Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has offered employment to the widow, Mrs Joy Ifije, whom he upbraided, penultimate week, and whose goods were seized by men of the State War Against Indiscipline for obstructing the Mission road in the state capital.
The Governor who announced the job offer to the woman, in addition to a N2 million grant for her to get a shop and trade, said during a breakfast meeting with her at the Government House, yesterday, that her job would be to join State’s War Against Indiscipline in the campaign against street trading and to keep the state clean.
The Governor who again apologized to the widow said “when you put your things on the road a vehicle can run into you and they have killed some people like that and that was why I said if you are a widow do you want more people to be widowed? But when I said go and die, that one was said in a fit of anger. And I am really sorry”, he said.
“I want you to join us. We would employ you and pay you salary. You would help us to campaign to other women not to trade on road sides. We should not use poverty as a yardstick. We would also talk to taxi and bus drivers not to block roads when carrying passengers”, Oshiomhole said.
“You will assist me to talk to women and traders not to litter the roads and sidewalks so that people walking and driving can have free road. If they want to park they can park properly so as not to disturb others.”
The Governor said government was trying to change Benin City from its old status adding “as you can see Benin is becoming a modern city. So you join us now and every month you begin to get salary so that you can look after your children”.
“For your child who is preparing to enter into the university, my daughters and myself have agreed to support him. If he does well as we pray he does, he would assist the family. Maybe this is the way God wants it. That is why I asked them to look for you so that I can personally offer my apology, but also to support you, so that God helping you, you can overcome the pain of widowhood”, he said.
“As a single mother I want to see how I can help you to train your children and God can use any of them to become a leader of our country. Please resist the temptation to do anything that would break the law. The law is the law; it is no respecter of persons. If Government does not enforce the law there would be confusion”, he remarked.
The Governor who gave the woman a cash gift of N2 million said “in addition to working with the War Against Indiscipline, I am also giving you the sum of two million naira so that you can hire a shop, trade inside the shop and not roadside and I pray that God will bless your decision on how you utilize the money. This money is not for you to share or distribute but to help you as a working capital”.
Responding, the widow, Mrs Joy Ifijeh thanked the Governor for the gesture and promised that she would be part of the fight to keep the City clean.
She apologized to the Governor for blocking the road with her wares, saying she recognized that what she did was wrong but she did not know that the Governor was on inspection that day.
According to her, she had been a victim of theft by a truck pusher who went away with her goods, a week before her encounter with the Governor, that was why she was on the road with her goods that day as she no longer trusted truck pushers not to do away with her goods.