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PDP primaries produce two parallel governorship candidates



…As Obaseki, Lawal applaud Ighodalo’s emergence

Like the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary elections conducted last weekend, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary elections yesterday produced two governorship candidates.

The outcome is not unconnected to the power tussle between Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Philip Shaibu.

According to the results emerging from the primaries conducted by the Chief returning officer of the Edo PDP Guber Primaries and the the governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Dauda Lawal, Foremost lawyer and investment banker, Asue Ighodalo emerged as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He defeated other aspirants in a peaceful but security-tight primary election at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.

One of the aspirants, Hon Omosede Igbinedion stepped down for him on the election ground “for the interest of the party.”

Ighodalo, who is believed to be Governor Obaseki’s preferred aspirant scored 577 votes to beat Bar Anselm Ojezua , Arthur Esele, Osaro Onaiwu, Martins Uhomoibhi, Hadizat Umoru and Felix Akhabue all scoring zero, while six votes were voided out of the 585 accredited delegates.

The deputy governor, Rt. Hon Philip Shaibu who had earlier emerged as a factional candidate in a parallel governorship primary election scored one vote.

Speaking Dauda said , “the Committee having carefully sorted out and counted the votes found that Ighodalo scored 577 votes, Philip Shaibu scored 1 vote, while others got zero.”

Lawal was assisted by Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori and Senator James Manager, who were the vice chairman and secretary of the committee respectively.

In his acceptance speech, Ighodalo, thanked Governor Godwin Obaseki and the entire people of Edo State for their love and support noting that Obaseki has laid the foundation for him to build upon if eventually elected governor and promised to assemble young men and women for his government to turn the state around.

“I want to thank you for making me a tool, and I promise you that I will be a useful tool and by the grace of God, Edo State will move from where Godwin Obaseki has carried us, to the next level. I want to thank Godwin Obaseki for the wonderful work he has done in the last seven and half years.

“I know that in a year or two people will keep talking about Obaseki. We have not seen the value of the work he has done, but he is like a builder laying the foundation for a hundred story building. No man is perfect,we will all continue to repair and work on each other’s mistakes. I promised to assemble the best young men and women to turn the state around,” he said.

In his remarks, Governor Godwin Obaseki, said, “Today, we are going through an exercise that has been stipulated by our party. Even though it’s statutory, the exercise will be life-changing because Nigeria is going through difficult times and we can only overcome the challenges we are facing as a Country with the right leadership.

“If we in Edo do not begin to show the right leadership that will begin to reset Nigeria, God forbid, we may all be in trouble. PDP is the only party that has what it takes to rule this Country. Again, we are showing the example in the way we are conducting our leadership selection process.”

He added, “We are following our rules very assiduously; my role as a host governor is to welcome all of you who are here, starting with our members who elected the delegates that are carrying out this exercise today. Thanks to members of the State and National Working Committee of our great party, the PDP for being steadfast in the rules. I also thank all the aspirants for exercising the spirits of sportsmanship.”

The election attracted the who is who in the PDP in the state including former governor, Lucky Igbinedion, former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, Speaker of the state house of assembly, Blessing Agbebaku, Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Osarodion Ogie who is being touted to be the running mate to Ighodalo, former Chief Whip of the Senate, Sir Roland Owie, Owere Dickson Imasogie council chairmen from the 18 local government chairmen, members of the state executive council, members of the state executive council and several others.

But conspicuously missing were members of the Legacy Coalition group of the PDP led by the Vice Chairman, South – South of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, a member of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Hon Charles Idahosa, many members of the State Working Committee (SWC) and several others

Meanwhile, while some delegates were being accredited at Edo Hotel Marquee to proceed to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium venue of the primary election, another set of delegates met in a facility in Commercial Avenue where they announced Shaibu as the candidate of the PDP.

They claimed that they went to the venue for accreditation but were chased away by security agencies.

They also alleged that the list of delegates published by the national leadership of the party was not the authentic one, adding that they saw names of people from Bayelsa State and members of the All Progressives Congress.

Declaring Shaibu winner of the election, Bartholomew Moses said, “During the counting of this primary election, Philip Shaibu has a score of 301 votes and therefore, we hereby declare Philip Shaibu as the authentic elected candidate for this election in the PDP.”

Before the election, the delegates led by Festus Owu had protested at the deputy governor’s official lodge where they complained to him that they had been disenfranchised.

Speaking to the protesting delegates, Shaibu said, “I appeal to all of you to be peaceful. I don’t want anybody to be injured, I don’t want anybody molested and I am happy the way you have conducted yourselves peacefully and have come to report to me that you were not allowed to be accredited but I want to tell you that no one man can determine the destiny of a people and by the grace of God, they cannot disenfranchise you people.”

“The law is clear that you people are the authentic delegates. Now that they have pushed you away, they want to go and replace you but I assure you that your votes must count, they cannot change and replace your names. I assure you that I will take your protest to the committee that is coming but you must remain peaceful in everything you are doing.”

Speaking to journalists later, Shaibu said, “I saw the crowd outside and I asked who they were and they said they were delegates. I said they should be directed to the venue of the accreditation but they said they were protesting because they have been sent away from the venue of the accreditation and they won their election and they have their results.

“The election will hold and if a winner emerges with fake delegates, the election will not see the light of the day but if a winner emerges with the authentic delegates, there will be no problem, I am sure.”


PDP appoints Chinda as Chairman for Ondo LG Congress, ahead of primaries



The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appointed Rep. Kingsley Chinda as the Chairman, Local Government Congress Electoral Committee for Ondo, ahead of Saturday’s governorship primaries.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said this in a statement in Abuja.

Ologunagba said that the constitution of the committee was approved by the National Working Committee (NEC) of the party.

“The committee members are to serve on the local government Congress Electoral Committee to conduct National Delegates Congress for the purpose of electing one national delegate per local government area in Ondo,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the congress would hold at the Collation Center of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in each of the local government areas of the state.

Ologunagba advised all the governorship aspirants, leaders, critical stakeholders and members in Ondo to take note and be guided accordingly.

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Ondo 2024: Don’t field wrong candidate for us — Odimayo tells APC



By Akintunde Jacobs, Akure

The National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been called upon not to make the mistake of fielding a wrong candidate in the forthcoming April 20th governorship election in Ondo state.

Jimi Odimayo, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC, who made the call on Thursday at the official declaration of his intention to run for the office, held at the NUJ Press Centre, Akure said the leadership of the party should ensure that the South senatorial district whose turn it is to produce the next governor of the state is not prevented from spending its eight years in office.

According to him, the law does not permit the incumbent governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa to be sworn in as governor thrice if he intends to run for two terms because he was sworn-in as deputy governor alongside his late principal, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on 25 February 2021.

Odimayo who is the current Chairman, House Committee on Population in the House of Representatives, said he believes that it will be right for any aspirant who by law will be deprived from spending a two-term of eight years to jettison his governorship ambition in the best interest of Ondo South senatorial district.

He said; “If you attempt to bring anybody that is short of eight years we would struggle in the next election, if you flag off anybody who is not up to task, especially someone who would not do eight years, people would not support him. Our leaders should not be sentimental because people are watching

“We the Southerners, will ensure that APC doesn’t produce anybody that would be questionable or challenged by the opposition party. We are going to address our challenges as a party, we are not going to make a mistake, APC is a predominant party in Ondo State.

“Basically, it is the turn of the South, and the party would not play with it, we want the party to utilise this opportunity, we have eight years, we will not tolerate anything less than eight years for the south. So, we should be very careful not to fall into the trap of our enemies.”

Speaking on his vision for the coastal state, Odimayo said he’s fueled by a passion for service and a vision for a brighter future for Ondo while his aspiration is rooted in a commitment to unity, progress, and inclusive governance that prioritises the needs and aspirations of every indigene.

“Ondo State is endowed with immense potential, from its rich cultural heritage to its natural resources. However, we cannot ignore the challenges that have hindered our progress and prosperity.

“Issues such as inadequate infrastructure, unemployment, healthcare disparities, and educational gaps require urgent attention and innovative solutions.

“As a son of Ondo State, I am acutely aware of these challenges, and I am prepared to tackle them head-on with your support. My aspiration is not just about winning an election; it is about ushering in a new era of progress and development for Ondo state.”

The aspirant said he envisions a state where every citizen has access to quality education, healthcare, and economic opportunities as he believes in harnessing the state’s natural resources sustainably to create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

“I pledge to prioritise the safety and security of every resident of Ondo State. I am committed to strengthening Amotekun and fostering seamless collaboration with other security agencies to ensure a safer environment for all.

“Access to quality healthcare is a fundamental human right, and no indigene of Ondo State should be denied this essential service. As Governor, I will prioritise healthcare reform aimed at expanding access to primary care, upgrading healthcare facilities, and recruiting and retaining skilled healthcare professionals.

“I will also champion initiatives to address public health challenges such as maternal and child mortality, infectious diseases, and non-communicable diseases. Recognising the pressing healthcare needs of our people, particularly in the face of chronic diseases like hypertension, I vow to provide accessible and free healthcare services, placing the well-being of every resident of Ondo State at the forefront of my administration’s agenda.”

He emphasised that, if given the APC ticket and eventually emerges as governor, he will declare a state of emergency on education, with a firm commitment to resetting the educational system to ensure quality and accessible education for every child in Ondo State.

“Our youth are the future of Ondo State, and investing in their education and empowerment is paramount. I am committed to revitalising our educational system, from primary schools to tertiary institutions, by improving infrastructure, enhancing curriculum, and providing scholarships and vocational training opportunities.

“Additionally, I will prioritise youth empowerment initiatives that equip young people with the skills and resources they need to succeed in a competitive global economy.

“Agriculture,” he said, “is the backbone of our economy, and rural communities play a crucial role in sustaining our agricultural sector. I am committed to implementing policies and programs that promote modern farming techniques, provide access to credit and markets, and improve rural infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems.

“By prioritising agriculture and rural development, we can enhance food security, create employment opportunities, and reduce poverty in rural areas. I aim to revolutionise our agricultural sector by mechanising it by 80 percent, thereby boosting economic growth, ensuring food sustainability, and creating employment opportunities for our youth.”

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APC shifts screening of Ondo governorship aspirants to Friday



The All Progressives Congress (APC) has shifted the screening of its aspirants for the Nov.16 Ondo State governorship election to Friday, following the declaration of Thursday as public holiday by the Federal Government.

This is contained in a message on the party’s official X page, @OfficialAPCNg on Wednesday.

“Due to the inclusion of Thursday, April 11, as a public holiday by the Federal Government for ELd el-Fitr, all aspirants are requested to attend the screening on Friday, April 12, at the party’s national secretariat,” the party said.

A total of 16 aspirants were expected to be screened, ahead of the April 20 primary election.

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