaints of alleged conversion of a part of the land belonging to Anglican Girls’ Grammar School (AGGS), Benin City, to private use, by the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih.
The government in a statement issued by Mr. Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki, expressed worry over Orbih’s alleged use of his influence to convert the school’s land to private use, adding that it is “looking into the complaints to establish the veracity and assured that the appropriate institutions of government will respond to all the issues raised.”
The statement reads: “The Edo State Government received complaints from a non-governmental organisation, Concerned Edo Citizens and some old students of the prestigious Anglican Girls Grammar School in Benin City. The Governor Obaseki-led administration is concerned about the issues raised and considering the personality involved in the petition, has raised a team to study the authenticity of the claims.
“The Governor is very worried that if we allow people to continue to encroach on the lands meant for schools, hospitals and other public facilities in the State, there will be no space for the future expansion of these assets.
“This administration places high premium on education, the rule of law and due process, and will investigate the claims and all the issues raised. Much as we do not want to pre-empt the outcome of the investigation, we are however not surprised that again, the PDP is seen to be playing in its traditional and familiar territory where its members have won medals in illegally enriching themselves with public property. Their flare for avarice and excessive greed is without compare.
“Edo State is blessed with abundant land resource and the chairman of the former ruling party, could have built his house on any other piece of land, if not for their default knack and natural aptitude for fleece. The PDP’s insatiable appetite for stealing public assets is manifest in all sectors of the state.
“They misconstrue and misperceive leadership as an opportunity to become emergency big men that must be worshipped by the ordinary people they are stealing from. Most of them are not qualified to do decent jobs, which explains their desperation to come back to power and continue the looting game.”
“Even if he was illegally offered the piece of land by any government, he should have turned such an offer down, knowing that the school will need the space for expansion in the future. True leaders would reject such a gift in the interest of the Edo children in the school, who certainly would need more space for more educational infrastructure.
“True leaders do not appropriate public assets to themselves, they protect and increase the opportunities for the future generations. Obaseki is creating the enabling environment for everyone to attain any heights they desire and actualise their God-given potential.”
The statement assured that the State Government through the appropriate channels, will give all the parties a fair chance to explain their sides of the alleged land racketeering story.