…Says action is barbaric, violation of law
By Henry Umoru
South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark has described the demolition of the University of Benin Staff quarters by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State as illegal, malicious, barbaric, and a gross violation of the law.
In a four- page letter to Governor Oshiomhole, Chief Clark who noted that the governor exhibited malice in his action, however, asked the governor to as a matter of urgency rebuild the demolished houses as well as put them back as they were, adding that he has no such right whatsoever to demolish or acquire Federal Government property without the required and appropriate negotiations.
He said, “My advice to you, is that, as a matter of reparation, you must immediately rebuild those houses. Indeed, put them back as they were.”
The elder statesman who explained that it became imperative for his intervention against the backdrop that he was the Commissioner for Education in the old Mid West when the Former Military governor, General Samuel Ogbemudia was the founder and first Visitor of the University of Benin, added “The wickedness that accompanied the demolition, where occupants were not given any opportunity to take their belongings before the building were demolished is better imagined than experienced. It was a most callous and barbaric exercise designed to shatter the spirit and self esteem of the occupants.
“It is very sad that despite all entreaties and appeal made to you by different bodies, including the National University Commission, NUC, you were resolute and went ahead to pull down the buildings disgracefully.
“These buildings were donated by the Mid-West State Government which later became Bendel state and now Edo/Delta states. The implication is that they were assets that have been disposed effectively and permanently before Edo and Delta States were born. They were never listed as existing assets of Bendel state to be shared between Edo and Delta states. At the time the two states shared assets belonging to the old Bendel state, these buildings were already properties of the University of Benin in law and in fact.
”Your Excellency, if you have any doubt that the buildings belong to the University, you may please produce the relevant documents to show that when Bendel State was carved into two states, the buildings you demolished were given to Edo State.”