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Guber Polls: PDP Inaugurates National Campaign Councils For Ondo, Edo

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amb. Umar Damagum, has denounced a statement credited to President Bola Tinubu, to the effect that he would take Edo for his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Damagum, who spoke during the ongoing inauguration of the National Campaign Councils for Ondo and Edo States, in Abuja, on Thursday said the President and his party should be made aware that “Edo, no be Lagos.”

He said the ruling party should also be made aware that the PDP and the people of the two states would not allow anyone to “grab, snatch and run” with their mandate.

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The party chairman equally said the people of Edo State were pleased with the record of performance of the outgoing PDP government led by Godwin Obaseki and were prepared to reward the party with their votes.

For Ondo State, he said the PDP and its members in the state had learnt their lessons from the last four years in opposition.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber Final List : Group Knocks LP, Commends, INEC, Yakubu

Damagum said, “Today, we are inaugurating these two campaign councils. I just have two or three words to say to you. Most of those of you that are selected have done this job before and have done it effectively.

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“I want to remind you that the party you belong to is truly a democratic party.

“From the way these candidates emerge, it has shown that we are truly democratic. And also this should give you the faith that what you are going to embark on will yield the desired fruits.

“I’ve just been watching the remarks especially on Ondo, Amin Edo, where the President said he’s taking Ondo for his patch.

“Like we’ve always said, he has tried it before, and we have a slogan that ‘Edo no be Lagos.’ So, I want to use this opportunity to stress that we are in a democratic dispensation and there are rules that have to be adhered to.

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READ ALSO: Hundreds Of APC Members Defect To PDP In Ondo

“We will not sit down and allow anybody to snatch, grab, and steal. We will be battle ready for any thief that rares his head to steal our fortune.

“We have done so well in Edo State. We thank the Governor. We are very proud of him. And our records in that state speak volumes.

“And it is part of our pride. And it will be one we will use to continue giving them that dividend that they have enjoyed during Godwin Obasiki.

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“So Edo is there for us because we have done very well and we will take it back to the PDP. Edo State has always been PDP.”

In his remarks, the party’s National Organising Secretary, Capt. Umar Bature (Retd), said the Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri will chair the Edo State Campaign Council to be assisted by his Delta.

State counterpart, Sheriff Oborevwori and Dr. Agu Kefas of Taraba State.

READ ALSO: Ondo Poll: INEC Publishes Candidates’ Final List, Fixes Date For Campaigns

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He also said. “Mr. Chairman, he has about 148 members and we pray for the success of this committee.

“The committee from Ondo is chaired by Senator Ademola Adeleke, who unfortunately has not been feeling well to attend today. He made sure that his deputy will attend.

“We have Barrister Caleb Muftwan from Plateau will also be deputy and as well as Dauda Lawal from Zamfara State will be the second deputy.

“This list has about 177 members. Ondo is very large and we believe the composition of this membership will have cut across all our party members in those two states and we pray that we deliver these states.“

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READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Ighodalo Unveils Manifesto, Promises Prosperity In Edo

While speaking on behalf of the campaign councils, the Chairman for Edo State , Governor Ahmadu Finitiri of Adamawa State, said, “We are ready for Edo. We will not leave anything to chance. We will leverage on Obasaki’s performance.

“We have a low hanging political fruits in the two states. We should go with all seriousness.

“We will match APC. With technology, rigging is very minimal. PDP has bright chances in the two states. Edo has registered over 2000 since new registration has started.”

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Speaking earlier, a member of the PDP National Executive Council who is also a member of the campaign team, Chief Tom Ikimi, said, “On behalf of those state members who are here, I salute you all. I’d like to thank the working committee for this occasion.

“That is the inauguration of the campaign council, national campaign council for Edo State. Let me assure you that we have already won the election in Edo State.”

 

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Reinstated Shaibu Appoints Aides, Edo Govt Kicks

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The reinstated Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu and the state government have disagreed over the appointment of some political aides by the former.

Recall that Shaibu was on Wednesday reinstated by the a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja after being impeached by the Edo State House of Assembly on March 8, 2024.

Following his reinstatement by the court, Shaibu reinstated some of his former political aides.

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Some of the reinstated political aides are: Kingsley Ehigiamusor, Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor; Musa Ebomhiana, Chief Press Secretary; Hon. Emmanuel Akhaba, Senior Special Assistant; Charles Olubayo, Senior Special Assistant.

READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

Others are: Mustapha Lawal-Omokpo, Senior Special Assistant; Matthias Akhanemhe, Special Assistant; Comrade Robinson Akhenoba, Special Assistant; Robert Ojele, Special Assistant, and Isioma Ogochuwku, Special Assistant.

A statement signed Musa Ebomhiana, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, said all the appointments are with immediate effect.

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Speaking more on the appointments, Shaibu said they are not fresh appointment but that the aides were reinstated to their former positions in line with the court judgment that reinstated him.

Shaibu assured that more appointments would be made in no distant time.

Reacting to the development, the Edo State Government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, described the appointments as fake.

READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

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He said, “The Edo State Government has observed that some unsigned statements are circulating on social media purporting to appoint certain persons as aides in the Office of the Deputy Governor.

“The fake document should be disregarded as it is part of the provocative actions by the impeached Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, to foment crisis in the State.

“It is clear that the impeached deputy governor is hell-bent on creating a sense of chaos in the state but the Edo State Government is resolved to put his antics in check and ensure that the state continues to run smoothly.

“We restate that Omobayo Marvellous Godwins remains the Deputy Governor of Edo State and the public is enjoined to disregard the shenanigans orchestrated by Shaibu.”

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JUST IN: I’m An Unofficial APC Member, Says Shaibu

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The reinstated Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philips Shaibu, on Friday, said he was already an unofficial member of the All Progressives Congress.?

He said the only thing still keeping him in the Peoples Democratic Party was because he was yet to officially dump the ruling party in Edo.

Reacting to questions on why he was supporting the APC governorship candidate in Edo when he featured on Arise TV’s morning show on Friday, the deputy governor maintained that his spirit had left the PDP.

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READ ALSO: APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

“In PDP now, everybody can support whoever they like. On the issue of supporting a candidate, the constitution guarantees that you can support who you like and you can belong to any political party,” Shaibu said.

He added, “As of now, I’m a PDP man and I will not support anybody while I am in another party contrary to who I am supporting. For now, I am a member of PDP but going forward, I am good as being a member of APC; I can tell you that.”

When interjected that he (Shaibu) seems to have one leg in APC and one in PDP, he countered the claim, saying, “No, two legs in APC.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: FG To Introduce New Curriculum For Secondary Schools

“The only thing that is keeping me in PDP is that I have not officially declared. Talking more seriously, I am actually a member of APC, but on official. My spirit has left PDP for a long time, it is only my leg and body that are still there because my PDP party card is still with me and I have not picked an APC party card yet. But in terms of spirit, my spirit has left PDP and is now in APC.”

He also alleged that since the political crisis in the state started, he had called his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, 111 times without the governor picking up his calls or returning them.

“I had made up my mind not to call him again, but I always send him texts. Before now, when I started counting, I called him (Obaseki) 111 times during that crisis, but he never picked up. I sent him texts, and he never replied, but it never really mattered. The last text I sent to him was on his birthday,” Shaibu said.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Supreme Court Orders Immediate Direct Payment Of LG Allocations

Shaibu was impeached by the State House of Assembly on April 8, 2024.

However, he was reinstated on Wednesday after Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Abuja High Court ruled that he was unjustly impeached.

Meanwhile, a police officer identified as Okon, attached to the APC candidate in the September 21 governorship election, Monday Okpebholo, was killed after mobs attacked his convoy and that of Shaibu, in Benin on Thursday after leaving the Benin Airport.

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Shaibu and Okpebholo arrived at the Benin Airport around 2 pm to the rousing welcome of supporters.

 

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APC Condems Shooting At Benin Airport, Urges IGP To Probe Alleged Assassination Attempt On Okpebholo

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The Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the State Security Services to probe yesterday’s shooting at Benin Airport exit gate and the alleged assassination attempt on its governorship candidate, Senator Monday Okpebholo.

A statement signed by Comrade Orobosa Omo-Ojo, Director of Publicity, APC Edo Governorship Campaign Council, the party insisted that yesterday’s “unwarranted shooting and assassination attempt on Okpebholo” must be thoroughly investigated and the culprits be punished in accordance with the law.

“…IGP Kayode Egbetokun, and the State Security Service to probe this assassination attempt and bring the culprits to book and also rein in state sponsored criminals who have brazenly made the political landscape unsafe,” he added.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Heavy Gunshots Erupt At Benin Airport As Shaibu Arrives

Omo-Ojo, in the statement made available to INFO DAILY on Friday noted that “anything short of this, is capable of encouraging self help in the state, especially as we enter the crucial campaign season.”

The Director, who said the “assassination attempt on Okpebholo represents glaring failure by the Police,” also described the incident as “the greatest security breach and failure.”

He added: “The attempted assassination of Senator Okpebholo, the APC gubernatorial candidate represents a glaring failure by the Police, which left a serving senator exposed to gunfire in a breach of security that caused fatality.”

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He continued: “The vantage point the assasins who were in a marked Sienna Bus opposite the exit gate managed to acquire, is the greatest security breach and failure, especially as the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Funsho Adegboye, and other top officers were at the airport to ensure peace.”

READ ALSO: Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

Omo-Ojo, while regretting the killing of a Police Inspector in the gunfire, condemned the act and urged every well meaning Nigerians to do so.

“Those that committed the murder of Inspector Ako and attempted to assassinate Senator Okpebholo are the hired criminals who were identified by security agents present at the scene as representatives of the opposition party.

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“This unprovoked horrific act of political violence against a peaceful Nigerian Senator should have no place in Edo State.

“It should be unanimously and forcefully condemned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the good people of Edo State.

“After a careful reflection, the APC regrets the killing of a serving police officer, who was murdered in cold blood while carrying out his official assignment.

“The party is also appalled by the pains caused by injuries sustained by hundreds of our members during the unexpected attack,” he added.

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