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New APC Chairman Emerges in Benue, As Gov Alia Meets with State Exco

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State has unveiled a new acting State chairman, Mr. Benjamin Omakolo.

The Acting Chairman of the party was unveiled before governor Hyacinth Alia by members of the State executive council of the party at government house Makurdi, Wednesday.

Governor Alia while addressing members of the State Exco of the party, called on the supporters to continue drumming support for the party, saying it is the only platform that has good plans to change the fortunes of Benue State and Nigeria as a whole.

He maintained that it was good that the party Exco came requesting that the vacant position of the State Chairman of the party be filled, in order to save it from further crisis.

The governor regretted the suspension of Comrade Austin Agada by his Ehaje ward 1 EXCO, which was later followed by a court injunction, restraining him from parading himself as the State Chairman of the party.

According to him, there is too much pressure from the stakeholders of the party in Zone C, who have recommended a replacement for the vacant position in order to keep the party going.

“In order to reduce the pressure on me and to also stop the party from facing further troubles, I am left with no choice than to direct Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, the Welfare Secretary of the party in the state, to step in as the acting party chairman, pending the outcome of the court case instituted against Hon Agada,” Gov Alia said.

He described the APC as the best party anyone could associate with, insisting that a lot of efforts and sacrifices were put in by many, which ensured the victory the party currently enjoys in the state, saying the party cannot be left in the hands of a few individuals for them to destroy it because of their selfish interest.

While thanking the stakeholders of the party from Zone C for recommending a capable replacement for the vacant position of the state chairman, the governor equally called on all the APC faithful in the state to support Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, as he assumes the duty of piloting the affairs of the APC in the state.

Earlier in his opening address, the Organising Secretary of the APC in the state, Hon. James Ornguga, said they were pleased to come before the governor to explain to him the turbulent times the party and its supporters were facing as a result of the suspension and the subsisting court order restraining Hon. Agada from acting as the chairman of the party in the state.

He urged the governor to use his good office as the governor and leader of the party in the state, to fill the vacant position of the State Chairman, in order to stop the party from sinking further adrift.

In their separate remarks, the Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Aondona Dajoh, the Secretary of the APC in Ogbadibo Local Government, Comrade Abba Isaiah, the Chairman of the APC in Konshisha Local Government, Hon. Aginde Daniel, as well as the State Assistant Legal Adviser of the party in the state, Hon. Ajuma Success, all commended the zone (C) APC stakeholders for pressurizing the governor to fill the vacant position of the state chairman.

They also commended the governor for heeding to the cries of the party faithful in the state, and for giving the nod for Hon. Omakolo to step in as the acting state Chairman of the party, assuring that they will all support the acting chairman to succeed.

Accepting the new responsibility, the acting Benue State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Benjamin Omakolo, said he was overwhelmed by the trust the party faithful in the state have reposed in him, promising to unite the party, strategically placing it in a position to win more elections in the future.

POLITICS

Edo Governorship:  Intimidation, Harassment Won’t Stop me—Shaibu

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Edo Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, says intimidation and harassment will not change his resolve in the pursuit of his political ambition.

Shaibu said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

Shaibu emerged the party’s candidate in a parallel primary held on Thursday to choose a standard bearer for the upcoming governorship election in Edo.

He alleged so much intimidation and harassment of people in the build up to the primary.

“The level of intimidation and harassment meted out to me and those people who believe in me was beyond comprehension, yet it does not actually change our resolve in what we believe in.

“People were sacked, some civil servants were suspended, others transferred from their position and taken away from their family comfort to different places, all because they were associating with me.

“Well, I dare say that anybody still intimidating or harassing anybody means that he is not ready to win an election“, he told newsmen.

He, therefore, said that his emergence as a candidate was no longer about him but the people, adding that it was imperative the party listened to the voice of the people.

He said if the party truly desired to win the election on Sept. 21 it would field a popular and competent candidate not impose a candidate on the people.

He also said that the PDP must adhere to the electoral laws and party guidelines to be able to win the upcoming election in the state.

He explained that there were party guidelines for electing a governorship candidate, just as there is an electoral law guiding political activities.

Shaibu further said for the PDP to win the upcoming governorship election in the state, it should adhere strictly to its own rules and guidelines.

The deputy governor also alleged that elections were about contestation, noting that the other primary that produced Mr Asue Ighodalo as its candidate disenfranchised 381 delegates.

“The electoral law forbids exclusion. An election can be re-ordered because of exclusion, it is a major sin that the law forbids“, he told newsmen.

He said though political parties have the right to produce candidates, such rights must comply with the electoral laws and the party’s own guidelines.

“If the guideline is not followed in the process of producing your candidate, that candidate cannot see the light of day.

“So the ultimate right of any party is to follow your rules in producing your candidate”, Shaibu said.

NAN recalls that Ighodalo defeated about nine other candidates including the Deputy Governor of the state in the election.

He had vote 577 votes to become the candidate of the PDP in the Sept. 21 governorship election in the state while his closest rival garnered one vote.

The Chairman, Edo PDP Primary Electoral Committee and Gov of Dauda Lawal Zamfara declared him as the winner of the exercise.

However, in a parallel exercise, Shaibu was declared winner of the election.

The returning officer, Bartholomew Moses, declared: “during the counting of this primary election, Philip Shaibu has a score of 301 votes.

“Therefore, I hereby declare Philip Shaibu as the authentic elected candidate for this election in the PDP.” (NAN)

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POLITICS

APC ‘ ll Record Overwhelming Victory in Edo Governorship Election- Ganduje

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Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says it is almost certain that the party will win the Sept. 21 Edo governorship election, going by the qualities of its candidate Sen. Monday Okpebholo.
Ganduje said this on Saturday in Abuja when he presented the certificate of return to Okpebholo, saying that there was a need for other aspirants to work with him to ensure the party’s victory in the state.

He said that direct primaries were held in 192 wards in the state with records and video evidence, adding that Okpebholo was declared winner because he got the highest votes.

“The full cooperation, harmony and unity of all aspirants and members of our party is all we need now to win Edo in the coming election now that the primary is over.

“The party has a product that is refined, well packaged and sellable to the electorate in the person of Okpebholo and is therefore ready to win Edo,” Ganduje said.

He said that other aspirants had since congratulated Okpebholo as the party’s candidate.

Mr Nze Duru, the party’s Deputy National Organising Secretary while presenting the committee’s report to Ganduje, said the primaries was adjudge nationally and internationally to the the most peaceful, fairest and transparent in the state.

Okpebholo in his remarks, called on other aspirants who contested the party’s ticket with him to join forces with him to ensure that the APC win the Sept. 21 governorship election.

Also speaking, Sen. Lucky Imasuen one of the aspirants who contested the party’s ticket with Okpebholo said the National Working Committee (NWC)was hard working, sincere and fair in the handling of the Edo primarily election.

He commended the APC Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee for a job well done, assuring that the other aspirants would work hand in hand with Okpebholo to ensure APC’s victory at the poll.

Reports says that Dennis Idahosa was initially declared the winner of the Edo Governorship Primary Election on Feb. 17, by the Gov. Hope Uzodinma-led Governorship Primary Election Committee.

The APC NWC however, upturned Idahosa’s election and declared the election as inconclusive.

The committee slated Feb.21 for a supplementary election and replaced Uzodinma with Gov. Bassey Otu of Cross River as chairman.

Otu while declaring Okpebholo as winner of the supplementary primaries, said he got 12,433 votes to defeat 11 other aspirants in the contest.

Okpebholo currently represents Edo Central at the National Assembly(NAN)

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POLITICS

Edo 2024: Patience Key Emerges PRP Governorship Candidate

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Patience Key on Saturday emerged as the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) candidate to fly the party’s flag in the September 21 governorship election in Edo state.

Key was adopted by the party members and delegates in the primary election that took place at the PRP secretariat in Benin, and witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In her acceptance speech, Key expressed her profound gratitude to the PRP for entrusting her with the monumental responsibility.

She said that their confidence in her vision and capabilities was an honour and a call to action.

“As we stand on the cusp of historic election, I am reminded of the immense responsibility that comes with this trust.

“We envision an Edo state where economic diversification will fuel our growth in agriculture, technology and tourism.

“We envision an Edo state where every child will have access to quality education and every citizen will have access to quality healthcare and economic opportunities,” she said.

Key, who said the empowerment of women and Youth would be critical to her human capital development strategy, added that there would be an opportunity for women to participate in governance.

She, however, promised to leverage on Diaspora expertise by tapping into the wealth of knowledge and expertise of the diaspora community to develop the state.

According to her, “As we gear up for the governorship election, I call upon each one of you to stand with us.

“Together, we can realise a vision of Edo State that is not only rich in natural and economic resources but also in the talents and potentials of its people,” she added.

Reports says that Patience Ndidi Key is a healthcare professional, an entrepreneur, a strategist and President, Nigerians in Diaspora Chamber of Commerce.

She was a former chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisations, Americas (USA) and she hails from Igueben local government area of Edo State. (NAN)

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