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Activist Tackles Ebonyi Gov, Umahi for Gagging Aides

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A political activist and social com entator, Amb. Pascal Oluchukwu has criticised the governor of Ebonyi state, Dave Umahi, for issuing a gag order banning all public officers and employees of the state government from expressing any opprobrium against the government.

Ambassador Oluchukwu, who is also the spokesman for the Organisation of Ebonyi State Indigenes in the Diaspora (OESID) said gag order not only demonstrates Governor Umahi’s lack of any clear grasp of the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution, which he (Governor) has sworn to uphold and defend “but also brings to the fore his thoughtless sycophancy and ignominious search for the attention and gratuitous commendation.”

The spokesman of the Ebonyi state Governor on New Media, Mr. Francis Nwaze, had issued a statement on behalf of the Governor warning all Ebonyi state government employees to refrain from making any uncomplimentary remarks against the person or government, threatening outright dismissal of whoever float the order.

But responding through a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday, the political activist said it is the right of every citizen of Nigeria to hold and express his opinion which he said the Nigerian constitution 1999 as amended has provided in chapter 4, Part 1 Section 33 (1) thus: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.

“Within the context of this constitutional provision, Governor Dave Umahi has got no power to deny the people of Ebonyi state from expressing their opinions on anything and anyone.

“There are libel legislations and security and confidentiality disclosures that are guided by the laws of the land and when anyone infringes on these provisions, the law would be the one to take its course and remedy the situation. But once there are justifiable grounds to hold and express an opinion on anyone, no government or governor should have the powers to truncate the guarantees enshrined in our constitution.”

Ambassador Pascal, however, called on the Ebonyi state governor to always respect the laws and regulations enshrined in the constitution.

The activist also warned that any attempt to silence the voices of Ebonyi people will be resisted vehemently without fear or favour.

“The intimidation on the good people of Ebonyi must stop; each and everyone is entitled to hold and express an opinion on anything. So, Governor Umahi, should stop the charade of banning Ebonyi public officers and employees from holding and expressing their opinions.

“It is part of their fundamental human rights guaranteed under the supreme laws of our country,” Pascal stated.

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I’ve Never Seen People React So Passionately Of Victory, Says Obaseki

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Mr Godwin Obaseki is still basking in the euphoria of victory in the recently concluded governorship election in Edo State.

Obaseki, who contested under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who garnered 223,619 to win a second term as governor of Edo State.

Reacting to his victory on Sunday, the governor said his victory didn’t come as a surprise to him.

Describing his feeling, Obaseki said he is so excited by the show of love and support from different people across the state.

According to him, he has never seen citizens of Edo State react so spontaneously with such excitement.

“I feel very happy just watching the responses, reactions from citizens of Edo State across board. For me, I have never seen a group of people react so spontaneously with such excitement,” he said.

When asked on his plans to reconcile friends and associates who are aggrieved with the outcome of the election, Governor Obaseki said his doors are always open.

The governor also said his major rival in the contest, Ize-Iyamu had yet to congratulate him on the election victory.

With the elections over, Obaseki admitted that there is so much work to be done in the next four years, adding that his administration is ever ready to partner with his opponents on how to move the state forward.

“There is so much work ahead of us. I believe there is room for everybody to contribute. My doors are wide open for talks and consultations,” he added.

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No Man Can Successfully Play God, Ekweremadu Congratulates Obaseki

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Former Deputy President of the Senate and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo State, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has congratulated the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, on his victory in the state’s governorship election.

Ekweremadu, who commended the people of Edo State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the security agencies for “rising to the occasion”, described the exercise as a huge relief given what he described as the “dwindling fortunes of the nation’s electoral process in recent years”.

The lawmaker, who was in Edo State to monitor the election, equally added that the Edo polls had proved, once again, that no man could effectively play God.

He said: “I join other well-meaning Nigerians to congratulate Governor Godwin Obaseki and the PDP on this well-deserved victory.

“While our electoral processes still leave much to be desired, I must say that compared to recent elections, the Edo State governorship poll has renewed the hope that we can get our elections right, given the conduct of the electorate, INEC, security agencies, and most of the other stakeholders, which ensured a peaceful process and an outcome that reflected the will of the people.

“For emphasis, the Edo 2020 election showcased the beauty of democracy: the supremacy of the people’s will over the whims and caprices of any single man or woman, be it a godfather or godmother.

“And if there is a moral lesson to be learnt, it is also that no man can successfully play God, for God will always put men in their place”.

Ekweremadu enjoined Obaseki to see his popular mandate as both an approval of his stewardship in the last four years and a call to lead Edo land on the path of greater peace, prosperity, and all-round development.

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Obaseki’s Victory Is Historic, A Lesson For Leaders – PDP

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has congratulated its candidate in the Edo State Governorship Election, Godwin Obaseki, for his re-election, describing the victory as historic.

The party in a statement signed by the on Sunday also noted that it is a lesson for all leaders to learn from.

They commended the electoral process and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “continue to toe this new line of allowing for electoral uprightness, history will be beckoned to be kind to him”.

“On account of the reverberation of this victory across the length and breadth of our country, the@OfficialPDPNig implores President @MBuhari to continue in this newfound spirit of ensuring that the people are allowed to freely choose their leaders at all elections,” the party said.

It was a dramatic process that saw Obaseki run the governorship race against Ize-Iyamu for a second time in four years.

Both men faced each other in 2016, albeit with Obaseki flying the flag of the APC and Ize-Iyamu flying that of the PDP.

A political rift between the governor and Oshiomhole which spiraled beyond the state to national politics, saw both men switch parties and square up against each other on platforms they once criticised.

The campaign, characterised by drama and controversy that did not spare the State House of Assembly, was tempered by the intervention of the Oba of Benin to calm fears that the poll could turn violent.

A peace accord was also signed by all the candidates days before the poll as stakeholders made concerted efforts to ensure a successful poll.

In the run-up to the election, Governor Obaseki had reiterated severally that his victory will mark the end of ‘godfatherism’ in the state and ultimately, the country.

For the party, the victory is a loud lesson to the ‘godfathers’ that power belongs only to God.

“To the “political godfathers”, this election must serve as a loud lesson that power belongs only to God, which He confers through the people; and that no matter how an individual strives to lord it over others, the will of God, through the people, will always prevail.

They also thanked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood for ensuring that the election was conducted in a manner that was largely adjudged to be free, fair, transparent and credible.

“Nigerians hope that what we have witnessed in Edo state will not be an off-season procedure in the commission. We demand that this credible process applies to all our elections,” the PDP said.

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