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PDP Candidate Asue Ighodalo’s Billboards Damaged by Vandals in Edo State

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Residents in Benin City woke up on Sunday morning to find widespread defacement and vandalism of billboards belonging to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate Dr. Asue Ighodalo.

Billboards at several major intersections, including Asoro bus stop, UNIBEN Ekenwan Campus, Agboma junction at Ekenwan road, and Akenzuwa after stadium road junction, were found damaged, according to eyewitness accounts and photographic evidence reviewed by this reporter.

A member of the PDP’s Media Directorate in the Edo State Campaign Council, speaking anonymously, stated that the vandalism had been ongoing for months since Ighodalo won the PDP primary election in February.

“They have been damaging Dr. Asue’s billboards since immediately after he won the PDP Primaries in February, but the man is a very calm man. They are even destroying cars with AI stickers around Upper Sakponba,” the source said. “When we wanted to shout to the press he told us to report to the relevant authorities and replace the billboards. Even now we have been told not to react so we do not heat up the polity.”

The source declined to name any suspects, stating, “we have our suspicions but mentioning names will just heighten tensions in the state. We have reported to the authorities. Let them investigate and bring the culprits to book.”

Contacted by phone, Dr. Ighodalo chose not to comment directly on the vandalism, stating, “I’m on the campaign trail my brother. Let us talk when I get back to town. My singular focus is on how to move the largest amount of Edolites into prosperity. All these other things are distractions. Let me again appeal to everyone – candidates and supporters – not to destroy our state and institutions because of politics.”

The Edo State governorship election is scheduled for September 21, 2024.

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Politics

Opposition Emerges Over Proposal For Anioma State Creation

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A proposal by Senator Ned Nwoko, representing Delta north senatorial district in the National Assembly for the creation of Anioma State has elicited division within the district.

He had revealed during an interactive session with indigenes of Anioma in Abuja last week, that creating Anioma state is not just about increasing the number of states but about ensuring fair representation and resource allocation for the South East.

According to him, the creation of Anioma State is both urgent and compelling, promising to present a bill for the creation of Anioma state.

In a swift reaction to the proposal, the Ukwuani people which is among the nine local government areas of Delta north region in the state, popularly referred to as Anioma, disagreed with the senator.

In a statement on the issue, the Ukwuani people under the aegis of VOTAbanum, said they had been strange bedfellows with the people of Anioma and preferred to hobnob with the Urhobo, Isoko, Itsekiri ethnic nationalities than the people of Aniocha and Oshimili.

The statement was jointly signed by VOTAbanum, Chairman, Abel Emah-Iyesele; Secretary and Dr. Mike Akpati; Hon. Aneke Efemeni, Bar. Sam Chukuji, members.

They said it is a well and thoroughly considered view and opinion of the generality of Ukwuani people that Anioma is not an expression of the people of the zone.

“Before the proposal by Senator Ned Nwoko to rekindle the campaign for the establishment of Anioma State, the Ukwuani nation had already conveyed their stance in 2021 through the Ndokwa Neku Union (NNU), the leading socio-cultural organization of the Ukwuani people, in a report presented by the Adhoc Committee on States Creation and Geopolitical Zones Arrangements.

“Ukwuani had never been a part of the defunct Benin Province where Aniocha, Oshimili and Ika were integral constituents. Ukwuani congenially had been part and parcel of the original Delta province where we still share more robust cultural affinity.

“Ukwuani nation relates more comfortably and mutually with the people of the core Delta Province as against Aniocha, Oshimili, and Ika of the Benin Province. Though tongues may differ, and surely they do, the Ukwuani nation finds unity in diversity best within our Delta province enclave.

“The positions enumerated and enunciated above, is the considered views and strong belief that the Ukwuani nation will be comfortable and better of placed among the comity of states with the original core Delta province peoples, that is — the Urhobo, Isoko, Itshekiri, and Ijaw ethnic nationalities.

“With the comparative advantage Ukwuani has, Ukwuani nation can request for an Ukwuani state. We have the natural resources, population, land mass and human capital needs in abundance to make a nation state.

“We, the entire Ukwuani people are strongly and vehemently opposed to the creation of Anioma state without recourse to factors such as capital location, LGA distribution, placement of government facilities” the statement said.

 

 

 

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Fubara Allowed Rivers LG Chairs To Finish Tenure – Group

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The National Vanguard for Rule of Law (NVRL) said Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has upheld democratic tenets by allowing elected local government officials to complete their three-year tenure.

The group said Fubara’s commitment to the rule of law is noteworthy in an era where some governors undermine the democratic process by truncating the mandate of duly elected officials.

In a statement signed by Comrade Johnson Babatunde, the NVRL said by allowing the elected LG officials to complete their tenure, Fubara has demonstrated an uncommon respect for the will of the people, who overwhelmingly elected these officials to serve them.

Babatunde said this gesture is a clear indication that the governor is a true democrat, a defender of the people’s rights, and a leader who prioritises the welfare and interests of his people above personal or political considerations.

The group, therefore, lauded Fubara as a champion of democracy, a shining star in the firmament of Nigerian politics, and a role model for other leaders to emulate.

“The National Vanguard for Rule of Law commends the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Siminalayi Fubara for allowing the 23 democratically elected local government chairmen and councilors in Rivers State to complete their 3 years tenure in office,” the statement said.

“It is also a clear departure from his predecessor, Nyesom Wike, who dissolved the democratically elected chairmen and councilors he inherited from his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi, in 2015,despite a court order restraining him from doing so.

“Despite the provocation from the local government chairmen because of their allegiance to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, Governor Fubara once again displayed his democratic credentials by not truncating the tenure of the chairmen and their councilors.

“We call on other govenors in the country today and in the future to emulate Governor Fubara in upholding democracy and the rule of law and also respecting the third tier of government.

“The immediate past local government chairmen in Rivers State also need to appreciate Governor Fubara for his magnanimity democratic credentials and for upholding the rule of law,’’ the group remarked.

 

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Ohanaeze Urges Tinubu To Address South East Marginalisation

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President General Ohanaeze Ndigbo World Wide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has urged President Bola Tinubu to address the marginalisation faced by the South East region.

Iwuanyanwu, in a statement yesterday also said the leader of the Southern and Middlebelt Leaders Forum, Chief Edwin Clark’s recent call for on justice for the South East received the blessing of the region.

Citing  the South East’s substantial investments in many parts of the country, he said it is in interest of the region to assist the president to succeed, stressing that his failure would be a calamity to Igbos who have made huge investments in many places in the country.

The Ohanaeze leader, said “South-east is the only Geo-political zone in Nigeria that has got only Five States whereas other zones have between six and seven States

“Forty-Eight Ministers were appointed by Mr President. By law of Federal Character, Southeast should have Eight Ministers but we have only Five Ministers while some other zones have up to Ten.

“All the efforts to develop railway infrastructure in Nigeria, nothing was done in the South-east in spite of the fact that our people are traders who travel a lot.

 “Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been incarcerated for many years and every effort to plead his release met with failure, while many other Nigerians arrested and  accused of similar offense have all been released,” he said.

Iwuanyanwu stated that according to the Federal Character Commission, the presidency is zoned to rotate North and South instead of rotating through six geo-political zones which has made it impossible for South East to produce a president when two large zones come together to deny it the opportunity.

He recalled that in 2023 when the presidency was zoned to the South, the Southern and Middle-Belt resolved to zone it to the South East in the interest of justice.

He however noted that a South West candidate emerged in APC being the political party in power.

“Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum resolved to support an Igbo candidate. This is how the support for Peter Obi came up. From the result of the election, Mr Peter Obi won clearly in Lagos, Delta, Abuja and many other places including the Middle-Belt.

“I must confess that the Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum has nothing against Mr President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They were convinced in all honesty that it was the turn of the Southeast to produce the President.

“When the result was announced His Excellency Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared winner, the Southeast candidate went to Court to seek redress.

“However, as the Supreme Court of Nigeria affirmed Mr. President’s victory, as law abiding citizens, who believe in the rule of law, we congratulated His Excellency Mr President and promised to give him every support he requires to rebuild Nigeria for good.

“It might interest anyone who cares to know that we have manifested this in practical terms. For example when many parts of Nigeria were going on demonstration, Southeast was approached to join but as a leader of southeast, I made a proclamation telling my people not to join and they harkened to my voice and never joined the protest.

“We in the Southeast have made substantial investments in many parts of the country and it is in our interest to assist Mr. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed. Any failure by Mr President would be a calamity to Igbos who have made huge investments in many places in the country.

“We sincerely expect the government to reciprocate this gesture by attending to some of our problems.”

Iwuanyanwu recalled that at one of the Southern and Middle-Belt leaders’ forum meetings, he brought up the obvious marginalisation of Igbos by the federal government which elicited sympathy from the forum.

“I remember vividly a communique was issued at one this meetings calling for the release of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu whose continued detention is causing problems in the Southeast.

“After the 2023 general election, we experienced the worst situation which after Peter Obi won in Lagos, Abuja and some other States a group of people held a meeting and boasted that they will cripple Igbos and make sure they don’t succeed in business and politics.

“The activities of this group were glaringly obvious in Lagos where after Mr Peter Obi’s victory in Lagos State, every effort was made to stop Igbos from voting. At times violence was used to stop them. Igbos were abused and threatened to Leave Lagos.

“Some markets in Lagos state dominated by Igbos were either closed down or demolished. I held a meeting with the leadership of Lagos State, I am happy the matter had slowed down.

“An Igbo man, HRH Eze Nwajiagu who was arrested in Lagos State for no justifiable reason is still in detention in Lagos. His only offence was the statement he made which if the same statement was made by persons of other tribes, would not be taken seriously. We expect Mr. President to look into this matter in order to forestall future occurrence.

“We also woke up one morning In Abuja to hear that a spiraling estate owned by an Igbo man Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu (Ikukuoma) has been totally demolished. This matter had been reported to me. I requested all relevant information regarding the demolition.

“From my findings due process of law was not taken before this demolition. We also appeal to Mr. President to investigate this case of demolition of Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu’s estate in Abuja.

“Having said this, we must thank Mr. President His Excellency Sen Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for appointing one of our very intelligent and reliable sons Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla Chief of Naval Staff Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are convinced that by the grace of God, he will do well. The reports I have received from the public show he is doing well.

“The Honourable Minister of Works, His Excellency Engr. Dave Umahi FNSE from all indications is doing very well, I congratulate him.”

Thanking Chief Clark for his insistence on justice for the region, he said “I wish on behalf of Ndigbo Worldwide to express our thanks to our great Leader chief E.K. Clark for rising at all times in fighting injustice wherever he perceived it.

“For the avoidance of doubt, South-south, South-west and South-east have formed alliances. We have formed a union of Southern Nigeria and the Leaders therein are as follows, Chief E.K Clark and Emmanuel Essien (South-south), Pa Ayo Adebanjo of Afenifere (South-west), Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Ohanaeze (South-east). We have unanimously accepted the leadership of the two oldest leaders of the group Chief E.K Clark and Pa Ayo Adebanjo.

“We later formed a union of Southern and Middle belt leaders’ forum. The leader of MiddleBelt is Dr. Pogu Bitrus. By this Union, Chief Edwin Clark is authorised to speak on any part of Southern and Middle belt of Nigeria.”

 

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