National Sports Festival: Obaseki Receives Torch Of Unity

Governor Godwin Obaseki receives the torch from Ministry’s South-South Director of Sports, Peter Nelson. PHOTO: Twitter/@GovernorObaseki

 

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on Sunday received the Torch of Unity for 20th National Sports Festival at the Government House in Benin City.

The Governor received the torch from the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, represented by the Ministry’s South-South Director of Sports, Peter Nelson.

The governor who announced this on his official Twitter handle said Edo State is hosting not to make money but as patriotic Nigerians.

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He added that the festival is important enough to encourage youths and get them to do one of what they know how to do best, which is sports.

Governor Godwin Obaseki with the unity torch. PHOTO: Twitter/@GovernorObaseki

 

“We are hosting, not to make money, but as patriotic Nigerians: We need to do things to heal the land as we have passed through a terrible year.

“Despite what we have gone through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; in spite of our challenges as a country, we see hope in our young people.

“We also want to make a statement that we have not been overcome by this pandemic. Despite the pandemic, we must continue to do the things we need to do to keep life going.

“For us as a country, we have come to stay as one united, indivisible entity. We have our challenges, but I see this festival as a stepping stone. We would go through this stage and get out stronger and better,” he said.

He added that, more than ever before, Nigerians need to come together at this time. This is why our administration decided to hold the 20th NSF in Benin City. We are happy to receive this torch and promise to keep it alive and pass it on to the state which will host the 21st NSF.

Obaseki later passed the torch to the Deputy Governor and the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Philip Shaibu, for onward transmission to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, the main venue of the festival.

Edo Not Ceding Any Land To Herdsmen – Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, addresses residents in a state-wide broadcast in August 7, 2020.

 

The Edo State Government has said that it will not cede any part of its land for grazing cattle in the state.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said that the government’s position on the matter is clear and has not shifted since it insisted that it would not cede its land to herdsmen.

According to him, “Our attention has been drawn to misleading and false media reports claiming that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has agreed to provide grazing land for herders in the state.

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“Our position on the matter of grazing land is clear and has not shifted, which is that there is no free land for grazing in Edo State. Grazing is an economic activity just like poultry and piggery or any other agricultural enterprise. The Edo State Government will not cede any land in the state for grazing.”

“The governor has continually warned against the politicizing of security issues,” he added.

Ogie noted that some political actors are trying to instigate the type of killings witnessed in some states in the country just because they are embittered by the heavy loss they suffered in the political space.

He continued: “Thankfully, their plans have failed because of the pre-emptive actions taken by Governor Obaseki and the security agencies.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the current futile efforts by these defeated politicians in the state to cause mayhem and chaos among our people.

“All peace-loving people of Edo State are enjoined to dedicate this Lenten period to pray for peace at this difficult time in the life of our dear country.”

Edo Govt Will Not Cede Any Land For Grazing, Says Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Edo State Government has said that it will not cede any part of its land for grazing cattle in the state.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said that the government’s position on the matter is clear and has not shifted since it insisted that it would not cede its land to herdsmen.

According to him, “Our attention has been drawn to misleading and false media reports claiming that the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has agreed to provide grazing land for herders in the state.

“Our position on the matter of grazing land is clear and has not shifted, which is that there is no free land for grazing in Edo State. Grazing is an economic activity just like poultry and piggery or any other agricultural enterprise. The Edo State Government will not cede any land in the state for grazing.”

“The governor has continually warned against the politicizing of security issues,” he added.

Ogie noted that some political actors are trying to instigate the type of killings witnessed in some states in the country just because they are embittered by the heavy loss they suffered in the political space.

He continued: “Thankfully, their plans have failed because of the pre-emptive actions taken by Governor Obaseki and the security agencies.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms, the current futile efforts by these defeated politicians in the state to cause mayhem and chaos among our people.

“All peace-loving people of Edo State are enjoined to dedicate this Lenten period to pray for peace at this difficult time in the life of our dear country.”

Obaseki Reaffirms Commitment To Teacher’s Welfare, Urges Return To Classroom

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, addresses residents in a state-wide broadcast in August 7, 2020.

 

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has reaffirmed that his government will continue to prioritise the welfare of teachers in the state, urging the teachers too, in the interest of the progress of the state and the need to preserve the future of Edo children, return to the classroom.

The governor, in a live broadcast, noted that his administration is prepared to and will do more for teachers in the state in spite of any provocation.

He expressed worry that some elements within the Edo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) have been sowing seeds of discord to cause disharmony and strife within the ranks of the teachers.

Obaseki noted: “You know that education is our priority and we have demonstrated it in the last 4 years by prioritizing the welfare of teachers almost above those of other public servants. We have done so because we know that if you can read and write, you should thank your teacher.

“We are confident to say that we have done more for teachers in Edo State than any other government in the state in recent history and perhaps in the entire country. We are prepared to and will do more for you in spite of any provocation.

“Since we came into government 4 years ago, we approved and carried out all outstanding promotions of teachers from 2013 to 2020. These seven promotions in four years are unprecedented in the history of the State.

“In line with our stance on adequate remuneration for staff, we ensured and implemented an incremental annual increase in salary (stepping) for teachers, which was stopped by the previous administration. We have also ensured that Teachers Salary Allowance for Higher Grade Level Teachers is paid in full. This means that very many teachers now earn upwards of N150,000 a month in salary and allowances. These allowances were stopped by the previous administration.

“We made sure that the Leave Transport Grant (LTG), which is the annual leave bonus for teachers, has been restored and paid up to date. This was not paid for by the previous administration.

“To ensure that primary schools run without hitches and that essential supplies are ready and available, we approved the payment of Subvention to Primary Schools, which was last paid in 2012,” he added.

Reaffirming his relentless commitment to the welfare of the teachers, the governor stated: “We are committed to the welfare of our gallant teachers and will continue to encourage them to deliver their best in classrooms because without their commitment, we cannot achieve our goal to make Edo great again. We sponsored some Teachers and Head Teachers’ to the UK and USA in 2018 and 2019 as part of our efforts to reward excellence in the teaching profession. The best performing Head Teachers in the state was given a brand-new house in 2019.

“Also, 21 teachers and one outstanding Education Secretary were recognized and given awards and gifts during the 2020 edition of World Teachers Day Celebration. In addition, an outstanding NPower Teacher was recognized for sterling performance and rewarded with One Million Naira (N1, 000,000) and automatic employment into the EdoSTAR Teachers Fellowship Programme.

“To ensure that teachers enjoy hassle-free retirement, pension processing by retired teachers have been reformed and made easy as teachers now get their pensions immediately they retire from service. Our desire is to include teachers in the Contributory Pension Scheme which civil servants are currently enjoying in Edo State, but some of your Union leaders are frustrating our efforts through disinformation to you.”

He continued: “With your support and despite the impediments of some of the union leaders, we were been able to completely overhaul the basic education sector of our State and retrained more than 11,000 teachers and restored your dignity as teachers. This is in contrast to the humiliation of the previous administration which was requesting for competency test from you.

“We did all of these for our teachers in Edo state at a time when some states are owing more than a year’s salary and are struggling to pay Teachers, Edo State has continued to pay Primary School Teachers as at when due.”

Noting that the planned strike action was politically motivated by the godfathers who are not interested in the growth and development of the state, Obaseki said: “My dear teachers, you can see that the action of the few elements within the NUT, Edo chapter who called you to go on strike has very little to do with your welfare. Rather, they have aligned with The Godfathers and are playing politics with your careers as well as the future of our primary school children in pursuit of their self-centered ends.

“They clearly have corrupt, selfish and parochial interests in pushing on with this despicable and unreasonable agenda. It is unfortunate that they would mortgage their ethics and integrity for political leverage.

“With the teeming support from you, our great and dedicated teachers, who have always kicked against oppression and intimidation, we fought and defeated those who wanted to derail our progress at the polls; we defeated them again in the courts. I assure you all that with your support and by the grace of God, we will defeat them yet again in the classroom.”

Obaseki further commended teachers who dissociated themselves from the ill-intentioned strike action, noting that adequate arrangements with relevant security agencies have been made to secure and protect the teachers and the pupils as well as school properties.

He said: “I thank the numerous teachers who have called and sent messages dissociating themselves from the so-called strike. I am assuring you that there will be adequate security in all our schools when you resume and anyone who attempts to cause disturbances would be dealt with in accordance with extant laws of our state. We have made adequate arrangements with relevant security agencies to secure and protect you, our children, and school properties.

“For those who unfortunately may decide to stay away from school, please know that government would implement the ‘No Work, No Pay’. Anyone who refuses to show up for work would not be paid for the period they did not work.

“With your support, Edo state is now acknowledged globally as one of the states in Africa which is transforming its educational system. Edo State was the only sub-national out of the top 5 countries in Africa that got an award from the World Bank and Gates Foundation last year. Clearly, some people are not happy with the progress we are making and are bent on slowing us down. By the grace of God, they will not succeed.

“Once again, I urge our teachers that, in the interest of our shared values of progress and dedication to preserve the future of our children, please resume in class on the 1st of February.”

Pension Reforms: Obaseki Pays Over N12m To Families Of Five Deceased Workers

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

 

The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has paid over N12 million naira to families of five deceased workers as part of pension reforms.

The governor presented the cheques to the next-of-kin of the deceased workers, who were enrolled in the Contributory Pension Scheme.

Presenting the cheques on behalf of the governor, Edo State Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa Esq., reassured that the Obaseki-led administration will not relent on its effort at ensuring that workers and pensioners in the state are well catered for.

According to him, “We have always placed the welfare of our workers as a top priority because we believe so much in them and consider them essential for the success of our programmmes and policies.”

He sympathized with the families of the deceased employees, noting that the government appreciates and values the efforts that their benefactors put in their work while in service.

The governor also acknowledged the Edo State Pension Bureau and the office of the Head of Service for keeping in line with the vision and mission of the government since the inception of the Contributory Pension Scheme in 2017, “the Contributory Pension Scheme since its commencement in the state has instilled confidence in the employees.”

On their part, the beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to the Governor Obaseki-led state government for the quick response in paying entitlements of deceased employees.

Our Reforms Will Ensure Institutions Drive Sustainable Devt In Edo – Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, addresses residents in a state-wide broadcast in August 7, 2020.

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is strengthening the state government apparatus and mechanisms to ensure that institutions, not personalities will drive sustainable development in the state.

The governor, in a statement, noted that an essential part of the ongoing civil and public service reforms is to build enduring public institutions that will empower the workforce to deploy technology to enhance better service delivery to Edo people.

Obaseki said, “We commenced work for our second term with a comprehensive exercise to strengthen the ability of civil and public servants to deliver service to the people of Edo State. We are strengthening the processes, functions, institutions, and personnel of the public service so that institutions, not personalities will drive sustainable development in Edo today and in years to come.”

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He reiterated the state government’s resolve to provide durable public infrastructure and maintenance culture in government, adding, “as we continue to prioritize development of road infrastructure, public buildings and many projects in our rural areas and urban areas.

The governor urged Edo people to “come together to ensure the success of this government. Your Government can only succeed when we all play our role by fulfilling our own obligations, particularly by paying our taxes. It is only by paying your taxes that the government can raise the required funds and resources to finance development projects.”

According to him, as part of the promise to bestow the state with a 30-year Masterplan, “we have procured the services of experts to begin the process of designing the Urban and Regional Master Plan. In tandem with the planning process, I will be launching Project Clean and Green Edo this year.

“This project will involve citizen and corporate participation in beautification and planting of trees, particularly in urban areas,” Obaseki added.

PDP, Obaseki Close Case As Witness Confirms Authenticity Of Certificate

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State have closed their case on the ground that the governor does not need more witnesses to establish his innocence in the alleged certificate forgery suit filed against him by the APC and a chieftain of the party, Mr. William Edobor.

At the resumed hearing of the suit on Wednesday before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the defense concluded their case with the testimony of their third witness, Professor Eghosa Osaghae of the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Ibadan.

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The certified true copy of Obaseki’s Political Science certificate issued by the University of Ibadan in 1979 was admitted as exhibit by the court, with the defense arguing that the incomplete photocopied certificate presented to INEC by Mr. Obaseki does not invalidate the authenticity of the certificate.

The witness in trying to make an analogy, narrated his experience while trying to make a duplicate copy of his certificate on an A4 paper, stressing that the portion of the date and registrar’s signature was cut off in the process of photocopying.

Under cross-examination, Professor Oseghae said with the constraints in photocopying a document from an A5 to A4 paper he will take the risk and tender an incomplete copy of his certificate wherever it is required bearing in mind that he is in possession of the original certificate which can be verified later.

COVID-19 Second Wave: Obaseki Asks Residents To Avoid Crowded Places

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the state government’s strategy to tackle the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is to reduce the rate of spread and the disease death rate in the state.

The governor, who said this in a statewide broadcast, noted that the government has reactivated isolation and treatment facilities and disease surveillance protocol to contain the spread of the virus in the state.

According to him, “Even though we have created the capacity to respond to the new outbreak of COVID-19, our strategy to cope with the second wave is to decrease the incidence of the disease and decrease the mortality from the disease.

“In order to decrease the number of COVID-19 cases and reduce deaths from this second wave, we must emphasis public enlightenment. As much as possible, you should avoid crowded places, closed places, and close contact with other people.”

Stressing the need for caution as residents in the state celebrate the yuletide season, he said, “We appreciate that during the yuletide period, there are normally a lot of interactions with family and friends, but unfortunately, we would have to sacrifice this old practice so that we can be alive to enjoy many more Christmases and year-end activities in future.”

He continued: “As we celebrate this season of love, we must be circumspect so as not to lose our loved ones.

“In as much as the government will enforce the rules relating to COVID-19 in Edo State, it is important that each and every one of us take personal responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us. We must abide by all public health and safety measures to ensure that we are safe.”

COVID-19: Protect One Another Amid Second Wave, Obaseki Tells Edo Residents

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

 

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged Edo people and Nigerians to show love and reflect on the teachings of Jesus Christ, as they mark the Christmas celebration.

In a statement, the governor said, “On behalf of the government of Edo State, I celebrate with all Edo people, at home, and in the Diaspora, as we mark Christmas.

“Christmas season is an auspicious occasion to show love and reflect on the life of Jesus Christ, whose birth we are commemorating”.

Governor Obaseki urged the people of the state to accommodate themselves and protect one another despite the second wave of the pandemic.

“I urge you to accommodate one another and take personal responsibility to protect yourself and others amid the festivities in the wake of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As we celebrate with our friends, relatives, and neighbours, I enjoin you to spread the message of oneness, love, generosity, and hope for greater things as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.”

Edo Governorship Election: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Against Obaseki

 

The Edo State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Benin City has dismissed a petition filed by the Action Alliance (AA) and Ukonga Frank Onaivi against Godwin Obaseki, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The tribunal in its ruling read by one of the tribunal’s members, Justice Suleiman Yahaha Abubakar, ruled that in the petition against the first and second respondents, the petitioner having failed to file the pre-hearing notice is deemed to have abandoned the petition.

Also, in the petition against the third respondent, the tribunal held that the pre-hearing notice was not filed within time.

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The tribunal also delivered its ruling on the respondent’s oral objection seeking to dismiss the petition Agol Tracy Ebun filed against INEC, the PDP, and Godwin Obaseki, on the grounds of non-compliance with the rules of filing of the pre-hearing notice.

Also overruled was the application seeking to dismiss the petition of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) against INEC, the PDP, Godwin Obaseki, and Philip Shaibu for non-compliance with filing of pre-hearing notice, and ruled that there was full compliance on the part of the petitioner in all the petitions.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Yunusa Musa subsequently adjourned the two petitions till Monday the 14th of December.

100 Days In Office: I Am Embarking On Hiring Core Professionals – Obaseki

 

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, says the priority for his government as the second term gets underway is to higher professionals within the next 100 days. 

According to Governor Obaseki, the Edo State Government is expected to hire 3,000 new teachers and will also be creating new jobs in the agricultural sector.

He said this move will tackle the unemployment within the state.

Obaseki who was a guest on Channels Television Politics Today also spoke on reconciliation and healing efforts following his re-election.

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The governor on Thursday said he will not fail to reach out to his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole if he believes that the former APC Chairman has something tangible to contribute to the growth of Edo State.

“If I find out that he (Adams Oshiomhole) has anything to contribute as a citizen of Edo, sure, I would reach out to him,” Obaseki stated.

The governor, however, noted that at this point in time, he doesn’t see any positive contribution that Oshiomhole can make.

Speaking further, Governor Obaseki said his main opponent in the recently conducted Edo guber race, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, is yet to reach out to him.

Mr.Obaseki reiterated that there is no bitterness, adding that he has said on several occasions that Ize-Iyamu should work with the present government.

“If he reaches out to me, I will embrace him and if he has anything positive to contribute to our government we will welcome such contributions,” the governor said.

My Reelection Has Restored Confidence In Democracy, Says Obaseki

Governor Obaseki believes his reelection is a good sign for Nigeria’s democracy.

 

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State believes his reelection is a reference point in Nigeria’s history and has restored confidence in the country’s democracy. 

“What you, my dear people of Edo State, achieved on September 19 is the restoration of confidence in democracy and its institutions,” Obaseki said on Thursday during his inauguration for a second term in Benin City, Edo State.

“We have become a point of reference on how the will of the people can triumph in a democracy that functions properly.

“My reelection represents new hope. I see myself as a vessel in the redefinition of democracy in Nigeria and I am not unaware of the enormous responsibility this places on me.”

Time To Heal

For Obaseki, the task of making Edo State great again is an odious one. This, he noted, requires the contribution of every resident of the South-South state.

File photo: Governor Godwin Obaseki and his major rival in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, embrace each other at the palace of the Oba of Benin in Edo State on September 2, 2020.

 

“It is time to heal. We are kith and kin with a common destiny. Let’s stop dwelling in the past,” Obaseki noted while extending a hand of fellowship to his opponents in the September 19th Edo Governorship election.

“It time to take our common destiny in our hands and commence the odious task of making Edo great again.”

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While thanking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Edo residents for their support which ensured his reelection, Obaseki promised to improve on his performance and deliver democratic dividends to the people.

He promised to revamp the economy, tackle unemployment via the agriculture sector, and deliver quality healthcare to the people among others.

“I am encouraged by the trust you have bestowed on us and grateful for your belief in my leadership and my capacity to continue piloting the affairs of this great state,” the 63-year-old who defeated Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win a second term, added.

A Second Term 

Obaseki was returned elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling the highest number of votes in the keenly-contested poll.

“That Godwin Obaseki of PDP having satisfied the requirements of the law in meeting the 25 per cent in two-third of the local government areas in the state and having a margin of lead higher than the cancelled votes is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” Professor Rem-Rukeh, INEC Returning Officer for the poll and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Petroleum Resources, stated.

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The governor secured 307,955 of the total votes, 84,336 more votes than his closest rival Ize-Iyamu, who got 223, 619 votes.

Fourteen political parties fielded candidates to jostle for the office of the governor in the state.