“WE WERE NOT SURPRISED AT THE OUTCOME OF THE SATURDAY GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION”- APC
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State today owned up that the loss of the party in last Saturday’s gubernatorial elections in the state to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was expected.
This revelation was made known today at a press briefing held at the temporary secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), DDPA Housing Estate, Asaba by a group of APC stalwart known as Coalition of Delta APC Support Group.
The group leader, Prince Daniel Ekiugbo, in a three-page text, accused the APC candidate, Chief Great Ogboru and Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of securing undeserved backing of the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and assuring him of a support base they never had.
“We were not surprised at the outcome of the Saturday gubernatorial election in Delta State, as the stage for failure has since last year been set when Chief Great Ogboru who just joined the party took the destructive decision to hijack the party in display of desperation”, Prince Ekiugbo said, adding: ”Unfortunately, working with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, they were able to hoodwink and secure the undeserved backing of our National Chairman Comr. Adams Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee of the Party.
“It was disheartening to see that after they achieved their objectives which ended up factionalizing the party, they made no efforts to unite the party by stooping to conquer. And worst still, inspite of commendable efforts by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to unite the party in the State ahead of the elections, Chief Ogboru still didn’t seize the opportunity to reach out to the Ogodo/Emerhor side to procure peace and unity. Even worse, he also either pushed aside or completely ignored other key stakeholders particularly in the Delta North like Engr. Hyacinth Enuha, Rt. Hon. Engr. Victor Ochei, Professor Pat Utomi, Mrs Marian Ali, Dr. Cairo Ojuogo and others thereby unwittingly conceding the whole of Delta North District to Okowa right from the get go!. In the South District, Ogboru neither cultivated in key person nor did he have any persons, nor plans in place to win, while at home in his Delta Central District, he naively believed he would win 100% without making any efforts to unite the party in Central for such task.
Prince Ekiugbo stated that the APC candidate made every arrangement for failure possible by not carrying along critical stakeholders or make effort to unite the party in the state, adding that he operated a one-man show.
According to Prince Ekiugbo“Chief Ogboru acted like a man determined to fail at all costs by ignoring and refusing to carry along even the old APC members who joined him with Prophet Jones Erue. He stubbornly chose to work only with the few Labour Party people who he came into the APC with. Even at that, he couldn’t manage things properly within his inner circle as there were open hostilities and in fighting between his core people and those of Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege on one hand, and former Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s people on the other hand.
“While the PDP was busy going round the nooks and crannies of the State with an aggressive campaign, Chief Ogboru refused to embark on intensive grassroots campaigns round the State to market his manifesto to the people simply because of his total dependence on a so-called Federal might, which made him to also ignore every other critical stakeholders and groups, even including Buhari Support Groups in the State. He had not a single bill board or posters particularly in Delta north and South of the State. He only held rallies, sometimes, combining 3 LGAs in one location, and then naively went away believing he has campaigned in those two Senatorial zones!
“It is pertinent to note that the National Working Committee’s recognition of the Jones Exco was nothing but handing over the Party’s Gubernatorial Ticket to the electoral merchant, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru – a Man with no electoral value who was over-sold himself to our National Chairman Comr Oshiomhole! His destructive deception then left the Delta APC comatose with the attendant implications which are the woeful failure that the Party suffered in the hands of the PDP at the Saturday March 9 elections.
“While we are not ignorant of the fact that a winner must emerge in every contest, the loss of APC in the Delta 2019 gubernatorial election becomes more painful to us when we realize the enormous opportunities available to the APC to win the election but which were misappropriated by Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru who has proven himself as a man without a strong political structure that has been responsible for his failures in the previous 5 consecutive governorship elections he participated in since 2003 to 2015 before crossing over to APC.
“For the first time for Delta APC, we had the massive power of the federal government at the centre behind us, our National leadership stood firmly for us providing enormous support in resources and otherwise. The masses of Delta State were ready to effect a change in Delta. But what we clearly did not have was a focused and determined Governorship candidate to translate the opportunity to victory! In fact, we consider it a notorious fraud for Great Ogboru to waste the 2019 APC Gubernatorial Ticket in such questionable and shameful circumstances where the Party won a paltry 2 Local Government Areas out of 25 with alarming figures of 215,938 against PDP’s 925,274.”
APC SUPPORT GROUP CALLS FOR PROBING OF OGBORU OVER MISMANAGEMENT OF N3 BILLION
A call has gone to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Great Ogboru, over an alleged mismanagement of N3 billion released to him for the just concluded gubernatorial election in Delta State.
The call was made today at a press briefing in Asaba, by the Coalition of Delta APC Support Group led by Prince Daniel Ekiugbo.
The requested the president to ask Chief Ogboru, to explain the whereabout of what it described as ‘huge financial provision for the entire 2019 general election amounting to three billion naira.
The group leader, Prince Ekiugbo asserted: “We call on the National Leader of the Party, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and our National Working Committee led by Comr. Adams Oshiomhole to immediately set inquiry for Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru to explain the whereabouts of the huge Financial Provisions for the entire 2019 General Elections. It is of public knowledge that Great Ogboru presented a budget of over THREE BILLION NAIRA, which budget was over funded and availed to him. There was no evidence any where that he spent N1 billion for the elections. He refused to properly disburse and chose to release paltry amounts only to his few chosen supporters. Even for his LGA rallies, he never released one Kobo, instead he directed that local leaders and supporters task themselves to fund such rallies, and because most leaders couldn’t raise such funds, a lot of LGA rallies were either abandoned or turn out to be huge flops! We also have it on good authority that commissioner positions were sold N50 million each in advance to raise funds that were diverted from the campaigns!
“APC, as a Mega Political Party, cannot be brought to the low level of mushroom political parties where Ogboru has been practicing his hit-and-run politics of election racketeering and getting away with the dubious acts. Ogboru should be probed!
“Be that as it may, our deepest sympathies goes to the teaming population of Delta APC membership who dearly desired change as encased in our slogan of “APC – TAKE OVER DELTA STATE”, which however could not materialize following this misadventure of Great Ogboru which was purely driven by a selfish ambition to rake-in election funds without any strategies put in place to guarantee victory.
“Finally, we reiterate our demand that the National Working Committee (NWC) of our great party to set up a panel of enquiry to immediately review the outcome of the Delta APC overall performance in the just concluded election: The funds received by the campaign council, the disbursement of funds and those who received the funds at various Local Government Areas in the State and to review the results from each polling units across the State as it was noticed that most leaders played anti party at various levels in the State. We demand for ‘Operation Show your ward results from every leader in Delta APC’ irrespective of who they are or the positions they hold. We understand that Chief Ogboru and a number of his supporters who could not even win their polling units, not to talk of wards, have all concluded arrangements to beseech Abuja and again lie and hoodwink our National Chairman and other National leaders in a bid to secure juicy federal political appointments!
“We must separate the Sheep’s from the Goat’s in Delta APC and only empower performing leaders in order to so have a formidable and strong party in our State going forward.”
PPA GUBER CANDIDATE, OBIRE CONGRATULATES OKOWA… SAYS BUILDING STRONGER DELTA OVERRIDES POLITICAL INTERESTS… URGES OTHERS TO JOIN HANDS WITH OKOWA… AS OKOWA HARPS ON BREAKING NEW GROUNDS
The Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) candidate in the March 9, 2019 governorship elections, Dr Oghenejodiakpo Obire, has congratulated Senator Ifeanyi Okowa on his electoral victory, saying building a stronger Delta State overrides personal or political affiliations.
Dr Obire, who was in Government House, Asaba yesterday [14-03-19] to congratulate Governor Okowa on his successful re-election at the polls, stated: “After elections, it is governance and peace is essential for development to take place.”
“I came here to congratulate the governor personally because, the election was a tedious process and it is only good that we congratulate him for emerging victorious; if you contest in an election, you either win or you lose, but, as it concerns the governorship elections, we are all winners,” he said, adding: “We are ready to partner with the governor in whichever way he believes we should assist him, I as an individual will gladly assist him and I urge other gubernatorial candidates of other political parties to come out and congratulate Governor Okowa for us to move on as a state because, no individual interest or political affiliation should be bigger than our collective interests as Deltans.”
Governor Okowa in his response, said: “I want to thank Dr Obire for this courtesy call; we are all Deltans and as brothers, I am ready to partner with all Deltans as much as possible for us to build a stronger Delta State.”
“It is important that we run a state that will be in the best interest of our people that is why we consult our people, we engage in town hall meetings because, the overriding objective of governance, is meeting with the yearnings and aspirations of our people,” Governor Okowa said, asserting: “This courtesy call by Dr Obire is something that I cherish; we have gone through the elections, the stage of contest is over and it is time to build peace, partner with our people and consolidate on our achievements as a people for our state to be the envy of all.”
He continued: “With this gentleman gesture by Dr Obire, I urge other Deltans who participated in the electoral process but did not emerge victorious to come out and partner with us in the development of our state in achieving their dream and our collective dream for our state.”
“It Is time for reconciliation, we have to move forward together in the interest of the state, I therefore call all contestants to join hands with me to build our state, we will tap into the knowledge and ideas of Deltans to build a stronger, prosperous Delta State” , the governor declared.
CHIEF JUDGE TASKS LEGAL PRACTITIONERS ON SOCIETY’S INTEREST IN CRIMINAL CASES
The Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has enjoined legal practitioners to place the interest of society in criminal cases above the partisan interest of their clients or any other consideration.
Justice Umukoro gave the advice at a stakeholder’s forum in Asaba aimed at appraising the challenges confronting smooth implementation of the Delta State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2017.
The meeting presided over by the Chief Judge was attended by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpo, representative of the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Legal Aid Council and other stakeholders in the administration of criminal justice.
The stakeholders x-rayed challenges impeding the smooth operation of certain provisions of the law since its enactment and proffer solutions and possible amendments to gray areas of the law.
The Chief Judge noted with dismay that the insistence by lawyers in defending interest of their clients in criminal matters to the detriment of society, informed the public to question the motive of counsel and machinery of justice, stressing that Lawyers should go beyond defending accused persons saying they also have a corresponding duty to defend the overall interest of the larger society.
Other issues that were put at the front burner during the interactive session included the need to build a special medical facility to handle rape cases, pro bono cases, video recording of confessional statements as provided in section 15 (4) of the law, alarming rise in the number of condemned convicts and witness claims as provided in sections 251 and 252 of the Delta State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2017.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Peter Mrakpo, disclosed that the state government was partnering with Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to establish state-of-the-art medical facility where rape victims would be forensically and scientifically examined to enable state counsel garner overwhelming evidence to prosecute and convict accused persons in court.
He attributed unsuccessful prosecution of accused persons in rape proceedings to intervening third party such as lawyers, church leaders, royal fathers and stigmatization.
Stakeholders also brought to the fore difficulties in obtaining confessional statements of accused persons by video recording due to unavailability of fund to provide video cameras and CCT, but suggested that in the absence of video cameras, confessional statements could be taken in presence of a witness to the accused person.
The Prison Governor, Delta State, S. I. Iyakoregha commended the State Government and the Chief Judge for the provision of vehicles to facilitate reproduction of inmates to court, but decried the rising number of condemned convicts, which he put at 226.
He recommended that a cell be built in Ogwashi-Uku Prison especially for them, noting that it was against prison classification policy to put condemned convicts together with other inmates.
DELTA CHIEF JUDGE BEGINS PRISON VISITS MARCH 25
The Delta State Chief Judge, Honourable Justice Marshal Umukoro will embark on the first phase of inspection of federal prisons in Delta State.
A statement signed by the Director of Information, Mr Paul Osahor said the prison visits will commerce with Kwale Prison on Monday, March 25, 2019, while that of Agbor is slated for Tuesday, March 26, 2019 and the time for the visit is 9:00 am each day.
The statement requested prison authorities to forward the list of awaiting trials in federal prisons in the state to the office of the Chief Registrar, High Court of Justice Asaba, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, and the Commissioner of Police, Police Headquarters, Asaba, before the commencement of the visit.
It stressed that registrars and their subordinates, in-charge of stations in the open court should ensure that records of charge case files containing information, record books, and other relevant documents were updated and ready for presentation to facilitate the prison visits.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), the statement said, should equally ensure that all case files where legal opinion(s) had been rendered were authenticated and duly tendered during the exercise.
The statement appealed to the Commissioner of Police and his desk officers, including prosecutors in the Magistrate and Area District Courts, to provide records of case file placed before learned magistrates and presidents of Area and District Customary Courts, while the dispatch of case files to the Director of Prosecution should be made available before the commencement of visits.
The statement enjoined lawyers, security agencies, other stakeholders in the administration of justice to be prepared to make the visit successful.
It also advised official of prisons, judiciary and relevant authorities in the respective prison formations in the state to be punctual for the exercise.
PUT KNOWLEDGE GAINED IN SERVICE YEAR TO USE, UKAH ADMONISHES CORPS MEMBERS
National Youth Service Corp members in the state have been enjoined to put into use the activities and lessons gained in their one year of service to the nation.
The State Commissioner for Information, Chief Patrick Ukah, gave the admonition during the send off ceremony of ‘Batch A’ corps members that served in the State Ministry of Information, Asaba.
Chief Ukah who was represented by the functioning Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Paul Osahor, appealed to corps members to judiciously utilize whatever knowledge they have gained in the ministry.
The commissioner was of the view that the corps members should use their initiative to carve their future as professionals and that as they go into the labour market, they should not be dismayed but utilize the knowledge they have gained from school and the ministry and put it into finding themselves a place in the outside world.
The information commissioner urged the out-going corps members to work on the growth and development of Nigeria by going out to conquer and be level-headed wherever they find themselves, adding that the nation would not develop without patriotism.
He advised them to remain focused and use their initiative to care for themselves in the outside world and also approach life with courage and sincerity of purpose.
Responding on behalf of the corps members, Mr James Opeyemi, thanked the commissioner and the staff of the ministry for their invaluable contribution to the success of their service year and promised to be of good conduct and ambassadors of the state and the nation.
Present at the occasion were some directors in the ministry which include the Director of Finance and Accounting, Mr Dominic Omogbesiayeh, the Director of Administration, Mrs Anastasia Nwanze among others.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of souvenir to the out-going ‘Batch A’ corps members by the commissioner.
DELTA RUNS FREE EDUCATION AT BASIC AND SECONDARY LEVELS — OKOWA’S SPOKESMAN
The Delta State Government has reacted to an online viral video where a pupil was reported to have been sent out of school for lack of school fees.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Delta State, Mr Charles Aniagwu, in a statement in Asaba today, noted that it was wrong to have put the blame on the shoulders of the Delta State Government stressing that public schools in Delta State were completely free from tuition fees.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a virile video online of a little girl purportedly from Delta State where she alleged that she was driven from school because her parents were unable to pay her school fees.
“We have also watched the video and read several comments on the matter where mischief makers tried to put culpability on the State Government. While we empathise with the little girl and her parents over her ordeal, it is important to state that Delta State Government runs free education at both primary and secondary school levels in all public schools in the state and therefore it is impossible to assume that the little girl was sent home from a public school in Delta State.
“It is also pertinent to state that the Okowa led administration since assumption of office has built and reconstructed over 4,000 classroom blocks and provided furniture, learning and instructional materials to public schools in the state with a view to making them conducive and competitive with the private schools.
“The Government has equally trained and retrained teachers in the employ of the state government with a view to making them adapt to modern teaching techniques hence the establishment of the ultra modern Teachers Training Institute at Owa-Oyibu Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State.
“In order to fill vacancies created by retirements in recent times, the state government has equally directed the Post Primary Education Board (PPEB) to advertise for the recruitment of qualified teachers in critical areas such as the sciences.”
“Finally, if any parent wishes to take his or her child to a private school despite the availability of public schools in most locations across the state, the government cannot prevent such parent who feels he or she can afford to pay the requisite fees charged by the private schools from doing so,” the statement added.
UVWIE MONARCH DECLARES HIGHEST EKPAN TRADITIONAL SEAT VACANT, APPOINTS ACTING HEAD
The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, HRM, Dr Emmanuel Ekemejewa Sideso (JP) OON, Abe 1, has declared the highest traditional chieftaincy title of Unuevworo (Traditional Mouth Piece) of Etche R’ Ekpan in Uvwie Kingdom, vacant just as he appointed an acting Unuevworo for the traditional administrative unit of Ekpan.
This followed the upholding of the death sentence judgement passed on the erstwhile Unuevworo of Etche R’ Ekpan, Chief Newton Agbofodoh by the Court of Appeal, Benin City recently.
The traditional ruler, while addressing a cross section of Ekpan Community at the Palace of the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, traced the genesis of the travail of the estranged Uvwie chief to a protest letter written by a group known as Ekpan Integrity Group addressed to the Ovie of Uvwie in Council alleging series of atrocities against Chief Agbofodoh which also involved murder cases.
The Uvwie monarch informed the gathering that the litigation that led to the doom of Chief Agbofodoh was initiated by families of those who were allegedly murdered by the erstwhile Unuevworo.
The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom also took time off to read an extract of the Appellant Court judgement that upheld the death sentence on the Uvwie chief by an Asaba High Court.
Abe 1 explained that he waited this long before declaring the stool of Unuevworo seat vacant because Chief Agbofodoh appealed against the judgement of the Asaba court.
He warned that it was a sacrilege for an Uvwie chief to be convicted by a law court, saying that the Ovie of Uvwie in Council had taken a decision on the matter since the law had taken its course.
HRM, Dr Sideso said that there was no vacuum in nature and therefore declared the stool of the Unuevworo of Etche R’ Ekpan vacant and consequently appointed the Usawre (traditional key) the second highest traditional title holder of Ekpan, Chief Victor Otomiewo the acting Unuevworo, pending the installation of a substantive Unuevworo of Ekpan.
Abe 1 made it clear that the Unuevworo stool was rotational amongst three families and that the family which the erstwhile Unuevworo hails from, cannot vie for the exalted traditional stool for now.
He then urged the other two ruling houses to initiate the process of the presentation of a credible candidate for the seat.
The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom who spoke in both Uvwie dialect of Urhobo and English languages at the event hinted that plans were under way to creat additional traditional administrative units out the present one in Ekpan for traditional administrative purposes.
The meeting was attended by the Divisional Police Officers (DPO) of Ekpan and Ebrumede police divisional stations.
INSTITUTE ORGANIZES PEACE TRAINING, CALLS FOR PROPER CONFLICT ANALYSIS TO CHECK VIOLENCE
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution IPCR Abuja has organized a one day training, tagged ‘Peace and Violence Prevention’ with a call on Nigerians to develop a peaceful and sacrificial attitude towards others.
Speaking at the event which took place at Boji Boji Owa, the training coordinator, Mr Henry Dauda said that the goal IPCR was to educate Nigerians about the import of generating issues that could cause crises, report such to government and devising ways of resolving such issues, maintaining that peace and coexistence of Nigerians was their core mandate,
In his remarks, the resources person, Dr Austin Onuoha described violence as response to conflict, saying that violence was not the best of resolving issues, noting that violence was cyclical and irrational.
Dr Onuoha explained that direct and indirect violence were the major types of violence, emphasizing that Ignorance, fear, lack of effective ways of communication strategies among others degenerate to violence.
He was of the opinion that relationship had a way of helping resolve conflict adding that observing proper conflict analysis would reduce prevalence of conflicts.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the setting up of a peace committee consisting of individuals from various communities in Ika South Local Government Area.