The people of Bekuma community in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have been presented with N10 million cash and other relief materials following the attack on them by youths from a neighbouring community.
Presenting the money and 150 bundles of roofing sheets to the traditional ruler of Bekuma, Oba Moses Alabi, at the palace of the Otaru of Igarra, Oba Emmanuel Adeche Saiki II, on Sunday, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said anyone who again resorts to arson and killing in the guise of reprisal would be prosecuted and sent to prison if convicted.
The governor regretted that the communities involved in the arson allowed their quarrel to degenerate into madness which led to the burning of houses and other valuables and killings, saying the task of ridding the society of criminals would not be accomplished without the collaboration of the traditional institution, local governments and the state government.
He said, “destruction of property is a very serious crime. Killing is a very serious crime. It is a capital offence in our legal system. I want to make it very clear that anyone who further resorts to acts of destruction, or killing will be prosecuted immediately by Edo State government, and if we secure a conviction, we will send the person to prison.
“I want to appeal to you, the Chief of Bekuma and the people of Bekuma, to accept what has happened as God’s will. It cannot be justified. No one has the right to resort to arson.
“I want to appeal to you to sustain what you are already doing, preaching to your people to accept the pains with the hope that this will not happen again, and that you derive some relief from the empathy and sympathy that has been shown by all the royal fathers in Akoko Edo and beyond.”
Responding, the Otaru and chairman of Bekuma Rehabilitation Committee, thanked Governor Oshiomhole for the relief materials, saying that the governor’s response showed that he is a symbol of honour and hope and exponent of human kindness.
Also speaking, Oba Alabi said the governor had put smile on the faces of Bekuma people, adding that he had also relieved their souls from the unfortunate incident.
It will be recalled that two persons were feared dead while about 40 houses, a public school and the palace of the village head of Bekuma were razed when some youths from a neighbouring community attacked Bekuma on March 30, this year.