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Ondo Guber: Deputy Gov May Resign, Defect This Week, As Borofice, Oke Fight Dirty

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There are indications that the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Ajayi Agboola may resign this week to pursue his political ambition.

It was also gathered that some APC lawmakers in the Ondo State House of Assembly would also resign their membership of the APC and join the PDP.

Sources said resignation of the Deputy Governor was to enable him defect to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) where he is expected to contest for the governorship.

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However, spokesman for Agboola, Babatope Okeowo, said it was not true that his boss would resign this week, as he said his boss could contest whether in the PDP or the APC without resigning from office.

Recall candidate of the PDP in the 2016 governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, had disclosed on the defection of Agboola last week when he picked his nomination form.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Drama As Journalists Barred From Covering Court Case Challenging Ize-Iyamu APC Membership

Jegede stated that the coming of Agboola to the PDP “demonstrated that the APC has collapsed and Agboola needs to look for a good house.”

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He said, “If APC was and is good, Agboola Ajayi would not leave APC. If PDP is bad, he would not say he is coming to PDP.”

The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, speaking in an interview last week on the feud between the Deputy and his principal, said Governor Akeredolu was not interested in impeaching or removing the Deputy Governor.

He said, “Mr. Governor believes that whoever wants to leave his government can leave at any time. He will not raise a finger to push anybody out.”

Relationship between Agboola and Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has since collapsed over issues of trust and betrayal.

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READ ALSO: Just In: Stay Away From Edo Primaries, Obaseki Warns Oshiomhole

In a related development, governorship aspirants under the APC in the state, Chief Olusola Oke and Senator Ajayi Borofice, representing Ondo North Senatorial District, have accused each other of working for the second term bid of Governor Akeredolu.

The war of words between them followed the emergence of Oke as the consensus aspirant of the Unity Forum.

The Unity Forum, headed by a former Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, was the platform through which aggrieved APC chieftains in Ondo hoped to stop the second term bid of Akeredolu.

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Cracks emerged in the forum when Oke was announced the consensus aspirant.

READ ALSO: Ize-Iyamu Refutes Claims, Says ‘I’m A Bonafide Member Of APC’

However, in a fight back, Borofice outrightly rejected Oke as the forum’s consensus aspirants and said it was a ploy to give Akeredolu an easy second term in office.

Senator Borofice, who doubles as the patron of the Unity Forum, in a statement, urged other aspirants to prepare for the primaries, alleging that the plan was for Oke to step down few days to the primaries after getting assurances that Akeredolu would hand over to him in 2024.

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The statement convened through his media aide, Kayode Fakuyi, reads: “The media report suggesting that Unity Forum has adopted a consensus candidate to represent the Forum in Ondo APC governorship primary election is misleading. The fact is that Unity Forum has no consensus candidate.

But the Unity Mandate Group said Borofice was only playing politics of divide and rule to frustrate successes of the Unity Forum.

Just last week the Unity Mandate Group came harder on Boroffice by accusing him of creating the template of crisis in the Unity Forum so as to either allow Akeredolu go for another term or install a puppet governor in the person of Dapo Adelegan.

READ ALSO: Ondo Governor’s Wife, Critic In Verbal War

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Senator Borofice however described the allegation as laughable and described the group as faceless and not credible.

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Flooding: INEC Boss, Yakubu Inspects Damaged Facilities In Edo, Promises Replacement

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday said the damaged facilities in the Edo office would be replaced before the Sept. 21 governorship election.

Yakubu said this during an on-the-spot-assessment of the level of damage done to its facilities by the flood disaster occasioned by torrential rain in Benin on May 24.

The flood disaster destroyed some voter enrollment machines already configured for the Continuous Voter Registration exercise.

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Speaking after the inspection of the facilities, Yakubu said he was in Benin to assess the level of damage with a view to immediately proffering solutions to whatever problems that has arose from the disaster.

READ ALSO: INEC Promises Credible Election In Edo, Despite Destruction Of Critical Infrastructure

He said the flood disaster would not hinder the smooth conduct of the governorship election in the state, adding that the commission would do an assessment of what was damaged and respond appropriately.

He expressed joy that no life was lost to the flood.

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“This is not a regular visit. We are here to see what happened to our facilities after the flooding that occurred on Friday, May 24.

“I came here with the Director of ICT because some machines were destroyed and I also came with the federal controller of works because he would be helping us to address the flooding problems in and around the INEC office in Benin.

“Providing working equipment and ensuring a conducive work environment is as crucial as paying salaries.

READ ALSO: Naira Appreciates by 9.7% Against Dollar At Official Market

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“So we will ensure that we fix the damaged facilities before the election,” he said.

The INEC chairman also disclosed that the CVR exercise would continue in spite of the damage caused by the flood disaster.

He, however, described the turnout of registrants as impressive, stressing that the damaged facilities poses no threat to the ongoing CVR and election.

“We took proactive measure to ensure that the CVR was not affected by calling for additional resources from neighboring states since INEC was one national body.”

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According to him, the present Commission has enough experience in conducting governorship election and this is the third governorship election we will be conducting in Edo since 2016.

Earlier, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Anugbum Onuoha thanked the Chairman for being proactive in responding to the disaster.

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JUST IN: Sanusi Makes First Appointment Amid Emirship Tussle

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As the controversy trailing Kano Emirate tussle continues, the 16th Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II has on Thursday made his first appointment.

This was coming barely a week after he was reinstalled as the Emir.

Sanusi, the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, approved the appointment of a new Ward Head of Kofar Mazugal, Hamisu Sani in Dala Local Government area of the state.

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The Emir called on the new ward Head to ensure peaceful coexistence among the subjects of the area and contribute his quota towards the development of the state as a whole.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Court Stops Police, SSS, Military From Evicting Emir Sanusi

Earlier, district heads and personalities such as delegations from religious and market bodies paid homage on Emir Sanusi at the palace.

The delegation includes, Ansarulddeen Tijjanniya sect and Traders from Kano popular textile market (Kantin Kwari) as well as the commodities market (Singer market) among others.

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Recall that Sanusi II was reinstalled as the Emir of Kano last Thursday after the Kano State House of Assembly and Governor Abba Yusuf repealed and accented the Kano State Emirates Councils (Repeal) Bill 2024 into law.

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INEC Promises Credible Election In Edo, Despite Destruction Of Critical Infrastructure

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday said the Commission would conduct a credible governorship election in Edo State in spite of last Friday’s heavy downpour that destroyed critical infrastructure in the commission’s headquarters in Benin City.

He said since the Edo governorship election is an off-cycle election, the Commission would also borrow equipment from neighbouring states to ensure a hitch-free exercise.

Yakubu stated this in Benin City while on inspection of the level of damage to the facilities in the office in Benin City, and also to monitor the level of compliance with the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).

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The INEC boss said he also came with three National Directors in charge of critical areas of the Commission like Voters Registry, Estate, Works and Transport and ICT to assess the level of damage to their facilities and the State Controller of the Federal Ministry of Works which would carry out needed construction work in the facilities.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Court Adjourns Suit Challenging Akpata’s Nomination As LP Candidate

He also ruled out moving out of the place because of the perennial flooding in the area.

The INEC chairman who said the Commission was prepared for the election in Edo State, added: “Our visit here is to ensure that we fix whatever we need to fix because of the election. We have three months and three weeks to the election, and that is why we came here to inspect what happened to our facility on Friday last week.

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“We believe, we can fix whatever is damaged before the election, and it is better actually that we conduct the election in our own facilities rather than going to rent any facility outside close to election.

“Before the last governorship election in Edo, we took measures and for three years since the last governorship election, we have had no issues but this is an act of God.”

On whether he can quantify the cost of damage in the facility, Yakubu said: “It is very difficult to quantify now, we are on the assessment, and that is why in this tour we have been joined by three critical Directors responsible for Voters Registry, our Estate, Works and Transport at the headquarters, and our Director of ICT so they will stay behind, do the assessment and advise the Commission.”

READ ALSO: LP Names Ngogbehai, Elumelu, Ismaila, Others To Oversee ‘OBIDIENTs’

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He assured that despite the setbacks, the Commission was ready for the election.

He said: “Let me use this opportunity to assure and reassure Edo voters that it is unfortunate that this thing happened in our office on Friday.

We took a proactive measure to ensure that the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) was not affected by calling for additional resources from the neighbouring states and whatever it takes, since INEC is one national body, and we are only going to have two elections in Edo and Ondo states, I will call for additional resources where it is necessary from neighbouring states and the elections will proceed as scheduled and we will recover from this unfortunate incident.”

Whether the ten days for the CVR would be extended as being agitated in some quarters, Professor Yakubu said: “We have not reached there yet, we will go round and see what happened.

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We are encouraged by the turnout not only of fresh registrants, that is persons who are registered voters or who are not of age when the last registration exercise was done

Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha said the flood could be termed a blessing in disguise as it has better prepared them for the election.

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