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I’ll support you till death, Ogbemudia tells Oshiomhole

For transforming the face of governance and developmental projects in Edo State, former governor of the defunct Mid-West region, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, has pledged to support Governor Adams Oshiomhole for the rest of his life. “I will continue to work with you till I die.”

Ogbemudia made the pledge when Oshiomhole paid him a courtesy visit at his residence, in Benin City, on Wednesday.

Ogbemudia, who was elated by the visit of the governor and his entourage said: “I have withdrawn my membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), so, I am at home as a non-partisan politician. Every human being is a political animal, so, I cannot say I have left politics.

“But, as I said, I have been with you from my days as minister of Labour. I recall the day I called you and told you I didn’t want strike throughout my tenure and you said, ‘we were elected to cause you discomfort and if I don’t do it again, it means I am failing in my duty’. I said, ‘No, you won’t fail’. And throughout my tenure, there was no strike and we worked well together.

“So, I didn’t see any other way to thank you than to make sure l continue to work with you till my death.”

Speaking on the issue of job creation, Ogbemudia said: “Since the oil price is dwindling, our future now lies on agriculture. I think anybody living today, and cannot find a white collar job, can get two or three of these ponds, mobile or earth ponds, and produce fish that would give you, at least, half a million every six months. There is somebody I know who has about 200, that can produce enough fish for export for the country.”

In his remarks, Governor Oshiomhole said: “I have come to pay you an official visit. There is no Edo man of my age who does not have a kind place in his heart for you on account of the solid foundation God used you to lay for our state. Now, occupying the office, I am appreciative the more because it reflects the purity of your heart and your genuine commitment towards uplifting the quality of lives of our people.

“Whatever you did was not because you needed votes but, due to your belief that your people deserved good governance and that government should build infrastructure, set up institutions, encourage people to go to farms, set up technical schools and so many other things I can’t list out. Even you cannot remember all you did.

“And to imagine that you did so much as a military man; my generation cannot but appreciate and salute your exemplary leadership.

“Your decision to withdraw from the PDP and remain a father of all of us, even as you remain politically concerned about the future of our state without being partisan, is, yet, another example.

“And may God grant you much longer life, good health and more wisdom to advise the government of the day.

“My prayer is that God will guide us to produce another governor with a good heart to lead our people to a much higher standard than you set and my modest contribution.”

Guber poll: Edo peace committee warns politicians against hate speech

From Tony Osauzo, Benin

Edo State Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee has warned politicians and individuals in the state against hate speech ahead of the governorship election in the state later this year.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Benin, committee chairman, Chief Eduwu Obasogie observed that politicians and certain individuals were making ‘reckless and irresponsible utterances’, which were capable of causing breach of public peace.

“We of the Edo State Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee cannot fold our hands and watch individuals take laws into their hands by conducting themselves in manners capable of creating an atmosphere of tension in the state.

“While we appreciate the essence of the right to freedom of speech as enshrined in the constitution of the country, it is not also in doubt that when views are expressed deliberately to cause disaffection or to incite public uprising, refuge cannot be found under the umbrella of the right to freedom of speech.”

Obasogie reminded politicians that elections will come and go but Edo State will remain and stressed that those who want to be leaders or want to produce leaders must concentrate their efforts on what they think they can do better than those they want to succeed.

The committee chairman pointed out that there was a government in the state which irrespective of political differences or ideological cleavages must be respected, adding that any group or individuals which attempts to conduct affairs that disrespect the government stand condemned.

He noted that Governor Adams Oshiomhole has set a template on governance which was unprecedented in the history of the state, adding that the governor has not only defined politics as an instrument of service but also has given teeth to the social contract theology in social engineering.

“If what we have warned against persist,‎ we would not hesitate to wield the big stick. Those affected know what to do,” Obasogie said.

Akwa Ibom REC denies working for APC

From Joe Effiong, Uyo

Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Gabriel Ada, has refuted allegations that he was sent to the state to rescue All Progressives Congress (APC) candidates in the March 12 state constituencies rerun election.

The state will hold a rerun poll in four state constituencies, including Etinan State Constituency, Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency; Ikot Ekpene Obot Akara State Constituency and Oron/Udung Uko State Constituency, while 24 polling units spread out in nine wards in Itu state Constituency would also have a rerun.

But, the REC yesterday, while addressing parties’ executives and candidates for the rerun election, was queried by the candidate of Etinan State Constituency, Mr. Aniefiok Dennis, whether he was sent back to the state to deliver APC candidates in order to please the Federal Government.

Responding, Dr. Ada said: “I am not coming to deliver APC. I had been accused before that I was sent to deliver PDP, yet PDP lost in Imo. So, I am not bothered. Whoever would win will win. We are going to remedy some of the errors we experienced…”

because the area of coverage is rather smaller than before and we will contain whatever could disrupt the election.”