The swearing-in of the Executive Council of Edo Civil Society Organisations took place today after election on the 29th of September, 2017 at its state headquarters.

The former executive council tenure expired after three years of administration which saw to the recent re-election of majority of the former members.

The occassion witnessed guests from other sister organisations and important personalities. The immediate past Coordinator General, Comrade Omobude Agho was re-elected alongside majority of his previous team to pilot its affairs in the next three years.

The Coordinator General assured that his team will make the network stronger and more viable in the next three years and raised areas of focus in repositioning the society.

Edo Civil Society Organisations is a network of civil society groups in Edo State.



Fellow comrades, friends of EDOCSOs, guests, men of the press, it is great joy I welcome you all to this moment of transition from one executive to another. The peculiarity in this transition is the returning of almost all officers who served in the just ended tenure of the former administration, this is so because, members of the network, being satisfied with the performances of the executives in the past three years deem it necessary to re-elect us again.

Today marks the take-off of the third executive council of this formidable network of civil society groups in Edo state, the journey to where we are today has been a turbulent one with several challenges that have always been surmounted due to our resilience, dedication and commitment towards the achievement of a society free from oppression, intimidation, denigration and all forms of human rights abuses, a society where government and all public institutions are working.

We have in the last three years thrive to increase awareness and knowledge in civic engagements, built capacities of citizens, stood for truth and justice for the society, pursue fairness in order to attain peace everywhere. In our own little way, we have taken suspects on bail at no cost on daily basis even though a lot of Nigerians still believe bail is not free, initiated court processes to enforce the fundamental rights of oppressed citizens, recovered lost properties for individuals, reversed government harsh policies, proffer solutions on both state and national challenges. In all of these, it still appears a lot needs to be done.

For over three years, Edo Civil Society Organisations have engaged the power sector in ensuring that it works which culminate in the improvement of the socio-economic standard of the country. What we have observed thus far is the high level of insincerity of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the workability of the sector. First and foremost is the refusal of the government to withdraw the licences of the current players in the sector, a majority of them lacks the prerequisites to manage any segment of it. The level of extortion and exploitation on customers is alarming while the government looks the other way. The issue of estimated billing, forceful collection of payment in exchange for darkness, ineptitude of management team and corruption in the sector in collusion with government officials is further killing the sector. A sincere and fair government will not watch its citizens exploited by private investors in the name of estimated bills, the Federal Government should order that no customer should be issued bill if the distribution company fails to meter such a customer; if this is implemented, I can assure you, we will enjoy rapid improvement in service delivery.

Our society is engulfed in so many abnormalities today, even in the dispensation of justice, a situation where a mobile court denies a suspect access to legal representation, where the accuser is always correct and right and in some cases suspects are not allowed to defend themselves, no legal mechanism to check the veracity of a matter before sentence can be best described as a ‘legalization of jungle justice’. This just have to stop in Edo state, if the mobile court is now an avenue to extort and exploit the people, it must be done away with and all cases be tried in the regular court where suspects can have access to legal representation and fair hearing.

Time will fail me to talk on the Federal Road Safety Corps and their menace on our highways, the Nigeria Police Force, Legislature, Judiciary, the Customs Services, Insecurity in the state, corruption, taxation, electoral processes etc.

As the newly sworn-in second executives, we will thrive to strengthen the network’s capacity in public engagement, improve comrades’ knowledge base, expansion of our Study Centres across the state and ensure that more viable groups are affiliated in order to build a society where citizens are truly critical stakeholders.

I want to appreciate all heads of organization and their members who have given us all the needed supports in the last three years and we believe your supports will further take EDOCSOs to another level of global impact and recognition. I also want to admonish my fellow executive members that, this is a call to serve, not just to serve EDOCSOs but to serve all Edo people, there shall be no room for mediocrity and ineptitude. We all must serve selflessly in putting our society on the right track so that at the end of day, posterity will mark our result sheets well .

Once again, thank you all.

Comrade Omobude Agho, Coordinator General

Edo Civil Society Organisations

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