Governor Bello in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu, said the athlete’s excellent display has united the nation, bringing joy and excitement.
Amusan’s triumph, the governor stated, “would be an unforgettable memory and her tears of joy, represented hope, belief and faith in oneself and one’s nation despite facing daunting challenges both individually and as a nation.”
He called for the need to further encourage Nigeria’s “sporting heroes, across all levels that not only adorn our colours at every competitive stage but also go through several hurdles, rigorous training and challenges to ensure that the nation’s flag is raised in pride and honour.”
On his part, Governor Obaseki hailed Amusan for the stunning, rousing and inspirational performance at the global tournament and for showcasing the indomitable Nigerian spirit to the rest of the world.
“I heartily congratulate our track superstar, Tobi Amusan, on her enviable feat at the World Athletics Championship 2022, clinching gold at the global tournament and setting a new world record in the semifinals of the competition to become the first Nigerian to win a World Championship,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Crusoe Osagie.
“A worthy ambassador of the country, Amusan, a two-time African Games champion, has continued to blaze the trail, putting the nation on the global map for good.
“Her wizardry performance at the global competition, at the weekend, was a classic display of the dogged and indomitable Nigerian spirit. We are proud of her exploits and are even more confident that she will bring more glory to the country.”
Noting that the victory is an excellent inspiration to Nigerian youths to toe the path of hard work, Obaseki said his administration will sustain investment in the sports sector to create more opportunities for Edo youths.
Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari celebrated the 25-year-old for setting a new world record in the semi-finals of the athletic event and for becoming the first Nigerian to win a world championship.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has condoled with the people of Ondo State following the killing of worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, including women and children.
Suspected terrorists had attacked St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, the headquarters of Owo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
It was also gathered that many worshippers died and several others were left injured following the incident at the church which is situated close to the palace of the Olowo of Owo.
Condemning the attack, the governor assured the indigenes of Ondo state saying they are not alone in their fight against insurgency and acts of terror.
“I express my condolences to my colleague, the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, as well as all the people of Ondo State. Let me assure you all that in this dark and desperate time in our history as one people separated by a very intangible geographical boundary, you are not alone”.
He said this mindless act committed in a church where many gathered to seek spiritual solace and worship God has tilted the scale in our nation’s war against terror.
“I commiserate with families that lost loved ones in this act of shame which has never before been heard of in the history of Owo, a quiet and peaceful town with inextricable ties with the people of Edo State.
“You can count on our prayers, support, and cooperation as we all wade through this tough time together, as we take steps to ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are apprehended and that this cowardly act of terror is never perpetrated in our land ever again.
“Please accept my most heartfelt condolences”, he added.
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has congratulated Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on his victory in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primary election.
The governor also hailed other aspirants who submitted themselves to “a transparent democratic exercise that has set the PDP as a worthy example to all other political parties in the country”.
In his goodwill message, Governor Obaseki called on other aspirants to work together and ensure Nigeria is rescued.
“This is now the time for all aspirants and other stakeholders in the party to pull together as we embark on this all-important mission to rescue Nigeria
“I heartily congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar (GCON) on his victory at the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential primary election.
“The keenly contested process of picking a flagbearer for our great party has again shown the PDP as a party that has enthroned a transparent internal democratic process which is what our nation now desperately needs for its much-desired rebirth.”
Obaseki hailed other aspirants in the election, noting, “I also hail all the other aspirants who have submitted themselves to this transparent democratic exercise that has set the PDP as a worthy example to all other political parties in the country.
“The beauty of it all is that the party has put on a clear display of its maturity, strength, and poise. Congratulations,” he added.
Governor Godwin Obaseki has said that the recent personal attacks by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, against his deputy, Philip Shaibu, are unfortunate and totally uncalled for.
The Edo State Governor expressed his displeasure at the development in a statement on Monday.
Obaseki said if Wike was one who wants to show respect and courtesy to his colleague-governors, he would have reached out to him to express his concerns about Shaibu’s views, rather than embark on an unwarranted public onslaught.
The rift between Governor Wike and the Edo State deputy governor stemmed from a comment made by the latter suggesting that many supporters of Obaseki who defected with the governor from All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not happy and do not feel accepted into the new party.
Shaibu asked the national leadership of the PDP to “integrate” his supporters and those of his principal into the party, threatening that there are possibilities of an exodus.
In reaction to these comments, Wike tongue-lashed Shaibu, calling him an ingrate.
The Rivers State Governor asked the national chairman of the PDP to constitute a disciplinary committee against the deputy governor of Edo State, stressing that if this is not done, he (Wike) will invoke the sanctions of the party and will make sure they must discipline Shaibu.
Defending his deputy governor, Obaseki in his lengthy statement said Shaibu “was a former National President of the National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) and his comment is representative of the essence of the nation’s youth population, who are inclined to openly speak up and question the status quo.
Obaseki wondered how Governor Wike can aspire to lead Nigerian youths if he cannot understand and adequately respond to their style and character.
“His Excellency, Governor Wike should have taken a cue from the manner in which the National Chairman of our party, Sen. Dr Iyorchia Ayu, responded to my deputy’s remarks, as a conscientious leader who is able to show empathy and consideration,” the Edo Governor stated.
According to him, the concerns expressed by his deputy governor bordered on pertinent issues affecting the PDP in Edo State which since the September 19th, 2020 elections, has been able to register over 500,000 members; and to date, these new members have not been properly integrated into our party after two years.
He added also that the leaders, executives, and members who came with him into the PDP have still not been accepted, integrated or harmonized into the party.
More worrisome for the governor is the fact that old members of Edo PDP, who are open to inclusion and supportive of building a large party are being vilified and ostracized “by a cabal purportedly led by Chief Dan Orbih, who is your perpetual guest in Port Harcourt and is remotely used to orchestrate the destabilization of the party in Edo State.”
“It is necessary to recall at this point that a political solution gave rise to the emergence of Chief Dan Orbih first as Acting and then as Substantive National Vice Chairman, South-South, of our party, when Chief Emma Odidi resigned that position to allow Chief Orbih to ascend,” Obaseki said.
“It is, therefore, curious why this type of political solution is no longer tenable to resolve the political impasse in Edo State PDP,” the governor questioned. Speaking further on the matter, Obaseki stressed in the comments of Shaibu, the deputy governor at no point threatened the party as Governor Wike has alleged. “Rather, it is Governor Wike, who has at different times, threatened the PDP.
“Some of these instances include:
“1. On September 16, 2018, Governor Wike threatened the party that there would be grave consequences if it moved the National Convention from Port Harcourt in the run-up to the 2019 presidential election.
“2. On September 12, 2019, Governor Wike also threatened to cause trouble for the party over the emergence of Hon. Ndudi Elumelu as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.”
He said it cannot be doubted that Governor Wike has contributed to the advancement of the PDP, just like others, since 1999.
The governor further asserted that no one is against Wike’s desire to run for president. He, however, cautioned that “his ambition should not be embarked on in such a way that it would cause disruption at different levels, such as the PDP Governors’ Forum as well as different chapters of the party across the country.
“It clearly amounts to the delusion of grandeur, for any one man to nurse the idea that he owns or has more stake in the PDP and everyone should pander to him.
“We are all equal stakeholders in the party and an aggregate of the ideas, opinions, and contributions of all leaders and members should form the position of the party and not the view of one individual or a select few,” Obaseki maintained.
He said while Governor Wike is free to use his resources as he deems fit in pursuit of his ambition, he should not attempt to cow, intimidate, cajole and threaten others into doing his bidding.
“Edo State cannot and will not be procured for anyone’s personal ambition,” Obaseki declared.
The governor believes that Nigeria needs strong democratic institutions and not strong men.
“That is why we will join the great leaders of our party across the country to build PDP into a strong, large, and indomitable party that will win next year’s presidential election,” he said.
“Governor Wike and his collaborators headed by Chief Dan Orbih in Edo State will not succeed in destabilizing the PDP in Edo State as they did other states like Cross River just to secure delegates to actualize his alleged personal ambition to run for the presidency in 2023.”
Obaseki underscored that in Edo State, the people do not accept political bullies and overlords, adding that historically, the Edo people have demonstrated their capacity to unshackle themselves and dethrone bullies and highhanded leaders.
He appealed to well-meaning leaders of the PDP to call Governor Wike to order and urge his Rivers State counterpart to desist from his current unguarded and disruptive tendencies.
The Edo State governor said that from all indications today, PDP is set to take over the leadership of Nigeria provided the party can rein in the self-interest of a few leaders to put the task of rescuing Nigeria above their personal ambitions
“It is heartbreaking that the National Assembly members missed a golden opportunity to redesign Nigeria’s political landscape by enshrining landmark legislation that promotes inclusion and provides women with the legal backing to gain equitable representation at the apex level of lawmaking and political participation.
“This is because the legislature is the bastion of democracy and a critical platform for fair representation and inclusion in government,” the governor said.
He added that it is painful and unconscionable that these bills which provide a fillip for accommodating women who make up more than 50% of the voting population, are subjected to such sorry fate.
He said: “In Edo State, we have a healthy mix of women in our cabinet, as they occupy more than 30 percent of positions of commissioners and Special Advisers in government.
“Edo people hope that their own representatives at the National Assembly did not vote along the lines of disenfranchising their women population because to do so will mean that they do not care about those who sent them to represent them at the Assembly.
“Our administration has continued to provide women with the opportunity to take up important roles in governance
“I am concerned. Cyber fraud and Yahoo culture are big issues. I am calling on everyone to please send as much information as you can to my office. On Monday, I am going to see the Chairman of EFCC. I am not condemning those involved. There must be a reason why that culture has become so prolific in Edo State. We must find the root cause and address them as we did in the days of trafficking.
“Let’s see how we can correct it because these children must be very brilliant. The kind of things they do, how they hack into other people’s accounts. How do we re-direct that thinking into something more positive?.”
Governor Obaseki while seeking re-election two years ago disclosed plans to train repentant internet fraudsters otherwise called ‘yahoo boys’ on advanced Information and Communication Technology as well as other vocational skills in his proposed technology park in the state.
The National Economic Council (NEC) has asked Nigerians to wait till June for a decision to be reached on the removal of fuel subsidy.
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, said this while briefing the press at the end of the first NEC meeting for 2022 held in Abuja on Thursday.
“We did not make any presentation on this because there has not been a decision. But in reality, all of us, Nigerians, know that there is now the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and NNPC has now become a limited liability company,” the governor said after the 122nd NEC meeting.
“So, NNPC will run differently. So, if the Ministry of Finance provides for six months, you probably can understand part of the reasons for the provision of six months is before NNPC fully takes off and at that moment, that’s when decisions would be made.”
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, who also spoke after the meeting, noted that N2.1 trillion was spent last year on fuel subsidy payments. The payments, he said, could have been used to fund other development efforts.
“Because of payment of subsidy, NNPC was unable to put that money into FAAC for distribution, which means less money going to the states and less money going to the federal government,” Obaseki added.
The NEC meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and attended physically by state governors, government officials as well as officials of the World Bank.
Also on the agenda was the launch of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus programme (NGCARES).
Abdulsalami made the comment during the 19th Daily Trust Summit held in Abuja and noted that Nigerians are already facing hardship on multiple fronts.
“All of these have disrupted the fragile value chains across the country, and negatively impacted the ability of Nigerians to produce, process, and distribute food,” he said, months after the Federal Government disclosed it will remove subsidy.
“The result is a continued rise in the prices of food items, beyond the reach of many Nigerian families.
“On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November by the NNPC. We all know when this happens, as the government has planned, it will push many millions deeper into poverty.”
The plan to remove subsidy has also gotten pushbacks from the organised labour who argue that it is ill-advised with the minimum wage pegged at N30,000.
Late last year, the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), had also warned that it will shut down the country if the Federal Government removes subsidy which will see fuel go for about N320 per litre.
“Nigeria will be shut down should the Federal Government attempt to remove the fuel subsidy as allegedly being proposed,” NANS President, Adedayo Asefon said.
“It is merely an attempt to add a new dimension of economic woes upon Nigerians through this removal of fuel subsidy.”
“Today, we have 60 per cent less revenues; we just cannot afford the cost. The second danger is the potential return of fuel queues – which has, thankfully, become a thing of the past under this administration,” Buhari stated at the first-year Ministerial Performance Review Retreat held in September.
In lieu of the subsidy, the government also plans to give a N5, 000 transport grant to about 40 million poor Nigerians to cushion the impact.
“He didn’t tell anybody that we should go remove petroleum subsidy. And those of us who represent the people know how people are already stressed over and again . . . it is going to be too much for them,” Lawan said after a meeting with the Nigerian leader.
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.”
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.
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.”
In his tribute to the deceased, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State hailed his business dexterity and love for his people which will always be remembered.
“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,” the governor said in a statement he signed and issued on Sunday afternoon.
“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.
“Okunbo was a philanthropist who gave lavishly of himself and his resources; thousands of Edo sons and daughters benefited from his charitable works and benevolence.”
Born on January 7 1958 in Benin City, Okunbor was the Chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL). He had his secondary education at the Federal Government College, Warri in Delta State.
At 21, he became a pilot following his graduation from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Okunbo whose father Robert Amos Okunbo – was a preacher and teacher – later proceeded to ACME School of Aeronautics, Fort Worth, Texas in the US. There, he earned an Airline Transport Pilot Licence.
He retired from working as a pilot at 30 and ventured into business.
The PDP Governors Forum says it is alarmed at the partisan slant a patriotic advise to the Federal Government by Governor Godwin Obaseki, on its monetary policies has assumed.
In a statement by the Director-General of the PDP Governors Forum (PGF), Hon CID Maduabum, governors of the opposition party said it is unhelpful for the Progressive Governors Forum to join the fray in the manner it did by its recent statement attacking the “bona fides of Governor Obaseki” who merely warned the monetary authorities about the danger of uncontrolled use of Ways and Means, that is, the printing of Naira, to support government’s expenditure.
According to the PGF, Governor Obaseki has a background in economics and finance and is a very responsible governor who talks in a measured way.
“His advise, which by the way has been corroborated by none other than the Governor of the CBN himself, and the international ratings agency FITCH , should be heeded rather than being crucified for sounding a note of caution.
“No doubt the Federal government has been supporting the States in the area of agriculture, budget, refund of Federal Government executed projects by States and a few other areas of intervention. Is CBN trying to be vindictive and vengeful by recalling its loans to the States because of an informed advise by a Governor?. It is unfortunate that governance has plummeted to this level,” the PGF’s communique partly reads.
The opposition governors asked the Federal government to plug financial leakages in the system and curb wasteful expenditure of billions of Naira on projects that can be executed by the private sector and save a lot of money in the process, thereby relying less on Ways and Means by the CBN, which brings pressure on the Naira with its inflationary consequences.
Nigeria’s inflation rate has continued to rise, as of April 15, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation increased to 18.17 per cent (year-on-year) in March, a development which the PGF insists all Nigerians should be concerned to find ways of stemming the tide.
“We are all involved in the urgent task of rescuing the economy of Nigeria and nobody should indeed play the OSTRICH,” the PGF emphasized.
The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has replied Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, concerning his claim that the apex bank printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.
Emefiele while addressing journalists in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State said printing money is a key mandate of the central bank, and the bank must always act to support the government at times of financial difficulties.
He added that it is “unfortunate and totally inappropriate” for some people to give colouration to this.
“If you understand the concept of printing money. The concept of printing of money is about lending money. That is our job – print money. So there is no need to put controversy about the printing of money as if we are going into the factory, printing naira and distributing on the streets.
“In 2015/2016, we were in a similar [fiscal] situation, but it is far worse today. We provided a budget support facility to all the states of the country and that loan remains unpaid till now. We are going to insist on the states paying the loan back since they are effectively accusing us of giving them loans.
“Most countries of the world today are confronted by not just the health crisis from the COVID pandemic but also economic crisis. I keep saying this: it would be irresponsible of the central bank of Nigeria or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time. Whatever we do in Nigeria is being done in any clime.”
Obaseki last week raised an alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, saying the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.
He also claimed that the Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for FAAC.
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed debunked in her reaction described the governor’s claim as very sad and untrue.
According to her, monies distributed at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) are revenues generated from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), etc adding that revenue distribution is information that can be publicly accessed.