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Elections: Cultists Masking As Party Support Groups In Rivers, Says Wike

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The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Monday said some party support groups in the state are a vehicle for thuggery and cult activities sponsored by disgruntled politicians ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Wike’s remarks follow reports that about 30 members of the Atiku Support Organisation were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in the state capital.

The governor, in a state broadcast, called on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the state, which he said are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores,” he said.

“Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.”

The governor also called attention to the presence of “desperate politicians” whom he said are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

“I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State,” Wike added.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Gunmen Attack APC Campaign Venue In Rivers

See the full transcript below:

STATE BROADCAST BY
HIS EXCELLENCY NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON, GSSRS, POS
ON THE RISING CULTISM AND RELATED
ACTIVITIES ACROSS RIVERS STATE

My dear people of Rivers State

The 2023 general elections are less than three weeks away. Political activities are in top gear, with political parties and candidates intensifying campaigns across the State.

2. We are happy with the generally peaceful campaigns except for the few isolated reported incidents of violence by sponsored rival cults, gangs and support groups in one or two political rallies.

3. We commend the security agencies for providing adequate security cover for all the political parties to carry on with their electioneering activities, including crowded rallies and meetings.

4. The State Government will continue to support the security agencies to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of peace and security for voters to exercise their voting rights without fear or intimidation before, during and after the elections.

5. I assure you that there is nothing to fear as the State government and the security agencies will spare no effort to keep Rivers State peaceful, safe and secure for citizens to go about their normal daily activities.

6. However, we, again, call on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the State, which are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

7. We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores.

READ ALSO: Atiku: Rivers PDP Takes Swipe On Wike

8. Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.

9. We are also aware that desperate politicians are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

10. I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

11. Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State.

12. Anyone with useful information about the camps, gatherings, plans and activities of these criminal elements and their sponsors should forward it to the security agencies for action.

13. I wish to restate that no amount of syndicated misinformation, campaigns of calumny, and diatribes by a section of the media and the political elites will deter the State Government from enforcing the laws of the State against those who vainly claim to be above them.

14. Unlike other States, we have refrained from using the State’s Neighbourhood Corps to enforce law and order by allowing the regular security agencies to do their constitutional work.

READ ALSO: I’ll Hit PDP National Leadership Tuesday – Wike

15. We pray we may not be forced to reconsider this position if the security agencies continue to encourage and offer protection to some politicians and party leaders to wantonly breach our laws.

16. Thank you, and may God bless Rivers State.

 

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[BREAKING] Edo Guber: Labour Party Aspirant Withdraws From Race, Cites Monetisation 

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A Labour Party governorship aspirant in the forthcoming election in Edo State, Prince Tom Iseghohi, has withdrawn from the ongoing primary of the party.

In a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Julius Aburr, the aspirant cited lack of “transparency and the monetization of the process,” as reason for his withdrawal.

According to him, “I have observed with keen interest the process that is being utilized to nominate the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party. As a participant in the process, I am disappointed by the lack of transparency and the monetization of the process at the expense of selection of the best candidate with the popularity within the party and the capacity to win the general elections.

READ ALSO: Osunbor Withdraws From APC Edo Governorship Race

“This is at variance with my personal value system, that of my political family and the interest of the people of Edo State.

“Consequently, after consultations with my mentors, advisers, my team and my family, I hereby withdraw from the nomination process in the Labour Party.”

 

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Why Uzodimma Was Replaced As Edo Gov Primary Chair — APC

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The ruling All Progressives Congress on Thursday clarified the reason Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State was replaced with his Cross River counterpart, Bassey Otu, as Chairman of the Edo governorship primary election.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, said the governor was “unavoidably unavailable” to complete the primary election, hence the need to replace him with his deputy.

The party announced the changes in a statement issued by APC National Organising Secretary, Sulaiman Argungu on Wednesday.

The changes were made a few hours after four leading Edo State governorship aspirants passed a vote of no confidence in the governor.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Gov Otu Announces Fresh APC Gov Direct Primaries In Edo

The governor had announced Dennis Idahosa as the winner while returning officer Stanley Ugboaja declared Monday Okpebholo as the winner.

Elsewhere, Ojo Babatunde, who claimed to be representing the returning officers in all the local governments, declared Anamero Dekeri the winner of the election.

On Tuesday, the national leadership of the APC in Abuja declared Saturday’s primary inconclusive.

The ruling party, however, raised an eyebrow when a section of the media reported that the Imo State governor was sacked.

READ ALSO: Edo Primary: APC Bows To Pressure, Replaces Uzodimma As Chairman [FULL LIST]

The National Publicity Secretary of the APC appealed for understanding, saying the party did not sack Uzodimma as reported.

Morka said, “The attention of the All Progressives Congress has been drawn to reports in sections of the media suggesting that the Governor of Imo State, and Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, His Excellency, Hope Uzodinma, was sacked or dropped as the Chairman of the Edo Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee, and replaced with the Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency, Bassey Otu.

“We wish to clarify that Governor Uzodinma was neither “sacked” nor “dropped”, as has been erroneously reported, but was unavoidably unavailable to lead the completion of the Party’s Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Process due to his prior scheduled attendance of, and presentation of a report, to the National Economic Council meeting today February 22, 2024.

“As a result, His Excellency Bassey Otu, Governor of Cross Rivers State, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, graciously accepted to serve as Chairman, and to complete the Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Process.”

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Edo Guber: Ighodalo Wins Edo PDP Primary

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Barrister Asue Ighodalo has been declared winner of the Peoples Democratic Party primary ahead of the Edo State governorship election slated for September 21, 2024.

He was declared winner of the primary conducted today by the National Working Committee of the party and monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium lawn tennis court.

Asue Ighodalo was announced by the Chief Returning Officer, Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara state.

He was declared to have polled 577 votes while Edo State deputy governor Philip Shaibu polled 1 vote. Anslem Ojezua, Felix Akhabue, Amb. Martins.
Barr. Esene. Polled zero respectively.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Gunshots As Shaibu Emerges As Candidate In PDP Parallel Primary

Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama and Omosede Igbinadion announced there Withdrawal from the race before voting started. A total of 6 votes were void.

Meanwhile, the Edo Deputy governor Philip Shaibu had emerged winners earlier today in a separate primary held in his official resident.

More details to come…

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