UK To Sanction Individuals Who Perpetuate Violence In Edo, Ondo Elections

A file photo of the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing
A file photo of the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing

 

The United Kingdom on Tuesday said it will not hesitate to take actions against individuals it identifies as causing violence in the imminent elections in Edo and Ondo states.

According to a statement tweeted via the British High Commission, the UK sees the elections as another opportunity to strengthen Nigeria’s democratic institutions.

“As a friend and partner of Nigeria we are closely following the lead up to the off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states scheduled for September 19 and October 10 respectively,” the statement said.

“These elections are important, both as an essential element of effective governance within both states and an indicator of the strength of Nigeria’s democratic institutions.”

The UK’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has met with leaders of two main political parties, APC and PDP, as part of efforts to ensure the elections are held peacefully.

 

“The discussions focused on the need for the parties’ leaders to prevail on supporters to avoid violence before and after the elections,” the statement added.

The UK also said it welcomed the signing of a peace accord agreed to by major political parties and their candidates in Edo state earlier on Tuesday.

“We will be deploying observation missions to both the Edo and Ondo elections and supporting civil society led observation,” the statement continued.

“The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and, just as we did in the general election in 2019, will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during the elections. This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK based assets or prosecution under International law.

“The UK will continue to provide support and engagement as we move towards these elections. We urge INEC, the police and all other agencies involved to work toegether to deliver free, fair and credible elections.”

Makinde, Tambuwal Show Up As PDP Kicks Off Governorship Campaign In Ondo

Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde led other high-powered party representatives to kick-start the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship election in Ondo state on Saturday.

The PDP’s candidate for the election, scheduled to hold on October 10, is Eyitayo Jegede.

Supporters thronged out in their numbers to the MKO Abiola Democracy Park in Akure where the rally was held.

The Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, was also present at the rally to stand in solidarity with Jegede, as well as PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, who presented the party’s flag to Jegede.

Other dignitaries present at the PDP flag-off included the Senator representing Ekiti South, Abiodun Olujimi, and the PDP State Chairman, Fatai Adams.

READ ALSO: APC Governors Show Up As Akeredolu Flags-Off Re-Election Campaign In Akure

Representing Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the flag off was Segun Sowunmi.

“They (APC) said you should vote them because they want Presidency to come to Yoruba land,” Makinde said during his speech, which was, as much of the rally, punctuated by short bursts of political music.

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, hands over the party's flag to the party's candidate for the Ondo 2020 governorship election on September 12, 2020.
PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, hands over the party’s flag to the party’s candidate for the Ondo 2020 governorship election on September 12, 2020.

“This election is not about the presidency to Yoruba land. This election is about delivering Eyitayo Jegede and putting Ondo state as part of the states that will lead the charge to restructure Nigeria.”

A cross-section of the crowd at the PDP flag-off rally in Akure for the Ondo governorship election on September 12, 2020.
A cross-section of the crowd at the PDP flag-off rally in Akure for the Ondo governorship election on September 12, 2020.

 

Makinde, who is also the party’s Campaign Council chairman for the election, drew a comparison between his election in Oyo and the impending Ondo version.

Makinde won the Oyo elections in 2019 despite contesting under the PDP, which didn’t hold political sway in the state at the time, or at the federal level.

“We have people, and we have God,” he said. “In Ondo State, you have God and you have people. It happened in Oyo state, it will happen here.”

In his remarks, Tambuwal said the APC, the current ruling party in Ondo, was in disarray up to the national. “APC is not a choice for Ondo state,” he said.

Jegede will battle with incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC and others in the October 10 election.

PDP Set To Kick Off Governorship Campaign In Ondo

A photo showing the MKO Abiola park in Akure, venue of the PDP campaign flag-off for the Ondo governorship polls.
A photo showing the MKO Abiola Democracy Park in Akure, venue of the PDP campaign flag-off for the Ondo governorship poll.

 

The MKO Abiola Democracy Park in Akure, the Ondo state capital, was packed with political paraphernalia and supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday as the party prepared to kick start its governorship campaign for the November 10 election.

The venue is being manned by security operatives, including men of the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

The PDP’s candidate for the election is Eyitayo Jegede.

READ ALSO: APC Governors Show Up As Akeredolu Flags-Off Re-Election Campaign In Akure

The party was expected to flag off its campaign last Saturday but, instead, party leaders met in Oyo to strengthen its campaign strategy.

The All Progressives Congress, the party of incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also seeking re-election, flagged off its campaign on September 5.

Some of the dignitaries already present at the PDP flag-off include the Senator representing Ekiti South, Abiodun Olujimi, and the PDP State Chairman, Fatai Adams.

Representing Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the flag off is Segun Sowunmi.

Other dignitaries are still being expected to arrive at the venue.

The Chairman of the PDP governorship campaign committee, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde is expected to lead other PDP governors and Committee members to the rally.
Also expected is the National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, and other members of the National  Executive Council.
Jegede and his running mate Gboluga Ikengboju will be kicking off their statewide campaign from the Park, continuing to all the 18 local government councils of the state.

 

One Crushed To Death, Two Injured In Ondo Road Accident

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

One person has been crushed to death, while two others sustained injuries in a road traffic crash that occurred in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State.

The crash which happened at about 6:45 on Saturday involved a wine colour Toyota Primera with registration number Ang35bv, and a red Bajaj boxer motorcycle with no registration number.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC), Ondo State Sector Command, Omotola Ogunbanwo, the crash was caused by break failure and loss of control by the driver of the toyota vehicle.

Ogunbanwo said that the accident victims have been taken to the General Hospital in Ikare-Akoko for treatment, while the remains of the dead have been deposited at the morgue in the hospital.

This comes about two weeks ago when a similar road traffic crash happened in the area of the state.

On September 7, three commuters were killed and 14 others sustained various degrees of injuries in the fatal crash that occurred along the Owo/Ikare-Akoko area of the state.

The accident was said to have been caused by the driver of a Blue DAF Trailer with no registration number, which had a brake failure and crushed two other vehicles.

FRSC Spokesperson advised motorists to avoid over-speeding and dangerous driving.

She also urged them to avoid night journey, obey traffic rules, and ensure their vehicles are in good condition before embarking on any trip.

Three Killed, 14 Injured In Ondo Road Accident

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

Tragedy struck in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State following a road accident that claimed some lives and injured others.

Channels Television learned that three commuters were killed and 14 others sustained various degrees of injuries in the fatal crash that occurred along the Owo/Ikare-Akoko area of the state.

This was disclosed by the spokesperson of the Ondo State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Omotola Ogunbanwo.

She said the accident which happened on Sunday evening, was reported to have been caused by the driver of a Blue DAF Trailer with no registration number, which had a brake failure and crushed two other vehicles.

READ ALSO: Two Arrested For Allegedly Defrauding German Company Of €14.7m

A white Toyota Hiace bus with registration number BDF731XT, and a blue Mercedes Benz towing truck with no registration number were also involved in the accident.

According to her, the injured victims have been taken to the General Hospital, Ikare-Akoko, for treatment; while the remains of the dead have been deposited at the morgue at the General Hospital, Iwaro, Oka-Akoko.

The FRSC Spokesperson advised motorists to avoid over-speeding and dangerous driving.

She also urged them to avoid night journey, obey traffic rules, and ensure their vehicles are in good condition before embarking on any trip.

APC Governors Show Up As Akeredolu Flags-Off Re-Election Campaign In Akure

APC governors at the venue of the re-election campaign of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the Ondo State capital on September 5, 2020.

 

Governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) stormed Akure, the Ondo state capital on Saturday as Rotimi Akeredolu kicked off his re-election campaign ahead of the November poll.

Some of the Governors present in Akure were Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state.

However, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was expected to flag-off the campaign was absent.

Also absent was the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

READ ALSO: International Flights Resume In Lagos After Five Months

The party’s flag was presented to Akeredolu by acting National Chairman and Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni.

APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu was Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the Ondo State capital on September 5, 2020, before the campaign kickoff event took place.

 

“Ondo State is receiving first-class governance,” Sanwo-Olu said during his speech. “Ondo state is receiving a progressive man that has brought about real development.”

Akeredolu has “confirmed all promises,” Fayemi said as he urged the crowd at the campaign event to return the Governor for a second term. “Four more years of APC is four more years of development.”

Speaking in Yoruba, Akeredolu warned his supporters that “there is work to do” in order to prevent contesting parties from rigging the election.

Also present at the event was the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.

“The turnout here is an indication that he is done well for the people of Ondo state,” the Minister said, “and that there is a very great likelihood that he will be re-elected. And I believe that when he is re-elected, he will perform better than what he has done now, despite the limited resources he has.”

‘The masses are with us’

Meanwhile, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party postponed the flag-off of its campaign for candidate Eyitayo Jegede till September 12; it was originally scheduled for today.

Instead, the PDP campaign team met in Ibadan to strengthen strategy for the November 10 election.

Jegede, after the meeting, said the APC stood no chance.

“The people of Ondo state have now seen the negative effects of APC administration,” he said.

“If they are sure of their position, then they should not have threatened violence, they shouldn’t have said they are relying on federal might, which is what they have been saying all along.

“The masses are with us and they should not impose any violence on the state; let’s have a free and fair election, any day, any time APC will go down.”

The National Organising and Mobilising Secretary of the PDP, Sen. Austin Akobundu, also said the PDP will not take anything for granted in its quest to reclaim Ondo state.

‘The Masses Are With Us’: PDP Confident Of Victory In Ondo Election, Says Jegede

Candidate of the PDP for the 2020 Ondo Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, spoke to reporters on September 5, 2020.
Candidate of the PDP for the 2020 Ondo Governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede, spoke to reporters on September 5, 2020.

 

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede on Saturday said his party was confident of victory.

Mr Jegede spoke to reporters after a stakeholders meeting held at the Oyo State Government House in Agodi, Ibadan, to strategise towards the election.

“The people of Ondo state have now seen the negative effects of APC administration,” Jegede said.

“If they are sure of their position, then they should not have threatened violence, they shouldn’t have said they are relying on federal might, which is what they have been saying all along.

READ ALSO: Akeredolu Flags-Off Re-Election Campaign In Akure

“The masses are with us and they should not impose any violence on the state; let’s have a free and fair election, any day, any time APC will go down.”

The National Organising and Mobilising Secretary of the PDP, Sen. Austin Akobundu, also said the PDP will not take anything for granted in its quest to reclaim Ondo state.

The election is scheduled for October 10 with incumbent Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC also seeking re-election.

On Saturday, Akeredolu flagged-off his re-election campaign in Akure.

The event was graced by other APC Governors.

PHOTOS: APC Governors, Others Storm Ondo For Akeredolu’s Re-Election Campaign

APC governors at the venue of the re-election campaign of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the Ondo State capital on September 5, 2020.

 

Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State were filled with energy and excitement on Saturday as they welcomed party leaders from various parts of the country.

This comes ahead of the flag off of the party’s campaign for the incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is seeking re-election for another term in office.

APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, and Chairman of the APC National Campaign Council for the Ondo State Governorship Election, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, were among party leaders in Ondo to canvass support for Akeredolu.

Also in attendance included Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Simon Lalong (Plateau), and Babagana Zulum (Borno), among others.

Meanwhile, the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, and one of the founding fathers of the party chieftain, Bisi Akande, were also in Ondo, but were not present at the venue of the campaign.

APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the Ondo State capital on September 5, 2020.

According to a Facebook post by Governor Akeredolu, Tinubu was in the state to commission the new headquarters of the Ondo State Internal Revenue Service in Akure.

The flag-off of Governor Akeredolu’s re-election campaign held in Akure, the state capital a day after he got the endorsement of the President to represent the APC in the poll.

President Muhammadu Buhari who presented the party’s flag to the governor on Friday in Abuja was confident that the APC would with the election fairly.

He had, however, urged members of the ruling party to work diligently and ensure fairness in electoral processes.

See more photos below:

Ondo Election: Buhari Endorses Akeredolu, Says APC Will Win Fairly

President Muhammadu Buhari endorses Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as the APC candidate in the Ondo State governorship election in Abuja on September 4, 2020.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed Governor Rotimi Akeredolu as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.

He gave his approval on Friday when he met with the governor who visited him at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

While the meeting was ongoing, President Buhari presented the APC flag to Governor Akeredolu, as a sign of his endorsement.

He urged members of the ruling party to work diligently and ensure fairness in electoral processes, in their bid to return the APC’s governorship candidate for a second term in office.

The President noted that the reconciliation process in the state branch of the party had provided a solid ground for an easier clear victory for the candidate than he achieved in his first term.

He assured Governor Akeredolu of the party’s full support but stressed that a peaceful and fair election that reflects the will of the people must be uppermost.

L-R: Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor Mai Mala Buni, President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, and Governor Simon Lalong at the State House in Abuja on September 4, 2020.

 

President Buhari also urged party supporters not to get carried away with the election at a time when the country was fighting COVID-19 and adhere to the regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He described the party’s mechanism for resolving differences among aggrieved members as most effective.

The President also stated that the mechanism would be sustained to strengthen relationships and project the objectives of the APC as people-focused and development-oriented.

Governor Akeredolu was presented to the President by the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe State.

The meeting also had in attendance Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his Plateau State counterpart, Governor Simon Lalong, who respectively serve as the chairman and deputy chairman of the party’s National Campaign Council for the Ondo State Governorship Election.

INEC had fixed October 10 to conduct the governorship election across the wards in all local government areas of the state.

Gunmen Abduct General Hospital Chief, Two Others In Ondo

Medical doctors protest in Cross River…

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

Gunmen have kidnapped Dr Olufemi Adeogun, the Chief Medical Director of the General Hospital at Idoani town in Ondo State.

Dr Adeogun was abducted at gunpoint along with two other persons with him in his vehicle on Monday night.

The incident occurred around Owani along the Idoani Road in Ose Local Government Area of the state.

They were said to be on their way to Owo town before they were accosted by the armed men who took them away to an undisclosed location.

The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Tuesday.

He, however, noted that men of the command have since swung into action, combing the nearby bush and the entire vicinity to rescue the victims.

Ikoro believes with the prompt action of the security operatives, the victims would soon be rescued and the kidnappers would be apprehended and brought to justice.

Medical Doctors Protest

Elsewhere, in Cross River State, some medical doctors embarked on a peaceful protest on Tuesday over the kidnap of their colleague, Dr Vivien Otu, a paediatrician and a staff of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

Medical doctors in Cross River protest against the abduction of their colleague.

 

They took to the streets of the state capital carrying placards with inscriptions such as “Why Always Doctors?”, and “Release Doctor Vivienne Otu”, among others, and vowed to down tools until their abducted colleague was released.

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Innocent Abang, decried that medical doctors have now become endangered people as a result of the incessant kidnap of their colleagues.

“This is a doctor that would stand on her feet and make sure other people’s children survive, this is a doctor that would pull out her money to buy drugs for helpless children.

“Today, that is the reward she gets for saving lives in Cross River State; the reward is for her to be kidnapped and tormented,” he lamented.

In its reaction, the Cross River State government promised to ensure that Dr Vivien and others kidnapped were rescued by the security agencies.

Medical doctors protest in Cross River State on September 1, 2020.

Court Reinstates Three Suspended Ondo Assembly Members

(File Photo) The Ondo State House of Assembly.

 

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has reinstated the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Iroju Ogundeji and two other lawmakers.

The affected lawmakers were recently suspended by the leadership of the House over alleged misconduct.

Apart from reinstating the lawmakers, the court also ordered the House to immediately pay all their entitlements with a sum of N5 million compensation to each of them.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola insisted that it was illegal to prevent an elected legislator from duly representing his or her constituency.

According to Justice Bola, the suspension of the lawmakers violated sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Deputy Speaker and the other two suspended lawmakers were among nine members of the House who declined to sign the impeachment notice of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi two months ago, after the latter defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly Suspends Deputy Speaker, One Other

Following their suspension, the lawmakers through their lawyer, Banjo Ayelakin, approached the court to challenge what he described as their unlawful suspension by the parliament.

The suit has the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Deputy Majority Leader, the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Clerk of the House as defendants.

Justice Bola in the verdict ruled that the suspension of the Lawmakers violates sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This comes a month after the lawmakers were suspended over an alleged unruly behaviour.

APC Sweeps Ondo LG Polls

 

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has swept to victory in the Ondo State council polls which held on Saturday.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of Ondo State Independent Electoral Commission (ODIEC), Professor Yomi Dinakin.

Announcing the results at the commission’s head office on Sunday in Akure, the state capital, Dinakin noted out of the 18 local government areas in the state, there were no elections in five councils.

The five local councils include Akoko North-East, Ose, Ifedore, Odigbo and Irele.

Only the APC fielded candidates in the local governments, and hence were declared winners.

Similarly, the remaining 13 local government areas include: Ese Odo, Akoko South-West, Akure South, Ilaje, Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo, Okitipupa, Ondo West and Akure North.

READ ALSO: APC Takes Early Lead In Ondo LG Polls

Others include Owo, Akoko North West, Akoko South-West, Idanre and Ondo East.

The Returning Officers from the local government areas brought the results collated to ODIEC office where they were announced.

APC also won 194 councillorship seats out of 198, while the results in the four remaining wards were declared inconclusive.

Ten political parties including the ruling APC participated in the election.

The major opposition parties – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) however boycotted the election.