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Obaseki reacts as Students ‘attack’ LP Gov Candidate, Olumide Akpata



Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has announced a new minimum wage for Edo workers from N40,000 to N70,000 effective from May 1, 2024.

The Edo State Government has strongly condemned the violence that erupted during the visit of Olumide Akpata, the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, to the University of Benin on Friday.

The State Government in a statement signed by Chris Nehikhare, the Commissioner for Orientation and Communication, acknowledged the conflicting claims made by Mr. Akpata and the Student Union Government (SUG) of the University in statements issued by both parties on April 13.

He disclosed that an active investigation is currently underway to ascertain the truth of the matter.

The statement added that violence or the sort of irresponsible behaviour witnessed during the LP candidate’s visit to UNIBEN will not be tolerated.

Akpata’s visit to the University was intended for an interactive session with the Senior Staff Club. However, the event was disrupted by violence, prompting the Ex-NBA chairman to allege in a viral video that a senior member of the Edo State Government was responsible for the attack by unknown persons.

In response to these allegations, the Edo chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) denied any involvement in the alleged attack.

In a statement signed by Patrick Ojebuobor, the State Assistant Publicity Secretary of the Party, the PDP emphasized its commitment to the rule of law and disavowed any connection to the incident.

“The PDP would have ignored the statement outright as it was neither signed by the Labour Party nor their governorship candidate but decided to issue this clarification for the benefit of the unsuspecting members of the public.

“The PDP has no hand in the alleged purported attack on the Labour Party governorship candidate, Olumide Akpata (Esq) at the University of Benin as contained in the said unsigned statement.

“The PDP is a law-abiding political party and has respect for and observes the rule of law in its entirety as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and other extant laws, rules and regulations in our statute books.”

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Odili: We’re solidly behind Fubara; nobody can intimidate him



Peter Odili, ex-Rivers State Governor, has said it was God that destined Sir Siminalayi Fubara to become the governor of the state.

Peter Odili, ex-Rivers State Governor, has said it was God that destined Sir Siminalayi Fubara to become the governor of the state.

Addressing the governor while inaugurating the dualised Omoku-Egbema Road constructed by the Fubara administration, Odili said: “Your Excellency, the man God destined to govern Rivers State; a humble man of God and a man whose life reflects the fear of God; a man who doesn’t talk too much but does a lot.”

Odili said Fubara had taken full control of governance in Rivers State and was focused on the people in line with his chosen mantra, People First.

Odili thanked Fubara for the project delivered in the area and urged him to remain focused on the people by giving succour to the less-privileged and hope to the hopeless.

He said: “I can tell our people that the next election is very far, but what the Governor has done so far is enough to secure the support of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area going forward.

“Thank you, Your Excellency, because the greatest assets of the state remain the people, not oil and gas. The people remain the greatest assets.

“So, once your focus remains with the people, especially the less-privileged, the poor, those who are struggling to feed every day, once they remain your focus, I want to agree with you that the sky would become the take-off point of your administration.”

Odili assured that the entire people of Rivers were behind Fubara, “rallying support for him because they trust him, believing in what he says and convinced that he means whatever he says.”

Speaking at the occasion, Fubara said that the delivery of developmental projects and social services by his administration would not be politicised because they were geared towards solving the needs faced by the people of the state.

The governor explained that while all human and societal challenges could not be solved at once, every promise made by his administration would be fulfilled within available resources and delivered on schedule.

The governor said: “When the project was added to the list of projects to mark our one year in office, there was a challenge but the contractor assured of delivering it, which is a reality today.

“What are we doing today? We are here to tell our people that they are the most important thing to us. We are here to assure you that every part of this state will have positive impact of our administration.

“We can make bold to say that today, a project that was impossible in the past was made possible by this administration.

“If within this short period we could deliver this to our people who were yearning for this road, crying and complaining, it is a sign that this government has the interest of the people of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area at heart.

“So, I want to assure you: don’t let anybody deceive you anywhere. This is the right boat to join. The captain of this boat, his own mantra is ‘The People First’. So, I assure you, with your support, the sky is our beginning.”

Fubara said it would be improper for him not to appreciate the people of ONELGA because the campaigns that led to his election started in the area.

Granting some of their requests, Fubara said: “Here and now, we are mandating the Ministry of Works to ensure that the remaining part of this road project leading to the boundary with Imo State should be completed (Okwuizi boundary to Abacheke).

“We are also assuring you that the health centre matter, more especially the zonal hospital, we are going to complete it. The contractor will move to site in the next one week.

“So, let me use this opportunity, on behalf of the government and the good people of our dear state, to say thank you for supporting us before, during and also after the election.

“Let me assure you that whatever we say, we will live up to it. We will not make promises that we will not keep.

“We will make promises after checking our resources. We will make promises that are within our capacity to deliver, and delivering it in good time.”

The governor explained that he invited Odili to inaugurate the project because the former governor understood the needs of the people.

He said: “This is not politics. This is giving back to our people. So, I want somebody who understands the need of our people, and what we are doing is to come and speak to our people.

“I want somebody who has the direct interest of this LGA at heart to come and speak to his people, so that we will understand that when we are in position, what is important is not self, what is important is the people.”

Providing the description of the road, Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Works, Atemea Briggs, said the road project indicated how Fubara had consistently prioritised the needs of the people and solve critical problems.

In his welcome address, High Chief Shedrack Akalokwu, noted that Fubara was soft spoken, his leadership was action-packed, with successes that far outweighed public expectations of his administration.

He said: “We are grateful that in the short period of less than one year in office, Your Excellency is here today to superintend over the commissioning of the Omoku-Egbema Dual Carriageway in our local government area.

“The Erema junction-Akabuka- Ogbogu-Obite-Ede-Okposi dual carriageway speedily being executed by the construction giant, Julius Berger, is very refreshing. The news of the award of 33.5km Elele-Omudioga-Egbeda-Ubimini-Ikiri-Omoku dual carriageway has been received with gladsome mind.

“That project is magic infrastructural access that would gladden the hearts of our people as there would be drastic reduction of time and distance from our local government to the state capital.

“All our people are in one accord in conveying our support, solidarity, gratitude and total loyalty to this government of which we are an integral part.”


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Labour Party chairman Julius Abure suspended



The National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure, has been suspended. A letter of suspension dated May 14, 2024 and another

The National Chairman of Labour Party (LP), Julius Abure, has been suspended.

A letter of suspension dated May 14, 2024 and another on May 15, 2024 were ratified at a meeting of the state executive committee on Friday night in Benin.

They stated that the suspension was with immediate effect.

It advised Abure to stop holding out or parading himself as a member of the party.

The letter of suspension was signed by the Ward Chairman, Thompson Ehiguese, and Ward Secretary, Stanley Usiomoh.

“While the suspension is with immediate effect, you are advised to refrain from holding out or parading yourself as a member of Labour Party, Ward 3, Arue, Uromi, Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State,” the letter said in part.

The State Executive Committee led by Kelly Ogbaloi endorsed the decisions of the ward and local government committee of the party on Friday.

Ogbaloi said that the state executive council had no choice but to endorse the suspension which was also ratified by the party’s executive council in Esan North East local government area of the state.

Also, the state deputy chairman of the party, Mr. Patrick Agbontaen, said the party was fed up with the series of allegations of misdemeanour against the embattled national chairman and was fully in agreement with the decision to suspend him until further notice.

The ratification letter reads: “Here forwarded to you and for your consideration is the ratification of the suspension of Julius Abure from the membership of Ward 3, Arue, Uromi, Ean North East LGA, Edo State.

“The LGA Executive met on 15th of May, 2024, about noon, to consider the matters presented on the suspension and accordingly found them weighty and the suspension ratified and upheld.”


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Rivers crisis: I will remain in office after my tenure, LG chairman dares Fubara



The crisis rocking Rivers State may not be abating soon as the Executive Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike,

The crisis rocking Rivers State may not be abating soon as the Executive Chairman of Ikwerre Local Government Area, Samuel Nwanosike, has vowed not vacate office after the expiration of his tenure on June 17.

Yesterday, the state Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, promised to shut his eyes to distractions by his opponents. He said his administration and supporters will not dissipate their energy fighting with their detractors.

Nwanosike yesterday said his decision to remain in office after the expiration of his tenure was in obedience to the newly amended state local government law which gave the council’s elected officials six months extension if the state governor failed to conduct local government elections.

Fubara had vetoed the passed amendment, but the Speaker Martins Amaewhule-led House of Assembly passed it into law after 30 days.

The chairman’s threat, however, came against the recent judgement of the state High Court, which declared the new amendment unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect.

The court’s judgement also declared the six-month tenure elongation provided for in the new amendment as invalid.

The court’s judgment was based on a suit filed by the chairmen of Bonny and Opobo/Nkoro local government areas seeking nullification of the new law.

In the judgement, Justice Diaketima Kio held that the Amaewhule-led House of Assembly overreached itself and that its actions were contrary to the provisions of the amended Nigerian Constitution.

Nwanosike was, however, seen in a viral video making the remarks while addressing his constituents at a function in Ikwerre.

He referred to the amendment to the law by the Martin Amaewhule-led House of Assembly as the law of Nigeria.

He said: “If Martin Amaewhule says that because the governor of Rivers State failed in his duty to conduct local government elections, and that I, Dr Nwanosike Samuel Osoruchi, by the oath of office I took and the certificate of return I was issued when I contested my second tenure election, that we should remain in office, so shall we remain in office.”

He said anyone interested in occupying his office at the expiration of his tenure should show his face.

The state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, while officially kicking off the Okania-Ogbogoro road project in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area yesterday, said his administration and supporters will not dissipate their energy fighting with their detractors.

Instead, he said they would work to set a higher standard of leadership and a new bar to improve the quality of life and socio-economic status of Rivers people.

Fubara said his detractors were making determined overtures to distract his administration from achieving set goals with unproductive fights but vowed that he would not waste his energy fighting back.

The governor said he would continue to channel every energy into delivering good governance, implementing people-centric policies, executing sustainable impact projects and ensuring that dividends of democracy were constantly delivered to the people.

Fubara said: “I have only one request, that request is to ask you to continue to conduct yourselves peacefully in the face of all the assaults. They want us to miss our goal, they want to distract us.

“If we fight with them, we will be wasting our energy. So, what we need to do is to continue to do that thing which we have promised our people.

“Our style will be to set a standard that will be above them so that when they come, they will see what we are doing. Everybody will be seeing it that it is about the people, and they will say ‘but they are working for the people’. So, that will be our style of leadership”.

Fubara said that the Okania-Ogbogoro road project would not end at the stage of kick off but would be completed and inaugurated in the next five months.

He called on members of the benefitting communities and their leaders to give the contractor the necessary support to deliver the project within schedule.

He said: “At the end of the day, the project belongs to you. It is a project that brings about a better and conducive environment for you and your children.

“On the part of the contractor: support constituted authority. Dialogue with the leaders of this area so that your work will also go on smoothly.

“I know a lot of people are wondering why did we decide to think of this particular road now.

“We are already embarking on a very big project in this state, which is the Port Harcourt Ring Road, and a lot of our people are suffering because of the ongoing construction work on the Ring Road. There is pressure on the direct access areas used by the people.

“Most of these roads, this one in particular, is a road that will take off some pressure from the main route that we are familiar with, and we thought it wise that it will be proper for us to fix this road at this time.”


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Cross River Assembly Speaker, Elvert Ayambem impeached



Honourable Elvert Ayambem has insisted that he remains the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly.

On Wednesday, 17 out of 25 Cross River State House of Assembly lawmakers have impeached the Speaker, Elvert Ayambem.

The impeachment follows a vote of no confidence on the flood of the Assembly.

Effiong Ekarika representing Calabar South 1 moved the motion, and Omang Omang of Bekwara state constituency supported this.

The 17 had earlier signed a petition against the Speaker. They include Hilary Bissong, Egbe Abeng, Effiong Ekarika, Martin’s Achadu, Pius Ashakia, Ova Agbor, and Victor Nsa.

Others who signed the impeachment include Francia Ogban, Bassey Effiong, Eyo Bassey, Thomas Aruku, Charles Omang Omang, Stanley Nsemo, Kingsley Ntui, Okon Owuna, Samuel Neji and Cyril James.

The lawmakers cited four grounds on which they decided to impeach the speaker.

These include gross financial misconduct, incompetence, noncompliance with legislative laws, and failure to convene leadership meetings as the grounds for his removal.

On impropriety, the lawmakers accused him of inability to account for N48 million meant for electricity bills and over N404 million from the Internal Revenue Service designated for oversight functions.

They also alleged that the Assembly leadership has not been able to account for N20 million from local government deductions.

Those who impeached him also alleged incompetence and wrong conduct of plenary proceedings.

They further accused him of appointing members to move or second motions, rather than following the democratic practice of allowing members to volunteer.

According to the angry legislators, Ayambem did not comply with legislative laws.

They said he also violated the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law of 2021 by his arbitrary approval of expenditures beyond his authorized limit and the refusal to inaugurate the Legislative Funds Management Committee.

The fourth and final ground of his impeachment is the total failure to convene leadership meetings, with only one such meeting held in the past 11 months.

“This lack of engagement has been perceived as a neglect of duty and a failure to foster collaborative governance within the House.”

The opposing lawmakers displayed documents from the Internal Revenue Service and photographs of a luxurious house under construction allegedly funded by embezzled funds, saying these further tainted the reputation of the former Speaker.

In the last few months, Ayambem led the vanguard to attack, probe and ridicule former governor, Prof Ben Ayade over his style of governance, alleged diversions of state resources and concessions of factories he built for himself and cronies.

He also recovered State properties, vehicles, and tractors which he alleged were stolen by Ayade and his officials.


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Fubara: I’m ready to fight on, not afraid to probe Wike



The Rivers State High Court has invalidated the amended Local Government Law proposed by the Martins Amaewhule faction of the Rivers

Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, says he acted based on approvals during his time as the accountant-general of Rivers state.

Fubara spoke on Tuesday while inaugurating Egbeda internal roads in the state.

Early this month, Fubara said a judicial panel of inquiry will be set up to investigate the management of the state’s resources and affairs under Nyesom Wike, his successor and current minister of the federal capital territory (FCT).

Fubara was the accountant-general under Wike. He was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2022 over an alleged N435 billion fraud.

However, the governor said he has records of all his activities under the past administration in the state and is “not scared of anything”.

“What we bring to our people is service delivery at record time and cost-effective. Everything we are doing is in my white paper. I carry it along. There is no issue of any manipulation. Call me any day, any time it is there,” he said.

”Even the ones l did before this time, I still have all the records. If you call me any day, I will bring my records of all my activities in government. I know that, as a civil servant, what is most important is record-keeping.

“I am not scared of anything. Anybody who calls me up any day, any time, I have my records to show. I have all the approvals to show that I acted based on approvals and not personal decisions. We are not going to rest until we make everyone happy in Rivers state.”

Fubara said he started taking decisions as governor in February — eight months after taking over the reins of the state.

“I want to thank you for journeying with us in showcasing the activities of our government in four months. When I say four months, I mean it. We started full governance in the month of February. That was when we started taking decisions and confronting governance,” Fubara said.

“I am proud to say that our people are happy with what we have done. So, our traditional rulers, don’t be worried; we will watch your back. Don’t be scared of the rumours you hear.”

Although the governor did not explain why he could not make decisions eight months into his administration, it is likely related to the feud between him and Wike.

Fubara and Wike have been engaged in a feud over control of the political structure in the oil-rich state.

The political crisis has resulted in the polarisation of the state house of assembly, while some commissioners loyal to Wike have resigned from Fubara’s cabinet.

Source: The Cable

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Atiku, Obi desperate, can’t be trusted with power – APC



The All Progressives Congress, on Tuesday, dismissed the potential merger talk between the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar and the standard-bearer of the Labour Party in the election, Peter Obi.

It described Atiku and Obi as desperate politicians who could not be trusted with power.

The ruling party also said it had no doubt the meeting between the two opposition candidates would amount to nothing, saying it was being fuelled by a mutual desperation to ensure President Bola Tinubu did not return to office in 2027.

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja, titled “Atiku, Obi united by mutual desperation.”

The PUNCH reports that Obi, on May 13, visited Atiku at his Abuja residence and the duo met behind closed doors with the viral photographs of the visit on social media. Atiku later revealed this on his X handle, saying, “It was my honour and privilege to host #PeterObi today.”

Obi, the same day, also met with two chieftains of the PDP, the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the erstwhile governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.

In 2019, both Atiku and Obi ran on the PDP joint ticket but were defeated by the former President, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.

In the run-up to the 2023 election, Obi left the PDP for the Labour Party and emerged as the standard-bearer, while Atiku contested the election on the ticket of the PDP. The two were defeated by President Tinubu of the APC.

After the Supreme Court affirmed Tinubu’s victory in the 2023 election, Atiku called for unity among major opposition parties, stating his readiness to lead a coalition against Tinubu in 2027.

Reacting on Tuesday to the planned coalition, Morka acknowledged that the meeting of the political allies had further heightened the speculations of a possible alliance between both men and their political parties ahead of 2027.

The APC spokesman, however, maintained that it was unclear whether Obi would be willing to make a comeback to Atiku’s PDP or whether the latter would agree to dump his party to seek “rehabilitation” in Obi’s Labour Party.

He said, “The news of Peter Obi’s return to the PDP would be hardly surprising. His reputation as a political wayfarer is only dwarfed by Atiku’s track record as a veteran political wanderer.

“News of Atiku joining the Labour Party will shock no one as he will be living up to his well-established reputation as the country’s most itinerant politician.

“For now, Utomi’s mega party remains a figment with no offering of tangible accommodation for both men.

“Atiku and Obi are united by their mutual desperation to be President of Nigeria and the ignoble disdain for President Bola Tinubu’s focused and extraordinary commitment to the transformation of our nation.

“Their restless drift in search of convenient party platforms to execute their presidential run only belies the self-indulgent and opportunistic essence of their aspirations.”

He said by their character, Nigerians could not trust both Atiku and Obi with power, as they would not be able to handle national challenges.

“Men without the staying power to build or fix their own parties, who flee at the slightest flicker of internal crisis, cannot possibly be trusted by Nigerians to tackle serious and complex national, political and economic challenges that confront our nation.

“We urge Nigerians to stand fast in their invaluable support of our great party and President Bola Tinubu’s determined commitment to deliver a stronger, secure and more prosperous country for us all,” the party spokesman said.

Source: ThePunch

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