From Tony Osauzo, Benin
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday made a passionate appeal to the people of Edo State to vote for the candidate of the party, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to ensure the continuity of the good works of Governor Adams Oshiomhole and to enable the state remain in the mainstream of national politics.
Chief Oyegun who was the first civilian governor of Edo State, said the 10 years of alignment the state had with the PDP at the state and federal level was a disastrous outcome for the state.
According to him, the benefits that ought to accrue to Edo in the form of contracts and appointments were privatized by a few individuals and funds for contracts embezzled in the most blatant corruption that everybody could attest to.
The APC National Chairman who spoke in a state wide broadcast to the people of the state, challenged the Peoples Democratic Party and former Governor Lucky Igbinedion to show products of the so-called industries they built in Edo State, urging the people to be aware that the ‘unconscionable abuse of the people’s trust must be punished by massive rejection of the PDP at the polls.’
He told the electorate that leaders of the PDP that are presently canvassing for votes were the same people responsible for the 10 years of misusing the state’s patrimony, insisting that Edo State must retain its position in the mainstream of national politics in order to sustain and enhance the bargaining capacity of its leaders at the national table of leadership.
The former Edo governor while urging voters to use their votes to reward good service and consolidate its presence in the national mainstream called on the people to put aside personal differences, disagreements and all feelings of hurt to unite again.
“There is not one single road, not one single project. Nothing was done in those ten years. The same people have lined up again to ask for your votes and I want to plead with you to say a resounding no for a repeat performance.
“At this time, due to the severe economic downtown, our state needs a leader that is equipped to manage the economy out of recession. I believe Godwin Obaseki, because of his experience in financial management, is the best candidate to be governor of Edo State,” he said.
PDP ‘ll lose Edo poll –Prophet Akhidenor
By Chuks Eze
A member of the clergy, Prophet Festus Akhidenor of the General Overseer of Total Commitment Ministry, Lagos, has predicted victory for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki in the coming Wednesday’s election.
The cleric said that the envisioned victory of the APC in that election has nothing to do with the performance of Adams Oshiomhole’s administration in the state or that of the APC at the central government.
He however, told Daily Sun that when compared with that of PDP cumulatively, Oshiomhole’s performance is better than all the PDP administrations in the state put together.
“To be fair to Oshiomhole, from 1999 till he came on board, Edo State witnessed no meaningful development.
But that does not mean that Governor Oshiomhole is clean. No.”
On the recent postponement of the election, he dispelled the popular belief that it was orchestrated by the APC to enable them dislodge the PDP’s roaring threat and to sure up APC’s victory strategies.
According to him, there was dire security concern in the state at the time, and that the extension has helped to douse the already tensed state.
Redeem your image, Secondus tells INEC
By Taiwo Amodu
Ahead of the election, the immediate past Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, ( PDP) Prince Uche Secondus has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure it conducts free, fair and credible election.
Secondus in a statement made available to newsmen at the weekend declared that “the Edo state election provides ample opportunity for the Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC to redeem its name from the previous inconclusive and questionable outings of the commission since he assumed the leadership of the electoral body.” The former Deputy National Chairman said that the implication of INEC failing to conduct credible poll in Edo state would be far reaching in the sustenance of democracy in the country as well as national stability.
The PDP top chieftain recalled instances in the nation’s democratic sojourn where the consequences of conducting bad and unacceptable elections, came with enormous upshot on democracy and the country.
He said:” The process that led to the collapse of the first republic was ignited by poor conduct of election in the then Western region that caused the eruption of crisis which eventually engulfed the entire country.
“ Ditto the collapse of Second Republic which followed the then doubtful landslide victory of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN).
“Even the Third republic became still born due to the apparent inability of the electoral body then to have a conclusive and generally acceptable election.”
The former member of PDP National Working Committee said he has taken time to bring these historical facts out to remind the INEC leadership of the scale of the challenges ahead of them and to also to put before them the huge consequences of not living up to the expectations of the electorate.
He particularly charged the commission’s Chairman, “ Professor Yakubu to do all within his powers to ensure that the envious integrity attached to his name before his appointment is not dented especially as evidence are abound that history is usually harsh with previous electoral umpires who performed below expectations.”
Secondus reminded the Commission’s boss that he should be concerned that all elections conducted by the commission under his watch have not been transparent and credible starting with Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo to Rivers states and even local Government council election in the Federal Capital Territory.
Hold INEC chair responsible if election turns violent –Ex-commissioner
Activist and former commissioner in Edo State, Orobosa Omo-ojo has said that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu should be held responsible if the forthcoming election turns violent.
He urged the commission to restrain itself from taking sides but ensure the sanctity of the ballot box.
In a statement, he said the international and local observers should as a matter of urgency demand and obtain guaranty from INEC that the agency staff will adhere to the highest ethical standard in the discharge of their duties.
He cautioned that the INEC must not engage in the alteration of results or replacement of genuine results as it is being speculated as one of the ways designed to rig the all-important election.
His words: “From all available information, the people are resolute to resist this unpatriotic plan and in the process may lead to violent end.
“If INEC decides to ignore several appeals from different quarters, for the conduct of a free, fair and credible election in Edo State on September 28, 2016, Nigerians and the International Community should hold the National Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu responsible for all untoward outcomes, including violence that may erupt, such that was witnessed in the state in 2007.
“Edo State is fragile and a hot bed for provoked violence due to the high level of unemployed youths and sadly, all the 19 political parties have engaged them to safeguard their interest in the election”.
He appealed to the Nigerian Army, Police and State Security Service to protect the electorate, saying, “they should abide by the Oath of Allegiance that they subscribed to, and ensure that anyone that contravenes the electoral law is arrested, to deter others from scuttling the chain of processes”.
He said that the current political climate in the state is reminiscent of the 2007 governorship election that produced Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The activist recalled that the 18 months legal battle that followed the election of Oshiomhole terminated at the Court of Appeal, adding that the protest that greeted the unpopular announcement of Professor Oserhiemen Osunbor of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) as the winner of that election caused so much social unrest and economic waste in the state. He recalled that before the contest, it was clear to everyone that Edo people were tired of the status quo and needed a change, hence the victory of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and his Action Congress(AC) was expected.
He said: “The scenario in the state today is similar to that of 2007; an expectation for change after the people have experienced the unique leadership style of Governor Oshiomhole for eight years.
“The stories making the rounds should serve as a warning signal that the will of Edo people may be subverted again if the INEC allows itself to be compromised by the politicians once again.