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I Won’t Challenge Edo Governorship Election Result – Ize-Iyamu

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The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has said that he won’t challenge the result from the Edo Governorship Election result.

In a statement signed by himself, Ize-Iyamu noted that though the election was not free and fair with pockets of violence and several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters, he would not be challenging the election to avoid further tension in the state.

“These malpractices could easily form the basis to challenge the election results.

“We have however decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state.

“We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect”.

Mr. Ize-Iyamu rather said that he would be challenging the eligibility of the PDP flagbearer, Godwin Obaseki to contest the election.

“On our part, we had filed two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flagbearer challenging their eligibility to contest the election.

“These are all lawful and integral parts of the electoral process in any democracy, which we must all respect and acknowledge as genuine democrats”.

Read Full Statement Below:

My dear people of Edo State. I send you warm felicitations as always.

You will all recall that the election process to determine who occupies the office of Governor of Edo State for the next 4 years began officially in June this year, with the unveiling of the Election Timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

To the glory of God Almighty, the election held on 19th September 2020 with the outcome later announced by INEC. We thank God Almighty for the relatively peaceful nature of the voting process in most parts of the state.

Contrary to orchestrated media reports, the election was neither free nor fair. There were several episodes of violence, voter intimidation, and falsification of results. In particular, there were unlawful cancellations of results particularly from Urhonigbe South and North in Orhiomwon, while results were falsified from many polling units in Ofunama in Ovia South West, and in parts of Ovia North East, Owan West, Oredo, Egor, Ikpoba-Okha, Esan North East, Esan West, Esan South East, and Uhunmwode Local Government Areas.

Sadly, two persons were killed during the election, while gun-wielding thugs took over collation centres in many locations without the intervention of law-enforcement agents. There were also several cases of malfunctioning card readers, which disenfranchised duly registered voters, in addition to many cases of unregistered voters voting with pre-purchased voters’ cards not collected by their actual owners.

These malpractices could easily form the basis to challenge the election results. We have however decided not to commence an election petition. This is to avoid further tension in the state. We are also mindful that the leadership of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and many well-placed individuals have made pronouncements endorsing the process, which we have chosen to respect.

Nonetheless, we must emphasize that elections are far more than actual voting, just as democracy includes more than just elections. It is in this light that we draw attention to the fact that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its flagbearers have continued to pursue several pre-election suits in various courts against us, all totalling 13. One such case came up in the High Court, Benin on 2nd October 2020, days after the election.

On our part, we had filed two pre-election cases against the PDP and its flagbearer challenging their eligibility to contest the election. These are all lawful and integral parts of the electoral process in any democracy, which we must all respect and acknowledge as genuine democrats.

The outcome of these pending cases has a direct effect on the election. Consequently, we have decided to continue with our pre-election cases in full exercise of our legal rights, just as our opponents have considered it their prerogative to also continue with their pre-election cases against us.

Let me once again wholeheartedly thank the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, for his statesmanship and support throughout the election campaign. We thank the National leadership of our party led by HE Mai Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe state, our National Campaign Council led by HE Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Governor of Kano State, APC Governors, leaders and members of the National Assembly and other leaders of our party at both national and state levels for their immense contributions.

We also sincerely thank His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II, the Oba of Benin, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe III, and all our other Royal Fathers, for their unceasing prayers for the peace of the state before, during and after the elections.

We thank our religious leaders for their prayers and intercessions throughout the campaign and even thereafter.

We commend the good people of Edo State for their peaceful conduct despite the hostile and provocative actions of state officials, which have remained unabated. We urge everyone to remain law-abiding, as responsible citizens.

We especially thank our innumerable supporters for their steadfast support and a tremendous show of love, and likewise, urge them to remain calm while keeping the faith alive for a better Edo State which we shall all be proud of.

Let me conclude by noting that our cause to uplift our state using the democratic system is a noble mission from which we SHALL NEVER waiver. As law-abiding citizens, we must all continue to believe in the electoral process as an important part of the democratic system, as it remains the best method of choosing who leads the people, devoid of violence and avoidable acrimony.

Long live Edo State.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Pastor Dr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu

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#EndSARS: Inter-Faith Group Berates Adeboye, Oyedepo Others for Defending Same Sex Marriage Against God’s Commandment

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The National Inter- Faith and Religious Organisations for Peace (NIFROP) has expressed displeasure with Pastor E.A Adeboye, Bishop David Oyedepo and other respected clerics over alleged links to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ) community in stoking the #EndSARS protests

In a statement signed by Director of Publicity, Rev. Steven Onwu, on Monday, the clerics said the intention is to overthrow the government and install a pliable replacement that will repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013.

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents.

NIFROP said it is “hocked at the unholy alliance between some otherwise respected clergymen with their churches and LGBTQ Community to destroy Nigeria”.

The clergymen, however, advised their colleagues supporting the LGBTQ protests to repent and seek God’s forgiveness for their sins assuming they committed same in ignorance.

The group urged Nigerians to shun these protests henceforth in order not to be contaminated by the sins of LGBTQ.

Read full statement below:

National Inter- Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) is disappointed other decision of some leading clergymen to team up and enter into only alliances with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, (LGBTQ) community in stoking dissention and crisis in the land through the hijack of the #EndSARS protest.

The protest that began as a legitimate agitation for an end to police brutality and abuse of human rights, particularly by the now rested SARS unit, has now turned to the cause of unfolding bloodshed and wanton destruction of property across several cities of the world.

Concerned Nigerians had wondered how protesters were being fed and transported to protest venues only for us to discover that the massing on the streets is being sponsored by the LGBTQ Community, which had successfully hidden their involvement by using cryptocurrency and other dark mode of financing.

We surmise that LGBTQ Community’s objective for bankrolling this protests that have now turned violent is so that they can overthrow the government and install a pliable replacement that will repeal the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013. It is of note that the Act tallies with the injunctions in the Bible, Quran and the other testaments that the people of God subscribe to. The faithful in Nigeria fully support the Act as none of us want the wrath of God to befall us.

The agenda of the enemies is now clear. For the LGBTQ community to proudly own sponsorship of the protests is an insult to all Christians and Muslims all over the country. It is reprehensible and condemnable in all ramifications. It is abominable that clergymen who should show the way have allowed their pursuit of worldliness to blind them to the directives of God.

NIFROP is therefore shocked at the unholy alliance between some otherwise respected clergymen with their churches and LGBTQ Community to destroy Nigeria, which is real cause for worry in the Body of Christ. We are appalled that Pastors and Bishop have delivered sermons for the youth to join and actively participate in protests whose long-term objective is to open the country up to gay, lesbian and other deplorable lifestyles.

We are further worried that these clergymen went further in their sin by taking money from God’s house to either support the protests directly or used in buying food items for the protesters. We wonder if these clergymen have deleted Leviticus 20:13 from their own versions of the Bible. Ananias and Sapphira were not as indiscreet with the resources of the Church.

NIFROP strongly condemns this decision of the senior clergymen to hobnob with the LGBTQ axis of evil; in violation of God’s injunction, they teamed up with sinners even after the legitimate #ENDSARs has ended just to destroy the country. The clergymen who lent themselves out for this evil are nothing but workers of iniquities in the vineyard of God.

We exhort Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church, Senior Pastor (Dr.) Paul Enenche of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye with his Pastor Folu Adeboye as well as his son and all other clergymen that have supported the LGBTQ protests to repent and seek God’s forgiveness for their sins assuming they committed same in ignorance.

We urge Nigerians to shun these protests henceforth in order not to be contaminated by the sins of LGBTQ. Nigerians should continue to seek the face of God and pray for forgiveness for the way the LGBTQ Community lured a lot of people to sin.

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Crocodile Smile: Exercise Has Nothing To Do With #EndSARS Protests, Civil Rights Lawyer Warns

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Contrary to reports, a civil rights lawyer, Osuagwu Ugochukwu, says the Nigerian Army’s operation ‘Crocodile Smile’ has no relationship with the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country.

In a statement on Sunday, Ugochukwu said the military has never involved itself in the civil uproar at all in any form whatsoever.

Protest across the country demanding an end to Police brutality has intensified despite disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and subsequent formation of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

In the last couple of days, the protest has taken a violent twist, raising questions about the original intents.

However, despite insinuations in some section of the media, Ugochukwu said to imply that the exercise is meant to stifle the #EndSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed.

“My attention has been drawn to several media publications unjustly condemning the Nigeria Army and its Leadership over the announcement of ‘Cyber Warfare Operation’,” he said.

“This year’s Exercise Crocodile Smile VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020.

“For the records the Operation Crocodile Smile is a yearly exercise in the Nigeria Army calendar which usually holds from October till December.

“Thus to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the on going ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed .The Crocodile Smile VI has nothing to do with the protest ongoing and the Military has never involved themselves in the ongoing civil protest at all in any form whatsoever. Nobody can claim or accuse the Military of interfering with the ENDSARS protest at all including the hardest of the critics. The Army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago”.

The human rights lawyer, however, urged Nigerians to go about their lawful activities as the Crocodile Smile VI exercise starting nationwide from next week has nothing to do with ENDSARS but a yearly operation set out by the Military to discharge its constitutional duties .

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Nigerian Army Will Not Clampdown on Protesters – Kuanum

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Human Rights Activists and field researcher of the Global Amnesty Watch, Terrance Kuanum has stated that the Launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army would not clamp down on peaceful protesters across the country.

He stated this during an interview with select news media on Sunday. Mr Terrance Kuanum believed that the Nigerian Army has evolved into a professional force with respect for human rights.

“The Nigerian Army of today is not what it used to be. This is what most Nigerians have not come to realize. I say this in my capacity as a field researcher that has traversed most parts of the country and where the Nigerian Army are in operation in North-East Nigeria, as well as other parts of the country. The conduct I must state has been exceptional.”

“This is not the first operation or exercise the Nigerian Army has conducted. Don’t forget that only recently, Operation Sahel Sanity was extended for a further three months and its scope expanded to include states in North Central. And I must add that they have conducted themselves most professionally that resulted in tremendous success.”

On the timing of the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile to coincide with the protest across the country, the Human Rights activists rubbished the claims that it was intended to clamp down on peaceful protesters demanding reforms for the Nigerian Police Force.

“I disagree with such a position. I am not sure the Chief of Army Staff would sanction such a move owing to his track record in ensuring that the operations of the Nigerian Army conform to human rights tenets. We must not also forget in a hurry that indeed the Nigerian Army has a Human rights desk across all its units and formations to investigate complaints from individuals, organizations and institution on rights violation involving Nigerian Army personnel.”

“If this has been the norm, why on earth would one imagine that the Nigerian Army would clampdown on peaceful protesters before the full glare of the whole world. If not for anything they should know that this is the digital age and almost all the protesters have smartphones with which they use to capture proceedings. It would be indeed foolhardy for such to happen. I think Nigerians must be circumspect in their assumptions at the risk of heating an already tensed polity.”

Mr Terrance Kuanum also stated that the bulk of the misinformation making the rounds concerning the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile might be the handiwork of those that intend to capitalize and hijack the peaceful protest to achieve their aim.
“As a field researcher, over the years, I have come to understand some of the dynamics inherent in the Nigerian society. We must realize that at every point in time, there are various interest struggling for relevance to the pursuit of their agenda. There are those whose stock in trade is to fan the embers of war so that their businesses can thrive. Some want to advance their political interest, and the only way they could get that done easily is to instigate conflict and spread mischief. Some are experts in causing distractions in the country so they can perpetuate their nefarious activities.”

“It is indeed a complicated chain we are dealing with, and I won’t be surprised that there are certain interests that have seen this peaceful protest by the youths as the perfect opportunity to discredit the government and the emphasis is to hijack it and cause mayhem of unquantifiable dimension. I think the launch of Exercise Crocodile Smile indeed rattled them and they have elected to spread misinformation across the country. Was the mandate of Exercise Crocodile Smile not explicit?

“The Nigerian Army has said its upcoming Exercise Crocodile Smile will tackle cyber warfare and insurgency in the country, particularly in the North-East, where Boko Haram insurgents have caused massive destruction. If this is the operational mandate, how does one then link it with an attempt to clampdown on peaceful protesters?”

He added that Nigerians must understand that there is a grand plot been hatched to cause violence in the country by some individuals and organizations.

“Without mincing words, I believe those that are afraid of Crocodile Smile are those with ulterior motives. Not the peaceful protesters because so far they have conducted themselves in an appreciable manner devoid of confrontation or provocation. They are only demanding for an end to police brutality and a reform of the Nigerian Police Force. I do not see a crime in that, and I also do not see a justification for the Nigerian Army to clampdown on the protesters.”

“It would indeed be a great disservice if the Nigerian Army does clamp down on the protesters, and not on the heels of the numerous initiatives that have been introduced by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen TY Buratai towards the entrenchment of respect for the rule of law and tenets of human rights.”

“I believe the Nigerian Army under Lt. Gen TY Buratai has set a very high standard in terms of human rights and the citizens have no reason to fear the troops at any point. But those that are planning to foment trouble by hijacking the protest to their advantage should have every reason to be afraid. This is my candid opinion.”

On the effectiveness of such operations when there is widespread protest across the country, Mr Terrance Kuanum stated that the exercise is timely and would go a long way to identify and track down terrorist operating in the cyber world.

“We must admit that Nigeria has been experiencing cyber-attacks in recent times that is capable of undermining our territorial integrity. And it is to the credit of the Nigerian Army that such an operation is launched, which is an indication of advancement in the operations of the Nigerian Army. I believe if the Nigerian Army does not have such capacity, it will not launch an operation.”

“It is my considered opinion that the operation is timely and it behoves on well-meaning Nigerians to extend their support to the Nigerian Army by refusing to be misled by those vested interests that have ulterior motives occasioned by the misinformation passing the rounds. It must also be realized that the threat to Nigeria’s sovereignty transcends beyond the physical, and that is the orientation that must change. This is indeed a proactive step by the Nigerian Army.”

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