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Ondo Poll: PDP Rejects Ogunbodede As Returning Officer …Says Jegede Set To Defeat Akeredolu

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The Peoples Democratic Party Ondo State Governorship National Campaign Council has rejected the appointment of the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, as the Chief Returning Officer of Saturday’s Ondo State governorship election.
The Chairman of the council and the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, said that Ogunbodede is the kinsman of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu.
Addressing newsmen in Akure, Makinde said “it has come to our notice that the people of Ondo State will not be getting free and fair elections if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as presently composed, will be overseeing the elections.
“We are speaking in particular about the appointment of Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede, the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Ondo State Governorship election.
“The PDP totally rejects Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede acting as Chief Returning Officer.
“He is a known crony of Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, candidate of the All Progressives Congress and hails from Owo, the same hometown as the candidate.
“He cannot be a fair party in the proceedings by virtue of their association.
“We also want to state that Professor A. S. Bamire, the deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, who conducted the training of returning officers is not a neutral party for the purpose of this election.
“We, therefore, call on INEC to stay true to their name and replace Prof Eyitope Ogungbenro Ogunbodede with a disinterested party. The Chief Returning Officer should have no affiliations with any of the participating parties in the elections.
“We also take this opportunity to call on all lovers of democracy around the world to pay attention to what the APC led administration in the centre is trying to do in Ondo State.
“We call on the United Nations, the European Union, the United State and the United Kingdom and indeed all allies of democracy to call INEC to order.
“We call on all security agencies in Ondo State not to allow themselves to be used as a tool against the will of the people.
“We commend you for all you have done so far providing the needed support and security for our candidate and our people.
“We urge you to do more. Don’t forget that history and posterity have never been kind to anyone who allowed themselves to be used as a tool for injustice.
“We urge you to read the mood of the people and act accordingly. Politicians may come and go, but the people will always remain. Remember, the world is watching”, Makinde said.
He added, “We won’t accept this. We don’t want the people of Ondo State to be cheated”.
He called on the security agencies to read the mood of the people of the state and do what’s right on Saturday, adding that “The world is watching us”.
Meanwhile, the PDP National Campaign Council for Ondo Governorship election has revealed that with all critical indices, the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede SAN, will defeat his APC counterpart, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Saturday.
The Chairman of the PDP Campaign’s Publicity Sub-Committee, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview on AIT programme, Kakaki, yesterday morning, revealed that Governor Akeredolu’s poor governance as well as anti-people policies of denying the people of their rights to health, education and economic benefits, have irredeemably pitched him against voters.
This is coming on the heels of Governor Akeredolu’s open declaration that the PDP candidate, Eyitayo Jegede, is fit, capable and trusted hand to manage the affairs of the state as governor.
Akeredolu, in a recent interview on Arise TV agreed that Eyitayo Jegede is a competent hand to lead the state.
In endorsing Jegede, Akeredolu, described the PDP candidate as “worthy of the office”; a statement that conveys Akeredolu’s readiness to concede defeat after being voted out on Saturday.
However, appearing on Kakaki, Ologbondiyan stressed that the overwhelming demography of voters, have rejected Akeredolu’s self-serving administration for its wicked policies including the increase in school fees by over 100 percent and stopping of the “Mother and Child” health program, established by previous administration to bring succour to the poor, even in the face of prevailing harsh economic situation in the country.
This is in addition to the entrenching of a corrupt system through which resources meant for the ordinary citizens are allegedly being frittered by his cronies and relations, the latest being the failure of the administration to account for the Covid-19 intervention fund released to the state.
According to Ologbondiyan, “Governor Akeredolu went against the heart of the expectation and values of the Ondo people. Education, welfarism for the poor, particularly their health and economic empowerment are at the core expectation of the people but Governor Akeredolu’s administration went against all of them.”
Ologbondiyan recalled that the low fee education system as well as the mother and child program were part of the welfarist policies of the past administration in which Eyitayo Jegede served as the Attorney General.
He said the PDP candidate is set to restore all welfarist programs in addition to entrenching other people-oriented policies in an all-inclusive government, immediately he is elected into office as governor.
The PDP campaign stressed that the Eyitayo Jegede’s practical and people-driven manifesto had led the majority of Ondo people to reach a consensus to vote him in as their new governor.
The campaign therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to succumb to pressure by the APC to interfere in the election but ensure a reinforcement of his stance of non-interference in elections, as witnessed in the Edo governorship election, which brought him applause across board.
He also urged INEC and security agencies to respect the wish of the people by ensuring the sanctity of the ballot box in addition to transmitting of results directly from the polling unit.

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Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises

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Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill

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Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

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