I am sorry for blocking the road-Widow
BENIN CITY-GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, Monday, gave the sum of N2million to Madam Joy Oviengbede Ifije, the widow whom the Governor carpeted last week for blocking the walkways along Mission Road with her goods.
Besides, the governor and his family gave scholarship Bright Ifije, the son of the widow in his education in order to help the family. The N2million was given to her to a rent a shop and set up a business so as to resist the temptation of selling along the walkways in future.
Oshiomhole and the family of the widow reconciled Monday during a breakfast meeting, where the governor reiterated his earlier apology to the woman following his outburst at her, which he confessed was as a result of anger from the way traders and drivers are frustrating the state government’s efforts to beautify Benin City.
Madam Ifije who knelt down to express her gratitude to the governor, said her actions on the said day was not intentional and pledged to join the state government in its campaign to ensure sanity and orderliness in the city.
While addressing Madam Ifije who was accompanied to Government House by her sister Patience Ajayi and the landlord, Mr Omobude Osakpanwa, Oshiomhole said he was sincerely sorry for the uncomplimentary words he used against the widow, adding that it was as a result of his passion to see that sanity returns in the city.
According to him, “my anger was that when I saw you blocking the road I said if your blocking the road do you want people to be killed and you said you are a widow and I said if you want other people to be killed. I am sure you know that we don’t want accidents on our roads and that was why we built the walk ways so that pedestrians will have their way and vehicles will have their way.
“Because we still find people abandon the markets to come and sale on the walkways blocking the road and you find out that the expansion that we have done, some time out of six lanes you find out that only two are functioning. They just block one of the roads, while buses will block another part of the road and there will be serious traffic.
“ I am doing my best to see that we make Benin City a beautiful city that it was before. You see, when you send a lot of money, government money to try and beautify the city, to build roads and all that, you find the roads are not working, I get very angry. The second issue is that when you put your goods on the roads, the buses can run into you or like those that sales tomatoes or pepper, those things can be contaminated because of the exposure which is not good.
“That was why I said to you if you are a widow do you want more people to be widows, but when I said go and die, I was really touched that I said that to you because I understand that looking at you, you are struggling but I was really angry but I realized that even at anger I can achieve the same result without talking to you the way that I did.
“Though I apologize to you from the bottom of my heart because even my own daughters they have been harassing me on your behalf. I was really angry that day because I was going round and I found out that a lot of things were wrong and it was a pity that that anger, that aggression was transferred to you and I hope you forgive me” he stated.
He further urged the widow to “assist me to talk to traders first to keep our roads clean, not to block on roads so that people walking, people walking can have the roads free. The state government will employ you to do this job for us and we will give you all the assistance you need”.