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Obaseki defeats Ize-Iyamu, APC alleges foul play

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  • PDP candidate scores 307,955, party says we’ve retired godfathers, caged lions
  • Obaseki was busy rigging while raising false alarm, claims beaten opposition party

Chukwudi Akasike, Friday Olokor, Tobi Aworinde, Olufemi Olaniyi and Adeyinka Adedipe

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday declared the incumbent Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki,  as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

The Returning Officer for the election, Prof  Akpofure Rim-Ruke, who announced the result,   said Obaseki polled  307,955 votes to beat his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress, who scored 223,619 votes.

Rim-Ruke, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, stated that Obaseki, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party,  met all the criteria needed for him to be returned as governor.

There was wild jubilation in the state immediately Obaseki became victorious,  but the state chapter of the APC dismissed the victory, alleging that the election was marked by falsification of results.

Obaseki had,   in June defected to the PDP following his failure to clinch the APC governorship ticket, which was won by Ize-Iyamu, who defected to the later a few months before its governorship primary.

The governorship electioneering was tension-soaked in the state as a result of the intractable crisis between the governor and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole.

The immediate past APC national chairman supported Obaseki to emerge as the state governor in 2016, but they parted ways after the 2019 elections.

During the electioneering, both parties mobilised their leaders to Benin as part of efforts to win the state. While the APC team was led by the Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, headed the  PDP team.

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Also the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in a video released on the week of the election, urged the Edo electorate to reject Obaseki, but the PDP said Edo State was different from Lagos State, where it said Tinubu called the shots.

But at 2.45pm on Sunday, the electoral race was won and lost when the returning officer, Rim-Ruke, announced Obaseki as the winner.

He said, “I, Akpofure Rim-Ruke, hereby certify, as the returning officer for the Edo State governorship election held on the 19th day of September, 2020, that the election was duly conducted.

“The PDP candidate, having got the 25 per cent in two/thirds of the local government areas in the state and having a margin of lead higher than the cancelled votes, is hereby declared the winner and returned elected.”

Obaseki, in defeating his main opponent, Ize-Iyamu, won 13 out of the 18 local government areas.

But Oshiomhole pulled his weight in his local government, Etsako West, where the APC won 26,140 while the PDP polled 17,959 votes.

According to the returning officer, 557, 443 voters were accredited for the election, while 537, 407 people voted. He said 12, 835 votes were rejected out of a total of 550,242 votes that were cast.

Leading with a gap of 84,336 votes,  Obaseki emerged victorious in the  central and  southern  parts of the state, while Ize-Iyamu won in five – Etsako West, Akoko Edo, Etsako East,  Etsako Central and Owan East – out of the six local government areas in the  northern part.

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However, while the PDP agent and his counterparts from other political parties were present at the state collation centre, no agent from the APC was present to sign and receive a copy of the election result.

But the delay in declaring Obaseki the winner had caused tension among PDP big wigs as some of them became apprehensive and began to make frantic calls to party agents and other members at the collation centre.

The PDP agent, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, had drawn the attention of the returning officer to the sudden disappearance of the collation officer for Orhionmwon, Segun Samuel after he (collation officer) was called to present his LGA result.

Rim-Ruke had immediately called for a break in the collation of the remaining two local government results, including that of Ovia South West, pending the time the collation officer would come.

It was, however, a relief to journalists, observers and other occupants of the hall when the Orhionmwon collation officer resurfaced an hour later and was called upon to present his results.

Before then, an angry Chairman of the PDP Edo 2020 Campaign Council, Chief Dan Orbih, called on leaders of the party to move to the INEC office to express their grievances.

He warned that people of the state would not tolerate any manipulation of the election through the delay in declaring the PDP candidate the winner.

He said, “We are aware that the collation officers for these LGAs are in the INEC with the result sheets, copies of which are with our agents. Edo people will not tolerate any manipulation which INEC and its staff appear to be planning.”

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The tension inside the collation centre, however, disappeared when the returning officer eventually declared  Obaseki the winner of the election.

Wild jubilation in Benin City

At the collation centre, the  PDP members screamed in joy and hugged one another after the declaration by  Rim-Ruke.

Outside the hall, the party supporters defied the heavy presence of policemen manning the INEC office at Ikpoba Hill, where they gathered to celebrate the victory of the governor.

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Oluyede Lauds SWAGA, Expresses Hope for New Ekiti

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A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Oluwole Oluyede, has described the rising profile of the South West Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 (SWAGA), in Ekiti State as a new twist, signposting the determination of the people to break away from the dark past to embrace progressive democracy.

According to him, the sacrifice and commitment on the part of SWAGA to build a solid foundation for Ekiti politics has been enormous, hence he urged members to continue to build on their inputs, so as to bequeath a state that flourishes in prosperity.

Oluyede who spoke on the heels of the huge turnout of members of the group in Ado Ekiti on Thursday for the inauguration of its Ward and Local Government officials, as a prelude to mobilizing and organizing for coming elections, said the time for the political emancipation of the people is now.

Dr Oluyede described SWAGA as leading light in the current quest for a new Ekiti State, where the people’s voice will be weighty, their choice sacrosanct and their will unchallengeable.

He therefore admonished members of SWAGA to be steadfast in their resolve to rescue the state from petty politics of materialism and be resolute in the pursuit of an enduring and futuristic politics that builds and not cajole.

“For a long time, Ekiti people have been subjected to a politics of a few deciding for the majority. The principle of welfarist politicking has long developed wings and has disappeared with the reigns of our founding fathers. The voice of a few has now overwhelmed the roar of the majority, as the tail now wags the dog of our society.

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“Obviously, our political situation in Ekiti State is pathetic, frustrating and is already heading for the jugular before the coming of SWAGA; a gathering of selfless, determined politicians on a mission to liberate Ekiti people from petty politicking and also enthrone Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s next President, come 2023.

“We are seeing for the first time in our land a group of people spending their own time and money to lay a decent, enduring and comfortable political future for our people. I commend our members’ commitment and sacrifices, even in the face of palpable intimidations and oppressions. I salute your courage, your doggedness and resilience, even with the lingering suppressions and threats. You have done our land and our people proud and prosperity shall sure reward you all.

I think what we are seeing in Ekiti State today is a revolution; the ardent resolve of a people to break away from a past that had offered nothing but stagnations, tears and agony. SWAGA has metamorphosed to a movement; a liberation group, that must be embraced across party lines,” he said.

He pleaded with SWAGA members to remain focused, noting that very soon, the group will present a leader to take over the Oke-Ayaba Government House, come October 2022.

“We have laboured in pain, now we are at the threshold of reaping with joy. Certainly, we have grown to become a force within the APC and even beyond. We have been painstakingly dedicated and very consistent too. Now is the time we need to be extra careful because the devil has not gone to sleep. We must persevere in our resolve to have a state of our dream where there is equity and justice. We are certainly the winning side. We should not by any means rescue defeat from the mouth of our obvious victory,” Oluyede cautioned.

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Soludo Draws Anger Of Imolites With Imo Is Not Anambra Claim

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SOLUDO

Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APGA) for the November 6, 2021, Anambra Election has drawn the anger of the people of Imo state.

 

 

The 61year old over the weekend cast an unflattering light on Imo state.

 

 

 

While courting supports for his ambition with the presentation of his 72-page Campaign Agenda to the Anambra people in Lagos, Soludo claimed that “those who want to write result are causing violence to create the impression of insecurity so as postpone or hijack the election. We want to tell them: It is not possible.

 

 

The election must be held because Anambra is not Imo.”

Soludo, who left the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for APGA in 2013 made the assertions while commenting on the spates of violence rocking Anambra state ahead of the election.

 

 

 

Emerging details have it that, stakeholders in Imo state find the comments credited to Soludo offensive and a desperate attempt at seeking support for his ambition.

 

 

 

The claim interpreted as portraying elections in Imo state as “fraudulent” is attracting massive condemnation for Soludo.

 

 

 

There are said to be ongoing moves by different groups to properly respond to the “unguarded” statement by the economist turned politician.

 

 

 

Further details revealed that it didn’t help the cause of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who lost the February 2010 Anambra State gubernatorial election as the candidate of the PDP that he was poorly received at Alaba Market, a stronghold of Igbo traders in Lagos State when he visited.

See also  Ekiti PDP Reps Caucus disowns call for State Exco dissolution, restates to Fayose

 

 

 

He was to have been shown little interest in his attempt to engage traders at the popular market.

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Ex-Senate President David Mark Leads Race To Emerge PDP National Chairman

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David Mark

Latest development in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suggests a former Senate President, David Mark is in pole position to emerge as the National Chairman of the PDP as the party is said to be considering a consensus chairmanship candidate ahead of of its upcoming PDP national convention.

 

 

 

The former Senate President is said to be enjoying the support of top chieftains of the main opposition party.

 

 

Recall the zoning committee headed by the Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had earlier resolved to zone its national chairmanship position to the northern part of the country.

 

 

 

Mark who hails for Benue State in North Central region is eligible to contest for the chairmanship post.

 

 

According to reports, some members of the PDP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) during a meeting had agreed to throw their weight behind Mark. It was gathered that the members see Mark as the best candidate to lead the party out of the woods and deliver success in the coming elections.

 

 

Also, PDP governors, under the leadership of the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, are said to have shown considerable interest in ensuring that Mark gets the job.

 

 

However, the former President hasn’t officially announced interest in running for the chairmanship post. Should Mark decide to contest, he will battle with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Shehu Shema, Ibrahim Dankwambo, Suleiman Nazif, Ibrahim Idris (Ibro), who have all reportedly shown interest in the chairmanship position.

 

 

In related development, Governor Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State is set to head a 20-Member Committee assigned with the responsibility to screen aspirants from the Northern region interested in the position of National Chairman of the party.

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According to reports, the Northern Caucus of the party decided to allow all 19 states in the northern region to nominate one candidate for the chairmanship post.

 

 

All the 19 candidates would then be screened by the Fintiri-led committee after which three aspirants will be recommended to the NEC before the National Convention scheduled to hold in October.

 

 

Meanwhile, Governor Bala Mohammed, a member of the PDP convention planning committee, has explained why consensus candidate would be preferred.

 

 

He said: “Consensus is normally a process of democratic consultation, as democracy is about consensus. Certainly, the electoral process can be reduced by having a converging point on an individual and that would have reduced the disparaging issues within the party.”

 

 

He, however, said if consensus was not eventually agreed upon, PDP would certainly not subscribe to imposition.

 

 

On zoning, the Bauchi governor said: “We have resolved the issue of zoning. The PDP is a mature party. We have learnt from our mistakes, we will not play to the gallery the way our detractors or competitors want us to.

 

We will always resolve our issues, so zoning is over… What we are looking forward to is the emergence of a chairman from the North, who will give us the leadership that we require to form quality government in 2023,” he said.

 

 

Abiola Olawale

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