A cross-section of senior Benin chiefs on Sunday, rejected efforts by the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to drag them into partisan politics, urging the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu to try out his luck at the poll, come September 19, 2020.
According to the chiefs, their traditional duties to Edo people, irrespective of the political parties they belong, restrain some of them from campaigning for any candidate, and would not be swayed by Oshiomhole’s genuflections and pleas.
“Edo people are very rational people, they know who to vote for on September 19. Some of us are pensioners and we know the candidate that will not delay our monthly pension. The civil servants, teachers and other government workers know the candidate that will prioritise their wellbeing and sustain the ongoing reforms in all sectors of the state.”
The chiefs who pleaded not to be mentioned noted that some of them occupy very sensitive positions in the palace of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, hence would join the Benin monarch in prayers for a peaceful election in the state.
“Some of us came for this meeting with Oshiomhole to hear what message he has for us. But I felt embarrassed when he went down on his knees to start begging us to vote for the APC candidate. Oshiomhole said he made a mistake for campaigning for Obaseki in 2016. What is the guarantee that he is not making a worse mistake this time?
“We are not children, we can’t be manipulated by politicians. Oshiomhole had his time as governor for eight years, and all Benin people supported him. He should allow Edo people to choose their leader this time, without being hoodwinked,” one of the chiefs said.
He added that “the majority of Edo people will support the candidate that is committed to a peaceful and secure state devoid of warlords and killer gangs, to sustain the progress we have witnessed in all aspects of our lives in recent times.”
Edo People Better With Obaseki Than ‘Fake Pastor, Cultist’ — Wike Blasts Oshiomhole
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike says former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole does not have the moral standing to tell Edo people not to vote for Governor Godwin Obaseki.
Wike, who is also the Chairman of PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo 2020 Governorship Election, said the purported issue of secondary school certificate does not hold water.
According to a statement signed by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, the governor was reacting to comments by Oshiomhole during the flag off of the APC Governorship Campaign in Edo State.
The governor berated the former APC National Chairman for his continued claims that Governor Obaseki is not a graduate even when the University of Ibadan has affirmed that he graduated from the institution.
Wike challenged Oshiomhole to present his academic certificate to Edo people rather than advising them to shun a candidate he claimed to be the brainbox of his administration’s achievements.
“The certificate claims about Governor Obaseki by the former APC National Chairman is a non-issue because he is the best candidate for Edo State.
“It is unfortunate that we are in a country that somebody that does not have a certificate will question the one that has.
“Oshiomhole has trade test which is not an academic qualification. I challenge him to show the world his academic qualification.
“This same man he said has three credits was his brainbox when he was in government. So is it not better for Edo people to support a man that has three credits than to follow someone whom he said was a cultist and fake pastor who destroyed the manhood of his fellow man.
“Oshiomhole is trying to tell Edo people whatever he decides is what will be and this is an opportunity for Edo people to say no.
“His claim that if APC losses the election they will secure the mandate through the courts is a total confirmation that the Party cannot win the Edo election through the ballot box.
“Securing victory through the courts will be null and void as there are still Judges in Nigeria with conscience who cannot dance to the tune of the APC,” he stated.
On the claims that President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the APC Governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Wike challenged APC supporters to show evidence where the President announced that he has endorsed a man who is facing corruption charges of the EFCC.
He said the absence of the President and Vice President at the flag-off of the APC Governorship campaign is a confirmation that he does not have their support.
On the comments by the former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu that the action of Governor Obaseki on the Edo State House of Assembly crisis was wrong, Wike stated that he was surprised at his comments.
“Tinubu is one man that I have great respect for so when I read the papers, I was taken aback. It is unfortunate that members that were not inaugurated can turn around to illegally impeach people.
“What Governor Obaseki did is what any Chief Security Officer should do. It is justifiable in order to avoid chaos,” he added.
2023 Presidency: I Won’t Contest, Says El-Rufai
The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru Ahmad El-Rufai, has said that he will not contest for the 2023 presidency.
In an interview with Hausa Service of the BBC, El-Rufai suggested that the 2023 presidency be zoned to the southern part of the country after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “Many have been saying that I want to contest for president since I was a Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“This does not make sense.
“I do not want [to contest the Nigerian presidency].
“It’s God that gives power, whether you like it or not.
“If He [God] wants, He [God] will give it to you, but I have never intended to contest for the presidency of Nigeria and nobody can say I did,” El-Rufai added.
El-Rufai also said that there is a standing agreement that if the north rules for eight years, the presidency should be zoned to the south, stressing that although the agreement was not enshrined in the constitution, politicians are aware of it.
The governor, who is in his second tenure, said: “That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari’s eight years, no northerner should contest for the office.
“Let the southerners also have eight years.”
President Muhammadu Buhari’s nephew, Mallam Mamman Daura, had said on Tuesday 27 July, 2020, that there was no need for zoning of presidential ticket to any part of the country.
Daura said competence should be given priority in the choice of presidential candidate in 2023.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the main opposition party; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as many socio-political groups in the country have since kicked against Daura’s position over zoning of position of the president.
The Presidency also distanced itself from Daura’s comment.
However, while insisting on zoning, El-Rufai wants competency to be considered as well.
El-Rufai stated that he had always prioritized merit in his appointments over regionality.
“If you look at the way I run my affairs, I don’t consider regionality of appointees.
“I rather consider their merit and commitment to public trust.”
Your Woeful Leadership Of Edo Will Hopefully Be Brought To An End Soon — Tinubu Tells Obaseki
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has accused the Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, of being behind the political crisis rocking the state House of Assembly, adding that the governor’s woeful leadership in the state will hopefully come to an end soon.
In a statement released on Friday August 7, Tinubu accused Governor Obaseki of ”making a mockery of Nigeria’s constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, and now resorting to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.”
His statement reads;
”IN DEFENCE OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
The recent actions of the Governor of Edo State represent the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern.
Not satisfied with making a mockery of our constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, Governor Obaseki has now resorted to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.
First, he sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin, feigning the building is undergoing renovation. Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex.
In effect, the man has spent state funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold. He has squandered public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.
As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo.
No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.
Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order by his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties.
Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.
Indeed, it is no coincidence that of the three arms of government, the powers of the legislature are enumerated first, in our Constitution.The legislature is the authority imbued with the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation and states
Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that a Governor’s role primarily extends to the maintenance and implementation of the laws set down for him by his state’s legislature.
Although Governor Obaseki’s conduct in the past year is undoubtedly impeachable, these legislators have made no threat to impeach the Governor. Their only desire is to peacefully perform the duties asked of them by the constituents who elected them.
The rule of law and preservation of democracy is too important to sacrifice at the altar of any one man’s ambition. Governor Obaseki’s woeful leadership of Edo State will hopefully be brought to an end soon by the very people whose rights he has so carelessly trampled upon.
One can only hope that the damage he is doing to the most important of the state’s democratic institutions can just as easily be repaired.”
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