The acrimony between the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressive Congress seems not to be abating as the PDP has alleged a plot by the APC to manipulate the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Addressing journalists on Friday, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, fingered the APC governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu; former national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole; and a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mustapha Lecky, as the brains behind the plot.
Nehikhare alleged that the polling officers who were supposed to be National Youth Service Corps members had been changed, alleging that Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu were nominating POs.
He alleged that Lecky was also engaged in influencing the engagement of persons, “with personal ties with Oshiomhole and Ize-Iyamu, to rig the election in favour of the APC during the polls and undermine the electoral process.
Nehikhare stated, “The time-honoured tradition, which mandates that all political parties involved in the electioneering process submit names of persons to be used as ad hoc staff is being abused by Dr. Lecky and his collaborators in the APC.
“While we have confidence in the INEC as an institution, we are calling on them to rein in Dr. Lecky and his likes, in order to have an election that would uphold the will of the people and one that they can be proud of.
“We hereby call on the INEC leadership to review the process of selecting these officials and request that Dr. Lecky excuse himself from the process as his activities have been revealed to be threatening the integrity of the process, which will taint the outcome of the election.”
However, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Chris Azebamwan, described the alleged plot as a phantom and imaginary transaction.
He said, “This is a phantom and imaginary transaction. I can tell you authoritatively that the APC has not and cannot delve into the affairs of a statutory body recognised by the electoral law to conduct elections in this country. This is another ploy by the PDP and Governor (Godwin) Obaseki to distract Nigerians and Edo people from the matter at hand.
“Obaseki is the outgoing governor and he should be preparing his handover notes instead of misleading the people because he is aware of his obvious imminent defeat, so there is no truth in this frivolous allegation.”
Lecky described Nehikhare’s allegation as false, adding that he would not be a party to electoral malpractice.
“It must be in the dream of whosoever imagined it,” he added.
Edo people’ll bury dictatorship, says Obaseki
Meanwhile, Obaseki, who is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, has said the people of the state will put an end to political dictatorship via the election.
He said this on Friday during the ward-to-ward rally at Wards 8 and 10, as well as Uselu Market in the Egor Local Government Area of the state.
Obaseki noted that the “dictator to be buried politically” had already been retired politically, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The governor emphasised that his administration was building institutions that would outlive individuals.
“Democracy will continue beyond us; institutions will outlive us. That is why this election is about building institutions,” he added.
Obaseki pledged to abide by the conditions of the peace pact reached at the instance of the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II.
He said the PDP and its supporters were committed to ensuring a peaceful and violence-free electioneering, adding that “we will continue to pursue peace, even in face of provocation.”
The PDP candidate urged his party faithful at Wards 6, 7 and 8 in Ighodefeyi, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the state to refrain from retaliation, no matter the level of provocation by the opposition party.
He said, “The Oba of Benin called us to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the election and we assured him that the PDP is a party of peace. We are peaceful people and are never the cause of any incident of violence in the state.
“We are in office to serve the people of Edo State. We will never again have a government that is controlled by a few for their selfish interests. Our government is one that is responsible for the people of the state.”
The governor also promised that his administration would train repentant Internet fraudsters (popularly known as Yahoo boys), on advanced Information and Communication Technology and vocational skills in its proposed technology park in the state.
He said, “I will train young boys who do Yahoo to work in our technology park. We will train them and ensure they become more useful to society.”
Earlier, Obaseki’s running mate, Mr Philip Shaibu, said it was time for the youths to take their destinies into their own hands.
Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities
The Benue State Government has urged community leaders to expose those who carried out an unprovoked attack on Nigerian Army troops, leading to the death of an officer and 10 other soldiers.
In a statement on Friday, Governor Ortom while addressing the recent crisis between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, called for restraint on all sides including the military.
Ortom noted in his communique that he has already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the “bandits” took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.
Earlier on, the army had reported that its troops came under attack while on a routine operational task, it was not clear who the attackers were at the time.
The military however asserted that the troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke.
The search and rescue team, unfortunately, found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately.
According to the army, efforts were still ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.
In his reaction, Governor Ortom urged members of the affected communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military, stating that such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.
The governor disclosed that in an effort to find a solution to the crisis, he set up a Boundary Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu to resolve the land dispute in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission.
The Committee had fixed a date for the demarcation of the area in contention when renewed violence broke out between the Bonta Community of Konshisha Local Government Area and Okpute Community of Oju Local Government Area.
Ortom assured the people that his administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.
He, however, urged the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband Prince Philip Dies At 99
Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip has died at age 99, according to a statement by Buckingham Palace.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.
The Palace announced the death of the late monarch via its official Twitter handle on Friday afternoon, April 9, 2021.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” it said in a statement.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The palace added that further announcements would be made “in due course”.
Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he recently spent a month in hospital for treatment.
He left the hospital on March 16 following what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection.
He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.
Philip had returned to Windsor Castle, west of London, where he had been isolating with the queen — Britain’s longest-serving monarch — since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
He was due to turn 100 in June.
The news of his death saw television channels interrupt regular programmes and start special coverage marking his life.
The BBC announced his death and played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
Philip had increasingly struggled with his health in recent years and had retired from public life.
In the run-up to Christmas 2011, Philip was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains.
The Greek-born former naval officer was then treated for a blocked coronary artery and had a stent fitted
Buhari Approves Appointment Of Usman Alkali As Acting IGP
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of DIG Usman Alkali Baba as acting Inspector General of police.
He immediately replaces Mohammed Abubakar Adamu.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday.
The president had on the 4th of February, extended the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as the Inspector General of Police for three months out of which the erstwhile police boss spent two months and three days.
According to the minister, Baba’s appointment was carefully made, after the president considered issues of professionalism, competence, and numerous years of service.
The president urged DIG Usman Alkali Baba to among other things ensure that policing reform policies are fully prioritized to engender peace across the country.
Born on 1st March 1963 in Gaidam, Yobe State, the acting IGP enlisted in the Nigeria Police on 15th March 1988.
He was until his appointment a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters.
He holds a Teacher’s Grade II Certificate (TC II) from Teachers College, Potiskum, Yobe State in 1980.
He obtained a BA (ED) in Political Science from Bayero University, Kano in 1985.
The Acting IGP also has a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) obtained from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State in 1997.
As part of his policing vision, he aims to enhance police primacy in Nigeria through the provision of motivational and credible leadership, directed at stabilizing internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities and standards within the framework of citizens, consent, trust, and the rule of law.