Ranching Is Private Business, Acknowledge Edo Method – Obaseki Tells FG

 

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said that ranching is a private business and must be treated as such.

Speaking after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, Obaseki said Edo people would rather invest privately in the ranching business. Obaseki told newsmen at the State House that the clashes between farmers and herders could be resolved with a full implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Programme (NLTP).

He, however, urged the Federal Government to “acknowledge” the Edo State model. Throwing some more light on the model of his state, Obaseki said those involved in ranching are expected to provide the land.

The governor stated that during his interaction with President Buhari, he tabled his people’s opinion as regards the ranching practice. Further making a case for his state, Obaseki said the NLTP should be able to “help Edo people benefit from the funding that is now being made available for people who want to go into the livestock business and have made investments in ranches and other similar livestock programmes,”.

Obaseki explained that the private view of the ranching exercise is a key reason the Edo State Government is yet to promulgate a law banning open grazing.

“As you know, most southern states have passed laws relating to open grazing but Edo State has not. Because we want to ensure that whatever laws we pass are laws that we can enforce.”

At the briefing, the governor also debunked rumours suggesting that he would be returning to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He stated that as a politician of repute, his conscience would not allow him to betray those who gave him shelter when there was a political storm.

Obaseki explained that he did not leave the APC on his own terms, but was forced out, an action he says will not allow him to leave the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)where he got support in his time of need.

“I think I’ve shown that I’m a politician with integrity and I have made it very clear that I didn’t leave the other party on my own. I was pushed out of the party, and someone else gave me cover, gave me an opportunity.

“It will not be the right thing to do to now leave who helped you, who gave you the umbrella in your storm, and then go back to the person who pushed you out.”

READ ALSO: [Defection Rumours] I Won’t Return To Where I Was Pushed Out – Obaseki

A Case For E-Transmission 

President Muhammadu Buhari in an elbow bump with Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State during the governor’s visit to the Nigerian leader at the State House on Wednesday, September 13th, 2021. Photo: Facebook/Femi Adesina.

 

Reacting to the Senate’s decision to reverse its earlier resolution on electronic transmission of election results, Governor Obaseki said he remains a proponent of the course.

According to the governor, PDP would not have won the last election in Edo State, but for the deployment of technology by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“If not for the technology utilised by INEC, and God, I may not be governor today. So, I am one of those people who believe that we cannot and should not have elections in this country, going into the future, without transmitting results electronically from the polling units, because for elections to be credible, they have to be seen as transparent and once you have voted, you should be assured that your vote will count.

“With technology today, it is possible and INEC has shown it from my elections, that as soon as you voted, and the results have been counted in the polling units, then that result should be made available, such that you already know what you expect to be collated at the ward collation points.

“What has happened in many cases in the past is that people go and vote, the votes are counted in the polling units. They know, but by the time it gets to the collation point, it changes.

“But this time around, because of the transparency, everybody will see and know what they are expecting to be collated from the polling units. That is what happened in my election.

“So, I am a very strong advocate for electronic transmission of results from elections and I want to also note that from my personal experience, INEC has the capacity, INEC has the technology, and also the understanding of how these things should work,” Obaseki said.

 

Man Slumps As Edo Pensioners Stage Protest

A pensioner carries a placard to protest the non-payment of their gratuities in Edo State on October 11, 2021.

 

An elderly man on Monday collapsed in Edo State as retirees protested over their unpaid pensions and gratuities by the state government.

During the exercise, the senior citizens disrupted the flow of traffic at Ring Road in Benin City, the state capital while airing their grievances.

Most of them, dressed in black top and black trousers, carried placards bearing different inscriptions like ‘Governor Obaseki, please pay us our gratuity,’ ‘All we are saying pay us our gratuity,’ ‘Pensioners need gratuity to take care of our health and family’ among others.

Suddenly, one of their colleagues slumped, a situation that forced the other protesters to suddenly rush him to a nearby hospital for treatment.

According to them, the non-payment of their gratuity dates back to the administration of former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

While noting that they have had enough, the retirees insisted that they have been denied the harmonisation of their pensions in Edo State and that the harmonisation is backed by law.

One of the pensioners, Godwin Egbon, accuse the Edo State Government of not harmonising their pensions.

 

One of the pensioners, Godwin Egbon, told Channels Television that whenever there is a salary increase, pensions should also be increased by the same percentage.

“The Constitution says whenever there is salary increase, pensioners’ pension should also be increased by the same percentage but nothing is being said and nothing is being done,” he said.

“Worst still, the ‘Comrade Governor’ Oshiomhole, a union man who ought to have corrected these ills, did not do it.”

The pensioners also alleged that the state government connived with some union members to withdraw one percent from their already lean pension as dues for their unions.

‘Govt Does Not Owe A Penny’

Some of the pensioners take a rest during the protest in Benin City on October 11, 2021.

 

But the state government says it is caught in the crossfire between two opposing pensioner union members, insisting that is the main reason for the protest.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Crusoe Osagie said the state government does not owe the pensioners a dime.

“There is supposed to be a statutory one percent deduction which they have not ironed out among themselves yet, so that is what is causing this crisis,” he said.

“The state government is caught in a cross-fire of disagreements within pension unions in the state. Whatever happened today with pensioners’ protest didn’t have anything to do with protests being owed because this state government does not owe a penny.”

Obaseki Swears In 11 Commissioners, Two Special Advisers

Governor Godwin Obaseki in a group photograph with the newly inaugurated commissioners and special advisers at the Edo State Government House, Benin on October 6, 2021.

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has sworn-in 11 commissioners and two special advisers as members of the Edo State Executive Council (EXCO).

They include Joseph Eboigbe, the Commissioner for Finance; Prof. Obehi Akoria, Health; Mrs. Otse Momoh-Omorogbe, Budget and Planning; Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, Education; Isoken Omo, Physical Planning and Urban Development.

Others are Moses Agbukor, Water Resources; Ethan Uzamere, Mining, Gas and Oil; Maria Edeko, Social Development and Gender; Monday Osaigbovo, Local Government; Andrew Emwanta, Communication and Orientation, while Oluwole Iyamu is the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.

The two special advisers are Crusoe Osagie, who was appointed as Special Adviser, Media Projects and Sarah Esangbedo Ajose-Adeogun, appointed as Special Adviser, Strategy, Policy, Projects and Performance Management.

The inaugural EXCO meeting was held after the commissioners and special advisers were sworn-in.

“We must advocate transparency and uphold accountability in all we do in our respective portfolios. In enthroning a high-performance culture, an organizational performance scorecard has been developed for each ministry,” Governor Obaseki said.

“The scorecard will be deployed in tracking key performance targets and deliverables of each Ministry and reports will be demanded on a quarterly basis. A formal assessment of performance targets and results achieved by each Ministry shall be conducted. These shall form the basis of further review and linkages to other key human resource processes.”

He continued: “On our part, we have articulated, in the MEGA Agenda, a vision of where we want Edo State to be before 2050. Making Edo Great Again and Edo becoming the best state to live and prosper in Nigeria are promises we have made to the good people of Edo State who massively turned out to vote for this government in September 2020.

“As commissioners and special advisers, the height of people’s expectations of you and the government you represent are unprecedented. We have no choice but to meet and deliver on the expectations of the people. As we serve the people, we must become champions of high performance, disciplined in execution and results-oriented.”

“Timely response to the needs and requests from our people must become rooted in our DNA. We must demonstrate and demand ‘value for money’, a commercial mindset not previously associated with the Public Service,” he added.

He noted that the new members of the State Executive Council must embrace the Six Pillars of the MEGA Agenda and ensure it constitutes a rallying platform that shall generate an irreversible momentum that will industrialize, transform and build the capacity required to take advantage of the state natural endowments.

Police Rescue 10 Kidnap Victims In Edo

Five Robbery Attacks Foiled, 12 People Rescued In March – Lagos Govt
File Photo of a police van

 

Police have rescued 10 kidnap victims who were intercepted by hoodlums in Edo State.

The victims were said to have been travelling from one of the eastern states to Abuja when a group of hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers stopped them and took them to a bush in the Okpella area of Edo State.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Kontongs Bello, said operatives of the command with the help of local vigilantes swung into action to rescue the victims in the bush.

He noted that the kidnappers noticing the team of operatives in their den hurriedly abandoned the victims and escaped into the thick forest.

“Nine (9) of the kidnapped victims were all rescued unhurt. They were advised to continue their journey after profiling them”.

SP Bello added that the Edo State Commissioner of Police, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, has enjoined the general public to continue to support the police by providing credible information that will help in the fight against crime and criminal elements in the state.

People Are Making COVID-19 Vaccination A Political Issue, Obaseki Laments

File photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has lamented that people were making the COVID-19 vaccination a political issue.

Speaking when he received the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Prof. Darlington Obaseki, at the Government House in Benin City, the governor asked the residents to get vaccinated and ensure compliance with preventive protocols against the spread of the virus.

“I am saddened when I see people not protecting themselves against COVID-19. We are not making vaccination compulsory, but for now, it is the best way to protect yourselves and protect the people around you. It is so sad to see people making it a political issue,” he added.

“Go to any of our isolation centers and see what is happening to people.”

READ ALSO: Bandits Write Sokoto Community, Demand N20m Ransom For 20 Abductees

Obaseki reassured that his government will sustain reforms in the healthcare system to reposition the state as the country’s medical hub.

According to the governor, the state government outbreak has drawn lessons on how to improve the healthcare delivery system following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added, “God forbid you to fall ill or you have an emergency, it won’t matter where you are treated. At that point, you don’t care if it is a federal, state, or religious institution, as long as you get cured.”

 

Police Arrest Three Suspected Cultists For Assaulting Lady in Edo

A Photo of a police truck

 

The police in Edo State have arrested three suspected cultists for assaulting a TikTok star simply identified as Olivia.

Edo Police Public Relations Officer, SP Kontongs Bello, said a viral video clip showed the suspects assaulting and humanizing the victim.

Following the directive from the Commissioner of Police, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, for a discreet investigation and intelligence-based approach to unravel those behind the dastardly act, the cultists were nabbed at different locations in Benin City, he said on Friday.

The suspects, identified as Omozejele John, Smart Ogbeide and Tajudeen Afesume, were between 29 and 30 years.

The police spokesman explained that the trio had “all confessed to the crime and further confessed to being members of Aye Secret Cult”.

According to him, they are cooperating with police investigations and are already providing useful information that will lead to the arrest of other cult members on the run.

This is even as the Commissioner of Police directed that the suspects be charged to court, vowing that cult groups and other criminals will not be allowed to operate in the state.

Edo Govt To Demolish Illegal Structures Under High Tension

Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria.
Edo State is a state in Southern Nigeria

 

The Edo State Government has said it will commence the demolition of illegal structures constructed under high tension cables and other unauthorised places across the state.

In a statement on Friday, the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie said the government will no longer tolerate the violation of the State Extant Town Planning Laws and Regulations.

“The Edo State Government has observed that some illegal developers and squatters have continued the unwholesome practice of engaging in street trading and other associated activities in unsuitable locations such as under the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) High Tension Lines particularly at Trinity Way, Abuja Quarters, Benin City,” the government said in the statement,

“Government strongly condemns this act of violation of the State Extant Town Planning Laws and Regulations especially as these quarters had previously been issued violation/removal notices which have since expired.”

It said “the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development will immediately commence the demolition of such illegal structures following the expiration of the notices earlier served to all such developers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, developers and squatters who fail to relocate, vacate or comply with the notice will be visited with the full sanctions of the laws including removal of such illegal structures and recovering the cost of carrying out the action from them.”

Olajide Sowore’s Killers Will Be Brought To Book – Obaseki

A photo combination of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and a slain student, Olajide Sowore.

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has mourned Olajide Sowore, assuring that the state government will bring his killers to book.

Obaseki gave the assurance on Saturday while commiserating with a former presidential candidate and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, over the killing of his brother.

Olajide, a student of Pharmacy at the Igbinedion University Okada, was killed by kidnappers on Saturday in the Okada area of Edo State.

The Edo State Police Command had earlier confirmed his death via a statement issued by its spokesman, Kontongs Bello, noting that the remains of the deceased had been deposited at IUTH Mortuary, Okada.

READ ALSO: Police Confirm Killing Of Sowore’s Brother By Kidnappers

But Governor Obaseki assured that the state government will work with relevant security agencies to investigate the unfortunate incident.

“I commiserate with the Sowore family and the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, over the death of his brother, Olajide Sowore,” the governor said.

“The news of Olajide’s death is heartbreaking and we will make all efforts to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to justice.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Edo State, I condole with the Sowore family and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

I Don’t Need To Be APC Chairman To Be Relevant, Says Oshiomhole

 

Former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says he does not need to be the national chairman to remain relevant and serve the party.

“I’m still active in all APC activities and I don’t think that I need to be a chairman to be relevant,” he said on Saturday during the fundraising and investiture for Victoria Unuoarumi as the 10th President of the Rotary Club of Maitama, Abuja.

Oshiomhole noted that he didn’t join the party to become chairman.

“I joined in order to form an alternative platform capable of kicking PDP out of power and that objective was achieved.

“It doesn’t matter the way things have gone. The primary purpose was not for me to be APC chairman,” the former Edo State governor buttressed.

He also noted that he has no regrets that he was removed as APC chairman and that he has accepted all that happened in good faith.

READ ALSOSenator Stella Oduah Dumps PDP For APC
COVID-19: Edo Govt Imposes Restriction On Mass Gathering

Secondus Absent As Akinwonmi Presides Over PDP NEC Meeting

Speaking about the 2023 presidential election, Mr. Oshiomhole said he is optimistic that “God will not forsake a nation of 200million people”.

While agreeing that Nigeria’s democracy is not perfect, the former Labour leader said he is certain that the nation will press on.

“I believe that God in his infinite mercy will help Nigeria to sustain its democracy and guide us, as we move towards 2023 and the country will go forward.

“I want all of you to realise that I always make this point because Nigeria is much bigger than the total sum of the problems bedevilling it. So I am an optimist,” the APC stalwart said.

COVID-19: Edo Govt Imposes Restriction On Mass Gathering

File photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Edo State Government has restricted mass gatherings across the state in a bid to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Godwin Obaseki disclosed this while flagging off the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise on Monday.

“Beginning from the second week of September 2021, large gatherings, as well as high traffic public and private places will only be accessed by persons who have proof of taking at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination. People who have not yet been vaccinated at all will depend on remote access to these gatherings,” he said during the event held at the Government House in Benin City.

“From the second week of September people may not be allowed to worship in churches and mosques without showing proof of their vaccination cards at the gates. Similarly, people will not be allowed to event centers, receptions or parties, without showing proof of their vaccination cards.

“People will not be allowed to access banking services from the middle of September 2021, if they are not vaccinated.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigeria Records 388 New Cases, Eight Deaths

He said the government will work with security agencies to ensure full enforcement of the measure, adding that activities to mark Edo’s 30th year anniversary have been significantly scaled-down in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“We are doing this to protect our citizens and all these measures will remain until the pandemic passes away,” Obaseki said.

While noting that the pandemic is in its third wave in Nigeria, with the Delta variant having devastating effects around the world, the governor reiterated the government’s commitment to the well-being and safety of the Edo people.

“We will not abandon you at this time of the pandemic,” he said, urging “all to embrace vaccination as a way of surviving this pandemic.”

“For us in the state, we have decided to push for vaccination, and within the next one year, we are focusing on vaccinating 60 percent of our citizens to enable us to build herd immunity against this pandemic,” he explained.

Ooni Of Ife Visits Obaseki, Asks Political Leaders To Uphold Cultural Heritage

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, speaks to Governor Godwin Obaseki during a visit to the Edo State Government House Benin on August 23, 2021.

 

 

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has called on political office holders to uphold the country’s cultural heritage at all times as they lead the nation.

Oba Ogunwusi said this during a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the Government House in Benin City on Monday.

According to him, the traditional institutions in the country would be willing to lend a helping hand to the government when called upon.

“We traditional rulers will continue to work with constituted authorities [and] you are one of them. And I can assure you that I am speaking on behalf of all our traditional members, we are not fighting with any constituted authority,” he said.

“We are not fighting and we will continue to work with you to make sure that things are right. What is key for us is for you, our political leaders, to uphold our heritage.

“I believe strongly that you stand for that too; that you will continue to uphold our heritage because you believe in the traditional institution of this country.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: 1,094 Returning Travellers Absconded From Isolation, Says Sanwo-Olu

On his part, Governor Obaseki reiterated the importance of traditional institutions, saying the country’s security challenges can be tackled effectively if the government carries traditional rulers along in their programmes.

“One of the biggest challenges that we have today is security. These challenges occur in specific domains. As they say, these bandits, criminals are not spirits,” he said.

“When people are kidnapped, they are taken to specific locations. Our people know them, they pass on the information to the authorities that is closest to them – traditional authorities.

“If we are going to tackle the security challenges that we have, the government must now work very closely with the traditional authorities. We are already doing that in Edo State and I can confirm that the results are bountiful.”

 

‘He Conquered The Air’: Obaseki Pays Tribute To Captain Okunbo

The late Captain Okunbor died surrounded by family members.

 

Governor Godwin Obaseki has paid glowing tributes to late Edo business mogul Captain Hosa Okunbo, describing him as an outstanding flyer who made his mark at an early age. 

In a statement he signed and issued on Sunday afternoon, the Edo State leader hailed Captain Okunbo’s perseverance and business acumen.

“A man of unparalleled energy and accomplishments, Captain Okunbo saw opportunities in adversity and from an early age in life, carved a niche for himself to become one of Nigeria’s most outstanding businessmen,” Obaseki said about Okunbo who died on Saturday night in London following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

“A trained pilot, he conquered the air at an early age and set for the waters and land, building enterprises that distinguished him in the business world and embodied the hard work, perseverance, dexterity and acumen that espoused his Edo heritage.”

He condoled the family and friends of the late captain, and said many people from Edo State had benefited from his philanthropic gestures.

“As a mortal, Captain Okunbo was not a perfect person just as none of us can claim to be, but he will be remembered for his undying love for Edo people,” the governor said.

“His desire for the development and progress of our dear state, the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as well as his invaluable contributions to building bridges of peace across the country will never be forgotten.”

READ ALSO: Edo Business Titan Hosa Okunbo Dies

Several reports claimed that his doctors had in 2020 told him (Okunbo) he had only limited time to live.

It was gathered that he was responding to treatment in London and had even planned to return to Nigeria for the coronation ceremony of the Olu of Warri who is his in-law.

Born in Benin City on January 7 1958, Captain Okunbo is survived by a wife and children.