First and foremost, I give thanks to God Almighty for the successful conduct of the primaries and the safety of all our members, including officials of all agencies, who took part across the state.
I thank the leader of our party, the All Progressives Congress, President Muhammadu Buhari for his fatherly disposition and democratic stance that set the stage for a free and transparent contestation devoid of institutional bias, favoritism, or imposition of any kind.
I am also grateful to the national leadership of the APC for the courage displayed and the commitment to democratic ideals that have distinguished our party and made it appealing to millions of Nigerians across the country. The bold insistence on adherence to the constitution of the party, even amid immense pressure, was a great show of leadership that served as a reminder to all that the APC is a party founded on sacred values central to its growth and survival.
My grateful thanks also go to the Edo State Traditional Council led by Our great King, Omo’ N’ Oba N’ Edo Uku Akpolokpo, The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II for the fatherly counsel and important interventions. I wish to reiterate my deep respect and undying loyalty to the institution.
To the election committee chaired by His Excellency, the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma for organizing a primary election that allowed the members of our party in the state to elect a candidate in a responsible, safe, fair, and transparent process, I convey my deepest gratitude.
From the start, with the adoption of the direct mode of primary, our party showed its recognition of the peculiarity of the times we are in and its commitment to complying with all regulations and guidelines in place to ensure that our people are protected from danger, specifically the coronavirus disease.
Today, because of the hard work of the committee, the cooperation of INEC, observers, and all security agencies, that desire got full expression as members of our party, whose conduct was admirable and responsible, participated in a primary that will form a point of reference to all on how to practice democracy without compromising safety procedures in the fight against a viral disease.
I am grateful to everyone for their support, most especially my fellow aspirants who shunned the politics of bitter opposition and displayed the level of maturity and sportsmanship never before seen in the history of this country.
Against an incumbent government that tested the resolve and unity of our party using morally bankrupt tactics without any regard for the rule of law, we were able to prevail because Dr. Pius Odubu, Hon. Osaro Obazee, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, General Charles Airhavbere (rtd), Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma, Hon. Saturday Uwuilekwe and Professor Ebegue Amadasun showed great leadership and fought a good fight premised on the shared understanding that we are all on the same side, confronting and seeking to undo the many failures of an administration that betrayed our people and the values of our party.
I am very grateful to them and I look forward to working with them as we return to the streets and homes of our people, to restore and strengthen their hope and faith in the party, the All Progressives Congress, and return Edo state back on the path of development and growth.
Today’s victory is not for me alone. It is a victory for democracy, for the rule of law, and for our party, the All Progressives Congress. To everyone who played a part in making it possible; to my family, my campaign team, support groups at home and in the diaspora, members of our party, and all Edo people, I say thank you.
Receiving your endorsement and nomination to represent our party in the Governorship election is one of the greatest honors of my life. I find myself joyous but as well aware of the faith reposed in me by you all. Most importantly, I feel the weight of that trust and the great need not to disappoint all of you who deemed me worthy of the honor to fly the banner of our great party and be your representative at the polls.
The agenda remains SIMPLE in the literal sense of those alphabets as I renew my pledge to devote myself to moving this state forward by bringing new ways and innovative methods in: Security and Social Welfare, Infrastructural Development and Urban Renewal, Manpower Development and Training, Public-Private Partnership, Leadership by Example, and Employment Creation and Social Empowerment Scheme.
This time, we must get it right. And the work to make this a reality must continue with revitalized passion and zeal. Our victory today is only the beginning. We must now all come together, renew our loyalty to the party, and march with sturdy strides on this new path that beckons.
Fellow party members, thank you once again for your confidence in me and support. I assure you, and the people of our state, that you will not be disappointed.
May God bless you all.
By; Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
Come After Me If You Can, Bakare Dares Top FG Official
Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly called The Latter Rain Assembly Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has dared an unidentified official of the Federal Government to come after him based on his recent public pronouncements.
Speaking on Sunday during a sermon in his church, Bakare said: “I dare you to come after me since that is the usual style now. You might have done it to others; you are about to learn a lesson if you touch me.”
He added: “If you know what I have done in secret, bring it to the open. I dare you to come after me if you can. I worked with you; I worked for you; I supported you to get there (where you are). When I talk now, I now have a smelly mouth.
“I’m not interested in meeting you any longer; no more visits. Now, it is war, because Nigeria must be set free.”
Rather than work towards justice, he accused the Federal Government of using intimidation and brutality.
Bakare, who was running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, recalled how he backed the unnamed top official to his current position.
Addressing the official, Bakare added: “Have you forgotten that you vowed never to contest again. I said ‘not so’. I showed you how you can win the next election and you agreed to run and you won. I was not considering myself but concerned about how Nigeria can become great.
“Winning an election is a different thing; doing the right thing is another. No one must behave as if Nigeria is a personal property. Nigeria must be set free and any obstruction along the way must be removed; it must get out of the way.”
He told Nigerians to be prepared for baton of change, recalling how he pronounced the late Gen Sani Abacha’s days numbered during his fist rule.
“I don’t support any act of violence, taking up arms against the country and killing people. Those are in the realm of criminality and anybody doing that must be brought to book,” Bakare stated to a rousing round of prayers and declarations.
BREAKING: Buhari Departs To London For Medical Check, Summit
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will leave Abuja today for London to see his doctors and participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education 2021-2025.
This was contained in a statement by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.
He is expected to be back by the second week of August 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will today Monday July 26, 2021, travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.
“The Summit, which will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices.
“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.
“Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.
“President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021.
“The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.”
SERAP, Others Drag Buhari To Court Over NBC Directive On Newspaper Review
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development have filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, over the order stopping journalists and broadcast stations from reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims.
They are asking the court to declare the order as null and void.
Joined in the suit as Defendant, is the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
The suit followed the directive by the NBC, asking journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria to stop “glamourising and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.
In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/725/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP and PTCIJ are seeking: “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the government of President Buhari, the NBC, and Mr Lai Muhammed or any other persons from imposing fines or other sanctions on broadcast stations for carrying out their constitutional duties of reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims during daily newspaper reviews.”
They are also seeking “an order to compel and direct the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed to withdraw the directive asking journalists and broadcast stations to stop reporting details on terrorist attacks and victims, as the directive is unlawful and inconsistent with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and the country’s international human rights obligations.
“An order setting aside the directive on reporting of terrorist attacks and victims, for being inconsistent and incompatible with sections 22 and 39 of the Nigerian Constitution, Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
According to SERAP, “unless the reliefs sought are urgently granted by this Honourable Court, the directive by the NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed would be used to impermissibly restrict Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, access to information, media freedom, and victims’ right to justice and effective remedies.”
SERAP and PTCIJ are arguing that the failure by the government to withdraw the directive, violates sections 5[a] and [b], 147 and 148 of the Nigerian Constitution, Code of Conduct for Public Officers [Fifth Schedule Part 1], and Oath of office [Seventh Schedule] of the Constitution.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP and PTCIJ by their lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “The NBC and Mr Lai Muhammed lack the power and authority to restrict the ability of journalists and broadcast stations to carry out their constitutional duties and to unlawfully impose penalties such as fines and other sanctions on any journalists and broadcast stations for reporting on details of terrorist attacks and victims in the country.”
“SERAP and PTCIJ together with several millions of Nigerians easily access information, news and form opinions on government policies through the daily newspaper reviews by journalists and broadcast stations in Nigeria.”
SERAP believes that while the NBC has the powers to make rules to enable it perform its statutory functions under section 2 [a] to [u] of NBC Act, such statutory powers ought to be exercised in line with the Nigerian Constitution, and the country’s international human rights obligations.
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