They are senior officers with experience that will help us secure our state. We will deal with the security situation and we will identify the criminals.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, disclosed that the state government has concluded plans to comb forests in the state for killer herdsmen, as it intensifies efforts to weed out criminals from the state. He stated this when he led heads of security agencies on a fact-finding visit to Ugo Community in Orhionmwon Council, where he commiserated with families of who lost their lives to herdsmen attacks.
His words: “I am here with the Commissioner of Police (CP), Philip Agbadu, and heads of other security agencies to commiserate with you. This is to tell you how serious we take what has happened in Ugo. We are here to commiserate with you, let you know that we feel your pains, and that as a government we are concerned and worried about the situation.
“The major role of any government is to protect life and property of citizens. We are here to find out for ourselves what actually happened and to take certain decisions.
“I know this is not the first time it has happened, but we want to ensure that this sort of thing does not happen again. I thank you for being law-abiding citizens and for not taking the laws into your hands.”
Obaseki reassured the residents of his administration’s commitment to check the activities of killer herdsmen in the state, noting: “I assure you that an operation will be carried out. I am happy with the number of vigilantes in the community, which means that you have enough information. We are not against the presence of anybody who wants to do legitimate business here.
“We are only saying that if they want to come and graze, they must do it legally and lawfully.”Obaseki further explained that the state government would initiate an operation through which it would evacuate anybody who is not supposed to be in the forests, adding: “Good enough, there is information about their location and they cannot be more armed than the military.
“We cannot bring back those we have lost. All we can do is to ensure that we do not lose many more lives. We will support the Council Chairman, Sylvester Okoro, to help and support the families of the deceased.
“Rest assured that the heads of security agencies have a track record. They are senior officers with experience that will help us secure our state. We will deal with the security situation and we will identify the criminals.
“We don’t want to join issues with those who are taking advantage of the situation on the Internet, as they are posting all sorts of fake and false information.”
Governor Obaseki urged multilateral organisations and civil rights groups to complement the government’s effort…
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has urged residents to report cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other forms of gender-based violence to appropriate authorities in the state.
He asked the people to take advantage of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in Benin City, the state capital to lodge such complaints in order to tackle the menace of gender-based violence in Edo.
Governor Obaseki made the plea on Friday in commemoration of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, a United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day.
“As part of the Edo State government’s commitment to ending this practice that violates women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health, physical integrity, non-discrimination and freedom from cruel or degrading treatment, we established the Vivian Ogu Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Benin City to provide a one-stop free clinic for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence as well as the required care and support for girls,” he said.
The governor added, “With our basic education reforms, through our EdoBEST programme, we are also equipping girls in the state with a sound educational foundation.
“Education is a vital tool in addressing Female Genital Mutilation and other forms of gender-based violence, as it exposes the girl-child to information, new concepts, and encourages them to exchange ideas along with access to various sources of information and technology that foster social relations and developments.”
Governor Obaseki urged multilateral organisations and civil rights groups to complement the government’s effort by leading sensitisations to increase awareness aimed at discouraging cultures that allow female genital mutilation.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), marking the annual International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM in the context of COVID-19 is a timely reminder of the health sector’s vital role in ending the violation of girls’ and women’s health and human rights.
The health agency noted that from offering preventive services at the primary care level to ensuring the highest quality care possible for women and girls who have already undergone FGM, healthcare providers remained powerful agents for change and service in their communities.
NUT said it resolved to suspend the strike in consideration of the various interventions made by stakeholders in the education sector of the state.
Public primary school teachers and headteachers in Edo, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT), on Friday, suspended their three-week-old industrial action with a call on the state government to urgently meet their demands.
The union’s decision to suspend the action was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its emergency State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) meeting held in Benin-City.
The communiqué was jointly signed by the state NUT Chairman, Pius Okhuleliegbe; NUT Assistant Secretary, Mike Itua, state Chairman of the Association of Primary School Headteachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON), Ehileboh Thomas, and the state Secretary of the All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS).
The union directed all heads and teachers in the state’s public schools to resume work on Monday, Feb. 8.
The NUT said it resolved to suspend the strike in consideration of the various interventions made by stakeholders in the education sector of the state.
“In consideration of the various stakeholders and their special passionate appeals to the union, to allow them to join in resolving the industrial dispute between the government and the NUT, Edo State Wing in session at the end of deliberations resolved:
“That the 19 day-olds, indefinite strike action by public primary school heads and teachers in Edo be suspended and is hereby suspended.
“That all public primary school heads and teachers in Edo should resume work on Monday, Feb 8, 2021.
“That any form of victimisation against union leaders should be promptly reported to the union for necessary action.
“That Edo Government should utilise the opportunity of the suspension, to urgently meet the demands of the union, so as to restore hope and confidence between the government and the union”, the communique said.
The union commended the genuine efforts of the national leadership of the NUT, members of the Edo Government Transition Committee, NUT Edo Wing Elders Council and Edo office of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, among other stakeholders, which, it said, was aimed at having the issues in dispute amicably resolved.
It also applauded its members for their unprecedented solidarity and sustenance of the strike action for the past 19 days.
Noble Reporters Media reports that the union had on Jan. 18 embarked on an indefinite strike to press home its demands with the Edo Government.
The demands included the payment of 2013 to 2015 promotion arrears of some teachers, and the guarantee of the payment of primary school teachers’ monthly salaries on or before the 27th of every month as directed by Gov. Godwin Obaseki, as well as correct implementation of the 30 per cent Special Allowance for Teachers, in schools for challenged children.
The state COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this in a virtual meeting chaired by Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
A Groups, Talakawa Parliament and Orhionmwon stakeholders, yesterday, issued a two-week ultimatum to killer-herders to quit forest and farm settlement in Edo state to enable farmers and women gain access to their farms without fear and threat to their lives.
Addressing journalists in Benin City, Coordinator of Talakawa Parliament, Marxist Kola Edokpayi, decried the killings by herdsmen in Edo State, particularly in Orhionmwon Council.
He urged Edo people to stop consuming beef as a protest to register their displeasure over the killings in Orhionmwon by killer-herders.
Lamenting the activities of herdsmen leading to the senseless killings across farms in Ugo Community in Orhionmwon Council, Edokpayi urged security agencies to wake up to the task of providing security for Edo people. He said:
“The Commissioner of Police (CP) is hereby given 72 hours to arrest herdsmen responsible for the killings in Orhionmwon.
“The situation is worrisome and calls for urgent intervention as women are being raped on daily basis in the community.
“We do not pray for crisis in Edo as far as this issue is concerned. We call on all stakeholders to come together to stop the gruesome killings of farmers and women by criminal herdsmen in Edo state.
Also, Edo women staged a peaceful protest against the killings allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen in Uromi, Esan North East Council of the state.
Some of the protesters blocked major roads in the town, chanting solidarity songs and demanding that herdsmen must leave the community.
Besides, the state has insisted on compulsory use of face masks, as it recorded 30 new cases and two more deaths from the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the total number of deaths to 30.
The state COVID-19 Incident Manager, Dr. Andrew Obi, disclosed this in a virtual meeting chaired by Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
He urged residents to observe safety measures to contain the spread of the virus, especially maintaining social distance, regular washing of hands with soap under running water and use of face masks in public places.
Meanwhile, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, revealed plans to collaborate with the state judiciary on the establishment of a Revenue Court to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Obaseki disclosed this after handing over the new High Court Complex to the Chief Judge (CJ) of Edo State, Justice Esther Edigin.
Speaking, Justice Edigin, commended Obaseki for the infrastructure development in the judiciary, adding that the judiciary was the bastion of Nigeria’s democracy and the last hope of the common man.
The protesters noted that they were no longer safe, saying Fulani herdsmen had taken over all the surrounding forests and bushes in the area.
Worried by the insecurity in Edo State, some aggrieved women in Uromi have protested the rising cases of attacks, rituals and kidnapping by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The women, who blocked some major roads in the community, alleged that they were constantly being harassed and intimidated by the herdsmen.
They lamented that they had lost fortunes as a result of the destructive activities of cows belonging to the herdsmen.
The protesters noted that they were no longer safe, saying Fulani herdsmen had taken over all the surrounding forests and bushes in the area.
They said the solution to the problem is for Fulani herdsmen to leave the area.
They added that their crops were always ravaged by cows while some of their kinsmen had been attacked by herdsmen over time, adding that they now lived in constant fear of herdsmen attack.
Noble Reporters Media gathered that the development has prevented many commuters from making use of the highways.
In recent time, herdsmen have been accused of kidnapping and raping in the Southern part of Nigeria.
Recently, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, gave Fulani herdsmen seven days to leave the the state’s forest reserves, saying some criminals masquerading as herdsmen were using the forests to commit crimes.
After the expiration of Akeredolu’s ultimatum, South-West governors had a meeting with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria where it was agreed that open grazing would be banned in the entire region.
Around the same time, a Yoruba activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, also gave Fulani herdsmen seven days to leave Ibarapa area of Oyo State, blaming them for the killings and kidnappings going on there.
The governor added that the verdict confirmed, once again, that the Edo people were well-guided in trusting him to lead them in the September 2020 governorship election.
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has commended the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the certificate forgery case levelled against him by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Obaseki gave the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen on Saturday in Benin.
According to him, the judgement is a triumph of the rule of law and a testament to the fact that truth will prevail ultimately, no matter how vehemently detractors push lies in the face of incontrovertible evidence.
He said that the verdict, delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was well-received as a victory for the rule of law.
“It is the needless attempt by desperate individuals, trying to undo the will of the people through the backdoor, but we are happy today that justice and truth have prevailed,’’ he said.
He promised to continue to prioritise the development of the state, irrespective of all odds.
“My profound gratitude goes to the judiciary who have stood indefatigably for truth and justice and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.’’
Obaseki also thanked the People’s Democratic Party, the party leaders and members as well as his teeming supporters and people of Edo State for standing with him.
The applicant said the vehicle was allegedly seized on the orders of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for bearing the insignia of theIyase of Ogwashi-Uku, illegally.
An Ibusa High Court has adjourned until December 16, 2020 hearing on a motion filed by a Delta State Chief, Collins Afuwa, praying for the release of his vehicle seized by the police.
Justice Onome Marshal-Umukoro also adjourned the substantive case, which was filed by the Police against Chief Afuwa over the alleged impersonation and disrespect for the law and constituted authorities, to January 22 and 29, 2021.
The adjournment followed an oral application made by the prosecution counsel, Mrs Y. A. Cole, to that effect, on the ground that the case was now being prosecuted by the Attorney General of the Federation, as against the IGP.
Mrs Cole told the court that she was yet to study the case file to proceed with the matter and appealed for time to enable her do so.
However, the defence counsel, Ekeme Owhovoriole (SAN) objected to the application for adjournment, insisting that he was ready to proceed with the case, which he said was a minor chieftaincy dispute.
Owhovoriole noted that the case had earlier been adjourned twice, stressing that present-day realities did not support incessant adjournments as they amounted to a waste of time and resources.
He later interacted with the prosecution counsel and they both agreed on the adjourned dates.
Obaseki had earlier in his speech said his re-election for a second term is hope for democracy as a participatory government.
The Aide-De-Camp to Governor Godwin of Edo State on Thursday, collapsed while the governor was giving his speech during inauguration .
Noble Reporters Media observed that Obaseki was sworn-in for second term on Thursday.
Half way into his speech, the ADC collapsed, but the governor continued with his speech.
According to Obaseki, democracy and participatory government is facing a crisis of confidence locally and globally, and thanked “President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the will of the people to prevail in Edo State.”
Obaseki said given the challenges democracy had faced, “It is gratifying that Edo State is taking on this onerous task of restoring faith in democracy.
“What you, my dear people of Edo State, achieved on September 19 is the restoration of confidence in democracy and its institutions.
“We have become a point of reference on how the will of the people can triumph in a democracy that functions properly.
“My reelection represents new hope. I see myself as a vessel in the redefinition of democracy in Nigeria and I am not unaware of the enormous responsibility this places on me.
“Aside from the fact that it restores hope in democracy, our victory also offers an opportunity for us to bridge the gap between a challenged past and a promising future.
“It is time to heal. We are kith and kin with a common destiny. Let’s stop dwelling in the past. It time to take our common destiny in our hands and commence the odious task of making Edo great again.”
The ministry’s statement noted that the situation has been brought under control while security around the custodial centres nationwide has been beefed up.
The Nigeria ministry of interior, has said that 1,993 inmates in legal custody were freed as a result of the jailbreak in Benin and Oko prisons in Benin city by protesters on Monday.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the ministry’s director, press and public relations, Mohammed Manga, Tuesday.
According to the statement, “two NCoS custodial centres in Benin City and Oko in Edo State were attacked yesterday by protesters purportedly under the #ENDSARS aegis, freeing (at the last count) 1,993 inmates in legal custody and looting the centres, including the weapons in their armoury.”
Noble Reporters Media knows how hoodlums, numbering over 100, invaded the cells and freed several inmates.
Several persons were said to have sustained gunshot injuries as an armed squad of prison officials engaged the suspected hoodlums in a gun duel.
“They came in large numbers, bearing dangerous weapons and attacked the officers on guard duty.
They were unmistakable on their mission, which was to force the cells open, free the inmates and carry out other nefarious activities,” the statement said.
“Investigation has commenced to determine the full impact of the attack,” the statement read.
It also said while peaceful protest is legitimate and guaranteed as a fundamental right of citizens, criminality should be condemned.
The statement said most of the inmates held at the centres “are convicted criminals serving terms for various criminal offences, awaiting execution or standing trial for violent crimes”.
It said “their being let loose gravely imperils lives and property, and that it is an unacceptable and intolerable threat to national and communal security.”
Suspected hoodlums had earlier on Monday morning hijacked the #EndSARS Protests in Benin City.
The Edo State Government has announced the imposition of a 24-hour curfew across the state.
The curfew is to take effect from 4:00 pm, October 19, 2020, till further notice.
This was announced by the secretary to the state government, Osarodion Ogie.
Ogie said the imposition of the curfew was due to the incidents of vandalism and attacks carried out by hoodlums who hijacked the #ENDSARS protests.
“This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of the #ENDSARS protests.
“While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state,” Ogie said.
Schools and businesses are to shutdown activities accordingly, following the announcement.
Those who cannot move safely are advised to stay put between now and 4:00pm till calmness is restored.
The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media, Crusoe Osagie, told Channels Television that the hoodlums exchanged fire with security operatives at the Maximum prison in Benin City.
“The hoodlums are currently exchanging fire with the security personnel at the Maximum security prison in Oko, Benin City,” Osagie told Media TV known to Noble Reporters Media.
The hoodlums can be seen in videos invading the Benin Medium security prison on Sapele Road, releasing some inmates.
Former APC National chairman, Adams Oshiomole has broken his silence after his preferred candidate in the Edo state governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of APC lost to the incumbent governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki.
Oshiomole who was in a running battle with Governor Obaseki, worked hard for the governor to be removed from office and replaced with Pastor Ize-Iyamu. However, after the election, Obaseki was declared the winner of the election.
In a video, he shot while in his gym, Oshiomole stated that in life, you win some and lose some. He added that he is not in any way feeling down over the outcome of the election.
You know in life, you work hard and leave God for the outcome. You do your best and trust God to bless your effort.
I feel good. I feel healthy. I thank God. I feel strong, I thank God.
In life, you win some and you lose some but life goes on.
I want to thank everybody. I am sure a lot of people think that Comrade must be down. When God says you are not down, you are not down and I am not down.” he said
Speaking further, he said
”I ask our people to have faith in our country. They cannot have another country. I have only one passport. I am not about to have any other passport. This is our country. We must make it great. We must strengthen democracy, we must improve on it.
No matter the outcome of an election, have faith in God and have faith in our country”
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki for his victory at Saturday’s election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Edo State.
President Buhari, while commending the election process which led to Obaseki’s victory, urged the returning Governor to show grace and humility.
“My commitment to free and fair elections is firm, because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak,” Buhari said.
“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.
“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”
In a statement issued by his Senior Soecial Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday, President Buhari also commended the people of Edo State, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday released the results of the Edo governorship election of 13 local government areas of the state.
The commission is expecting election results from the remaining five local government areas.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Edo, Mr Johnson Alalibo, announced Prof. Akpofure Rem-Rukeh, Vice-Chancellor, University of Petroleum Resources, Effuru, Delta, as the Returning Officer to announce the results.
Alalibo declared that the results from 13 local government were ready for collation.
“This is final stage of the election and I urge you to be calm, if you have any protest we will recognise you to speak,” he said.
The results as declared by the collation officers:
Igueben Local Government APC 5179 PDP, 7870. Registered voters 46838, Accredited 13404, Total valid votes 13179, Rejected votes 212 Total vote cast 13 382
Esan North East Local Government APC 6556 PDP 13579 Registered voters 84241 Accredited 20825 Total valid 20369 Rejected 361 Total votes cast 20730
Esan Central Local Government APC 6719 PDP 10,694 Registered voters 55569 Accredited 17931 Total valid votes 17672 Rejected 242 Total votes cast 17914
Ikpoba-Okha Local Government APC 18218 PDP 41030 Registered voters 310073 Accredited 61731 Total valid votes 60052 Rejected 1378 Total votes cast 61430
Uhumwode Local Government APC-5972 PDP-10022 ZLP-5 and YPP-2. Registered voters 73416 Accredited 16741 Total valid votes 16283 Rejected 352 Total votes cast 16635
Egor Local Government APC 10202 PDP 27621 Registered voters 219841 Accredited 39709 Total valid votes 38396 Rejected 955 Total votes cast 39351
Owan East Local Government APC 19295 PDP 14762 Registered voters 91769 Accredited 34819 Total valid votes 34246 Rejected 515 Total votes cast 34761
Owan West Local Government APC 11193 PDP 11485 Registered voters 61193 Accredited 23294 Total valid votes 22849 Rejected 404 Total votes cast 23253
Oredo Local Government AA 8 ADC- 160 ADP-256 APC-18365 PDP- 43498 Registered voters 309968 Accredited voters 64783 Total valid votes 62578 Rejected 1302 and Total votes cast 63,880
Esan South East Local Government APC 9237 PDP 10563 Registered voters 73907 Accredited 20274 Total valid votes 19896 Rejected 307 Total votes cast 20203
Ovia North East Local Government APC 9907 PDP 16987 Registered voters 143009 Accredited 28607 Total valid votes 27437 Rejected votes 934 Total votes cast 28371
Etsako West Local Government APC 26140 PDP 17959 Registered voters 158899 Accredited 48846 Total valid votes 44539 Rejected 2828 Total votes cast 47367
Oredo Local Government APC 18365 PDP 43498 Registered voters 309968 Accredited 64783 Total valid votes 62578 Rejected 1302 Total votes cast 63880
Esan West Local Government APC 7189 PDP 17434 Registered voters 99983 Accredited 25530 Total valid votes 24880 Rejected 579 Total votes cast 25459
Be Neutral, All Eyes On Us, INEC Chair Charges Electoral Officers Electorate Eager To Vote Amid COVID-19. CDD: Blame INEC, Police, Politicians If Anything Goes Awry. Edo South- 1,281,414 Voters, Edo North – 564,122, Edo Central- 364,998 Godfatherism, 2023 Dominate Poll
There was uneasy calm yesterday in most parts of Edo State ahead of the governorship election holding today.
Though a total of 14 political parties are participating in the polls, the battle for Osadebe House seems to be between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC)- battle for the soul of the state, with intermittent clashes of members and supporters, especially during the campaigns.
A late evening rain in some parts of the state yesterday helped to douse the atmosphere, as the people prepared to troop out to cast their votes this morning.
Ahead of the poll, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has charged the Commission’s staff to be neutral in today’s governorship election in Edo State.
Yakubu in a message to the electoral officers deployed for the poll, yesterday, said: “All eyes are on INEC to deliver a free, fair and credible process.”
He urged the electoral officers to ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other, adding that the international community is watching.
He said: “I have no doubt that our staff members will rise to the occasion. We have done it several times before and we can do it again.
“The Commission deeply appreciates the never ending sacrifices made by our staff at all times, often beyond the call of duty, to ensure that we carry out our mandate. The management will continue to improve the welfare and conditions of service of staff within the available resources.
“Let me appeal to all of you to remain steadfast and committed to the ideals of the Commission; Nigerians and the international community expect so much from us. They are watching. It is important that we all remain above board in the performance of our respective duties.
“We must ensure that no political party or candidate is accorded any advantage over the other. We must be neutral at all times and stick strictly to our code of conduct and oath of neutrality to which we have all subscribed. For, at the end of the day, we would have all contributed to the sustenance of democracy and a strong electoral process that all Nigerians can trust.”
The main actors in today’s governorship election, apart from the voters, particularly the INEC, security agencies, led by the Police, and politicians would determine how the exercise pans out.
On Thursday, the Police organised a show of force, while INEC distributed materials, but despite the diligent deployment of materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office in Benin City, there were reports of intimidation in some areas.
INEC had always complained of logistic challenges, in term of terrain, and how far the commission sustains the transparent distribution of its men and materials this morning would determine how prepared they are to organise a credible process.
Executive Director of Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan, told The Guardian on phone that the actors in the election management should be blamed if anything goes awry today.
Hassan noted that the show of force by the Police was not well perceived in some quarters, stressing that reports of intimidation, false and unverified reports on the social media helped to sustain tension.
She observed that barring any logistic challenges or sabotage, INEC has earned an average performance to win public support, adding that the distribution of materials today would give a clear picture of INEC’s capacity to deliver on its mandate.
She stated: “Things remain tense, activities are ongoing as INEC is distributing materials. A lot of false reports, substantiated and unsubstantiated videos, releases from the political parties, especially unverified claims, are not encouraging.
“These things circulating on the social media give cause for worry, but I think everybody is hopeful. We expect to see how things will pan out in reality.”
The CDD director said judging by the way materials were distributed, INEC has shown signs of readiness, noting, however, that the Commission has the reputation of perennial complaint about logistic issues.
She noted: “INEC kept saying they are ready, but by 8.30 this morning, we will actually know whether they are ready. Things are moving on clear. Really, I think the deployment of materials and the way it was actually done from the CBN was quite commendable.
“But the actors in this election, the election management body and most importantly, the political class, would be the ones to determine the quality of the exercise and how it would round off.”
She disclosed that partners and observers met yesterday to check-in on issues and happenings in their locations, pointing out that in Igueben, for instance, security was housed in the premises of the council office, adding: “Last night, the tension of the final campaign was high, fear of political rituals has dropped, people are calm, no cause for alarm.
She noted, though, that vote-buying might enhance turn out, saying: “More voters may turn out to vote due to the peaceful atmosphere. The voting points are locked, most schools with a fence with a locked gate and that may be a challenge in the morning of the election.”
CDD observed that the atmosphere in Ovia West was peaceful, but with high presence of Police, as politicians were returning home from the city, just as voter education increased for COVID-19 compliance.
In a bid to enhance popular participation in today’s poll, the state government declared yesterday a work-free day.
Observations of the election environment show that prospective voters, who have been handed out a condition of no facemask, no voting by INEC expect the politicians to play by the rules and eschew banditry and thuggery.
Records at the INEC office indicated that no fewer than 1.72 million persons are eligible to vote in the election, while 483,796 eligible voters will not participate on account of failure to collect their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
The consolidated figure of registered voters in the state as at August 2018 stands at 2,210,534 registered voters, while only 1,726,738 collected their PVCs.
The records show that Edo has 18 councils, 192 Wards and 2,627 polling units.
A further breakdown of the registered voters figure shows that the male accounts for 1,159,325 (representing 52 per cent), while 1,051,209 are female (or 48 per cent). Of these figures, the youth (18 to 35 years) account for 50 per cent (1,105,338); middle-aged (36 to 50 years) accounts for 29.1 per cent (643,551); the elderly (51 to 70 years) make up 15.99 per cent (353,508) and eligible voters classified as the old (70 years and above) account for 4.89 per cent (108,137).
Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial districts of the state shows that Edo South has the highest figure of 1,281,414; followed by Edo North with 564,122 and Edo Central has 364,998.
Edo South is made up of seven council; Edo North, six councils and Edo Central, five councils.
According to the number of collected PVCs, Oredo zone has 240,197; Ikpoba-Okha, 214,882; Egor, 158,817; Etsako West, 128,188 and Akoko Edo, 115,343.
On the surface, the atmosphere in Edo State seems very charged, threatening to boil over, but among the residents, particularly of Benin City, the state capital, there is a general feeling of expectant relief that after today, life would return to normal.
Apart from the 2007 governorship election that produced Adams Oshiomhole as the state’s third civilian governor, no other such contest has generated the kind of tension engendered by the current exercise.
Unlike in the past, today’s showdown between Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu has a lot of issues pushing up the hot narratives, chief among the troubling issues include 2023 calculations/godfather interests and partisan survival/geopolitics, among others.
The foregoing considerations have been feeding the tension and threats of violence that pervaded preparations for today’s strategic poll. There are indications that the real battlefield for the two front row candidates would be Edo South senatorial district, which has 1.2 million registered voters. The zone offers the true test of the power of incumbency, as both Obaseki and his main challenger, Ize-Iyamu, hail from there and how the people perceive Obaseki’s performance in the past four years could inform their choices.
To douse tension, the National Peace Committee (NPC), supported by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), organised a peace convention, where Obaseki of PDP and APC’s Ize-Iyamu committed themselves to non-violence.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has assured political parties/candidates and the people of a level playfield, declaring that the Commission would remain impartial, just as Chairman of the NPC and a former military head of state, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, restated the committee’s commitment to free, fair and credible elections.
Convener of NPC and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father Matthew Hassan Kukah, described the signing of the peace accord as not just a mere ceremony, “but a spiritual vow among the candidates participating in the election.”
Earlier before the gladiators signed the peace pact, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, represented by Deputy Inspector General (Research and Planning), Adeleye Oyebade, reminded them of the need to respect the contents of the resolution, assuring: “We are here to ensure a hitch-free, fair and credible election and I have assured all that the Police will remain professional to the core.
“…Go back to speak with all your people about what you have signed. The electorate should come out to vote, because we are prepared to protect them. Edo will have the best of the best elections in Nigeria.”
The politics of 2023 and godfather investment were on virtually all discussions about the poll right from the build up. But it all comes down today, as both APC and PDP see Edo State as a very strategic outpost to enhance their chase of the ultimate triumph in 2023, with the thinking that whoever clinches the governorship would be midway to greater sphere of influence across the geopolitical zones.
Ahead of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has warned politicians and their supporters against violence.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, the IGP asked the political elites to conduct themselves properly and play according to the rules.
“The Election Security Threat Analysis reveals amongst other indicators: arming and movement of political thugs, use of inciting statements during political campaigns, high likelihood of violence and possible cross attack by political opponents, misinformation/disinformation aimed at heating-up of the polity and deliberate efforts at delegitimizing government institutions involved in the electoral processes.
“The IGP has therefore ordered the Commissioners of Police in the two states – Edo and Ondo – to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report,” the statement partly read.
To Mohammed, the warning becomes necessary to prevent any act that will disrupt the polls scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively.
He explained that the Nigeria Police Force will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law on anyone or group, irrespective of status, that may want to sabotage the security arrangement put in place for the elections.
The IGP also ordered the commissioners of police in the two states to rejig their preparations for the elections to accommodate and address the threats and emerging trends as contained in the security report.
The warning follows a review of the election security threat assessment reports submitted by police bosses from both states.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria against the Edo State government.
In the suit, the union urged the court to freeze the account of the state government over alleged refusal to obey a court order asking the state to offset the seven months salary arrears owed its members since 2015.
It asked the court to enforce the judgment of a Federal High Court which ruled in their favour.
Ruling on the application on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang explained that the suit was filed in bad faith with the aim of crippling the activities of the state government, a few weeks to a major election.
He insisted that the union adopted a careless and nonchalant approach to enforce the judgment secured since January 2014, having failed to take steps to enforce.
The judge questioned why the union surreptitiously approached the court during a vacation to have the entire accounts of the state frozen without stating the exact amount allegedly owed the workers.
While dismissing the suit, he described the action of the applicant as a gold-digging exercise, adding that it was speculative and laced with ulterior motive aimed at satisfying the interests of members of the union to the detriment of the state.
Members of the union had joined their counterparts in the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2014 to protest over the alleged failure of the state governments to grant autonomy to the judiciary.
The World Bank has approved a $75 million facility to support the Edo State government’s effort at revamping its education sector.
Governor Godwin Obaseki disclosed this on Thursday during a visit to Usen in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the state for his re-election campaign rally.
He noted that the Board of the World Bank gave the approval on Wednesday, saying it was in recognition of the successes recorded by his administration in the education sector.
“I am very glad to inform you that our efforts in revamping education in Edo State and Nigeria have now been richly rewarded.
“Yesterday, the Board of the World Bank approved a $75 million facility for the revamping of education in Edo State,” the governor told a crowd of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the rally.
According to Governor, education is very important and the state government has begun working to reposition and re-enact the sector, starting with the basic education.
He added, “What that means is that over the next three years, we will have about N40 billion to utilise in changing the face of education in Edo and Nigeria.
“This is because of the fantastic work which members of our team have undertaken in the past few years to show the world what we can do with our educational system.”
The governor gave an assurance that the loan would be utilised to change the face of education in the state for the next three years.
He believes the intervention fund will help to expand the existing Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme from the basic education level to the secondary level, as well as reset tertiary education system in the state on the path of progress.
Governor Obaseki commended his cabinet members for the successes recorded in the education sector, stressing that he was not afraid of signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) whenever the need arise following the progress made so far.
“It will interest you to know that this facility will help us at the secondary school level to do what we have started doing at the basic education level so that by the time a child has gone through five years of learning, that child will be exposed not only to learning and literacy but also to a vocation.
“This is the last time in our history that our education system will produce ‘Agberos’,” the governor stated.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has been having sleepless nights after being confronted with facts about the role Governor Godwin Obaseki played in the establishment of the modular refinery in Ologbo, Edo State.
The governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, who stated this on Sunday noted that the refinery was getting closer to being completed.
“After last week’s visit of a Federal Government delegation to the Edo Modular Refinery in Ologbo, the APC is now clearly confused as their campaign seems to have been deflated by the stellar performance of Governor Obaseki and the near-total acceptance Obaseki enjoys from Edo people,” he said.
Osagie added, “The truth will continue to dwarf and ultimately blot out falsehood and propaganda, as the Ologbo visit by the Federal Government delegation has just done to APC’s efforts at misinforming the public.”
He explained that the Presidency sent emissaries to Ologbo in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state last week, to inspect the refinery project.
According to the governor’s aide, the government officials were not only satisfied with what they saw on the ground but showered encomiums on Governor Obaseki for the landmark achievement.
“During the visit, the seed investment of N700 million which Edo State government made to kick-off this project was eloquently highlighted, as well as other interests of the Edo State government in the project.
“Understandably, this event gave the opposition sleepless nights and this feeble lie is the response they have decided to deploy in an attempt to pacify their supporters who have been questioning their jaundiced criticisms of Governor Obaseki and transferring their allegiance in large numbers to the ‘wake and see governor,” he said.
This comes in reaction to the comments by the APC Media Campaign Council Chairman in Edo State, John Mayaki, who asked the governor not to “take glory” for the refinery project.
Osagie also referred to the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on how states in the country have performed in the area of reducing unemployment.
He said the impartial and data-focused agency highlighted efforts of the Edo State government at reducing unemployment figures in the state.
The governor’s aide added, “Since the NBS released its data, APC has stayed away from the matter and has discarded its earlier position that Governor Obaseki did not create jobs for Edo people.
“For every lie of the APC, we have documented facts which are available to members of the public and the relevant government agencies.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday, told Governor Godwin Obaseki not to ” take glory” for the Edo Modular Refinery at Ologbo.”
APC’s Media Campaign Council Chairman in Edo State, John Mayaki says it amounts to “broad daylight robbery” for the Obaseki administration to claim a project that is funded by the Federal Government and some private businesses.
“As it stands now, no one can debate the fact that Mr. Godwin Obaseki is falsehood personified, a wrapped bag of lies that continue to give,” John Mayaki noted in a statement.
“From falsified and inconsistent academic records and credentials, the baloney has come to the point of broad daylight robbery of projects and initiatives.
“Today, the lie is with the Edo Modular refinery at Ologbo, a project that having been funded by both foreign businesses and the federal government has neared completion and commissioning.”
Giving further insight into the modular refinery, the statement explained that the “Edo Refinery and Petrochemical Company is owned by AIPCC Energy Limited, a joint venture between AFCOM and Peiyang Chemical Equipment Company of China and was built at the cost of 10.2million dollars. The refinery will be producing diesel, Naptha, and Fuel oil (LPFO).
“The Federal Government supported the project by granting duty waivers on refinery equipment and components.”
While claiming the Obaseki Government has failed in providing the needed infrastructure since he took the governor over, it added that the Edo leader has done nothing to address the challenges facing Edo State.
“While Obaseki is desperately trying to be at the front, center, and back of a private project that his administration in fact frustrated with his disastrous economic policies and pulverizing of the strong economic structures in place before his tragic emergence, the sites of his promised Industrial Park and GeleGele Seaport remain desolate, standing as a symbolic portrayal of his entire four-year reign: empty, dull, and without any life,” the statement added.
It, therefore, called on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Obaseki, to stop laying claims to “what does not rightly belong to them,” vowing that “we will be here all the way to sensitize the people and rinse them of the indoctrinated lies and deceits.”
The Edo State Police Command has begun mopping up illegal firearms ahead of the September 19 governorship election in the state.
This is in line with a directive issued by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for a nationwide clampdown on the proliferation of prohibited firearms.
Adamu had in a statement issued by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, on August 16, said the directive is targeted at addressing the proliferation and unlawful possession of prohibited firearms in the country which is contrary to the provisions of Chapter F.28 LFN 2004 of the Firearms Act.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Edo State, Chidi Nwabuzor, the Commissioner of Police, Johnson Kokumo, ordered all police officers “to immediately put in place measures to identify, disarm, arrest and prosecute any person or group of persons in possession of firearms prohibited by law.”
Kokumo asked all Divisional Police Officers to with immediate effect, organize enlightenment meetings for members of the Vigilance Groups, Forest Guards, Hunters and Local Security outfits.
The police spokesman explained that the move is necessary to ensure they operate in conformity with the extant laws guiding their establishment and operations
Residents of the state were also asked to remain law-abiding, and rekindle their trust in Police ability to protect them.
Similarly, the State Police Command urged residents of the state to report any person or persons found to be in possession of Firearms to the nearest Police or via any of the following numbers: 08033087092, 08081761702, 08077773721, 08037646272, 08123827225, 08033726625.
The Department of State Services (DSS) has invited 10 leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State for an ‘important meeting’.
According to a letter from the security agency, the politicians are to attend the meeting scheduled to hold on Saturday at the DSS Command Headquarters in Benin City, the state capital.
A copy of the letter, dated August 20, 2020, and addressed to one Tony Adun who is also known as Kabakaba, was obtained by Noble Reporters Media on Friday.
While the DSS did not disclose the agenda of the meeting, it is suspected to be in connection to the forthcoming governorship election in Edo.
“I am directed to invite you (Adun) to an important meeting with the State Director of Security,” part of the letter read.
Adun was asked to attend the meeting with the National Chairman of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), and eight other leaders of the APC in the state.
They include Ehis Adams – APC Leader in Oredo, Osaro Idahosa – APC Leader in Ikpoba-Okha, and Okunbor Roberts – APC Leader in Ovia South-West LGA.
Others are ‘Atarodo’ – APC member, Kingsley Amedo – APC member, Richard Obe – APC member, Osarobo Idehen – APC member, and Dr Emma – APC member.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed September 19 to conduct the election in Edo State.
In compliance with its Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election and in accordance with Section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), INEC cleared 14 candidates for the poll on July 18.
The electoral umpire stressed that with the publication of the final list of candidates, no political party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates, as well as tamper with the list and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.