Tag Archives: Governor Godwin Obaseki

Activist Eholor threatens to drag Gov Obaseki to court as security deteriorates in Edo

Chief Patriot Patrick Eholor, a human right activist has threatened to drag Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki to court over the insecurity issues at verious parts of the state especially Benin City, the state capital.

He said it is becoming worrisome that inhabitants of the state now live at the mercy of hoodlums over robbery, kidnapping and cult clashes which has led to the lose of lives since October last year.

According to the president of One Love Foundation, “Edo as a state has now being hijacked by hoodlums who have continued to operate freely as robbers, kidnappers or cultists. People are being robbed on daily basis, POS operators, market women at various quarters, drivers and passengers are left to their faith. We have never had it bad like this as a state.

He also said “Nigerians should know their rights, especially my Edo people. If anybody is killed or kidnapped again in Edo State, I will sue the governor because he collects security votes. So I will ask him what he is using the security votes for, because it is a constitutional matter, very clear that the government is suppose to protect us as citizens.

“All we want is a safe Edo State where investors can come in and do business any day any time. We need jobs to be created for our teeming youths. Politics aside, the governor should do better”, he added.

Vital Observation on the Forgery and Perjury Cases Against Governor Obaseki and Shaibu of Edo State

By Sebastine Ebhuomhan

Sunday, 3rd January, 2021.

A lot has been written on the pre-election suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja on the 2020 Edo governorship election. In the past 72 hours, particular efforts have been made by known agents of the two men that are the subjects of court inquest to change court record from outside.

On the basis of a vital observation in this essay, the following emanated statement will suffice to buttress attempts strenuously and unlawfully being made to interrupt recorded court proceedings in the suits.

Please, read and note the public statement below.

THE BULLETS OF THE HARMLESS RABBIT MEDIA TEAM (BHR)

THE PURPORTED FORGERY CASE AGAINST GOV. OBASEKI (5)

WHAT THE JUDGE MIGHT CONSIDER.

1. In the presence of the original document, every other copy, whether it is certified or not, becomes obsolete and void. This stems from the fact that forging of a document is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

2. In this case, the alleged forging of the degree certificate is to enhance the qualifying status of the forger. That is, to prove that he is a graduate of the university, when in reality, as the plaintiff alleged, he is not.

3. However, the university did not only confirm that the defendant was admitted and was graduated from the institution, it also attested that he was issued an ORIGINAL certificate. That has substantially vitiated the alleged INTENT of forgery by the forger.

4. And that leaves the issue under contention solely to the propriety of the CONTENTS of the copies presented and accepted as exhibits by the plaintiff.

5. Like we mentioned in the beginning of this opinion, whenever there is a conflict between the CONTENTS of an ORIGINAL and that of a COPY of a document, that of the ORIGINAL would naturally suffice over that of the COPY. This is because, the COPY was made from the ORIGINAL, and in the process of COPYING, something could alter the CONTENT.

6. However, the ORIGINAL must be attested to have emanated from the issuing authority, in this case, the University of Ibadan.

7. Once the university authority confirms that the ORIGINAL, that is in the possession of the defendant, is the one issued to him in 1979, every other consideration would naturally fall flat in the face of logic and commonsense. Logic and commonsense would reiterate that no sane person, who is in possession of a genuine ORIGINAL, would abandon same and proceed to forge a fake COPY for any purpose whatsoever.

8. It is therefore my opinion that this case shall be dismissed for lack of substance.

BHR MEDIA TEAM, firing live from Abuja.

OBSERVATION:
The statement above was carefully written, bandied and distributed publicly on the forgery and perjury case against Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, by the BHR after the last hearing. The BHR is a heavily funded but faceless media team of the embattled governor and his beleaguered deputy.

The need for this condemnable hatchet by the governor’s paid hand tools became overwhelming as mounting revelations in court continue to underline how Obaseki allegedly presented forged documents, committed other criminal offences and lied under oath to win election for both his first and second term.

When carefully reviewed, this statement above admits virtually all the allegations APC filed against Governor Obaseki. Yet, for a suit that is at the most critical stage of determination, it is not only sub-judicial for what it seeks to achieve through the back door but reprehensible for three (3) reasons when it is considered that Obaseki is yet to formally furnish the court all his originals and details of his election documents as juristically expected at the material time. These reasons, the APC legal team under the leadership of the able Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) and state leadership under the capable Col. David Imuse (Rtd.) must now carefully note ahead of the next sitting.

One, this statement is a deliberate attempt to distort facts, misinform the public and create unwarranted confusion in Edo State ahead of the court’s forthcoming judgment. Two, this statement is a clear and wicked attempt to confuse, shape the mind and write judgment for the Hon Judge of the Federal High Court of FCT, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, who has shown beyond reasonable doubts since first day, his readiness, sincerity and courage to deliver justice in the two suits before him. Third, this statement openly and improperly seeks to unlawfully intervene and interrupt a smooth legal process, sub-judicially.

Considered against the fallacious, baseless and unsubstantiated allegation of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole seeking to influence Justice Mohammed’s court for APC, earlier made by Mr Philip Shaibu (who has yet to clear himself in the other suit) and against the numerous media posts by Obaseki’s media assistants variously describing the trial as “heading nowhere”, “dead on arrival” etc., there is an urgent need to, on behalf of the plaintiffs: Mr Williams Edobor and the APC; as well as the party candidate: Pastor Andrew Osagie Ize-Iyamu, draw His Lordship’s attention to this cancerous malaise on Monday, 4th January, 2021.

Finally, this writer wishes Justice Mohammed, all the plaintiff and defence counsel and witnesses, the Nigerian Judiciary, members of APC and all the other political parties, the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as entire Nigerians a just, equitable, secure, peaceful, progressive and qualitative 2021.

Happy New Year!

Sebastine EBHUOMHAN is a multiple award-winning journalist from Edo State resident in Abuja. He can be reached at: usie007@yahoo.com; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Human Rights Warrior, Eholor Reveals Plans To Sue Gov Obaseki Over Pry School Exams In Edo State

A Benin-based human rights activist, Chief Patrick Eholor, has threatened to sue Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

This followed reports that the compulsory 2020 Primary school Leaving Certificate Examinations in Edo State, had been cancelled for undisclosed reasons.

Eholor, the President of One Love Foundation made the allegation while addressing newsmen on Saturday in Benin City, the State capital where he called on the Governor to rescind the decision.

He explained that his decision to seek redress in court, is to discourage mediocrity in the education sector and for the sake of posterity.

He wondered why some perfidious individuals in the Government who duly earned their Leaving School Certificates on merit, failed to tell the Governor the consequences of promoting pupils who did not sit for the Examinations.

“My reasons are simple and clear. Godwin Obaseki is a good man who has passion for the citizens. He is a man that is very civilized and civil, but those he surrounded himself with are his messengers. Sadly, we can no longer trust their message.

“I am going to challenge it in court that nobody should be promoted without examinations.

“What I am saying is that we are going to go to court to challenge that. Our children must write their examinations before they are promoted. You cannot carry people forward without examinations, that is wrong. It will amount to setting a wrong precedent for the state.

“He (Obaseki) must reverse that decision and the children must do their Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations before they are promoted to the next level.

“First of all, if he (Obaseki) reply me within 24 hours, I will save his cost of spending tax-payers money in court. But, if he doesn’t respond, I will engage the best lawyer in town to take him to court.

“I have never lost one case. I represented myself 37 times in court, even in Canada. In all, I represented myself 35 times while my lawyer only represented me twice and I won all the cases”, he boasted.

According to him, “When governor Godwin Obaseki said in his own words that we are going to give a Leaving School Certificates to non-performance and to non-education, he said it was because of Covid-19 and that the State doesn’t have the resources.

“But, you cannot promote people without pass. We have suffered enough”, he lamented.

Recall that the Federal Government had shut down all private and public schools nationwide for about several months during Covid-19 lockdown.

Schools that were yet to sit for their third term promotion examinations, were promoted to the next classes in a bid to make up for the lost ground as a result of the compulsory holiday.

BREAKING: Edo State Governor relaxes 24 hour curfew

The governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki has lifted the curfew imposed on the state.

The Governor said the move is to contain the activities of hoodlums who have hijacked the peaceful protests in a bid to end police brutality tagged #EndSARS.

While briefing the youths in Benin on Thursday afternoon he said the curfew will now be relaxed from 4pm to 6pm daily for the next 72 hours for reevaluation and further actions.

OBASEKI AND PDP’s WICKED PLOT TO PROCURE A COURT ORDER TO STOP APC AND IT’S CANDIDATE PASTOR OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE  SEPTEMBER 19, 2020, GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN EDO STATE: A CALL FOR JUDICIAL CAUTION

~By Samson R. Osagie, Esq

Ahead of the September 19, governorship election in Edo State, the PDP and its emergency candidate Godwin Obaseki have ran out of ideas, as their campaigns loses traction with thousands of their members abandoning their sinking ship.

Perturbed by the reality of imminent and unavoidable defeat, they have gone on their kneels groveling before one of the South South Governors and a PDP godfather who describe the National leadership of their party as tax collectors to assist them procure a frivolous court order that will prevent the APC and its formidable candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu from participating in the September 19 gubernatorial election in Edo State.

As a matter of fact two Senior Lawyers in Benin one in Edo State public service and the other in private practice have been given matching orders to liaise with another prominent Senior lawyer in Lagos to urgently seek for injunctive orders against the APC candidate by all means possible. This step is been backed by the payment of several millions of dollars and billions of naira by Governor Obaseki to the Lawyers and the PDP godfather in the south south.

As part of measures to achieve this unholy and devilish mission Obaseki having obtain assurance from the PDP’s godfather in Port Harcourt has been junketing from one judicial division to the other seeking for pliable judges to assist him with an order based on frivolous and unmeritorious application against the APC and its candidate.

This is why he is not campaigning or funding the PDP campaign, a situation which is alleged to have created a rift between him and his Deputy.

No wonder their media hirelings have been posting what looks like messages intended to prepare the mind of the public as to what they intend to achieve. In one of the Post a certain Jack Obiyan, Special Assistant to Governor Obaseki twitted that the suspended former State Chairman Anselm Ojezua as saying ” APC has no candidate”. The PDP godfather during their ill-fated flag off campaign in one of the changing rooms at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium re – echoed same.

Unfortunately, for the embattled party that sold its governorship and Deputy governorship tickets to Obaseki and his Deputy for several billions of Edo taxpayers money, many heads of courts across the country have issued stern warnings to judicial officers to refrain from entertaining frivolous politically motivated litigations aimed at derailing the democratic process which has characterized the Obaseki misadventure in Edo State governance since 2016.

Let it be known that Anselm Ojezua and Godwin Obaseki are living in fool’s paradise for assuming that they could put spanner in the works of the Edo APC from regaining its control of government in Edo State come November 12, 2020.

The APC gubernatorial primaries which Anselm Ojezua claims did not produce a candidate was ratified by the National Executive Committee which held in the Presidential Villa and which he virtually attended, albeit erroneously. How he now claim that after the ratification of the primaries which produced Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the party still has no candidate is a matter Mr President and the National Caretaker Committee of the APC must invoke serious disciplinary measures against by expelling Anselm Ojezua from the party.
It is no longer news that Anselm Ojezua and a few party chairmen at the LGA levels in Edo State are refusing to decamp with Obaseki to PDP with the intention of sabotaging the APC in the next election.

They will fail!!!

It is therefore important to state that Nigerian courts must be wary of the suits which are been filed with the aim of derailing the democratic processes in Edo State so as not to create a constitutional crisis as the tenure of the incumbent governor expires midnight of November 11(my birthday) and Edo people are not prepared to renew the mandate.

Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, candidate of the APC has undoubtedly fulfilled all legal requirements including incontrovertible academic qualifications and compliance with every statutory provisions spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution, the APC constitution and the electoral Act under which INEC has issued its guidelines.

Consequently, any order seeking to stop the APC candidate from participating in the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo State can only be a product of judicial compromise and we are confident that the Nigerian judiciary will not lend itself to such an ignoble mission.

Let us warn the PDP godfather in the south south oil rich state that the APC is fully aware of his boasts to use the judiciary to achieve this unholy mission as he did to APC in Rivers State in 2019. By God grace and under God no weapon fashioned by him and his God son Godwin Obaseki shall succeed and Obaseki shall lose shamelessly to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Needless to emphasize that the people of Edo State have accepted the SIMPLE AGENDA of the APC and its candidate and they are very prepared to run with it to guarantee security, quality infrastructure, Manpower development, public private partnership, leadership by example and employment cum empowerment. This SMART program is Specific, Measurable, Achievable , Realistic and Time bound so much so that Edo people can hold the APC government of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu accountable to it. On the contrary, the Obaseki government has no discernable agenda except bogus and incomprehensible litany of failed promises. Edo People cannot continue with his deceitful and hypocritical administration.
The task to reclaim Edo from the PDP tenant on September 19 is already a forgone conclusion and the Courts must exercise utmost circumspection not to yield to any unpatriotic, undemocratic, frivolous and vexatious applications relating to Edo elections particularly applications for injunctive reliefs against the APC and its candidate.

Finally, the Chief Justice of Nigeria should prevail on all superior courts of record to excercise utmost discretion and restraints in matters relating to Edo State governorship election before, during and after the election without prejudice to their powers to entertain post elections petitions.

Edo State is APC, and it’s people have decided to elect Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Mallam Gani Audu as the next Governor and Deputy Governor.
No more, No less.

~Hon Samson Osagie is a former Minority Whip of the House of Representatives and the Coordinator, APC Campaign Council in charge of Edo South Senatorial District.

Exclusive: Findings absolve Captain Hosa, Comrade Oshiomhole and other APC chieftains of blame in fight at Benin Palace gate

Feelers reaching our news desk from the findings of Patrick Osagie Eholor, President of the One Love Foundation and the Observer General, is that the fight between the supporters of the two frontline political parties in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party – revealed that the brouhaha was actually started by the PDP supporters.

According to the findings, the Palace had fixed the traditional christening of the first son given birth to since His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, assumed the throne in October, 2016, for Saturday, July 25th, 2020.

According to the story, the traditional christening is in line with the customs and tradition of the Benin Palace. The date was said to have been fixed long before the PDP fixed its governorship campaign flag-off. And that the party and its officials had actually pleaded to use the occasion to flag off their campaign and pay a courtesy visit to the monarch.

As it is the tradition, we gathered, nobody is restricted from been part of the day’s celebration as the Palace gate is left open and whoever is interested in partaking in the jollification is allowed into the palace ground to join the other numerous people of goodwill.

From history, people who originate from the adjoining community to the palace called Ogbe are known to lay strong claim to the edifice.

It was this, we learnt, that brought about the large presence of the community people led by one of their own Tony Adun(aka Kabaka) to the palace to join in the celebration.

We gathered that what was supposed to be a moment of celebration turned to a day of mourning when some PDP supporters, who felt that APC supporters were meddling unnecessarily in their affairs, allegedly turned violent, molesting those they considered as intruders at a purely PDP show leading to an orgy of destruction.

The APC supporters were said to have fought back in defence and to assert that they too have a right to be part of the palace celebration.

Going further, the sources revealed that top personalities and chieftains of the APC like the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, business mogul, Captain Hosa Okunbo and many other notable individuals that are been accused of sponsoring the ‘fight’ at the palace vicinity were actually victims of circumstances who had found themselves in the vicinity at that point in time as they joined the royal family and people of goodwill in partaking in what was supposed to be a historic day of celebration.

I don’t know about attack of Gov Obaseki at Oba of Benin Palace – Capt Hosa

PRESS STATEMENT:

There have been reports of an ugly and unfortunate booing incident that took place outside the palace of our revered Royal Father, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, on Saturday, July 25, 2020, during the visit of members of the National Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP entourage, including the Edo State Governor and governorship candidate of the PDP in Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, were reportedly booed while going in and out of the palace by a motley crowd of mostly young boys, according to media reports.

Some members of the crowd who reportedly embarrassed the PDP team and the State Governor were said to have been subsequently attacked allegedly by some gun-toting thugs and sustained varied degrees of injuries in the attack.

While I condemn the booing of the governor and the PDP team, and the reprisal attack, I am particularly pained that some ungodly insinuations in some quarters have linked me with the unfortunate saga. It is against this backdrop that I have deemed it necessary to make the following clarifications:

1. That I was invited to the Palace of the Oba of Benin for a very private ceremony, which I did not even attend with my friends; and that the private ceremony, which had no bearing at all with politics, took place hours after the booing incident happened outside the Palace;

2. That I was not privy to the ugly incident during which Governor Godwin Obaseki was reportedly booed;

3. That as a responsible citizen and elder statesman who respects constituted authorities, I would not subscribe to any act that tends to disrespect or denigrate any constituted authority whether in Edo State or any other State in Nigeria;

4. That I sincerely frown at the brazen act of disrespect for constituted authorities by the crowd of young men who reportedly became unruly on sighting the entourage of the PDP National Campaign Council and Governor Godwin Obaseki at the palace of the Oba of Benin;

5. That I will never, ever be a party to any plan, plot, action or inaction to embarrass our most revered father, Oba Ewuare II, who is non-partisan; and who plays the role of a father to all sons and daughters of the great Benin Kingdom;

6. That I was not associated with the activities of the unruly crowd and therefore could not have been sent to the palace by me to embarrass the PDP entourage, including the State Governor whom I respect as the number one citizen of the State;

7. That I have equal measure of respect for other State Governors who were on the entourage with Governor Godwin Obaseki, some of whom are my personal friends; and could not have encouraged any plot to boo or embarrass them;

8. That just as I was not privy to the ugly incident outside the palace of the Oba Of Benin, our revered Royal Father, Oba Ewuare II, was also not even aware of what transpired outside until later after he had been briefed about it;

9. That those who made insinuations linking me with the ugly incident were just trying to drag me into their politics and create the impression in certain quarters that I was responsible for their rejection by the people;

10. That I state solemnly that, in my position as a role model to our teeming youths who look up to me for guidance and support, I cannot, under any guise, undertake directly or sanction indirectly any action that will place me in a position of disrepute before them and other well-meaning members of the society;

11. That, for the records, our revered Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, will not, at all times, condone any act of indiscipline by the youths;

12. That I urge my good people of Edo State, associates and supporters to rest assured that I remain the person they have good neighborliness who is committed to the promotion of peace, security and orderliness in our society;

13. That I have always preached to the hearing of everybody that the ambition of any man is not worth the blood of any Edolite;

14. That I call on all Edo people to join hands to ensure that they eschew violence in the electioneering by the political parties and in the forthcoming September 19, 2020 governorship election;

15. God bless Edo people; God bless Edo State; God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria;

Oba Gha to Kpere, Isee!
Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo Sunday, July 26, 2020

Captain Hosa to Buhari: Pls tell Governor Obaseki to leave me alone

PRESS STATEMENT BY CAPT. (DR) IDAHOSA WELLS OKUNBO (CAPT. HOSA)

AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE GOOD PEOPLE OF EDO STATE: PLEASE, URGE GOVERNOR GODWIN OBASEKI TO LEAVE ME ALONE

I have, for some time now, experienced an unprecedented dose of orchestrated bashings and campaign of calumny calculated to malign my person and cast aspersions on my hard-earned reputation.

This spate of coordinated attacks, with their attendant mode of vicious execution, can best be described as the unconscionable actions by attack dogs and hirelings of desperate Edo State Government on the watch of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

After a deep evaluation of these seamless attacks and poisonous bitterness against my person, I have come to the conclusion that, as a good-hearted Edo son, I do not deserve the embarrassing treatment. My pedigree will never, ever allow me to deliberately concoct any wrong against my State and its Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki who, today, by the grace of God, enjoys the mandate of the good people of Edo State to preside over their affairs.

I am, however, shocked, bewildered and pained to observe that despite my very sincere, robust and stated commitment to support the anticipated pace of infrastructure development, progress and other social investment initiatives through the deployment of my modest goodwill and network of capital, for which I am eternally grateful to God, alas, the response has been to paint my person with a tar brush of public odium that verges on mischief.

I have, regardless of this very unpleasant experience, remained a lover and promoter of peace and will continue to be at peace with myself and most members of the society, but which by the Governor’s actions and inactions, it has become impossible.

My contributions to peace, progress and visible development of the economy of the state pursuant to our collective aspirations and shared commitments remain a fait accompli. These contributions are self-sacrificing without necessarily expecting any iota of reciprocal gesture or patronage from the Government of Edo State.

I, therefore, find it sickening and incomprehensible to understand or accept any justification for the series of sustained virulent attacks against my person in the social and print media by some agents of Edo State Government.

My long and trusted acquaintances of very many years will attest to my unrepentant fidelity to principles and facts. They know that I will not, through distortion of facts, destroy the integrity of such values to gain undue relevance, unnecessary attention and sympathy.

To be sure, I state the facts of matters as they are to the best of my ability, good conscience and the fear of God. It is therefore in this context that I set out to address contending issues in this statement.

Pursuant to my personal convictions and without any fear of contradictions, I have solidly supported the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki without employing rhetoric but verifiable evidence of actuality in the last three years of his administration. These very modest contributions of solidarity include but not limited to:

1. In 2016, on assumption of office, I met with Governor Godwin Obaseki to discuss several ways of driving foreign investment and ultimately making Edo State an investment hub. Pursuant to this objective, I immediately sponsored the Governor and his team of officials on an investment pathfinder’s trip to China. This was done pursuant to my firm conviction in private sector-led participation as being the key to economic and industrial development of the State.

2. As a show of reinforcement of solidarity for the Governor’s mandate when I was invited to the Edo Convention in Toronto, Canada, I again demonstrated my support for the Governor by my speech where I encouraged everyone to support his administration and also, on that occasion, donated 5 (five) houses worth N50m (Fifty million Naira) to support his housing project located in Benin city towards helping our Edo brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, all in a sustained campaign to share his vision, because I believed in the development template, which he sold to me and this I wholeheartedly accepted.

3. My advocacy to the political class and other critical Edo stakeholders on the need to embrace the virtue of patience with Governor Obaseki as he settled down for governance and infrastructure development remains legendary. This I did with a lot of passion without the least expectation for reward in any form. I was filled with ecstasy that Edo State had a new sheriff in town, an illustrious son, with a private sector background who had stepped in the saddle to pilot our dear State in the direction of development and prosperity. I never knew all these were ILLUSORY.

4. Only very recently, I joined some well-meaning sons and daughters of Edo State to donate generously to the Governor’s COVID-19 relief fund campaign. How more supportive could I have been?

It is instructive to mention that when the Governor requested my daughter to work with his administration, I obliged him even though the little allowance which was only sustained for 5 months and stopped, had to be subsidized from my office and none thereafter. In a bid to reinforce my support for the Governor, I purchased a brand-new Toyota Hilux van to enable her discharge her responsibilities effectively on the project she was assigned. From then on, she has neither earned from Edo State Government nor does she owe the State one kobo to the best of my knowledge.

My dear People of Edo State, the fundamental question, yearning for answer, is: WHAT WRONG DID I COMMIT FOR IDENTIFYING WITH GOVERNOR OBASEKI AND GALVANIZING SUPPORT FOR HIS ADMINISTRATION?

In the course of time, I heard he started having issues with former Governor, Comrade Adams Aliu Oshiomhole and, I was quite worried and vehemently pleaded with him to settle whatever the issues were and embrace the path of peace in the interest of the good people of Edo State. As a stakeholder in the state, I advised on the need to allow wisdom drive his decision-making processes. I emphasized the critical position of leadership he occupies. I further espoused the virtues of patience and sacrifice in public service as I considered these as sine qua non to achieving one’s vision. Following a series of complaints of abandonment by his friends and associates from the political class who knew my relationship with the Governor, I recommended to the Governor to bifurcate between politics and Governance.

I recommended the need to appoint a trusted and experienced politician to bridge the gap and manage his relationship with the political wing of his administration so as to avoid distraction as he faces the onerous task of steering the business of moving the State towards economic and developmental prosperity.

He, however, rejected my proposal and insisted politicians were rogues and would not patronize them or see them in Government House. Governor Obaseki told me without mincing words. He emphasized he would not be moved an inch about their responses or feelings on this particular issue, reiterating he did not need their support either. He told me clearly that he was not interested in pursuing any SECOND TERM agenda.

At a time, I spent almost three hours of my precious time in the Governor’s house, explaining to him the need to build synergy between him and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the then APC National Chairman, in the best interest of the development of our State. He was blunt that he was not interested in any peace talk and that he was embarking on a fight to the finish with Comrade Oshiomhole. Again, to prove that he meant every word of his threat, he sent a mutual friend to me that night when I got home with a warning that I should steer clear from the ensuing fight between him and Comrade Oshiomhole, else, he would inflict severe collateral damage on me. In fact, I was stunned by his message, yet I put a call to him the next morning to confirm the veracity or otherwise of this message delivered to me by our mutual friend. He confirmed it.

It is however interesting, as an aside, to mention that the Deputy Governor Philip Shuaibu, who I have always known as Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s political son, did not, on his part, help matters. While efforts were on by various personalities for reconciliation, he announced that Comrade Oshiomhole should be arrested by the Police.

Following a series of very disturbing, ugly and unacceptable developments, I decided to hands off the matter. Indeed, I felt I had done all I could possibly to engender a peaceful atmosphere for governance and development of our state.

To God, my Father in Heaven, I am speaking the truth and will have no reason whatsoever to do otherwise. I am blessed beyond measure and expectations to His Glory. My pedigrees remain an integral influence on my conduct and character.

I have always believed in the virtues of Hard-work, Uncommon Service Delivery powered by exceptional personal integrity. These are the values I remain totally and irrevocably committed to. My passion for lifting the quality of lives of our people and developing our environment remains an existential imperative for me.

I am also totally committed to supporting our Traditional and rich Cultural Heritage which is the pride of the average Edo man. For my age, I am stoutly and irrevocably committed to certain intrinsic values that include but not limited to Honesty, Integrity, Peace, Progress and Support for Humanity. “Faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life. It is also incontrovertible that POWER belongs to only God Almighty and no man will share His glory with HIM.”

Now, to hazard a guess as to why I became a target of unconscionable attacks by agents some of whom have claimed to be working for Edo State Government: it is true that overtures were made to me by well-meaning Nigerians from within and outside Edo State to run for the office of governor in 2020. I made them realise that there are several ways one can be of service to his people, not necessarily by holding public office and that I am satisfied with the business trajectories that I had charted for myself right from the outset and wasn’t interested in the office of the governor.

I believe, on getting this hint, the Governor decided to bare his full fangs, seeking to tear me apart. He did not want me to run for the position; yet he never sat with me at any point in time to solicit for my support and vote for his second term bid. The only time he made a remark about the governorship to me was at a reception in Lagos where he mockingly addressed me as “IN-COMING GOVERNOR”, which I immediately dispelled and told him, like I was telling others, that I wasn’t interested in the office of the governor.

Coincidentally, on that same day that the reception held in Lagos, the story of Nigerian Ports Authority’s move against my company, SAA, was published in THISDAY newspapers. The story insinuated I was interested in the Edo governorship race and numerous reports have come back to me that Obaseki was the one behind all of that.

As God would have it, while in the company of some friends in the governor’s house in Benin, on one occasion, I confronted him that he was the one behind the attack on my company. In a bid to defend himself, he put a call through to someone in Lagos and, perhaps, mistakenly, left the phone speaker on. He asked the person at the other end: “Why is the MD of NPA worrying Captain?” and the man replied: “Godwin, I thought you said this man was fighting you. The MD of NPA is fighting your battle for you.” I quickly told him that I had caught him. On this occasion, I had witnesses and, if further probed, names could be mentioned.

Secondly, Governor Obaseki was the Chair of the National Economic Council’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Oil Theft and Pipeline Vandalism and I got a feeler that a damaging report was going to be written about my company by the Committee. I was then given an opportunity to address the Committee on the matter to defend my company and its job. My defence was excellently delivered, but at the end of the day, when the report came out, it was still damaging even when I had complied with my threshold and responsibilities.

It is sad that Governor Obaseki has been paranoid about me even before he became governor, for reasons best known to him. I have since got to know that the disagreements between Comrade Oshiomhole and myself during his eight-year administration in Edo State were orchestrated from the background by Governor Obaseki who was at the time Chairman of that administration’s Economic and Strategy Team. But with patience, maturity and forgiveness from Oshiomhole and myself, we were able to, once again, rekindle the spirit of brotherhood and trust in our relationship.

So, I keep wondering what Oshiomhole must have done to Governor Obaseki to make it impossible for him to embrace reconciliation such that he would irrevocably commit himself to the project of pulling Oshiomhole down from the top of the very high Mountain Olympus, according to Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon, just because he had state power and resources. As my people would say: “Na wah oh!”

In the face of all these developments, I had maintained a high sense of equanimity, without taking it out on the governor. I stayed out of their politics, and made it publicly known I was not interested in the office of the governor because I knew from the outset that these attacks were, largely, politically-motivated. I guessed there were also shades of envy involved.

Validation: There was an occasion when the Governor wanted to frustrate the President’s visit to inaugurate my greenhouse farm in Benin and I had to reach out to the President directly to please oblige me on this occasion to inaugurate my farm, only for the Governor to call me that the President would not come out of his car. Of course, I knew that was improbable.

However, the movement of the Army Week celebration to Maiduguri was what then made it impossible for the president to come for the inauguration since that was the main assignment that the President was on a visit to Benin to accomplish. That singular act has discouraged me from the expansion programme for my farm coupled with the fact that the Governor had earlier pleaded with me to do a proposal on fish farming, which I directed my junior brother, who runs my farm, to embark on.

Following his successful submission of the proposal, having invested so much hard work, resources and time, he was blocked out after the money was collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its actualization and, as a matter of fact, the project never happened to our greatest surprise. All these and more had discouraged me from further investment in the expansion of my farm and also further investment in Edo because the business environment was now looking a little bit too toxic and harsh for my liking.

When Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu returned to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Governor Obaseki and his men attacked me for facilitating his return to the Party, which came as a surprise to me. Pastor Ize-Iyamu is not unknown to many people as a politician and as a Nigerian; everyone knows he has his constitutional right like everyone else to join any party and legitimately play politics. So why attribute his return to me?

My dear people of Edo State, what have I done wrong to deserve the barrage of invectives being ceaselessly hurled at me by agents of the State Government? Even for the purpose of argument, don’t I have a right to associate with and support a candidate of my choice?

I have built enormous goodwill in Edo State, which money cannot buy. Regardless, I had issued statements severally calling out for them to leave me out of their politics. It is very regrettable and saddening that my name has now been dragged within Edo State political firmament where I have never, ever harbored any personal interest to run for any political position.

I wish to make this save-my-soul appeal to all well-meaning Edo indigenes and Nigerian citizens both at home and in the Diaspora to tell Governor Obaseki to stop these continuous attacks on me, my family and my business. I have been told how they intend to burn my farm and revoke the Certificates of Occupancy of all my houses in Benin City. I have already alerted the Police to this heinous plot. But, what have I done to deserve this bellicose treatment?

My good people of Edo State, I have always wished for a state where we can have a desirable atmosphere to bring about investment opportunities and create employment for our teeming youth population. There is nothing I desire from the State Government other than to create enabling environment for me to bring investments back home, create opportunities for employment and, in the long run, retire peacefully in my old age.

I call on our people to tell Governor Obaseki and his team to leave me alone to exercise my fundamental human rights and, in particular, allow me exercise my freedom of choice without intimidation and blackmail. I am sincerely worried about the desperation and intolerance of the Governor. I am honestly worried that these agents and hirelings may go beyond the limits of their mandate at the risk of my life and that of my family, including the destruction of my personal and corporate investments which have taken me decades to put in place. I have never before experienced this high level of intolerance, wickedness and envy from anybody in my life, until now from a so-called friend and fellow Benin Man.

My dear people of Edo State, I plead with you to save my soul from the hands of the Edo State Government. As it is, I cannot fight any government and even if I can, I am not interested in doing so and, if so pushed, will surely fight within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Edo government should, therefore, be told to leave me alone. Today, those who are fighting me have the machinery of government to do so on spurious claims that I have been funding all activities of the opposition against the Governor.

My philanthropic gestures, charity works and compassionate heart to bless fellow human beings is not tantamount to misplaced spending. These are humanitarian enterprises to which I have committed my entire life. I am not, in any way, associated with imprudent spending on sponsorship of opposition against the Governor or anybody for that matter. It’s also very sad that they kept hammering on financial sponsorship while underrating my enormous wealth of goodwill, which is far more than money they solely rely on.

Against the backdrop of these scenarios, and regardless of the attacks on me, my admirers and the teeming youths who see me as their role model and Goodwill Ambassador need not be told, as they know where I stand on the critical issue of choice of the next Governor of Edo state in order to move our state forward towards rapid development and economic prosperity.

If, therefore, on the basis of my personal conviction and the exercise of my fundamental rights of association and choice, Governor Obaseki and his team carry through their threat to burn my farm and revoke the Certificates of Occupancy of my houses in Benin, it will be a worthy price to pay for my conviction and the courage of my choice. It is imperative for me to categorically state that if that, indeed, happens, it will only facilitate my resolve to excuse myself from Benin as long as this wickedness remains directed at my person, family and my businesses.

I also believe that our dear state has had a fair share of discriminating treatment in opposition politics as witnessed during the Oshiomhole era. It is therefore important that Edo State reorders its priorities and works in concert with the Federal Government rather than drift, once again, to the oppositional flank.

This press statement, which I have tried to make as detailed as possible, has become necessary in order to present my case to the good people of Edo state to enable them to know what I have been going through in my sincere effort to galvanise support for the Obaseki administration. It is pathetic that our State, under the Obaseki administration, has become a laughing stock, a butt of jokes about violence, disrespect for processes, rule of law and outlandish character assassination being the orders of the day. We must rise to reject these negative profiles.

I am, sincerely, wondering that since the last election and the atmospherics in Bayelsa State, where we had ex- militants, have become more peaceful than what is playing out in Edo state, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic challenges, there is a need for collective reasoning to embrace peaceful conduct. Human lives are sacred and the governorship ambition of any man-caring and God-fearing candidate should not be more important than the blood of any man or woman. We need peace and harmony in the coming days, months and perhaps years ahead.
It is significant to place on record the fact that I am NOT using this medium to seek for settlement because I have already chosen my path, to wit: to align with the Federal Government of Nigeria, in this circumstance, in order to realise the goal of developing our dear state.

My dear brothers and sisters of Edo State, without a modicum of doubt, I have remained steadfast, resolute and irrevocably committed to the peace, progress and development of our State through various initiatives. I have graciously, to the glory of my Creator, gleefully shared God’s bountiful blessings to my deserving brothers and sisters in the face of the plethora of challenges and hunger that I see on the faces of my fellow citizens who manage to reach out to me.

This has remained my hallmark and imperative with a view to alleviating poverty while also reducing huge dependence on Edo State’s perceived lean resources following ceaseless lamentations about the ingratitude of the State Governor to a large community of those who helped him to power but who he abandoned on assumption of office. My assistance to deserving citizens has been carried out within the limits of God’s compassion and mercy on my life and I have never been noisy about it. Yet, Governor Obaseki seeks to destroy my personal and business interests that I have solidly built in the last thirty-two years when I retired as a certified commercial Pilot at the age of 30 to chart the business trajectory.

My dear good people of Nigeria and Edo state, in particular, IN CONCLUSION: if I could suffer all this injustice for no just cause, so you can imagine how many innocent citizens of Edo State that Godwin Obaseki and his agents would have been STANDING ON THEIR NECKS THAT CAN’T BREATHE.

God bless you all.
Long live my good people of Edo State!
Long live Edo State!
Long the live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

OBA GHA TO KPERE! ISEE.

Signed
Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo (JP)

Protest Greets Obaseki’s Plot for a N20billion Capital Market Loan

By Osehobo Ofure

Edo State today has a domestic debt profile that stands at N84.76 billion. In addition to this sum, the state comes first, in the rankings of states with huge domestic debt in Nigeria-second only to Lagos State. Even on foreign debts, Edo state as at March 2020, with a debt of $257.92 milliion comes first in the ranking of states with high foreign debts in the entire South-South of Nigeria.

Last week, the news broke that the Edo state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki was planning to take a loan of N20billion from the capital market to finance his reelection campaign. This is at the time, the State currently services another $150Million credit earlier obtained from the World bank in 2016 and 2017.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the Edo State governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who raised the alarm said the alleged plans coming after the governor has drained the state treasury is worrisome. He called on the EFCC, ICPC, CBN, and other financial regulatory bodies to pay close attention to what is going on in Edo State.

He also condemned what he termed the Governor’s shortsighted and irresponsible manner of accumulating debts for the state “for desperate and personally-beneficial political activities”, while also warning financial institutions against granting fraudulent loans to the Edo State Government.

According to him, “After draining the state treasury with his corrupt N15 billion payout to the PDP tax-collectors for the party’s ticket, it has come to our notice that Governor Obaseki is now scurrying around to embark on another borrowing spree with a planned N20 billion bond loan from some financial institutions.

“We find it shocking that after the many tribulations Obaseki’s directionless and incompetent administration has caused in Edo State, the Governor is hatching fresh plans to mortgage the future of the state and her youths with additional loans to fund his desperate political agenda to foist himself on the people for another four years.

He said, “Obaseki already racked up foreign loans that propelled Edo State to number two on the states with the most indebtedness in the country without any commensurate gain in infrastructure, the economy, and security. Efforts to get the Governor to offer accountability on what he did with the loans and the role his private firm, AfrinInvest, played in their acquisition all fell on deaf ears.

“It is therefore heartless, irresponsible, and unconscionable for such a man to even conceive obtaining another loan in the tune of N20 billion for his political godfathers in the PDP who are cashing in on his desperation and lack of integrity”.

Ize-Iyamu then urged all financial institutions to honor the age-long freeze practice observed during election seasons and possible change of government and refrain from granting any loan to the heartless Godwin Obaseki who appears to now be on a mission to completely, ” sell-out our state and the future of our youths”.

Concerned citizens of Edo state under the aegis of Joint Forces for the Defence of Democracy(JOFDES) have also been protesting the N20billion loan plot by Mr Obaseki. In protests along major streets in Benin City, the Edo state capital they described the move by the governor as an attempt to mortgage the future of Edo youths.

Messrs Felix Osemwengie Isere, and Marxist Kola Edokpayi speaking for the protesters however, agree with Ize-iyamu that, “if there is any genuine reason whatsoever to approve such a loan for Edo State, it can be considered after the forth coming Edo governorahip election to forestall the mismanagement of the funds under the tension that accompanies elections”.

They said, “the inglorious attempt by the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki to obtain another loan of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty billion naira) from the Nigeria stock market exchange few weeks to the Edo State Governorship elections” is a disappointing and must be condemned.

The development they said is not only worrisome, wicked, reckless, irresponsible and ignominious, “because Mr. Obaseki is fully aware that Edo State is already heavily overburdened by excess debts”, and that at not time in the history of our dear state have we come under the volume of indebtedness that we face today”.

They also said the Godwin Obaseki’s government have displayed glaring cases of financial mismanagement and they, “find no justification for the Government’s desire to acquire another N20 billion naira loan few weeks to the governorship elections”.

The Defence of Democracy(JOFDES) insisted that Edo State’s funds is not meant for financing elections not to talk of money borrowed from sources that will become a lasting yoke on the good people of the state. They described the projects the loan hopes to fund according to the governor as, ” a mere facade and failed projects serving as conduit for siphoning funds for the coffers of the good people of Edo State”.

They called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari Secretary to the government of the federation, the Minister of state for Budget and National Planning, Director-general, Debt Management Office (DMO) Abuja, the Chairman Senate and House of Representatives committees on Local and Foreign Febts, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the Attorney General of the federation, all well-meaning Edo sons and daughters who, “to do everything within their powers to stop this loan from being approved for the governor of Edo State”.

Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki has denied that there is such thing as N20 billion loan proposal by the Edo State Government.

Osehobo is Secretary, Edo State APC Media Council Sub-committee on Traditional Media.

Edo 2020: 18 council chairmen reaffirm support for Obaseki’s reelection bid

…say gov’s disqualification ‘a theatre of political fraud’

The Chairmen of the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Edo State have reaffirmed their support for the re-election bid of Governor Godwin Obaseki, noting that they are fully committed to the progressive ideals of the governor and his battle against godfatherism, thuggery and impunity.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Edo State, Hon. Jenkins Osunde and the 17 other council chairmen in the state, the association described the disqualification of Governor Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election as a theatre of political fraud staged with predetermined outcomes and decisions sponsored by the surrogates of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

The chairmen noted, “We the undersigned Local Government Chairmen of all the 18 area councils in Edo State have held an emergency meeting to review what we consider an outrageous and undemocratic process of both the screening exercise as well as the prejudiced decision consequently reached.”

According to the ALGON, “We therefore observe and resolve that the entire screening exercise prior to the beginning and during the process itself was submerged in various surreptitious conduct which in fact cast thick clouds of doubts on the legitimacy and fairness of what should have been an otherwise historic and democratic step for our party.

“That various actions by the Screening Committee, particularly by the way it sought to specifically create malicious publicity regarding Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, has thus confirmed the previously held impression that the screening exercise was a theatre of political fraud staged with predetermined outcomes and decisions sponsored by the surrogates of the APC National Chairman, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.”

They added that on closely reviewing the activities of the screening committee, it was infallible to posit that the decision to disqualify the Governor constituted a profound affront to decent internal democratic practices of a respectable political party, noting, “The result of the screening exercise was incontestably aimed at diluting the mass-base electoral support for the incumbent Governor by engendering the perception that His Excellency had doubts to clear about his profile.”

The LGA chairmen said that rather than weaken the overwhelming popular support for the Governor, the dubious disqualification by the committee has caused a buoyant and enthusiastic response of support for the Governor across all the senatorial zones of the state.

The chairmen reiterated their support for Governor Obaseki’s reelection bid, noting, “That as the chairmen of the third tier, people-oriented paradigm of Nigeria’s Federalism, we carry with us the hopes and aspirations of our constituencies as we reaffirm our commitment to the progressive agenda of continuity till 2024 for the Governor. All the way with Obaseki and Shaibu.”