2.6 million people to get free mosquito nets in Edo State

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has assured the Catholic Relief Services of Nigeria (CRSN) of a hitch-free exercise during the upcoming National Elimination Programme (NEP) where about 2.6 million people in Edo State will benefit in the distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal nets (LLl)

He gave the assurance yesterday when he received a delegation of the CRSN, led by the country representative, Rebecca Bassey, in Benin City.Obaseki lauded the CRSN for the initiative, adding that Edo State government would assist in the area of publicity, security and other logistics.

He said the programme was timely, stressing that the people to be engaged in the state’s agribusiness initiative would enjoy a mosquito-free environment when the exercise fully commenced.

He added that a committee, which would work with the CRSN team, had been set up under the leadership of the Deputy Governor Comrade Philip Shaibu stressing that other members of the government’s committee include the Chief of Staff to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, Permanent Secretary of Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Ugbodaga and the governor’s Chief Security Officer.

Responding, the country representative and leader of the team, Rebecca Bassey disclosed that six states would benefit from the global fund worth N2 billion. She urged the state government to participate in the NEP exercise as well as to attend the flag off ceremony, just as she also sought the state government’s assistance in the provision of warehouse to keep the LLl bed nets when they finally arrived in the state.


Source: The Guardian

JUST IN: Osinbajo’s meeting with Edo stakeholders marred by protests.

Protesters broke into the venue of a meeting Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was having with stakeholders in Edo state on Monday, disrupting the entire programme.

The meeting, which is a negotiation interface with the oil producing communities in the region, was disrupted after Usani Uguru, minister of state for Niger Delta, finished speaking.

Not even the attempt of Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, to calm the aggrieved individuals yielded any result, as they continued waving placards.

The protesters were allowed to speak their minds, and they requested that the acting president leave Benin, for oil producing parts of the state.

A protester, who represented Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), said they had already prepared their region to receive the acting president, but were told he could not come due to security reasons.

“If you cant come to our place, leave our oil alone,” he said.

Another protester said the region was not feeling the impact of the ministry of Niger Delta like other states in the region.

After these speeches, Godwin Obaseki, governor of the state, said the reaction of the people show the nature of Edo people.

Obaseki said the people of the state love to express themselves, but they do so in a peace-loving manner.

Osinbajo said he will visit all the oil producing regions, and that there is not issue of insecurity. He said he may not visit all the communities, but he will schedule to visit all the communities.

The acting president said he is very happy to be in the region, and was on a visit to see what is happening for himself.


Source: The Cable

Three secondary school teachers abducted by suspected herdsmen in Edo

Three secondary school teachers in Ebomisi Secondary School, Ugbogiobo village, Ovia North East Local Council of Edo State have been kidnapped by suspected herdsmen.

The three male teachers were reportedly abducted on Monday while returning from school. Three other female teachers who were said to be in the company of the abducted teachers were allowed to go by the kidnappers.

Students of the school yesterday abandoned classes and took to the Benin-Akure expressway to protest their teachers’ abduction. The students set up bonfires and left passengers and motorists stranded on the road for many hours.

Meanwhile, police in Niger State have arrested 104 suspects for various offences including cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery, homicide, rape, and unlawful possession of firearms.

The command’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana, who disclosed this to journalists in Minna, said exhibits recovered during the arrests included three AK 47 rifles with 334 rounds of live ammunition, one SMG rifle with six live ammunition, 12 single barrel guns, four locally- made pistols, one revolver pistol and 672 cattle.

He said the arrests were made possible with the collaboration of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tactical Unit and operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), who have helped in sustaining the tempo in the fight against armed bandits in the state.

Elkana, however, adjudged the month of February as the most peaceful in recent times. The Sole Administrator of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State, Mr. Mike Inalegwu, has explained the influx of over 50,000 herdsmen in the area.

Inalegwu said the herdsmen were in the area for grazing and not to attack the communities. He urged the residents not to panic.He told journalists that their arrival was part of the agreement reached by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and his counterpart in Nasarawa, Tanko Al-Makura.

As part of the agreement, he said, “Fulani herdsmen would only be permitted to graze their cattle at the end of February, 2017 after the harvest season.”

He stressed that the decision was part of the measures to find a lasting solution to the perennial Agatu, Fulani crises.According to him, the Agatu communities are peace-loving people hence they allowed them to graze their cattle.

He, however, urged the herdsmen not to allow their cattle to stray to the farms of the host communities to avoid the destruction of their crops.
Inalegwu denied the involvement of Agatu youths in the alleged slaughtering of 52 cows at Adoka, in Otukpo Local Council of the state.

He said: “From the investigation we carried out, no Agatu youth was connected with the butchering in Adoka.”On the ultimatum given to Agatu elders to bring out the killer of a soldier in the area, he stressed that the community has not been able to apprehend him.

“It is unfortunate that a soldier who was on a peace- keeping mission was gruesomely murdered. We apologise to the chief of army staff and assure him that the council would do everything to arrest the culprit,” pledged.


Source: The Guardian

Edo: Tribunal Begins Recounting of Ballot Papers

The recounting of ballot papers used in four local government areas in the September 28 Governorship Election in Edo State has begun.

It is being done in the open court as ordered by the tribunal.

Representatives of the petitioners and the respondents are monitoring the recounting.

The People’s Democratic Party and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu are expecting to prove their allegations of over voting during the election.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal has rejected an application of the petitioners seeking for extension of time to present its witnesses.

The petitioners were expected to close their case by 1pm on Friday but pleaded for extension of time to enable it call more witnesses and conclude the recounting of ballot papers.

As at press time, the petitioners have only called 90 witnesses against 400 witnesses lined up to testify.

Lead Counsel to the PDP, Yusuf Alli, urged the tribunal to allow the reign of mercy to flow and grant them time but Counsel to respondents refused.

NYSC scheme, major unifying factor – Obaseki

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, yesterday, described the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, scheme as a major unifying factor for the nation, appealing to the Federal Government to ensure it was sustained.

This came as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State tasked NYSC members to shun unhealthy conducts and be patriotic citizens of the country.

Governor Obasaeki, who spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of the Batch B Corps members at the Orientation Camp in Okada, Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state, emphasised the need for all Nigerians to support the objectives of the scheme.

Represented by his deputy, Mr. Philip Shaibu, the governor said the scheme had integrated and unified the vast and diverse cultural differences of the country since “our corps members from Hausa, Igbo, Edo, Yoruba, among others, are brought together and sent to serve in different parts of the country irrespective of where they come from. I believe it should be encouraged and fortified by the Federal Government because it has been a huge success.

“It is noteworthy to state that the contributions of the scheme in Edo State has over the years impacted positively on the psyche of our people and have contributed immensely to the development of rural areas through various community development projects. Its contributions can be seen in educational, social and health care delivery services, particularly in the rural areas.

It will interest you to know that here in Edo State, the government has a tradition of rewarding excellence among corps members who distinguish themselves during the service year through the execution of community development services meant to leave their host communities better than they met them.

On his part, Governor Wike spoke during the swearing in ceremony of 2640 Batch B stream II corps members deployed in the state at the NYSC permanent orientation camp, Nonwa/Gbam Tai, Tai Local Government Area of the state.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kenneth Kobani, advised youths to be of good conduct, noting that the reason for the programme is to reorient youths on hardwork.

Wike said: “The one year ahead holds a lot of challenges as you will be required to join the current efforts of government in the mobilization and sensitisation of your host communities toward understanding and embracing our reform programmes.

Your skills and services will be required in our continuous fight against HIV/AIDS scourge, provision of free legal service to the less privileged, sensitisation of the public on fundamental human rights, enhancing the education standard of your host communities, promoting and sustaining healthy environment, promoting and providing medical services to rural dwellers, supporting agro allied activities in your host communities and creating awareness on disaster management among other things.”




Street Trading: Edo Government Serves Traders Quit Notice

The Edo state government has advised traders who trade on the walkway to relocate into the market as government would shortly commence the enforcement of the law against street trading.

The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, who served the notice in an interview with Channels Television said that the activities of the traders contribute largely to the dirt in Benin City.

The Deputy Governor also appealed to the opposition political parties to criticize constructively by supporting the government’s efforts at keeping the city clean.

“The walkways are not created for market trading, ab initio it’s a crime to trade on it as there is a law on walkways in Edo state.

“So they that are trading on that ignorantly they should know that there is a law and very soon the law will catch up on them.

“We will enforce the law to the fullest because elsewhere deviants are the ones that pay for those that obey the law, for those that obey the law to enjoy.

“You can be a progressive opposition only to the extent that you challenge government on the wrong that they do not for the good that they do.

“If cleaning the street for the benefit of all is to the benefit of all then the opposition should join hands with us when we start cleaning the street,” the Deputy Governor said.

Edo State Assistant Commissioner of Police kills self with service pistol

An Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of Training and Development at the Edo state command has allegedly committed suicide in Benin City.


The police officer, Christopher Nosakhare Osakue, was said to have shot himself in the head with his service pistol inside his private residence in Upper Sokponba area of Benin City, after sending a woman and a little boy living with him on an errand  to make his  suicide plan unhindered.


The late Osakue was said to have suffered a partial stroke few years ago and was gradually recovering from it.


He did not leave any suicide note.


A neighbour told journalists that she heard a gunshot inside the ACP residence about 5pm that fateful day, Wednesday, adding that it was his wife who later broke the silence with a sorrowful scream. The ACP family members could not be reached for comment.


The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Haliru Gwandu, said the pistol the late police officer used to commit the act was signed for in Ondo State police command from where he was recently posted to Edo Police Command.

Edo Government to execute death row prisoners.

Barely one month after he was sworn in as the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has announced his intention to execute three death row prisoners at Oko Prisons in Benin City, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The convicts had been sentenced to death by military tribunals under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree 1971 as amended, in which there is no right of appeal.

The prisoners are to be executed today (Friday), according to the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, a non-governmental organisation working to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria.

Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP’s director, in a petition to Mr. Obaseki, urged the governor to halt the planned execution.

“These earmarked prisoners were sentenced by military tribunals under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree 1971 as amended, in which there was no right of appeal. We have filed an appeal pending at the Court of Lagos seeking order that these prisoners have right of appeal under the 1999 Constitution,” Mr. Obiagwu, a lawyer, stated in the petition dated December 23rd.

The group urged the governor not to start his regime with execution of prisoners “who have insisted on their innocence and have not exhausted appeal processes”.

Mr. Obaseki was sworn-in as the governor of Edo State last month, replacing Adams Oshiomhole who had governed for eight years.

PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm if Mr. Obaseki or his predecessor signed for the execution of the inmates.

When contacted, John Mayaki, the interim Chief Press Secretary to Mr. Obaseki, said he was not aware of the petition.

“I need to see the petition before I can respond,” Mr. Mayaki told PREMIUM TIMES.

In 2013, four prisoners on death row were hanged by officers of the Nigeria Prison Service in Edo State, with Mr. Oshiomhole signing the death warrant for two of them, according to Henry Idahagbon, then Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state.

It was the first known execution in Nigeria since 2006, according to Amnesty International.

The prisoners – Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor, Osarenmwinda Aigbonkhan, and Richard Igagu – were convicted of murder, armed robbery, and rape. They had instituted a suit before a federal court contending that executing them after 16 years of trauma and imminent death was inhuman and degrading and asked that their death sentences be commuted to terms of imprisonment.

“These people were convicted 15 years ago,” Mr. Idahagbon had said following a widespread condemnation that greeted the hanging of the inmates.

“I was only informed of this (last night) by the prison authorities that they had been hanged. One of them was convicted in Kaduna, while their matters had gone up to the Supreme Court and came back to the Federal High Court, Benin.

“It really has nothing to do with us a government. The governor only signed the death sentence of two, while previous governors signed that of two others.”

Kogi, Edo to get fresh revenue as FG approves 13% derivation for non-oil producing states

The federal government has given approval for the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 per cent derivation from mineral revenues to deserving states.

This will lead to fresh revenues for Kogi state, Edo state, which are producing limestone in large quantities, and other Nigerian states producing non-oil minerals.

Kayode Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development, announced this on Tuesday at a 2-day workshop on Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in the development of mining sector in Sokoto.

He said the workshop would encourage beneficial participation of state governments in natural resources governance.

“We have gotten approval for the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 per cent derivation for mineral revenue to states,” Fayemi said.

“This is similar to the derivation that oil-producing states are currently enjoying from the Federation Account.”

Fayemi said that the federal government was working closely to build the capacity of state governments in the structuring of the vehicles to participate in mining in their jurisdictions.

He added that this was without undermining private sector players nor discouraging mining enterprise within their states.

Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, said that the state would work with the federal government to formalise and manage the artisanal miners.

Tambuwal assured that the government would also work with defence and security agencies to curb illegal mining in the state.

Bello Goronyo, the state commissioner for solid minerals and natural resources development, said the programme was part of efforts by the federal and state governments to diversify their economies through  effective use of the solid mineral resources.

Goronyo said that the state government had taken a giant stride in the drive to diversify the state’s economy through exploration, mapping and identification of the locations of the minerals in the state.

He explained that the state government had given the ministry all necessary support and cooperation to enable it to discharge it’s duties without hitches

Obaseki: “Edo to be the most prosperous economy in the South-South within 3 years”

Governor Godwin Obaseki has expressed his administration’s desire to make Edo State the most prosperous economy in the South-South within the next three years. Besides, Governor Obaseki expressed confidence that in another seven to ten years, his desire was to position the State as the number one economy in the country, a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki contained.


The statement quoted Governor Obaseki while declaring open a 3-day strategic policy dialogue workshop with the theme: Setting Agenda for the new Administration with Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service as participants as well as political leaders and critical stakeholders in the state.


Governor Obaseki said, “15 to 20 years, we want to be the number one investment destination in the continent,’’ adding that to achieve this vision for the state, “first class institutions capable of nurturing transformation policies must be built”. He noted his administration’s quest to deliver on infrastructure that would be better than what was available in the Federal Capital Territory.


“We must deliver on infrastructure that is better than what is available in the Federal Capital Territory. We must aim at generating revenues much more than Lagos without putting unbearable tax burden on our people. “We must therefore aim at developing our institutions because in the cause of this workshop, we shall be working on six thematic areas, which are the key pillars of our goal for the state.’’


He said the workshop would address issues such as how the state would achieve economic revolution that would translate to having a developed world class infrastructure. According to his words, “How do we ensure institutions are reformed so they can deliver? How do we ensure that we can create a state that is socially conscious and create emphasis on the welfare of our people? “How do we ensure that our culture which is world class acclaimed is displayed and made available for the world to enjoy our tourism as well as sustain our environment”.


The governor noted that in the case of the economy revolution, the thematic group should focus on how the State would establish investment bureaucracy that could begin to attract world class investment. He added that focus should be on strategic plan that could create minimum of 200,000 jobs as well as many small scale and medium enterprise that was sustainable. Obaseki further urged other thematic groups on their expectations from the government at the end of their three-day brain storming session, adding that their resolution would be the working document for developing the state.


Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, retired Justice Samson Uwaifo, stated that effective leadership required good decision making, describing the workshop as revolutionary approach to governance. The former Supreme Court Judge therefore urged the people not to misunderstand or abuse the dialogue platform as it was a sign that the governor was ready to serve with the best of intentions. His words, “I think the move to set the Agenda for the new administration in Edo state is well conceived. No doubt it is the first of its kind and the essence of it is revealed in the vision and mission set out.


The vision for the thematic pillars so systematically analyzed is quite attractive and demonstrates a revolutionary approach to change in the art of governance. “This is a practical exhibition of this administration to ensure inclusive government. Let me sound an admonition that this new era of governance should neither be misunderstood nor abused by any one in whatever sense. Let it be taken with gratitude that it is a sign that the Governor has offered to serve the people with the best of intention”, he said.

All parties must be represented at examination of ballot materials – Tribunal tells PDP/Iyamu

Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City has ordered the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 28 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu to comply with an earlier order that all parties to the case must be represented in the scanning of the ballot materials.


At the hearing on Thursday, no less than 100 lawyers including Senior Advocates of Nigeria stormed the tribunal for the commencement of legal fireworks in the petition filed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) against the outcome of the September 28 governorship election.


However, the tribunal failed to begin pre-hearing session of the petition filed by the PDP and Pastor Ize-Iyamu. Lead Counsels to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Godwin Obaseki, Adeniyi Akintola and Ken Mozia had informed the tribunal that the PDP and its candidate were carrying out scanning of ballot papers without the representatives of APC and Obaseki.


He said continuous scanning of the ballot papers without respondents representatives was a breach of the tribunal earlier order that all parties must be present. Chief Akintola supported Mozia saying they were not notified but lead Counsel to Ize-Iyamu and the PDP, Adebayo Adeladun told the tribunal that the respondents want to frustrate his clients effort at scanning the ballot papers.


The tribunal chairman said that its earlier orders were in order adding that no party should be excluded. Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who trailed behind Obaseki in the election with 253,173 votes, is asking the tribunal to declare him winner of the election. Adebayo Adeladun, had earlier informed the tribunal that he was prepared for the pre-hearing session but lead Counsels to the APC and Obaseki, Adeniyi Akintola and Ken Mozia said they were not informed about the pre-hearing session.


Both Mozia and Akintola said they have applications that must be heard before the pre-hearing session. Akintola said there was need for the tribunal to hear all applications before the pre-hearing session commenced while Mozia said his application is to summarily terminate the petition. In his applications, Mozia requested for orders of the tribunal to dismiss the entire petition as well as strike out some paragraphs in the main petition.


Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mr. Onyebuchi Ikpeazu, told the tribunal that INEC was not aware that pre-hearing session was scheduled for Thursday sitting. He said they were not in the court for pre-hearing because the commission did not receive any information to that effect.

Tribunal to commence pre-trial hearing of Edo election Thursday

The Election Petition Tribunal will commence pre-trial hearing in the case filed by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, against Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and two others in Benin on Thursday.


The PDP and Mr. Ize-Iyamu are challenging the declaration of Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner in the September 28 Edo governorship election by INEC.


The petitioners are asking the tribunal to nullify the result and instead declare Mr. Ize-Iyamu as the winner of the said election.


Photo credit: Punch Newspapers


But APC and Mr. Obaseki have urged the tribunal to discountenance PDP’s petition and uphold their application which challenged the areas where PDP claimed victory.


The tribunal had on October 11, ordered INEC to allow PDP have unhindered access to all electoral materials in the September 28 governorship election in Edo.


The order followed an ex-parte motion filed by PDP’s counsel, Kingsley Obamogie.


Mr. Obamogie had argued that the motion was in compliance with section 151 of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended which he relied on. He prayed the court to grant them the order to inspect the INEC materials.


The three-member tribunal led by Justice A. Badamasi, on Tuesday, fixed Thursday, December 1 for the commencement of the pre-trial hearing in the petition.


The other two members of the tribunal are Justices E. A. Ade Sodun and Adamu Usman.

APC asks Wike to refund N2bn he allegedly donated to Ondo PDP

Following the loss of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has admonished the State Governor, Nyesom Wike to reclaim the N2bn he allegedly donated to the Ondo Chapter of the PDP.


Addressing APC supporters in Port Harcourt, the state capital shortly after its party candidate in the Ondo governorship election, Rotimi Akeredolu, was declared winner of the Saturday’s election, APC alleged that Wike is playing father Christmas with the state’s funds, adding that the money should be returned to the coffers of Rivers State.


The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Akeredolu of the APC winner of the 2016 governorship election  after polling 244, 842 votes to beat his closest challenger, Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP who polled 150, 380 votes.


The Rivers State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Senibo Chris Finebone said, “It is unfortunate that Gov. Nyesom Wike is still playing Father Christmas with the commonwealth of Rivers people for his personal egoistic political voyage despite that the governor has cancelled hundreds of overseas scholarships and the students repatriated home among other important programmes.


“Agriculture is in its worst state since Rivers State was created. Songhai Farm is gone; the Banana Farm at Tai is gone; RSSDA is now a ghost of its former self with the staff owed 17 months salaries. The various fish farms at Buguma, Andoni and other places that provided jobs for thousands of Rivers people are now history.


“It saddens the heart that our governor prefers to neglect important matters calling for attention at home but rather lavish our commonwealth on his personal political pursuits. Can you imagine that Gov. Nyesom Wike willingly donated a whopping N2bn to the Ondo State chapter of the PDP? It is horrible, mind-boggling and indefensible.


“Just like in the case of Edo, the PDP has lost and the governor should not wait to be reminded to return the N2bn back to the treasury of Rivers State immediately.


“Whereas the PDP has states like Akwa Ibom and Delta that collect high monthly federal allocations, it is only Gov. Wike that plays the party’s godfather. So far, he has wasted billions of Naira hosting two failed national conventions of the PDP in Port Harcourt. He has profligately donated billions of Naira belonging to Rivers people to faraway Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo PDP chapters for purposes of elections while medical workers, pensioners and teachers are owed back home.


“Is it that Rivers State has been conquered by a small band of buccaneers led by Gov Wike and genuine elders are keeping quiet?”

PDP rejects INEC’s reappointment of Edo Returning Officer for Ondo election.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to appoint Kayode Soremekun as the returning officer for Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

Mr. Soremekun, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, was the returning officer during September’s gubernatorial election in neighbouring Edo State, which the party’s candidate lost.

The PDP claimed Mr Soremekun was a party to the alleged widespread rigging during the election won by the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki.

Banji Okunomo, the publicity secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, said the party had confirmed that several officials who perpetrated the “rigging” of the Edo election were being escorted to the state capital, Akure, on Friday by policemen from Ekiti State, with instructions to repeat what they did in Edo State.

“This is uncalled for and a further attestation to the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) desperation to rig the governorship election in favour of its candidate. We will not accept this,” he said in a statement late on Thursday.
“It would be recalled that these same people were the ones used by the APC to manipulate the Edo State election which, today, is being described as one of the most fraudulent elections in the history of the nation’s democracy.”

Mr Okuomo said the APC in the state had been instructed to repeat the template it used in rigging the election in Edo State.

“It is rather unfortunate that the INEC in Ondo State would heed the instructions given by its defacto Chairman, Mrs Amina Zakari to use the Edo State template for Ondo State.

“Just like the experience in Edo State, the PDP has gathered that results have already been written for Prof. Soremekun and his team to announce after the election,” he said.

Mr Ojunomo wondered why INEC would bring back Mr. Soremekun after the controversy that surrounded his role in Edo State, when it could have used any professor from other nearby universities.

“There are so many University Dons of repute in Nigeria. If at all the INEC is constrained financially, it could still make do with Vice Chancellors of nearby Federal Universities in Osun, Oyo and even Edo States.

“Apparently, Prof Soremekun is not the only Vice Chancellor in Nigeria and there is no reason why he should be INEC’s choice again especially considering his controversial role in the rigging of the recently held Edo Election,” he said.

He warned INEC that any attempt to manipulate the result of Saturday’s election would be vehemently resisted by the people on Ondo State

“We must let the INEC know that much as Ondo State people are peace loving, we would not allow any form of misdemeanour on the part of INEC or its agents. We would resist any attempt to manipulate the election result.

“We reject any form of advanced rigging in the Ondo State governorship election and want the electoral umpire to be unbiased for the sake of peace during and after the poll.

“We remain resolute in our commitment to building our democracy. However, we call on the electorate to be at alert till the final results of the election is announced,” he said.

Edo residents protest planned N200 million home for Oshiomhole.

Pro-government and anti-government protesters clashed in Benin on Tuesday over the alleged plan of the Edo Government to build N300 million retirement homes for former Gov. Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy.

The pro-government group and members of some civil society organisations (CSOs) fought at Ring Road, Benin, when the latter marched through the streets over the amendment of the law for the pension of the governor.

Edo State House of Assembly last week amended the 2007 Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor Law to include the provision of a building valued N200 million for a former governor and N100 million for his deputy.

Justin Okunobor, the speaker of the assembly, had said that the new provision was justified as there was an existing law on pension benefits for former governors and deputies.

Civil society groups have criticised the move.

Anti-government protesters, under the aegis of Edo Civil Society Organisations, had converged on the museum ground in Benin as early 8 a.m. and marched toward the Anthony Enahoro House of Assembly Complex to announce their rejection of the new pension benefits.

The civil society groups were confronted by those who support the amendment, who prevented them from gaining access to the major entrance of the building.

The challenge resulted in the CSO members running away, while security operatives who had taken position at strategic positions around the assembly premises watched.

Some protesters sustained injuries during the fight which lasted about an hour, while some vehicles and public address systems used by the CSOs were vandalised.

As a result of the fight, passersby scampered to safety.

The spokesperson for the civil society groups, Osazee Edigin, said his members were attacked by thugs allegedly sponsored by the government.

‘’They mobilsed thugs to attack us and we are trying to revive a guy who fainted, the thugs have taken over Ring Road,’’ Edigin said.

The Chief Press Secretary to Edo Governor, John Mayaki, said the state government recognised the rights and freedom of citizens to express their opinion on public issues and would not do anything to infringe on their freedom.

Mr. Mayaki said there was no iota of truth in the claim of the CSOs as the government would not in any way attempt to gag the people’s freedom.

Suspected killers of ex-FIRS boss’ mum arrested

The Edo state police command has made an arrest of three suspects allegedly involved in the robbery attack and murder of late Mrs. Grace Omoigui, mother of former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru.


Findings revealed that late Omoigui was shot in the thigh during a robbery attack, after she had been trailed from GTBank on Sapele road where she had gone to withdraw some money sent to her by her daughter.


The deceased was said to have driven off from the bank when her car tyres were shot at by the robbers, but they were said to have followed her to a hotel on Liberty avenue where they reportedly robbed her of N2 million and shot her.


The Edo state Commisioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, however confirmed that the suspects were arrested 4 days after the attack. They were identified as Austin Orene, Isaiah Ngbeken, and Esogie Aigbede.


According to the commissioner, items recovered from the suspects include a one double barrelled cut-to-size gun, two single barrelled cut-to-size guns, a live cartridge, handsets, ID cards, a decoder, a DVD, receipts and a laptop.


Gwandu said though charges made earlier against the suspects was armed robbery, it would be reviewed to include murder following the death of Mrs. Grace Omoigui on the 19th of November.


“We have already arrested them (suspects). They are in prison. They were charged with armed robbery. But this time around, we will modify our case file and transmit to the DPP to inform them that she had died. So, there is an additional charge of murder,” said the Commissioner.

Gov Obaseki Shun Visitors On his First Day in office

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on Monday shunned visitors as he settled in to succeed former labour leader Adams Oshiomhole.

Garbed in blue suit with a red tie, Obaseki walked in alongside his deputy, who dressed in khaki, a reminder of the Oshiomhole days.

Government House workers were shocked to see the governor in the office as early 7:45am, resuming before some staff.

Before entering the office, Obaseki inspected a guard of honour mounted by the police.

He spent a few minutes to address permanent secretaries before checking the handover notes with his deputy.

Obaseki was earlier taken round the Government House by the Head of Service.

Many people who thronged the Government House to continue the victory celebration were disappointed as ‘no loitering’ directive was issued.

At 10am, he swore in the Secretary to the State Government.
He also appointed theChief of Staff and the interim chief press secretary.

Woman Donates Goat To Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari during his two-day visit to Edo State met an elderly lady, Lady Egbon Grace, in Benin city, who gave him something unique, a goat.

The Lady, according to a source who does not want his name in prints, is a supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) registered in Ward 7, Oredo Local Government Area of Edo.

The source said that the Lady had longed to meet the President to show her admiration for “his selfless lifestyle and passion to liberate the masses”.

The Lady, however got the opportunity on Monday, November 7, 2016 when the President was scheduled to commission the ultra-modern Samuel Ogbemudia College in Benin City, during his two-day working visit to the state.

Against all odds, the source said that the Lady came all the way with her surprise gift to Mr President which she had kept in waiting for the special occasion.

He said: “She tore through the thick crowd, making her way straight to the President who at the time had finished the official engagement and was heading for his waiting car.

“Many in the crowd got emotional seeing the elderly lady pull through the crowd with the goat, determined to make a presentation to the President,” he said.

Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who was said to have noticed the security cordon between the lady and the President, rescued the situation when he alighted from the President’s convoy to receive the goat on behalf of the President.

The source said that the Lady then had an opportunity to interact briefly with President Buhari and the Governor.

That interaction alone, the source said, made the Lady’s dream come true.

She thanked the President for accepting the gift which was handed over to protocol officials.

Ize-Iyamu: A Post Mortem – By John Mayaki

When Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu threw his hat into the ring in the contest for the September 28th governorship of Edo State, little did he reflect on the impact his unexplained past would have on his prospect.

The baggage from his personal and political past, largely combined to obliterate whatever imaginary whiff of a chance, he thought he had to take a shot at being the helmsman of the heart beat of the nation.

To cement his vanishing prospects was the chummy relationship he continued to enjoy with the arrowheads unproductive locust administration, which misruled the state between 1999 and 2007.

These fundamental flaws made it crystal clear that the pastor-politician would fail in the attempt to hoodwink the astute and politically savvy voters of Edo State, who turned out on September 28, to execute a decisive electoral verdict on the pastor and his party. This electoral sentence passed on Ize-Iyamu and his godfathers notwithstanding, he has continued to grandstand.

Like the typical predatory politician, Pastor Ize-Iyamu has not bothered to look inwards to examine these deep personal flaws, which made his candidacy a hard-sell to the electorate.

The pastor and his camp have forgotten so soon how he confessed to being a member of some unholy groups. In pitching his political message to the electorate, they forgot to elaborate on how this curious dimension of his CV added any substance whatsoever to his fitness for governance.

Was it on the cards that he would take policy decisions to members of his fraternity for approval before foisting such on the people? As soon as the defeated aspirant summons the courage to conduct a honest inquest, he would find that this vagueness in communicating his fuzzy brand, is partly responsible for his rejection by the electorate.

Voters could not understand the double standard inherent in a Pentecostal, who also belongs to and flirts with unholy groups which in the Christian worldview would certainly be characterised as dark and ungodly. It is apparent that many of his church members, voting on Election Day would have seen through such abominable contradictions, and would have turned their backs on him.

On the same medium where he made known the fraternal dimensions of his credentials, the pastor attempted to explain the circumstance that led to his rustication from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) for two years. Voters must have again reflected on the wisdom in putting an aspirant so cavalier about taking the laws into his own hands as the custodian of their mandate. And if the story is true that that revenge mission ended in the bizarre bathing of the target with acid, there is no way the electorate would not have been repulsed by such mindless violence.

What more, the pastor lost the opportunity of a prime-time audience to dispel worries precipitated by allegations that he was a malevolent personality. There was no way the electorate would have embraced such an unresolved dark past.

Similarly, the pastor did not deem it necessary to be transparent about his work history. The voters of Edo State, it must be said, deserved to know about the trajectory of his life, including organisations where he earned his living.

But what did the voters get in the case of the pastor? They got a muddled-up biography with gaping holes, wherein key moments before his sudden prominence where unexplained.

Befuddled voters could not fathom much about his employment history and human resource management experience outside the political offices he held. He was unable to convince the electorates on how he would manage the resources of Edo State judiciously particularly with his loyalty to the Igbinedions whose yearly birth day was proposed to become a State event.

In violation of the principle of transparency too, the pastor was not convincing in communicating what legitimate sources of income enabled him acquire all the properties said to belong to him. And when the time frames of 1999 to 2007 is considered to be the time of his sudden boom, not much would be needed in terms of calculation to reach the conclusion that those acquisitions were most likely proceeds from the wealth belonging to the people.

A cursory look at his profile and biographies revealed that he graduated from UNIBEN in 1986 and left Law School in 1987, and was ordained as a pastor in 1995. He then served in the cabinet of the convicted former governor, Lucky Igbinedion from 1999-2007. The electorate must have found it worrisome that the candidate was so silent on what he did during the years from 1987-1999 and 2007-2016. Thus, over 20 years was unaccounted for in his biography.

This PDP candidate is not known to have worked in any law office, though he claimed to be a lawyer – in addition, did he pass Law School? If yes, did he complete NYSC? What is his employment history from 1987 to 1999 when he became Chief of Staff? All these are shrouded in secrecy and these are part of his poor showing at the poll.

As things stand, the scant information available shows that Ize-Iyamu is a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God who has inherited a popular alias called ‘pelebe’, from UNIBEN.

His sole motivation for contesting must have been the promise by the Igbinedions to produce him as the next Governor of Edo State. The fiercely determined electorate of the state have however put a lie to the false thinking that a few can override the will of the people.

Those who lied to the pastor that they would be the ones to decide who becomes the governor of the state come September 28th, have now been condemned to bite the dust. These forces alongside the unexplained realities of his past, are the factors which jeopardized the chances of the pastor.

Not many voters forgot the offensive comments of Lucky Igbinedion at his father’s 82nd birthday party in Benin City on September 11, 2016. In the minds of voters, those comments validated the concerns of those that feared that Ize-Iyamu was running for office to continue the corruption and misrule that was the hallmark of the Lucky Igbinedion era.

Perceptions were rife that the pastor had received a marching order from the Igbinedion family to revive the failed businesses of the Esama, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion. The pastor’s doomed candidacy was further nailed by his refusal to address concerns that there were plans to make Chief Igbinedion’s September 11th birthday, a state sponsored carnival in addition to selling state establishments at rock-bottom prices to his adopted family.

Fears also mounted before the polls that the Pastor, if elected, would manipulate his “SIMPLE” agenda to prioritise state intervention to rescue moribund private businesses under a public private partnership (PPP).

It was feared that the initiative that would be made to appear like genuine intervention to boost economic growth would be a cover to use state funds for reviving the several businesses of the Igbinedion family.

Some of the businesses projected to be resuscitated include Okada Airlines, Canada Dry Bottling Company and the Ritz Hotel brand. The Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) was also mentioned as one of the state companies, which could be transferred to the family under a knock off privatisation exercise. This would have seen the public service broadcaster come under the management of the Igbinedion-owned Independent Television (ITV).

The Igbinedion University, Okada was not left out in the rash of projections around how state institutions would have been stripped away from the people, and handed over to a few powerful interests.

Ize-Iyamu’s candidacy was associated with the move that would have seen the Igbinedion University receive a special grant from the Edo state government. It would then be upgraded to a full research institution to allow it become affiliated with state owned tertiary institutions, which would be directed to rely on it for their research needs.

Surprisingly, Ize-Iyamu never denied these roles; he in fact wallowed in them. When these flaws in his candidacy and campaign are put together, it becomes apparent that the pastor never really reckoned with the people. That is the kind of disposition associated with impunity.

In the end, the Edo people are convinced that Pastor Ize-Iyamu should have long apologised to the people for the ignoble role he played in the looting era of Lucky Igbinedion instead of asking for votes. When confronted on many fronts to explain how Lucky succeeded in looting the State resources he will quickly tell you that he was a mere appointee who co-signed many contracts that were never executed but monies were paid out. This is not the kind of leader the sophisticated people of Edo State need. And they spoke loudly to that effect on September 28th.

245 sanitation offenders have been convicted in Edo State

No fewer than 245 persons have been convicted by mobile courts for various sanitation offences in Benin, the Edo State capital.

It was learnt that the convicts were arrested during the monthly sanitation exercise on Saturday and arraigned before the mobile courts, which sat at Ramat Park and Sapele Road.

While some of the offenders were convicted for wandering during the monthly exercise, others were convicted for preventing sanitation officials from discharging their duties.

The offences were said to have violated the Edo State Sanitation and Pollution Management Law No. 5 of 2010.

A senior state counsel in the Ministry of Justice, Samson Erhaze, said 52 out of the 58 persons arraigned at Ramat Park were convicted while six were discharged.

“The accused were either sentenced to three days imprisonment or made to pay N2,000 fines as option,” Erhaze added.

According to the Head of Legal Services in the state Ministry of Environment, Pius Oiwoh, a total 193 offenders were convicted by the mobile court on Sapele road.

A Director in the state Waste Management Board, Geoffrey Ehon, noted that the conviction would deter others who chose not to comply with sanitation laws.

“Offenders were prosecuted at mobile courts to serve as deterrence to others,” Ehon added.

EFCC Arraigns Edo Deputy Governor’s Brother For Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned Joseph Odubu and his company, Even Handed Services Limited in a Federal High Court, Benin.

A statement by Mr Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman made this known in a statement to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Uwujaren Odubu was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering forgery, uttering and obtaining money by false presence to the tune of N9, 36 million.

The EFCC´s spokesman said Odubu, a brother to the Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Pius Odubu, is also the Managing Director of Even Handed Services Limited.

He said the accused used forged documents to obtain a loan facility of N9,36 million on Sept. 5, 2014, from a first generation bank to facilitate the supply of chairs and desks in Edo State.

He added that Odubu also with intent to defraud and to facilitate fraud, forged a document which he claimed was received by Edo State Oil and Gas Producing-Areas Development Commission.

Uwujaren said the offence contravened section 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 of the Revised Edition Act, 2007 and punishable under section 1(2) of the same Act.

Odubu pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecuting counsel, C. A. Okoli, applied for the date of commencement of trial and that the accused be remanded in prison.

Odubu’ counsel, Osama Idehen, applied his client’s bail and the court refused it, remanded the accused in prison and adjourned the case till Nov. 22.

Credit: NAN

Edo tribunal gives PDP permission to inspect poll materials.

The Edo State election petition tribunal yesterday granted a motion ex parte to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to inspect all materials used during the September 28 governorship election in the state.


Justice A.T Badamasi heads the three-man panel of judges.Though, the tribunal was yet to be officially inaugurated, an official of the court said it could only be inaugurated when aggrieved parties and their candidates who participated in the governorship election have filed petitions. They have 21 days to file their petitions.

Counsel to the PDP, Kingsley Obamogie, said the application was in line with Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended.He said that the section empowered the petitioners to institute a motion ex parte to pray the tribunal to inspect all the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s materials used for the election.


The tribunal judges after studying the motion ordered INEC to make all the electoral materials used for the conduct of the election available to the petitioners.

Suspect Defecates In Court To Evade Trial In Edo

There was pandemonium on Tuesday at the Magistrates’ Court complex in Benin, Edo State, when an 18-year-old man, Abudulahi Muhammed, defecated on his body and attempted to flee to evade trial.

It was learnt that Muhammed, who was brought to the court with other suspects, was about to have his case registered when some court workers observed that he had soiled himself with excreta.

He was brought to court to face trial for allegedly stealing four cartons of powdered milk.

An eyewitness said the 18-year-old suspect suddenly pulled off his trousers and took to his heels half-naked, causing confusion within the premises of the court complex.

He was, however, rearrested after the Investigative Police Officer, Aigbochie Iruonagbe, called for assistance.

Muhammed was later offered a bag of sachet water to wash himself before he was arraigned.

The police prosecutor, Thomas Ojo, told the court that the accused committed the offence on Mission Road, on October 8, 2016.

Ojo stated that the accused stole the items from one Favour Nwachukwu, saying the act was punishable under Section 390 (4) (a) of the criminal code.

The accused person pleaded guilty to the one-count charge on stealing.



God has asked me to recover my stolen mandate, says Ize-Iyamu

Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo state governorship election, says God has told him to recover his “stolen” mandate.

Addressing some protesters in Benin, capital of the state, on Friday, Ize-Iyamu alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) robbed him of victory.

He said the alleged robbery of the Edo people’s mandate would not stand, adding that he had been seeking God’s intervention in the past few days.

Ize-Iyamu said while his supporters had refused to be violent, those who were given the victory by INEC were ashamed of celebrating.

Dan Orbih, chairman of the PDP in Edo, said the party was putting everything in place to defend democracy.

Appealing to the protesters to eschew violence, Orbih maintained that the will of the people must prevail.

Ize-Iyamu’s statement comes barely 24 hours after Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who won the election said he was dedicating his victory to God.

NDLEA seizes N10.7bn illicit drugs, arrests 7 suspects in Edo

The Edo Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has confiscated illicit drugs valued at over N10.7 billion in Benin.

The State Commander of the Agency, Mr Buba Wakawa, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Benin, that seven suspects were arrested in connection with the siezure.

Wakawa, who gave a run down of the command’s achievements during the third quarter of 2016, said the seven suspects were arrested with 34.2 Kilogrammes of Methamphetamine.

He described Methamphetamine as more dangerous and harmful than cocaine, adding that it was not commonly known to ordinary people on the street.

According to him, the confiscated drug has a street value of about 700,000 dollars per kilogramme, which translates to 23.9 million dollars for the 34.2 kg confiscated.

The commander also put the estimated value of the siezed drug at about N10.7 billion.

He disclosed that the suspects, who concealed the substance in 102 cartons of HP computer printer cartridges, were arrested on Sept. 24, on Lagos- Benin-Asaba Expressway.

Wakawa disclosed that the command also arrested 69 other suspects during the period under review for alleged drug trafficking.

He said that nine out of the 69 suspected drug traffickers were women, adding that two had been charged to court.

Wakama said that the total narcotic confisticated during the period weigh up to 2, 156.1 Kilogrammes.

He listed the drugs to include 1, 911 kilogrammess of Indian hemp, 34.2 Kilogrammes of Methamphetamine, 3.5 gramms of cocaine, 129 kilogrammes of Tramadol and 82 kilogrammess of Diazepam.

The NDLEA commander added that 11.514 hectares of carnabbis sativa were destroyed during the period under review and five vehicles impounded.

According to him, the command currently has 162 pending cases in various courts in the state and had couselled 32 drug addicts.

Edo POLLS: “APC Will Expose PDP In Court” – Oshiomhole Says

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the All Progressives Congress will lead evidence at the election petitions tribunal to show how the Peoples Democratic Party allegedly benefited from an electoral fraud during last Wednesday’s governorship poll conducted in the state.

Oshiomhole noted that, contrary to claims by the PDP that its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, was allegedly denied victory in the election, he (Ize-Iyamu) “is not worth 50,000 votes”.

The governor spoke while addressing some APC youths during a road show held from Five Junction to Dawson Road, shortly after a visit to the crown prince of Benin Kingdom, His Royal Highness
Eheneden Erediauwa.

The state chapter of the PDP had on Monday vowed to challenge the outcome of the poll at the election petitions tribunal.

But Oshiomhole said, “We encourage our opponents to go to court. We will be able to lead evidence to show how much they profited from electoral fraud because the Ize-Iyamu that I know is not worth 50,000 votes.

“So, it is like an armed robber rushing to a police station with bullet wounds and claiming that he has been shot, whereas he is the one who opened fire on very innocent people. We will expose them where it matters in our courtrooms.”

While expressing satisfaction with the performance of the APC in the September 28 election, he stated that the victory of the party signalled the final political “funeral” of the godfathers in the PDP.

The governor, whose tenure will end on November 12, noted that he would want to be remembered not only for the development of infrastructure but also for liberalising the political space, so that the youths could take charge of their destiny.

Oshiomhole said, “My message to them is, whether it is Igbinedion, (Tony) Anenih or (Tom) Ikimi, it is not me.

“It is God who knows their sin against our people that decided to recall their political lives. He has only used us to cement it and to celebrate their political funeral.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki has promised to run an all-inclusive government.

Obaseki spoke when he received the state chapter of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on Wednesday in Benin City, the state capital.

He explained that he was mindful of the different tribes and religions in the state and would ensure that all of them had a sense of belonging during his administration.

The governor-elect said, “I want to assure you that the type of administration that I want to run in Edo State is one that will be all-inclusive, so that people will feel that they are part of the state, irrespective of religion and tribe, because we are one Edo State and there is strength in our unity.
“I want to thank you and assure you that I will be there for you.”

Obaseki also commended the Islamic council for their support before and during the election.

He added, “I am overwhelmed for several reasons because you are the first set of people who have come to congratulate me.

“For me, it is significant because you men of God prayed for me and today, there is something to celebrate.”

Earlier, the state Chairman of the council, Alhaji Yusuf Bako, urged the governor-elect to be resolute in achieving his objectives and to be accessible to the citizens of the state.

Bako, who was accompanied by a leader of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria, Alhaja Aminatu Moti, said, “We are glad that you are a peaceful man and we Muslims are also peaceful. Be resolute. Be dogged and accessible, and the sky will be your limit.”

Source: Punch

INEC Distributes 1.2m PVCs in Ondo State

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ondo State said it had distributed a total of 1,201,073 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to registered voters. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, made this announcement at a stakeholders’ meeting in Akure Wednesday.
He added that 344,006 PVCs haven’t been collected yet and encouraged those yet to collect theirs to do so as distribution continues. He said:


“It is important to stress at this juncture that only the PVCs would be used to vote during the governorship poll, while the smart card readers would be used for accreditation of voters,’’

He also said that selling of PVCs or any form of manipulation of the card is a serious offence punishable under the law with fines and/or prison term.

He assured electorates in the state that INEC will remain fair and unbiased to everyone during elections.

Source: Vanguard

Edo Election: Oshiomhole Fires Back at PDP’s Ize Iyamu

Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has hit back at the PDP for claiming that the APC won the state’s governorship election through rigging.

Speaking on Tuesday in Benin, Oshiomhole said it was the PDP and its candidate Osagie Ize Iyamu, who rigged the election, not the APC. He added that he is ready to defend his stance in court.

“I am sure we encouraged our opponents to go to court. We will be able to lead evidence to show how much they profited from electoral fraud because the Ize-Iyamu that I know is not worthy of 50,000 votes,” he said.

“So, it’s like an armed robber rushing to the police station with bullet wounds and claiming that he has been shot, whereas he was the one who opened fire on very innocent people. We will expose them where it matters in our courtrooms,” he added.

We Are Not Aware Money Was Distributed In Edo – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission says it is not aware that political parties distributed money during the September 28 governorship election in Edo State.

The commission said its attention had yet to be called to the alleged distribution of money to the electorates by political parties in order to attract their votes.

The Director of Voter Education and Publicity at the commission, Mr. Oluwole Ozasse-Uzi, stated this in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday.

Political parties that took part in the election had raised the issue of using money to buy votes from the voters during the election.

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress and the All Progressive Grand Alliance had accused one another of wooing voters with money during the election.

The election, which was won by the APC’s Godwin Obaseki, was rejected by the PDP and its candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Both the PDP and its candidate had accused the APC of rigging and that it used money to induce the voters.

Ozasse-Uzi said the commission only got to know about the allegation through the media.

He said, “We are not aware that money was spent or distributed to the electorates during the election.

“We only heard about the allegation from the media and our attention had yet to be called to the matter.

“In other words, we are not aware of this allegation.”

Ozasse-Uzi said that the commission was waiting for those who knew about the allegation to send petitions to it on the matter.

He said, “We will appreciate that those who are making the allegations should send petitions to the commission on the matter.

“We have not seen any petition on the matter. All what we heard had been on the pages of newspapers and so forth.”

Ize-Iyamu accuses INEC of doctoring electoral documents

The Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation on Tuesday highlighted a plot by the APC, led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, to perfect what it called the, “rigging carried out in connivance with INEC”, on Wednesday, 28th September 2016 during the gubernatorial election held in Edo state.

In a statement signed by Mr Efe Igbinovia for the organization, it said it has received calls from numerous people seeking to know why Presiding Officers in the just concluded gubernatorial election are being called back by INEC to ?come to its offices to sign an undisclosed document.

“We are also told that some Presiding Officers are also moving in and out of government house to sign this said document. Fortunately, some of these persons have volunteered information about the documents that they were invited to sign and they have pledged to give evidence in court”.

The statement said, it will be foolhardy for the youth corpers reportedly to desist from such act of illegality as it is capable of ?landing them in jail, adding ,”To be forewarned it to be forearmed. We also call on the security agents to investigate this matter and bring the culprits to book. It is unreasonable for someone to be signing for an election document days after its conduct”.

“We are not unaware of the plans by Adams Oshiomhole to destroy all evidence that will lead to the emergence of our candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, at the Tribunal. ?However, we are determined to continue to fight for the people in order to reclaim the mandate freely given to us by the good people of Edo State”.

The organization added, “Edo people came out to vote on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016, they voted for justice, equity, fair tax, industrialisation, freedom from dictatorial tendencies and economic recession, only for their votes to be upturned in the night. However, these issues they voted for will continue to be the foundation upon which our stolen mandate will be pursued and reclaimed”.

The statement appreciated Edo people for remaining steadfast in the struggle to reclaim the people’s land from the hands of upstarts and opportunists who see governance as a means to an end.

Oshiomole has given Edo state a worthy successor – Timipre Sylva

Former governor of Bayelsa State and All Progressives Congress candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, has congratulated Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Governor-Elect Godwin Obaseki, and the people of Edo State on the victory of APC at the 28 September governorship election.


In a congratulatory message on Friday in Yenagoa signed by his media adviser, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva specially praised Oshiomhole for “a worthy cause to deliver a worthy successor to the people of Edo State.

Edo Elections: My View – Inibehe Effiong

It is clear from the just concluded gubernatorial election in Edo State that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has devised an intelligent policy in order to uphold the integrity of elections and the Card Reader. INEC has resorted to cancelling results from polling units where the total votes cast exceeded the total of voters accredited by the Card Reader.

This practically leaves those opposed to credible elections with the aid of the Card Reader with a fait accompli. By cancelling such results, the election was determined based exclusively on electronic accreditation.

In any case, the total number of votes cancelled due to non usage of the Card Reader did not impact on the election. The Card Reader has come to stay. While the National Assembly is making efforts to give the Card Reader a definite legislative backing to undo the harsh effects of the Supreme Court judgments on the issue, INEC’s policy is commendable.

My impression is that the Edo election was largely credible. I will give three reasons:

First, the margin between the two leading candidates shows that there was indeed a real contest. The APC scored 319,483 while the PDP came second with 253,173. This is in contrast to the fraudulent and arbitrary culture of allocation of phantom votes as witnessed during the 2015 governorship elections.

Second, the election was generally peaceful and devoid of violence. No single life was lost in Edo State. This is also in contrast to the bloodbath witnessed in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States during the last election. The Supreme Court upheld both elections.

Third, the fact that there was no over voting shows that the election was largely credible. Edo State has 1, 900, 223 registered voters, while 662,039 of the registered voters were accredited with 613, 244 voters casting their votes in the election.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have up to October 19, 2016 to file a petition against the election of Mr. Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC). They should ventilate their grievances in court.

Since they are raising allegations of corrupt practices and violence, they should approach the tribunal with evidence and prove same beyond reasonable doubt.

Obaseki and the APC can conveniently cite recent decisions of the Supreme Court on governorship elections. The precedents are there and known to all.

Only the courts can determine whether an election complied substantially with the law. If the 2015 governorship elections in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Abia States complied with the law I do not know what will invalidate the September 28 election in Edo State.

Though the election was not without flaws, the process was substantially credible, free and fair.

I commend the people of Edo State for their peaceful conduct. This should be a lesson to the people of other South South States and the country at large.

I rise.


Edo Election outcome, Chief Don Etiebet Speaks.

This is a great achievement of the PMB administration. With good elections like this the road to enduring democracy, good governance, progress, development, peace and unit is constructed as politicians would now go to the people to get that one vote that can be decisive and so attain to them in office, not “godfathers”.


I’m so happy seeing the results of this election in Edo. With all the hype, tension and acrimonies there was no violence, no deaths and no late deliveries or non deliveries of “sensitive materials” at all.


This election should be a study in proper conduct of elections in Nigeria. I join many others in commending INEC, the securities agencies and all others who participated in conducting the Edo election of 28th September, 2016.


Did you look at the results, unit by unit, Ward by Ward, LGA by LGA? You can’t complain and I don’t know what the PDP is complaining of.


Congratulations Godwin Obaseki, Congratulations H.E Adams Oshiomhole , Congratulations the good people of Edo State, Congratulations President Muhammadu Buhari.


The backbone of Change has started in Edo elections and I commend it to all as I call on those who said they won election in Akwa Ibom State to examine their conscience.

BREAKING: APC leads PDP by 5,616 votes halfway to results announcement

The electoral commission, INEC, has announced the results of nine of the 18 local governments in Edo State.


The results show that the ruling All Progressives Congress won in 5 local governments while the Peoples Democratic Party won in 4 local governments.


The APC so far has 142,424 votes while the PDP has 136,808 votes.


The ruling party candidate, Godwin Obaseki, thus leads his main challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the PDP by 5,616 votes.

Stop addressing Ize-Iyamu as Pastor, he’s a pathological liar – Oshiomole

The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has berated the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate in the ongoing governorship election in the state, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, for claiming to be a pastor.

Addressing reporters, the Governor described Ize-Iyamu, who is his former campaign director, as a “pathological liar”, who “lies effortlessly”.

Oshiomhole stressed that the PDP flag bearer is not worthy of being addressed as a pastor for alleging that some All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, including Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos and Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, were in the state to perfect ways of rigging the governorship election.

According to the governor,“I have always said that Ize-Iyamu is not a pastor because one of the 10 commandments of God includes… but the man claims to believe in Jesus Christ, lies effortlessly like a pathological liar, and he insists he must be addressed as a pastor.

“Governor Ambode is too busy in Lagos and he is not registered to vote in Edo. Governor Ambode is a golden fish, there is no hiding place for him so where did they find him? Let them produce the photograph.

“It is because of the nature of our democracy… people who have criminal records are not supposed to vote. I am sure Governor Ambode is in Lagos doing what he was voted to do and we don’t need his help to come and vote for us because he didn’t need my help to vote for him in Lagos.

“El-Rufai is not here and if there is a place where the media is visible, I believe it is Edo state. Is it really in the mouth of a non-believer to parody the truth? You are the people who have the training/skill for what elsewhere is called investigative journalism, so it is for you to go round everywhere and find out whether any of these people are in town.

“The world has changed that even pathological liars have limits to how much lie they can tell, you know. The PDP is already smelling defeat; they want to start the process of creating confusion and distraction.

“You see, we are using valuable airtime now to discuss non-issue but I challenge the media, and this is sometimes my frustration, don’t take it from me, don’t take it from them. There are many ways to establish where the man is.

“The world has changed; we are no longer in an analogue age where one-eyed man can be leading blind men. Nigerians are not blind and a blind-eye pastor cannot lead us. So, please, let’s spend our time discussing serious issue.”

Oshiomhole had last week alleged that Ize-Iyamu connived with a former governor of the state, Lucky Igbinedion to divert N4 billion bank loan to a private bank account in Lagos.

Edo Govt Exempts Banks, Corporate Organisations From 1st Election Public Holiday

The Edo State Government has exempted banks and corporate organisations from the public holiday declared for Tuesday, September 27.

The State Government had declared a public holiday for Tuesday, September 27 and Wednesday, September 28, 2016 to enable voters in the state travel to their various locations and exercise their voting rights on Wednesday, September 28. However, Banks and corporate community have now been exempted from the public holiday on Tuesday, September 27 in order not to slow down the economy of the state.

Edo 2016: Of Afemailand, Its Politics And Legacies by Daniel Afekhume

A video emerged last week where a dispassionate President Obama was telling the Black Community that it will be a “Personal Insult” to himself and Michelle if blacks don’t come out in their numbers to vote Hillary Clinton. His argument was that Trump was coming to destroy his “legacies” and by extension that of African-Americans.

In the same light, I wish to state the Edo Governorship election of Sept 28th is one for either the preservation or destruction of the Legacies of the people of Edo North, The Afemais  as represented by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

Make no mistake about it, just like the 2015 Presidential Elections where the South-West was the tie-breaker, who becomes the next Governor of Edo will be decided by the Afemai People. This is based on my statistical analysis of the voting population, interests and voting pattern of the 3 senatorial districts- Edo South (Binis), Edo Central(Ishans)  Edo North (Afemais) with 56%, 15% and 29% of the voting population respectively.

The two front-runners; Godwin Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu are both from Edo South and hence the votes in that zone will be largely divided. Assume a hypothetical election where in a pessimistic case, Ize-Iyamu has the upper hand in the South with say 30% leaving Obaseki with 26%, the ability of the North to deliver 25% of its 29% to Obaseki will leave the 15% from Edo Central irrelevant in determining the winner. This is but a worst case scenario for Godwin Obaseki.

I strongly believe Edo North should give their block votes to the candidate of their son, Comrade Oshiomhole for obvious reasons- protecting our legacies and securing our interests.

Before Oshiomhole, (who happens to be the first Afemai to be governor), Edo North had no stake in the Edo Project even though they were the 2nd biggest people of the state. The last TRUEAfemai son in government was the late Admiral Mike Akhigbe, the 2nd-in-command to Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar. He was arguably the last person to bring development to AfemaiLand in all shades.

At the turn of this democratic dispensation, THE POWERS THAT BE in Edo made Mike Oghiadome, an Afemai  as deputy to Lucky Igbinedion from 1999 to 2007. He was a “waste” and no value to AfemaiLand. Oghiadome even rose up to become the Chief of Staff(who is like an alternate President) to President Jonathan. His ascension was still of little/no importance to his people until he was relegated to political irrelevance.

When the government of Osunbor came up in 2007, the POWERS THAT BE didn’t find AfemaiLand worthy of occupying relevant and powerful positions in that government. For 16years from 1999-2015, none of the ministers that represented Edo state was an Afemai. Not Tony Anenih, Not Godwin Abbe, Not Chris Ogiewonyi, Not Mike Onolememen. Olusegun Aganga(who has Afemai roots- from Owan) was appointed either as a “surplus minster”(not tied to any state) or represented Lagos. It is a shame that Edo has produced about 3 minister of works in the past 16 years and the major Federal Road in AfemaiLand (leading from Agbede through Auchi and terminating in Okpella) is in a terrible mess.

In fact, recently I went through Oshiomhole’s village and the Section of this Federal Road that passes through his village, Iyamho may be the worst road in the country. I am pretty sure that the last Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen (also from Edo) deliberately refused to do that road for political reasons so that Oshiomhole wont use it to score political points.

The people of Edo North must, through their votes on Sept 28th, be seen as punishing this system that refused them any meaningful development or representation while they held sway. This system with Tony Anenih and Igbinedion as ringleaders made the majority of appointments and allocated resources to projects and in their Wisdom relegated the Afemai People to the backwaters of Edo politics despite our numbers.

Incidentally, this is the same system that is throwing up Ize-Iyamu in the forthcoming elections. We must teach them a lesson that never again are we going to suffer any political class to neglect us and treat us with disdain. We are not a people who reward disloyalty. Far from it.

To further show that they don’t see Edo North as a worthy partner and show no remorse for the years of neglect, they bypassed us to pick an Uromi man, John Yakubu from Edo Central as their candidate for Deputy Governor while we have our son, Phillip Shuaibu on the Obaseki ticket.

By their antecedents, this system has shown that they don’t deserve our 29% and we must give them only the minimum allowable by human bias and differences and tell our son, Comrade Oshiomhole a big “Thank You” by voting massively for his candidate, Obaseki.

Ize-Iyamu and his backers have never done anything for Edo North, they won’t  start after the elections.

Make no mistake about it or be swayed by some of the “flaws” they use in campaigning against Oshiomhole for Edo North benefited from most of what they attack him with like:

1) The  $180m World Bank loan.

A large chunk of this was used in assisting the Edo Govt to control Queen Ede, Ekenhuan and Auchi Erosions. Growing up in Auchi, there were threats that the Gully Erosion in Auchi will swallow up the sprawling town. That has now been controlled

2) The Edo University Iyamho (EUI).

That he spent money to build another state university and neglected the present one at Ekpoma. Some time back I tried to secure admission at Ambrose Alli University, I was discriminated against because I wasn’t Esan. Nobody will discriminate an Afemai son in EUI.  When Lucky Igbinedion set up Edo State Polytechnic, Usen in 2002, he didnt see the need to take it to Edo North since we didn’t have any state govt-owned educational institutions (the Binis had College of Education, Ekiadolor while the Esans had AAU, Ekpoma). Na our share be this. Be proud of it.

All politics is local. All politics is Selfish!

Edo guber: IGP Idris orders restriction of movement

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered restriction of movement during Wednesday’s governorship election in Edo State.

He also ordered the activation of the revised operation plan for the election.

The operation plan, according to a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Force Spokesman, Don Awunah, is expected to guarantee free, fair and credible election, secure electoral process, enable eligible voters exercise their franchise freely and voluntary, protect election materials and officials and ensure adequate security before, during and after the election.

The statement reads: “The IGP has directed the Commissioner of Police in Edo State to enforce the restriction of vehicular movement from 12:00 midnight Tuesday, 27th September, 2016 to 6:00pm, 28th September, 2016 except those involved in essential duties who must be properly identified.”

The Force also noted that adequate resource and personnel will be mobilized and deployed to execute the election conclusively.

“In order to achieve the expected outcome of credible election acceptable to all stakeholders, the police will deploy 25,000 conventional police officers for the election.

“Tactical teams comprising of Police Mobile Force [PMF], Counter Terrorism Unit, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Special Protection Unit, Force Animal Branch, Police Air wing [Aerial patrol) and Marine Police Unit [Riverine Patrol) will also be deployed,” the statement added.

Edo guber: Army Confirms Arrest of Miscreants with Election Materials

Amid the controversy over the arrest of some persons alleged to be in possession of sensitive election materials, the Nigerian Army has confirmed holding some miscreants but denied that they were journalists.

Soldiers of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, with operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were alleged to have raided a hotel where some people alleged to be journalists were arrested.

An online publication was said to have made the allegation. But, a statement by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR, Col. Sani Usman refuted the report.

The statement explained that none of those arrested explained that they were journalists, neither did they show any means of identification to that effect.

On the contrary, the army said: “A number of incriminating items including the Independent National Electoral Commission’s sensitive materials were recovered from them.”

Usman confirmed that the troops actually arrested a deserted soldier and other suspected miscreants in possession of some election materials.

The statement titled “Re: Edo Elections: Soldiers, DSS Molest and Arrests 10 Journalist in Edo” reads in part: “It is important to state that sequel to the prevailing security situation in the state, which led to the postponement of the earlier scheduled gubernatorial election, there were credible security reports that some unpatriotic persons have hired hoodlums with the intention of causing mayhem during the forthcoming election.

“The reports further showed that the suspected hoodlums have been lodged in some hotels within Benin City and its environs. Acting on this, the DSS, in conjunction with troops of 4 Brigade Nigerian Army carried out cordon and search operations in the suspected areas.

“This led to the arrest of 10 suspected persons in one of the hotels. Among the suspects arrested was a deserted soldier. It is pertinent to state that none of the arrested suspects identified himself as a journalist or mentioned the media he reports for, contrary to the allegations of the online media.”

However, the statement added that the arrested persons were well handled, in line with the operational codes of the services and the tradition of dignified human treatment.

It stated that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, has zero tolerance for unprofessional and unethical conduct such as harassing and molesting innocent citizens.

Reports said those arrested have been handed over to the DSS for further investigation.

The state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Roland Osakwe, said he was aware that some arrests had been made.

He, however, said he could not confirm their identity as they did not register their presence at the NUJ state secretariat.

Meanwhile, as part of the activities to check the reported security challenges, the Nigerian Army has promised to deploy drones during the governorship election.

Army To Deploy Drones During Edo Governorship Election

To ensure fair, free and credible governorship election on September 28 in Edo State, the Nigerian Army said it would deploy drones to monitor strategic location during the conduct of the election.

The Commander of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Raji Benbela, who spoke to journalists in Benin during operation show of force staged by a combined team of security agencies in the state, said the deployment of the drones will support the aerial view of strategic locations across the state and also help to check activities of hoodlums.

He said the show of force was not to intimidate the people but to assure them to come out en masse
and vote on Election Day, adding that security agents would be deployed to strategic locations to stop unwanted elements from disrupting the process.

Benbela disclosed that the Army had arrested some persons and that they would be made to face trial after the election. He appealed to the electorate and political gladiators to conduct themselves in such a manner that would not jeopardize the process.

See How Obaseki’s Running Mate & APC Youths “Swept Out” Ize-Iyamu Out Of Edo North

The All Progressives Congress ( APC) deputy governorship candidate in Edo State, Rt. Hon.Philip Shaibu with hundred of youths took to the street along Auchi – Jattu road of Etsako West local in a road show tagged “sweep Ize-Iyamu, PDP out”, to carry out a symbolic sweeping of the floor.

Philip Shaibu who led the sweepers said the exercise is to demonstrate to Ize – Iyamu and other PDP leaders that the people of Edo North are bent on ensuring total victory for the APC governoship Candidate Godwin Obaseki and his deputy in the September 28, election.

He said the youths came out in their numbers without being mobilized to sweep the road, adding that they came out to demonstrate that they cannot afford any reversals or slowdown in the pace of the achievements comrade Adams Oshiomhole has made in Edo state.

Another sweeper, the member representing etsako central local government in Edo state house assembly, Barr. Damian Lawani, described the symbolic sweeping of the roads as a clear indication that edo people cannot afford to go back to Egypt, the era of PDP in the state.



Why Edo People Will Vote For APC- Gov Oshiomhole

Ahead the gubernatorial elections in Edo State this weekend, Governor Adams Oshiomhole has said due to the track record of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) in the state, its going to be a smooth victory for his party.

Speaking to State House Correspondents on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Oshiomhole  stated that Edo people had never had it so good like under the eight year reign of the APC.

He said, “For us it is fun, when you have a good report card, you are anxious to go and show to your parents that you did well in school so that you can ask for support to go to secondary school. It is when you fail that you cry and find a way to make excuses.

“We have worked for Edo people and there is no ward of the 192 wards that you will not find standard government project, whether it is road, school, health centre, water and these are things they have never seen for 10 years of PDP.

The governor asserted that his administration has rebuilt  schools and Edo teachers are paid as at when due and the teachers are properly motivated, that only qualified teachers are in the  classrooms adding that from the situation where Edo used to be 23rd in WAEC and NECO but last year the state came 2nd.

“With all these, there is no way the people will vote for a party that had been given them excuses. I have no doubt whatsoever that anytime, anyday, a fair minded Edo man will vote APC, He added.

On  fears that certain governors are ready to forment trouble during the election, he accused the River state governor ,Wyesome Wike and his Delta counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa of importing militants to Edo to destabilise the elections.

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Ogbemudia Endorses Obaseki Ahead Of Sept. 28 Edo Election

Former governor of Edo and respected elder statesman Samuel Ogbemudia on Sunday endorsed Mr Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Sept. 28 governorship election.

Ogbemudia, whose voice is regarded like that of the Oracle, gave the endorsement at a banquet organised by Gov. Adams Oshiomhole in Benin to celebrate his 84th birthday.


During the occasion, Oshiomhole announced the renaming of New Era College, built by Ogbemudia decades ago, as Dr Samuel Ogbemudia College.

The college fell into ruins before Oshiomhole decided to rebuild it.
It was the second time  Oshiomhole honoured Ogbemudia, who was a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, until a few years ago when  he quit.


In 2014, Oshiomhole’s government built an Ogbemudia Statue at the state-owned Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.


Oshiomhole told Ogbemudia at the birthday party “you came, you saw and you conquered and Edo people are proud.
“Therefore, with your permission and in exercise of my privileges as governor of the greatest state in Nigeria, the only state that is up-to-date in payment of salaries in the entire South-South, the only state that increased minimum wage when others cannot pay, on behalf of government and people of Edo, New Era College will hereafter be named Dr Samuel Ogbemudia College.


“It is my hope that this will inspire other people to give their best to our state, to our country so that role models shall be formed within us. God bless you. God bless your family, and if you ask me, may God give you another 84 years.


“I just want to say, we are very proud of you and we thank God for your life. Dr Ogbemudia, I am proud of you. Edo people are proud of you.


Nigerians who know you are proud of you, and even children yet unborn will be proud of you when they read the history of your contributions to the growth and development of Midwest Region, Bendel State, and Edo State.”


Responding, Ogbemudia was also full of encomiums for Oshiomhole.


He said “my mission is not to come and praise you, but to catalogue your achievements so that the verdict of history will be in your favour.“You have done wonderfully well. Nowhere in this state, nowhere in this region, in all the six political regions can you find a building like this (the New Era College Hall) meant for a College.“You have done wonderfully well. It is said that it is better to make history than to write it. You have made history today and you will always be remembered and your memory will never fail.”


Ogbemudia also  canvassed votes for Mr Godwin Obaseki, the APC guber candidate in Edo.


The elder statesman said “I want to appeal to the people of Edo, through those who are here that Sept. 28 is a day of decision, a day on which we will decide our future.


“We have two options, either to remain as we are and nothing happens and two years hence, we will be looking for boats to travel on the roads because it would have been flooded or we work hard, get the right person to carry on from where Comrade will leave it.


“That option is staring at us in the face.


“For me, I choose the option to get somebody who understands good governance to carry on from where Comrade Oshiomhole will leave it.


He has done enough. He has left sufficient evidence for historians to appreciate, and many years hence they will be falling on each other to determine what made you do this or that. I think you have wonderful wisdom that will live with you forever.”


“For the young ladies, I have always appreciated the need to work with women because at the political field, they are very useful.


Once they tell you they are with you, they are with you. So, I want them to go back home to make sure that everyone of them has a hundred persons queuing behind them to vote for Obaseki.


“And for the men, of course, the number is limitless. What we want to do is to see that the votes the man acquires are such that it leaves no doubt as to his popularity.”


Obaseki, who had earlier given his tributes to Dr Ogbemudia, said “we are happy to still have you around with us. I am aspiring to fill your shoes.


“You have been twice governor in the state and I am aspiring to be governor for the first time. And my inspiration is largely you. My assurance comes from the fact that you are one leader who I met after I decided to run for governor.


“I want to assure you, sir, that I owe it to you and our Comrade Governor not to fail Edo people. The fact that we are here today, this school, New Era was your idea. We want to thank our Comrade Governor for taking that idea forward, and by the grace of God, I will take it even further.”


“My responsibility is to now continue from where Gov. Adams Oshiomhole stopped so as to create that new design and place our people where they should be in the next century,” Obaseki added.

Shifting of Edo governorship election will not affect result – Senator

Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has said the last minute shifting of the Edo Governorship election to September 28, will not affect the expected outcome of the poll.

Kyari was reacting to accusation made by the PDP that the postponement of the poll was aimed at manipulating the outcome by the ruling APC.

He told newsmen in Maiduguri on Wednesday that the postponement was inevitable.

“Up till Wednesday, INEC was ready for the election because I spoke with INEC chairman who was already in Benin and he said there was no going back.

“He (chairman) said that INEC can only shift the election if there was strong and tangible reasons for that,” Kyari said.

He added that the commission was forced to shift the election after seeing some evidence from security agents.

“But unfortunately, the reasons given by the police and the State Security Service (SSS) were so strong that within a short while INEC began to see some semblance of planned attack.

“So INEC had to cave in and postpone the polls, I remember that even the police had made arrangement to mobilize 23, 000 personnel for the polls before the last minutes shift,” Kyari said.

The senator noted that it was sad that some politicians were accusing the government of collaborating with INEC to shift the polls for political gains.

“The election was postponed due to the security situation and not because of any political reason. I do not think it was because the APC could not win.

“Like I said, the postponement cannot affect the outcome or give advantage to the ruling APC as being alleged by in media reports,” he said.

Kyari recalled that the 2015 elections were postponed and the outcome was not affected.

“You will remember that even last year’s elections were postponed by weeks and the outcome was not affected.

“Whatever you do in election matter, it will not affect the outcome because the people have already made up their minds,” he said.

The INEC committee chairman, who represents Borno North in the National Assembly, also defended the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on the prevalence of inconclusive elections.

“Yakubu is a man of integrity and a first class technocrat, so the issue of inconclusive elections is not peculiar to him.

“Even in 2011 there were inconclusive elections, we just forget so soon; last year elections in Imo State were inconclusive and that was when Prof. Mahmud Jega was INEC chairman,” he said.

Kyari said that attention was being focused on inconclusive elections now because they were hapening in bye-elections rather that during general polls.

He attributed the reason for rising cases of inconclusive elections across the country on the desperation by politicians to win at all cost.

“We now have two strong parties; the APC and the PDP who are almost at par in terms of strength.

“Some politicians are now desperate, sometimes employing violence to disrupt elections leading to inconclusiveness.

“INEC has no choice but to declare election inconclusive once election materials are hijacked and elections disrupted on a large scale.

“Of course this has to do with election guidelines which must be adhered to by INEC,” he said.

The senator also defended INEC decision to declare elections inconclusive rather than declare one of the candidates’ winner in an election marred by violence.

“INEC cannot disregard election guidelines and declare wrong candidate winner of an inconclusive election because it had a reputation to protect.

“INEC reputation will be a subject of ridicule once the other candidates go to court to seek redress,” Kyari said.

‘Don’t give power to thieves,’ Obaseki urges voters

The candidate of the All Progressives congress (APC) in the Edo governorship Election race, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has urged voters to carefully select their leader.

He stated this on Monday, September 12, during a visit to the Benin Technical College in Egor Local Government Area of the state.

Obaseki said voters should assess the antecedents of all the candidates, including their achievements both in and out of government before making a choice.

He said: “Leadership is very important; that is the key issue in this election. Who do we give power to? What is his background? What has he done before, especially if he has been in power?

“What are his achievements? We must ask these questions because a leopard does not change its spot. So, it is important (that) this election is not going to be about money but our future.”

He said with the evident development in Edo in the past eight years, the Adams Oshiomhole administration has showed that the APC will deliver.

“In the last eight years, the leadership of the state has started something that the people can see. Why do we want to change what is already working?,” he said.

“I know there are personal complaints about the government. But, at least, we agree that government can build roads. By the grace of God, all the roads will be built.

“As the next governor, we know how to build roads and schools. We know how many we have done and those we have not done and we already have a plan over a period to ensure that the works continue.”

The Edo election, which was supposed to have held on September 10, was postponed to Sept. 28 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following reports of possible violence.

Edo Guber: INEC merely postponed APC’s defeat – Dokpesi

A frontline contender for National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi has described the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the Edo State governorship election as “unfortunate”.

In a statement by Omor Bazuaye of the Raymond Dokpesi Campaign Organisation, Dokpesi said it is a shame that once again Nigerians are subjected to such gross impunity and flagrant abuse of power that is currently being exhibited.

Dokpesi said he received information about the postponement of the election just as he led a last minute campaign for the candidate of the PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in Etsako East, taking the campaign and the message of a better future from his own Ward 1 deep into Zone 4.

Dokpesi said what INEC had done was to postpone PDP’s victory at the polls and delay the inevitable defeat of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state.

He said no matter how many times and how long INEC postpones the election, the people in his Etsako East have rejected APC and have made up their minds to vote the PDP.

Dokpesi visited Oshiolo Village where he met with the village head, Chief Agaye Izobor.

The campaign train then journeyed to Ekwotsor, where it was received by a large crowd of party supporters before moving on to other neighbouring villages such as Agiere and Weppa.

INEC has fixed a new date of September 28 for the election, which was previously fixed for September 10.

Corps members are ready for Edo election – NYSC

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has insisted that Corps members involved in the Edo state governorship election are prepared to deliver a credible electoral process.


In a statement signed by the Corps’ Director of Press and Public Relations, Abosede Aderibigbe, the Director General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure stated that the scheme is committed to the entrenchment of a credible electoral system.

Brigadier General Kazaure warned politicians to play by the rules and avoid any attempt to distract the Corps members from discharging their assignment.


He added that the Corps members involved in the Edo governorship election have been warned that any violation of the scheme’s code of conduct would be met with consequences as provided in the electoral law and the NYSC bye-laws.

BREAKING: INEC postpones Edo election, new date to be announced in 24 hours.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has postponed the September 10 gubernatorial election in Edo State.


Nick Dazang, spokesman for the commission, told PREMIUM TIMES the election would now hold on a new date no less than two weeks from Saturday.


We have now decided to shift the election forward for another two weeks,” Mr. Dazang said. “We would announce a new date within the next 24 hours.”


The postponement came a day after the police and State Security Service announced their intention to pull out of the exercise, citing security concerns.


After a series of consultation and initial show of defiance, the Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC finally buckled.


Godwin Obaseki, the APC candidate, is slugging it out with Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the PDP in the race to replace incumbent Adams Oshiomhole whose two-term tenure expires this November.


The electoral body had initially brushed aside concerns raised by the police and the SSS, affirming its earlier schedule.


The commission said it would not be “teleguided”, and argued that suspending the polls would be costly after reaching at least 97 per cent readiness level.


One source said that INEC was pressured to change its decision.


The SSS and the police clearly said they can’t guarantee the security of INEC’s personnel and materials,” the source said.


Source: Premium Times

Edo Guber: INEC ignores DSS, Police advise to postpone poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday said it will go ahead with the Edo State governorship elections against the advise of Nigerian security agencies.


The Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) had advised INEC to postpone the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Edo state.


The two security agencies said the advise was based on credible intelligence at its disposal, which suggests that insurgents are planning to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets, with high population during the forthcoming Sallah celebrations between 12th and 13th September.


The agencies said Edo State is amongst the states being earmarked for these planned attacks.

In a joint statement, the agencies reminded the public that similar threats were issued during the May 1, Labour Day and Democracy Day, May 29, celebrations as well as the Eid-el-Fitr holidays in July, 2016.


The statement further adds that “the security agencies were able to decisively disrupt and thwart the insurgents’ plan. In the same vein, while election is important, the security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted, and we will continue to remain vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.


It is in regard of these that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election in Edo State, in order to enable security agencies deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats”, they said.

Call for postponement of Edo election suspicious – TMG

The Transition Monitoring Group has faulted the call by security agencies on the Independent National Electoral Commission to postpone the Edo State governorship election.

The Department of State Services and Nigerian Police Force had on Wednesday called on INEC to shift the election, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday due to threats by insurgents and extremists.

But the Chairperson, TMG, Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said the call for the postponement of the election was suspicious.

“The advice by the DSS to postpone the Edo 2016 election is suspect and one must be quick to say that it is coming rather late, especially because the election will take place in less than 72 hours,” she said.

“One would have expected that such advice would have been issued earlier. Such announcement, close to election, could also trigger apathy by voters and capable of building tension in the state, which can lead to electoral violence, which they are supposedly trying to prevent.”

The President, Campaign for Democracy, Usman Bako, however, called for caution on the call to postpone the election by security agencies.

The Peoples Democratic Party, which expressed shock at the call, rejected it and urged INEC to do the same.

INEC, which said it was fully prepared for the conduct of the poll, had also expressed surprised by the call for the exercise to be shifted.

The National Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, said it would take a decision after holding consultations with relevant stakeholders.

“Whatever the case, the commission will take a decision swiftly and communicate it to the Nigerian public,” he said on Wednesday.

Dangote visits Benin Crown Prince, promises more investments in Edo

Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who said he was in the palace to commiserate with him on the demise of the late Oba, as well as congratulate him on his forthcoming coronation as the new Oba of Benin, also promised to bring more investment to the state.

He said that with the kind of weather and natural resources in the state, Edo could be made an employment hub for job seekers.

He added that the. state was so blessed and creating jobs would not be a difficult task.

He expressed delight that the prince would be crowned as the new Oba of Benin on Sept. 26, saying that the late Oba served the people of Edo in particular and the country well.

He added that “I have no doubt that with you as the next Oba, Benin will be taken to the next level.

“I also know that your experience as an Ambassador will be brought to bare.”

He assured the monarch of his continued support to the kingdom.

Responding, the crown prince said he was delighted to receive Dangote in his palace.

He gave assurance that he would do all it takes to justify the confidence reposed in him by the people.

He said “when God gives an assignment, He provides the means and resources by which the assignment will
be accomplished.”

He appealed to Dangote to always represent the state before the Federal Government, noting that “I know you always have a way of attacking any government in power, please always help actualise state’s request before the Federal Government.”

He also appealed to Dangote to help support and promote tourism in the state.

According to him, he has a passion to promote tourism in the state so as to create employment for the unemployed through the establishment of a finery.

He urged the business mogul to support the initiative to make Gelegele, a coastal community in the state, a Free Trade Zone.

Earlier, Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, who accompanied Dangote on the visit, said that the business tycoon was in the palace to commiserate with the royal household, in addition to congratulating the monarch on his forthcoming coronation.

Group condemns WAEC’s relocation of Edo students to Ondo, Delta states.

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has condemned the decision of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to relocate 1,742 candidates sitting for the ongoing November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination in Edo State to Ondo and Delta states, thereby increasing the financial expenses on poor working class guardians.


In a statement, the national coordinator, Hassan Taiwo Soweto stated that the decision of WAEC is exploitative and insensitive.


As a public institution, WAEC has a responsibility towards candidates, their parents and guardians. That responsibility involves ensuring that in circumstances of this nature, candidates, their parents and guardians are not unnecessarily over burdened”, he said.

He, however, disclosed that WAEC took the decision to relocate the candidates because of the Edo State gubernatorial elections which was scheduled to take place on September 10, the day the candidates are expected to sit for Mathematics 1 and 2.


Furthermore, he demanded that WAEC bears the full cost of this relocation including cost of transportation and, where needed, accommodation of the candidates.


As far as we are concerned, since the candidates and their parents were not responsible for the relocation, which was forced by the coincidence of the examination date with the date of the Edo gubernatorial elections, WAEC must bear the full cost including ensuring a hitch free exercise and the safety of the candidates”, he added

Police, DSS Urge INEC to Postpone Edo Gubernatorial Poll over Security Threat

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday appealed to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the Edo governorship election scheduled for Sept. 10, citing security threat.

The Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah, made the call at a joint news conference by the police and the DSS in Abuja.

He said that credible intelligence available to the agencies indicated plans by insurgent and extremist elements to attack vulnerable communities and soft targets.

Awunah said that Edo was among the states being earmarked for the planned attacks by the extremists between Sept. 12 and 13 respectively.

He said that while election was important, security agencies cannot allow the peace of the country to be disrupted.

” We will continue to be vigilant and ensure consolidation of the successes gained in the current counter-insurgency fight.

“It is in these regard that we are appealing to INEC which has the legal duty to regulate elections in the country to consider the need for possible postponement of the date of the election,” he said.

He said that the postponement would afford security agencies to deal decisively with the envisaged terrorist threats.

“While the police and DSS remain mindful of the inconveniences this request may cause stakeholders, it is our strong resolve that security agencies need not to be distracted from ensuring a peaceful Nigeria,” he said.

The spokesman assured Nigerians that security agencies in the country would continue to remain focused and committed.

“The attention of security agencies should be drawn to any observed unusual movements or actions by groups or individuals in your neighbourhoods,” he said.

Edo PDP candidate, Ize-Iyamu is still under investigation – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is still under investigation for his alleged role in the disbursement of N23bn campaign funds, which emanated from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The N23bn was alleged to have been part of stolen crude oil funds and kickbacks from contractors.

Part of the money was allegedly used in bribing officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2015 general elections.

Ize-Iyamu had told journalists that as the campaign director for the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation in Edo State during the 2015 presidential election, he handled N700m for the party.

He was quizzed by the EFCC in May 2016, whn he was asked to return some money to the commission but was not detained, thereby fuelling speculations that he had been cleared by the anti-graft agency.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, however, said on Monday that the PDP candidate was still under investigation.

“I can confirm to you that he (Ize-Iyamu) is still under investigation,” Wilson said.

Ize-Iyamu had told reporters that he indeed handled N700m for the PDP during the last presidential election but added that the party still owed him some money.

He had said, “I told them (EFCC) who got what: that we needed money for transportation; mobilisation of our people; some of them that had to leave Benin to their polling units in the rural areas, and that the state chairman of the party worked out a realistic budget.

“And that by the time we looked at what they brought and what we had in mind, it became clear that the N700m would not be enough. Our leader volunteered to make up the difference, which he brought from his house.”

The EFCC has grilled about 16 former governors and ministers over the alleged N23bn Diezani scam.

Some of them included the immediate past Governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakin Garin; former Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State; former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano State; former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State; former Governor James Ngilari of Adamawa State; a former Governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Shinkafi; a former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke; and a former Minister of State for Finance, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda.

During the election, each state was said to have received at least N450m from the fund, which was handled by ministers or governors who were members of the PDP.

Some states, however, received more than N450m.

INEC Bars Corrupt Staff From Edo, Ondo Guber Polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission has stopped its officers, who are currently undergoing investigations for alleged corrupt practices, from taking part in the conduct of the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.


The commission said the action was taken in order to give credibility to the two elections.


Governorship elections are to hold in Edo and Ondo states on September 10 and November 26 respectively.


The commission also said if the affected officers were not cleared even after the two elections must have been held, they would continue to be left out of other electoral assignments.


INEC’s Deputy Director, Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Nick Dazang, stated this in an interview in Abuja on Sunday.


Dazang was asked if the over 100 officers, being investigated for alleged bribery by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with bribery allegations during the last general elections, would be deployed for the two elections.


The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had confirmed the number of the suspects, stating that at the end of the probe, those found guilty would be sacked.


Some resident electoral officers of the commission were alleged to have been bribed by the officials of the Peoples Democratic Party during the general elections.


For example, a former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Rivers State, Mrs. Gesila Khan, and other top INEC officials in the South-South geopolitical zone were alleged to have received N675.1m from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.


According to impeccable sources at the EFCC, Khan, who was later deployed as REC in Cross River State, allegedly received N185.8m ahead of the March 28 and April 11, 2015 elections.

The commission also arrested one Oluchi Obi Brown, who was the INEC administrative secretary in Delta State, said to have allegedly received over N111m.


Further investigations by detectives revealed that Brown had about $75,000 in an account in the United States.


The anti-graft agency also arrested one Edem Okon Effanga, who is a retired INEC official. Effanga was arrested alongside his alleged accomplice, Immaculata Asuquo, who was the Head, Voter Education of INEC in Akwa Ibom State.


Effanga was alleged to have received over N240m, which he shared among INEC ad hoc workers during the last elections.


Dazang said those still under investigations would be excluded from the elections in order to give credibility to the polls.


He said, It is the rule that anyone undergoing investigations for any allegations will not be deployed for any electoral duty.


We will obey this simple logic. We won’t deploy any of those being investigated for the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.


All those who have questions to answer either from the EFCC or any other security agencies, regarding the roles they played in the last general elections, are to be excused from these elections.


We need to give the elections credibility. If we don’t do that, Nigerians will query us. Until these officers are cleared, they won’t be deployed for any electoral duty.”


Though the list of invited members of staff INEC kept increasing, Yakubu had said the commission was cooperating with the EFCC, adding that ultimately, members of staff, who were culpable, would “be shown the way out.”

Edo 2016 And The Way Forward

The gubernatorial election of Edo State is on September 10, 2016. Tempo of campaign has already escalated to feverish level. Worthy of note is that the contest is devoid of ethnicity. The two main contestants come from highly respected families in Benin City. As campaign rhetoric inundates the State which prides itself as the heartbeat of Nigeria, there is the need for the electorate to separate the chaff from the wheat. Outcome of the election shall be materially influenced by past performance of the political parties while in power in the state and the personal qualities of the contestants.


From 1999 to 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Chief Lucky Igbinedion as governor governed the State. PDP administration continued until 2008 when the court removed the then governor, Prof. Osarhiemen Osunbo. The re-election of Chief Lucky Igbinedion for a second term and election of Prof. Osunbor were made possible by the ‘do or die” politics under former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The 2007 general elections had already gone down in history as the worst, a monumental fraud and national disgrace.


The PDP administration took office with high expectations, considering Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s success as Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council. But regrettably, the party left Edo State in ruins after nine years in power With a battered economy, misery pervaded Edo State in those years of misrule. several indigenes fled to avert the crisis that gripped the State.


Some policies under the PDP were so injurious that till date, the State is still reeling from their harmful effect. For instance, instead of boosting domestic rice production for which Ekpoma, Agbede, Lamkpese and other cities were popular, at a point, the PDP administration imported and dumped large quantities of expired rice on every local government in the State. As a result of the competitive disadvantage provoked by this wicked act, several farmers deserted their rice farms.


While PDP governed the state, roads, educational and public health infrastructure suffered serious deterioration as they were neither maintained nor improved upon. Insecurity escalated to unimaginable proportions.


The maladministration also extended to traditional institutions which were desecrated with impunity. Even the revered Oba of Benin was not spared from embarrassment. At a point, he was subjected to indignity of trekking barefooted to the High Court in a case with the reigning PDP governor. The nine years PDP governed Edo State can only be remembered with sad and unpleasant memories.

Following the Court judgment that declared Comrade Adams Oshiomole as governor, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) took over administration of Edo State in 2008. ACN later metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC). There were initial apprehensions that being a labour activist, viability of Comrade Oshiomole as an administrator was uncertain. It was unclear how this erroneous notion took root that labour activists were only good as critics but bad as leaders. However, eight years of Comrade Oshiomole’s rule as governor of Edo State has demonstrated that labour activists can even be better as political leaders.


APC took over a state that was practically in destitution. In eight years, it has almost restored the glorious days when


Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia was military Governor of old Bendel. In the past eight years of APC administration in Edo State, the economy has been revamped, despite headwinds from an unfriendly PDP led federal administration. Within this period, several dilapidated roads and drainages in the State have been rehabilitated and new ones constructed.


Existing educational and healthcare infrastructure have been upgraded and new ones established. Insecurity has been firmly dealt with. As a result of the new enabling environment, Edo State has once again become a beehive of social and economic activities.


Now, there are no more tales of woe to tell about the State as things have moved from despair to hope for even a brighter future. Whoever wins the upcoming gubernatorial election will inherit an administration with a solid foundation that can be built upon.


The APC candidate, Godwin Obaseki is no stranger to the outgoing administration. He is credited with crafting of the economic plan that propelled the State into a success story. His opponent in PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is also experienced in Edo State politics, having served at various times in the State legislature and executive.


The APC candidate, an Investment Banker, Godwin Obaseki packaged and listed several high profile corporate issues including Dangote Cement Plc, the most capitalized company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. This has enabled several Nigerian investors to share in the wealth created daily by these successful companies.


Due to his distinctive competence in economic policy formulation and capital formation, any promise made by Godwin Obaseki in the area of economic development can be taken seriously and regarded as achievable.

INEC Asks Edo Women Not To Sell Votes

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday organised a sensitisation forum for women in Edo State to educate them on the need to vote wisely on September 10 and not to mortgage their conscience for bags of rice.


Blessing Obidegwu, the Deputy Director, Gender Division, INEC headquarters, stated this in Benin City while delivering lecture to Edo State women, civil society, nongovernmental organisations and women leaders from all markets across the state.


Obidegwu, who put the statistics of prospective voters in Edo State at 1,925,105, stated that women make up a large percentage but regretted that women’s participation is very low.


According to the INEC deputy director, “It is regrettable that only one political party fielded a woman candidate out of the 19 political parties contesting the Edo gubernatorial election and 8 fielded women as deputy governor, even the increase in the deputy was as a result of our several engagement with political parties on the needs for them to involve more women in the political process”.


Obidegwu further advised women in the state to inculcate the message of peace to their children who usually are tools in the hands of desperate politicians.

Mothers bear the brunt of most violence in elections; therefore, you should dissuade your children from being used as political thugs by politicians”.


While decrying the spate of inconclusive elections in Nigeria, she said Edo State could be different if violence, over voting, and impunity by political parties are discouraged.


Also speaking at the forum was Uloma Osuala, the Deputy Country Director, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES), who said women should not just make the numbers during voting but should actively participate in the electoral process like contesting election while Mufuliat Fijabi, who is the Gender Advisor to IFES spoke intensively on the need for women to vote rightly and not allow themselves to be intimidated by even their spouse.


Meanwhile, Sam Olumekun, the resident electoral commissioner of Edo State, who was represented by Mathew Ogwuocha also spoke extensively on the consequences of selling of vote, violence, and role women can play to make the election free, fair and transparent.

PDP Is Dead and Buried – Oyegun Says As 3000 Defect To APC

National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) John Oyegun, said this while received two former leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oredo LGA of Edo State on Wednesday.

Some of the defected members of the party included Mr. Ebima Ogbeide, Tony Anileh, Madam Goldenpenny, Pius Izemwingie, Ikponmwonsa Usiobafoh, Mrs. Vero Aguebor, Wilfred Enabulele, secretary ward 5, and Mr. Ebima Ogbeide.

Oyegun said:

“Massive development has already started in the state, and we welcome people who have the interest of the state and are progressive minded to join to continue with this development.

“Looking at the calibre of leaders defecting, I laugh when I see PDP boast of winning. Honestly, they are dead and buried in Edo.”

INEC To Deploy 18,511 Personnel To Edo

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will deploy a total of 18,511 officials to conduct the Edo governorship election; the election management body announced yesterday.

The commission also yesterday announced that a total of 1,925,105 voters had been registered for the election in the 18 local government areas of the state.

The details of the personnel being deployed for the election showed the division of the state into 192 Registration Areas (RAs); 2,627 Polling Units (Pus); and 4,011 Voting Points (VPs). The statement further revealed that “The Commission will deploy 1 Returning Officer; 18 Local Government Area Collation Officers; 192 Registration Area Collation Officers; 263 Supervisory Presiding Officers; 2,627 Presiding Officers 12, 036 Assistant Presiding Officers (APOs) I, II and III; 2,530 Assistant Presiding Officers (VP); 728 Reserve APOs (5%); 19 LGA Supervisors + 1 HQ Reserve; and 97 RA Cluster Supervisors + HQ 1 Reserve (2RAs/Supervisor).”



“PDP Labelled Me Disloyal For Refusing To Share Money” – Ex Edo Governor, Osunbor

Former governor of Edo, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, said Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared him disloyal his refusing to share the state’s resources to party leaders.

Osunbor, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the 2015 general elections, disclosed this at APC’s campaign rally in Iruekpen, Esan West Local Government Area, for the Sept. 10 governorship election in the state.

He described the PDP as an “evil party”, whose interest was not for the development of the state, but to share the resources among party leaders.

He said that such mentality of the party was reason for the defection of prominent sons and daughters
of the state to the APC, adding that PDP was a “sinking ship”.

“Evil people have hijacked the PDP; the party is a sinking ship, which is why I have told my people to act like the former president, Obasanjo, by tearing their PDP membership cards.

“I have told them to join the party that is interested in their welfare and the overall development of the state.

“PDP has no interest in what becomes of the state and the people, but their pockets.

“This was why they said I was not loyal because I refused to share the money meant to develop the state while I was the governor. That was why they started fighting me.

“The PDP, whether at the local, state or federal level can’t do anything for us, it is only the APC that can make us a proud people through development,” Osunbor stated.

Addressing the rally, the APC governorship candidate, Mr Godwin Obaseki, said that Edo people, having produced great sons and daughters in various sectors of the polity, deserved the best.

He said that he was in the best position to govern and offer the people the best, beind part of Oshiomhole’s success story.

Obaseki promised to not only continue with the laudable projects of the Adams Oshiomhole government, but to take it to another level through job creation and human empowerment.

70 members of the PDP defected to the APC at the rally.

#Edo2016: Police Must Be Ready To Provide Tight Security – Isiwele

Concerned about possible volatile situation in Edo State in the run up to September 10, 2016 gubernatorial election, a prominent son of the state, Alhaji Musa Shehu Isiwele, has urged vigilance on the part of security agencies, especially the Nigeria police, so as to forestall a repeat of the mayhem and bloodletting that characterised last year’s governorship election in Rivers State.


He gave the charge in Abuja as political gladiators perfect strategy for the poll that has raised concerns in several quarters.


Alhaji Musa Isiwele, a retired senior police officer, said that he foresees a highly contested gubernatorial poll in Edo, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, but cautioned that the election in Edo State should not be a do-or-die affair.


Isiwele, who is the Executive President of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), however, urged the people of Edo to vote for candidate of their choice regardless of intimidations and threats from any quarter.


I am advising my people, voters and contestants alike, the election in Edo State is not supposed to be a do or die affair. We want the election to be free and fair, and people should vote for candidate of their choice. I’m also advising the security agencies, let there be tight security on that day. Let there be enough security men on the ground.

Now everybody is anxious, everybody is ready, waiting. Let the police ensure that security is tight so that people can vote candidates of their choice. I have listened to the campaign of both sides, that is why I am giving the advice. It is not supposed to be a do or die affair. In an election, there’s no loser as far as I’m concerned. If you fail people will come to know you and next time when you come out they will vote for you. After all, our president failed three times before winning”, he pointed out.


On why he is not coming out to endorse any of the two leading governorship candidates, APC’s Obaseki or Ize-Iyamu of the PDP, given the prominent role he played in the 2015 election where he sponsored three candidates to electoral success, Alhaji Isiwele declared that he has quit partisan politics because of the untrustworthiness of politicians.


According to him, politicians are like a broken down vehicle whose owner is asking people to assist him to push so that the engine can start.


The moment you push the vehicle and it starts, the much they will do is raise their hand and wave you bye”, he said.


Recalling his involvement in the 2015 election, Alhaji Musa Isiwele disclosed that he personally sponsored three candidates to the House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate to success.


He regrets that those beneficiaries today cannot even call him on phone.

“I Have Found My Missing Original Certificates” – Obaseki

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday said that he has found the original copies of his academic credentials, which had earlier been declared missing in a sworn affidavit.

Obaseki had, in the said affidavit submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission for the September 10 election, reportedly stated that his academic documents got missing while he was moving his office from one place to another.

The development had on Monday attracted criticisms from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which described his reasons for not being in possession of the certificates as “flimsy” and

However, Obaseki, who spoke during an interactive session organised by civil societies for governorship candidates in Benin, noted that though he had no reason to search for the documents, he had to provide the photocopies and swear to an affidavit for the election.

He explained, “I have found them. The truth is that I have not had any reason to look for them in the last 25 years. I know that I kept them somewhere in a safe box and I had photocopies.

“When I needed them for the exercise, I could not find them. So, I swore to an affidavit that I cannot find the originals.

He said that the photocopies of the documents were certified by the issuing institutions.

Obaseki added, “I took the photocopies to the institutions that issued them and they certified the photocopies.

“So when the whole controversy started raging, my cousin called me from New York and said, ‘But your originals are here. I said, ‘Please, send them to me now.”

The APC candidate also reiterated that his administration would provide security and manpower necessary to attract investors.

I Joined Politics To Expose How Politicians Manipulate The Society – Oshiomole

Outgoing Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, on Wednesday revealed why he joined politics.


Speaking at an event, organised by the Kukah center: titled, “From activism to polical power: the challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria,” the former President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, said he joined politics to understudy and expose how politicians manipulate and control societies.


According to Oshiomole, “I joined the ruling class, having been temporarily associated with them, for the purpose of studying them to know and expose the hidden things they use to manipulate and control societies. I will be able to say, you know, I know how what you did that time, how much you consumed.


On the issue of change promised by the current administration, the outgoing governor explained that it will take collaborative effort on the part of Nigerians. No one of us can change society through individual actions, because the order you seek to change is of ignorance but you need to appeal to it.


Those gaining from the order cannot be sermonized but by engagement you may probably defeat them,” he added.

APC Victory In Edo Not Negotiable- Aisha Buhari

Progressives Congress (APC) women across the country led by Nigeria’s First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, on Tuesday stormed Edo state to give their support to the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Godwin Obaseki, saying that victory for the party in the forthcoming governorship election in the state is non-negotiable.

Shortly after paying a courtesy visit to Obaseki, the women also visited the internally displaced persons camp at Uhogua community, Ovia North East, where they donated food stuff, writing materials and toiletries.

Represented by the APC Woman leader in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Mrs Hailmary Aipoh, Aisha Buhari said they were in the state in solidarity with the Obaseki campaign organization and to equally remind the candidate that he must remember the women and children when he wins because his victory is already assured.

Read More: Thisday

#Edo2016: The Comrade Governor Is Leaving, Who’s Next? By Patrick Omoregie

The election that saw President Muhammad Buhari emerge as the president of Nigeria could be described as the most inclusive presidential election, after the all-out 1993 general election, which General Babangida annulled; it was recorded to have been the most peaceful election Nigeria ever had. You will agree with me that people are seeing things from the root now, and not from the flamboyant and fragrant flowers anymore. Nigerians don’t want to be deceived any longer, they don’t want looters for leaders any more, they don’t want to rest their hands on their cheeks to wait for years to pass, they now want leaders of repute.
The heartbeat of Nigeria will in some days witness the transition of power from the Comrade Governor to the hands of another leader. Edo state which was created on the 27th August, 1991 was in no shape some ten years back, as all the inland state in the southern Nigeria had was a government of failed promises. Then came in the change maker, Governor Adams Oshiomole, who rescued the drowning ship of Edo state. The former Nigeria Labour Congress President was determined to change the spate of things, and he has been changing things for the better. His administration undertook one of the greatest revolutions in Education in Nigeria, by reconstructing and rebuilding over 50% of primary school infrastructures and over 30% of secondary schools within the space of seven and half years. This progressive leader also constructed state-wide roads, and is still on the storm water project, among many other achievements.
If the transition within few years can put smile on the faces of the people, what then could be more desirable than continuity?  When a drummer is drumming, and people are enjoying him, they fail to give credit to the drum producing the interesting sound, all that comes out of their mouth is, that drummer is the best. It would be interesting to note that Godwin Obaseki has been the drum sounding unnoticed; he has indeed played numerous and countless roles in the achievements of the Comrade Governor. If he can do that under the capacities he held, he would definitely make a good Governor.
Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki was born into the famous and illustrious family of Obaseki of Benin city. He didn’t try ignorance, and as a result, had his early education in St. Matthews Anglican Primary School Benin City, from where he proceeded to Eghosa Anglican Grammer School, also in Benin City. He graduated from Premier University, University of Ibadan, obtaining BA in classics. Godwin didn’t just stop there; he proceeded to study abroad where he bagged different degrees. He is a professional in what he has chosen for himself, as he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers.
People are graduating away from celebrating mediocrity; everybody wants to work with intellectuals. Godwin began his career 30 years ago and has established track records in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector both internationally and in Nigeria. Godwin Obaseki has got all it takes to steer the boat of the state for the next four years. It would interest you to know that, he is currently the Chairman of the Edo Sate Government’s Economic and Strategy Team, a position he has held for years. He was responsible for the documentation of the State’s Economic Development Frame work through Sector’s Strategic Planning; he was also the brain behind the Introduction and Enculturation of Retreats as a platform to ensure all parties engagement.
Godwin was also the Chairman of the Tax Assessment Review Committee for Edo state Internal Revenue service, just as he was an active member of the Committee on Contributory Pension Scheme, just to mention a few. The mark of difference has been drawn, brilliant initiatives have also been transformed into what Edo state is today, the success story will not only end well for Governor Oshiomole, but the good times will continue for the good people of Edo State if Godwin Obaseki is elected as the Governor of Edo state.
When the right things are in place, continuity should be the ultimate request of the people.

Edo PDP Governorship Aspirant Chief Edebiri Dumps PDP

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has taken a new twist as one of the core aspirants, Chief Solomon Edebiri, who felt cheated in the last governorship primaries has resigned his membership from the party.

In a letter dated 15 July, signed by Chief Edebiri, which was made available to newsmen in Benin City, Edebiri expressed gratitude to all those who contributed to his political career.

He said, “After careful review of my political affiliation with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Edo State Chapter and having consulted with family and friends on recent political 
activities in Edo State, I hereby resign my membership of the People’s Democratic Party with effect from the date on this letter. I am grateful to all those in PDP who contributed in one way or the other to my political career development”.

Meanwhile, the State chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, it was gathered in Benin City, has rejected the resignation, saying all doors are not yet shut at reconciliation. But when contacted, he refused to comment on the development.

It would be recalled that after the primaries, Chief Edebiri was approached by several members who were attempting to break away from PDP and the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) to sponsor one of the registered political parties in order to contend with the main parties which they believe have lost credibility.
However, information obtained disclosed that Edebiri refused to go through with it as he was quoted to have said “I don’t want anything to dent my public image.”
A source who didn’t want to be named but privy to the arrangement said, “The alternative platform plans did not materialise majorly because Chief Edebiri ran on a ‘credibility and integrity’ platform. The committee he set up feels and Chief Edebiri bought the idea that going into such an arrangement will be against the image he has built for himself.”

The source also said that the senator representing Edo south, Senator Matthew Urhogide and the PDP flag bearer, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have quickly reached out to Edebiri in order to stop him if possible.

Since the governorship primaries, PDP has divided against itself as members accused the party leadership of manipulating the result by making the delegates to take oaths to vote for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Source: Today.ng

“Oshiomhole Is Trying To Annihilate Esan Nation” – Anenih

A former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, has called on the people of his Edo Central senatorial district (Esan) to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

The national leader of the PDP vowed that Esan people would resist their continued domination by Governor Adams Oshiomhole in the September 10 governorship election in the state.

Anenih, who spoke at the kick-off of Edo Central zonal gubernatorial campaign, held at Okpujie Primary School, Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area, recalled how Governor Oshiomhole at the start of his administration more than seven years ago refused to pay the counterpart funding of N300 million needed to complete the Ugbalo Waterworks after he had made the Federal Government commit the sum of N1.2 billion to the project

He said “Oshiomhole, up till today, has refused to provide the money. That is why the water scheme has not been completed. He does not want us (Esans) to have water. Esan race is being extinguished by Oshiomhole but we will not allow it; we will resist it.”

He said his presence at the PDP zonal campaign was an indication of the path Esan people were prepared to follow in the September 10 election.

Source: Tribune

Edo APC Crisis: Committee Submits Its Report

The Fact-finding/Reconciliation Committee set up by the All Progressives Congress (APC) on May 9 to look into the Edo crisis, submitted its report on Wednesday in Abuja to the party’s national chairman.
Mr Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who submitted the report to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun assured the party that unity and amity would prevail in Edo chapter of the party.

It would be recalled that in April, the party was embroiled in crisis following alleged reports of disharmony between Gov. Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy, Dr Pius Odubu.

Also, there was a rowdy session in the Edo House of Assembly, where 16 out of 24 members impeached the Speaker, Mr Victor Edoror.
According to Oyinlola, the five-man committee had sessions with all stakeholders, adding that should the report be implemented , APC would be stronger in Edo.
“In the course of carrying out this assignment, we took briefs from the governor and the deputy governor.
“We had sessions with the Honourable Speaker and members of the Edo State House of Assembly.
“We discussed with the party’s exco and the people we can now call the aspiring aspirants, because some will collect their forms and later you will not know whether they are still aspirants.

“Your excellency, I must put it on record that the great support that we got from all stake holders in Edo made our job a lot easier.’’
Receiving the report, Odigie-Oyegun thanked the committee members for speedily completing the assignment within its two-week mandate.
“I deliberately put together this high-level, high-profile committee because of the sensitivity of the mission not only because I am also an indigene of Edo.
“So I want to thank you all very much not only because you accepted speedily but I think you were in Edo within 48 hours of your being informed of the assignment you were about to undertake.

“I am pleased at the level of your work. I haven’t read your report yet, but I know that I haven’t gotten one single criticism from one single stake holder, about the work that this committee did.’’



INEC Releases Timetable For Edo, Ondo Governorship Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed June 12 for the commencement of political campaigns ahead of the Sept. 10 governorship election in Edo.

Similarly, it said that electioneering by aspirants in the governorship election in Ondo state scheduled for Nov. 26 should begin on Aug. 28.

This is contained in the commission’s daily bulletin issued on Thursday in Abuja.

According to it, June 12 has been scheduled for the commencement of campaigns by political parties participating in the Edo governorship election.

“July 2 to July 4 have also been set aside for the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries,” it said.

It stated that official register of voters for the election in Edo would be published on Aug. 11.

It added that submission of names of political parties’ agents should be made to Electoral Officers in the local government areas in the state on Aug. 28.

According to the commission, Sept. 8 will be the last day for campaigns for the Edo governorship election.

For Ondo state, it fixed Aug. 28 for commencement of campaigns by political parties, adding that the parties had between Aug. 22 and Aug. 26 to collect nomination forms from INEC headquarters in Abuja.

It added that conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries in Ondo state would hold between Sept. 18 and Sept. 19.

It also said that register of voters for the Ondo election would be published on Oct. 27, while submission of party agents’ names to Electoral Officers in the local government areas had been slated for Nov. 19.

It fixed Nov. 24 as the last day for campaigns for the Ondo election.



Oshiomhole Increases Workers’ Minimum Wage From N18,000 to N25,000

Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo on Sunday announced the increment of the National Minimum Wage from N18,000 to N25, 000 with immediate effect, for employees in the State Public Service.


He also promised prompt payment of outstanding arrears of salary to the staff of Local Government Councils in the state.


Oshiomhole who made the announcement on Sunday at the grand finale of activities to mark the 2016 Workers Day, said that plans had also been concluded to pay staff of Egor Local Government Council who were being owned 13 months arrears of salary, within the next two weeks.


Explaining why the council was omitted from the bailout to local government councils in 2015, he gave the assurance that the Edo Government had been meeting with the Central Bank of Nigeria and that within the next two weeks, the funds would be released and staff of the council would be paid in full.

Edo Former Speaker’s Wife Hassana Garuba Kidnapped

The Police in Edo has confirmed the abduction of Mrs Hassana Garuba, wife of former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly.


Garuba, a serving Magistrate in the state, was ?kidnapped at Obadan village near Ogbemudia Farms on the Benin-Okenne-Lokoja road on Tuesday ?morning.?


The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Edo, Mr Abiodun Osifo, confirmed the abduction. Osifo said the police were working hard to locate and set her free.


“The matter has been reported. Our men are combing the area where the incident happened? with a view to securing her release and arrest those responsible. “We have deployed the necessary machinery, including electronic devices to secure her release’’, Osifo said.


Garuba was said to be travelling to Ehor where she is a Magistrate when she was kidnapped along with other persons yet to be identified. ??


A family source said the kidnappers had not contacted them.


Credit : Vanguard

INEC Releases Timetable For Edo, Ondo Governorship Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the timetable for the conduct of Edo and Ondo states governorship elections on Sept. 10 and Nov. 26, respectively.


This is contained in the commission’s daily bulletin issued on Thursday in Abuja.


The commission also released the Time Table and Schedule of Activities for both governorship elections in concert with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).


According to the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for Edo governorship election, campaigns by political parties should begin by June 12, 2016.


” The conduct of party primaries in Edo, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place from June 2 to Monday July 4, 2016.”


It added that the Commission would publish the official Register of Voters for the Edo governorship election on Augt. 11.


” On the same day, INEC will publish the list of nominated candidates by ppolitical parties.”


According to the timetable, Sept.8 will be the last day for campaigns in Edo.

For Ondo State poll, the commission scheduled Aug. 28, for commencement of campaigns by political parties in the state.


“The conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising from the primaries, will take place between Aug. 18 and Sept. 19.

“Publication of the Official Register of Voters for the election will be done on Oct. 27, while publication of list of nominated candidates will be done on the same day.”


It also stated that Nov. 24 had been fixed by the Commission as the last day of campaigns by all political parties.


“Run-off election to the Office of the Governor in the state (if any) will be held within 7 days after the announcement of the result of the election in accordance with the Constitution.”


Similarly the commission has scheduled the Ife Central State Constituency, Osun re-run election for April 9.


“Ife Central State Constituency is made up of one local government, 11 Registration Areas, 168 Polling Units and 197 Voting Points.

“The State Constituency has a total of 95,239 registered voters.”



Pensioner Dies During Screening In Edo

A 75-year old pensioner identified as Sunday Oboite on Tuesday died during screening at the Oredo Local Government Secretariat.

He died at about 1:20 pm after waiting to be screened for several hours. The incident caused pandemonium among workers of the council.

A doctor confirmed the pensioner dead. Some workers who met the late pensioner said he complained of not eating and taking drugs.

They said late Oboite said he had no money to eat. A woman was said to have bought Viju milk for him at about 12:30pm. As at press time, the corpse was yet to be removed.

Credit: Nation

Multiple Explosions Injure Two, Destroy Buildings In Edo

Multiple explosions rocked the popular ‘Three House’ junction, off Upper Sakponba road, in Edo State today evening, destroying four residential buildings and injuring at least two people.

It was learnt that the incident occurred near a school, Oka Primary School, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state.

Our correspondent gathered that one of the affected buildings had been abandoned two years ago by suspected kidnappers, who used it as a hideout, after some soldiers reportedly raided it, following a tip off.

Although details of the cause of the blasts were still sketchy at the time of filing this report, it was learnt that many of the residents suspected them to be bomb explosions.

No life has been reported lost in blasts.

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Osifo Abiodun, who confirmed the incident, said that the police had begun investigation to ascertain what led to the explosions.

He, however, did not state whether any arrest was made.

“Yes, there was an explosion. But the police are investigating what happened,” Abiodun said on telephone.

Credit: Punch

Local Gin Consumption Kills Two In Edo

Two people have reportedly died after consuming local gin, popularly known as Ogogoro, in South Ugieda, Etsako West Local Council of Edo State. The incident occurred in Ugieda community on Tuesday.

It was gathered that five of the victims had complained of acute stomach discomfort after taking the substance, which they bought from a yet-to-be-identified seller, who brought the gin to the community.

“After they had consumed the Ogogoro, they began complaining of stomach ache. Unfortunately, the two died while three are currently hospitalised at the hospital,” a witness said.

Credit: Guardian

Why I Won’t Reconcile With Igbinedion – Oshiomhole

GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that he may not reconcile his differences with the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, because the latter allegedly disrespected his office by seeing himself as bigger than the entire Edo State.
Oshiomhole spoke when he visted Chief Igbinedion’s ancestral home in Okada, Ovia North-East Local Government Area, where he commissioned class room blocks at Iguomo and a three-storey office complex which was named after the governor.
The projects were executed by the chairman of the council, Mrs Lucy Omagbon. The governor, who was responding to a plea by a leader of the community that the governor should reconcile with Chief Igbinedion, said that he had no problem with Chief Igbinedion but that his duty as governor of the state was to protect both the rich and the poor, adding that it was in the discharge of such duties that
he had issues with Igbinedion.
According to him, “I heard the Chairman talking about my quarrel with Igbinedion. I have no problem with anybody. There are only four levels of government, federal, state, local and traditional institution. The House of Igbinedion does not belong to any of this. He is a chief and I respect him as a chief but he must respect constituted authorities, the office of the governor of Edo State. This governor cannot be harassed, he cannot be blackmailed. And I stand ready to defend that office.”

Source: Vanguard

Oshiomhole Scraps Customary Court of Appeal

The Edo Government on Tuesday repealed the Act establishing the Customary Court of Appeal in the state.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole, signed the Amendment Bill into law, declaring that the Customary Court of Appeal had ceased to exist in the state.
He said one of the reasons for the scrap was that more judges were needed in the high courts for quick dispensation of justice.

The governor noted that it was unthinkable that not less than 6000 cases were hitherto pending before only 24 judges of the high court.
Following this new development, the judges in the court were automatically transferred to the State High Court, thereby increasing the number of the State high court judges frm 24 to 30.

See The Church Where Bible Is Not Used and The Oba Of Benin Is The General Overseer

On Akpakpava Road in the heart of Benin City, the Edo State capital, is a church founded over 500 years ago. The architectural design of the building tells its story. It does not advertise itself; yet has a large following. The Oba of Benin is its spiritual head, reports Osagie Otabor.

The Holy Aruosa Cathedral is to the Bini people what the Church of England is to the English people; no wonder it is referred to as the Church of Benin.

Welcome to the Holy Aruosa (the eye of God) Cathedral.

Members of the Holy Arousa are different from flocks of other religious bodies: they are seldom seen sharing pamphlets to convert members or inviting people to the church. The church leaders do not hold crusades or revival services to convert ‘souls’, neither do they invite people to experience miracles.

Legend has it that the church was located at the place because it was the spot the Bini had direct contact with Osanobua (God) long before the coming of the European explorers and missionaries.

During the British invasion of Benin Kingdom, the church was destroyed and the black stone was carted away along with other artifacts from the ancient city at about 1897. The invaders came with their own God, mode of worship and forbade the people from worshipping Osanobua at Holy Arousa.

It was Oba Akenzua II (father of the present monarch) who rebuilt the current cathedral, not only in Benin City, but in Onitsha, Umuahia and other areas.

The Oba of Benin is the spiritual head (general overseer) of the Church. His deputy is the Benin Crown Prince. The presiding head of the church is known as ‘Ohen Osa’ (God’s servant). A special seat is reserved for the Oba at the church. The priests dress like the Roman Catholic priests and usually wear red caps.

Service at the church is conducted in Bini language. The Holy Bible is not used in the church; much of the preaching revolves around reminding the congregation that the Oba is God’s representative on earth and on the need to be good while on earth. Baptism of new converts is done with the white chalk (Orhue) in what is regarded as ‘Igborhe’.

Does miracle happen in the church? Ohen Osa Harrison Okao said people received miracles and God’s blessings directly from God without any intermediary.

He said: “Those who seek God come here. We don’t beg people to come. If you attend and discover that your contact with God is cordial, you will remain. If you beg God for promotion and you come here and got it, you will remain here.”

Harrison said the church was founded during the reign of Oba Esigie and to worship God without praying through any intermediary.

He said: “We use our local language to communicate with our God. We are aware of other diverse ways of reaching God. If you are a good Muslim, God will accept you. If you are a good Christian, God will accept you.

“We don’t use the Bible here. We have our own book. We use the book of Holy Arousa according to the sayings of the ancient belief written by the wise men. The church is still in existence till today, it is an entity that will last forever. Nothing can stop it.”

“A professional doctor does not need sign board. Oba is a special human being. He is God’s representative on earth. The seat that concerns Omon N’ Oba, nobody can sit on it. That seat is exclusively preserved for him.”

The Nation

Edo Lawmakers Walk Out Female Commissioner For Improper Dressing

Members of Edo State House of Assembly on Wednesday asked the Commissioner for Health, Aihamuwa Eregie, to vacate the House for improper dressing.

Eregie was asked to leave the hallowed chamber during the presentation of the 2015 budget performance of the Ministry of Health.

The Deputy Speaker, Bright Osayande (APC- Ovia North-East II), who raised the observation, said the commissioner was not properly dressed and should not be allowed to appear before the House.

Adjoto Kabiru (APC Akoko-Edo), who concurred with the observation, said the commissioner’s
mode of dressing contravened the House rule.

Kabiru said: “Mr. Speaker, you will recall that when one of us was not properly dressed, he was asked to leave the chamber.

“So the commissioner should excuse us because she is not properly dressed.”

Other lawmakers, who commented on the point raised by the deputy speaker, gave their unanimous support that the Commissioner should quit the chamber.

They asked the commissioner to leave despite pleas by Elizabeth Ativie, member representing Uhunmwode Constituency.

The Speaker, Victor Edoror, thereafter directed the commissioner to leave the chamber.

He said that a new date would be communicated to her to appear for the briefing.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commissioner wore long sleeve shirt on trouser.

Source: TheEagleOnline

”I’m Not Afraid Of Lucky Igbinedion’s Father” – Oshiomhole

Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole says he is not afraid of the billionaire father of his predecessor, Lucky Igbinedion, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion whom he has accused of conniving with his son to loot the state of its resources and exploiting residents of the state while his son was governor.

Oshiomhole said this while speaking with some Edo women who staged a protest in support of his administration yesterday November 23rd.

Oshiomhole said he will publish the documents of Lucky Igbinedion while he was in office. He added that he would be ashamed to talk in public if two of his children were convicted for corruption and money laundering.

The women on their part carried placards with captions such as “Esama leave Oshiomhole alone.” “Chief Igbinedion stop using youths and women to cause trouble,” “Edo people must move forward,” “Oshiomhole, Edo people are proud of you” and “Igbinedion, go and pay Land Use charge.”.

Photo credit: The Nation

DSS Mission To Arrest Suspect In Edo Ends In Tragedy

A midnight mission by the Department of Security Service(DSS) operatives to arrest one Omozokpia, over an alleged fraud, has ended up in tragedy in Ekpoma, Edo State, with the killing of his father, Christopher Irabor, who was a potter in the School of Medicine, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma,

According to Sun ,the victim was allegedly shot inside his room when the officials stormed his res­idence at Uwene quarters of Illeh village in Ekpoma, Esan West Local Govern­ment.
The operatives, who came from Benin City, were on the trail of Omozokpia.
According to Christo­pher’s widow, Faith, the DSS men came to their house at about 12 midnight and
forced everybody out­side.

She sad her husband held the door to their room to prevent the security opera­tives from gaining entry, but they were overpowered.

Mrs Irabor narrated that one of the DSS officials shoved a gun into her hus­band and she heard a loud bang after which her hus­band fell in a pool of blood.
She said the operatives shot sporadically and later took away her younger son because Omozokpia, the first son they came for, was not at home.

However, a DSS opera­tive who spoke on condi­tion of anonymity, said the late potter was shot because he attempted to disarm one of them, adding that the vic­tim first hit one of the men with a cutlass before strug­gling the gun with him.
He said they got to the residence with the suspect’s friend and when the friend knocked, occupants of the building refused to open the door.
According to him, they broke in and started as­sembling occupants in the house, but those in a particular room refused to come out, explaining that it was when they attempted to break into the room that the landlord used a cutlass on one of them and attempted to collect the gun, prompt­ing then to shoot.

Tribunal Sacks Edo APC Lawmaker

The Edo State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin on Friday upturned the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Yakubu Gowon, as the lawmaker representing Etsako West II Constituency in the Edo State House of Assembly.

Gowon had been declared the winner of the April 11 state assembly poll and returned elected to represent the constituency, where Governor Adams Oshiomhole hails from, by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

But in the judgement, Justice E. Abuua held that the APC candidate was not duly nominated by his party. The tribunal explained that the APC’s notice of intention to hold party primaries, which he sent to INEC, was less than the mandatory 21 days.

It said the notice was given on November 13, 2014, while the primaries was conducted  on December 1, 2014.  The tribunal, therefore, held that all the votes cast for the APC candidate were wasted and that the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Sylvanus Eriagha, who was the first runner up with 4,001 votes was the rightful person to be declared winner of the poll.

Read Morepunchng

14 JSS Students Arrested For Cultism In Edo

No fewer than 14 Junior Secondary School, JSS, students have been arrested by the Police in Edo State over alleged involvement in cult-related activities in Benin.

Vanguard gathered that the students, whose ages ranged from 12 to 15 years, were said to have been picked by policemen at Oguola Secondary School, along St. Saviour Road in the state capital and were being screened at the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Police headquarters, Benin.

Principal of the school, Mr. Ehanire Reuben, said eight of the students were allegedly arrested in the school compound, adding that their arrest prompted the police to conduct a search on some students in the classrooms. He, however, said prior to the arrest, he learned that a student teacher in the school was attacked and his phone and wallets taken from him by some students, who also attacked residents in the area.

He pleaded with police to release those found to be innocent. Edo State Police Command spokesman, Mr. Innocent Onwochie, in his reaction to the development, said the arrest was made following a tip-off, adding that those arrested were under-aged. He said investigations on the issue had been stepped up, promising that the police would leave no stone unturned in its war against cultism and other criminal activities in the state.


Buhari, IBB, Others Expected In Edo As Oshiomhole Remarries Today

General Muhammadu Buhari and his wife Aisha, are among dignitaries expected today for the wedding between Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and his fiancée, Miss Lara Fortes, at his country home in Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.

Other dignitaries expected include former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the national leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and others.

Oshiomhole is re-marrying five years after he lost his first wife, Clara on December 8, 2010. She died after several years of battle with cancer. Oshiomhole has been under pressure from traditional rulers including the Benin monarch, Oba of Benin to take another wife who will be of assistance to him at home.

Credit: vanguardngr


APC Wins Orhionmwon South Constituency Seat in Edo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Roland Asoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the rescheduled Edo  House of Assembly election for Orhionmhwon South Constituency seat.

 Olowu Owin, the Returning Officer for the election, announced the result on Sunday in Orhionmwon.

INEC declared the April 11 State House of Assembly election inconclusive in 12 units in 4 wards.

According to Owin, Asoro of APC won the election that took place on April 18 with 11, 486 votes, to defeat Friday Ogierake of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP)  who polled 8, 640 votes. The PDP candidate pulled out of the contest before the April 18 election.

 Credit: NAN

PDP Candidate In Edo Slumps After Defeat

A candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Edo State House of Assembly slumped and collapsed on hearing of his defeat in last Saturday’s election. The candidate was rushed to a private hospital where he was revived.

He was later transferred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for further treatment. The hospitalized candidate had contested for Edo South constituency seat but lost to the candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).

Read MoreVanguard

Crossing The Line? Buhari Will Stop Export Of Edo Prostitutes Overseas, Says Aisha Buhari

The wife of the Presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress (APC), Hajia Aisha Buhari at Edo APC Rally expressed optimism that Edo state will eradicated of Prostitutes if his husband is elected Nigerian President.

Aisha Buhari who lives in United Kingdom said that, “we will stop EDO girls from traveling abroad for prostitution when my husband is voted in as president”.

The statement did not go down well with the audience, especially Governor Oshiomole and and Chief Oyegun, the APC chairman who showed visible shock from the utterances of Buhari’s wife.

Edo APC Hails State CAN Boss For Rejecting Jonathan’s Rumoured “Bribe”

The Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has commended the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Edo State Branch, Bishop Peter O.J Imasuen, for rejecting the four million Naira given to him from the seven billion Naira bribe President Goodluck Jonathan dished out to Christian leaders in the Country, to buy their support in this month’s rescheduled Presidential election.

In a press statement issued by the Edo State Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Godwin Erhahon and made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday, APC said it “can now reveal authoritatively that Bishop Imasuen was one of the few State Chairmen of CAN who were Godly and patriotic enough to reject the bribe which was given to Christian leaders to campaign for President
Jonathan and condemn APC Presidential Candidate, General Mohammadu Buhari”.

He added that “CAN inside sources confirmed to APC at the weekend in Benin City, the Edo State Capital, that over four hundred pastors in Edo State, majority of whom are of the Pentecostal churches, shared from the bribe with some of them getting between five hundred thousand and fifty thousand naira each”.

Erhahon posited further, that “a few others from the so- called super churches received as much as two million naira each because they claimed that their churches have more members.

“The sources further revealed that the leader of the CAN national body alone took three billion naira and left the balance four billion for three of his colleagues in the unholy deal to administer as they wished but with the instruction that pastors of Catholic churches be left out.

“Some of the Bishops who were said to be dissatisfied with the greedy manner of their boss were said to have wondered aloud whether their “oga” was aiming at buying another aircraft. One of the aggrieved female Christian leaders who pleaded for her name not to be mentioned told APC that Christian Association of Nigeria has been turned to Mammon Association of Nigeria with priests receiving bribes to preach falsehood and hatred at the pulpit, thus misleading their congregation against God and man.

“She advised all churches whose pastors preached openly against Mohammadu Buhari to demand their share of the bribe from their pastors as they were paid handsomely to vilify General Buhari. Quoting from 1 Cor 6:9, she reminded those who received the bribe to preach hate sermon against General Buhari that both the greedy and the slanderers will not inherit the kingdom of God and therefore advised their congregation to disown those pastors who worship mammon in the house of God.

“Another reliable source further revealed that seeing how the popularity of President Jonathan has dimmed further after the shift of the election date from February 14 till March 28, the ring leader of the corrupt pastors is already finding ways to make peace with General Buhari ahead of the election. APC commends Bishop Imasuen for upholding the teaching of Christ and boosting the integrity of the Edo man”, Erhahon concluded.

Source: African Examiner


How Edo Pastors Shared ‘N7 Billion PDP Bribe’ – APC

Edo State chapter of the APC, has said over 400 clergymen in the state shared money offered as bribe to the Christian Association of Nigeria by the Peoples Democratic Party to support President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election.

The party, in a statement on Sunday, said some of the pastors drawn mostly from the Pentecostal bloc of the association, got between N50, 000 and N2 million from the N7 billion CAN allegedly received from the PDP and Mr. Jonathan.

It, however, praised the Edo State chairman of CAN, Peter Imasuen, for not participating in the sharing of the largesse. A Borno-based pastor, Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, recently alleged that President Jonathan, who is also the candidate of the PDP for the March 28 election, gave the Christian body N7 billion to support him.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Jonathan, Buhari Causes Division Among Edo Ex-militants

Ex- militants in Edo State have split along lines of loyalty to the two leading president candidates in the February 14 presidential elections, reports say.

While third batch of ex-militants under the amnesty programme are said to be loyal to President Goodluck Jonathan, the South-South ex-militant generals and commanders are said to be working for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Muhammadu Buhari.

Coordinator of the Third Phase of Amnesty group, Edwin Ojujoh, said on Sunday that the group is loyal to Jonathan and will work for his re-election.

Read Morenews24.com.ng

‘Edo People Won’t Vote For Jonathan’ – Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, President Goodluck Jonathan, will not secure the votes of the people of the state in next month’s presidential election due to what he described as the abandonment of the state.

Oshiomhole argued that President Jonathan did not fulfil his promise to contribute to the development of the South-South state, despite enjoying 95 per cent of votes of Edo people for his re-election in 2011.

The governor spoke at separate rallies of the All Progressives Congress in Ehor and Igueben, in Uhunmwode Igueben Local Government Area on Saturday. He explained that in spite of several letters to the Federal Government to assist the state on erosion challenges, the Jonathan administration neglected Edo after persuading them to vote for him as their brother in 2011.

He, however, said that the people of the state had become wiser now and would “vote the President out on February 14, for abandoning them.”

He said, “The last time, we voted for President Jonathan. He got 95 per cent of the total votes in Edo State. Yet, I cannot think of any meaningful thing he has done in the state.

“Last year, President Jonathan gave N2bn each to some PDP states even where he lost election to deal with erosion. Those that don’t have flood erosion were given money for desertification but we in Edo State that voted for him got nothing. I am not lamenting this. We have learnt from it and are determined not to repeat our mistakes.”

Oshiomhole also accused the Federal Government of failing to prosecute “those indicted” in the ill-fated immigration recruitment exercise in 2014, adding that it “is a clear indication that President Goodluck Jonathan did not care about the welfare of the Nigerian youths.

Why PDP Must go in 2015, by Oshiomhole

Adams Oshiomhole, Govonor of Edo State, said that Nigerians must reject the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP at all levels in next year’s general elections, noting also that as long as the PDP remains in power, Nigerians will remain in darkness.

Speaking  when he received about 2,000 defectors from Oredo and Egor Local Government Areas of the state led by Mr. Festus Oviawe and Igbe Kingsley respectively, Oshiomhole said that the choice before the people in the next elections was very clear, a choice between darkness and change.

He said: “In the last 16 years, Edo State gained nothing from the PDP besides the resurfacing of the Ofosu-Benin Road and the attempt at the dualisation of the Okene-Benin Road, with all its imperfections, which they were forced to embark on after we cried out that how could they dualise the road from Abuja and stop abruptly in Okene without extending it to Edo.

“In 16 the last years, after spending over $25 billion, we have no light. Now they have shared the electricity companies to their friends and associates. For as long as they remain in power, Nigerians will remain in darkness. Our companies will remain shut and the economy will be subjected to the vagaries of instability of the international oil market.”

Accusing President Goodluck Jonathan of abandoning Edo, Oshiomhole, said: “He got 95 percent vote from Edo State. What has he done in Edo, what has he done in Benin City? The Queen Edo erosion was caused by the Federal Government and I had written several letters to them to fix their mess, yet they ignored us and gave money to Delta and Kogi states.

“See the newly refurbished airport in Benin. I was there and the roof was leaking during the rain. Is that the kind of government we still want in Nigeria? No way. For too long, across Nigeria, PDP has buffeted us with, lies, empty promises, both at the political level and economic front and every day they have run short of lies and they have run short of excuses.”

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria