The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has completed its campaign ahead of the September 19, 2020 election, after touring all the 192 wards of the state.
A statement by the party’s state Chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, said that since the approval and composition of the campaign council five weeks ago, presenting its governorship candidate, Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shaibu, to the citizens of the state, has been an awesome experience for the party.
Mr Aziegbemi added that the love shown by the supporters of the party and its candidates has shown their preference ahead of the election.
The PDP Chairman urged the security agencies to step up their efforts and ensure that the voters get a free, fair, credible, and peaceful election.
Read Full Statement:
We made it…
Members of the state work committee here present, gentlemen and ladies of the press. We give God Almighty, the omnipotent, all-powerful, all-knowing God, all the glory and praise for a successful ward to ward tour of the state. On behalf of the State Working Committee, I welcome you to this press conference.
You will recall that I approved the composition of the Edo state campaign council five weeks ago, with the sole mandate of taking our message of excellent performance and the need for continuity to all the 192 wards of the state. The campaign council immediately swung into action with our candidate HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki and his deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, the king of the youths. It was an awesome experience. It was electrifying. Edo State citizens came out in their numbers to catch a glimpse of our candidate and to hear our message. We are indeed humbled by this show of love and support for our candidate. We promise we will not take this for granted.
We went about our campaign with peace and love. Unfortunately, we have to put it on record that the APC made feeble attempts to disrupt our campaigns. We have cataloged, as you can see on the board to my right, the senseless attacks on our party members and their properties. We challenge the APC, or any other party for that matter, to show such evidence of their members being attacked. Gentlemen and ladies of the press, it will amaze you to know that not one person has been arrested for these senseless attacks on our members. If not for the strong appeal from our Governor, HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, you can imagine what would have become of our state if retaliation was carried out by our members. Let me warn the APC – that our patience is not ELASTIC. I call on the Commissioner of Police, CP Johnson Kokumo, to rise up to the occasion. His efforts thus far leave much to be desired. I call on all the other security agencies to step up their efforts before the elections, especially on the day of the election, 19th of September 2020. They should justify the salaries they earn from taxpayers’ money.
On behalf of the State Working Committee and the entire membership of the PDP in Edo State, I thank His Excellency and our candidate, HE Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, his Deputy, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, in whom we have implicit confidence, the Chairman of the Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, the Director-General, Osarodion Ogie, the Deputy Director-General, Gideon Ikhine, the Senatorial coordinators and their deputies, for discharging the assignments given to them by the party, most honourably and efficiently. We owe you a world of gratitude. We also, with a humble heart, thank our members and indeed Edo citizens, for trooping out in their hundreds of thousands to catch a glimpse of our candidate and to hear our message. We also thank the security agencies for their professionalism. We also thank all the drivers in our convoy, caterers, musicians, and everyone who took part one way or the other to make this five-week ward to ward tour a memorable one.
Edo people have clearly shown their preference for the PDP and its candidate during the forthcoming September 19th, 2020 election. From multiple opinion polls conducted by independent bodies and organizations, the PDP has the support of 80% of the electorate while all other parties have 20%. Flowing from the above, we hereby demand, in the strongest terms possible, that INEC and the security agencies carry out their statutory responsibilities based on the oath of office they swore to, which is to be NEUTRAL.
However, anyone who deviates from this sacred oath, which he or she willingly swore to, knows that we will ensure that the most extreme hand of the law is meted out to them. Please note that anyone who deprives any human being from constituting their fundamental human rights is just as bad as enslaving or killing them and as such do not deserve anything less from the law.
We call on the parents of all the ad-hoc staff that will be engaged in this election, to call their wards to order. Edo people deserve a free, fair, credible, and peaceful election, and nobody, whether in the security agencies or in INEC will be allowed to subvert the will of the people. We will follow the process from A to Z from multiple angles, and if you are caught doing the wrong thing, be assured that as a party that believes in and promotes the right for people to freely express their choice, we will be waiting and ensuring that law affects the fullest possible punishment.
Once again thank you so much for coming and I wish you a happy Sunday.
Dr. Tony Aziegbemi
Chairman PDP EDO STATE CHAPTER
Fulani Will Always Revenge Injustice, Says El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says the Fulani tribe will always take revenge whenever they suffer injustice.
He, however, said they accept their fate whenever they are convicted of a crime. El-Rufai said this on Thursday during a webinar organised by the Africa Leadership Group.
The governor was asked to clarify his tweet in 2012 wherein he said, “Anyone, soldier or not, that kills the Fulani, takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes.”El-Rufai had been asked why he made the comment and if the Igbo would be justified to take revenge on other Nigerians that killed them during the Biafran war.
In his response, the governor said, “If a Fulani man dies in war, it is different. If a Fulani man is arrested by the authorities and convicted, it is not an issue. What the Fulani never forgets is when he is innocently targeted and killed and the authorities do nothing. He will never forget and he will come back for revenge. This is it.
“So, it is better to understand the context given the context of what I tweeted which had to do with an issue in Plateau State in 2012. I hope you get the context. So, it is not that Fulani will never forget. Anyone that goes through pain and sorrow either forgets or doesn’t forget but when it is extrajudicial, when it is extra-official, the attitude is completely different.
“This is the context in which Fulani never forgets. It is not in every context. As I said, I lost relations during the war. It doesn’t mean I still hold a grudge. We’ve moved past that.”
Buhari Probes N165.32bn Unremitted Operating Surplus by NPA
The President, Muhammadu Buhari , is probing alleged non-remittance of about N165bn operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Fund by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
There are indications that the development may not be unconnected to the recent suspension of the Managing Director of the agency, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
Documents sighted on Friday showed that the government figured out discrepancies in the remittance of operating surpluses by the NPA to the Consolidated Revenue Fund for two consecutive years under the leadership of Bala-Usman.
Findings indicated that a total of about N73.61bn (N56.3bn in 2017 and N17.31bn in 2018) realised within the two-year period was not remitted to the CRF as expected by the government, although the suspended NPA boss provided explanations to the contrary.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Transportation in a May 4, 2021 letter to the President claimed that the NPA failed to remit N165.32bn to the CRF from 2016 to 2020 and called for an investigation and audit of the financial accounts of the authority
But in a letter, with reference MD/17/MF/VOL-XX/541, dated May 5, 2021 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Bala-Usman said the NPA was aware of Buhari’s approval for the Federal Ministry of Transportation to conduct an audit of the accounts of the NPA and its remittances to the CRF.
The letter was entitled, “Re: Request for the record of remittance of operating surplus to the Consolidated Revenue Funds account by the Nigerian Ports Authority.”
In the letter, she explained that the audited financial statements of the NPA provided operating surpluses in 2017 and 2018 that were contrary to what were arrived at by the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
The letter read in part, “Audited financial statements of the authority for the period 2017 and 2018 provides operating surpluses of N76.782bn and N71.480bn for 2017 and 2018 respectively as contrary to the sums of N133.084bn and N88.79bn arrived at by your office from the budgetary submission.”
The letter stated that the presidential approval for the audit of the NPA accounts arose from a correspondence between the Budget Office of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Transportation where the budget office conveyed to the FMoT an observed shortfall of the authority’s remittances to the CFR.
Bala-Usman said, “We wish to state that the authority’s basis for arriving at the operating surplus on which basis the amount due for remittance to the CFR is guided by the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 as amended.
“It is further based on the statutory mandate Part 1, S.3(1) (b) &(d) whereby the FRC issued a template for the computation of operating surplus for the purpose of calculating amount due for remittance to the CRF.
“Accordingly, the figures so provided by the Budget Office of the Federation as the operating surplus for the respective years on which basis they arrived at the shortfall are derived from submission of budgetary provision not the actual amounts derived following the statutory audit of the authority’s financial statements.”
She argued that in line with the template issued by the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, the accessible operating surplus of the authority stood at N51.09bn and N42.51bn for 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“This amount will give rise to a remittance due to the CFR in the sum of N40.873bn and N34.065bn representing 80 per cent of the surpluses for the year 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“Accordingly, the authority consequently made a remittance of N42.415bn and N33.969bn for the years 2017 and 2018 respectively for the full amount required as remittance for the period.”
On remittances for 2019 — 2020, the suspended MD said the audit of the 2019 financial statement had been completed and awaiting consideration of the authority’s board at which point the final figures for the 2019 operating surplus would be determined for consequent computation of the amount due for remittance to the CFR.
“But thus far, the authority has made a remittance of N31.683bn for the 2019 remittance. The sum of N51.049bn has also thus far been remitted for 2020, while awaiting the audited financial statement to determine the final amount required for both 2019 and 2020 at which point the authority will make the payment of the balance as required,” Bala-Usman noted.
She stated that based on the above, the authority wished to clarify that the computation of its remittances to the CFR were concluded from audited financial statements using the template forwarded to the authority from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and not budgetary provision.
“The authority has remitted the full amount due to it to CFR for the periods 2017 and 2018 arising from the operating surplus derived from the audited financial statement for the period totaling N76.384bn as evidenced in attached treasury receipts,” Bala-Usman said.
She added, “The authority has remitted a total of N 82.687bn for the periods 2019 and 2020 pending the audit of the financial statement at which point the amount so computed arising from the value of the operating surplus in the audited financial statement will be remitted to the CFR.”
She said the NPA wished to request the Chief of Staff and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation who were the statutorily custodian of status of payment to the CRF to provide clarification on the above so as to establish the true position of the authority’s remittances to the CFR.
Parents of Abducted Kaduna Students Protest at National Assembly
Parents of the abducted students of the College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Kaduna State have occupied the National Assembly complex, Abuja, in protest.
The protesters which include members of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution are lamenting over what they described as the negligence of the state and Federal Government in securing the release of the children.
They chanted songs of solidarity and displayed placards demanding prompt rescue of the students.
“Education is our right! Safety is our right! Freedom is our right!, Free Afaka 29! ” the parents and students chanted as they marched to the National Assembly.
The protesters joined by the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore and Deji Adeyanju had earlier gathered at the Unity Fountain before proceeding to the National Assembly complex.
The main entrance of the National Assembly was however manned by security agents who denied the protesters entrance.
On 11th March, 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State were abducted from their hostels by bandits dressed in military uniform.
Ten of the students were released in two batches of five each but 29 others have remained in captivity.
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