The management and staff of Edo State Public Works Volunteers, PUWOV on Friday, formally tendered unreserved apologies to the person of former state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, and the entire civil society organisations, CSOs in the state over the face-off between them Monday May 31, 2021.
The PUWOV management admitted its officials involved may have “overzealously acted in an unprofessional manner” albeit in good faith.
A statement by the state coordinator of PUWOV, Mukhtar Yusuf-Osagie, said “our attention has been drawn to a video clip trending on the social media wherein some of our officials were involved in an encounter with some Civil Society Actors and Human Rights Activists (Edo State branch)who were on a protest March at the new Benin area of Benin City.
“As a very responsible Agency of government in resonance with Mr. Governor’s belief in the Rule of Law and respect for citizens’ rights, we indeed regret whatever may have transpired on that said date which was occasioned by a distress call received by our intelligence unit to the effect that some suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, (IPOB) were gathering around the New Benin area to disrupt the peace of the area”.
The coordinator further explained that “In a bid to be proactive and prevent any possible breakdown of law and order in the area, it is believed that our officials on duty who were ordinarily acting in good faith, may have overzealously acted in an unprofessional manner, not minding the laid-down mode of operations of the agency”.
According to him, “as a law-abiding Agency, we condemn the actions of these officials, in strong terms, and tender our unreserved apology to the entire members of these bodies in general and most expecially, our very revered Dr. Osagie Obayuwana, a foremost Human Rights Activist, a former Attorney-General of Edo State, and a very distinguished legal practitioner, who we hold in high esteem.”
Recall that some officials of PUWOV had on Monday attacked some members of CSOs led by Obayuwana, who were protesting worsening insecurity in the country.