Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has expressed the state government’s readiness to collaborate with the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to flush out thugs from motor parks across the state.
Obaseki made the call when he received the National President of NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, on a courtesy visit to Government House in Benin on Wednesday.
He said members of the union were law-abiding and were not thugs or miscreants, noting that some other persons who were not employed hanged around the motor parks fomenting trouble in the state.
“We are going to work, corporate and collaborate with you to flush out those thugs and miscreants who are already fomenting trouble in the State.
“We would work and ensure they don’t have space to operate in the state.
“Our role as a government is to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
“If people are busy, they will not have time for trouble. We need to work together to ensure the state is free from miscreants and thugs,’’ the governor said.
He assured the group that his administration would continue to work and support the group as they had been supportive since the inception of his administration.
Obaseki commended the NURTW in the state for their support in the reform and mode of collecting revenue in motor parks across the state.
Earlier in his address, the NURTW president said the national executive were in Edo to show support and identify with the state council.
He acknowledged the developmental strides of the Obaseki-led administration and appealed for full cooperation of government to allow members contribute to the economic development of the state. (NAN)
Edited by Adeleye Ajayi
Association calls on Edo govt. to protect lives of women, children
The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Edo branch has called on the Federal Government and relevant security agencies to protect the lives of women and children in the state.
Dr Adesuwa Urhoghide-Edigin, the President of MWAN made the call during a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.
“We stand in solidarity with the family of the deceased in fighting for justice. We thank the Edo government for the prompt intervention as we await the result of the inquiry.
The association president urged parents to put in more effort in training the boy-child to know that “violence and rape are unacceptable in the society’’.
“The worst pain you can inflict on a girl-child or a woman is rape. It’s five minutes for the perpetrator but life time for victim.
She advised ladies not to stay on lonely places at odd times.
Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin, died at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Edo Guber primaries: APC generates N135m from sale of forms
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has so far realised N135 million from the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms to six Edo governorship aspirants participating in the party’s primaries slated for June 22.
The APC National Organising Secretary, Mr Emma Ibediro, had on May 20 issued the timetable for the party’s primaries in the two states.
According to him, this includes N2.5 million for Expression of Interest Form and N20 million for the Nomination Form.
The party’s national organising scribe also released the list of Edo governorship aspirants who have so far purchased and submitted the forms.
Akeredolu assures market women of govt.’s support to boost businesses
The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu has reiterated government’s support to market women by providing enabling environment and other basic needs to boost their businesses in the state.
Akeredolu made this known on Wednesday when she commissioned market stalls renovated in Okeigbo by Ile-Oluji-Okeigbo Local Government.
She said building of markets served to complement government’s revenue to grow and develop the state’s economy.
She urged the market women to support the present administration to continue its good work for the people.
Mrs.Taiwo Adeoyin, the Ile-Oluji-Okeigbo Local Government Caretaker Chairman said her team was able to identify the needs of the people by promptly making provision of modern market that would contribute to the economic development of the council area.
Adeoyin said that the market would go a long way to give numerous opportunities to the traders to market their goods both indoors and outdoors.
She commended Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu, who stood by them and facilitated prompt release of funds for the execution of the project and other laudable projects scattered across the council area since her assumption of office.
She lauded the introduction of Forum of Wives of Ondo State Officials (FOWOSO), which was by initiated the governor’s wife, adding that the programme had reached out to numerous women and youths in the state in form of socio economic empowerment.
“It is indeed a new dimension of women and youth’s empowerment initiative as it applies the approach of skill acquisition for women across the 18 LGAs.
“I want to give Mr Governor the assurance of our unflinching support and total votes to you in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
“That is the only way we can continue to enjoy the good dividends of democracy for our people,” she said.
COVID-19: Edo NMA donates support items to UBTH
Presenting the materials, the state NMA Chairman, Dr Valentine Omoifo, appreciated the UBTH management for protecting health workers while ensuring adequate healthcare even in the face of the pandemic.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen by the branch NMA Public Relations Officer, Dr Eustace Oseghale, on Tuesday in Benin.
The association assured that presentation of such items to UBTH would be sustained.
“This would be a continuous thing as more personal protective equipments and other materials will be provided to UBTH soon,” it said.
Obaseki informed them that the hospital gates remained open and the hospital currently has about 400 in patients.
“Though this is telling on the hospital revenue as materials to protect staff and patients are now very expensive,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items presented included cacatin face shields, face masks, sanitiser, washing soap and gloves.
Migrants demand “freedom” at Malta’s Marsa detention center
Police were called in on Tuesday to help quell a protest at one of Malta’s detention centers where hundreds of migrants were demanding “freedom.”
The protest, which lasted from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., was kept under control. No major incidents were reported.
The migrants held at a detention center in the harbor village of Marsa waved towels, banged on windows and chanted “We want freedom.”
One migrant climbed the fence and jumped into a nearby canal. He was immediately captured by the police and taken to hospital. The situation seemed to escalate during the rescue because he resisted and the migrants inside the center began insulting the police and tried to force open the main gate.
However, the situation was soon brought under control. A police spokesman told Xinhua that only the person who tried to flee was arrested and that the intervention of the riot police squad was not required.
In April, a similar protest took place at the Marsa detention center.
APC NWC approves direct primaries for Edo election
The National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, says the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) has approved direct primaries for the June 22, Edo governorship poll.
Oshiomhole said this on Monday at a news conference shorty after meeting with APC Governors Forum led by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.
He added that the party’s NWC was yet to discuss and decide on the mode of primaries for Ondo Governorship election slated for July 20.
“We have since published our time table because under the law, we are required to give Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) at least 21 days notice to monitor our primaries.
“And to state the mode of our primaries and of course NWC had approved direct primaries for Edo.
“That of Ondo has not been discussed because that will come much later, because Edo will come about three weeks before Ondo,” the party chairman said.
He said that the party had begun the sale of expression of interest and nomination forms, adding that other processes had also been going fine.
“We have commenced the sale of forms, I think as of last Friday to my knowledge three people had picked the forms.
“I think by today more people have picked the forms. So, we are selling forms to all those who wish to buy based on the guidelines.
“And of course as the Chairman of the Progressives Governors rightly said, we have ensured in our letter to INEC and even this morning we had a virtual meeting with INEC leadership.
“We will conduct primaries taking into account the protocols on Covid-19 by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and Nigeria Commission for Disease Control (NCDC). I think everything has been going fine,” he said.
According to him, governors are assets to our party and once a candidate emerged, we all work and ensure that we do our best to persuade the people in the respective states to favour us with their votes.
“I am sure that by the special grace of God, the Ondo Governor is here, he did well and electorate are more sophisticated now, so we have no fear about that.
“Obaseki is not here but issues of primaries are well spelt out in our constitution and we are following it as strictly as possible. So nothing to worry about at all,” Oshiomhole said.
Earlier, Bagudu said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues between the Governor’s Forum and party leadership that would lead to the progress of the APC.
NCWS calls on Edo Govt. to fish out killers of UNIBEN undergraduate
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) has called on Edo Government to ensure that killers of Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of University of Benin (UNIBEN) are brought to book.
The President NCWS, Mrs Laraba Shoda, made the call in statement on Monday in Abuja.
The 22-years-old undergraduate was gang-raped and had her head smashed with a fire extinguisher by unidentified assailants inside a Pentecostal church in Ikpoba Hill in Benin, Edo, where she had gone to read.
The victim was attacked on May 13; she died on May 31 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
Shoda, who condemned the action, said such act should not be condoned in the society.
According to her, the news of death of Omozuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of UNIBEN is shocking and disheartening.
“This goes a long way to show how bad our society has become. People no longer have the fear of God to have raped a girl in a church and murder her.
“We are facing many social vices on top of the current COVID-19 pandemic which is already hard on everyone, compounding it with inflicting additional pain on any families and the society is simply wicked.
“I am calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands in condemning this act, it can happen to anyone.
“It is high time that government at all levels strengthened our security operatives. Our core values of know your neighbours should also be activated to help curb some of these vices,” she said.
Shoda commiserated with the bereaved family on the loss of their daughter and prayed to God to grant her soul peaceful rest.
Edo Gov Poll: INEC set up dedicated portal for form submission
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has set up a dedicated portal through which political parties contesting for Edo governorship scheduled for Sept 19, will submit the nomination forms of their candidates.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday, during the first virtual consultative meeting of the commission with leaders of political parties.
Yakubu, however, warned political parties against changes in the date for the conduct of their primaries for the election, as the portal would be automatically shutdown on the scheduled dates.
“Party primaries for the nomination of candidates for the Edo Governorship election begin tomorrow. Already, some political parties have invited the commission to monitor their primaries which must be conducted from 2nd to 27th June 2020.
” This time around, the submission of nomination forms will be done online for which a dedicated portal has been set up.
“Let me therefore warn political parties that intend to field candidates for the election to strictly adhere to these dates as well as the new online procedure for filing of nominations. Any party that operates outside these dates will only have itself to blame.
“The portal will automatically shutdown on the scheduled date and at the fixed hour. The Legal Department and ICT will brief this meeting on the new procedure,” Yakubu said.
The chairman advised parties on the need to conduct rancour-free primaries, and to avoid acts of thuggery, brigandage, vote-buying and other sundry violations of the Electoral Act.
Yakubu also directed parties that opted for direct primaries to provide the commission with the list of their registered members, while those going for indirect primaries must also provide INEC with the list of their delegates.
“As we monitor the conduct of party primaries, we will pay particular attention to your compliance with the law and to consider sanctions so that the unruly behaviour of some party supporters is not carried forward to the main election.
“At the same time, I wish to appeal to political parties that opt for direct primaries to avail us with the register of members to be used for the election from Ward to Local Government and State levels for the effective discharge of our monitoring responsibilities under the law.
“Those that opt for indirect primaries should similarly make available to the commission, the list of delegates for the election. Doing otherwise will amount to going into an election without the voters’ register.
“The commission makes available to each political party, the complete register of voters before every major election. We expect political parties to reciprocate for their primaries,” he said.
Yakubu disclosed that the commission had already carried out the first out of the 14 activities it lined up for Edo governorship election, as the notice for the election (Form EC60A) had been pasted in its Edo state office.
The INEC chairman, who stressed the need for a national conversation around the frequency of bye-elections in Nigeria, said in the month of May 2020 alone, five members of State Houses of Assembly passed on.
He added that since December 2019, a period of six months, twelve members of the National and State Houses of Assembly had similarly passed on.
“This is in addition to the resignation of two Senators from Bayelsa who have since been sworn-in as Governor and Deputy Governor of the state.
“The cost of conducting these bye-elections to the commission, the security agencies, political parties and candidates, election observers, the media, litigations (both pre-election and post-election) and disruption of activities as a result of the restriction of movement on election day is enormous.
“There is no election season in Nigeria any longer. The commission is busy conducting elections all-year round between one general election and another.
“This often diverts our attention away from reform, innovation, peer learning and planning for the consolidation of our electoral process.
“The commission is going to open a discussion with stakeholders and the National Assembly for necessary reforms toward more cost-effective and democratic options,” he said.
” For undertaking elections in normal period has never been easy, and definitely will not be less daunting this season.
“It is in the light of this, we, the political parties will want to commend INEC for the bold step it has taken to come up early with a well-heeled policy on conducting elections in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
” Indeed, the measures outlined to tame the scourge in the document is realistic, exhaustive, health-sensitive, safety-induced and in tune with reality of the times.
“Our checks so far show that globally, INEC is the first national election organising body to have done this, not even USA, India, Pakistan has codified effort to respond maximally, politics-wise to the pandemic in an enclosed one-all document as it did. And this was done swiftly!
“It is also gratifying to note that the document received wide commendation across board and is now being referenced. And last week we commended the commission via a plethora of media for its effort.
“From high-end issues as health and safety concerns, legal matters, election planning and implementation to elections operations to materials handling, staff management and ad hoc recruitment
” Placement to logistic, transportation and passenger management to queuing arrangement in polling units, crucial areas in pre and post election preparation and management were properly captured,” he said.
Nzenwa, however, called on INEC to be ready, and willing to review some aspects of the policy document regarding concerned misgivings by stakeholders who strongly felt that some of its provisions might not be feasible when it was lifted from paper for implementation.
He expressed the resolve of IPAC to work with INEC in deepening engagement with all stakeholders, especially the electorate by properly informing them about their roles and responsibilities during election in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.
He urged INEC to ensure that minimal discomfort was imposed on voters and other stakeholders in its quest to ensure that the nation had credible and acceptable polls during the Edo, Ondo and other by-elections.
Edo APC Primaries: Obaseki visits Aso Villa, seeks Buhari’s blessing
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed door with Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the meeting which was at the instance of the governor, came ahead of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled for June, 2020.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Obaseki said he was in the Presidential Villa to formally intimate the president of his intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The governor, who is believed to be at loggerhead with the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, over his second term ambition, presented his Expression of Interest form to the president for blessing.
“I came to see Mr President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo State on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“As a father of the country, as our president I should not just assume or take things for granted – I have to come to inform him and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid, and the president was quiet warm and quiet welcoming.
“When I showed him my Expression of Interest form, he looked through it and teased me that he would not have to go through this again and wished me good luck and assured me of his support,’’ he said.
On the political tussle in Edo, the governor stated that the crisis was being instigated from outside the state.
Obaseki also described the political misunderstanding between him and Oshiohmole as very unfortunate, saying however that he was ready to reach a truce with all aggrieved members of the APC.
“It is unfortunate that he (Oshiohmole) is taking the position he has taken. I believe that he was not properly guided.
“I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.
“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do,’’ he stated.
According to the governor, he has the full support of his counterparts, all the governors elected on the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which encourages continuity.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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