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Edo Election: ‘Godfatherism Must End’ — Oba Of Benin

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Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, oba Ewuare II, oba of Benin, says “godfatherism” and “consensus candidate” must be eradicated from the politics of Edo state.

In a statement on Thursday, the oba said these two “political vices” are antithetical to the fundamental basis of democracy.

Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a governorship aspirant in Edo, is reported to be backed by Adams Oshiomhole, suspended national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC).

TheCable reported how the coast is now clear for Ize-Iyamu after two aspirants dropped out of the race for the party’s ticket and endorsed him.

The traditional ruler denied reports suggesting that his palace prevailed on some aspirants to step down “for a particular candidate in the upcoming primaries of a certain political party”.

“The palace totally denounces this evil speculation and condemns those that originated it,” the statement read.

“His Royal Majesty, Omo N‘Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpoiokpolo, the Oba of Benin has said times without number that the Palace of the Oba of Benin does not get involved in partisan politics. The three prayer points of the Oba of Benin in the democratic process have always been as follows; that God and our ancestors should give us a governor that will accord respect to traditional institutions, develop this state and provide food on the table for the masses.

“The Omo N’Oba strongly advises that in order to eschew recurrent socio political conflict that seems to constantly ravish the state, making Edo people a laughing stock to the rest of the country in how politicians manage the affairs of Edo people, our Edo political actors must eradicate the twin evil political vices of Godfatherism and CONSENSUS CANDIDATE.

“These two practices seem antithetical to the very fundamental basis of democracy. In other words this business of coercing aspirants to step down for another candidate for whatsoever reason is undemocratic It will not augur well for the development of democratic process in Nigeria.”

The oba said the palace is “very weary” of the imposition of candidates whom only certain individuals want, not the majority.

“Ghana Must Go politics should end in the State. Politicians should stop cashing in on the poor masses and exploiting them for their votes,” he said.

“As the various political parties go about the process of selecting their candidates through their respective party primaries, we urge all to exercise the highest standards of maturity and sportsmanship, as the desire to bring about the best for the people of Edo State cannot be compromised nor sacrificed on the altar of intolerance, rumour mongering and fake news.

“Rumour mongers are reminded that there is an ancestral curse on anyone who attempts to tarnish the image ol the Oba of Benin and the ancient throne of Benin Kingdom, which will normally be for their selfish ends.”

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26 Kidnapped FRSC Officials Regain Freedom – Gov. Sule

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The 26 officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) kidnapped along Mararaban-Udege in Nasarawa State have regained their freedom.

Governor Abdullahi Sule disclosed this on Monday at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.

Governor Sule said the recent release of the remaining batch of seven officials has led to the complete freedom of the FRSC operatives that were abducted last week.

Three of the officials had earlier been rescued by security personnel on September 15, a day after 10 officers of the corps were seized in an attack by suspected bandits.

“All the twenty-something officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps that were kidnapped, all of them were released yesterday.

“I want to thank all the security (agencies) and those that have worked very hard to ensure that we achieve that feat.

“I want to thank them for all the efforts they are making to ensure that Nasarawa remains safe,” the governor said.

The officials were travelling for a training programme at FRSC Academy in Udi when they were attacked by suspected bandits

Following their abduction, the police authorities in Nasarawa State announced the rescue of three operatives earlier.

The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe disclosed this to the Channels Television in an exclusive interview on September 15.

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EFCC, Navy Re-Strategise Against Oil Theft

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As part of efforts to stem the tide of criminal activities in the maritime sector, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Nigeria Navy have agreed to review their strategies.

This resolve was expressed on Monday, September 21, 2020 during a courtesy visit by the Zonal Head of the Lagos office of EFCC, AbdulRasheeed Bawa, to Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu Shetima, Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship, NSS BEECROFT, Apapa Lagos.

Speaking during the visit, Bawa said: “The EFCC has the mandate to prosecute arrested suspects for illegal dealings in petroleum products and other maritime-related crimes and it has lived up to its billings. We will continue to curtail the activities of the criminals in the maritime industry”.

Bawa, who conveyed the regards of the acting Chairman, Umar Mohammed, to Shetimma, acknowledged the existing cooperation and working relationship between the EFCC and the Navy.

The Lagos Zonal Head, who used the occasion to officially introduce himself to the Commander, also sought a more robust collaboration and deepening of the existing working relationship.

Bawa, who also gave an update on the progress of the cases handed over to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Office, added that “We have recorded a 90 per cent success rate in our cases in court.

“Out of the 46 cases handed over to the Commission in the course of the collaboration, 22 of them have been completed successfully, including 17 vessels and their products forfeited to the Federal Government after diligent investigation and prosecution, while 18 others are at advanced stages of prosecution in various courts”.

Bawa further expressed the readiness of the Commission to look into whatever challenges that might be hindering the speedy prosecution of suspects over illegal oil deals, adding that “the Commission would continue to strategize and be more proactive in the investigation of cases handed over to it so as to ensure that products in the vessels are evacuated promptly.”

Earlier, Shettima had expressed his gratitude over the visit, saying, “This visit could not have come at a better time. I am impressed by the progress the Commission had made so far on the prosecution of maritime-related offenders.

“We appreciate your efforts and timely intervention in the evacuation of suspects and prompt prosecution.

“Globally, maritime resources are important and Nigeria is not an exemption. We must continue to work together to protect the industry and curtail the activities of the criminals.”

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President Buhari Congratulates Obaseki, Reiterates Commitment To Free, Fair Elections

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Godwin Obaseki on his re-election as governor of Edo State.

He congratulated him on Sunday in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, urging him to continue to show grace and humility in victory.

The President also commended the election process in the state, reiterating the government’s commitment to free and fair elections.

“My commitment to free and fair elections is firm because without free and fair elections, the foundation of our political and moral authority will be weak,” he said.

“I have consistently advocated for free and fair elections in the country because it is the bedrock of true democratic order.

“Democracy will mean nothing if the votes of the people don’t count or if their mandate is fraudulently tampered with.”

Speaking further, President Buhari also commended the people of the state, the parties, candidates and security agencies for conducting themselves responsibly.

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

Governor Obaseki and His Deputy, Philip Shaibu have been re-elected into office for another four-year tenure.

Both men faced each other in 2016, albeit with Obasek 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 violence heightened.

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

Overall, most of the stakeholders rated the exercise as largely peaceful, free and fair.

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