Activities in the public sector and the public in general in Edo State got to a slow start on Monday. This follows the cancellation of the public holiday earlier declared on Saturday by the state government for Monday, to enable voters exercise their franchise in the National Assembly election.
Following the postponement from Saturday 2nd to Monday 4th April by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, over lack of electoral materials, the state government had declared Monday a holiday.
A further announcement by Mr. Jega on Sunday afternoon after a meeting with leaders of the various political parties postponing the elections again to Saturday, 9th April, prompted the Edo State government to cancel the public holiday it had earlier announced.
Workers in the state ministries and parastatals, however, resumed late for duty on the pretext that the holiday was still in force.
As at 10am, only a few people had arrived their duty posts in the ministries visited, just as it was also observed that the roads were devoid of the usual heavy human and vehicular traffic associated with Monday mornings in Benin City.
A worker at the State Secretariat Building on Sapele Road, who did not want his name in print, said that he got to his duty post at about 11am. He told NEXT: "I am not aware that the public holiday announcement has been reversed. There was no electricity in my area last night so I could not listen to news."
He, however, said that he got wind of the cancellation of the holiday from a colleague who had called him on phone to inquire if he was in good health when he failed to show up at the office at the resumption hour.
But it was a case of different strokes for different folks in the case of workers in the private sector, as some of them who got to the office late heaped the blame over the mix up at the door step of the Edo State government.
They were unanimous in saying that the state government should have waited for the federal government to declare a public holiday should the election be held on a Monday.
On the rescheduled time table for the April general elections, respondents from both the public and private sectors welcomed the development.
They expressed their willingness to participate in the polls in order to effect change in the nation's leadership for all-round development of the country.