The achievements recorded by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in his first hundred days in office have continued to generate reactions from the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
Addressing journalists at the PDPs secretariat in Benin City, the Edo state capital, the Chairman Of the Party, Dan Orbih, said that the muted celebrations by the APC depicts little accomplishments.
Reacting to the statement, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, John Mayaki, said the concept of a hundred days in office was originally a PDP creation.
Obaseki was sworn-in as the Edo state governor, on November 12, 2016, at the expiration of the term of office of Adams Oshiomhole.
The Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the just concluded Edo State governorship election and leaders of the party have submitted a petition to the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal.
They are challenging the result of the polls.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Godwin Obaseki was declared winner of the election by the electoral commission.
But Mr Ize-Iyamu, who was flanked by other leaders of the party at the Edo State Election Petition Tribunal premises in Benin City on Wednesday evening, said they decided to challenge the result of the election in keeping with the promise they made to their supporters that they would defend the votes cast for them
Mr Ize-Iyamu and the Chairman of the Party in the State, Mr Dan Orbih, said they were confident that they would be declared winner at the conclusion of the case.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education and Publicity, Solomon Soyebi, told Channels Television in Kaduna that the election was not flawed with irregularities as being alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
He debunked claims by the PDP that the commission deliberately delayed result of the election from the 18 Local Government Councils in Edo state in order to favour the ruling APC in the state.
He further explained that INEC deployed an electronic device during the election that tracked the collation of results from the polling units up to the last collation centre, and therefore checkmated any form of rigging.
Expressions Of Dissatisfaction
Some observer groups have picked holes in the governorship election.
One of the groups, Election Monitor, is asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pay attention to calls for the cancellation of the governorship election in Edo State.
The call is on grounds that widespread public outcry signifies dissatisfaction that should not be ignored.
Presenting the group’s election observation report to a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the National coordinator, Abiodun Ajijola, said the election had a high case level of vote buying and over-voting across the polling stations especially in Esako Local Government Area.
He says such acts give credence to such expressions of dissatisfaction.
Mr Ajijola also noted that while the election could be said to have been conducted effectively with regards to operation and conduct, the group observed unacceptable delay in collation of results which the electoral commission ought to address.
The Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dan Orbih has denied claims by the All Progressives Congress (APC) of arrests of suspected militants brought into the state to work for the PDP during the governorship election.
Reports say the ruling party had claimed that the militants were arrested by men of the Edo Police Command.
Mr Orbih made the denial of the claims during a press conference on Wednesday held at the party secretariat in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police Edo State, Mr Olafimihan Adeoye, said the suspects in question were arrested for crimes not in any way connected with politics.
The election originally scheduled to hold on September 10 was shifted to September 28 by the electoral body after security agencies advised it to shift the election date, giving security reasons.
Before the election was shifted, the APC published a statement where it claimed that the PDP had planned to unleash violence and cause confusion in the state during the governorship election.
The party, which is holding power in the state, claims that the plan would pave way for the opposition to rig the governorship election scheduled for September 10.
Militants From Delta
A statement by the party said “no less than 500 militants from Delta are being mobilised to critical areas of Edo State to carry out this evil plan using the waterways.
“The primary targets are Edo-North using the River Niger to access areas around Agenebode; Edo-South, via the Osse River; and Edo Central, via Ilushi River”.
Citing internal sources within the PDP, the APC also alleged that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members recruited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to participate in the conduct of the elections were being compromised by the PDP with the lure of huge financial rewards should they agree to act out their script to rig the elections.
“In their desperation to seize power at all cost, they have not only perfected plans to usurp the distribution of the Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) across the state but have already started acting it out as we have received reports that some PVCs meant for certain Local Government Areas have been hijacked by PDP thugs.
“We want to use this medium to call on the security agencies in the state, particularly the Nigerian Police Force, to investigate the matter expeditiously and immediately put in place measures to forestall their wicked plans, and maintain peace and order throughout this electioneering period.
“We also call on INEC to carry out due diligence on all its ad-hoc staff and monitor them closely so that those who have been compromised will not be allowed to carry out the PDP’s devious plans,” the statement read.
After the security agencies issued security alerts and advised the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state to shift the election, the PDP described the advice as shocking and a ‘bizarre’.
The PDP, which claims to be the strongest opposition in the state, said it was taken aback on this advice, coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari attended a Mega Rally of the All Progressives Congress in Benin City which was concluded without any hitch.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State says the leadership crises rocking the party at the national level would not have any negative impact on the party’s bid to take over power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
Edo State PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, stated this while speaking to Channels Television in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He said the party had always remained one in the state until some individuals started sponsoring some suspended members of the party with the aim of tearing the party apart.
Mr Orbih also maintained that the Ahmed Makarfi-led national leadership of the party is the only one recognized by the PDP in Edo State.
The People’s Democratic Party in Edo State has alleged that the State Government spent 428 Million Naira for trips to Miami and Chicago in the United States of America.
The Edo PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, who presented documents to support his claim, accused the state of spending so much money on trips while critical infrastructure is lacking in the state.
Orbih, who gave a breakdown of the money spent, said that he had decided against exposing the document until he was forced to, following the insistence of the Commissioner for Information that he lied.
He further said that the State Government should channel the state funds towards infrastructural development.
The Edo State Commissioner for Information, Louis Odion, in a swift reaction, said that the documents presented by the Edo PDP were fake as the state government transacts its business online.
He further clarified that the trip in question was a meeting of all Edo people in diaspora organised with the Edo people in diaspora in conjunction with government and not a picnic as alleged.
Ahead of the 2015 elections, political parties in Edo State have intensified moves towards gaining dominance in the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has continued to receive members from the All Progressives Congress into their fold, with the latest additions from Ovia North East and Igueben L.G.A.
The PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih accused the State Government of falling short in governance and unable to fulfill its electoral promises to the people.
In another event, the All Progressives Congress, APC, had its first meeting with Edo South leaders, presided over by Governor Adams Oshiomhole, where he declared that the party has emerged stronger after the purge of selfish members.
He stated that the APC Government was working assiduously across the state, stressing that the State Government would not relent in its efforts towards taking the state to the next level.
The Chairman of the APC, Anselm Ojezua, also urged the party leaders to recognize the importance of the distribution of the permanent voter’s card which would soon commence in Edo State.
There has been a dispute brewing between the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress Government in Edo State over the decision by the State Government to re-award the construction of a building at the Central Hospital in Benin City.
Part of the hospital had collapsed in 2013 killing one and injuring many.
The PDP is accusing the state government of not implementing the recommendations of the panel set up to investigate the accident.
The Central Hospital project was awarded in 2007 to a South-African construction company, SA International, but while construction was going on, 3 floors in the building caved in, killing the site manager with some other workers sustaining varying degrees of injury.
This prompted the State Government to set up a panel to investigate the cause of the incident. Part of the recommendation was that the entire building should be demolished, having failed credibility tests.
While the recommendations were yet to be implemented, the contract was re-awarded to another company and the PDP kicked against this action by the APC led State Government.
The PDP Chairman in Edo State, Dan Orbih, said, “We believe that the lives of the people who will be going there to seek medical services are very dear to us and as a state, if something is wrong with what the Government has done, they must be courageous enough to accept what they’ve done wrong and do the proper thing.”
The Spokesman for the Edo State Government, Kassim Afegbua, however, has dismissed the allegation by the opposition. He challenged the Edo PDP to publish the panel report that recommended the demolishing of the building.
The PDP insists that the welfare of the people was paramount and has threatened to go to court to stop the construction, if the panel’s report is not fully implemented.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Edo State government in Southern Nigeria of dragging the judiciary into partisan politics.
The Chairman of the PDP in Edo State, Mr. Dan Orbih, said that the ceremony of Adams Oshiomhole’s 5th year anniversary held at the Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City was also the APC grand Launch in Edo State and should not have in attendance the Chief Judge of Edo State.
Mr. Orbih made the observation at a press conference attended by PDP leaders in the three Senatorial Districts organised to brief the Press on the Party’s view of Oshiomhole’s five years in office.
He said that the money spent on the projects on ground was not commensurate with the revenue that had accrued to the State so far.
The state’s spokesman, Prince Kassim Afegbua, dismissed the allegations.
He said there was nothing wrong in having the State’s Chief Judge at the anniversary celebration, as the three arms of government were all involved in the success story that was celebrated.
“The people are the judges of the efforts of the state government at developing Edo State,” he added.
The Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has denied the rumour making the rounds that the sum of N320 million was stolen from the State Universal Education Board (SUBEB).
The governor, who made the statement at the swearing of Barr. Washington Osifo as the new Commissioner for Higher Education at the government house in Benin City also reassigned the Commissioner for Special Duties to the Ministry of Women Affairs.
Governor Oshiomhole, however, alleged that there are plans by the PDP to disrupt the state using the media.
The former commissioner for Higher Education was sacked last week for undisclosed reasons.
The Governor also debunked allegations by the PDP that the commissioner was sacked over missing funds in the SUBEB Board.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has denied the allegations that the party plans to disrupt the state, as was alleged by the governor.
Mr. Dan Orbih insisted that the sum of N320 million was shared among five officials of the Ministry of Education in Benin City leading to the dissolution of the board and the sack of the Commissioner.
Mr. Orbih challenged the governor not to trivialise issues that border on accountability