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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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We’ll Enforce ‘No Work, No Pay’ Rule, RSG Warns NARD

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The Rivers State Government has said that it would apply the “no work, no pay” rule against resident doctors under the employment of the state government who embark on strike in solidarity with the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

In a statement signed by the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the government cautioned that the strike should be restricted to resident doctors that were directly under the payroll of the Federal Government, particularly as Rivers State Government does not owe salaries or benefits to resident doctors in the state.

“We are unable to decipher why resident doctors in the state will embark on sympathy strike with their counterparts in the employment of the Federal Government.

“Rivers State Government,having reaffirmed its position with respect to the above, will not tolerate further strike actions by resident doctors in Rivers State, and will be compelled to invoke the “no work, no pay” rule on striking House Officers.

“We, therefore, direct all resident doctors to call off the ongoing strike in the state, and return to work within 24hours or forfeit their salaries and risk being sacked”, the statement warned.

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Courts, Politicians Frustrating Preparations For Anambra Poll, INEC Laments

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The Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), yesterday, complained that politicians were using the courts to frustrate the efforts of the commission to deliver credible election in the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6, 2021.

Addressing participants at the implementation meeting on voter enlightenment and publicity for the election in Awka, the national commissioner in charge of voter education, Chief Festus Okoye, said the action of the courts and the politicians could lead to voter apathy during the polls.

He said, “The commission has variously and consistently complained at the frequency and consistency with which courts of coordinate jurisdiction from different jurisdictions all over Nigeria assumed jurisdiction and delivered judgments and issued orders with far reaching implications on the conduct of the Anambra State governorship election.

“Some of the orders have the tendency of eroding the powers of the commission and compromising its independence, powers and timelines for the conduct of the upcoming election.

“In our regulations and guidelines for the conduct of elections, as well as the timetable and schedule of activities, the commission issues access code to the national chairmen of political parties with which they upload the personal particulars and list of their candidates electronically.

“This obviated the demonstrations, fights and violence normally witnessed in the premises of the commission by different factions of political parties and the national and state branches of political parties.

“Unfortunately, some of the judgments and orders given recently, especially on the primary elections in Anambra State, have bypassed our portal and sought to restore the manual submission of the list and personal particulars of candidates.

“It is also becoming increasingly difficult for the commission to obey court orders and judgments that are the latest in time or the first in time as some of the political parties and the candidates have perfected the art of shopping for the first in time or the latest in time.

“The planning and preparation for election requires certainty and adherence to timelines. The leadership of the Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) and the leadership of the Judiciary must wade into this descent to forum shopping and the multiplicity of orders and judgments from courts of coordinate jurisdiction. This is urgent; it is imperative and cannot be carried over to the 2023 general election.

“The commission has maintained that political parties must obey and conform to their constitutions and guidelines for the conduct of party primaries, as well as the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act.

“Political parties must extricate themselves from the web and crisis of endless litigation arising from the conduct of primaries, own their rules and also comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) in all their activities.”

He also explained that INEC is paying special attention to the Continuous Voter Registration(CVR), in Anambra State to ensure that all those who are eligible to register do so in preparation for the November 6, 2021 election.

According to him, the commission would deploy additional staff and materials to the state in the next few weeks to accelerate the registration exercise and would also decide when to suspend the CVR in Anambra State to enable it print the permanent voters card of new registrants and integrate the supplementary voters register with the existing register of voters, while VCR would continue in the state after the election.

He said that the new polling units created by the commission would be used for the first time during the November 6, 2021 Anambra governorship election, adding that the people of the state would, therefore, vote from polling units that are closer and accessible.

He added, “Political parties must conduct their campaigns with civility and the best tradition of democratic ethos. Political campaigns or slogans shall not be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or section feelings.

“Abusive, intemperate, slanderous, or base language or insinuations or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.

“Political parties are also reminded that places designated for religious workshop, police stations, and public offices shall not be used for political campaigns, rallies and processions.

“As of this day (Tuesday) it is exactly 95 days to the November 6, 2021 governorship election in Anambra State and for this commission, 95 days to the conduct of any election is a race against time and preparations must be in top gear.

“The commission places utmost importance in planning and keeping to timelines for the conduct of elections. On the basis of this the commission pre-delivered over 50% of the non-sensitive materials for the conduct of the election well ahead of time.

“Similarly, the commission places high premium on the deployment of technology in the conduct of elections. This very practice which has become a part and parcel of the operations and activities of the commission has impacted tremendously on the quality of elections in the country”.

Okoye said that the deployment of technology in the delivery of over 26 by-elections since the 2019 general election had remarkably reduced the impact of human interferences in the outcome of the elections, assuring that application of technology would be a hallmark in the Anambra election.

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NASS Opposition To E-Transmission Of Poll Results, Coup Against Nigerians, Wike Insists

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the National Assembly, was tantamount to a coup against Nigerians desirous of free, fair and credible elections.

The governor noted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to prevail on APC members in the National Assembly to support the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Act proves that he does not intend to leave a legacy of transparent electoral process.

He stated this during the official presentation of letter of nomination to him as “the 2020 Governor of the Year Award” by the management of the Leadership Media Group at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Wike remarked that the current National Assembly capitalised on the seeming political indifference of Nigerians to deliberately vote against the inclusion of electronic transmission of election results in the amended Electoral Act.

The governor, described National Assembly members who voted against transmission of election results electronically as enemies of the country, because their action was detrimental to the growth and consolidation of the country’s democracy.

“Those who voted against e-transmission of results should be ashamed of themselves. They never mean well for this country. If you are a member of the National Assembly, and you voted against electronic transmission of results, your children should call you and say ‘daddy, are you well’?

“I can’t believe anybody who went to school in this digital period, will vote against electronic transmission of results. What kind of country is this? What kind of National Assembly members do we have?”

Wike declared that the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by APC lawmakers, even when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had affirmed that it has the capacity to electronically transmit results, was tantamount to a coup against the citizens of the country.

“It is a coup against the people, and when you plot a coup, you know the consequences of plotting a coup. National Assembly members have plotted coup against Nigerians, and Nigerians should hold them responsible. All they are planning is to rig election, because they know Nigerians have abandoned them”, the governor said.

The Rivers State governor said he had expected President Buhari, who had openly declared that he respects former President Goodluck Jonathan, for not compromising the 2015 general election, to build on the electoral legacy of his predecessor.

“If Jonathan did not believe in the transparency of the election, he would not have allowed card reader to be used. So, he introduced the card reader as a sitting President, knowing fully well that that could be an albatross to him. But he said no, I want us to move to the next level.”

Wike stated that though President Buhari had repeatedly declared that he will ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible election in 2023, he doubts his sincerity, particularly for failing to rein in those APC members who voted against electronic transmission of election results.

“Mr President cannot tell us that sincerely, he wants to conduct free, fair, credible elections. Let nobody deceive you. It is very clear that there is no sure intention at all.”

The governor, who stated that he has never and will never influence any media organisation to nominate him for an award, advised media groups against bestowing awards on non-performing political office holders.

According to him, giving awards to undeserving governors, for instance, is an act of corruption.

Wike commiserated with the family and management of the Leadership Media Group over the death of the founder of the newspaper, Sam Nda-Isaiah, and urged them to use the newspapers as a voice for the people.

“Let me thank the leadership of the newspaper for finding us worthy or qualified to be nominated for the Governor of the Year Award. Therefore, we dedicate this award to the glory of God Almighty and to the people of the state.”

He said it was gladdening that there were people somewhere who recognise the efforts he and members of his team were making to change the narrative in terms of governance in the country.

To this end, he reiterated that the award would energise his administration to even work harder for the state.

Responding, the Group Managing Director of Leadership Newspapers, Mu’azu Elazeh, said they were in Port Harcourt to formally present Governor Wike the letter of his nomination as the ‘Leadership Governor of the Year’, and then to invite him to attend Leadership Conference slated for September.

“When the Board of Editors of Leadership met for this nomination, because it is something we do every year, when your name was mentioned, I think it is the only name that received unanimous endorsement because of your practical approach to leadership and governance; because of your focus in infrastructural development which is resetting the business and economy of Rivers State”, Elazeh said.

Similarly, the Executive Director, Leadership Media Group, Abraham Nda-Isaiah said this was the first time in the history of Leadership Newspapers that a governor has been nominated twice in the life of an administration.

He recalled that Wike was first nominated for the award in 2017.

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