*EDOCSO MEMBERS IMMUNITY AGAINST ‘IGHO’SEKA’*
Edo Civil Society Organisations is a coalition of civil rights groups in Edo state with numerous grassroots cluster arrangements in different communities across the state.
Aside standing for good governance, social justice and human rights as a whole, the area it dissipates its energy excessively in, is building the knowledge base of its members and those that care to learn on a whole lot of societal issues bordering on oppression, intimidation or extortion by individuals or institutions.
Back to the heading of the post, ‘igho’seka’ is a Benin word which literally mean coercively paying money that was never planned for or in another rough translation, it means paying somewhat debt you never owed. I tried to see if there is an English word equivalent to it, I couldn’t find any. This type of payment comes with coercion which is against your will.
In Edo state for instance, a lot of our people are faced with the challenge of being forcefully made to pay money never planned for, mostly when in a dire situation. The reason they find themselves in such circumstances is not far fetched. It’s simply because they lack BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR RIGHTS.
You get pained when you see how citizens are being extorted and exploited by agents of government and powerful individuals in Edo state. Such agencies like the police, market unions, electricity company (BEDC), state and local government law enforcers and individuals given certain powers. In all of these, members of EDOCSO cannot and will never pay any money not officially approved. Even some that seems officially approved that fails morality test are ignored as well.
When others are being forced to pay unofficial fees to access public service, any identified member of EDOCSO is exempted. At times it becomes practically impossible for us to make a conviction that bail is free to some category of persons whose minds are already fixed. In some instances that we have facilitated a suspect’s bail, he will go behind us to offer money to the police as cost of freedom which is already constitutionally free. We can only liberate the prisoner to the extent he wants to be liberated.
Just a mere case of two persons involved in a fight, bail fee in Edo state costs between N50, 000 and N100, 000 with much pleading with the IPO. An amount that can buy you a 100ft by 100ft in some rural communities.
AS FOR ME AND MY FELLOW COMRADES, WE HAVE IMMUNITY AGAINST ‘IGHO’SEKA’.
WE DON’T PARTAKE IN THE PAYMENT OF ‘IGHO’SEKA’.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
Leftist Osazee Edigin
Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations