The State Media Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Edo Governorship election has fired back at the PDP in a scathing rebuttal, accusing the party of “suffering severe trauma” and “complete demoralization” over the triumphant entry of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who recently returned to the state to help the election of the APC’s Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
In a statement released by the chairman of the State Media Campaign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, the APC said the PDP has refused to read the handwriting on the wall and likened its campaign to that of a ‘local tabloid seeking ghetto fame’ with an alleged resort to empty gossips and character assassination.
He said, “The triumphant entry of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to Edo State last week and the sea of people that dotted the streets and poured out to open spaces to welcome their leader home, have inflicted trauma on the Peoples Democratic Party, demoralized them completely, and shattered whatever hopes they nurtured of rigging their way to victory on the 19th of September.
“The people’s message was clear: we stand wholeheartedly on this side of the divide, and with the might of our population, we will resist any kind of underhanded attempt to subvert our will.
“But the PDP, in their trademark cluelessness, has failed to read the handwriting on the wall. Instead of leading a substantial topic-based campaign to at least reduce the margin of their expected loss, they have resorted to street gossip like a local tabloid seeking ghetto fame. In their highest point of inspiration, they go into character assassination, tweaking narratives clearly known to the public to be false and baseless propaganda.
“This often resort to belligerent attacks and mendacious propaganda betrays a hollowness that has deepened itself over the years in a party lying about without vision. Obaseki was the man whom PDP sued in court, seeking to nail him for presenting fake and doctored certificates as the output of an academic history mired in irrational inconsistencies.
“Edo PDP, at present, is a chapter that its incompetence and irrelevance continues to stink despite the national organ’s relentless attempt to rinse and bleach it with rainy dollars.
“The PDP National Campaign Council on Edo Governorship Election itself is a body running on discordant wheels. It first suffers in the choking grip of that feud with the real Edo State chapter’s structure who, till today, still feel aggrieved for having their true candidates maneuvered, and Godwin Obaseki foisted on them. So when the so-called PDP Natioanl body speaks for Obaseki, they do so because no one else will, and they yet have to satisfy the conditions of their 15 billion naira contract.
“PDP in Edo exists only on paper, color, and insignia. The structures which for years survived on the personal popularity of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu have all collapsed and will be delivering a comprehensive victory to the APC on the 19th of September.
“We do not expect Kola Ologbodinyan to know this from his Abuja hideout. But just as he relies on speculative reports and hearsays as fodder for his fiction writing and habitual disgraceful invectives, we expect him to learn of the APC’s victory in the same way and extend, even if reluctantly, a congratulatory message before fading again into irrelevance.”
Facebook To Ban Contents That Sexually Harasses Public Figures
Social media giant, Facebook has announced that it would start removing “severe sexualizing content” targeting public figures.
Antigone Davis, global head of safety at Facebook, who made this known in a blog post on Wednesday, said the new development was part of a new update to its bullying and harassment policies.
According to Davis, “The policy changes also include coordinated harassment attacks against users.
“As part of this new policy update, we would remove any profiles, pages, groups, or events dedicated to sexualizing public figures, including celebrities, politicians, and content creators.
“The new policy bans sexualized photoshops and drawings and any degrading content “in the process of bodily functions.”
“We would also remove “unwanted sexualized commentary” and repetitive attacks harassing an individual sexually.
“Public figures, either politicians, journalists, celebrities or content creators use Facebook and Instagram to engage directly with their followers.
“We made these changes because attacks like these can weaponize a public figure’s appearance, which is unnecessary and often not related to the work these public figures represent,” Davis wrote.
2022 Budget: Reps Fear Economy Collapse, Say Debt Servicing Too High
As the legislative debate on the 2022 budget, which was presented to the joint session of lawmakers by President Muhammadu Buhari last week continued on Wednesday, members of the House of Representatives expressed concerns over the high rate of debt servicing.
While each lawmaker took turns to speak on the highlight of the budget which stood at N16.39 trillion, they maintained that the proposed budgetary provision for debt servicing was 25 per cent of the entire budget, saying it was on the high side.
Those who spoke extensively on the worrisome debt servicing was the Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Luke Onofiok who observed that the sum of N3.9 trillion for debt servicing representing about 25 percent of the whole budget was worrisome.
He called for a downward review, stating that Nigeria was too fragile to service debts at that high rate, given that the nation was still facing the COVID-19 challenges.
On the external and internal borrowing to service budget deficits, he posited: “Another source of concern is that the proposal before us has a deficit of N6.2 trillion and the government is proposing new borrowings to finance this deficit.
“What this implies is that the total public debt of Nigeria is expected to rise to N5 trillion in 2022 fiscal year. This is worrisome not only for today but generations unborn and the future of Nigeria.”
He called on lawmakers to reduce the borrowing or the executive should assure the parliamentarians that the borrowing was production and not consumption.
He argued that it would be inappropriate to borrow and leave debt for generations yet unborn, stressing that if it’s put into production with expected income, there won’t be any concern.
The lawmaker called for deliberate funding of power and road infrastructure, saying: “While we put the money borrowed to infrastructure three clear things come to mind. We have looked at security. We need to invest in power. Let us borrow to invest in power and roads. We have road challenges across the country. Let me use for instance Mr. Speaker, the Calabar-Itu road that area is being cut-off.
“People spend 8 hours on the road. And we have seen something less than a billion naira allotted to that road in the different lots that have been given. That is quite inadequate. We have to invest in our roads and in our public transportation.”
House Minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, spoke on the high rate of debt servicing, noting that the nation can’t afford such at this time.
Details Of Buhari’s Meeting With Gov Obaseki Emerge
Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has called for the full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP) to address the problem of clashes between farmers and herders.
The governor made the call when he addressed State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Obaseki said that the people of Edo State had resolved that ranching was a private business and should be treated as such.
He said: “Our people say that as far as they are concerned, ranching is a private business just like every other agricultural venture, therefore, those involved should provide the land.
“As you already know, it is expensive to run and manage ranches.
“So I came to discuss with the President that since the people of Edo would rather invest privately.
“Then, the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which is now being implemented by the Federal Government, should acknowledge our model.
“It should also be able to help Edo people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and have made investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes,”.
According to Obaseki, the state government is yet to promulgate a law banning open grazing because it sees the venture as private business.
“As you know, most Southern States have passed laws relating to open grazing but Edo State has not. Because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.
“We have had extensive consultations with our people to deal with the issue that yes, we do not want open grazing because it is out modelled and out dated; however, what are the options?
“If we are asking that we should now have ranches and these cows should be constrained to specific areas such as ranches, then who provides the land?,” he queried.
On politics, Obaseki commended the Senate for joining their House of Representatives counterparts in approving the transmission of election results electronically.
He said: “Definitely if not for God and the technology utilised by INEC, I may not be governor today.
“So, I am one of those people who believe that we should not have elections in this country, going into the future, without transmitting results electronically from the polling units.
“Because, for elections to be credible, they have to be seen as transparent and once you have voted, you should be sure that your vote will count.”
He maintained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had the capacity to transmit results electronically.
“With technology today, it is possible and INEC has shown it that from my election, that as soon as you voted and the results are counted in the polling unit, then that result should be made available, such that you already know what would be collated at the ward collation point.
“What has happened in many cases in the past is that people go and vote. The votes are counted in the polling unit but by the time it gets to the collation point, it changes.
“But this time around, because of the transparency, everybody will see and know what is expected at the collating point.
“That is what happened during my election and I am a very strong advocate for electronic transmission of results during elections,’’ he said.
DAILY POST reports that the governor thanked President Buhari for his support in ensuring the return of Edo’s stolen artefacts to the state from foreign lands.