From Tony Osauzo, Benin
All Progressives Congress (APC) women across the country led by wife of the president, Hajia Aisha Buhari, yesterday stormed Edo State in support of Mr Godwin Obaseki, saying that victory for the party in the forthcoming election is non-negotiable.
The women shortly after a courtesy visit to Obaseki, also visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Uhogua community, Ovia North East, where they donated food stuff, writing materials and toiletries.
Represented by the APC Women leader in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Mrs Hailmary Aipoh, Mrs. Buhari said they were in the state in solidarity with the Obaseki campaign organization and to equally remind the candidate that “he must remember our women and children when he wins because he will win”.
He added: “Governor Oshiomhole is our great brother who has done us proud in Edo with his developmental projects, so we are always with him. APC has done well for Edo people and that is why we are saying continuity.”
The South South zonal woman leader of the APC, Mrs Racheal Akpabio, who commended the wife of the President for her assistance in the provision of writing materials and food stuff for the IDPs, equally expressed joy with the concern shown by the first lady as regards Edo State election, declaring that the women will give all necessary support to ensure that Obaseki emerges victorious.
“Winning in the Edo election is non- negotiable because this is the only state APC has in the South South and we intend to get more states in this region, so we are not giving this one out to anybody. Our women must go back home and talk to their husbands, children and tell them what APC has done in Edo State for them”, Mrs. Akpabio said.
“Responding, Obaseki who expressed joy for the visit, promised that if elected, his administration will invest on women.
“You will see that 57 per cent of our population are women. It follows common sense and logic that if you put more resources into women empowerment, you will develop our economy”, Obaseki said.
APC alleges plans to destabilise polls
A grand plan by some members of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) to infiltrate Edo State through the waterways ahead of the polls has been exposed.In a statement, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Media, Musa Ebomhiana alleged that the militants are expected to invade the state through the waterways in Ologbo, Ikpoba Okha local government and Agenebode, Etsako East local government areas. The other entry point is alleged to be Epkeri and Anegbete in Etsako Central local government area. About 4, 000 of the militants, he said, have been hired to carry out the operation. He said one of the leaders of the group and an indigene of Edo State who simply gave his name as J.C Goddon, otherwise known as Rambo said he is duty-bound to expose the evil plan of his colleagues-in-arms because “we are for free, fair and peaceful election in Edo State and the entire Niger Delta, nothing less.”
According to him, Oshiomhole has done well in Edo State, just as Governor Wike has done well for the people of Rivers State in his relatively short period in office. He said these two sons of Niger Delta remain their role model in governance in the region. He said: “This is not about a political party, but about the individual’s contribution to the development of the region.” According to the statement, Goddon also revealed: ‘I have advised some of my colleagues in other groups not to be used to destabilise the election in Edo; I also want to advise the youths here not to allow themselves to be used to foment trouble before, during and after the election”.
“We are ready to collaborate with the security agencies to frustrate this evil plot and to make sure that anybody that foments trouble is arrested to face the full weight of the law.” He said the guys are expected to infiltrate the stronghold of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, especially the major towns in Edo North, the South and some local governments in the Central zone with high concentration of non-natives where they can easily mingle with the people undetected.
He said part of the plans is to cause make belief crises that could lead to fight and maybe shooting at polling centres to distract attention of the security personnel. This, he said, may scare innocent voters, especially women and the vulnerable ones to flee the voting point. The entire scheme, he said, is to work towards the cancellation of the election in the APC strongholds.
I will empower traders, create jobs –Ize-Iyamu
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Ahead of the forthcoming election, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has reiterated his plans to empower traders and create job opportunities if elected as the next governor of the state.
Addressing a crowd of traders at the Evbareke Motor Spare Parts Market in Benin, Ize-Iyamu assured them that he would run a humane government if elected.
Berating, the All Progressives Congress(APC) governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki, for not getting his acts together, he narrated a recent event during an APC rally in his local government, Orhionmwon, where he alleged asked the crowd if they had jobs, and they answered in the negative, an action he said, drew the ire of the governor.
He also said that it is ironic that whereas, “Oshiomhole promised that every year after the election, Obaseki will create 10, 000 jobs, the over 700 people he employed in his first term were all sacked in his second term.”
He said whereas the governor had a second opportunity to correct his mistakes, he again failed, adding, “Oshiomohole employed 500 teachers, but also sacked them after a week, saying he does not know how they were employed”. Ize-Iyamu who displayed a copy of his, ‘Simple Agenda’, before the crowd, said he had to write down his plans for Edo people so that he can be held accountable if he gets elected into office as governor.
“My agenda is a covenant, an agreement between me and Edo people”, adding that for him, “A man who wants to be sincere will write down what he wants to do”, except if he has no plans for the people.
He said it was lamentable that the roads leading to the market which was constructed with interlocking tiles by the PDP administration, has been left to rot by by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
After confirming from the traders that none of them benefited from the Bank of Industry (BOI) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) loans channelled through the state government and meant for small and medium scale business persons, Ize-Iyamu said his adminsitration will change the tide in their favour by November 2016.
In his speech, Edo PDP chairman , Chief Dan Orbih, said the APC as a party has a record of not keeping its campaign promises, adding that ,” eight years ago the governor promised to build a new spare parts market”, but failed to do so.
He said the party understands the pains of the traders who are saddled with levies and taxes, whereas they were not making profits in a state that is not business-friendly.
He assured the traders and all voters in the state of the credentials of the party’s candidate for the September 2016 elections, describing him as a God-fearing man who is being seen across the state as a redeemer.
Election riggers should be sanctioned –Olowogboyega
From Tony Osauzo, Benin
As the September 10 election approaches, a call has been made for the strengthening of the nation’s Electoral Act with a view to discouraging election rigging.
Dr. Oyebade Olowogboyega, made the call in Benin yesterday at the launching of a ‘One man, one woman, one vote campaign’ , organised by the Edo State chapter of Democracy Vanguard.
He advocated implementation of the 1958 Electoral Act, which stipulated five year jail term for politicians convicted for rigging elections. “The 1958 electoral act that was left by the colonial masters had a provision that criminalised election rigging or election malpractice. Whoever was caught and convicted would be banned for five years and would not benefit from holding any political office or any sensitive post in the federation. “But that has been watered down in the electoral act, and until we ban whoever is convicted of election malpractice, we will never have free and fair election in this country,” he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state General Secretary of Democracy Vanguard, Mr. Mike Iyobosa Okuns, said the essence of the programme was to educate the electorate on the importance of free and fair election.
He said for election to be free and fair, every eligible electorate must be willing to go out to the polling centres, get accredited, vote and ensure that his vote counts.