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Edo Guber: Give Umakhihe Party Ticket, Group Tasks APC Leaders

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A sociopolitical group, Concerned Edo Citizens Forum (CECF) on Tuesday tasked leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support the ambition of Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, by giving him the governoship ticket of the party in the forthcoming primary.

The group led by Mr. Endurance Dirisu, Coordinator, and Comrade Felix Osas Osagie Director, Publicity and Mobilization, during a world press conference in Benin, said the aspirant acceptance and subsequent declaration for Edo State governorship was a clear indication that there is hope and better days ahead for Edo people.

Expressing solidarity and confidence in the capability of the frontline aspirant, the group said Umakhihe is in the governorship race to transform Edo State.

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber: ‘No More Grievances’ – Ighodalo Meets PDP Stakeholders, Unifies State Working Committee

According to the group, Umakhihe’s declaration has since been generally acceptable to all based on his mission and vision for Edo State.

Osagie said , “It’s with great joy we welcome you all to today’s briefing to appreciate all Edo people who came out on 6th January, 2024 to official declaration of Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe ambition to become the next Governor of Edo State.

“Dr, Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe demonstrated great character, uncommon intellectual sagacity in outlining his manifestoes to include accessible healthcare, agricultural revolution,youth empowerment and entrepreneurship, women empowerment, transportation, SME growth and development, infrastructure and rural developments.

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“His manifestoes capture the entire pains of Edo people. He went further to provide solutions to the problems confronting Edo State. We commend him for such declaration, which is unprecedented in the history of Edo State. We viewed the declaration as carnival with huge success and direction for better Edo State.”

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: LP Aspirant Cautions Party On Free, Fair Primary

While commending the people for the massive turnout at the declaration, Osagie said Umakhihe’s pedigree speaks volume to give him the needed support and nomination for the governorship ticket.

“Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe is a distinguished and renowned Nigeria bureaucrat, an accomplishment Accountant,a very respectful and resourceful retired civil servant who rose to the rank of federal permanent secretary and core professional with special love for rebuilding society.

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“As concerned Edo Citizens,we are strongly convinced that Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe possess the requisite knowledge to preside over Edo State based on his track record of service over the years. Finally, we salute the members and leaders of APC in Edo State for the unity and love displayed.” Osagie said.

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Presidency, Obi Clash Over New Presidential Jet

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The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on Monday, faulted the plan by the Federal Government to buy new aircraft for the presidential fleets.

He described the move as insensitive while Nigerians grapple with economic hardship occasioned by the Federal Government’s policies.

But the Presidency, in a swift reaction, described Obi’s comment as insensitive, wondering if he would rather have the life of the President jeopardised by flying faulty aircraft.

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Speaking with The PUNCH on Monday, the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said, “Does Peter Obi want the President dead? Is that his wish? Does he want him to continue moving around in a rickety plane and die like the VP of Malawi and Iran President? Let him tell us. This is a basic thing any sane government will do. You can’t toy with your President’s welfare.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest In Anambra

“The plane he used now, I learnt, was bought during (former President) Obasanjo’s era. That was over 20 years ago and I learnt it was a very small plane. The plane developed a problem the last time he travelled to Saudi Arabia. The President had to go from there to the UK on a commercial airline. Even those managing them said the aircraft needed to be replaced.

“Why will any right-thinking person still want the President to move around in it? In any way, it is the National Assembly that officially recommended that new ones should be bought. Sometimes, Peter Obi opened his mouth to make unnecessary statements.”

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The House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence had recently called on the FG to buy new aircraft for President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

The committee’s recommendation was contained in a report released after it investigated the status of the aircraft in the presidential air fleet.

READ ALSO: Yobe Police Arrest Notorious Terrorist Gang Leader

Benin monarch faults LP candidate Akpata’s ‘son of the palace’ claim
The recommendation comes a few months after three planes from the Presidential Air Fleet were pencilled down for sale.

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But Obi described the move as unacceptable and a clear show of insensitivity to the suffering of the Nigerian people.

Reacting on his X handle on Monday, the former Anambra governor said it was rather unfortunate that at a time when the country was making headlines over the economic crisis, occasioned by hyperinflation, a falling currency and widespread poverty, the FG was contemplating securing new presidential jets.

READ ALSO: One Killed In Osun Cult Clash

He said, “This demonstrates extreme insensitivity to citizens’ struggles. With rising insecurity, poverty, hunger, and homelessness, this decision highlights the disconnect that is apparent between the government and the people. It is unacceptable as the situation in the country today more than ever demands a more compassionate use of resources, prioritising citizens’ welfare.

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“It is on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need. Instead of adding to our luxuries, we should be focused on alleviating their suffering and finding solutions to their problems.

“While we had earlier refurbished the old VP residence with $2m, the over 100-year-old US Vice President’s house has only undergone wide-scale renovations twice, funded by taxpayers’ money; in 1993 and 2021. Every new US VP is free to finance any minor refurbishing from his funds.

“It is, therefore, time to stop this impunity, insensitivity, and shamelessness and refocus on the needs of our people. We must prioritise education, healthcare, and lifting our citizens out of poverty. Let us work together to build a nation that truly serves its people, not just the interests of a few.”

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Edo PDP Asks Shaibu To Resign Over Support For APC

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The Edo State Peoples Democratic Party has lambasted ex-deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, for describing the party’s governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo, as an outsider.

The PDP said it was contradictory for Shaibu to remain in the PDP and be demarketing the party’s governorship candidate, urging him to rather resign his membership.

Shaibu, a PDP member, declared on Sunday that he would be supporting the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Monday Okpebholo, in the September 21 governorship election in the state.

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber: ‘Enough Of English That Takes Us Nowhere’ – Shaibu Reveals Why He’d Support APC Candidate

He said while Okpebholo was a homeboy, who understood the challenges in the state, the PDP candidate, Ighodalo, was an outsider and a product of godfatherism.

 “We don’t want an outsider. We have experimented with an outsider and it is not working, so this time, we want a homeboy. We have only two homeboys in the major political parties; one is in the Labour Party and one is in the All Progressives Congress.

“I chose to follow the homeboy in the APC. The man they are parading in the PDP is an outsider and we have also agreed that no more godfatherism in Edo. The man the PDP is parading is the godson of Obaseki and there is no way a godson can be governor of Edo State again,” Shaibu had said.

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But reacting on Monday, the  Deputy Director General of the media arm of the Edo PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Rev. Olu Martin, described Shaibu’s reason for supporting the APC candidate as baseless.

READ ALSO: 22-year-old UNIBEN Graduate Beaten, Raped To Death, Family Seeks Justice

“Because the candidate didn’t grow up in Edo, doesn’t make him a stranger in his own state.

 “I thought Shaibu would tell us that the candidate he wants to support has the capacity, intelligent, knack  for excellence and smartnees, which are the hallmarks of a great leader,” Martin said in a voice note sent to journalists on Monday.

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Martin added that it was contradictory for Shaibu to remain in the PDP and be working against the candidate of the party.

“The honourable thing he should have done is to resign from the PDP like others and support the APC candidate. His argument is that of weak people,” he said.

Shaibu contested but lost the PDP governorship ticket to Ighodalo, who has the backing of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

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Edo 2024: You Are A True Indigene Of Benin, Benin Monarch Tells Labour Party Candidate

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The Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare II has affirmed that the governorship candidate of the Labour Party in the September 21, 2024 Edo election, Mr Olumide Akpata, is a true indigene of Benin Kingdom.

Oba Ewuare II disclosed this when Akpata, in company of the party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, Mr Peter Obi visited the Palace to seek the royal blessing as the party began its electioneering campaigns for the election.

The Oba recalled how he supported the Labour Party candidate as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

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READ ALSO: Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest In Anambra

Oba Ewuare II also noted that though Akpata is not a member of the Benin Royal family, he is distantly related to the Palace.

Akpata in his address said that he was in the Palace to inform the Oba before commencing campaign for his gubernatorial ambition

He also told the Oba that the party will visit the 192 wards in the 18 Local Government Areas of the state to present his manifesto to the electorate and as well seek their support.

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Earlier, Peter Obi, the former governor of Anambra State thanked the Benin Monarch for receiving the Labour Party team.

READ ALSO: Two Fake EFCC Officers Sentenced To 46 Years Imprisonment

Mr Obi said that the Labour Party is in the Edo state Governorship election to win.

The visit to the Palace came a few hours after Mr Peter Obi visited the State Secretariat of the Labour Party and the campaign office in Benin city.

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He addressed supporters of the party at the Kings Square, Mission Road, Uwelu Market and the New Benin Market, all in Benin City where a mammoth crowd was on hand to receive the party leadership.

Mr Peter Obi has since left Edo state and he is expected back as the Labour Party campaigns intensify

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