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Shooting At Benin Monarch’s Palace : APC, PDP Trade Blame, Accusation

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The APC and the PDP have continue to exchange tough words and accused each other of he was responsible for the shooting that occurred at the campaign flag-off of the latter, yesterday, Saturday, 25, 2020.

Recall there was a sporadic gunshots that lasted for over 60 seconds at Plymouth road, front of Oba of Benin Palace, shortly after the PDP campaign team led by its national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus had went to seek blessings of the Oba before kicking off their campaign.

Some persons who were drumming and dancing had reportedly booed Governor Godwin Obaseki, calling him all sorts of names when he was leaving the Palace, not too long this incident occurred that gunshots greeted the air.

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READ ALSO: Edo 2020: APC Accuses PDP, Obaseki Of Unleashing  Violence Over Rally, Public Rejection

Addressing newsmen today in Benin, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, Chairman, Edo 2020
Campaign Council for PDP, said the incident was “a coordinated attempt by the APC to leadership of the PDP and all democratically elected Governors of PDP that were expected to be with the Governor.”

He continues, “ The invasion of the Palace Gate by armed APC Youths was a well co-ordinated assault by the leadership and Sponsors of Edo APC to eliminate the National leadership of the PDP and all democratically elected Governors of PDP that were expected to be with the Governor.”

Raising counter allegations on the incident in a press briefing on Sunday, Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon, Vice-Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee, of the APC National Campaign Council, blamed Obaseki and the PDP for the violence that broke out and led to the hospitalization of multiple persons for gunshot wounds.

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He further accused the Governor of “setting conscripted thugs and cultists on protesters who expressed their rejection of him and his alleged “invitation of tax-collectors who are feasting on the state’s treasury.”

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Edo Guber: Scores Sustain Injuries As Heavy Gunshots Greet PDP Campaign Flag-off In Benin

According to him, the PDP and Obaseki of plotting to subvert the September 19 governorship election in the state through “alleged violent attacks and illegal detainment of its party leaders and members.

“Worse still, information have also reached us from sources in Obaseki’s government who are but disillusioned with his nefarious acts, that the governor has plotted and perfected a criminally appalling initiative aimed at subverting the will of the people.

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” On the back of conscripting renowned cultists and providing them official cover and funding for wanton violence under the guise of aides appointments, Mr. Godwin Obaseki is planning to use COVID-19 as a ruse to neuter grassroots leaders of our party, the APC on the eve of the gubernatorial election by abducting and detaining them in isolation centers—this way, disenfranchising them and forestalling the political force they would deliver in pursuant of APC’s victory.

” Having pellucidly read the handwriting on the wall that he faces a monumental defeat and an electoral opprobrium on the 19th of September, Obaseki aims to illegally strike what he deems the head and important political leaders of our party with the hopes of subverting the election.

READ ALSO: Edo Guber: Ize-Iyamu Assures Residents Of Violence-free Election, Calls On Opposition To Shun Provocative Actions

” Names of prominent leaders of the APC have been compiled to be dealt with, intimidated, harassed, terrorized, physically assaulted, and lacerated by state-sponsored goons.

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Hon. Obahiagbon also alleged a plan by the Edo State Government to detain a former Governor of the State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over trumped-up charges on the eve of the election and also set fire on the farm of billionaire businessman, Captain Hosa Okunbo, in continuation of the alleged assault on his reputation and businesses for refusing to back the second-term agenda of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

He condemned the “anomalies and acts of political desperadoism” as “direct affronts on the country’s constitution and the rule of law” while also appealing to the Police, INEC, and other relevant stakeholders to prevail on the Governor and ensure that he allows the rule of law and a level democratic playing field to hold supreme between now and the end of the Edo governorship elections.”

Raising further allegations, the PDP chieftain, Orbih noted that in his view the attack at the Palace was “a political mutiny, against constituted authority, capable of causing interstate conflict and war between Edo state and the affected states of the governors that were marked down for elimination.”

While stating that the incident must be investigated and all those connected with it must be arrested and tried in accordance with the laws, Orbih said the action was aimed at throwing the country into crisis.

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” The APC organised attack at the Palace is in our view a political mutiny, against constituted authority, capable of causing interstate conflict and war between Edo state and the affected states of the Governors that were marked down for elimination.

” There have been several videos in the cyberspace where these thugs have been instructed, directed and motivated to intimidate and cause chaos and mayhem in the state.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Edo Guber: Another Commissioner Resigns Appointment In Edo

” The security agencies must swing into action to bring all those connected with the incident to book,” he said.

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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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