Shaibu’s Exclusion of Etsako west HOLGA from Suspension Order Draws Accusations of Bias


The ordered issued by the Edo State deputy governor, Hon Phillip Shaibu, in which he directed the Heads of the Local Government Administration of three council areas in the state to immediately proceed on suspension for the ” negligence of duty” has sparked accusations of “bias”.

The three council areas affected by the order of the deputy governor are the Heads of the Local Government Administration of Owan West, Owan East as well as that of Igueben respectively.

The suspended HOLGA’s are Mr. Chris Ize- Iyamu, Owan East; Mr. J. D. Igeleke, Igueben; and, Mr Ademola Shuabu, Owan West.

The deputy governor predicated his action on the failure of the suspended Heads of the Local Government Administration, HOLGA, to prevent the passage of articulated or heavy-duty vehicles through their domain, as such usage is said to be responsible for the destruction of state’s roads.

Hon Shaibu, who is saddled with the supervision of the local government areas, was reported to have been peeved at the extent of damages done on some state roads by the articulated vehicles that ply them to reach their various destinations.

Several roads in the state have become “death traps” due mainly to the large number of the heavy-duty vehicles plying the state roads while trying to connect to other parts of the country. Due to the huge damages they caused, the state government was forced to spend huge sums carrying out remedial works on some of these roads.

However, the “suspension ordered” slammed on the three HOLGA’s has sparked accusations of “bias” against the deputy governor

Commentators in Edo North senatorial district have wondered how the deputy governor arrived at his decision, saying the HOLGA of Etsako West should have been the main culprit going by the geographical arrangement of the area.

They contended that the deputy governor displayed “bias” and overlooked some important aspects of the case in his quest to “punish” the affected HOLGAs.

In particular, they posited that Etsako West serves as the gateway to both Owan East and Owan West respectively, adding that the heavy-duty vehicles, most of them coming from the northern axis and heading towards the eastern axis, first make a detour at Auchi, in Etsako West, due to the terrible nature of the Auchi- Agbede – Ekpoma federal highway, to connect the two Owan local governments and eventually reach Iruekpen community in Esan West local government before proceeding on their journey to Benin City and finally to their various destinations.

Critics of the “suspension order” contended that the application of the sanctions shows some element of “bias and partiality”.

They also wondered how the council chairman of Etsako West managed to escape the ” sanctions”, saying the local government experiences huge traffic of heavy-duty vehicles and should have served as the appropriate point to stop them from accessing other adjoining local government areas.

Strangely, the state deputy governor hails from Etsako West, and it is assumed he has a thorough understanding of the peculiar geography of the area and how these heavy-duty vehicles constitute a menace and, therefore, one would have expected he to exercise some level of fairness in dispensing justice in such a delicate matter.

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