…Obaseki: ASUU strike partly responsible for drug abuse
By Hillary Asemota
The Edo State Government, will on Monday, May 16th, 2022, begin the revalidation exercise for pensioners in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
In a statement, Permanent Secretary/Chairperson, Edo State Pensions Bureau, Mrs. Aikefe Aigbavboa, said the ‘I Am Alive Revalidation Exercise’ for all pensioners of the Edo State Government would take place daily from 9 am to 4pm.
Aigbavboa, noted: “It is hereby announced for the information of all pensioners of Edo State Government that the routine ‘I Am Alive’ Revalidation Exercise has been scheduled to hold from Monday, 16th to Friday 20th May, 2022.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has blamed the increasing rate of drug abuse in the state on the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
On the revalidation exercise, according to her, will be held in the Secretariat of each of the local governments across the state, with the exception of Oredo, which will take place at Imaguero College Hall, Sapele Road, Benin City.
The Pensions Bureau Chairperson noted that pensioners are to be screened in their Local Government Area (LGA) of residence, adding, “Retired Heads of Service, Judges and Permanent Secretaries are to be screened on Monday, 23rd and Tuesday, 24th May, 2022 at the ICTA Hall, John Odigie-Oyegun Academy, GRA, Benin City from 9am to 4pm each day.
“Pensioners in the Diaspora are to be screened via SKYPE. Retirees are kindly requested to come along with their biometrics slip. Necessary arrangements have been put in place to make the exercise stress-free.”
The Governor, while addressing journalists after the state’s security council meeting at Government House in Benin City, he said drug abuse is the second biggest security threat in the state.
The security meeting was attended by representatives of various security agencies in the state.
He said the state recorded 19 drug abuse cases for the month of February, 34 cases for the month of March, and 23 similar cases for the month of April.
Obaseki noted, “Drug abuse ranks among the top two of serious security concerns in our state. Our analysis shows that there is a high rate of consumption of illicit drugs in the last few months which is not unconnected with the lingering ASUU strike which has kept many students at home and idle.
“The strike is one of the factors that is driving the use of illicit drugs in our state. I therefore use the opportunity of this council meeting to appeal to ASUU and the federal government to do all they can to please end this strike as soon as possible for the interest of the children of this country so that we don’t keep them at home, destroying their lives.”
He added, “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. One way we hope that we can reduce the use of drugs is if we take these children back to school.”
“I think the other is the rate of accidents. We have observed slight reduction because of the rain and we also want to use this medium to further appeal to the federal government that the major arterial roads, the major truck roads leading into Edo be repaired, particularly the Benin-Auchi and Okpekpe-Okene Roads.”
“These roads account for quite a number of the deaths we have recorded as a result of vehicular accidents. The state has enjoyed relative decline in other incidents, which shows that Edo is becoming safer,” the governor said.
In his response, Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro, said that the facts speak for itself, noting that Edo is safer now than before.
The Police Commissioner said the security agencies will continue to do their best in improving the security situation.