Oshimili North Arise, a political pressure group, has urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to provide level-playing ground for aspirants in its nationwide House of Assembly primary election last Saturday.
It particularly called on Delta Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, to ensure that fairness prevailed in the exercise in the state, especially in Oshimili North constituency.
The group made the call in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by its National Chairman, Dr Ndu Ojejeh and National Secretary, Mr Carl Enumah.
It reminded the governor of decades-long political domination of major parts of Oshimili North Local Government Area by only one community, Ibusa, which had continued to alienate other communities in the area, politically.
The group revealed that in the forthcoming primary election, the community’s political leaders, in collaboration with the local government chairman, had deployed blackmail and intimidation tools against Mr Frank Esenwah, the only aspirant not from the community.
According to the group, Ibusa’s ‘political community’ headed by Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, wants the community to continue to occupy the constituency’s seat in the House of Assembly as it has been since 1999.
It said that since 1991 when Delta was created, Ibusa had occupied all political offices at all levels, available to the entire local government area, oppressing and marginalizing other communities.
The group, therefore, urged Ibusa political leaders and the local government chairman to eschew blackmail and threats to delegates for the primary election “and allow them freedom to vote fairly”.
“Let there be a free and fair primary so that any contestant who emerges from it will be seen as the people’s choice.
“The clandestine movements to ensure than Ibusa occupies the local government’s seat in the assembly in 2019, and for their lackey in the local government’s council to pick the slot in 2023, should stop.
“It is unacceptable and will be resisted. Let the democratic process of selecting a candidate fairly at the polls run its course in Oshimili North – enough of impunity, blackmail and intimidation.”
The group reminded the public that “all commissionership slots for the area had always been taken by Ibusa since the creation of Delta, save for the current holder. The same applies for chairmanship of the local government.
“Between 1999 and 2007, Dr Felicia Nwaeze, from Ibusa, was in the House of Assembly, and from then to date, Mrs Pat Ajudua, wife of Fred Ajudua, also from Ibusa, has been in the saddle.
“Currently, Mr Peter Nwaoboshi, also from Ibusa, who was commissioner in the two terms of James Ibori as governor, and later became PDP Chairman in the state, is the Senator representing Delta North District at the Senate.
“In spite of these cases of marginalization and brazen insensitivity, Ibusa is currently pushing with every might, for Ajudua or another person from the community to be in the Assembly in 2019.
“Ibusa is only one community out of others, including Okpanam, Illah, Ebu, Akwukwu-Igbo (Headquarters), Ukala-Okpuno, Atuma, Aninwalo and Ukala-Okwute, in the local government area.”
Recalling its earlier statement on the issue, the group said, “We are saying that for equity and justice, the House of Assembly position should go to any of the other communities in the area in 2019.”
“Besides, the current position of Nwaoboshi as senator suffices as huge political gain for Ibusa people as it dwarfs the positions of commissioner, house of assembly member and local government chairman, put together.
“Rather than be the arrowhead for perpetuating political disequilibrium and disharmony in the area, Nwaoboshi should show gratitude, magnanimity and transparent leadership by letting other positions go outside Ibusa in 2019.
“The senator should not hold the grudge against Esenwah over allegation that he did not get enough votes in Illah community in 2015.
“This is particularly so when the senator is pushing hard to return to the Red Chamber and everybody in the local government area has endorsed it and is in the vanguard for actualizing it.”
The group added that Nwaoboshi, like the governor, should show good political leadership laced with tolerance, justice, accommodation, selflessness and inclusiveness.
Enugu Assembly Approves N200m Virement For Auditor-General Offices
The Enugu State House of Assembly has approved the virement of N200 million for the offices of the State Auditor-General and Auditor-General for Local Government.
The Tide source reports that the house also passed the 2021 State Audit Amendment Bill at an emergency plenary session.
The Leader of the House, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said the approval of the virement became necessary to provide funding for the two newly created offices, which were not envisaged during the 2021 appropriation bill.
Ezeugwu said the funding would include capital and recurrent expenditures, adding that the N200 million would be provided by the office of the governor.
According to him, the virement would give the offices the needed independence to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities.
Also contributing, the member representing Awgu South Constituency, Mr Johnson Chukwuobasi, said the new offices would be redundant without funding.
The Speaker, Chief Edward Ubosi, said the fund was meant to perfect the Audit Amendment Bill passed by the Assembly.
Ubosi said it would be an irony to create the offices without approving funds that would make them functional.
He said such a development would amount to building something on nothing.
In another development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has forwarded a list of nominees for the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) and Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to the House for confirmation.
The nominees for the SCSC included Mrs Eucharia Offiah (Chairman), Mr Nathaniel Anike, Mrs Chinenye Odike and Mrs Stella Ekweremadu (members).
Also nominated for the LGSC were Prof. Ossy Okanya (Chairman), Mr Frederick Ugwu, Mrs Florence Igboji, Mr Peter Nnaji and Mr Eugene Odoh (members).
The Speaker directed the nominees to submit 25 copies of their Curriculum Vitae on or before Monday, August 2 to the House.
Saraki Was Not Arrested – Aide
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki, has broken his silence on his repeated invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stating that as a free citizen, he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in a statement by his Media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he visited the office of the EFCC on his volition to clarify an issue that the commission may have to raise with him.
He clarified that he was not arrested but he made himself available to show he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in the statement wrote: “It will be recalled that following the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the Fundamental Human Rights case filed by Dr. Saraki during the period of the former chairman of the EFCC which precluded the commission from investigating him until the matter is dispensed with, the commission at the last hearing on July 14, 2021, pleaded with the judge that the order was preventing them from doing their job.
“Following this complaint, Dr. Saraki, as a responsible citizen, on his own volition approached EFCC that at the earliest convenient date, he was willing to visit the commission’s office and clarify all issues they might have to raise with him.
“He, therefore, visited the commission’s office on Saturday (31st July) afternoon and also answered some questions.
“He is back home. He was not arrested,” Part of the statement read.
Saraki also assured EFCC that he has nothing to hide and will always make himself available to clarify any issues that may require his attention.
Jegede: PDP Lambasts Akeredolu
The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the statement credited to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, inviting Mr Eyitayo Jegede to join him in moving the state forward.
Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the October 20, 2020 state governorship election had his victory in the election upheld by the Supreme Court last Tuesday.
Shortly after the judgement of the apex court, the governor called on Jegede, the candidate of the PDP to join him to move the state forward.
In a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Kennedy Peretei, on Saturday, the PDP described the Akeredolu’s invitation as a laughable one.
According to the statement, the PDP said the current administration in the state is a failure and Jegede will not be part of such administration.
The statement read, “Our party and its candidate cannot be part of a government that has thrown out many students of tertiary institutions in the state because their parents can no longer pay the astronomical school fees charged by the Akeredolu Government.
“Our party and its candidate cannot be part of government that has crippled the health care system in the State. We cannot be part of a government that has withdrawn free shuttle buses for school children.
“It is unthinkable that Akeredolu can ask our candidate to join a government that has pauperised civil servants in the state through the payments of 30 per cent salaries that are not even regular. Civil servants now have to take loans to be able to pay house rents or send their children to school. The Academic Staff Union of Universities of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa Chapter has just embarked on an indefinite strike. What has been the government’s response to all these myriad of problems?
“It is important to stress that, before the October 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN and the PDP drew up a well-articulated manifesto on education, health care delivery, agriculture, industrialization, welfare of civil servants and much more in contradistinction to what is obtainable now in the state. To this extent, there is no meeting point between what was designed by the PDP and Akeredeolu’s score card.
“The Supreme Court verdict has also exposed the impunity which is the trademark and the foundation of the APC and its government at all levels. All the seven Justices of the Supreme Court agreed that, Mai Mala Buni acted in clear violation of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended). This has become the talking point of the political space since the judgement was delivered. Our jurisprudence on election matters has been enriched and everyone is grateful to Eyitayo Jegede and the PDP for not allowing the APC to drown our democracy in the sea of their impunity.”
The opposition party advised Akeredolu to channel his energy to improving the welfare of Ondo citizens instead of “grandstanding and clicking of wine glasses over the Supreme Court judgement”.
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