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Edo 2020: We never arranged for coalition of 35 parties — PDP



…I’m ready to dislodge Obaseki, says Oshiomhole

By Ayo Fadimu & Moses Adeniyi

Amid criticisms by the opposition that greeted the coalition of 35 parties which harmonised their structures to support the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has said that against the claims of money settlements, the party was not involved in any arrangement to birth the coalition.

The Edo PDP’s Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, who spoke to Nigerian NewsDirect exclusively, said there was no form of settlements for agreement on the side of the PDP to initiate the coalition, stressing that the parties came to their resolution to declare and mobilise support for the Governor based on their perception of strength of performance.

“It’s not an issue of joining the Party, they want to support the Governor; they want to direct their membership to support the Governor and direct their supporters to vote for the PDP. However, some of them indicate interest of wanting to join the PDP and those ones are of course welcome.

“But some of the 35 parties have just expressed their readiness to direct their members to campaign for, mobilise for and vote for the PDP on Governor Obaseki’s reelection,” Nehikhare said.

Reacting to whether there was any form of political agreement for settlements for the support, he stated that the coalition was informed by the perceived track record of the Governor’s performance since he came into office.

He added: “There was no agreement at all. They were actually motivated by the achievements of the Governor. The quality of works,  and the type of his  (Obaseki) personality, I think, are what motivated them. There was no time we had any prior arrangement. In fact the press conference which I was invited to was not organise by us (PDP) at all.”

Recall that 35 political parties under the name, Coalition of Political Parties (CPP), had on Friday in preparation towards the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election,  declared their support for the re-election bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, pointing to his achievement, as a leverage why anybody should not contest against him.

In a press conference in Benin City,  the Chairman of Coalition, Hon Collins Oreruan, said the coalition is fully on ground to make sure that the re-election of Obaseki is paramount to them as a group.

Meanwhile the Chairman Edo State APC Media Council, John Mayaki, who in a reaction described the move as a calculated  means by the actors to get financial reward from Obaseki had said:”With this act of betrayal and greed, it is safe to say that these parties have successfully and irrevocably done damage to their integrity and placed a final barrier to any potential for growth and relevance in Edo State.

“They make no attempt to increase their followership, present logical ideas to the people, or even make the most basic preparations for elections, whether statewide or grassroots. Rather, their entire existence is to negotiate and declare support for the highest bidder.

“Luckily for them, they have found a good client in Godwin Obaseki. As we have repeatedly said, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is not in the business of paying for support. This is why he has focused on selling his manifesto to the people through an issue-based campaign devoid of name-calling and propaganda.”

In the meantime, the immediate past National Chairman of APC Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has stated he returned to Edo to reclaim the state for APC.

He declared that if Edo residents say yes and God say yes, no man born of a woman could say no.

He was apparently referring to the September 19 governorship election mainly between APC’s Governorship Candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Oshiomhole, an ex-governor of Edo, who backed Obaseki against Ize-Iyamu in 2016, spoke on Saturday night in his Iyamho hometown near Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area.

He was addressing teeming supporters, who welcomed him from Abuja in his residence.

The enthusiastic crowd waited for Oshiomhole for many hours at the main gate of Auchi Polytechnic before moving to Iyamho for the special address by the former Labour leader.

Oshiomhole said: “I am back and ready for the job. The snake that entered our family home, God has driven the snake to where he belongs. I have come home to join you and start the process of reclaiming the house to the family of APC.

“I have only one mission and I know it is our common mission, which is to bring Edo back to the path of sustainable development. “We shall bring back the era of red roof. We want to bring back roads with drainage. We want to bring back those lofty days when we engaged our youths and we mixed with the elders.

“We want to return to the government of the people, by the people and for the people.”


Osun APC sensitization programme train reaches Ilesa-east, Ilesa-west, as Chairman sues for co-operation



The train of the sensitisation programme of the Osun State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was taken to both Ilesa East and Ilesa West Local Government Council Areas of the state yesterday where the members and supporters of the party trooped out to identify with the programme in their thousands with enthusiasm.

The state chairman of the party, Sooko Tajudeen Lawal, who was in the company of the state Secretary of the party, Alhaji Alao Olabisi Kamoru; the state Treasurer,, Hon Femi Kujembola; members of the state executive officers of the party and some other eminent chieftains of the party from the different parts of the state, stated that he was around to spread the gospel of peace and unity among the party members in the overall interest of the party.

Lawal told the members of the party in Ilesa metropolis not to allow their unsavoury experience during the last series of the elections in the state to dampen their spirit but should rather be the source of their fortification to emerge victorious in the future elections.

He observed that it would be a disservice to the souls of no fewer than 30 innocent members of the APC killed in Osun State during the last elections by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs among who 17 of them are from Ijesaland, if a minute silence by the APC members was not observed for the repose of their souls.

Lawal assured the APC members in general and the families of the murdered members by the militia groups of the state PDP that their loved ones would not die in vain as no one either directly or remotely connected with the extra-judicial killings of the APC members in order to rig the elections for the ruling party in the state would go unpunished through legal means.

The state APC chairman enjoined the aggrieved party members in the two local government councils to sheathe their swords and resolve to work together for the party which is their common nexus.

He told the leaders and members of the party to continue to make an overture to those members of the party who are still outside the larger APC family and integrate those who are genuinely repentant and are willing to return to the fold.

In Lawal’s words: “If truly politics is about the people, there is nothing that should prevent us from reaching out to our aggrieved members and the new ones in order to improve and increase our membership base for the purpose of convincingly winning future elections.

“Whoever is not a team player in our party is an enemy of the party who does not want the best for us. Let us discourage such posture as it is not only counterproductive but inimical to the fortune of our party”, the APC chairman stated.

Some of the leaders of the party in the two local government councils had earlier stated their challenges respectively which the state chairman promised to urgently look into with a view to resolving them and move the party forward.

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Nigeria sliding towards dictatorship, Tinubu govt trying to suppress Peter Obi – LP



The National Chairman of Labour Party, LP, Julius Abure, has lamented that the last presidential election has shown Nigeria is sliding towards dictatorship.

Abure made the remark while accusing the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government of attempting to suppress its presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

He noted that the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the presidential election has shown that the executive has hijacked the judiciary and legislature.

He stressed that Nigerians have thrown away the lessons of their forefathers within a short space of time.

A statement by Abure reads partly: “However, there are great lessons to be learnt. What transpired in Nigeria since the February 25 presidential election is a clear testament that our institutions are not working and that we may be sliding towards dictatorship. It is very clear that the executive has hijacked both the judiciary and the legislature. This is so unfortunate for our democracy, and it is even more for the people of Nigeria.

“All what our forebearers taught us has been destroyed within a short space of time because of the Unbridled ambition of a few. The founding fathers fought with their lives to achieve independence for the country. People lost their lives for the struggle to keep our democracy and all these years people have been struggling to achieve electoral and constitutional reforms. Regrettably, all of these efforts and struggles have been destroyed today.

“It is also pertinent to put on record that we have it on very good authority that the government may have marked some Labour Party’s key leaders, myself especially and our Leader and Presidential candidate Mr Peter Obi in particular for vilification, in order to suppress the party, suffocate our team, and our goal of a new Nigeria. The planned persecution, intimidation, suppression and harassment of our leaders using security agencies and all other government institutions will be definitely defended.”

Abure urged LP’s members and the Obidient family to be vigilant and brace up for the challenges ahead, stressing that the struggle for a New Nigeria will certainly be tortuous and hard.

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PDP lauds Tinubu over fuel subsidy palliatives



The Benue chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lauded President Bola Tinubu over the palliatives given to states to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.

Mr Bemgba Iortyom, the state PDP Publicity Secretary said this in a statement on Tuesday in Makurdi.

Iortyom said that the palliatives would provide short term succour to citizens if handled sincerely and transparently by the states.

“It will go a long way in reducing the sufferings occasioned by the subsidy removal,” he said.

He, however, expressed dismay over the silence of Benue Gov. Hyacinth Alia on the distribution of the palliatives to the targeted beneficiaries.

“PDP and indeed the people of the state find it worrisome the continuing silence by Alia over the package sent to the state which we understand consists in trucks of food items and N5 billion.

“It is a widely known fact that many other state governments across the country have since distributed the palliatives to their people, with some even augmenting the package from their own resources, yet in Benue, Alia has not uttered a word regarding the matter,” he said.

Iortyom urged the governor to come out and shed light on the matter, saying that his continued silence and delay in the distribution of the palliatives amounted to aggravating the sufferings of the intended beneficiaries.

He also urged him to ensure that the palliatives were distributed in a transparent manner to the intended beneficiaries in the state.

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