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

INEC opens defence in Edo governorship election petition

The electoral commission, INEC, on Friday opened its defence in the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the September 28, 2016 governorship election in Edo, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, before the Justice Ahmed Badamasi three-member tribunal in Benin.

The PDP and its candidate are challenging the declaration by INEC of Godwin Obaseki of the APC as winner of the election.

The petitioners listed INEC, Obaseki and the APC as first, second and third respondents respectively.

The petitioners on February 10 closed their case after calling 91 witnesses and tendering several documentary pieces of evidence before the tribunal.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, the INEC counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, informed the tribunal that his client was ready to open its case although witnesses may not be called.

“We have led copious evidence through cross examination of the petitioners’ witnesses.

“We propose to tender few documents when we need to confront them and enhance evidence already led and at the end of which, if need be, we will call witnesses,” he said.

Mr. Ikpeazu thereafter sought the tribunal’s permission to tender as evidence 10 copies of form EC8B, being ward collation result for wards in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of the state .

The counsel to the petitioners, Ize-Iyamu and PDP, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to Mr. Obaseki, Ken Mozia and APC’s lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, all did not oppose the application for tender.

Mr. Pinheiro, however, observed that since the documents sought to be tendered as evidence by INEC were same as those before the tribunal as exhibits, “it will make proceeding smoother if we harmonise the documents with a schedule during trial,’’

He argued that the form EC8B document tendered was the same as exhibit PO4(154-163) tendered by the petitioners.

“ If not harmonised for different exhibit numbers, this will create precipice of confusion.

“I am saying that since the petitioners’ document and those sought to be tendered by INEC are from same source, I thought INEC should call oral witness to identify the exhibits before the tribunal,” he said.

Mr. Ikpeazu, however, replied saying, “we have brought documents we have front loaded to support our case. They have done theirs; it is not for the petitioners to determine how we should organise our defence even if these documents are the same.”

“I am therefore asking for an adjournment to Monday while I concede to the suggestion that parties examine the documents sought to be tendered.

“I also intend to interact with electoral officers we may call as to who I wish to tender as witnesses,” he added.

Ruling, the tribunal chairman admitted the documents as exhibit IR(1-10) and ordered INEC to serve the petitioners and the other respondents with its schedule of the other documents to be tendered before the tribunal.

Mr. Badamasi also ruled that parties should use Saturday to examine INEC documents sought to be tendered before adjourning till Monday.


Source: NAN

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.

Edo Election Tribunal: Inconsistencies mar PDP witnesses’ testimonies.

There was mild drama at the Edo State Election Tribunal sitting at the premises of Edo State High court in Benin City on Tuesday, as two People’s Democratic Party (PDP) witnesses were discovered to have given false information under oath.

This was as inconsistencies manifested in the reports of other witnesses during cross-examination by Counsels to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Godwin Obaseki.

One of the witnesses, Ekpomriri Henry from Okpekpe in Etsakor East, claimed that the total number of votes in Unit 6 did not tally with the number of accreditations in the same unit. However, while he only indicated that he was the PDP collation agent for Unit 2, he kept proffering information for Unit 10.

Upon further cross-examination by the respondents, he revealed he was also the collation agent for Unit 10 but chose to withhold that information ‘for security reasons’.

In addition, he refused to sign the collation result in his own ward because he claimed he was not satisfied with the way the election was conducted. This was even as he testified to having visited three other units where the collation agents all signed the collation result sheets.

Also citing security reasons as his excuse for providing false information was Imran Ighie Shuaib from Okugbe in Okpella, whose address and signature on the witness statement were markedly different from those he tendered in court.

When the respondent Counsels put these inconsistencies to him, he replied saying, “I put it back to you…” before he was interrupted.

Other witnesses put forward by the PDP petitioning team also alleged inconsistencies in the accreditation and voting numbers with some adding multiple voting and over voting to their grievances with the election.

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.”




Edo State governor swears in new Chief Judge

Speaking during the ceremony at the Government House, Benin, Mr. Obaseki said that every government must recognise the importance of the judiciary.

He said that the achievements recorded by the Oshiomole-led administration were due to the harmony which existed between the Judiciary and the Executive.

He urged the Chief Judge to bring to bear her wealth of experience in the discharge of her duties as a highly respected judge in the country.

The governor said that her choice as the Chief Judge at a time of change in the state was remarkable as she “is known to be fair and strict in the dispensation of judgments’’.

He also urged the Chief Judge to sustain and improve the harmonious relationship between judges in the state.

Reiterating his administration’s readiness to invest in the judiciary as evident in the over 500 per cent increment in capital expenditure for the sector in the state’s 2017 budget, he assured that his government would uphold the rule of law.

In her response, the new Chief Judge promised to build on the legacy of her predecessor and enthrone justice in the state.

According to her, I promise to be hard working, ensure speedy dispensation of justice and stand for the truth; It is the truth that sets one free.

“There will be no more room for corrupt practices in our judiciary,” she said.

Soliciting the cooperation of other judges, she said “we must work for the strengthening of the third arm of the government’’.

She also assured of the independence of the judiciary and collaboration with other arms of government for peaceful coexistence in the state.

Justice Ikponwen was born Nov. 22, 1954 and went to Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ughelli, in Delta.

Mrs. Ikponwen holds an LL.B and a BL in Law in 1978 and 1979, respectively.

Until her appointment as the Chief Judge of the state, she has been a judge at the state High Court since 1999.

Mrs. Ikponwen takes over from Justice Cromwell Idahosa, who occupied the office from 2010 to Jan. 26, 2017.

NAN reports that previous female chief judges of the state were Justices Abigail Oni-Okpaku and Constance Momoh.

Dignitaries present at the swearing-in included the chief judge of Delta, members of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Justin Okonoboh, as well as the presidents of the Customary Courts.


Source: NAN

Governor Obaseki presents N150b 2017 budget of consolidation and prosperity.

Governor Godwin Obaseki has presented a budget of 150 billion appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly to fast track economic and social transformation of the state.


Governor Obaseki, who christened the 2017 budget as “Budget of Consolidation and Prosperity” said it was wrapped around the six key policy areas. “Mr Speaker, we have proposed a budget size of N150,011,831,079 Billion which is a nominal 29% increase over 2016 budget estimates made up of N74,900,297,917 as Recurrent Expenditure and N75,111,533,162 as Capital Expenditure. “The revenue estimates are based on a $42.0 benchmark for crude oil and average daily production of 1.9mil barrels per day and expectations of improved performance of Internally Generated Revenue.


“Hence we will maintain a balance of capital to recurrent expenditure (50%: 50%) in line with our plan to spend our way out of recession The governor, said “this Budget would have a deficit of N25 Billion for 2017 which is within the acceptable threshold. “The deficit will be funded mainly by external borrowing from the third tranche of the World Bank budget support facility.


He named the six key policy areas of the 2017 budget to include Economic Revolution, Healthcare services, Infrastructure development, Institutional Reforms, Environmental sustainabilty, social welfare enhancement and Culture and tourism. Governor Obaseki, while reviewing the 2016 budget, noted that “the crises we face today are not insurmountable, with focussed planning, discipline and faith in God, we can “develop a modern and progressive Edo State, where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness”.


“I am honoured to present to you today christened “Consolidation and prosperity”. According to him, “the policy directions of this budget are largely informed by my interactions with Edo people during my campaign which was validated in a strategy dialogue comprising political, religious and traditional leaders, professionals, civil society, women and youth groups.


“The policy bedrock of the 2017 budget rests on Economic Revolution, Infrastructural Expansion, Institutional Reform, Social Welfare Enhancement, Culture & Tourism and Environmental Sustainability. “These are the pillars which – if pursued with uncommon focus, will help us build a new society, create new jobs, new opportunities and wealth – and usher in a new era of prosperity for all. The Governor, in his review of the budget proposal, sets aside N7.5billion for investment;N22.2billion for economic sector; N22.3billion for infrastructure, development and upgrade; N3.2 billion for pension scheme; N6.05billion for outstanding grauitities and pension and N6.6 billion to rebuild infrastructure of institutions in 2017.


Governor Obaseki said “this Budget of Consolidation and prosperity clearly outlines our first priorities and serves as our compass to the future we seek. He said “building this new society for Edo State will depend on the timely implementation of reforms to further boost business climate, attract private investment, improve our social welfare and foster needed development.


“Therefore, the timely passage of this budget is crucial,’’ saying that “Edo State must become the standard bearer of progress in Nigeria. “We must lead the nation in social and economic progress. We will be unrelenting in our pursuit of a cleaner, greener and digital Edo.


“In this task, our government will shun all acts of corruption. We shall hold all accountable and will aggressively ensure justice is meted to offenders.’’ Obaseki, in his presentation assured the honourable members saying that “I remain confident that we would continue to enjoy a harmonious working relationship in the interest of our dear State and to the glory of God, our Maker”.

Obasanjo visits Obaseki, Wells Farm to boost Edo State’s economy.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Tuesday received in audience, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Billionaire businessman, Capt. Hosa Okubor, as part of government’s efforts to create conducive business environment in the state.


A government house statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. John Mayaki, said Obasanjo was in Government House to give his blessings to Governor Obaseki, his policies and programmes, especially in the area of job creation, industrialization and wealth creation.


The statement added that both investors – ex-President Obasanjo and Okunbor had visited “Wells Sam Carlos Farm” in within Benin metropolis – along Sapele Road Bye-Pass before calling on Mr. Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.


It said former Obasanjo, who parried reoporters’ questions said “I have come to visit the Governor and the Governor has accepted my visit.’’ In his normal humorous manner, Chief Obasanjo said, “I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute. That one no do?” When prodded further, he said again, “I say, I come greet Governor, I come salute Governor and Governor don pick my salute,” and laughed his way through the crowd of reporters who besieged him to extract words over his visit.


It is recalled that Capt. Okunbor had recently started a multi-billion naira agro-allied business in the State in partnership with a Mexican firm, Wells Sam Carlos Farm worth $750million (about N150 billion). The farm, designed to create 85,000 jobs in the State, will create 25,000 direct jobs and 60,000 indirect jobs.

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.

Maintenance of Edo Govt vehicles: Obaseki to engage female mechanics.

Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has offered to engage female mechanics for the maintenance of government vehicles, it emerged yesterday. Besides, Governor Obaseki said as part of his administration’s strategic plans for competitive advantage, female drivers and mechanics would be encouraged to study at the Benin Technical College after a complete retooling and rehabilitation.


The Governor who made this disclosure during the graduation ceremony of twenty five female mechanics in Benin City, Monday, said, “I want to throw an offer to you today – in Government House, we have a workshop. We would like you to come and take a look at it and also see if you can take over maintenance of the vehicles in Government House”. The Governor said government will partner with the Lady Mechanic Initiative, a non-governmental organization, to promote youth employment in line with his electioneering campaign promises.


While lauding the initiative, Governor Obaseki said, “it’s in line with my agenda for job creation and youth empowerment”. According to Governor Obaseki, “the challenge we face today; the challenge of unemployment, the challenge of rebuilding our communities and society is not the challenge that rests on one arm of government or one set of institution alone. It is a challenge that all of us must combine together to deal with – whether you are government, whether you are civil society, whether you are private sector.




“That is the reason why as Governor of Edo State, once I realized that this initiative had taken root, I said the least that we could do is to come here and help to participate in the graduation ceremony of the last twenty five of the hundred students this programme started with. I hope that as sponsor, Coca Cola will not terminate this programme with this set. I am going to make a passionate appeal, and if you need me to come to your headquarters, I will come so that this programme can be extended.”


The Governor who assured that government will rebuild and develop the Benin Technical College said, “my first official assignment when I resumed on Monday, the 14th of November was to visit the Benin Technical College. First, to send certain signals that I campaigned on the fact that we will create a minimum of two hundred thousand jobs – I meant it.


“So, my first assignment was to go to that institution that historically we had set up to develop manpower for industry and our economic life. I was really disappointed with what I saw, but from every disappointment comes challenges, and we are committed. And as I speak to you now, there is a team at the Benin Technical College doing survey, re-establishing the size of the land, with designs and working out plans so that within the next thirty days, we would have awarded the contract for the redevelopment of that school.


“We would like to have further discussions with you. I know you said you have a piece of land somewhere to develop as a one-stop mechanic village, but we would like to review and see if we can locate that workshop to the premises of the Benin Technical College, so that we can begin to relate to practical technical training with the training we receive in school.”


“Benin city is a transportation hub – that is why the automobile business in this state is quite large. And as part of our strategic plan to make sure we have that competitive advantage, we would like to have institutions or initiatives like this that feed into our own plans. “As you know, under the ECTS – Edo State Transport Service, with the Comrade Bus initiative, most of the drivers are female. We want to put more money into that initiative, and more importantly, we want to give them the capacity not only to drive those buses, and the new ones we are going to purchase, but to also maintain this process. We in Edo State Government will support and we will get other partners to support it”, the Governor promised.


Earlier, the founder and coordinator of the female mechanic initiative, Mrs. Sandra Aguebor said she has been able to train and empower over one thousand female mechanics in Nigeria since inception in five states – Lagos, Benin, Kaduna, Kano and Abuja. She said, “Your Excellency, we are here to work with you. That burning passion that has been there for a long time, I can see that these girls will do more than we have done today. Coca Cola has just prepared the ground.”


According to Mrs. Aguebor, “We want to scale up on what we are already doing. Your Excellency, Sandra Aguebor is here to support your administration. I have not got one sponsorship from the government of Edo State, but this time, I am very optimistic that it will happen. We want to be part of your administration, and a lot of these girls already have jobs. I think with you today, I also perceive that you are going to give employment to some of them.”

Withdraw Oshiomhole’s N200m mansion retirement benefits, SERAP tells Obaseki

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki to withdraw the N300m mansio retirement benefits for his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy, Pius Odubu.


The Edo State assembly had amended the state’s pension law providing residential buildings worth N200m and N100m for the governor and his deputy at the expiration of their tenures.


But SERAP in a statement on Thursday through its executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni asked Obaseki to withdraw the benefits and pay pensioners instead.


The statement read in part, “SERAP is aware that the Edo State government is not the only state passing such obnoxious pension laws to provide outrageous retirement benefits to former governors and deputy governors and that many of them are already in the National Assembly receiving multiple benefits and putting their personal bank accounts ahead of the common good. SERAP is finalising a comprehensive legal strategy to challenge these unjust laws and to name and shame those who continue to benefit from such laws.”


“Nigerians should not be made to subsidise these bloated pensions and clearly undeserved perks. Governor Obaseki should not see disadvantaged Nigerians and poor pensioners according to Orwell’s Animal Farm dictum: ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others’. Approving the amendment by the Edo State House of Assembly will amount to a fundamental breach of the governor’s constitutional oath declaration to serve the interest of justice, common good, transparency and accountability.”

Edo Election: Tribunal restrains PDP from scanning ballots papers.

The Edo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin, on Wednesday, granted an order to the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Mr Godwin Obaseki, restraining the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 28 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, from utilizing any equipment to examine, scan, or howsoever interact with the ballot papers used in the election unless the integrity of such equipment has been demonstrated and cleared by the Election Petition Tribunal.


After hearing the four paragraph motion and the sworn affidavit of the APC, the Hon. Justice A. Badamasi-led Tribunal granted the application and ordered that the PDP and Pastor Ize-Iyamu be made to supply the name, model and serial number of the equipment they want to use in scanning the ballot papers at least two days before the scanning exercise can take place.


Significantly, the Election Petition Tribunal also ordered that the equipment should be demonstrated at the Independent Electoral Commission’s offices in the presence of all the parties or their representatives with not more than five representatives each.


It would be recalled that Governor Godwin Obaseki, the candidate of the APC decisively won the September 28th Gubernatorial election with over 319,483 votes to defeat his PDP opponent, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who polled a total of over 250,000 votes and was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on September 29, 2016.

Obaseki Shuns Visitors On First Day In Office

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

Obaseki and his deputy Philip Shaibu started with projects inspection.

He wore blue suit with a red tie. His deputy was in khaki, a reminder of the Oshiomhole days.

Government House workers were surprised that the governor resumed at about 7:45am. Not many of them were at work at the time.

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.

He was taken round the Government House by the Head of Service. But unlike his predecessor that people ran after even when he (Oshiomhole) was walking, Obaseki walked slowly and listened attentively as he was being briefed.

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

The governor held “tactical” meetings with his team.

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

Towards fulfilling his campaign promise on focusing on technical education, Obaseki visited the Benin Technical College.

He plans to work with the Permanent Secretaries for six weeks to reorder governance with a view to reducing cost.


Obaseki shuns visitors on first day in office

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.

Edo PDP, Ize Iyamu rule out involvement in Obaseki’s government.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state monday ruled out the possibility of participating in the APC-led government of Godwin Obaseki.

Obaseki in his inaugural speech last Saturday, disclosed the possibility of his administration to extend a hand of fellowship to the opposition parties, remarking that after a hard-fought campaign, he was willing to gather ideas that have been articulated by all parties and integrate them for the transformation of Edo State.

But state PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, at a press conference to x-ray the eights years administration of former governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said the party cannot be part and parcel of an administration whose tenure would terminate at the end of the state election petition tribunal.

Orbih who decried the huge debt profile legacy of Oshiomhole-led government, said the state currently rank the third highest indebted state in Nigeria.

He said not less than N1trillion accrued to the immediate past administration as federal statutory allocation and internally generated revenue in the last eight years, while the sum of N300billion was borrowed with escalating interest rate

The Edo PDP chairman also accused Oshiomhole of lavishing N500 million every month on undisclosed security challenges, adding that besides denying the judiciary and legislative arms financial independence, the former governor engaged mass acquisition of properties in and across the state.

“The only legacy Oshiomhole left behind is that he succeeded in providing students of politics and history materials on nemesis of bad government, propaganda and failed promised”

On his part, the PDP governorship candidate in the September 28, 2016 election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, re-assured the people of his unflinching resolved to recover what he termed the ‘stolen mandate’ at the state Election Petitions Tribunal in the face of present intimidation, bribe and financial inducement

“We are not asking the tribunal to cancel the election. We are saying we won the election. Not only PDP voted for me, Edo people voted for me. We are following the matter to a logical conclusion”

Huge Crowd As Obaseki Takes Oath Of Office

The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was filled to capacity as the new governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, took the oath of office on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the main bowl of the stadium and the outer precincts were filled to capacity during the ceremony.

Among the dignitaries at the occasion were the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun.

Also present were business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The ceremony also had in attendance a former military head of state, Dr Yakubu Gowon, and ministers including that of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

NAN reports that the inauguration ceremony was also graced by traditional rulers from across the three senatorial districts of the state as well as youths and market women who were all dressed in different attires.

NAN also reports that Obaseki is taking over from Adams Oshiomhole who had served two terms of four years.

Obaseki defeated the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the Sept. 28 governorship poll in the state.

Credit: NAN

#ObasekiANewBeginning: New Dawn, New Challenges.

Today, Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole will bow out of office as a happy man. Like many successful leaders, he will be handing over to a competent successor. Therefore, as an era ends in the Southsouth state, a new chapter also unfolds. Unlike his former boss, who is a unionist and politician, Governor Godwin Obaseki is a technocrat. His vision is to lay a solid edifice on the foundation laid by the former governor, in accordance to the electoral promises made by the All progressives Congress (APC). But, many challenges will face the new administration. Will reenact the feat he has recorded in the private sector in Edo?  Will he cope with the murky waters of politics and become a master of the game? Will he leave an indelible mark at end of his tenure? Group Political Editor EMMANUEL OLADESU highlights the challenges that will confront the new helmsman.


Joy was bold on his face as the electoral commission declared him the winner of the historic governorship poll. For him, it was a milestone. He mounted the open roof sports utility car, which drove him round the streets of the ancient Benin City, waving the broom, the symbol of the All Progressives Congress (APC), at the jubilating crowd. With him was his political mentor, the ebullient and fork-tongued Adams Oshiomhole, who led the dancing train of women and youths. The attention of the people shifted to Godwin Obaseki, who had just received their mandate to shoulder the burden of governing Edo State in the next four years.

It was a moment of excitement. Party leaders swarmed him. Yet, the man of the moment was full of tenderness. In utmost humility, he was nevertheless in sober reflection, the euphoria of victory notwithstanding. Peeping into the future, he realised that governance will not be a tea party in Edo because to whom much is given, much is expected. During the campaigns, he had reeled out messages of hope. But, now as the governor-elect, he sent a message of assurance to the people. “I will continue from where the comrade-governor will be stopping. I will justify the confidence reposed in me by you, the electorate. I will fulfill the electoral promises made by me and our great party,” he told the crowd.

To observers, Obaseki’s  victory at the poll was a fulfillment of destiny. His co-aspirants at the tensed primary never gave him a chance. To them, the contest was not for an apolitical figure. A year ago, the financial expert was not aware of what fate had in stock for him. He had no ambition to succeed the workaholic governor, although he was always willing and ready to offer constructive advice on economic management.  As the Leader of the Edo State Economic Team, he was widely acknowledged as a silent worker at the ‘Think-Tank Office, assisting  Oshiomhole in policy initiation and implementation. As he was working diligently, his boss perceived in him the quality of a diligent successor.

The new governor was self-effacing.  He knew his onions as an economic expert. But, he also knew his limitation as a political animal. As a professional, his colleagues felt that politics was a no-go area. Although he had established himself as a boardroom guru and master of corporate politics, he was perceived as a gentleman who could not survive in the political furnace. Besides, Obaseki was not identified as a notable party chieftain and a leader of opinion. Little did he guess that he will eventually emerge as Oshiomhole’s successor, following a historic contest between him and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the more renowned and astute flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Many obstacles were thrown on his path. His detractors derided him as an inexperienced political upstart who needed a long period of tutorials to measure up. Frustrated and desperate chieftains described him as an outsider, unmindful of his illustrious background as a descendant of the legendary Obaseki, the most popular Iyase of Benin. He was mocked as an imaginary stooge of the combative governor, who will later be tossed around and dance to the whim and caprice of the Iyombo-born politician. Some delved into history, saying that Obaseki was living to expectation as an usurper, recalling that his great grand father attempted to hijack the stood of Oba of Benin, when Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi was deposed by the British interlopers and banished to Calabar.


When those twisting history were reminded that the great Obaseki was instrumental to the ascension of Ovonranwen’s son, Oba Eweka 11, to the exalted throne, the historical fact was deliberately ignored. The fallacy became a strong tonic for an effective propaganda by dubious politicians inciting the people to stop Oshiomhole from foisting on Edo a ‘stranger,’ who has never ploughed back to his roots since he became a successful investor in Lagos. Also, some traditional rulers and community leaders were mobilised to reject his candidature. But, Obaseki remained focussed, undeterred by the cheap blackmail and rigorous campaign of calumny until he breasted the tape and lifted the crown.

According to analysts, Obaseki’s victory has implications for Oshimhole’s future career and the entire state in post-Oshiomhole era. The triumph destroyed the threat by the PDP to disgrace him out of office. It marked the fulfillment of the former governor’s dream to hand over to a competent successor, careful planner and incorruptible technocrat. Having fought many ‘wars’ in the last eight years in Edo, Oshiomhole was anxious about the critical succession battle . He had led a successful crusade against the godfathers. The former governor claimed that these political barons had converted the state into their fiefdom, sharing the resources among their lackeys and fencing out the masses. The platform on which he conducted the war was ‘one man, one vote.’ In Oshiomhole’s view, it was necessary to halt the personalisation of power by the modern-day Edo aristocrats who have rejected the vision of inclusiveness and wider democratic participation. His triumph over the entrenched forces attested to his doggedness, resilience, resolve to usher in a new era and commitment to the yearnings of the common man.

Besides, Oshiomhole fought the infrastructure battle, earning an applause for an impressive performance. He was on a rescue mission of sorts. Having seized Edo by storm, there was no going back. The people were thirsty for dividends of democracy which were elusive under the Igbenedion administration. Unlike the previous eight years, Edo became a huge construction site. At a rally in Auchi, a confident Oshiomhole reflected on the giant strides. He said Edo bounce back on the strength of an indomitable progressive vision and action plan, which was a wide departure from the government of marauders to the benefit of few lackeys. The former governor always linked his success in government to the contribution of the shrewd technocrat. “They said roads cannot be constructed in some communities because of hills and rivers. We rejected that excuse. Now, these communities have access roads. They will not forget the Oshiomhole years. The brain behind the laudable projects is Godwin Obaseki,” he said.


In other sectors, the former governor was not a failure. When other states could not pay salaries, Edo stood out in the Southsouth. No single capital project was suspended on account of the drop in revenue accruing to the state’s lean purse. Even, during the campaigns, the former governor still took time out to inspect developmental projects across the districts.

However, despite Oshiomole’s track record, the poll was not a walk over for the APC. The succession battle may have really affected the ruling party, making some chieftains to threaten to subvert or undermine it at the poll. Although Obaseki was eminently qualified to be governor, there was a strong opposition to his emergence. Analysts have also pointed out that the electoral contest was hot because of the PDP’s determination to regain control. Pastor Ize-Iyamu is a veteran of many onslaughts. He was one of the pillars of the progressive bloc before he dumped the platform. In fact, some have suggested that the

To the comrade governor, Obaseki was the right choice, giving the prevailing circumstances. It appears that progressives governors are now fascinated by the quality of technocrats without partisan inhibitors, encumbrances and drawbacks. Professionals in politics are now preferred to professional politicians. The electorate appear to be losing confidence in politicians without a second address. Oshiomhole had studied the succession pattern in Lagos State where the two governors who had come after former Governor Bola Tinubu-Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Akinwunmi Ambode-had lived up to expectation. When Asiwaju Bola Tinubu insisted on Fashola’s candidature, many party stalwarts were taken aback. Later, they hailed his wisdom when they saw the lawyer in action. But, according to the Lagos PDP, Ambode’s has even achieved in two years what it took Fashola four years to accomplish. Obaseki shares a similar trait with these successful administrators.  Having successfully laid a new foundation for Edo’s future, Oshiomhole believed that only a hardworking administrator and a goal getter like him could defend the worthy legacies and continue to build on the foundation.

Describing him as the best man for the job in Edo, Oshiomhole said: ” Obaseki is more competent than me,” adding that he will fast-track the work of governance and get maximum results for the state with the scarce resources. He said the new governor has the discipline, courage, passion for progress and ideas about how to run a state beset with dwindling revenue and achieve maximum productivity.

During the campaigns, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, described Obaseki as the best choice. He is not a noise maker, but a silent worker and achiever, he said, stressing that he was better than Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who had served under a discredited government. The former governor said the current circumstances made his candidature compelling. In his view, Edo needed an economic expert to navigate the difficult ship of state at this trying time when no state can hope to survive in the face of the dwindling federal allocation.


To Ambode, Obaseki is an epitome of economic creativity; an expert who understands the economic challenges and prospects of the Southsouth state what can be done to catapult it to the horizon of progress. The Lagos governor, who headed the APC Campaign Council for Edo, said Obaseki will generate more income for Edo, set the stage for its industrialisation, promote transparency and accountability and sustain the progressive vision and agenda.

Also, Fashola congratulated Edo APC for fielding Obaseki as a flag bearer. He said: “Godwin Obaseki is truly a remarkable figure with limitless talents, a big heart and a self-effacing, down-to-heart personal style that gives no indication of his extraordinary accomplishment.”

Obaseki’s motivation is not primitive accumulation, but service to the 53 year-old state. Contrary to the propaganda by detractors, he is a homeboy. He attended St. Matthews Anglican Primary School, Benin City before proceeding from to Eghosa Anglican Grammer School, Benin City. He attended the University of Ibadan where he obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Classics. Obaseki attended the Columbia University and Pace University, New York. He has an MBA in Finance and International Business. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers, Nigeria and an alumnus of the Lagos Business School Chief Executive Programme. The financial administrator was nominated as a Global Leader for Tomorrow (GLT) by the World Economic Forum in 2001.

Obaseki began his career over 30 years ago in the financial sector. He has a track record that has drew the envy of many in Investment Banking, Asset Management, Securities Trading and the Public Sector. He became a stock broker 1983 with Capital Trust Brokers Limited, Lagos. Later, he worked with the International Merchant Bank (an affiliate of First Chicago Bank). In 1988 he joined AVC Funds Limited, Lagos. where he served as a Project Manager. He led the core team that set up two new generation banks that eventually reshaped the face of the banking industry in the country.

Between 1993 and 1995, Obaseki worked in New York as a principal of Equatorial Finance Co, a Financial Advisory firm with a focus on Africa. The company provided what experts have described as structured trade finance for African-related transactions through credit, financial advisory and risk insurance.

In 1995, his career blossomed as he Founded Afrinvest West Africa Limited (formerly Securities Transactions & Trust Company Limited (SecTrust)). He was its the pioneer Managing Director. The firm is a leading investment banking and  Management firm. In 1995, SecTrust was appointed the correspondent stockbroker for Nigeria by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). In 1996, it established the first derivative product, the Nigerian International Debt Fund (NIDF), on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, which allowed Nigerians to invest local savings in the US Dollar instrument. This fund has outperformed projections on returns.

Also, SecTrust was the local adviser on the first global offering by a Nigerian bank through the issuance of Global Depositary Shares (GDS) to raise UD$50 million from the international Capital market. Afrinvest has acted as an adviser on some of the largest and most significant transactions in the Nigerian capital market since 2005. It is one of the most trusted advisory firms in the domestic corporate finance market, pioneering major innovations and providing leadership in the Nigerian Securities market. The firm has advised on numerous landmark Transactions, including the first Eurobond Issue by a Sub-Saharan Africa Corporate (outside South-Africa); the first ever simultaneous merger and tender offer transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa and the largest ever listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Afrinvest has been ranked as a major investment research firm, which is at the forefront of playing instrumental roles in the introduction of new financing products such as Eurobonds and Global Depository Receipts to Nigerian Companies.

Obaseki was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the firm, which won the Best Asset Management Firm in Nigeria (2014) Award by the Wealth & Finance International Magazine Finance Awards.

Since March 17, 2009, Obaseki has served as the Chairman of the Edo State Government’s Economic and Strategy Team (EST). The achievements of the team included the documentation of the Edo State Economic Development Framework through Sectors’ Strategic Planning, which was reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis; the introduction and enculturation of retreats as a platform to ensure engagement, not only in planning and executing development initiatives, but also in the monitoring and evaluation of outcomes; the sourcing of N25 Billion Infrastructure Market in 2010; Development Bond from the Nigerian Capital, and $225 million Concessionary Rates Development Loan from the World Bank with the 1st Tranche of $75 Million already accessed;

The team successfully hosted the sector-based Economic Summits and Policy Dialogue Series, including the Power Round Table in 2010, 2011 Education Round Table and 2012 Agribusiness Round Table. These summits  included the Azura-Edo IPP project with over $1 billion in FDI, currently in Ihovbor, Uhunwode local government area, and education reforms, which have translated to significant improvement in infrastructure and student performance in the West African School Leaving Certificate Examination.

Following the 2012 Agribusiness Summit, the state attracted investment in the rubber sub-sector for the development of the single largest rubber plantation project in Sokponba, Orhiomwon local government area under a privately developed and financed initiative;

A framework for local economic empowerment through out-growers schemes was finalised to attract funding into the development of key crops for which Edo State has natural endowment, including oil palm, rubber, cassava, cocoa, rice and other grains.

Obaseki has been part of other committees set up by the Edo State government. He was the Chairman of the Tax Assessment Review Committee for Edo State Internal Revenue Service (TARC). He was a member of the Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). He was the secretary of  the Committee on the Implementation of the Law Establishing the Edo State University of Science and Technology, and members of the  Committee on Contributory Pension Scheme, the Edo SEEFOR/DPO Steering Committee, and the Committee on the Report of the Audit of the Credentials of Teaching Staff in public schools.

Obaseki was the Chairman of the Land Use Charge Committee, a member of the State Steering Committee on the European Union Assisted Niger-Delta Support programme (NDSP) Component Three (Development of Edo State Water and Sanitation Policy and Law.

He has served on the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Pension System. He also served on the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission Committee on the Re-activation of the Nigerian Bond Market and the review of the Investment and Securities Act. He was a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council between 2006 and 2009. He also served on the board of some companies such as Dorman Long Engineering Limited, Pillar Oil Limited and Seric Impianti International Limited.

Obaseki was the founding secretary of a New York-based US-Africa Chamber of Commerce in 1992, which promoted US organisations doing business in Africa. He was a Director in Junior Achievement of Nigeria, the local affiliate of the worldwide ,’Not for Profit’ organisation which trains students to appreciate market economy values. He also a Trustee of the Dr. Jackson Owen Obaseki Foundation, a family NGO, which is involved in providing free educational and health services to the less privileged.

However, having been catapulted from an aide playing a supportive role to the driver’s seat, the governor would be confronted by the challenges of adjustment imposed by the transformation. He is not a run-of-the-mill politician. He has to start learning the roles as the new leader of the Edo APC. Apart from the huge administrative assignments, he is expected to occupy the position of party symbol. The role cannot be left for his predecessor, who may be considered for a national assignment by the Federal Government and his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, who as deputy governor will not be perceived as the man directly in charge. The buck, as it is said, stops at the table of the governor.

The joy of victory may have withered in the face of the daunting challenges. Much is expected of the governor-elect. The baseline for assessing his performance is the achievement of Oshiomhole, who has left the state better than he met it. It is a new era and new challenges will confront the governor. Having succeeded in the private sector where he had worked in the last 30 years, Obaseki is expected to enact the success story that made him a man of pedigree.

During the transition period, the governor left no stone unturned. He is conscious of the weight of responsibilities on his shoulders. He has a laudable blue-print for turning around the state. Armed with the manifestos, he approached voters during the campaigns. Now, the people look forward to the speedy fulfillment of the campaign promises. The campaign promises included more roads, more hospitals, jobs for the youths, increased funding for agriculture and industrialisation. In his victory speech, Obaseki promised not to let the people down. He said: “Our promise to build a state anchored on a productive economy that will transform and empower our citizens is sincere. We promised jobs. We promised improved scial welfare services and a secured state. We will strive to deliver on all these promises. As we travelled all over our great state selling our programmes, we also took note of your concerns and problems, and I want to assure you that we will do everything in our power to address them.”

Obaseki may be inheriting a divided APC as the party leader. Many observers are of the view that Obaseki’s first priority is the reconciliation of the aggrieved forces in his party. Many aspirants who competed for the ticket with him may still be bitter with justification. It was not possible that the conflict was totally resolved during the campaigns. After the poll, Obaseki has demonstrated his intention to run an all-inclusive government. He has been discussing with stakeholders, including aggrieved stalwarts, community leaders and other stakeholders, who were upset by the selection process that produced him as the flag bearer. The goal is to pacify them, give them a sense of belonging and tap from their rich experience.

Besides, Obaseki has sought for another favour from voters who gave him the mandate. Urging  the people from the 18 local governments to unite behind his administration, he said: “Politics and elections are over. Now is the time to begin the task of development to move the state forward.” He knew that the pre-primary acrimony could be carried over to his first term. Therefore, he urged reconciliation so that the party and the government could be on the same page. Obaseki added: “It is time to bury the hatchet and close ranks for the good of our state. Our state is superior to all other interests and we must as individuals subordinate our personal ambitions to that of the collective.’

The next assignment after the inauguration is setting up a cabinet of talents. It is expected to be a blend of politicians who are professionals and technocrats without tainted reputation; a cabinet of achievement-oriented persons who should not be weak in personality, experience and patriotism. It should be a recession-time cabinet bubbling with ideas about a new beginning and how to overcome the current financial difficulties, increase internally generated revenue without imposing a suffocating tax regime and making an almost perfect clean break from corruption and opulence in the corridor of power. During the campaigns, Obaseki spoke on the need to maximise the opportunities for taxation. However, he also admitted that taxation should have human face because over-taxation could provoke uproar and disillusionment.

According to observers, the governor must have the courage of conviction to take the right decisions. Taking the right decisions requires resolve and elevation of the interest of the state over personal interest. A lot of pressure will be exerted on him in the course of the struggle for the distribution of appointments by stakeholders. Edo is a heterogeneous state. This makes geo-political balancing more compelling. While striking a balance among the competing interests, Obaseki should bear in mind it is the chief executive that will take the blame for the success, mistakes, and failure of the government. There is the need for him to maintain a harmonious relationship with the House of Assembly. Besides, he should be sensitive to the antics of the roaring lion seeking whom to devour. At the initially,his attention may be diverted the post-election litigation by Pastor Ize-Iyamu. The PDP factor in the state cannot be dismissed. The opposition party has two senators and some members of the House of Assembly and Representatives. The party is bitter. In post-Oshiomhole era, it may play an effective opposition role.

Obaseki is expected to make a mark as an astute administrator. During the campaigns, he had told the people that his priority was the economic survival of the Southsouth state. He is expected to bring his experience in the private sector to bear on governance. As an investor and a big name in the private sector, he will be assessed by the quantum of local and foreign investments he will attract in his first four years in office. If Obaseki is able to revive the moribund industries, the state would have a dual advantages of boosting employment and expanding the internally generated revenue.

The governor has hinted that fiscal discipline and frugality will be the watchword. “I will not have a large cabinet,” he told reporters, shortly after his victory at the poll. This may have wider implications for the building of a new perception about governance. By planning to reduce the size of the State Executive Council, the governor may be reducing the cost of governance. Also, loopholes must be bridged and wastages should be prevented. If the governor can lay a personal example, his team will follow his footsteps. It is better to prevent corruption than to wage war against it when the damage has been done by unscrupulous politicians and public servants.

Without doubt, Oshiomhole has left behind some uncompleted projects across the three senatorial districts. Successors will always inherit the unfinished business of the state. Since Obaseki is presiding over a government of continuity, the onus is on him to complete these laudable projects. Its completion should be a core priority, having been part of their initiation and implementation from the beginning.

Obaseki has assumed the reins at a critical time in history. The country is in recession. Many states are unable to pay salaries. Capital projects have been put on hold. Many governors have agonised over the poor state of the economy at a time people are demanding for more dividends of democracy. Some governors have cried out in despair, saying that this is not the best time to be governor in Nigeria. Yet, economic experts have continued to paint a gloomy picture. Obaseki should tow the path of Oshiomhole, whohas managed to pay salaries and financed the on-going projects, unlike other oil-producing states. He has to roll up his sleeves. Since the federal allocation to the state may continue to dwindle, no thanks to the crash in oil price and production due to vandalisation by unrepentant and unpatriotic militants, he should adorn his thinking cap and explore avenues for income generation to boost the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). In the past few days, militants have also been on the prowl in Edo State. Oil installations have been blown off. The new governor should come up with fresh ideas on how to better handle the volatile Niger Delta restiveness.

God has used Oshiomhole to assist Obaseki to secure the key to the Edo Government House . He has been elected for four years. If he performs, the mandate can be renewed for another term of four years. But, it should be borne in mind that power is transient and no condition will be permanent. Obaseki has a mentor and role model in his predecessor. The greatest honour he can do his benefactor is to strive to beat his performance. Obaseki may not have the skills and styles of Oshiomhole. But, the new helmsman should also be sensitive to the mistakes the former comrade-governor may have committed as a party leader and administrator.

Besides, Obaseki should not relegate his former boss to the background now that he has gained political control. He needs his advice and support to succeed in the onerous task of administering the highly heterogeneous state. A new relationship anchored on mutual respect is required. Former governors may be full of nostalgia. But, it is illogical and illusory for them to think that they are still in charge in states where they have constitutionally relinquished power to their former subordinates. In this dispensation,  predecessor-successor crises have always marred relations between former governors and their anointed candidates. The Nnamani/Chime tango in Enugu State, the Kwankwaso/Danguge rift in Kano, the Obi/Obiano conflict in Anambra and Akpabio/Emmanuel crisis in Akwa Ibom are clear examples. These post-victory rifts often divide the ruling parties and divert the attention of the affected governors. They can be prevented through mutual respect, promotion of understanding, acknowledgment of limitations to influence, compromise and consensus building.

Torrents of good-will message for Obaseki By John Mayaki

Since the victory of Mr. Godwin Obaseki and his running mate, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu as Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect respectively, at the September 28 Edo State gubernatorial election and their swearing-in today as Governor and Deputy Governor of Edo State, there has been torrents of congratulatory messages and prayers from servants of God Almighty and other well-meaning people for the success of the in-coming administration.


These prayers are attestations of the people’s desire for Governor Obaseki, his administration and progress of Edo State. For instance, Bishop Mike Laju of The MOG Ministries in his message wrote “We pray that your reign (tenure as The Executive Governor) will be complete and that it will also be marked with remarkable feats of achievements, progress and peace. “We celebrate your astute wisdom as a foremost technocrat, your purposeful vision and peaceful demeanor, which we knew will translate Edo State into a hub of great industrialization”.


For Bishop Omorodion Eguavoen of Sword of God Ministries, “As it has pleased God to place you (Obaseki) in a special position to lead the state from November 12, 2016, it is my prayer that He leads you, and you abide by His direction through the path of greatness and good leadership, just as He did for Samuel Ogbemudia and Adams Oshiomhole.


“I pray for you that you shall be counted amongst the Governors who governed Edo State to excellence and greatness”, even as Rev and Rev Mrs. Omorotionmwam of Help Line Ministry in their message wrote that “Your victory is yet again a dawning of a new day in Edo State as hope come alive in the hearts of the people of this great state because we believe that you will lead this state to greatness”.


The Association of Occupational Therapists is convinced that Obaseki’s victory at the polls is an attestation to the fact that his name “Godwin” was not by accident as only God could have won the election for him. “Given your experience, sympathy, empathy, forthrightness and ability to listen, we are in no doubt that your administration will consolidate on the good work already started by the Comrade Governor.


“Most importantly, with you as our amiable Governor, we are sure that there will soon be a resurgence in the plight of People living with Disabilities (who we represent), not only in their integration but also in their empowerment to optimal functional performance in every areas of their lives”, the group said in a congratulatory message signed by by its President, Princess Victoria Amu.


Appreciating God Almighty for answering their prayers, Christians For Good Leadership Initiative, while celebrating the faithfulness of God on the swearing in of Obaseki as governor of Edo State, said their message that “it was a dream yesterday, but a reality today. “We pray that your tenure will not only be complete, peaceful but will rank the state high amongst comity of states in the country marked with remarkable feats of achievements as contained in your electoral promises.


We know God brought you for such a time as this to usher the state into prosperity”, the group said in their congratulatory message signed by Pastor Shola Abolarin and Mr. A. O Maigida. In his message, Evangelist Solomon Sonny Akiomon of the Unchanging Word Christ Ministry said Obaseki’s election “has been documented, signed, approved, announced and has been celebrated and settled in heaven, hence, it is irrevocable in Jesus Name.


“My daily prayer for you is to possess the Government House for eight years, to subdue and dominate all the negative powers, satanic forces, negative influences in the Government House in Jesus Name”, he wrote, just as Elder and Pastor (Mrs) R. I Ahunwan of the Jehovah Shalom Bible Ministries urged Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki to “Rejoice because the King of Kings, the King of glory is on your side, so, you cannot fail”.


Congratulating Obaseki on his victory and swearing in, Peoples’ Care Multipurpose Cooperative Society said “No doubt, it is in recognition of the very sterling qualities you displayed in both the corporate and political world and more importantly as the head of the Edo State Economic team for the past 8 years.


“We pray that this new position will afford you another greater opportunity to serve the state better and Nigeria in general”, it said in its message signed by Apostle David Akpokwaye and Rev. Chris Enueze, even as Rev. Taiwo Edokpayi of Power Word Ministry in his message said Obaseki’s victory is victory for the believers. “To us, it is a victory for the believers as you were seen by us as God’s own candidate, because your manifesto was the one that spelt out God’s wish for the people”.


For the President and Founder of International Ministers Network, Rev. Andy Eboh, “we want you to know that all our teaming members from within and outside the state are ready to support your administration because we are convinced that this victory is Divine and is meant to affect humanity positively within and outside Edo state.


“Our prayer for you is that the Lord will give you wisdom and discernment to pick God fearing persons of like minds to enable the job to be easier for you. We believe with God on your side, you will do more than your predecessors and we also ask you to build a praying alter in Government House to subdue whatever forces that may want to oppose the progress promised by God in your tenure”, he said.


Among the long list of Obaseki’s well-wishers is Believers Endtime Outreach Ministry Inc. and Niger Delta Pastors Forum for Best Governance (NDPFBG). According to NDPFBG State Co-ordinator, Pastor John Uwuigbe, “we wish your Excellency the divine wisdom of the Biblical Solomon, strength and good health to pilot the affair of the state. We like to assure you of our continuous support as you lead Edo State to higher socio-economic advancement”, he prayed.

President Buhari begins 2-day visit to Edo State.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday arrived Benin airport to begin a two-day working visit to Edo.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Buhari, who arrived at about 10: 43 a.m aboard Air Force flight 5N-FGW, was received by Gov. Adams Oshiomhole.


He inspected a guard of honour mounted by military personnel before proceeding to the palace of the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare N’gidigan II, on a courtesy visit.


NAN reports that some of the dignitaries at the airport included the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the state governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki, service commanders, lawmakers, and other party leaders.

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.

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.

INEC Issues Certificate Of Return To Obaseki

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issue a Certificate of Return to the Edo State Governor-elect, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who won the September 28 governorship election in the state.

In his address, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State, Mr. Sam Olumekun, described the election as historic in the history of the commission and Edo people, noting that an inconclusive election would have violated the constitution, which was the reason why the election was postponed.

Olumekun said: “It is a historic day not only in the lives of our new leaders but also in the lives of the people of Edo State. It is the dawn of a new era.

“An inconclusive election would have pushed us to an electoral crisis with barely two weeks to the 30 days before handover, Edo people will appreciate why we had the election on September 28. That is why the commission left no stone unturned in conducting the September 28 election which was conclusive.

He also thanked INEC officials, security agencies and other stakeholders who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome, noting that “of course you are aware that we did not lose any lives.”
He added that the job of “conducting an election is the joint duty of all stakeholders who play their part in ensuring a peaceful and credible election takes place, urging Obaseki to “kindly remember that the people’s interest and welfare is paramount.”

Read More: thisdaylive

PDP Heads For Tribunal To Challenge Obaseki’s Victory

The Peoples Democratic Party on Monday said that it would challenge the outcome of the Edo State governorship election at the election petitions tribunal.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had last Thursday declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Godwin Obaseki, as the winner of the election.

According to the electoral umpire, Obaseki had a total of 319,483 votes while his counterpart in the PDP, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, polled 253,173 votes to come second.

The opposition had rejected the result, which it described as a fraud, and accused INEC of alleged complicity.

But the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, who disclosed this in a chat with The PUNCH in Benin, the Edo State capital, explained that the party would leave nothing to chance to prove that the result was manipulated and that it would also expose the alleged corruption and incompetence of the electoral commission.
He, therefore, called for the dissolution of the present leadership of the INEC.

Orbih said, “Of course, we are going to file our petition at the election petitions tribunal. We will give it our all. If nothing else, to expose to Nigerians how corrupt and incompetent INEC is, under its present leadership.

“Our lawyers are busy; they are working. Until they formally file a petition, all I can say is that we are going to challenge the result of this election at the tribunal.”

While stressing the role of the judiciary in upholding the tenet of democracy, he expressed confidence in its ability to give justice to Nigerians.

“We will pursue this matter to a logical conclusion and I believe that the judiciary has a role to play to save democracy and give Nigerians hope that, in a country where people do things with impunity, people can still approach the judiciary for justice,” he added.

On whether the party was convinced that the outcome of the tribunal would not end in favour of the candidate returned elected by the INEC, as was the case in Bayelsa and Kogi states, Orbih noted that the PDP would give the tribunal the benefit of the doubt.

He said, “What happened in Kogi is not what has happened in Edo. What happened in Bayelsa is not what has happened in Edo.

“We must give that benefit of doubt, rather than resort to self-help or take the law into our hands. We want to test this obvious fraudulent manipulation of INEC, in collaboration with the state government, in the election result in the judiciary.”

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 Candidate, Godwin Obaseki Wins Edo Governorship Election

Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party candidate in the gubernatorial election in Edo State, has won the contest in the two-way race with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), winning most of the votes.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu of the PDP came second in the votes collated and announced by INEC.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, announcing collated results across the state, said APC won 13 of the state’s 18local government areas.

Details to follow shortly…

#EdoDecides: Obaseki Wins At His Polling Unit

 All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the Edo state governorship election, Godwin Obaseki, has won in his Ward 4, unit 19 by polling 160 votes against PDP’s 77.

Although the entire result of the ward has not been released, information indicate that the APC candidate won in the entire ward.

Credit: thisdaylive

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.

#EdoDecides: Ize-Iyamu, Obaseki In Hashtag Battle On Twitter

The major contenders in the ongoing governorship election in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki of All Progressives Congress, APC and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have taken their campaign battle to the social media.

While Obaseki is selling himself as the best choice for Edo with the campaign hashtag, #Obasekiourchoice, supporters of Ize-Iyamu on the other side are countering the APC led Twitter crusade, with their own campaign, #IzeIyamuwillwin.

Read More:



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.

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.



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.

Oshiomhole, El-Rufai behind Edo poll’s postponement – Edo PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, Edo State chapter, has accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of allegedly using his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir el-Rufai, to influence the postponement of the governorship election in order to buy time to rig the poll.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had, last Thursday, postponed the election from September 10 to September 28, citing security reports received by the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Security over threats by insurgents to cause violence during the exercise.

The Edo State PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, at a press briefing on Wednesday in Benin, claimed that the party received information from the Government House that the Kaduna State governor allegedly influenced a national commissioner of the INEC to postpone the election.

El-Rufai is the Deputy Chairman of the National Campaign Council of the APC for the Edo State governorship election.

However, the Edo State Government has denied the allegations, adding that the PDP is jittery over the election.

The spokesperson for INEC in Edo, Mrs. Priscilla Imoudu-Sule, also dismissed the allegations.

Imoudu-Sule, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone said, “I want to say that the electoral oficers have been very busy retrieving their materials from their camp. Also, they have brought their card readers for fresh reconfiguration.

“So, all those things anybody is saying are not from here; they are just their imagination. I would rather advise that they go and campaign for the remaining two weeks and make up for that time. They should leave the administrative issues for INEC alone.”

Edo guber: Obaseki pledges equal business opportunities for residents

Indigenes and non-indigenes in Edo state have been promised equal business opportunities, if the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Godwin Obaseki, is elected.


The candidate made the promise at a meeting with Igbo Community Union in Benin City.


He said every resident, irrespective of tribe, would have the opportunity to aspire to any position or job in the state.


Obaseki promised that his government would boost the small-scale industry by generating 450-mega watts of electricity.

He added that the improved megawatts would be generated from the Azura Power Plant, which the APC-led administration had attracted to the state.


According to him, when the project is completed, the number of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSE) in the state would increase substantially.


He said: “We would run a government for all, without tribal or gender discrimination. If you are born here, do business here and pay your taxes here.”

‘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.

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 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.

Edo Guber: Stop Peddling Lies About Me – Obaseki Tells Opposition

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Mr Godwin Obaseki, has accused opposition parties in the state of peddling lies to discredit his person.


Obaseki who spoke at a live television programme in Benin City, urged political stakeholders in the state to assist the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in conducting a violent- free election by discouraging thuggery.


The APC candidate expressed displeasure over the lies told by some candidates, while calling for factual and issue-based campaign.


Describing his ideas in politics as fresh and modern, Obaseki said having served in government in the last eight years and interacted with major political actors across the state, victory is irreversible for the APC.


Explaining that though he has a cordial relationship with other party candidates, he said: “what I don’t like about them is that instead of focus on issues, they stimulate a lot of untruth, things that are not correct and begin to emphasize on them.


“I will love a political contest of telling the people what you want to do for them and how we want to do it. And also showing the people the experience we have to convince them that we will accomplish what we have promised.

“A lot of contestants today, all you hear them tell the people are contrived lies and abuses rather than focus on the issue of how to make Edo better and what are the options we want to give Edo people to make the state better.”


On the issue of not being a politician, Obaseki added, “I don’t agree that I don’t have a political background. As you can see, I am not an old politician. I have modern and fresh concept about governance and yes, this is the first time I am contesting election. But I have been in government, I have been in the corridor of power in the last seven and half years and I have interacted with every major political actor and I have been involved in most political play and decision”.


While urging stakeholders to support the INEC to conduct a peaceful poll, Obaseki said, “No institution is perfect, INEC is an umpire, they are doing their best based on the situation they find themselves and the resources they have. We will have to work with them and encourage them to improve”.

“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.