According to him, the decision is in spite of his having openly supported Obaseki in the crisis that later resulted to the governor jumping ship and pitching his tent with the PDP, which was previously in the opposition in Edo.
Esele argued that his decision to remain in the APC was borne out of collective interest, rather than fostering the interest of any individual.
“I have openly supported Mr Obaseki on the ground that the crises he was engaged in affected the party as a whole.
“My stand is for the collective and not for the individual. While he has chosen to move on, I will remain and carry on working with the collective.”
Esele noted that being a card-carrying member of the APC was not “a walk in the park’’, pointing out that most of the party’s challenges were self-inflicted.
“But we must never forget the importance of institutions in nation building,’’ he stated.
The unionist, who contested for the governorship ticket of the APC with Obaseki in 2016, described the democratic process as an aspiration, rather than “a ready-made state of affairs”.
He argued that in the pursuit of a better Edo State, the state’s democratic processes must continually make room for ideas to be contested but “without violence.
“Sept. 19 is almost here. It is up to us to make it count collectively.
“Politics in Edo State has been in a state of heightened animation and I have been reflecting on some particular emerging trends.
“I have made my views known about how the party was being run. This led to a disagreement with the former National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.
“My misgivings about power relations and party administrative processes have caused me disagreements in the past but I still insist that my comments are not based on personal bias but on my integrity.
“It is based on the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all — the central ethic of the labour movement, which I believe encompasses all ethnic and religious divides.”
Esele noted that irreconcilable differences, prompted Obaseki to decamp to the PDP, saying: “I respect his decision and those who joined him”.
Edo State, one of the seven off-circle election states, is scheduled to hold a high-stakes governorship election in two months’ time with analysts expressing fears over what the future holds for the state.
The countdown to the election has been characterised by high-drama, stoking fears that the election may be marred by betrayals, intrigues, violence and bloodshed.
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Edo pensioners happy, no longer wear black, says Shaibu
Edo Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu on Tuesday said that pensioners in the state no longer wear black nor take to the streets because government had made their welfare a priority.
He spoke in Ibillo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state, while addressing a campaign rally.
“Our first citizens no longer take to the streets to protest the non-payments of their pension and entitlements
“They no longer wear black to protest. Gov. Godwin Obaseki has taken them off the streets. We, the people of the state, are going to return him back to office to continue the good work he has been doing for the past three and half years.
“Some lawmakers have been mobilised to buy your votes, please use your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to thrown them out,” he said.
Edo 2020: APC youths vow to send Obaseki parking
The youth wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Edo chapter, has vowed to send Gov. Godwin Obaseki parking from the Dennis Osadebey House, come Sept. 19.
The youth stated this during the inauguration of the youth wing of the APC Governorship Candidate Campaign Council in Esan West and Owan West local government areas, on Tuesday.
Mr Dennis Idahosa, the Director-General, Youth and Students’ Mobilisation for the State Campaign Council, who inaugurated the youth wing, said that the party aimed to record 99 percent victory in the governorship election.
Idahosa, who is the member representing Ovia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, urged the coordinators of the youth wing to take the manifesto of Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC candidate, christened: “SIMPLE Agenda” to all nooks and crannies of their council areas.
While appealing to them to eschew violence as they would be going about the campaign, Idahosa, however, said that they must all be resolute in their quest to ensure victory for the party.
According to him, “Although we seek victory, we must go about it in a peaceful manner. We must try to avoid any act of violence; but we must be resolute in our bid to regain the state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We have all it takes to come out victorious, especially when you consider the record of achievements of the party while Mr Adams Oshiomhole was the governor.
“In addition to this, we have a sellable candidate in the person of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Let’s us all go out and propagate his “SIMPLE agenda” message to the people,” he said.
Also, Mr Johnson Iyamu, Secretary of the Youths and Students’ Mobilisation, urged the coordinators to, in turn, go and inaugurate 100-member executives in their respective local governments.
He said that 50-member executives should also be inaugurated at the ward level, adding that they should take the Ize-Iyamu agenda to every nook and cranny of their areas.
Present at the inauguration was the APC Senatorial Youth Leader for Edo North, Mr Dirisu Otinomo and Chairman, Media Sub-committee for Youths and Students’ Mobilisation, Mr Collins Osagae.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
NUC says 32 universities involved in research to tackle impacts of COVID-19
Rasheed, who was represented by Dr Suleiman Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a news briefing on the contribution of the Nigerian University System toward mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
He noted that the research would be building up over the coming months.
According to him, the universities will not relent on their efforts until COVID-19 was consigned to history and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.
” As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research toward the development of vaccines and non vaccines.
“Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.
” Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national
response,” he said.
Rasheed added that in the area of Genomic research, the African Centres of Excellence (ACE), particularly the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede was collaborating with the University of Cambridge for the development of vaccines.
He said that other ACEs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Universities of Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt and Jos, which served as national
testing and screening centres had proved that world-class research and development was possible in Nigeria.
He, therefore, added that the country’s university system could be readily effective and relevant to national development if research was valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators including students.
On the current efforts of herbal remedies, Rasheed said the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on herbal and natural products development was acknowledged, following the great demonstration of enviable political leadership by the President of Madagascar.
“Furthermore, Nigeria needs to develop homegrown capabilities in the production and manufacture of the most basic medical and pharmaceutical products such as PPEs, WASH accessories, and ventilators.
” Limited developments are reported from the few ongoing research, but these give some hope that the NUC can provide the R&D base for responding to these needs and much needed structural reconfiguration of the economy.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Oyo launches state-wide initiative against COVID-19
The Oyo State Government has launched a statewide containment and decontamination response initiative to curtail the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
The training had in attendance representatives of environmental health officers in all the 33 local government areas which had been divided into seven zones.
In her address at the forum, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, the state’s Team Lead of the Containment and Decontamination Project, said the initiative would focus on the next phase in the containment of COVID-19 in the state.
“COVID-19 has spread beyond Ibadan and what that means is that the government has to be responsive to do what is right.
“You can imagine if there is an incidence in Ibarapa and another one in Iseyin, it would be very difficult for the state containment team to cover all.
“So what the government is doing is to decentralise the containment efforts.
“Containment is not all about decontamination, it is a lot of things, so this is embedded in the local government system. Every local government has an environmental health unit.
“These are the people that are being trained because they are on the staff of the Oyo State government already to be able to take up this task as frontliners,” she said.
Adeyemo said 77 environmental health officers were being trained while each team had been provided with a revolving N500,000 seed grant for the purchase of chemicals and logistics.
She canvassed the need for self policing, adding that compliance form had been made available to report violators of COVID-19 guidelines.
Speaking on the high rate of COVID-19 cases in the state, Adeyemo said there was the need to work more on compliance to reduce infections.
Adeyemo said: “If you look at the mortality rate and you look at Oyo State and compare it with Edo state that is behind us and you compare the mortality, definitely they are under reporting in those states.
“I think Oyo State is doing more testing and we are reporting a closer to accurate number and that is why we are high there.
“But when you compare the mortality rate for people behind Oyo State on the NCDC list of confirmed cases then you will see that their mortality is higher.
“And it is just science, the more the cases the more likely people will die. So it’s easy to extrapolate that those states that have very high mortality but low numbers of confirmed cases are under reporting.”
Also speaking, Mr Mojeed Mogbonjubola, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, said the decentralisation of containment was the initiative of the administration.
“It is quite unfortunate that the pandemic is spreading really wide and we couldn’t contain it in Ibadan.
“What His Excellency is trying to do in conjunction with the University of Ibadan is to extend the committee’s team to other regions of the state.
“This is about a call to service. Like I always advise people it is a privilege for everybody to be part of this and it is something that will stay with us for a very long time.
“Since there is no vaccine to control the virus the only way is to contain it and decontaminate affected zones,” he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Akeem Azeez, the Personal Assistant to the Governor, urged residents to own their actions as well as their safety since the virus had spread all over the state.
Mr Tunde Adeyanju, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said there was the need for a very good response in view of the rate of infections in the state.
Prof. Victoria Adetunji, a technical expert in the team, urged participants to adhere to precautions in handling the decontamination equipment while engaging in evaluation of their activities.
NAN reports that the training programme featured presentation of the containment equipment to the seven zones and practical session on mixing chemicals and handling of the equipment.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)