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Group tells APC critical stakeholders in Edo to discountenance Gen Cecil’s report



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***says the report stinks as it is motivated by stomach infrastructure

The General Cecil Esekhaigbe report on Edo Central Senatorial district concerning the forthcoming guber election should be disregarded as it does not reflect anything positive for the people of the district, a group under the aegis of Concerned Esan Indigenes for Good Governance has indicated.

The convener of the group Monday Isibor in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday said it is disturbed by the number of governorship aspirants from the zone.
The statement reads,

“Concerned about the high number of governorship aspirants from Edo Central Senatorial District (Esan Land) some groups and individuals have, for months now, been appealing that some aspirants should step down in favour of stronger aspirants.

“This is in order to boost the chances of Esan persons getting their respective political party ticket and emerging as governor in 2024. Presumably to this end, General Cecil Esekhaigbe (Rtd), who is the leader of APC Edo Central, convened a screening exercise on 30th and 31st October in Abuja.

“At the end of the exercise, he promised to communicate the decision to the aspirants but surprisingly, the following morning the media was awash with conflicting lists of the report of the screening exercise.

“Initially, the General issued a disclaimer but when he eventually released his report about three weeks later it more or less tallied with a list that had been in circulation but which he denied.

“The list contained six names which were in the following order:
1.Rt. Hon. Festus Ebea
2.Senator Monday Okpebholo
3.Col. David Imuse Rtd
4.Hon. Victor Eboigbe
5.Rt. Hon. Thomas Okosun
6.Senator (Prof.) Oserheimen Osunbor.

“At a meeting he convened in Benin on Sunday 26 November 2023, he further reduced the number to three which he read out in his order of ranking, namely:
1.Hon. Festus Ebea
2.Senator Monday Okpebholo and
3.Col. David Imuse (Rtd).

“The other aspirants, he announced were disqualified by him. That report has been widely received with disquiet and outrage by keen observers.

“The public is advised to disregard the Gen. Cecil’s report in its entirety as a complete waste of time for the following reasons, among many others.

“By virtue of the APC Guidelines for the Nomination of Candidates, the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress, the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. Cecil lacks the power to screen aspirants, much less disqualify anyone.

“The panel members that conducted the screening were handpicked by the General without any input from the recognized organs of the party from the Ward, LGA, State, Zonal or National. He singlehandedly selected the members and made himself the Chairman.

“He wrote the report and handed it down to the select stakeholders that he personally invited to the meeting in Benin on 26th November.

“When members demanded that the report be debated, as is standard practice at political meetings, he bluntly refused. Many retired Generals and other military officers have proved to be outstanding politicians but this General has showed that he is yet to imbibe the tenets of democracy.

“In a move that defies explanation, he invited Dr. Washington Osa-Osifo, a governorship aspirant from Edo South to screen Edo Central aspirants and he participated actively in the exercise.
“Another member of the panel was Hon. Patrick Agwinede, who is a known supporter and spokesman for Hon. Dekeri Anamero (Danco), a governorship aspirant from Edo North.
“General Cecil has up till now failed to explain the criteria he used for the screening which made Hon. Festus Ebea, a former Deputy Speaker, to defeat Hon. Thomas Okosun, a former Speaker, former Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of Nigeria and former State Chairman of ACN.

“The same Hon. Ebea was rated higher than Prof. Osunbor, a respected national figure, a First-Class scholar, Professor of Law, two-term Senator and past governor of Edo State.

“In like manner, Sen. Monday Okpebholo who has spent only five months in the Senate was ranked second, beating Osunbor to sixth position. The question on everyone’s lips is how did General Cecil arrive at this bizarre result?

“Unless he provides credible answers to these questions the public may be left to believe the insinuations making the rounds, that the exercise was marred by monetary inducements by one of the aspirants who is said to have bank-rolled the entire exercise.

“Or it could be that the General merely used the exercise as a smokescreen to promote his own ambition by trading-off the popular clamour for a governor of Esan extraction in order to become a deputy to an aspirant from Edo North or Edo South.

“The public is strongly implored to disregard this senseless and shameful report purportedly coming from Edo Central. It is a blunder, useless and should be consigned as trash to the dustbin of history.

“The good people of Edo State deserve to be commended for the consensus which has emerged that the governorship should rotate to Edo Central this time.
“They should not allow self-serving individuals with a history of anti-party activities to change their patriotic resolve that the next governor should come from Edo Central.
“That Gen. Cecil report is a disservice to Esan people and the desire of Edo State people for power rotation as has become established at the national level and in many States.”

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More troube for Abure as aggrieved LP candidates demand prosecution




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***Insist he forged their purported withdrawal letters to substitute them

There seem to be no respite yet for the embattled Labour Party (LP) national chairman as two governorship candidates and a House of Representatives candidate of the party in the 2023 General election have called for his prosecution having allegedly established forgery allegation against him
The aggrieved candidates; LP governorship candidates for Ebonyi State and Plateau States, Eze Oko Splendour and chief Yohana Yilpwan Margif respectively and the House of Representatives Candidate for Edo Orhionmwon/ Uhunmwode Federal constituency Imasuen Paul Murphy said they have established the forgery allegations through Police investigation for which Abure was detained.

Each of the candidates at a joint press conference in Abuja on Wednesday narrated their ordeals stating how they were fraududlently substituted with their forged Signatures, documents, Withdrawal Letters submitted to INEC.
They highlighted others other illegal acts of Abure to include their Unlawful Substitution of LP Candidates submitted to INEC, Fake & Forged Sworn Affidavits of FCT High Court Receipts, Seals and Oaths.
They also accused Abure of collecting N30m as bribe from each of their alleged substitutes.

Comrade Splendour said he won the LP primary for Ebonyi state but what should have been a straight forward democratic process was marred by criminality, deceit, and manipulations orchestrated by the party’s national chairman.

“Despite numerous attempts by Abure to evade accountability, the diligent efforts of law enforcement officials led to his eventual apprehension.
“However, the investigation was not without its Significant challenges as the former Chairman consistently attempted to obstruct justice and evade arrest through corrupt and deceitful means after months of rigorous information gathering, cross examinations and forensic analysis, the police investigation conclusively determined that Mr. “Abure criminally forged my signature to perpetrate his illegal scheme.

“Throughout the investigation process, I cooperated fully with law enforcement authorities, providing them with all necessary evidence

to substantiate my claims of forgery and electoral malpractice.
the complexities and obstacles encountered along the way, the FCID remained steadfast in their pursuit of justice, ultimately recommending the prosecution of Abure for his criminal actions.
“The case file has since been forwarded to Federal Ministry of Justice for charges to be instituted but up until now, there has been no movement on the matter.
“This has begun to agitate my mind as the perception is that the former Chairman can get away with brazen and unbridled criminality which has further emboidened him to become
even more reckless, believing that he is a “sacred cow”.

“Having received the case file and recommendations from the FCID, I am hereby appealing most passionately to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to ensure justice is served. The events described herein underscore the critical importance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring accountability within our democratic institutions.
“Those who seek to subvert the electoral process and undermine the integrity of our democracy must be held accountable for their actions.
“The prosecution of Abure is not only a matter of justice but also reaffirmation of our commitment to the principles of transparency,
fairness and accountability in governance.
“As the Chief law officer of the federation, a renowned staunch
advocate for the rule of law and a firm believer in the principles of
democracy, you have a sacred duty to uphold the rule of law without fear or favour.

“The police recommendation for criminal charges against the Chairman and others, must be treated with the urgency and diligence it deserves.
“We must send a strong message that our democracy cannot flourish where internal party processes are corrupted and electoral integrity is recklessly subverted.
“I kindly implore you to use your highly esteemed office to ensure that charges are filed against Mr. Abure and others without further delay.

Chief Margif said, ”

“I passed through the primaries successfully, the primary was witnessed by INEC, I scaled through as the flag bearer, I was given certificate of return by Julius Abure to run the race but after one month while I was doing campaign there was a planned arrest by police, I was taken to police custody only to hear that there is another primary going on the 5th of August purporting that I have withdrawn from the race.

“The letter of withdrawal was forged which they submitted 5th August 2022, Knowing very well I was in detention on 5th How can I sign withdrawal letter while in detention.
According to Murphy, “I did not at any time wrote a withdrawal letter nor deposed to any affidavit to that effect, this further made my lawyer to equally write a letter to the Federal High Court Abuja to confirm the authenticity of the affidavit
“Again the Court replied that the affidavit was never deposed to in that court, which means that they forged my signature, Court affidavit, court revenue receipt and some other documents, which prompted my petition to IGP to investigate this criminal act by the national chairman, Secretary and some other LP officials that may be involved in this criminal

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Edo PDP chieftain tackles Bauchi Governor over claim of rancor free PDP primary




Gov Bala Muhammed
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A prominent chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from Edo North, Joseph Ado, has called out the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Bala Mohammed over claim that the PDP Congress held two weeks ago in Edo was rancour free

Ado who reacted through a statement issued on Tuesday said he finds it disheartening that Gov Bala Mohammed would make such a statement, considering that the Congress was previously condemned by the Senator Seriake Dickson panel of enquiry as flawed and one-sided.

“It is perplexing to Mr. Ado how Governor Bala Mohammed can overlook such glaring evidence and assert that there was no rancour during the Congress.

“In Mr. Ado’s view, a true leader ought to stand by the truth and not be partisan, even when trying to show solidarity with fellow governors. He firmly believes that the paramount concern should be the unity of the party. By disregarding the valid concerns raised by nine out of ten aspirants who participated in the Congress and vehemently condemned its flawed nature, Gov Bala Mohammed is failing in his role as a leader within the party.

Furthermore, Mr. Ado also expresses his doubts regarding Governor Bala Mohammed’s potential Presidential ambition. He expressed the believe that by supporting such a flawed Congress, Gov Mohammed has demonstrated his inability to gather the necessary support for his Presidential ambitions.
Ado firmly asserts that relying on the backing of Governor Godwin Obaseki will prove to be futile.
As a dedicated member of the PDP and a stakeholder in the Edo North region, Mr. Ado called on Governor Mohammed and other party leaders to prioritize the party’s unity above personal ambitions and affiliations.
“The PDP must foster an atmosphere that is fair, transparent, and inclusive in order to strengthen its position ahead of upcoming political challenges.

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Don’t allow growing anger, discontent to reach volatile point, Lamido tells Tinubu




Sule Lamido
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A former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido has tasked the All Progressives Congress( APC) led administration of President Bola Tinubu not to allow the growing anger and discontent to reach point of violence

He asked the President to take preventive measures against the general discontent in the country arising from poverty, high cost of living and the insecurity currently bedevilling the nation to avert an impending disaster.

Thousands of citizens in Minna, the Niger State capital, had taken to the streets in protest against what they described as severe hunger and escalating cost of living in the country.

There were similar protests in Kano, Plateau and Kogi States.

Lamido who was a foreign Affairs minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his verified Facebook wall wrote using two analogies by two famous persons to capture the near disaster awaiting to happen if Nigerian government does not take an immediate preemptive measure

“The first of the two famous people is Fidel Castro. He narrated a story of a rich man on a holiday in his luxurious yatch. While indulging in the upper deck of yacht with all the comfort money can buy, his workers were groaning in the heat of the engine room. 

“The commotion coming from the engine room arising from the unbearable heat started shaking the yacht violently! It was a signal to the rich man and his friends in the upper deck to either respond to the commotion from the engine room or risk the yatch overturn.

“The other famous man is our very own Bishop Kukah. During the the era of our blessed PDP, there were cries of hardship arising from the increase of the pump price of fuel and the then serious insecurity from Boko Haram culminating in the abduction of Chibok girls in Yobe State. 

“There was general outcry all over the country from the then opposition APC, organizing protests  against the PDP government. I vividly recall when Buhari, Tinubu, Bisi and other big wigs of the APC poured out and filled the streets of Abuja chanting and condemning our government for allegedly failing to secure Nigeria and unleashing hardship on the citizens!

“That was when my good friend Bishop Kukah presented his paper allertig of the impending danger should the  government fail to take urgent action! 

“He gave as an analogy of the American coal mining in the 18th century by taking a canary in a cage into the mining pit. The canary according Bishop Kukah has a very weak respiratory system and can easily suffocate in low oxygen area. 

“Deep in the mining pit when the oxygen is getting exhausted, the canary will begin to shiver and the miner gets the message and quickly scrambles out of the pit. That was the miner’s ‘early warning system’!

“In Nigeria today, the hardship is so unbearable that tell tails of ‘early warnings’ are manifesting all over the country. In Lagos and Minna women are demonstrating over the high cost of living. 

‘Women in Plateau State are demonstrating on the cost of their favorite local brew called ‘burkutu’ now selling for 3 Naira a cup which they drink to drown their hardship and sorrow thereby getting temporary relief. Above all there is hunger everywhere and people are starving!
According to him, the two analogies quoted above and and the manifestation of the seeming tension arising from these local protests and demonstrations and the likely spread of these nation wide is enough to make the government take urgent action!

“It must not be allowed to reach a combustion point.”

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