Obaseki sacks environment commissioner, others
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has sacked the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Reginald Okun.Also affected in the shake-up was the General Manager, Edo State Waste Management Board, Aiyamenkue Akonofua.
The governor equally directed the redeployment of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs. R.E. Obahiagbon.While no reason was given for the action, a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, ordered the officials to “handover their assignments to the most senior government official in their offices with immediate effect.
“They are also to handover all government property in their possession to the appropriate authorities.”In the statement, the government thanked the disengaged officials for their service to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.However, The Guardian leant that the action may not be unconnected with the management of contractors who the government engaged to sweep the streets in Benin City.
The contractors were also involved in clearing the heaps of refuse dotting many markets in the state capital.The street traders had recently protested against the non-payment of their monthly stipends.Some of the sweepers who protested on Tuesday complained of being owed for six months.
They carried brooms and palm fronds, as they marched to the Edo Government House.According to them, the state government was responsible for their payment, having sacked the contractors earlier handling the street sweeping.
One of the protesters who gave her name as Osarodion Ogechi, said the Chairman of the Board, Aiyamenkhue Akonofua, had promised to pay them before the Easter holidays. She said: “We have been working for the past six months and had not been paid. We are in the streets to demand our money.
“When the contractor failed to pay us, we protested and the state government decided to handle the payment by itself. It is the Edo State Waste Management Board that is supposed to pay us, but it has failed to do so.” Another protester, Mrs. Gladys Nkpor, said their landlords have evicted many of them over their inability to pay house rents.