· Urges Ebea to face his principal, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu
The Deputy Governor of Edo State, Comrade Phillip Shaibu, on Saturday hit back at the former deputy speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Festus Ebea.
He described his comments on the 2024 governorship election as sickening and unacceptable.
‘’ My destiny is in the hands of God and it is only God that can determine the future. I don’t know the next position that God is taking me. I am not like Ebea that brags on his ability. I brag on God’s ability, which is my driving force. He should speak about himself. He should not speak for me. Festus Ebea should face his principal, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu that Adams Oshiomhole confirmed to be a renowned thief’’
In a statement in Benin by the Deputy Governor’s Senior Special Assistant on media, Mr Benjamin Atu, Shaibu said the former deputy speaker absconded from his duty post.
‘’Festus Ebea is not my friend and we do not belong to the same school of thought. I belong to the school of thought representing the people when voted for. I did not abscond from my duty post like he did when he was voted for in his constituency. He should check my record and his record. I did not abandon my duty post anytime as he did. Adams Oshiomhole once called him Ebola. I think the Ebola virus is still affecting him. Being the deputy governor today was not in my programme. It was God’s programme and since I became the deputy governor, I have left my future in the hands of God. I am not like them that will want to play God and decide what will happen two or three years from now. No man can determine what will happen tomorrow except God’’
Specifically, Shaibu said the executive aspect of politics was never in his calculation.
‘’ The good people of Edo State must condemn the evil machination of Ebea, his highly contagious anointing to lie and the satanic style to mislead the people.
The statement urged Ebea and his co-travellers to appreciate the exceptional leadership of the deputy governor.
‘’I believe in facing my mandate. I have never had any discussion with him and I will never have any discussion with him. He should stop dragging me into nonsense political talk’’
The statement also thanked the good and peace loving people of Edo State for refusing to be hoodwinked by the tissue of lies and propaganda being woven and dishes out by the ex-deputy speaker and his sponsors.
Edo Deputy Governor returns home, insists APC foundation gone in Edo State
A positive political horizon which signposts the victory of Governor Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election, rejection of godfatherism, people’s power in politics and the state’s agenda for sustainable development were given at the weekend by Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Phillip Shaibu as the four main reasons for quitting the All Progressives Congress (APC).
‘’I am keeping the tenets of what we believe. Comrade Adams Oshiohmole told us that Godwin Obaseki is a team player and member of the family. He told us Obaseki knows the tradition of the family. I also know the tradition of the family. What is the tradition of the family? Say no to godfatherism, say yes to development. That is the tradition of the family. Our project has become the people’s project. It is not just our project but the Nigerian project because of the victimization we suffered. I am excited. I am happy that I am doing the will of my people. I am happy that the decisions taken so far are decisions that are blessed by my people. I am happy that I have not disappointed them’’ he said.
The deputy governor says the odds are in the favour of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
‘’I don’t think I have opponent in Etsako West. Politics is all about people and for the benefit of the people and the good of the people. Politics that we play now is the politics that is defined as politics of the people and by the people. We returned power to the people. That has been our slogan. Let the people lead. It is that slogan that propels some of us to continually do the will of the people. When you check at Phillip Shaibu being a member of the Edo State House of Assembly, voted for by Etsako West Constituency 11 and you check Phillip Shaibu that was voted for in the House of Representatives and you check the Phillip Shaibu that is the present deputy governor and by the grace of God and the support of the people second term deputy governor and compare Gani Audu, who was a member of Edo State House of Assembly –first term, got second term by luck but refused to be sworn in. Check his records and check my records, check the record of the governor of Edo State. It is the first four years of Governor Godwin Obaseki as a politician. Check the record of his opponent. Adams Oshiomhole has told us all. He has defined us. Oshiomhmole has defined me as a politician. Oshiomhole has defined the governor as a politician and Oshiomhole has also defined pastor as a politician. Without me saying it, Oshiomhole has helped us to say who is popular and who should be voted. Oshiomhole has always said that Obaseki is the best among these two in terms of qualification and doing the will of the people. He is number one and he has always told us that the second man, Ize-Iyamu is a thief. I can tell you Oshiomhole is proud of me’’ he said.
Shaibu told reporters in Uzairue, Etsako West that every taken step so far made had been accepted by the good people of Edo State.
‘’Edo North is the home of development. Edo North is home for politics and Edo North is where we established the new tradition of development when we brought in Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. When people say I sacrificed a lot to have a government and a system that is working, I say yes I sacrificed a lot to have a system that is working but I can tell you that one of the greatest sacrifices I have made in my political career is leaving the party I helped to build, the party I labored for. I wrote the mission statement of Grace Group that metamorphosed to AC and ACN that merged to now have APC. So you can call me a foundation member. We formed APC. So to leave that party to PDP is one sacrifice that we have to make for the development and the sustainability of the tradition of development in Edo State. That is they joy I have. I did not hesitate to move when we were chased out by the man that is a beneficiary of our collective struggle’’.
He said it was regrettable that Oshiomhole moved away from the family tradition in Edo State.
‘’Adams Oshiomhole threw us out, disqualified us from the party that we formed. Oshiomhole had always told me that when a man throws a stone into your house and you do not show that there is a man in that house, then you are not manly to be called a man. So it was a time to actually show him that a stone has been thrown into our house and that there are men in the house that are capable of dealing with that. That is what we have done by moving to PDP. I am excited about the warm reception we got in PDP. It is the first time and I can tell you that it is the people that made the party, not the party that made the people. I can tell you that the vision that we established in APC has not changed. We are taking it to the next level. I can also assure you that the wealth of experience and that developmental strive are what we are bringing in to PDP. By the grace of God, our people will be the best for it. For us, it is all about the people and the people must continue to lead. We are in PDP and we will make PDP work just like we made APC to work. That we have left APC, the foundation of APC is gone. One man cannot dictate the destiny of Edo North. That is what we fought against. No one man can determine what Phillip Shaibu will be tomorrow. No one man can determine what you will be tomorrow. Leadership must start from the grassroots. The people must decide. The people must lead. I am happy that the man that was a beneficiary of this struggle is still alive and is seeing his children sustaining that legacy which is the tradition of the family that was defined by Oshiomhole’’
Shaibu, in a joyous mood throughout the interactive session with newsmen, thanked the peopleof Etsako West for their support.
‘This period is not the best time for me when it comes to politicking because my style has to do with crowd and direct contact with my people. The corona virus is not giving us that space. That they even came out today shows the love that they have for me. I was only concerned about their health. The crowd is always there and that crowd is what has been keeping me far from coming home because I know there is no way I can control that crowd each time I come. I am deeply excited. I have never doubted their support for me. God has helped me not to disappoint them in all the elections that I have been voted in here’’
Lawyer raises alarm over N15 billion NDDC payments
· Urges Buhari, Lawan, Gbajabiamila to stop payment of N15 billion to contractors
A legal practitioner, Mr. Godwin Ojeh, has lamented what he called corruption of self-enrichment in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Nigerian Senate , Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to stop the payment of N15 billion to contractors.
‘’The Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission has thrown caution to the winds. It is about to pay for jobs not done. The committee is processing the payment of a whooping amount of N15billion on spurious contracts in the name of ‘’Desilting of Waterways’’.
He particularly decried the misappropriation in the management of the funds of the commission.
‘Is the 2020 budget of the commission ready? Where are they spending from? ’Recently, the Senate set up an ad hoc committee to probe the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged mismanagement of N40billion. The Senate also requested for 2019 budgetary performance. The commission doesn’t have power to expend public money. There is no budgetary provision’’.
In a tone suggestive of his hatred for corruption, the Benin based lawyer asked the National Assembly and the executive arm of the government to stop the commission from wasting the country’s resources.
In a statement in Benin, Ojeh described the intention of the NDDC Interim Management Committee as ‘’a move that will endanger development of the region.
‘’There is no greater danger to the development of the Niger Delta region than the payments for fictitious contracts’’ the statement said.
He also harped on the need for transparency in government organizations, saying ‘’it is necessary for the National Assembly and the executive arm of government to adopt a collective position on the allegation of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’’.
Obaseki will defeat Ize-Iyamu, says Atu
The Senior Special Assistant on media to Edo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Benjamin Atu on Monday evening expressed confidence in the victory of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in the September 19 governorship election.
‘’Governor Godwin Obaseki embodies what is special about Edo State. He is the candidate Edo people can trust to move the state forward’’
Atu spoke at a gathering of Edo people in Abuja.
He emphasized Obaseki’s political experience, dynamic leadership and quality of his thought.
The media professional said Obaseki would attract foreign investments into the state, spread the dividends of democracy to all the nooks and crannies of Edo State and generate employment for the people.
‘Edo State will continue to experience economic development and good governance’’ he said.
The deputy governor’s media aide described Obaseki as a pragmatist, good leader, competent administrator and an asset to Edo State.
He said the PDP candidate would defeat APC governorship candidate, Pastor Ize-Iyamu.
Atu also took a shot at the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, mocking the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He described Ganduje’s action as a clever ploy to whip up mundane sentiments to cover his dismal performance in Kano State
‘’The people of Edo State have a choice in this governorship race. They have a choice of who they will elect to govern them and I believe there is no substitute for integrity and principle’’ Atu said.
Known for speaking bluntly, Atu said Obaseki’s humble disposition, simplicity and humane disposition towards the people endeared him to the masses.
‘’Obaseki’s commitment to principle in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness were some of the attributes that brought him into collision with his traducers’’.
He urged voters to focus on the track record of the PDP governorship candidate.
‘’Godwin Obaseki’s capacity is beyond question. We need character in Osadebe Avenue’’ he said.
Okpella leaders disown Kassim Afegbua
Prominent Okpella leaders on Monday acknowledged the vision, maturity and leadership style of Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.
They also praised Governor Obaseki for instituting accountability, paving way for economic development and channeling his energies towards executing projects that ameliorate the suffering of the people.
The leaders spoke gloriously of the remarkable achievements of Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu.
At a meeting focused on mapping out strategies for the governorship election in Okpella, the leaders described the Obaseki-led government as the most purposeful and resolute in the history of Edo State.
They listed forthrightness, firmness, integrity, fairness, multi-faceted experiences, intelligence and ideas as factors contributing to Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu’s exceptional leadership.
The leaders launched a strongly-worded attack against former commissioner for Information in Edo State, Mr Kassim Afegbua, describing his criticism of Obaseki and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as harsh and misleading.
‘’Kassim Afegbua is a puppet who is twitching to the pull of the strings of certain individuals in the country. Okpella is not a shelter for unlawful or greedy politicians’’
In a communiqué, the leaders heaped scorn on Afegbua for dabbling in the affairs of the PDP and mocking him as the mouth-piece of those plotting to create crisis in Edo State.
The communiqué signed by the convener of the meeting, Engineer Akemokue Lukman and other elders condemned Afegbua and those behind him for deviating from party line and encouraging anarchy in the PDP.
‘’It is totally irresponsible for Afegbua and his sponsors to promote chaos in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Afegbua and his sponsors want to turn back the clock on the progress so far made in Edo State’’
They accused Afegbua of inserting community projects in the state’s budget and selling them.
‘’ Afegbua did enrich himself during his tenure as commissioner. Such a man of questionable character can’t come out in the open to cry on behalf of Okpella people. Afegbua boasts of his closeness to Adams Oshiomhole. As Media Adviser and Commissioner for Communication, what effort did he make about the construction of roads in Okpella?
The leaders commended Obaseki for rehabilitating Afokpella Road.
‘’Kassim Afegbua should acknowledge the excellent performance of Obaseki. Most of the roads were influenced by commissioners and Special Advisers in Oshiomhole’s government. Mike Itemuagbor ensured that the North Ibie roads were constructed. Comrade Philip Shaibu ensured that all the roads in his Uzairue/South Obie constituency were constructed. Hajia Maryam, the commissioner from Auchi ensured that most Auchi roads were budgeted for and constructed. Clement Agba, a commissioner from Uzanu, ensured that all roads in Uzanu community were constructed. The talk of performance by Afegbua is all propaganda. He has nothing to show for his years in government in his community’’.
Specifically, the leaders praised the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and other party chieftains for doing what is best for Edo State
‘’We come from different background with divergent political ideologies. We also hold a variety of views. However, let us put the people ahead. Let us support Godwin Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu in creating a state which everyone experiences a better life. Let us work in cooperation for the governorship election’’
They promised to teach the All Progressives Congress (APC) a lesson in democracy on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
‘’The future of Edo State is only safe in the hands of the PDP, Godwin Obaseki and Phillip Shaibu’’
The leaders also had advice for Nigerians, particularly Edo people.
‘’Quit the APC and other mushroom parties. PDP is getting stronger every day in Edo State. It has a big advantage of winning the September 19 governorship election’’