The Esan Elders Forum has urged Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole to address the “marginalization” of Nigerians of Esan ethnic nationality who occupies Edo Central part of the state, by his administration since he took office in 2008.
Speaking with reporters in Benin City, the group’s National Chairman, Chief Julius Akpede and director of publicity, Mr Lawrence Odiase, said the “imbalance” in the make-up of the state government which has seen the exclusion of Esan people, is deliberate, obvious and cannot be ignored.
The group said since 2008, no Esan person has occupied any of the first 6 political positions in the state such as Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker, head of service, Chief Of Staff, and Secretary to Government, in a move designed to “completely weaken and if possible render impotent the collective destiny aspiration and resolve of the Esan people to produce the next governor of the state”.
In the same vein they condemned the situation where of all thirty-five Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service only 2 are in functional capacity while no Esan occupies any key board, parastatal or extra-ministerial department of the state government.
It urged the Governor to stop the ethnic cleansing and systematic annihilation of Esan by correcting the imbalance as an Esan who is the member representing Esan southwest at the state assembly is eminently fit to be the Speaker, more so as the entire Edo Central voted en masse for him in the July 2012 polls.
“We are opposed to the present situation, in which the Esan cannot be found as head of Executive, Legislative or Judicial
branch. It is worrisome and we believe Governor Oshiomhole can correct it”.
They added, “We are not opposed to any group or zone association. We hold every other race as brothers and supporters in the development of the state. We even see other ethnic groups as partners in what we are demanding.”
The group also urged the governor to rehabilitate ailing state-owned industries like Ethiope Printing Press, Edo Line, Bendel Breweries, Okpella Cement Factory, and the College of Education at Igueben and the Polytechnic at Usen.
They called on youths to shun acts that would compromise the state’s security, peace and progress and called on those who are involved in the nefarious acts of kidnapping Edo Nigerians for money to shun the devilish acts.