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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.

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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.

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.”

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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.

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.”

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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

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” 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.

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.”

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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.

” 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.

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” 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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Ex-CAN President Onaiyekan, Cleric Bag Honorary Degrees

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A former national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Archbishop of Abuja catholic diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, will be honored with honorary doctorate degrees by an Abuja-based Catholic institution, Veritas University, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Rev. Fr. Professor Hyacinth Ichoku, made this known in a briefing with selected journalists in Abuja.

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Speaking on Thursday ahead of the convocation ceremony of the university, the don also noted that four countries had indicated interest to send their students to Nigeria to study pontifical degrees in the theology of philosophy.

The development follows approval by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vertical City Rome, Italy, to Veritas University Abuja to establish Pontifical Faculty.

The countries are Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast and India.

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Professor Ichoku said only two countries including Nigeria and Nairobi run the pontifical degree which necessitated the influx of foreign students to Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Fielder Bags University Degree

“For the first time, the university will be honoring prominent Nigerians such as the former CAN president, cardinal John Onaiyekan and the archbishop of Abuja diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.

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‘’Veritas University has been granted the faculty to run Pontification degrees in theology and philosophy by the Congregation of Catholic Education in the Vertical City, Rome. That is in addition to National Universities Commission-approved programmes in theology and philosophy. As a Catholic University to be granted the power of the faculty to run these programmes is the height of our development and in Africa; there are just two granted such faculty, which are, the Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi and Veritas University in Abuja. It is an exceptional privilege for us,’’ Professor Ichoku stated.

Professor Ichoku said the university would be awarding first-class degrees to 28 students who had distinguished themselves in character and learning.

He noted that the minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola would be delivering the convocation lecture.

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NACCIMA, Nigeria’s Road To Prosperity – SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo

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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has said that the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through The Nigeria Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Adebayo who spoke at the 4th quarterly meeting of NACCIMA in Enugu assured that the SDP, if elected into power, would not be a lawbreaker government but a law abiding.

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He added that one of the difficulties facing the industry is that government does not respect contracts.

READ ALSO: Be Apolitical, Prayerful, SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo, Urges Clerics

He posited that times have changed because in the past before government presents the country’s budget, captains of industries are always consulted, and the government doesn’t take decisions without considering the effects.

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Adebayo driving his point and acknowledging the importance of NACCIMA said ‘In the past when you see presidential candidate, governorship candidate, senatorial candidate, you in NACCIMA will say he’s my boy, he use to work for me, he’s a good boy.

He added that Nigeria must return to such lifestyle, because the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through NACCIMA.

 

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True Federalism: Expert Wants NULGE Join CSOs, Others For Constitutional Amendment

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Professor Festus Imuetinyan, federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Abuja has called on the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to join hands with other unions and civil society organizations working for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to make the constitution truly federal.

Imuetinyan made the call on Wednesday in Benin City at the Edo State chapter of NULGE 2022 week celebration with the theme,”Sustaining an autonomous local government as a catalyst for national development: The role of NULGE”.

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The university don opined that local governments will only become catalyst for national development when they are put in firm control over local affairs as well as encourage the emergency of local solutions to local problems.

He advocated that the local government matters must be removed from the national constitution and placed within the purview of the states to save them from the challenge of forced uniformity in the face of endemic diversity of local problems.

He added that NULGE, as the major trade union in the local government system in Nigeria, has a duty to ensure that the present unified local government system which is unwieldy is jettisoned.

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“Unfortunately, many local government staff are beneficiaries of the present system and do not see any urgent need for changes.

READ ALSO: Governors’ Domineering Treatment Of Local Govt Councils Unfair – Buhari

“Your members are the ones that are made sole administrators when elected council heads are illegally sacked by state governments. Many enjoy posting to areas that they are not conversant with the custom and tradition of the people whose problems they are called upon to solve.

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“Others are promoted in the face of inadequate utilization of available resources to manage waste and protect public utilities within their jurisdictions.

“It is often alleged that many of your members extort money from members of the public and that they enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the communities”, he said.

He further opined that the present local government system is not patterned to achieve any developmental goal rather than a smooth vehicle for the transfer of centrally collected funds to the pockets of States’ political elites.

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Imuetinyan emphasized that the 1999 Constitution makes it possible for state governments to cripple Local Government Councils financially by routing the amount of money standing to the credit of Local governments in the Federation Account (FA) through a joint State Local Government Account rather than directly to local councils.

He asserted that the arrangement adversely affects the fiscal autonomy and viability of most local governments.

According to him, some state governors make inexplicable deductions or unduly delay the release of funds from the joint accounts to local government chief executives.

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“Local government chairmen are bullied by state governors to surrender much of their statutory allocations under duress. When they fail; they find other ways to replace them with caretaker committees of selected loyalists.

“Expenditure and project discretion had become a thing of the past. Most states expect their Local governments to seek and obtain permission to embark on projects. Local government projects are inspected periodically by officials of state governments.

“More financial load has been placed on Local governments’ share of the Federation Account. For example, funds for primary school teachers’ salaries and pension charges are now charged centrally to the Local governments.

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READ ALSO: Why Passport Applicants Face Challenges – Aregbesola

“The central deductions at source of these charges and several other unfunded mandates in environmental and social spending by the State Governments tend to leave many Local Governments with little funds.

“And unfortunately, many Local governments especially those in the rural areas have limited access to productive tax bases”, he added.

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