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#Nigeria Edo guber race: Why we abandoned PDP for Anenih – Obadan

BY SIMON EBEGBULEM

Rev. Peter Obadan is the first civilian Deputy Governor of Edo State and was a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state until last week Friday, 27 April, 2012 when he resigned from the party. In this interview with Vanguard in Benin City, Obadan  gave reasons why  according to him the founding members of the party in the state  decided to abandon the party for the former chairman Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih. Excerpts:

Can we know you resigned from the PDP?
Like I stated in my letter we had a lot of irreconcilable differences in PDP. You have those demagogues that will never let go. We want to hold on to power using their cronies without due process, with out democratic processes. There is no transparency in Edo PDP. Like I stated the PDP in Edo state has been gravely commercialized and privatized, you can see it as a one man business.

Where one man thinks he is the Alpha and Omega of politics in Edo state, then it is better to say to your tents oh Israel. I think they are without credibility, without conscience and I also believe that the PDP in the state has been totally eroded by the good works of the present governor, Adams Oshiomhole.

He has sold a seed in the hearts of men and women. It is obvious that he is delivering the dividends of democracy with the little the state has. I know there is no morality in politics to many people but too much lies are being told. And as a professional accountant I know that some of the lies we are pushing to the populace now, are things that are not workable.

For example, when the PDP says they will reduce taxation by 80 per cent, when the law is there and the operations of taxation is guided by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the fact that in the past these laws were not fully operated meant that some body at the helm of affairs was just not responsible.

But now the laws have been fully implemented as we have in other states and for one to deceive the public that taxation will be reduced by 80 per cent, he is playing on the intelligence of Edo people and I think we are more than that. For us to take a graphic work of design to say that the Governor is building N10 billion mansion, to incite the people?

These are not the ideas that the PDP with all the maturity should be selling. When they come up with ideas like this I wonder whether these fellows are actually educated. There are lots of issues that have affected both the common man and the Edo state PDP is not ready to address those issues.

…Obadan

I have nothing against the workings of the PDP at the National level, we are all working with President Jonathan because he is our son, but the National Working Committee (NWC) hitherto were so ineffective and inefficient that they believe all lies that have been told them about the PDP in Edo state. I think the PDP has actually been written off in Edo state and we all will wait to see the miracle that can up turn things.

It is unfortunate because Gen.Charles Airhiavbere (PDP candidate) is my very good friend, he worked under me, he is intelligent but he never lived in the state to understand the dynamics of Edo state politics. And a situation where the governor will have no say about the choice of his deputy, then there is a problem. A situation where a man will say this must be the deputy and whether a better candidate is presented or not the oracle has spoken.

These are issues that give one the type of administration that will emerge if you have Charles as Governor. But let me tell you simply, in the first place if Charles wins the election, which I know he will not, and tries to be his own man, the probability is that the deputy who has been fixed there will be used to impeach him.

I see the ultimate objective, is a situation where the deputy is the man that is actually being groomed to be governor not Charles, we have to be watchful. But however, there is no chance for PDP in Edo State. The Edo people are very happy with Adams Oshiomhole and he will get at least 80 per cent of the votes. No body is quarrelling with PDP at the center or President Jonathan. The mass resignation in Edo PDP to the ACN is because of the dictatorial tendences of Chief Tony Anenih.

But if Chief Anenih is that domineering; we have people like you, Dr Ogbemudia and Admiral Mike Akhigbe, why were you people unable to correct him?

The problem started from when Prof.Osunbor got into office and decided to be his own man. He meant well for the people of Edo state. He wanted a situation where truth, equity and justice will reign in the administration.  Before he took his stand, he accepted twelve commissioners from the godfather and the rest of us had to nominate the other four of five commissioners.

A situation where 80 per cent of his SAs were lifted and given to him by one person. a situation where the list of Local Governments were handed over to him and it came to party structure he is incharge and they said he was put there to be seen and not to be heard. The Professor decided to take a stand and we all accepted and heaven was let loose and the next issue was Osunbor must go.

Even if justice prevailed in removing Osunbor from office, a seed of discord has already been sown by the Anenih led group. And what further compounded was when Oshiomhole came into office, they rejoiced at the down fall of their own son, they pumped Champagne and nominated Commissioners under Oshiomhole.

And I think they thought their game plan will work for Oshiomhole only for them to discover that Oshiomhole was not a puppet and they decided to fight Oshiomhole. These were the things that balkanized the PDP in Edo state. It got to a stage when we had two parallel bodies and we expected the national body to intervene and of course, Anenih had an over whelming influence on the national body that they were reluctant to see the truth. It became obvious to many of us that they were just not serious.

Attempts were made to bring the groups together, meetings were held, the last attempt was that encouraged by the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadohme in his house and we all felt that we had fully reconciled only for issues that were buried to manifest again. That was why I said irreconcilable differences. Why should Admiral Akhigbe who is from Edo North not be allowed to manage the affairs of the party in that area as a leader. Why should Edo North be dictated to.

We looked at those that are being used, in the South they were all Anenih’s boys in the North all Anenih’s boys, no right thinking person will want to continue along those lines.  And the NWC fails to see the truth and act appropriately. You will find that of the three members of the Board of Trustees from Edo State, Edo North has none but there is one from the South in the person of Dr Ogbemudia, two from Edo Central Anenih and late Admiral Aikhomu. Is it that we have no responsible person from Edo North?

As a former Deputy Governor of Edo state, they will be considering picking some body from my own Local Government, but I will not even be consulted. You are invited to a meeting when a decision had actually been reached, they will now invite you and say come to leaders meeting, that is time wasting because you already know that they have already made their decision just to use you to legalize their illegality. My self and other leaders are quite happy to leave the PDP.

The July 14 governorship election is fast approaching, how do you think Edo people will vote?
Airhiavbere will loose 80 per cent of the votes in the South to Oshiomhole. The Oba of Benin is a man we all respect across the land, he is not an illiterate Oba, he is a former Permanent Secretary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He knows what development is all about, he is very articulate, he hardly make pronouncements and he does that after making consultations with his Chiefs and in this case he has spoken.

I am in the religious calling  and I can tell you the very strong feelings of all the religious bodies, Christians and they have seen a man performing and I see all of them voting for Oshiomhole. The problem my friend Airhiavere will have in the South, is that even when he was in the army he was not regular at home. So he is not well known by his own Benin people. He has selected friends and not in touch with the grass root.

There was also nothing you can pinpoint in the South that he influenced. You have Generals in the Army that have done things for their people, he is my very good friend and I don’t see him becoming governor for now but I see him becoming governor in future. Because he is very cool and calculative.

Source: The Vanguard

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Behold, Terrors of our Highways!

By ALBERT AKPOR
It all started about four years ago at a football field in the heart of Benin city, the Edo state capital where Lucky Iyamu 23, Kingsley Ofeya 31,  ShakaYakubu Oseki 28,  Kelvin Omotuemhen  26, Onyeka Joseph 42 and Jude Egumahe 24 met.

That evening meeting was originally for the purpose of playing football but something remarkable happened while awaiting the arrival of others with a view to forming a formidable team.  These six jolly good friends soon discovered that they were joined together by fate:  no good parental background,  no credible means of livelihood and  they all dropped out of school and were into petty stealing.

Except for Lucky Iyamu who was relatively new in the group, the remaining five had been meeting at the same field where after playing football, they would go their different ways at dusk to either steal money or foodstuffs at the open market in order to feed  for the next day.

L-R: Kingsley Ofeya, Kelvin Omotueme, Jude Egumahe and Onyeka Joseph

But the coming of Lucky Iyamu into the group changed the tempo of their illicit activities  into a much more sophisticated dimension.  Incidentally, Lucky had on the previous day gone into one of the pentecostal churches near Oba market in the city to steal a rug  when he was confronted by those who later became his friends and colleagues- in- crime.

In fact, it was the confrontation that necessitated the meeting the following day at the field and  rather than play football which was originally the plan,  they decided to take their destinies in their hands by going into full scale highway robbery. Though the idea was unanimously agreed upon but the group was confronted with one major problem; the guns.

How to procure guns and ammunition became a draw back to their mission and aspiration.    However, Onyeka Joseph, the Isiala-Ngwa born father of three was on hand to provide solution for that.   He immediately got some money from the gang,  traveled to Awka, the Anambra state capital and soon, the gang could boast of three locally made pistols and several cartridges.  Thus, a highway armed robbery gang had been formed!

Confessing how he became what he is today amid tears,  Lucky Iyamu, the last man to join the gang who later became their leader for his dexterity in arms handling blamed his ordeal on poor parental upbringing.  “If I had a  good father who cared for his children, I would not have been here today.

I was in Edo College but dropped out not be cause I was dull but because I could not pay my school fees.  I started pushing cart and making little money to take care of myself.   From there, I started picking pockets and stealing both money and food stuffs.

It was one evening that I wanted to go and steal carpet in a church that I met Kelvin and others who initially confronted me but when they discovered that I was into what they equally do, they invited  me to a field where we formed the gang of highway robbers .

That was how we started.   But sir, robbery or kidnapping is not a good thing to do.  If I have an opportunity  in my next world, I shall campaign against crime and criminality.  It is not the best.   So when we eventually got the three guns from Awka,  we were happy and ready for real business.

I took one, Kelvin held one while Onyeka held the third one.  Other members of the gang carried cutlasses and jack-knives.  So we decided that we should start from the Benin/Sapele road. That night, we robbed three buses and made N3m and snatched one Toyota Camry.

The vehicle was sold to a man who gave his names as Barrister Nwosu for N400,000.  The following week again,  we robbed along  Benin/Auchi road and  later went to a bank in Aganegbode where we killed a Police inspector and collected his AK47 Assault riffle.

There,  we also snatched another Toyota Camry 2008 model which we sold to the same man for N600,000.  We had money everywhere and realized that we wasted years doing petty stealing.   We go to clubs, enjoy ourselves and spent money but it was  Saka who  sold  the idea that we should settle down and get accommodation for ourselves and perhaps,  invest the money we made while we still continue with the business.

That was how I rented two bedroom flat, bought a car  and picked a girlfriend who now has a baby boy for me.  Saka and others went to Onitsha and started poultry business; but we normally communicate through GSM phones when to converge and strike.  After about two weeks, Saka and Onyeka brought the idea that we should strike at Agbor/Asaba road but I was afraid because there used to be many roadblocks along that highway.

During the day, we surveyed the road and discovered that immediately after the boundary between Delta and Edo state, roadblocks are not so much and policemen are not many along the road.

We went and carried some logs and kept them by the bush and decided that Kelvin and Jude will go to Upper Iweka in Onitsha to board a bus while we will mount road block as if we were policemen and when the luxury bus drives to a stop at the checkpoint mounted by us,  we will quickly deflate the  tyres, jump into it and quickly throw arms to our guys in the bus.

So that was how we were operating and it was fetching us good money.  But when the new Oga of police came, he banned roadblocks and our business became affected.  We could no longer mount road blocks anymore, so we decided to change our operations to kidnapping.

We  kidnapped one business man in Benin and he paid N5m and  after collecting my share, I decided to travel outside the country.  I went to Libya while my members continued the job.  But when my girlfriend put to bed, I came back to the country not knowing that some of my guys have been arrested and they mentioned my senior brother’s name.  He too was arrested but because I know he was in the police cell for my sake, I decided to surrender myself only to discover that all my guys have been arrested.”

Reacting to the arrest, the Commissioner of Police, CP,  Edo state, Mr. Olayinka Balogun said when he was posted to the city, he was greeted with the menace of kidnapping and armed robbery and  therefore, decided to put certain measures to checkmate the menace in place.  The measure Balogun said, “is already yielding dividend.

The fact is that I met an anti-kidnapping department in place in the command but I decided to invigorate it through credible hands and provision of logistics to work with.  I am one police officer who  believes that productivity can be greatly enhanced through  provision of incentives and clean environment within which to operate and that is what we are doing, and we are poised to sustain that till we leave here.”

Source : The Vanguard Nigeria

#Nigeria Governor Oshiomhole’s Aide Assassinated In Edo State

Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde
By Saharareporters, New York

Olaitan Oyerinde a popular labour activist and principal secretary to the Governor of Edo State Adams Oshiomhole was murdered in cold blood last night around 2: 00 AM by unknown gunmen in Benin city, the capital of Edo state.

Comrade Olaitan was shot to death in front of his wife and children by armed assassins who stormed his officials residence in the city. His murder is apparently related to the Governor Oshiomhole’s upcoming re-election campaign in Edo State. As an official aide to the governor Olaitan is crucial to the coordination and management of electioneering activities for the governor. Comrade Olaitan a University of Lagos alumni is well-known and highly respected as an excellent organizer.

Just last week the governor narrowly escaped a mysterious auto accident in the state, a truck rammed into his convoy as he was returning from a campaign rally, killing 3 journalists and injuring several others.

Also,  a few hours later a group of assassins stormed the house of the commissioner of information in the state Louis Odion attempting to kill him but the commissioner escaped being killed because he was not home when the assassins came calling.

Source-Sahara Reporters

NLC demands probe of Oshiomhole’s convoy crash

•Edo State Governer Adams Oshiomhle discussing with (from left) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo during the visit to the Government House, B •Edo State Governer Adams Oshiomhle discussing with (from left) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Chief Bisi Akande, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo during the visit to the Government House, B

•ACN leaders visit governor, accident victims •NUJ declares one-week mourning •Fayemi, Alaafin condole with reporters

 

ORGANISED Labour yesterday condemned last Saturday’s ‘attack’ on the convoy of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

The Labour’s call came on a day Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leaders, including former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and National Chairman Chief Bisi Akande, visited the governor.

Three reporters in the travelling party were killed and several others injured.

In a statement in Kaduna by its Vice President, Issa Aremu, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) called for an investigation into the incident.

Aremu said the ‘attack’ on the convoy is coming after what he called “cyber-orchestrated personal attack” on the governor as well as open threat to him by the opposition party in the state.

The statement entitled: “Attack on Comrade Oshiomhole: We must de-militiarise our polity” reads: “We read with great shock an unprovoked seeming orchestrated attack on Governor Oshiomhole.

“His convoy was attacked on the Warrake–Auchi road. Three reporters were reportedly killed with many others injured, including security details.

“We condemn personalisation of political discourse.  We need contestation on policies and issues rather than attack on persons.

“In a related development, there was also alleged threat by former Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Iyiola Omisore,  to “attack, stop and disarm” the convoy of the Osun State Governor , Rauf Aregbesola.

“All these call for urgent and thorough investigation by the security agencies.

“We call on all political actors to play to the rule.  We need battle of ideas and not personal attacks.”

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo State has declared a week of mourning for its three members.

It directed its members to wear a customised wrist-band throughout the period.

Besides the three reporters who died in the accident, another reporter, Chukwudi Ogu, was killed by unknown gunmen three weeks ago.

The victims are: Olatunji Jacob and George Okosun both of the Independent Television and Radio Benin and Fidelis Ohani, a camera man with the Africa Independent Television (AIT).

A statement  by the chairman of the council yesterday, Friday Obanor, said a mass will be conducted by Rev. Angel Nwankwo today at the NUJ Press Centre.

Prayers will also be offered for the protection of reporters in the state.

At the NUJ Press Centre,  sympathisers called yesterday to condole with the union.

Those who visited  included a member of the House of Representatives, Rasaq Belo-Osagie, Speaker of the House of Assembly Uyi Igbe and the Coalition of Save Nigeria and Youth Coalition Bodies for Oshiomhole.

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi commiserated with his Edo counterpart,  over the accident  in which some reporters died.

Fayemi in a condolence letter issued in Ado-Ekiti, urged Oshiomole not to lose faith in God or be discouraged by the incidence.

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III,  also commiserated with Oshiomhole and the NUJ.

A statement by his Media Assistant, Azeez Fehintola, quoted the monarch as describing  the incident as unfortunate and a big blow to the government of Edo and the NUJ.

The Alaafin said: “I use this medium to commiserate with the governor and the NUJ on the unfortunate auto crash.

In the ACN team were former governors of Ogun and Ekiti states, Chief Segun Osoba and Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo as well as the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. They were conducted round the wards at the Central Hospital, Benin City, where some of the victims are being treated.

Oshiomhole and the ACN leaders asked the medical personnel doctors and nurses on the state of health of the victims. Other patients, who were elated at the visit of the governor used the opportunity to present their own litany of demands.

The governor thanked his guests and told them the incident smacks of foul play and a premeditated plan to harm him.

His words: “Just a little over eight minutes after leaving the Afuze venue of the rally, where many PDP members joined ACN, a lorry suddenly emerged, heading straight for my car.

“Only providence saved me from being hit. The lorry hit the vehicle conveying security details, which immediately somersaulted and then hit the bus conveying the press crew.

“It’s unfortunate that we have lost three young men with young families. We are determined to get to the root of the matter. Our opponents will expect that we’ll be frightened by this incident but we’ll take our report card to every village and every hamlet to ensure that the reporters do not die in vain”, he said.

Akande said: “We see democracy as a thing of joy but we now see that the other side is resorting to killing and maiming. We pray that the good work you are doing in Edo State is not allowed to come to nought”.

-TheNation

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