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2023: Umahi’s Crisis Threat Comments Provocative, Should be Probed – AESID

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The Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has condemned in totality statement credited to the Ebonyi state governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi in which he reportedly vowed to sponsor crisis in opposition parties to make room for a fight while he sips champagne in the comfort of his bedroom.

The governor was said to have reportedly made the statements during his ruling party’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) state congress held recently at the party’s state secretariat in Abakaliki and yet to be refuted.

But while responding to what it considered a crisis threat comments by the governor, the AESID in a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its president (World-wide) Ambassador Paschal Oluchukwu, urged the Inspector General of Police, Director of State Security Service (DSS) and all other federal security agencies not to take such statement for granted.

The Ebonyi indigenous association also demanded a retraction and a public apology from the governor.

“We at AESID which to condemn in its wholeness the subtle resort to violence or any form of crisis as being preached and propagated by Governor Umahi ahead the contest by aspiring and suitably qualified individuals to succeed him in 2023. The threat is for want of more suiting adjectives obnoxious, vexatious, insensitive and highly provocative coming from the number one citizen of our beloved state which is adjudged to be one of the most peaceful in the country.

“We wish to observe that firstly; the said assertion is quite unfortunate coming from Governor Umahi who in the build up to his battle to outwit and arm-twist his erstwhile boss, elderstatesman and immediate-past Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief Martin Elechi was allowed by his peace-loving predecessor and indeed Ebonyians in general to freely declare his intention, grab the State’s governing Party, PDP’s ticket and successfully emerge the Governor of our dear State in such a time without any threat to crisis or violence.

“It baffles common sense, profound reasoning and good conscience that the State’s Chief Security Officer could sound this awful in his desperate bid to produce his successor come 2023. In our keen estimation, Governor Umahi has therefore by this unguarded assertion shown himself the common enemy of the same very people he was elected to serve.

“It is indeed, surprising to us just like the generality of Ebonyi people that Governor Umahi has continued in his absurd dictatorial tendencies without caring a hoot to understand and even appreciate the crucial constitutional roles played by opposition elements and political Parties in any democratic governance. This best explains his abhorrence for criticisms no matter how constructive and has consequently led to his constant war with the opposition elements and the media who only strive their best to hold him accountable to the people.

“But what exactly is Governor Umahi who has since his ascension to power made himself a political bully of sort by his records and antecedents afraid of, if we may ask, could he be afraid that Ebonyi workers who we understand he pays half salaries would definitely be the first constituency to mobilize against his preferred choice in 2023? Or the retirees we are reliably informed he allegedly embezzled their pensions and gratuity? Or the middle-class he has almost completely wiped out of the system?

“Is he afraid that the traders and artisans he muzzled will mass up against him in 2023? Is he also afraid that the serving and numerous sacked cum suspended aides including former political officeholders who he has made poorer by design and wicked machinations through the non-payment of their lawful entitlements will plot his humiliation and downfall? What about the Anambra, Imo, Abia and Enugu businessmen and women he forcefully confiscated their shops, intimidated and harassed? Is he also afraid of their anticipated pay-back?”

According to the statement, already, there are visible signs that the Anambra kingmakers such as money-man, Authur Eze, Cletus Ibeto and others have started deserting the governor.

The association, however demanded “a retraction of these threats and a sincere apology within 48 hours to the peace-loving people of Ebonyi State who has already seen enough under his leadership and watch. We will not sit idly and watch Umahi put a State which our fore-fathers collectively fought hard to be created destroyed or put in flames via the negative, vituperative and inflammatory comments of a supposed Chief Security Officer.

“We therefore urge the Director of DSS in Nigeria, the Inspector General of Police and indeed, all federal security agencies never to allow these boastings of Governor Umahi who is a Chief Law enforcer go without some level of scrupulous investigations to avert whatever may be the evil that such plans to engineer crisis may bring on the people. We therefore call on them to invite and question him on the import of this dreadful assertion before his aides or supporters hide under same to unleash mayhem on innocent Ebonyians all in their bid to please his motives.

“While we urge Ebonyi people to remain calm, peaceful and also very watchful, we however implore all and sundry, particularly the Nigerian government to hold governor Umahi responsible for whatever crisis that may befell the state ahead of the 2023 general elections which is still about three years ahead!”

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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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