Tag Archives: Obaseki

Don’t cover GBV – Obaseki tells Edo residents.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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#Newsworthy

Obaseki, IBB, Oshiomhole, Others send tributes to 81-year-old late Momoh.

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In different ways, they outlined the virtues of the late lawyer, and politician that should be emulated, adding that his contributions to the enthronement of an egalitarian polity were invaluable.

Showers of tributes continued to rain, yesterday, for former Information Minister and media icon, Prince Tony Momoh, who expired on Monday evening aged 81.

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Eminent Nigerians who eulogised the late elder statesman, yesterday were former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, retd; former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State; and Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams among others.

In different ways, they outlined the virtues of the late lawyer, and politician that should be emulated, adding that his contributions to the enthronement of an egalitarian polity were invaluable.

We’ve lost a frank, blunt, articulate intellectual — IBB

Lamenting that Momoh’s demise is a sad chapter in the nation’s history, General Babangida said the Auchi Prince was frank, blunt and honest in his articulation of issues of national discourse.

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In a condolence message he personally signed, Babangida recalled his time with the veteran journalist thus: “When Tony clocked 80 last year, we had opportunity to robustly engage and reminisce on our days and years in government, when we tapped so much from his reservoir of knowledge as our Minister of Information. He was such a teacher, a patriot, with uncommon brilliance, who deployed his intellect to shape national discourse in the course of our intervention in government. He was very blunt, honest, and frank when he needed to put issues across, and was fond of interrogating submissions to be sure they are based on facts. His sense of loyalty was profound.”

He continued: “I was utterly shocked yesterday (Monday) to learn of the death of this great Nigerian, such a rare enigma, a quintessential thorough-bred journalist and lawyer, a prince from the Auchi sacred kingdom, who carried his aura with remarkable presence of mind.

“Tony was a formidable mind, always worried about the place of Nigeria and Nigerians, in the scheme of things. He was a successful mass communicator, a didactic letter writer, a brilliant legal mind, a family man, and an unusual politician. He never hesitated to state his piece of mind, irrespective of who was involved. Once he believed in a cause, he followed through, no matter the outcome. As a principled prince, he was never frivolous and flippant. He was thorough, contented, well researched and essentially pan-Nigeria. His death, no doubt, has left a huge void in our heart of hearts.

“My condolences to the Momoh royal family of Auchi kingdom, particularly the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom, his widow, children, friends and associates. May Allah grant them the fortitude to bear this painful loss.

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“Last year presented an opportunity to thank him for his support and contributions to nation-building; I never knew death would snatch him away so soon. It truly hurts. Let me specially console his son Rasheed at this mournful moment. You need to be a man to rally the family together. God will grant you the strength to bear this irreplaceable loss.”

We lost a man of peace, a bridge builder — Oshiomhole

To Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Nigeria has lost a peaceful man and bridge builder.

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In a statement, the former governor of Edo State said Prince Tony Momoh played politics without bitterness and stamped his feet in the sands of time as a “journalist , administrator, public commentator, and conscience of the political elite,” adding, “I have lost an elder brother, counsellor, political ally and a dear friend.’’

Said Oshiomhole: “Prince Tony Momoh was a man of peace, a bridge builder and a trailblazer, whose impressive career mentored a whole new generation of present day leaders in the media, public service and academia.

“He played politics without bitterness, but with exceptional maturity and a unique ability to accommodate diverse opinions even when they were against his beliefs. As Minister of Information & Culture at a very critical moment in Nigeria’s political history, he introduced a novel channel of communication with the people in his acclaimed “Letters To My Countrymen” series through which he periodically explained policies of government to the governed while they too had the opportunity to react to the letters, which ultimately served as a feedback to government.

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“He will ever be remembered as one of the very few principled, loyal and conscience driven politicians in Nigeria. His unique brand of unwavering loyalty and commitment to ideals is manifest in his political engagements as director of Media and Publicity for the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and the critical role he played in the emergence of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.”

In his tribute, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, said Momoh’s demise was a sad development because he was “one Nigerian who contributed immensely to the development of the party (APC) and the country” and ‘’would be remembered for his selfless service to his fatherland.”

The Speaker sent his condolences to Momoh family, the people and Government of Edo State and prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, even as he prayed eternal rest for the soul of the deceased.

Similarly, the Speaker also commiserated with Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa over the demise of her mother, Alhaja Sadiat Abeke Erogbogbo, a retired teacher and businesswoman at the age of 90.

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said Prince Tony Momoh as a journalist made indelible contributions to the development of the noble profession in Nigeria, adding that the APC will miss the principled political leader.

In a statement by his Special Adviser, Ola Awoniyi, the Senate President commiserated with the government and people of Edo State and the APC, where he was a highly respected leader.

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“Prince Tony Momoh as a journalist made indelible contributions to the development of the noble profession in Nigeria. As Minister of Information, Prince Momoh, through his ‘Letter to my countrymen’ series, professionally and effectively disseminated and managed public information in a manner that was unique to him.

“As chairman of the CPC, he helped nurture the party to a very strong showing at the polls within months of its formation.

‘’Prince Momoh was also a key facilitator of the emergence of the APC in 2014. The APC will miss this principled political leader particularly in this period that the party is repositioning as a grassroots-based political party and for improved performance of its leadership of our great country,” Lawan said.

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In like manner, Governor Obaseki, celebrated the contributions of late Prince Momoh to the growth and development of Nigeria, describing him as a rare politician who spoke truth to power when it mattered the most.

His words: “It is with a heavy heart that I received the news of the death of veteran journalist and former Minister of Information and Culture, Prince Tony Momoh.

“Prince Momoh, though a great son of Edo State, was a total Nigerian. He was forthright, driven and spoke with candor. As a nationalist, he was unapologetic about the Nigerian project. His lasting legacy remains the enthronement of democratic values in Nigeria.

“A progressive and committed Nigerian, Prince Momoh’s wise counsel would be greatly missed especially as we navigate our current challenges as a nation.’’

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Eulogising Prince Tony Momoh, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State said his contribution to the development of Nigeria is invaluable.

He regretted that Prince Momoh died when his statesmanly services are still required in the country, noting that Nigeria’s development story will not be complete without Prince Momoh’s contributions.

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According to him, Prince Momoh impacted the society as a teacher, a journalist, a lawyer, a politician, among other numerous ways he deployed his talent in service to community, state and nation.

Besides, Governor Uzodimma said Prince Momoh remained vocal and truthful in causes he was convinced in, and believed so much in a united Nigeria where equity, justice, fairness should be the guiding principle.

He said the APC has lost a dependable statesman, ally and consummate party man whose legacies are there for all to see and learn from.

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On his part, Iba Gani Adams said that Tony Momoh’s death has created a huge vacuum for the progressives.

Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Aderemi, described the late Momoh as a genuine leader with a mind of his own, adding that he was one of the leading patriots who offered their wealth of experiences for national progress and development.

The statement read in part: “It is with deep sense of sorrow that I mourn the death of one of the heroes of this democracy. The late Momoh was a worthy ambassador of our country, a model to all the progressives, a leading journalist, and consummate politician.

“The late Tony Momoh during his lifetime was one of our heroes in the struggle for this democracy. He was an Apostle of restructuring, and one of the leading voices in national politics. Most times, he attends our programmes without rigour. The late Tony Momoh lived a worthy life, bringing to bear his deep thoughts and valuable ideas to national politics.

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“The recent interview he granted a national daily (Vanguard) truly showed the stuff he was made of and I feel sad that the late Tony Momoh’s death came as a rude shock and at a time when his wealth of experiences are still needed most.

“With his death, it is no doubt that we have lost one of our great men, whose generation of patriots are depleting by the day. And I want to assure Nigerians that we will not relent in our efforts, by ensuring that the ideals he lived and died for remained evergreen in our minds.

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#Newsworthy

Obaseki’s ally collapse during second term inaugural

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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.

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“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.”


#Newsworthy

Second term: Obaseki-Shaibu Gov’t continues in new party.

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Obaseki had defected to the PDP from the All Progressives Congress after he was denied the ruling party’s ticket in the primary election due to intra-party wranglings.

No fewer than four other governors witnessed the inauguration of Edo Governor Godiwn Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu for second term in office.

The inauguration took place at the Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

In attendance at the inauguration which took place on Thursday at the Tennis Court of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, were governors of the Peoples Democratic Party including Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, was also present at the event with some other party officials while Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was represented by a government official.

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He later defeated the APC candidate in the September 19, 2020 governorship election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to be re-elected governor of the state.

Speaking at the inauguration, Obaseki promised to consolidate on his first-term achievements.

He said, “We will also rapidly develop our critical energy, housing, digital and road Infrastructure, which provides a framework to drive inclusive growth as well as build the economy and drive industrialization, trade and investment, to solidify our state’s status as the choice investment destination in the country.

“We will preserve the environment and public utilities, to make our state more functional and adapt to the challenges of climate change and rural-urban migration. Our major drive will be the clean and green Edo initiative and sustaining our campaign to plant trees and restore the forest.”


#Newsworthy…

EndSARs: Obaseki declares 24-hour curfew in Edo State.

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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.

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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.

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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.


#Newsworthy…

EdoDecide’20: We won’t succumb to provocation – Obaseki.

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The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says his administration remains committed to ensuring peace in the state despite the politically charged atmosphere.

He stated this on Tuesday when he visited the Egiegbai II of Ekperi Kingdom, His Royal Highness Deke Kanoba, in Etsako Central Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Obaseki was at the traditional ruler’s palace to seek the monarch’s prayers and support ahead of the September 19, 2020 governorship election.

“I will continue to do everything within my powers, even in the face of provocation from the opposition, to ensure that our dear state is peaceful.

“No business can thrive in a state where there is no peace. As a government, we are determined to explore all means possible to grow our economy,” he told his host.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, with his deputy, Philip Shaibu, at the palace of the Egiegbai II of Ekperi Kingdom.

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The governor added, “I understand that there is also no place or business that can boom without constant electricity. We need electricity for our businesses such as fish farm which is a major source of income for the people of Ekperi.

“It’s our interest to construct roads and other infrastructures for our people. We have had some challenges with the management of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).”

According to Governor Obaseki, the state government is very concerned about providing a constant electricity supply to the people.

He was accompanied to the palace by the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, and some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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In his remarks, the Egiegbai II of Ekperi Kingdom said that his palace does not get involved in partisan politics, stressing that his interest was in good governance.

He also called for peaceful rallies among political parties and urged the security agencies to ensure a peaceful electioneering process.

The traditional ruler specifically pleaded with Governor Obaseki to look into the activities of BEDC in his area.

He, however, thanked the governor for the construction of the roads in Ogbago and Osomhegbe communities


#Newsworthy…

EdoDecide’20: INEC affirm Ize-iyamu, Obaseki alongside 12 others

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The stage appears to be set for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State following the release of the final list of candidates in the poll.

With just two months to the poll, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced that 14 candidates will contest in the election.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made the announcement in a statement on Saturday.

A file photo of Edo State Governor and PDP candidate, Godwin Obaseki.

He revealed that the electoral umpire has displayed the final list of candidates at its offices in Benin City, the state capital, and the 18 Local Government Areas of the state.

Okoye added that the list has also been uploaded on the Commission’s website.

A file photo of APC Edo State governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at the launch of his campaign manifesto in Benin City on July 14, 2020.

He explained that the action of INEC was 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).

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“By Section 35 of the Electoral Act and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the Commission, the withdrawal and substitution of candidates for the Edo Governorship election ended on 13th July 2020,” the INEC national commissioner stated.

He added, “With the publication of the final list of candidates, no political party can withdraw or substitute any of the nominated candidates or tamper with the list and particulars of the candidates in a manner inconsistent with the intendment of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.”

According to the list released by INEC, 12 of the candidates are male and the remaining two are female.

Okoye urged the participating political parties to pay close attention to the timelines stipulated in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities of the commission, as well as the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.


#Newsworthy…

EdoDecide’20: Obaseki face trouble in PDP

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The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo, Mr Tony Aziegbemi, has vowed not to grant Gov. Godwin Obaseki an automatic ticket of the party to contest for re-election.

Since Obaseki was disqualified by the All Progressives Congress screening committee, he has reportedly been making moves to join the PDP.

He has visited two governors in the South South, Nyesom Wike in Rivers and Emmanuel Udom in Akwa Ibom.

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Aziegbemi said: “I can confirm to you that the governor, his deputy and the entire APC structure in the state will be joining PDP soon.

“We have been in touch in the last few days; by tomorrow, I will be able to confirm the exact date he will be joining, along with his team.

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“However, I am not yet aware that the governor has obtained our party’s membership card. I can also say that there is no automatic ticket in the offing for him at all,” he said.

Similarly, a governorship aspirant of the PDP, Mr Ken Imasuagbon, has said he is prepared for open contest, provided his opponents will be ready to subject themselves to the party’s rules and regulations.

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Imasuagbon said he was not averse to Obaseki’s planned move to join the party, but added that he would resist any attempt to hand over the party’s ticket to him, preparatory to the governorship election slated for Sept. 19.

According to him, Obaseki will have to join the queue, just like other aspirants, and go through the party’s primaries, billed for June 19 and June 20.

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“Any attempt to hand the party’s ticket to him will be met with serious resistance. In fact, there will be no PDP primaries or whatever if the party’s leadership tries it.

“This is neither a military coup nor military rule; the governor must subject himself to the party’s primaries.

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“He will need to queue with the other aspirants, if he wishes to join the race. But we will certainly resist handing him over the ticket automatically.

“Have you heard before that somebody will join a party and within three days, he will be given the ticket? Did he buy the party’s nomination form? Was he screened?” he queried.


#Newsworthy…

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EdoDecide’20: Obaseki reveal next step amid disqualification

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Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has reacted to the decision of the APC to disqualify him from participating in the party’s governorship primaries slated for June 22, 2020.

Governor Godwin Obaseki says he will not appeal the outcome of the screening exercise which disqualified him from participating in the primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the forthcoming governorship poll in Edo State.

In a communique by his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie, the governor said he watched the mockery of the democratic process, which “Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is administering and superintending” over in his party the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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The governor stated that it has been an unfortunate, disheartening, and dreadful spectacle.

Governor Obaseki noted that he had initially asserted that going by the open display and enthronement of illegality by one man in the party that comprises several organs and eminent personalities, there is no way that he would get a fair assessment in the run-up to the nomination of candidates to fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming Edo gubernatorial election.

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Obaseki said it is unfortunate that this “open show of shame, illegality, and travesty of justice is the brand of democracy which Comrade Oshiomhole has reduced the APC into”. Adding that the situation is quite saddening because this is a party supposedly reputed for change, equity and social justice.

“We have therefore decided that it would be an effort in futility to appeal whatever the unjust outcome of the evaluation and screening process of the APC will be, especially when Comrade Oshiomhole has declared that he is the Supreme Court and ultimate determiner of the fate and future of our great party.

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“We wish Oshiomhole well in his maladministration of the party and trust that the Almighty will help our country to find the path to true liberty, freedom, and justice,” Godwin Obaseki stated.

He called on all party members and his teeming supporters to remain calm and await further directives.


#Newsworthy…

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EdoDecide’20: Ize-Iyamu express happiness

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Buoyed his clearance by the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo State governorship primary of the party, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has expressed gratitude to the screening committee of the party for carrying out a thorough job.

In a statement on Friday in Benin by Mr John Mayaki, the Director of Communication and Media of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s Campaign Organization, he said that the progress made by completing the exercise revealed the true spirit and character of the year party premised on a bold insistence on fairness, accountability, and transparency.

The former Secretary to Edo State Government said: “I wish to send my deepest gratitude to all the members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for joyful cooperation that led to a seamless but thorough screening exercise.”

Having passed the screening tests, Ize-Iyamu expressed his consistent readiness to take the will of the party as the ultimate, regarding its laws and principles as the supreme guide for the execution of its affairs and assignments.

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The APC governorship aspirant noted: “I urge all the members of our party whose indefatigable commitment, loyalty, and cooperation has led to the success we experienced in recent times, to remain focused and committed to our general ambition as a party, and in the same vein pursuant of our personal political dreams in light of our progressive philosophy.”

“As we prepare for the primaries and the election itself, it is time we bind together and close ranks, remembering that the greatest goal is the progress of Edo State, the moving forward of our great homeland, and the betterment of life for all of its people.”


#Newsworthy…

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Obaseki hit hard on certificate manipulators – Says he is not like them. | Must Read

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Governor Godwin Obaseki has reacted to the claim that he forged his university certificate.

Three persons in the state, Edobor Williams, Ugbesia Abudu Godwin and Amedu Dauda Anakhu, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleged that Obaseki forged his bachelor of arts (B.A.) certificate in Classical Studies from the University of Ibadan.

But the governor, who spoke on Saturday, during a Thank You tour to principal officers and ward leaders in Oredo Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State, denied the allegelation.

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He also described as laughable, claims that he lost his ward in the last general elections and urged Edo people to be wary of the antics of rumour mongers in the run-up to the state elections scheduled for September this year.

“When people come out to lie that I didn’t win my ward during the last election, they forget that election results are documented. They say I forged my certificate. How can you forge the certificate of the University of Ibadan? I am not like those that burn buildings to cover up their certificate issues,” he said.

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On the state’s forthcoming governorship election, Obaseki said the poll would change the face of Nigeria’s elections and strengthen its democracy.

He said, “I am just going round to say thank you to my people for their support so far. I am assuring them that I will continue my good work in the state.

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“We have been practising democracy for 21 years now. We cannot continue to behave the same way. This time, we will change the narrative. This will be a government of the people by the people and for the people. It will not be a government of the people by a few people.”

Governor Obaseki and his entourage visited wards 1, 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 during the tour.


#Newsworthy…

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Obaseki visit Buhari in Aso Villa.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Personal Assistant on New Media to the President, Bashir Ahmad, announced this via his Twitter handle.

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He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari meets with Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Godwin Obaseki this afternoon, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.”

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Newsmen reports that eight governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Sunday, held a meeting with the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, at the State House Marina, Lagos State to make a case for Obaseki.

It was gathered that the governors were at the closed-door meeting to seek Tinubu’s intervention in the search for a truce in the political conflict between Obaseki and his godfather, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.


#Newsworthy…

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Breaking: Obaseki shenk Tinubu


Embattled Governor Godwin Obaseki finally met his party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Lagos on Sunday. But Obaseki returned to Benin empty-handed.

Tinubu had nothing but a shattering news for Obaseki. He could not save him from his godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, charging with a political cudgel.

Rather, Tinubu advised Obaseki to go out there to test his popularity in the party’s direct primary scheduled for 22 June.

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Tinubu gave the same advice to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state as the two governors and seven others met at a parley.

The meeting was hosted at the Lagos House Marina by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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Also at the meeting were governors Atiku Bagudu, Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Mai Buni(Yobe), Adegboyega Oyetola(Osun), Abubakar Bello(Niger) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), who was the host.

At the meeting Tinubu reportedly described democratic primary as a core element of internal democracy should not be jettisoned.

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A source at the meeting held at the State House, Marina, Lagos, said Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, emphasised the importance of primary to democracy, admonishing party leaders to safeguard it in the preparation for the choice of standard bearers.

The Progressives Governors’s Forum, led by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, unfolded plans last week to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to support their push for right of first refusal to two of their colleagues, Akeredolu and Obaseki, for the governorship tickets.

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The polls will hold in Edo in September and Ondo in October. No fewer than 10 chieftains are competing for the ticket in Ondo APC with Akeredolu, who is seeking a second term.

In Edo, other contenders have stepped down for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who is challenging Obaseki at the shadow poll. The Edo governor is also seeking re-election.

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Last week, National Working Committee (NWC) announced that direct primary will be adopted for the Edo APC shadow poll.

According to the source, Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma could not make it due to undisclosed reasons.

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The governors, who appeared to be in one accord, wanted the party to be fair to their two colleagues, who they said, should not be muscled out.

Specifically, the governors wanted Tinubu to prevail on the party leadership to give Obaseki the right of first refusal, the source said.

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However, Tinubu went to the meeting with the position that it is better, more democratic, constitutionally right and politically defensible that all aspirants should go for primaries to test their popularity.

He added that through free and fair selection process, the ruling party will successfully build a strong democratic culture.

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Tinubu, the source said, urged the governors to support the guidelines released by the NWC, maintaining that they are in the interest of the party.

Although some of the governors revisited the acrimony and controversy generated by the contrasting perspectives on the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole leadership, which they acknowledged as a battle within battles, Tinubu pointed out that it was normal in political life.

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Besides, according to the source, the party stalwart counselled that since the conflict had been resolved, stakeholders should put the past behind them and forge ahead in harmony.

The source said Asiwaju Tinubu reiterated his belief in fairness to the incumbent governors and other interested governorship aspirants in the two states.

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“Asiwaju also said he believed in the direct primary. His argument was that the direct primary will boost the confidence of the flag bearer as he prepares for the main governorship election.”

“Asiwaju Tinubu may have intervened in this sensitive nomination matter with a benefit of hindsight because as he rightly pointed out, direct primary produced Oyetola as Osun APC candidate and Babajide Sanwo-Olu as flag bearer in Lagos State.

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“Besides, I think Asiwaju Tinubu is of the opinion that where there are more than one contender, primary should be adopted to foster equity, fairness and justice.”

After the meeting, Sanwo-Olu took the governors to see the photo exhibition of his activities in the last one year.


#Newsworthy…

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Uwaila’s Rape: Obaseki orders investigation.


Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has ordered for an investigation into the murder a 100-level student of the Department of Microbiology, University of Benin (UNIBEN), Vera Uwaila Omozuwa.

The 22-year-old student was reported to have been raped inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, the Edo State Capital.

The men were reported to have struck her in the head with a fire extinguisher after raping her and left her for dead. She was rushed to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital where she later died.

Governor Obaseki in his tweet vowed to ensure that the suspects are found and made to face the full wrath of the law.

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“I have ordered the Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) to thoroughly investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN).

“The @PoliceNG has been mandated to identify, arrest and prosecute anyone found culpable in her death. The Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law is in effect in our state.

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“Using this law, we would ensure to investigate what exactly transpired and deal decisively with the those found complicit in the dastardly act, whoever they might be. #JusticeForUwa,” Obaseki’s tweet read.

The news of Uwa’s death had earlier sparked outrage on social media with many demanding for justice using the hashtag #JusticeForUwa.


#Newsworthy…

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EdoDecide’20: Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki set for final lap.


With the adoption of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as consensus aspirant of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led faction of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ahead of the Edo State Governorship election primaries of the party slated for 22 June, the stage is now set for the clash of the titans, the final showdown between incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu, to clinch the ticket of the party in the election.

After a vigorous screening exercise that lasted the whole of last Tuesday, Ize-Iyamu emerged consensus aspirant of the faction, ahead of other aspirants in the faction, namely, Dr. Pius Odubu, Oshiomhole’s former Deputy, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, a former Minister of State for Works, retired General Charles Airhiavbere and others.

Another frontline aspirant, Dr. Solomon Edebiri, had earlier on Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the race.

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Recall that the four aspirants, Odubu, Ize-Iyamu, Airhiavbere and Ogiemwonyi, had last year formed a formidable alliance to stop the re-election bid of incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, with each of them promising to work with whoever emerged consensus aspirant.

Obaseki who was accused of allegedly “abandoning leaders of the party,” has however vowed to slug it out with loyalists of his benefactor till the end.

Members of the screening committee included Mr. Francis Alimikhena, the Senator representing Edo, Francis Alimikhena, Chief Lucky Imasuen (a former deputy governor), Peter Akpatason, a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Thomas Okosun, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Samson Osagie, a former Minority Whip in the House of Representatives, Gen. Cecil Esekhaigbe and Mr. Patrick Obahiagbon.

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Sources close to the screening process disclosed to this medium that “everything went smoothly according to the plans of those who wrote the script for the exercise.” He added that six of the seven members of the screening are loyal supporters of Adams Oshiomhole, hence, “it went like clock work.”

The adoption of Ize-Iyamu as factional aspirant, might have finally put paid to the governorship ambitions of aspirants like Pius Odubu, Chris Ogiemwonyi and Charles Airhiavbere, unless they decide to either go ahead to obtain nomination forms of the APC, or move to other political parties entirely.

It is pertinent to state clearly here, that the Oshiomhole faction of the party might have succeeded in adopting a consensus aspirant, but, it is not yet Uhuru. The real battle has just begun.

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The hand writing on the wall clearly shows that beyond Obaseki, Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu have more internal enemies within the rank and file of the faction from whom they need to watch their backs.

Speaking about the outcome of the screening process, a staunch supporter of one of the aspirant of the Oshiomhole’s faction who asked not to be named, said; “My brother, we have adopted a sit-down-and-look attitude. We are just watching them. If that is how they want to do their party, well and good, we will leave it for them.”

Another frontline member of the faction who did not want his name mentioned, alleged that “the national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, in connivance with a strong external force, deliberately arranged everything to favour the emergence of Ize-Iyamu.”

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In his word, “How could they give the party ticket to somebody who just returned to the party a few months ago, at the expense of other loyal members who have remained all these years?

“Secondly, with the way Ishihara destroyed Ize-Iyamu’s moral reputation during the last election, selling him to the electorate will be a herculean task for the party. Mind you, the masses are no longer gullible, they heard everything Oshiomhole said about Ize-Iyamu before. Clearing him of those allegations is another kettle of fish.”

Another side of the task ahead for Oshiomhole is the wranglings in the National Working Committee of his party. The Deputy National Chairman of the party (North), Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, last Wednesday accused Oshiomohole of not being transparent in the build-up to the two primary elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively.

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Shuaibu in a statement, said: “With regards to Ondo and Edo primary elections, there is already an absence of transparency. The regulations issued that will guide the processes are already in violation of Article 20 (v) on page 76 of the APC constitution as amended where only the National Executive Committee is the only organ that SHALL approve such guidelines and regulations which includes the mode of nominating our candidates. I am crying for APC inside me!”

Oshiomhole and his kitchen cabinet had imposed the direct primaries on Edo State, as against the indirect primaries used to elect candidates of the party in Kogi and other states in the last general elections.

A direct primary election is one in which all card-carrying members of a party come together in their various constituencies to elect candidate for a particular election. The candidate who scored the highest number of votes across the state shall be announced as the party flag bearer.

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Whereas an indirect primary is one in which party members gather together at ward level to elect delegates that will represent them at the local and the state congresses.

Should the national secretariat of the APC insists on picking it’s flag-bearer for the election using the direct primaries method, as against the indirect method clamoured by the Obaseki-led faction, there is no gain saying that the decision could result in litigations that may eventually end up the way of Zamfara and Rivers States for the party in the last general elections, where the party ended up without candidates for all the elective positions.

Some leaders of the party in the state recently cried to President Muhammadu Buhari to “save Edo from Bayelsa tragedy.” The party leaders under the aegis of ‘Concerned Edo State APC Stakeholders’ made the plea in a letter to the President, which was made available to journalists in Benin City.

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The letter was jointly signed by Hon. Etiosa Ugiagbe, Chief Enakhare Odaro, Mr. Chris Omoregie, Hon. Emmanuel Umweni, Mr. Akhere Odion, Engr. Jude Okojie, Chief Dr. Edionwele Ikpea, Mrs. Odial Abubakar, Mr. Greg Onimisi and Dr. Omoruyi Graig.

According to them, “We and Edo people are surprised and disappointed that Comrade Oshiomhole who ought to understand your patriotic desire to end corruption in Nigeria and define governance at all levels from a more progressive dimension could go to the PDP to bring Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who has no good reputation or capacity into APC with the main aim of using him to fight Governor Godwin Obaseki.

“Last two weeks, the EPM group met in Benin City amidst the ban on public gathering due to the coronavirus to organise a mock primary to elect the consensus candidate that they will use in fighting the governor, and from information available to us, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole gave directive for them to deliver Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Unfortunately for him, the other aspirants protested that it will not happen due to the fact that he just joined APC about three months ago, as against all of them who have remained in the party and who have joined hands to build it when Ize-Iyamu left to PDP to contest the 2016 governorship election. This fight among them led to the disruption of the meeting by thugs loyal to the other aspirants.”

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The concerned stakeholders lamented that Ize-Iyamu is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his involvement in a fraud case of N700 million.

“What about if he is convicted before the election? That means APC won’t have a candidate and the tragedy that happened in Bayelsa will also happen in Edo State because of the overbearing and careless action of one man. We think the time to stop it is now.

“Mr. President, as the leader of our party who has always advised on the need to strengthen our party and follow the Constitution, we appeal that you use your good office to call the National Chairman of our party to order.

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“If Oshiomhole succeeds in forcing [Ize-Iyamu] on us with his influence as the National Chairman, I can assure you that it will be another disaster waiting to happen on our party after the Bayelsa electoral tragedy occasioned by the desire of some few individuals to force a deputy governorship candidate on the party even in the face of glaring legal encumbrance,” the ground said.

In the meantime, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu on Wednesday obtained the nomination form of the APC in Abuja.

He was accompanied by other aspirants such as Prof. Ebegue Amadasun, Gen Charles Airhiavbere, Engr Chris Ogiemwonyi, Hon. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma and Hon Saturday Uwuilekhue, among other leaders of the party in a show of solidarity and restatement of their commitment to work together irrespective of the outcome of the primary election scheduled for the 22nd of June.

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The statement which was signed his Director of Communication and Media, Mr. John Mayaki described the step as “another stride in the quest to move Edo State forward.”

He added: “By obtaining the form today, we have formally placed our name on the party’s ballot for our internal primary next month. It is another great stride.”

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has dismissed the adoption of Ize-Iyamu as consensus aspirant of Oshiomhole’s faction, noting that APC candidate for Edo gubernatorial election cannot emerge in Abuja.

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Obaseki, who responded through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, said the responsibility for selecting the gubernatorial candidate for the party resides with the Edo State chapter of the APC, while liaising with relevant national structure of the party, and as such a consensus candidate to fly the party’s flag in the election cannot emerge in Abuja.

According to him, “The Edo State chapter of the APC, which is responsible for deploying the inner workings of the party towards the emergence of a candidate of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election, resides and operates in Edo State, not Abuja.”

He said the charade in Abuja was not surprising as it was hatched and actuated by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and members of his Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a dissident group of politicians in the state.

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“It is, therefore, hilarious to hear that a so-called consensus candidate for the party in Edo State governorship election was selected in Abuja. For us, this is a joke taken too far and clearly shows that Comrade Adams Oshiomhole once again has set the APC on a journey to perdition in Edo State as he did in Zamfara, Bayelsa, Rivers, Taraba and several other states.”

Osagie noted that under Oshiomhole, APC did not lose elections due to unpopularity but as a result of the lawless conduct choreographed by Oshiomhole, which has placed the APC in dire straits one time too many.

“The last time we checked, the timetable released by Oshiomhole’s National Working Committee (NWC) fixed Edo Primary election for 22nd of June,2020 and it is expected to hold in Edo State, but we now hear that they have conducted the primary election three weeks before the set date in a jurisdiction far away from Edo State, making a mockery of our great party, the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidency and all other institutions and esteemed individuals associated with our party.

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“Our conclusion on this matter is that like all other illegal actions taken by Oshiomhole, this too is a nullity and shall come to no-effect,” he noted.

All fingers are crossed, as we await the imminent fallout of actions and reactions of both factions of the APC, as the election approaches.


#Newsworthy…

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EdoDecide’20: PDP get Obaseki automatic ticket.


Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, Tony Aziegbemi, has insisted that there will be no automatic ticket for Governor Godwin Obaseki if he finally joins the party ahead of forthcoming governorship election.

Appearing on Thursday, Aziegbemi, however, said that the party’s door was open for the embattled incumbent governor to join.

According to him, “Our doors are opened. Governor Obaseki is our governor in the State. If he wants to join the PDP, he is free to do so.

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“But will he get an automatic ticket? The answer is an emphatic no. He has to go through the processes.”

He insisted that even if National Working Committee, NWC, of the PDP considers given Obaseki a waiver, he “will still get to get to the delegates to explain to them why he should be given the ticket and all that. So it’s a process and that process is open to all Nigerians,” he said.

“So our doors are not closed at all. We feel that Governor Obaseki is being humiliated, maltreated and being given the wrong stick by his party.”

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Asked about the party’s earlier claim that the Governor has not done enough for the State since elected 4 years ago, he said, “Will we give him automatic ticket? I say no. Can he join the party and I said yes. Can he be given a waiver? I said yes. Can he contest in the primary? I said yes of course. That’s what I’m saying.”

Recall that pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a former Secretary to Edo State Government (SSG) emerged the Adams Oshiomhole faction of the APC consensus candidate for the state governorship election on Wednesday.


#Newsworthy…

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EdoDecide’20: No Man can stop my return – Obaseki


The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said no man can stop him winning a second term in office.

Obaseki said this on Wednesday when he appeared on a Channels Television programme: “Sunrise Daily.”

Obaseki spoke just as a faction of the party loyal to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, declared a former Secretary to the Edo State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, as its consensus candidate for the June 22 primaries to pick a candidate.

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Obaseki said on the Channels TV programme: “I am not a violent person.

“But I am confident that the way I got into power is the same way I will return.

“God gave me power.

“If he wants me to return, I will continue.

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“No man can stop me.

“Power comes from God.

“I have friends with resources.

“I worked for eight years behind the scene before I became governor.

“So all that insinuations about using somebody’s resources….

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“I became Governor on the platform of the party and I am grateful for it.

“It does not matter whether it is direct or indirect (primaries), I will win.”


#Newsworthy…

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Lockdown extension: People will die of hunger if care isn’t taken – Obaseki’s wife. [Nigeria]


The wife of the Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, has warned that diverting relief materials meant for the vulnerable in the society will further compound the current difficulties being experienced over the coronavirus pandemic.

According to her, hunger could be an even bigger threat to life than the virus.


Mrs Obaseki said this while handing over some relief materials from the state government to representatives of various groups in Benin City, the state capital.

She urged them to resist any temptation to be greedy and hoard the items for personal use or even give them out to those who can afford it.


“These relief materials are meant only for the vulnerable in the society, it is not meant for those who can afford full lockdown in their homes. If we are careful coronavirus will not kill too many people in this country, but if we are not careful it is hunger that will kill people. That is why the government is taking these steps to do what they have to do,” she said.

The items distributed include bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, noodles, oil, puree, millet, seasoning, soaps and detergent.

According to the State Commissioner for Social Development and Gender, Maria Edekor, the beneficiaries of the relief packages are the elderly, returnees, people living with disabilities, prison inmates, children in correctional centres, rehabilitation centres and orphanage homes.

Meanwhile, the governor’s wife urged residents who are well-to-do, to emulate the gesture of the government and also lend a helping hand to the vulnerable around them


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Edo govt. ban public gatherings after 1st case.


Edo State government on Monday announced that a ban has been placed on public gathering of over 50 persons in the state.

The announcement was made by the state governor Godwin Obaseki during a briefing after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the state on Monday.


The first case of coronavirus was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on its verified Twitter handle.

The health agency in the tweet also reported an additional five cases of coronavirus bringing the total number of cases in the country to 36.

Also, schools are to remain closed in the Edo state and civil servants from grade level 1- 12 are to work from home among other measures to deal with COVID-19 threat in the state.


#Newsworthy…

Nigeria: Obaseki, Oshiomhole to end rift soon – Chief of staff.


The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his estranged political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, have commenced consultations to end the political rift between them.

Obaseki’s Chief of Staff, Mr Taiwo Akerele, revealed this while responding to questions from reporters during an event to mark his 44th birthday in Benin, on Sunday.


He said it was too early to reveal how far deliberations had gone but expressed confidence that appreciable progress had been made.

Akerele said, “When the time comes, we will invite you just like this and address you.”


He said this in response to a question from The PUNCH as to whether the duo had reached out to each other since Oshiomhole announced a truce last week.

The governor’s aide added, “(For) the Governor, getting the ticket is not in contention but we will go into primaries and the party has a formula for it. It can be either consensus or none consensus, whichever it is, Obaseki and Philip are ready. Ordinarily he should be given the right of first refusal.


“Oshiomhole and Obaseki are very close; nobody should be deceived even as we speak. But of course, the issue they have is political and it is resolvable.

“The difference they have is political disagreement and it is resolvable; some factors came in and heightened the tension, otherwise this is a very minor thing. Remember, we were in Iyamoh during the Sallah celebration, that was in the middle of the crisis, we were there and we even blamed the media for the whole thing.”

He expressed gratitude to Obaseki for giving him the opportunity to serve in his government especially because he had no political godfather.

According to him, his appointment marked the very first time a person from Akoko-Edo was given such an important position in government.


#Newsworthy …

Tinubu tackles Obaseki, others ahead NEC Meeting, backs Oshiomhole.


A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has expressed frustrations with developments in his party, declaring that the effects of the desperation of those he described as overambitious politicians exceeded the fatality of the raging coronavirus.

In a widely circulated statement issued ahead of the planned emergency meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Tinubu expressed dismay at the way the provisions of the APC constitution were allegedly being breached by some chieftains of the party due to their personal ambitions.

He lamented that the political misunderstanding between the suspended national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State had become a rallying point for “those desperate for 2023” to distract President Muhammadu Buhari from governance.

Tinubu stated: “It is no secret that the chairman and Edo Governor Obaseki are in dispute. This is unfortunate. However, the party has moved through proper procedures within the proper organs to hopefully resolve this spat.

“The chairman has been a tireless campaigner and mobilizer for the party. He has steered the party through difficult elections. His contributions should not be undervalued now that the bulk of elections are behind us. To do so would be an act of ingratitude.”

Tinubu disclosed that “the plotters launched their attack solely because they perceive the chairman as an obstacle to their 2023 ambitions,” stressing that “people went to court knowing full well that the party’s constitution prohibits such action because these people had not yet exhausted all internal disciplinary procedures.

“We even had a national deputy secretary improperly calling for an NEC meeting on the basis that he believed himself to be the acting national chairman. Clearly, this man would not have summoned the temerity to make such a move had he not been instigated by powerful individuals, whom he thought would reward or, at least, protect him for committing the wrongful act.”

The former Lagos State governor noted that due to alert responses of Lagos and Ogun states’ governments, actively supported by the federal machinery, Nigeria was able to quickly identify and isolate the two cases of the novel coronavirus 19.

“This action, thus far, has stopped the spread of the disease into the wider community as has been seen in other nations. We are grateful to God and to all those involved in the response effort, particularly the brave and committed medical teams on the frontline.

“While corona has been presently contained in Nigeria, we must be alert to another sickness that seems rampant within a certain segment of society. That sickness is old ambition-virus 2023. This illness afflicts many in the political class along with their allies in the media.

“Those touched by this malady find that their ability to tell time and discern the difference between the present and the future has been strongly impaired. The carriers of this sickness are confused as to the very season our nation now finds itself.

“They conflate things, which no sensible person would conflate. The primary symptom of their malady is the driving tendency to believe the events of 2023 will be decided before we even exit the year 2020,” Tinubu said.

The APC leader, who observed that all the things said and done under the circumstances were “geared toward obsessive jockeying for position to control and manipulate a race still three years away,” added that in doing so, the desperadoes recklessly undermined the very party, which they claimed to serve and weakened the administration of President Buhari to which they claimed to be loyal.

Alluding to Governor Obaseki and other APC stalwarts, particularly members of the South-South leadership caucus allegedly moving for the removal of Oshiomhole from office as national chairman, Tinubu said: “those engaged in these manoeuvres see themselves as clever or cunning.”

“In a well-structured society, people come to understand that the time for politics is seasonal; it is periodic. The responsibilities of governance are what are perpetual. Many of our politicians sadly have inverted this reality.

“Politics and electioneering are secondary to governance, for they are but tools of governance, the platforms by which one demonstrates his or her worthiness to lead a great people. The more a person obsesses over and constantly engages in political manoeuvring is a warning sign.

“Not only is he prone to the 2023 virus, he likely has little to offer in the way of good governance. He wants to hold public office that you might serve him not he serves you. For if he had adequately studied and been acquainted with the ways and means of progressive governance, he would be focused on that important task at the present moment. He certainly would not drown himself and all around him in harmful political intrigue,” Tinubu said.

To him, it is against that backdrop that the alleged ploys and plots to undermine the APC national chairman should be viewed. “The chairman is human; thus, he has his merits as well as his flaws. Yet his humanity cannot be grounds for his dismissal. If so, the position will forever go vacant.”

While insisting that those afflicted with the 2023 virus do a grave disservice to President Buhari and his administration, the APC leader lamented: “Many of us expended sweat, tears, toil and sleepless nights to build this party. Our personal sacrifices were not insignificant. We built this party not simply as a vehicle for personal ambition. We built the party because we saw it as perhaps the only enduring hope to bring progressive governance to this nation. Those who now seek to abuse the party by using it as their personal device do it great harm.

“They should not be allowed to sacrifice this collective enterprise at the altar of their self-aggrandizement. Somehow, some way they should find in themselves the bearing to adhere to the democratic spirit on which the party was founded. To be an APC member means more than merely carrying a membership card. It means to believe in a set of ideals and principles geared to our highest purpose as a party and a nation.”

The former Lagos governor said that the president was faced with many challenges, fighting hard on security to keep the population safe and pushing for economic reforms that would engender future sustainable growth, adding that his disdain for corruption remained unwavering.

“Add to it now the corona crisis and its resultant social as well as economic impact. Politicians express loyalty to him but the words of too many of our politicians are like butter under a burning sun; they melt quickly away. Better to be loyal in deed.

“Instead of trying to manipulate party and other mechanisms solely to their political gain, it is time to shelve political intrigue for the time being. It is time for all party members to truly see what is at stake and work with Mr. President for the collective good of the nation.

“This means we must rally around President Buhari. Instead of everyone saying they are working for the party and nation but going their separate ways based on their selfish designs, we must help him build a stronger national consensus on policies that will ensure safety and bring greater prosperity,” he appealed.

Tinubu remarked that he had said what was on his mind, hoping that “some people may leave the 2023 frenzy and commit themselves to the harder yet more rewarding task of improving progressive governance, whether within the party or at the local, state or federal levels.”


#Newsworthy…

Gov. Obaseki pledge quick completion of NYSC permanent orientation camp.


The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured of timely completion of the state’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) permanent orientation camp in Okada, Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state.

The governor gave the assurance when he inspected ongoing construction of the NYSC permanent orientation camp, noting that his administration is working towards completing the project within six months.


He noted that the construction of the NYSC camp is being revived 16 years after the construction of the facility commenced.

Obaseki said his administration has completed the documentation process for the contracts and mobilised contractors for the project to site, noting, “The contracts have gone through proper procurement and the contractors are being mobilised and finalising paper work with various agencies concerned.


“As soon as that is done, additional funds would be released to them and I am optimistic that work will progress before the rains.”

He said the permanent orientation camp will be used as training venues by paramilitary agencies in the state, adding, “We have the Public Work Volunteers (PUWOV) and we are going to have the community neighborhood, vigilante groups and community policemen and these facilities will be available for their training here.”

The Edo State Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr. Adebayo Ojo, said on completion of construction of the permanent orientation camp, NYSC will provide the necessary facilities to facilitate smooth camping at the site.


#Newsworthy…

Governors seek Oshiomhole’s replacement.


The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress took a new twist on Saturday as the governors opposed to the embattled National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, began the search for his replacement.

It was learnt that consultations had been going on in the states, with meetings scheduled to take place next week on how to pick his successor.

Ex-Zamfara State governor Abdulaziz Yari, a one-time Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; ex-Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, are among those being touted as the new APC National Chairman.


But the pro-Oshiomhole governors and members of the party’s National Working Committee who are unhappy with the former Edo State governor’s problems have reportedly gone on the offensive.

It was learnt that they had scheduled a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), early this week to plead his case.


One of Oshiomhole’s sympathisers, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, stated, “Because some of us have been quiet some people think we don’t know they are doing all of these because of their 2023 agenda.

“We will be meeting the President this week to ask him if he is aware of a letter being bandied about by some of these people seeking to force our chairman out. They are claiming that he consented to attending the illegal NEC (National Executive Committee) meeting they called for the March 17.


“We will also want to find out if he is aware that this whole thing is a plot to destabilise his government, because these people don’t mean well for our party.

“We want to tell the President that enough is enough, we will not allow the ambition of individuals who don’t mean well for our party to destroy us. These are the people telling the President lies about Oshiomhole.


“We want to tell the President that these people do not love him, because he needs to concentrate on his work.”

The source further said from his interaction with some of the anti-Oshiomhole governors, their grouse with him were largely personal.


The source said, “Some of them say he doesn’t refer to them on matters affecting their states and that he doesn’t listen to them; these are not party issues, they are personal.

“Removing Oshiomhole is an attempt to destabilise the party and the President.


“Some of these people talking now almost lost the last elections in their states if not for the tough stance Oshiomhole took.

“He was also able to work hard to ensure that those the President would be comfortable working with emerge as leaders of the National Assembly. Today, the party is enjoying the dividends of this arrangement. Our bills are being passed with ease. If we allow this problem to fester, it will get to the National Assembly and we will lose the advantage we enjoy. This bullying must stop.”


Meanwhile, members of the NWC loyal to Oshiomhole have distanced themselves from the NEC meeting scheduled for March 17.

In a statement by the party’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, and the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on Saturday, the pro-Oshiomhole NWC members in the statement dissociated themselves from the APC Emergency National Executive Committee meeting, “which invitation is credited to Chief Victor Giadom, Deputy National Secretary of the party”.


Ogala and Issa-Onilu said the “constitution of the party had provided the process and procedure to be followed to convene such a meeting as stipulated in Article 25 (B) (i) and (ii).”

The article states, “The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than 14 days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned.


“ii. Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an Emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.”

They argued that “neither the National Chairman nor the resolution of two-thirds of members of the National Executive Committee has directed nor made any request to summon a National Executive Committee Meeting of the party”.


According to them, Giadom is not vested with any constitutional powers to convene any NEC meeting. They also said he was not directed by Oshiomhole to call the meeting.

However, the APC National Vice-Chairman (North-East) Mustapha Salihu, dismissed Ogala and Onilu’s statement, describing it as “a hatchet job”.


Salihu is a member of the Giadom faction which signed the statement that fixed NEC meeting for March 17.

He said, “Why are they (the Oshiomhole group) not operating from the party’s national secretariat? They are not. They are using the style of Radio Biafra; we are in the secretariat working tirelessly towards a successful NEC meeting as you can see. These people are hiding somewhere trying to confuse the public.”


Asked whether they would attend the emergency NEC meeting, Salihu said, “Yes, as you can see from the announcement we’ve made, we have written to the President and he duly responded and we have a date fixed for the meeting.

“This is an emergency meeting; the main issue is the state of our party in the light of the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole, and you know the agenda of such a meeting is a collective one.”


Our correspondent reported that armed security men were still guarding the secretariat of the party when he visited the premises on Saturday.

The security men took over the secretariat on Friday following the conflicting court pronouncements on the crises rocking the ruling party.

Adams Oshiomhole

Recall that a judge of the Abuja High Court, Justice Danlami Senchi, on Wednesday granted an interlocutory injunction retraining Oshiomhole from functioning as national chairman of the party.

A day later, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano, presided over by Justice A. Lewis-Allgoa, which is a court of equal jurisdiction with the Abuja High Court, gave a contradictory order.


#Newsworthy…