Tears as fire wreaks havoc in Edo, Delta, Obinna Okechukwu, others narrate ordeal

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It was learnt that the shops owners had set fire on the refuse dump obviously to get rid of it at the close of business on Saturday evening but never anticipated that the early morning harmattan haze could worsen the spread of the fire.

A resident, Obinna Okechukwu, said they saw thick smoke and on peeping from the window, the fire had spread from the bush area to shops along the major road.

About nine shops were affected by the fire incident.

Also, Edo State secretariat of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was razed in Benin, destroying several valuable items worth millions of naira.

It was learnt that the incident, which occurred at about 3.00pm on Saturday, completely destroyed a store containing hundreds of unused mattresses and chairs.

Offices containing official files and records and other office equipment were also burnt.

A source said the fire was a spillover from a nearby building where a refuse dump had been set on fire but left unattended to.

The building and the NYSC secretariat were separated by a perimeter fence.

When contacted, NYSC Public Relations Officer, Mr. Benjamin Esan, confirmed the incident and added that the management was yet to get details on the circumstances surrounding the fire.

Meanwhile, Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa (CGGEJA), has unveiled plans to engage students of tertiary institutions in the state as digital ambassadors for Governor Godwin Obaseki.

According to the group, the programme is in collaboration with Edo Governor’s Office of Digital Communications.

Country Executive Director of CGGEJA, Mr. Jude Gadimoh, explained that the aims of creating the #EdoDigiAmbassador campaign was to reach out to Edo students’ online communities in various tertiary institutions across the state to join in using the social media to propagate and promote good governance.

Explaining how to become a digital ambassador for the CGGEJA, Gadimoh said students are required to post on Facebook or tweet topics based on any of the educational policy of Obaseki’s reforms in Edo State. The twitter campaign will run from February 20 to 23.

In another development, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Edo, Ms Osayuware Idahosa, last Saturday said the government had concluded arrangements for the training and retraining of teachers in the state to meet the contemporary modern teaching techniques.

Idahosa disclosed this at a one day seminar for teachers held in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.

The seminar entitled: Effective Teaching Techniques, Harmonisation of Curriculum, Classroom Management, was organised by the Association of Model Islamic Schools (AMIS).

Idahosa, represented by the Chief Inspector Education, Etsako West, Mr. Abudukadiri Ikoghode, said training and retraining of teachers was the focal point of the ministry in ensuring that teachers were trained on modern teaching techniques.

“The physical structure is already there as far as Edo is concerned and the focus right now is on service delivery.

“And service delivery we are talking about is to meet the training and retraining of our teachers.

“The trend is on this process and if we fail to train our teachers, they will not be able to measure up with the modern trend; if we train our teachers, they will be able to deliver more than we expected,” she said.

Idahosa said government under the leadership of  Governor Godwin Obaseki is committed to human capital development through the training and retraining of teachers in the state.

“I must tell you, we are into service delivery and human capital development, and training and retraining of teachers is the focus point right now.

“Now that we have infrastructure on ground, our focus now in the ministry of education is how to get our teachers further trained so that they would be able to put in their very best,” she said.

The education permanent secretary lauded the organisers of the seminar and advised other bodies in the education sector to complement government efforts in the development of the sector.

Earlier, Chairman, AMIS in the state. Dr. Tijani Oseni, said the seminar was to equip the teachers with modern teaching techniques and to improve teaching standard among teachers in both private and public schools in Edo

Regardless, Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Babatunde Fashola on Saturday said the Federal Government would rather reconstruct the Ekpoma-Ehor-Auchi Road than embark on palliative measures that would not stand the test of time.

Fashola made the assertion while inspecting the ongoing construction works at the Benin portion of the Benin-Auchi dual carriage way in Benin City.

“I am aware they made the recommendation. It is a choice of doing something and then coming to repeat it. So, I have asked them that look, let get the money and mobilise Dantata straight back to full reconstruction instead of patching which will wear away. That is what I am trying to achieve. So, as soon as we get money, you will see them back. They have briefed me and we are working on it,” he said.

The minister also made a quick stop over at the failed portion at the Ikpoba Hill axis of the road and said actions would be expedited to fix it before lives are lost to it.

Fashola, who lauded the federal government massive road constructions across the country, said much feat has also been achieved in the power sector as generation has increased to 4,000 megawatts.

“You know what is going on at the power plant in Azura and the challenges that we have on gas to power all the turbines, but the good news is that, we are now back to over 4,000 megawatts. We are trying to solve the gas issues.

“We need peace in those areas so that we can repair all the pipelines and have the gas. It is about 3,000 megawatts of power that is not available because of vandalism and that is not helpful to the country. If we can recover that 3,000 and add it to the 4,000 we have now, the nation will get to 7,000,” he said.

He said Nigerians should preach peace and shun violence of any kind that could lead to destruction of government facilities.

“So, we need peace in the Niger Delta and each state. You cannot continue to destroy something that is available to us. We must just stop. All of us, young people who are here,those of us in government, those out of government, we must begin to speak to each other. We cannot be throwing stones into our father’s house and say the house is not sheltering us. We must build that house so that everybody can have a share of his own,” the minister said.

Project Manager, Reynolds Construction Company, Mr. Oweh Okeh said the dualisation of 14km Benin-Ehor Road , would be completed in May ending and would be opened to traffic.

Oweh  explained that there  are three sections in Edo State. The Ehor section being handled by Reynolds Construction Company, the Ehor-Auchi section being handled by Dantata and Sawoe Construction Compay while Auchi-Okenne is being handled by Mother Cat.

Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who earlier drew the attention of the minister to the sorry state of the federal roads, commended him for his good jobs across the federation.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, said he would prefer the minister pays a regular visit to where all federal government projects are ongoing.

Original post appeared first DailyGlobeWatch.
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