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PDP Wins, Obaseki Assures Sustained Dev …Victory Ends Godfatherism In Edo, Wike Declares …Commends INEC, Police For Peaceful, Credible Election

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The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has hailed Edo people and supporters of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for their display of immense courage and support in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalisation as he emerged victorious in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Obaseki defeated his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polling a total of 307,955 votes against APC’s 223,619 votes.
The governor, in his appreciation message in Benin City, yesterday, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other stakeholders who participated in the conduct of the gubernatorial election for ensuring a free, peaceful, and credible poll in the state.
Obaseki said: “The Great People of Edo State have spoken. They have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give him all the glory for this victory.
“Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari, for defending our democracy and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to perform their constitutional functions without interference.
“INEC and the security services have shown to Nigerians and the world that they are capable of conducting free and credible elections.”
The governor continued: “Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation, and brutalisation. The collective will of the Edo people made it possible for this triumph over godfatherism.
“I am eternally grateful to my party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and my brother governors not only for giving me the umbrella during my political storm but for the hard work which has brought me back to the office.
“Our success has reinforced my belief that there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people if we pull forces together and collectively call on God for support.”
“I reiterate that working with my Deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, we are committed to Making Edo Great Again. Thank you for your support,” he added.
Earlier, the Independent National Electoral Commission had declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Godwin Obaseki, winner of the governorship election in Edo State.
INEC’s Returning Officer, and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, announced the result of the election, yesterday.
Obaseki of PDP polled 307,955 votes to defeat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the All Progressives Congress, who got 223,619 votes.
Rim-Rukeh, while declaring Obaseki winner, said the incumbent governor was returned elected after satisfying all requirements in line with the law.
Obaseki of PDP ran against APC standard-bearer, Ize-Iyamu and 13 others.
Obaseki was elected on APC’s platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP after being denied the ticket owing to intra-party squabbles.
The results as declared for Igueben LGA show that APC scored 5,179 votes; and PDP got 7, 870 votes.
Igueben Local Government Area has 46,838 register voters, with 13, 404 accredited to vote.
At the end of the exercise, the total valid votes were 13,179; rejected votes 212; and total votes cast stood at 13, 382.
In Esan North East, APC garnered 6,556 votes; PDP 13,579 votes; with 84,241 registered voters.
On Election Day, 20, 825 voters were accredited; with total 20, 369 valid; 361 rejected; out of 20, 730 total votes cast in the local government area.
In Esan Central Local Government, APC scored 6,719 votes; and PDP polled 10,694 votes, out of a total registered 55, 569 voters.
However, 17, 931 voters were accredited; with total 17, 672 valid votes; 242 rejected votes; out of 17, 914 total votes cast in the area.
Results from Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area show APC with 18,218 votes, PDP 41,030 votes.
Further details show that the LGA has 310, 073 registered voters; with 61,731 accredited to vote, while total valid votes cast stood at 60,052; with 1,378 rejected votes, and 61, 430 total votes cast.
In Uhunmwode LGA, APC scored 5,972, while PDP polled 10,022, just as ZLP got 5 and YPP 2 votes, respectively.
The LG has 73, 416 registered voters; out of which 16, 741 were accredited to vote; while 16,283 total valid votes were cast, with 352 rejected; of 16,635 total votes cast in the area.
In Egor Local Government Area, APC polled 10, 202, and PDP 27, 621.
The number of registered voters stood at 219,841 on Election Day, with 39, 709 accredited to vote; out of which 38,396 total valid votes were cast; resulting in 955 rejected votes; and 39, 351 total votes cast.
Owan East Local Government Area results show APC scoring 19,295 votes and PDP polling 14,762 votes.
In the LGA, they were 91, 769 registered voters; out of which 34, 819 were accredited to vote; with 34, 246 total valid votes; 515 rejected votes and 34, 761 total votes cast.
In Owan West Local Government Area, APC recorded 11,193 votes, PDP 11,485 votes.
In the LGA, they are 61,193 registered voters; but 23, 294 were accredited; 22, 849 total valid votes were cast; with 404 rejected; leaving a total 23, 253 votes cast.
In Esan South East LGA, APC scooped 9,237, while PDP cruised to victory with 10,563 votes.
They were 73,907 registered voters; with 20, 274 accredited; 19, 896 total valid votes; 307 votes rejected; and 20, 203 total votes cast.
In Ovia North East LGA, APC recorded 9,907 votes, and PDP 16,987.
With 143,009 registered voters, it appears a low turnout had marred the poll; with 28, 607 accredited to vote; 27, 437 total valid votes recorded; 934 votes rejected and 28, 371 total votes cast.
In Etsako West LGA, APC scored 26,140, and PDP 17,959, out of 48, 846 accredited voters.
In the LGA, there are 158,899 registered voters; with 44, 539 total valid votes cast; 2,828 votes rejected; and 47, 367 total votes cast.
In Oredo LGA, INEC declared 18, 365 votes for APC; and 43, 498 votes for PDP out of a total valid 62, 578 votes.
There are 309,968 registered voters in the LGA; out of which only 64, 783 voters were accredited; with 1,302 rejected votes; and 63, 880 total votes cast.
In Esan West LGA, APC scored 7,189, and PDP won with 17,434 votes; out of 24,880 total valid votes cast.
The LGA has 99,983 registered voters, but 25, 530 were accredited; while 579 votes were rejected; of the total 25,459 votes cast.
In Akoko Edo, APC scored 22, 963 while PDP scored 20, 101 votes.
In Etsako Central, APC garnered 8,359 while PDP polled 7,478 votes.
In Etsako East, the APC scored 17,011 while the PDP got 10,668 votes.
In Orhionmwon, APC scored APC 10, 458 votes while PDP polled 13,445 votes.
In Ovia South West, APC polled 10,636 just as PDP garnered 12,659 votes.
Reacting, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo Election, Governor Nyesom Wike said that the electoral victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki has ended godfatherism in Edo State.
Wike made the assertion at a press conference in Benin City shortly after the declaration of Governor Obaseki as the winner of Edo Governorship Election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Wike acknowledged that Edo people spoke vehemently with their votes by re-electing Governor Obaseki.
He noted that with the outcome of the election, Edo people would no longer put their fate in the hands of one man.
“If for nothing, we have made the point that there is nothing called godfatherism again in Edo State politics.
“I thank Governor Obaseki for volunteering to be used to fight for the interest of Edo State,” he said.
The governor thanked members of the PDP National Campaign Council and those who also served in the Edo Campaign Committee for the sacrifices made.
He said the two groups synergised to achieve the electoral victory for the party.
“I want to particularly thank my colleagues, the governors of Delta State, Oyo State and all other persons who served in the National Campaign Council. We succeeded working as a team.
“Let me also thank the governor of Edo State. He gave us the necessary support that has led to this victory.
“Also, we thank all those who worked in the campaign train in Edo State. We also appreciate the media for the positive coverage of the election,” he stated.
The re-elected Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki said the collective will of Edo people made the electoral victory possible.
“Edo people have spoken and they have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give Him all the glory for this victory.
“The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism.
“Our success has reinforced my belief that there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people. This is because we pulled forces together and collectively called on God for support.
Obaseki thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring that INEC and the security agencies performed their functions.
On behalf of his deputy, Obaseki reiterated his commitment to make Edo State great again.
Also, the Rivers State governor commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Police over their conduct during the Edo Governorship Election.
Wike, who is the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council made the commendation while addressing a mammoth crowd of party supporters at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
He stated that the conduct of INEC and the police showed that they were ready to correct the mistakes of the past.
The governor also commended the people of Edo State for ending godfatherism with the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
“With the re-election of Governor Obaseki, the entire South-South region is now completely PDP.
“What this means is that the entire South-South can now speak with one voice on issues concerning us,” he stated.
Wike thanked the people of the state for their prayers that led to the Edo State victory.
At a brief reception by party leaders at Government House, Wike said with the conduct of INEC, there is hope for the country’s democracy.
According to him, the neutrality of the electoral body and security agencies will make one to say the election was free and fair.
He thanked the party leaders for their solidarity throughout the election period, and urged them to maintain the spirit.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Elders Advisory Council of the PDP, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, commended Wike for leading a successful campaign.
Alabraba said the victory at Edo State has proved that the governor was always committed to any assignment that he is given.
Earlier, the National Chairman of the Edo State Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party and Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had warned the Independent National Electoral Commission against declaring the governorship election inconclusive.
Wike, who gave the warning in Benin City, last Saturday, during an interview in the Edo 2020 Situation Room streamed on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s Youtube Channel and monitored by our correspondent, said INEC must keep to its promise of a transparent process.
He noted that the collation of results was the most critical stage, and urged security personnel to prevent breaches, adding that the people of the state should defend their votes up to the collation centres.
Wike said, “We have results from about 2,000 polling units from the various wards and from the intelligence we have gathered, I do believe that INEC will keep to that promise of being transparent.
“But we are getting a bit worried that INEC said they have 700 unit results, which is not correct, and that calls for concern. We don’t believe that INEC has only 700. It is more than 2,000 that we have.
“Again, as we speak, they ought to have moved to the ward collation centres before they move to the local government collation centres. But we cannot find the security personnel around the ward collation centres and that gives us concern.
“Why is it that the security personnel are not at the ward collation centres? So, I urge the Inspector-General of Police to move his men to the ward collation centres.
“They must not allow miscreants to disrupt the electoral process. I believe that the commission will continue with what they have done.
“Like we have said, we don’t want this election to be inconclusive. This is the critical stage where you may see disruptions and then it will be declared inconclusive. INEC should fulfil its promise that this election will be transparent. We don’t want to hear inconclusive.”
Also, in the Situation Room, the Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, added that it was surprising that the PDP got polling unit results faster than the electoral commission.
They insisted that the people’s votes must count.
Wike also noted with pleasure the turnout of people to vote for candidates of their choice in the Edo Governorship Election.
The governor made the observation in reaction to the general conduct of the election.
He said there was minimal violence recorded because of the proactive measures deployed by the security agencies.
Wike stated that election does not end with voting because it is a process that also includes counting of votes and collation.
He said with the voting concluded, there was need for both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to ensure that nothing scuttles the remaining stages.
“Like I have said before, election is not only about voting, the votes should be counted, then you proceed to collation stages: ward, local and state government levels. The collation stage is the critical period.
“So, I urge both INEC and security agencies to protect all the collation centres. When that is done, everybody who has voted will be happy to see that their will has prevailed,” he said.
The governor said when an electoral process is transparent with less violence and disenfranchisement, every participating political party will gladly accept its outcome.
“This may likely be the best election ever conducted in the history of Nigeria. But they must allow the process to continue to the end. Otherwise they will destroy it.

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Don’t Hide Under Guise Of Curfew To Shut Operations, RSG Warns Banks, Others

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The Rivers State Government has warned companies, business operators and financial institutions in the state not hide under the guise of the curfew imposed by the government to shut down operations that may help undermine the economy of the state.
The warning comes on the heels of attempts by some firms, business owners and financial institutions to close their doors to customers in the state following the imposition of 24-hour curfew by the state government on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
The government’s action, last Wednesday, was sequel to some untoward criminal activities and attempts to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order by certain unscrupulous elements, ostensibly hired by enemies of the state to disrupt the peace currently being enjoyed by residents of the state.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the government warned that any entity found to have taken advantage of the directive to subject the people of the state to any unnecessary hardship would be resisted, and those culpable sanctioned.
The statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Rivers State Government that some members of the business community are using the curfew imposed in some parts of the state as an excuse to cripple government and economic activities.
“Commercial banks and other businesses are supposed to be open for normal services.
“Therefore, commercial banks where government accounts are operated are advised not to join those involved in any unpatriotic act or lose their patronage.
“For the avoidance of doubt, curfew was imposed only at Oyigbo Local Government Area, Mile One, Mile Two, Iloabuchi, Emenike, Ikoku and Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt.
“All other parts of the state are expected to be fully open for business,” the statement added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had imposed a 24-hour curfew in the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Wike, in a state-wide broadcast, last Wednesday, also announced that the curfew also extends to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area as well as Oil Mill area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The governor explained that the decision to impose the curfew was taken after a State Security Council meeting which held at the Government House, Port Harcourt earlier on Wednesday.
Wike stated that while the state government appreciate and commend the peaceful nature of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, it was becoming clear by the day that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.
“Earlier today, some hoodlums attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state. Another set of hooligans were also on rampage at the Ikoku spare parts markets disturbing public peace and damaging property”.
Wike asserted that the state government cannot watch helplessly and allow trouble-makers to take the laws into their hands and use the current situation to create a state of panic and insecurity.
To this end, he said consequently, the State’s Security Council had decided to impose curfew in some parts of the state to secure lives and property.
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikoku and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.”
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020; a 24-hour curfew has also been imposed on Oil Mill area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area”, he said.
The governor has therefore directed security agencies to enforce the curfew with effect from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.
Similarly, local government chairmen have also been directed to mobilize vigilantes and work with security agencies to ensure that no hoodlum is allowed to disturb the peace or destroy lives and property in their local government areas.
“We urge all citizens to remain vigilant and report all suspicious characters to the security agencies for immediate action. Let me appeal to our youths not to allow themselves to be used to roll-back the peace we are enjoying in the State under any pretext” he added.

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#EndSARS: PDP Diaspora Initiative Flays Buhari For Rights Abuses, Killings

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Following the recent killings of innocent and unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country by armed soldiers, the US-based organization of Nigerians living abroad, PDP Diaspora Initiative (PDPDI), has issued a solemn condemnation of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for killing innocent Nigerians and violating their rights.
The organization made its position known to newsmen in an October 21 press statement released through its National Publicity Secretary, Chidi Igwe, yesterday.
According to the statement, “it is obvious that Nigerians from all sections of the country have lost confidence in President Buhari and his administration and the Nigerian youths want a change in direction for a better future.
“Imagine what is going on in our country right now! Buhari’s administration sent his armed soldiers and police to intimidate peaceful protesters and suppress their voices,” the PDP Diaspora Initiative founder and National Chair, Victoria Pamugo, exclaimed.
“When they realized the brave Nigerian youths are not buying the nonsense Buhari’s government is trying to sell and that Buhari has failed in his attempts to keep the Nigerian youths quiet, the government resorted to violence and took up arms against innocent and unarmed citizens who are protesting against police brutality, injustice, corruption and mismanagement of the country by their president and his cronies. Buhari’s armed soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters, killing many innocent people and causing many more injuries,” Pamugo lamented.
“The youths they are killing are our children, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, etc. What sin did they commit?” she asked.
“They have not done anything wrong!” she noted.
“They are just expressing their constitutional right of peaceful protest and assembly. They did not do anything wrong. They were not burning buildings.
She also noted that the youths are angry because their government has disappointed them and called for an end to corruption, embezzlement and police brutality.

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Oil Spills: Environmentalists Berate SPDC For Defying Regulatory Compliance

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Environmentalists yesterday berated the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for poor compliance to regulatory verdict on oil spill matters in its operational fields in the Niger Delta region.
They recalled that the spill regulatory agency, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), had fined SNEPCO, a Shell subsidiary 3.6 billion dollars for the Bonga, facility in December 2011.
The oil firm however went to court to challenge the fine and lost at the Federal High Court.
A fact-check on the claim indicated that Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos, had on June 20, 2018, upheld the 3.6 billion dollars fine imposed on Shell by NOSDRA, dismissing Shell’s case.
However, Shell declined to pay the fine.
The environmentalists under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), at a forum with spill impacted communities in Ikara, Bayelsa State, applauded NOSDRA for its objectivity.
Mr Alagoà Morris, the Head, Bayelsa State Office of ERA/FoEN, who represented the Acting Executive Director of the group, Mr Chima Williams, spoke on the theme: ‘Resisting Regulatory Capture’.
The NGO frowned on alleged frequent disregard to regulatory directives on oil spill incidents and wondered if the oil firm was self-regulatory, adding that a situation where an operator disagreed frequently with regulators “is unhealthy’’.
“As indicated in the theme, this event is unique as it seems to discourage any attempts at regulatory capture.
“One of the main areas of disagreements between stakeholders in the oil industry is in cause of spill as a lot depends on it.
“While there is nothing wrong in any stakeholder contesting whatever is declared as cause of spill, there are certain things to be considered in arriving at declaring the cause.
“In Nigeria, oil industry regulators are supposed to be referees. NOSDRA and state ministries of environment are the regulators.
“As a grassroots organ-isation, ERA has been working with several communities over the years. Ikarama community is one of those communities. From our records, Ikarama is the community with the highest frequency of documented oil spills.
“The oil spill along Shell’s Adibawa-Okordia delivery line on November12, 2011, was one of the clear cases of corrosion incidents,” Morris said.
Newsmen reported that SPDC had rejected the conclusion of NOSDRA that the November 12, 2011, leak on the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline was due to corrosion leading to the subjection to further ultrasonic tests and scans which confirmed the pipe was corroded.
Mr Musa Idris, the Director-General of NOSDRA had told The Tide source that the agency took the steps to ensure that its conclusions were validated by scientifically accepted best practices.

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