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Benue APC  indicts Ortom, Fulani militia over killings of innocent people

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…appeals to Ortom, Fulani militia to tread path of peace

By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has  accused the governor of  Benue State, Samuel Ortom and the Fulani militia for the continuous killing of the innocent People of the state.

They also called on the governor  and the Fulani militia to see the need to tread the path of peace and refrain from all activities that have led to the escalation of security breaches in Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of the state.

The party has also explained that the call has become necessary in the light of the renewed rustling of cows  by Livestock Guards and Community Volunteer Guards under the guise of enforcing the Open Grazing Prohibition law  on the one hand and the Fulani militia’s counter attacks against the innocent people of the state who have no links with either rustling of cows nor the enforcement of the law.

The chairman of APC , Benue State Chapter, Comrade Austin Agada made the accusations during a press conference titled; Cow rustling, security breaches and the renewed state of killings of the innocent Ihyarev people of Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State by the Fulani Militia; An appeal for restraint on both sides and other related matters.

According to him, it has become necessary to address members of the public on matters that are capable of truncating all plans and efforts of INEC to give Nigerians  and indeed the state a credible election, if not immediately nipped in the bud.

He emphasized that the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law which targets cows instead of the Fulani’s who shepherd the cows leave much to be desired and added that it is their party contention that the state governor should review the mode of enforcing the law and go after the perceived law violators.

Agada further stated that it was no longer news that the Ihyarev nation has suffered untold hardship as Internally Displaced Person’s (IDPs), under the Ortom administration as a result of the episodic circle of cow rustling and Fulani militia attacks especially during the election seasons, a situation that has led the APC as a party to conclude that the attacks are predetermined to achieve a particular political objective.

He pointed out that with the 2023 general elections around the corner, the Community Volunteer Guards have systematically embarked on cows rustling in Gwer – West, Makurdi and Guma Local Government Areas of the state under the instruction of the governor with the attendant consequences of spontaneous Fulani militia killing of one person in Mbapa council ward of Gwer- West Local Government Area , eight persons in Makurdi on the 19th January, 2023, and eight persons in Guma Local Government Area on the 20th of January, 2023 , all within the Ihyarev dominated communities.

The  APC Chairman stressed that the prevailing atmosphere of politically induced insecurity in most parts of the state calls for the urgent concern of all Benue patriots.

He further disclosed that available information indicted that on Wednesday 18th January, 2023, over 600 herds of cattles were rustled in Shangev council ward of Gwer – West Local Government Area and kept at the Local Government Guest House at Naka , the objective was to trigger reprisal attacks against Gwer – West people by the herders.

“We roundly condemn this development and urge Gov Ortom to desist from spilling more blood.

” In view of the foregoing, we suggest that Governor Ortom should immediately implement the General Atom Kpera Committee’s recommendation of 2014 for peace to reign in Benue State  between herders and farmers .” Agada maintained.

The APC Chairman  also called on the leadership of the Fulanis in Nigeria to immediately direct the Fulani militia to lay down arms and allow peace to reign, and as well called on the security agencies to demonstrate capacity in intelligence.

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Osun APC commends Tinubu, Oyetola  for members’ Tertiary Institutions’ Board appointments

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By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Osun State, has commended President Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola for deeming it fit to appoint members and supporters of the party as chairmen and members of governing councils of some Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions.

The Osun State chairman of the APC, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, in a statement issued by the party’s Director of Media and Information, Chief Kola Olabisi, on Sunday.

Lawal said, “The board appointments rolled out by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for some of our people few hours after the defection of some PDP members into the APC is a confirmation to them that their destiny is bright in the party that controls the centre.”

The party also appreciated all the stakeholders of the party for their individual and collective contributions towards the grand defection programme of Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, former Deputy National Chairman  of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  and member, PDP’s Board of Trustees; Prince Dotun Babayemi, former governorship aspirant of the PDP and their numerous supporters in thousands on Friday, in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

Lawal stated that he was grateful to God Almighty for making the defection event hitch-free without any record of untoward incident before, during and after it.

He explained that he would make the leader of the APC in the state, former Governor Gboyega Oyetola now Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, a point of contact to appreciate all the other leaders of the party for their financial and moral support for the organization of the event.

The party chairman also used Engr Sola Akinwumi, the Chairman of Igbimo Agba in the State APC, as a point of contact to appreciate the other members of the group for the unalloyed qualitative support given to the execution of the event.

He said he was particularly appreciative of the selfless and dedicated services rendered by the Organizing Committee of the event led by Alhaji Debo Badru, the Maiyegun of Iwoland, which marvelously realized the target of the committee within a very short time.

Lawal also extended his appreciation to the state executive officers of the party, the leaders of the party at all  levels across the state and all the members of the party who diligently identified with the programme in order to make it a huge success.

He explained further that his words of appreciation would not be complete if he fails to recognize the contributions of both statutory and unofficial security services who also contributed their quota to the success of the programme.

Lawal also commended the PDP decampees for their orderly manner and good conduct, reminding them that there would always be equal opportunity for them and the members of the party they met on the ground.

He charged them to start attending the APC political meetings in their units, wards, local governments as it is only regular meetings that could translate to a serious political involvement of members of any particular party.

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My one year in office better than eight years of previous administration — Gov. Fubara

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By Barth Ndubuwah, Port-Harcourt

The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared that his first year in office is better than the eight years spent by some other administrations.

Governor Fubara made the assertion on Saturday at Ngo Town during the official inauguration of the Andoni section of the Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road project, in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The Governor said the accomplishments were secured within three months that his administration had actually settled down to work, given the festering political crisis.

Revealing what will be done soon in the health sector, Governor Fubara said it was appalling that recent statistics had classified Rivers State as below the set benchmark in terms of enrollments and health facilities availability.

Governor Fubara, who explained that the statistics, not specific to any particular administration’s lifespan, covered over a period of time, which indicates unacceptable levels of neglect to the health sector.

He, however, assured that in the next six months, Rivers’ people should expect to see evidence of significant investment that his administration has made to change the narrative.

“I was at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting on Wednesday, and we were given an update from the chart on the medical position of all the states. It was in zones.

“You won’t believe that in that chart, everything that has to do with enrollment, even the level of facilities that is on ground in that assessment, Rivers State was classified as below benchmark. It is a pity.

“It is not something that just happened in a day. It is not something that just happened within my time in government. No, no. It is a statistics collated over a period of time. So, it means when we tell you that our target is education, healthcare and agriculture, we didn’t make any mistake.

“We might have done other things, but those key areas have not been adequately attended to. And we promise our people this afternoon that by the special grace of God, in the next six months, there will be a total change in the health sector of Rivers State,” the Governor said.

Commenting on the project, Fubara said the project has been delivered successfully, and applauded the initiator of the project, former governor, Dr Peter Odili and successive administrations that contributed their quota in realizing the Unity Road, for the people.

Governor Fubara stated that his driving principle remains putting the people first, which is why he will not renege on the promise of internal roads that he made to Andoni people during electioneering campaigns.

The governor, therefore, directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, to liaise with Monier Construction Company (MCC) to do scoping for commencement of reconstruction of Ngo internal roads and new contract for extension of the road to Oyorokoto Town.

“But, I just want to say this, what is important today is the section of the Unity Road that connects Andoni to Ogoni and Opobo/Nkoro has come to reality. That is the important thing.

“We have to thank first, the initiator, Dr Peter Odili. We have to thank other successive governments which also contributed before we finally made this day to be.

“It is important we set this record straight. The Permanent Secretary has mentioned the cost of the job and the review cost. The beauty of it is that we are not owing any dime on this particular project,” he added.

“We are happy that it is happening in our own time. Our motto remains: ‘The People First,’ and anything that has to do with the people, we must take it very seriously.

“I know that if it is this road, we are already done with the road. The politicking of the road is already done. I don’t want to politick on this road anymore.

“I want to say here that we need to develop our own, and if we have to do it, we have to do it ourselves. So, I promise my people that we are going to do more jobs, more connecting roads for the Andonis by the special grace of God,” the Governor assured.

“I remember when we came for campaign, we promised our people that when you support us, we are going to give you the internal roads. And by the special grace of God, the Andonis gave us their support, and the election was won.

“So, let me use this opportunity to thank you, first for that support. Thank you, that even after the election, you have continued to support the government, not minding the situation that we find ourselves in.

 ”A lot of people were thinking that this place will be empty today. Some people had other plans. But to the glory of God, we are getting natural support, people that we didn’t pay money to are here to say that they are identifying with this government, we appreciate what this government is doing.

“For that alone, I want to direct the Permanent Secretary to immediately liaise with the contractor to ensure first, that the internal roads in Ngo, and connecting this road to Oyorokoto are immediately awarded.”

Governor Fubara urged the people to have good faith in the administration of President Bola Tinubu, and appealed for their total support to the Federal Government so that it can continue to undertake life-changing programmes that will trickle down to the State and Local Government Areas.

“I am also aware that we have issues in the other communities in Andoni. Some of them are flooding issues, which is even the more critical issue.

“I know of a place called Oronija. They are having very serious erosion and flood issues, and other places. We are going to do something about it. It is my promise to my dear people today.

“I also want to say in this gathering, please, support the government at the centre. I am happy when our leader was mentioning the activities of the oil companies here, and said that there is no interruption. I was impressed by that.

“It shows that we are contributing positively, and we understand the meaning and importance of peace. So, let me enjoin you,continue to show this good faith, and be a good host.

“In the governance of this country, the success of the centre is the success of the sub-national. And when the sub-national succeeds, which is the state, the local governments will succeed. And when the local governments succeed, it means, more projects, more life-changing activities will be seen in your domain.”

Governor Fubara said further, “I also remember that another vital area that we need to touch in our governance was mentioned: the issue of hospitals. We are coming here, and we will make sure that we attend to that need.”

Also speaking, former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, said it was important to explain that the Unity Road, initiated by Dr Peter Odili, had its inaugural foundation stone laid on the 3rd January, 2005, and not in 2004.

Prince Secondus thanked Governor Fubara for completing the project, which now serves as a miracle, enabling the people to drive on land to Andoni from the city.

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Osun 2026 election: Big wigs’ defection fuels APC’s confidence to return to power

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…Oyetola, Basiru, Omisore welcomes Babayemi, Oyedokun, thousands of PDP to APC fold

By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

All the roads leading to the Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osun State chapter, were on Friday 17th May 2024, jampacked by thousands of the members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, who decided to pitch their tent with the main opposition party, APC fueling the confidence of the opposition leaders ahead of the 2026 elections.

Over six hours residents of Owo-Ede suburb of the country home of Governor Ademola Adeleke find it difficult to get to their various businesses, especially those who are plying Osogbo Gbongan road.

The former PDP gubernatorial aspirant in the 2022 Osun governorship election, Prince Dotun Babayemi and former National Deputy Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun and their supporters defected to the APC.

Addressing the mammoth crowd populated by his supporters at the APC State Secretariat on Friday in Osogbo, Prince Babayemi affirmed their readiness and commitment to work relentlessly with members of the party to dislodge the incumbent Governor Ademola Adeleke in the next governorship election in the state.

He said their defection to the opposition party was based on personal and collective conviction to work in unison with the progressive minds towards  building a virile and vibrant party to oust out the incumbent government come 2026.

He said: “I have said a lot about our defection, and I won’t say much today. As you all know, good governance in Osun stopped in 2022 immediately the former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola left power. It is obvious that since then, the people of Osun have not been experiencing good governance. What we have today are political interlopers and usurpers.

“So, we are coming home today to work together with leaders and members of the APC in Osun and beyond to record more electoral successes and victories in the future elections. We will work tirelessly to take power from the PDP come 2026.

“We commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his great works. It is obvious that he was determined to reposition the country and take us to greater heights. We believe in his leadership, and we pray God to continue to grant him enablement to achieve all the lofty programmes designed to take the country to enviable heights,” he added.

In his short remarks, the former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun,  attributed his defection to the palpable inequality and lingering crisis in his former party saying his defection is based on personal conviction.

Oyedokun pledged his unalloyed commitment to further advance the cause of his new party, adding that his return is divine and a clarion call to collectively wrestle power from the ruling party in the state come 2026.

The former member of the PDP National Working Committee who narrated their ordeals in their former party faulted the 2022 Osun governorship primary that led to the emergence of Senator Ademola Adeleke admitting that the primary was outrightly skewed to favour the incumbent Governor.

Oyedokun appealed to Nigerians, home and abroad, to rally round President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his efforts to build a nation dreamt by all and sundry.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, lauded the defectors for their uncommon courage and bravery, which culminated into their choice of the party – the APC.

“I thank you all. I thank God that since we left the government, our party and its members remain resolute and united. It is worthy of note that we are increasing every day in number and size.

“I want to assure you that you are all accepted wholeheartedly, and with open arms, there is equal right for all. There won’t be any discrimination whatsoever, and I want to assure you that you would be wholeheartedly received at your various wards and local governments with open arms.”

“We must all work together to come back to power. We are confident in God that we will return to power. APC is the God’s chosen Party. I commend all of you for your commitment and dedication that had been leading to the peaceful running of the affairs of our great party thus far,” Oyetola stated.

The state APC Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Lawal, acknowledged the rare courage exhibited by the decampees describing the decision as a “round peg in a round hole.

“Your decision to defect to APC is a wise choice which was influenced by God who has been your political pathfinder as the APC is a party of the people. It is not an overstatement to state that Osun state is a traditional APC enclave and any other party that may be occupying a political space in the state is a mere tenant which will soon be shown the way out of the power.

“The more the merrier. Let’s work assiduously towards the next series of elections in the state and take back our state from those grossly lacking administrative know-how as it is being reflected in their actions and inactions on a daily basis,” he added.

In his welcome address, the Chairman, Defection Committee, Mayegun Debo Badru lauded the former Governor and Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola for setting up the defection committee which was populated by people of impeccable character.

He reaffirmed the commitment of the leadership and members of the party to kick out the PDP government out of power in the next governorship election.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun, Hon. Sunday Bisi urged the people of the State not to lose sleep over what he called the formal realignment of some political traders, whose round tripping business of feeding fat on the common patrimony of the state was decisively halted through the July 16 2022 governorship election.

Bisi said Mr. Dotun Babayemi and others have since been put in their place long before now and have ceased to be members of our party right before the 2022 governorship election.

He said, “We however understand that Osun PDP’s image stock is so huge that impressionists like Babayemi must clinge onto, deceiving themselves as decamping from the ruling party.

“We hold that self help may not be unusual with desperate politicians but self deceit is a sign of ominous trouble! Tagging people you know you have worked with to fight the PDP, right when the party was in opposition, as defectors from the same party that floored you inside out, is simply put, a terminal symptom of APC s life-limiting illness.

“Or is it not self deceit taken too far to say that one Akin Ogunbiyi who was sponsored to contest the last governorship election in the state on the banner of Accord Party is also defecting from the PDP? Someone the PDP was confident enough to refuse his reabsorption into the party after his failed Accord voyage?

“The same Ogunbiyi whose electoral worth was put to test with Accord and scored paltry 4 thousand votes or thereabouts including those of his polling agents?

“Or the octogenarian Shuaibu Oyedokun who has been a liability to himself, living on samaritan gestures of the PDP over the years based on his age? A man who had no record of performance at his electoral unit, let alone his community? That is not a character to be missed by a strong political institution like the PDP.

“Osun people are assured that the PDP train of victory recorded in recent elections in Osun State, is indivisibly intact. The people’s Governor, Asiwaju Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke is also unperturbed by the distractive antics of the never do wells, whose mission to end Osun State economically has since been defeated.

“All developmental plans put in place by his Excellency, the Executive Governor would continue to form the fulcrum of the PDP administration and will be executed religiously for the wellbeing of all and sundry,” he added.

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