EDSG condemns CSO’s violent protest, to punish perpetrators

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By; RALPH OKHIRIA, Benin.
Following Tuesday’s protest against the Edo State House of Assembly bill by some civil society organisations which turned violent, the Government has stated that the chaos and violence was politically motivated.
Some members of the civil society groups who were protesting against the 200 million naira and 100 million naira building allowances in favour of past governors and their deputies in the state, being a bill recently passed by the State Assembly were attacked by people yet to be identified.
But a government statement signed by Mr. John Mayaki, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday which condemned the protest, disclosed that the actors who acted under the guise of being civil society organization activists, were sponsored by the opposition to carry out the demonstration.
“Edo State Government condemns the violence orchestrated by the leaders of these groups who sold their conscience to some destructive politicians to either blackmail the budding administration or disrupt our collective peace.
“We are disgusted to the extent that the violent attack on Tuesday on innocent citizens was a scene that should have no place in our society or political process.
“Elections are over and it’s time for government to deliver the goods to the people. This administration will not tolerate reckless and lawless attitude of some persons who masquerade as members of civil society organization.
“We have a mandate given by the good people of Edo state to govern them. And as responsible government ready to be just and fair to all, this government cannot be blackmailed by a handful of disgruntled elements.
“We recognize the place of civil society in a democratic world just as lawful means of peaceful protest.
“However, civil society groups must operate within the confines of their law and should know where to draw the line. We must therefore respect each other in a bid to engender a decent and egalitarian society.
“The unnecessary violent protest on Tuesday would be investigated while leaders of the groups must take full responsibility for the irresponsible behavior.
“We appeal to well meaning Edo people to provide any video clip of the incident to security agencies and investigators so as to bring the perpetrators to book”, Mayaki said.

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