In spite of the growing slurs and cynicism against the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration in Abia State, the state will in a few weeks witness an uncommon infrastructure transformation, unprecedented in its history, reports Igbeaku Orji from UMUAHIA
he infrastructural deficit that has been the lot of Abia State is the natural outcome of years of government failure in its responsibility to the people. One cannot but admire the calm disposition of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in the face of obvious provocation resulting from twaddle’s of uninformed and disgruntled minds.
Contrary to the expectations of many, the 100 days of the second tenure of the state Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu was far from the showcase of completed projects.
Apart from a few kilometres of rehabilitated Umuene/Omoba road and the Umuene/Obikabia road, which is near completion, both in Isiala Ngwa South Council Area, the other projects are at various stages of completion across the state.
The recent tour of projects across the state, rather served as a platform to discover the mind-set of a man who is in a hurry to interpret his dream for the state given the number of projects going on simultaneously.
What we saw during the media tour of projects in the south of the state gave insight into the enormity of the challenge Ikpeazu has had to confront.
Aba in particular, the commercial hub of the state and indeed South East, had been abandoned for the better part of a decade. A decade of neglect and abandonment; of decay and despondency and of disconnect with the people, has left the commercial city prostrate and parlous.
It was indeed a portrait of a man of purpose, with honest and sincere intensions, who under the rain had to inspect the on-going work in all the locations, to convince the people he meant well for them.
All the projects either completed or on-going had the imprint of excellence, quality and guaranteed durability. The commitment to quality and durability will for a long time change the infrastructural narrative of the state. It is incontrovertible that the roads built in Aba by former governor and incumbent senator for Abia North, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, which earned him the sobriquet, ‘action governor,’ were left to fail without rehabilitation or remediation.
The truth today is that Ikpeazu is building Abia but Aba in particular from the scratch.
The impact of the administration of Kalu has been rubbished by the intervening years of inaction. Now all the blame has been heaped on Ikpeazu because the enormity of the challenge has paled his efforts into insignificance.
No doubt roads are a critical infrastructure. Every community deserves good roads; it improves the quality of life, socially and economically and until that happens government is perceived as insensitive and indifferent to the suffering of the people.
Any community without roads in this modern time will also be far from modern life. Rural dwellers in particular, suffer to evacuate farm produce from the point of produce to the market. In the process much is lost or wasted. Also, access to good health among others, is hampered by the deplorable state of roads. It must be understood that administrations are like building blocks that ultimately interpret and define the architectural master plan of a state.
Any administration therefore that fails to add to the superstructure would inadvertently overload its successor, which will then need to bear the brunt of the lost opportunity in addition to delivering on his mandate. This is the scenario that has made Ikpeazu’s government appear lacklustre, especially to the uninformed.
My perception changed after the project tour. Before then I had swallowed the pill of non-performance. I had believed the propaganda because I didn’t have the facts.
On Monday September 30, journalists embarked on a tour of projects initiated and executed by the Okezie Ikpeazu administration in the second term.
The tour began with the official unveiling of the tele health initiative in Umuahia launched earlier in the year. After the operation of the health initiative, which gives access to beneficiaries via phone, was explained, the team left for Aba.
At Aba the governor joined the team to inspect the Eziukwu and Amaogbonna/Osusu roads’ rehabilitation. He also inaugurated the Umuezukwu Nsulu and Umuakwu gully erosion remediation and control projects in Isiala Ngwa North Council Area.
The Governor also inspected the Osisioma end of Aba/Owerri Road and the flyover at Osisioma interchange. At the Udeagbala/ABSUTH Road, it was observed that one side of the drainage had been done up to a point while the other side is yet to begin.
However, it could be seen that no enduring work could be done in the rain and consistent flooding because the low topography of Aba.
At all the project sites, work was on going. But it is obvious that the rains would not allow the work to run at the expected speed. At the Osisioma flyover, Governor Ikpeazu directed the contractor to “ensure the riser and descent are completed on or before December.”
The flyover had been a subject of vitriolic attack on the government. When the project was flagged off in the governor’s first tenure he assured that adequate fiscal provision had been made for its completion and that no project would stand on its way. It is therefore surprising that after four years the project is still standing as a huge hanging garden.
The governor revealed that it was the contractor who advised against rushing the project in order to avoid it collapsing in future.
It is gratifying to note that the governor has assured that he will not leave any uncompleted project to his successor neither would the administration after him have any cause to go back to the projects he has completed. This is refreshing.
It reassures other communities where projects are sited but not among the ones currently active like the Abam/Arochukwu road, that it would be completed. It is also noteworthy that the governor is not discriminating against federal roads in the state in spite of the Federal Government’s recent declaration that states should not expect refund for rehabilitation of federal roads in their domain. For instance, the Aba Road and the Old Umuahia to Ubakala, in the capital city, Umuahia is a federal road just like the Aba/Owerri and Port Harcourt roads in Aba. Governor Ikpeazu undertook the rehabilitation of these roads with quality and durability in mind. There is no road that remains the same in quality and width after Ikpeazu’s touch.
It was observed that all the roads were expanded with wider and concrete cast drainage system. In fact, after commissioning the 2.5-kilometre gully erosion reclamation work at Umuogele Umuakwu Nsulu, the governor directed the state Ministry of Works to open a road to link the community with the Ururuka Road.
Governor Ikpeazu is selfless. He did not give priority to roads in his community over others. In fact, the roads in his village are not given preferential attention over others.
Like Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, he believes that “what touches us ourselves shall be last served.” This is not a common philosophy among politicians of our clime. Of course, from all indications, Ikpeazu is not a professional politician but a professional in politics. It is hoped that he will not deviate from the set goal as he takes Abia State as one big family.
Alleged budget padding: How we stopped N12 billion MDAs releases – ICPC
The last may not have been heard of budget padding, as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) Thursday, said: “We restrained N9.2 billion from going out”.
Chairman of the ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, who made the disclosure in Abuja, announced the discovery of another N3 billion.
Owasanoye said the staggering discoveries were made in the last two months, even as he assured of more revelations.
“About a month and a half ago, we restrained N9.2 billion from going out, when you look at the budget, and what has been appropriated, and how it is to be used, I can tell you authoritatively that there is still budget padding.
“As at this moment, we have had an additional N3 billion and hopefully, by the time we finish, we would have saved the government in personnel cost only,” Owasanoye stated.
On the issue of padding, he claimed thus: “When you look at the budget, and what has been appropriated, and how it is to be used, I can tell you authoritatively that there is still budget padding.”
He went further to assert that, in some cases: “They (some MDAs) have collected more than they need to pay salaries, it’s very simple logic, and we restrained the money and invited the agencies to attest to what we found…they did not dispute it.”
Two dead in California school attack; gunman,16, shoots self
A student gunman opened fire Thursday at a Southern California high school, killing two students, wounding three others and shooting himself in the head, authorities said. He was in grave condition.
The shooting occurred around 7:30 a.m. at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Shauna Orandi, 16, said she was in her Spanish class doing homework when she heard four gunshots that she initially mistook as instruments from a band class. She said a student burst into the room saying he’d seen the gunman, and her classmates were stunned into silence, reports The Associated Press.
“My worst nightmare actually came true,” she said later as she left a nearby park with her father. “This is it. I’m gonna die.”
Freshman Rosie Rodriguez said she was walking up the library stairs when she heard noises that “sounded like balloons” popping. She realized they were gunshots when she saw other students running.
Still carrying a backpack laden with books, she ran across the street to a home, where a person she didn’t know gave shelter to her and about 10 other students.
“I just heard a lot of kids crying. We were scared,” Rodriguez said.
On a normal day, she said, Saugus High School felt very safe.
“We never really thought this would happen in our school,” she said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said six people were shot, including the 16-year-old student suspect.
No details were released on a motive and his name was not released. Thursday was his birthday.
A video of the shooting showed the gunman shooting himself in the head. Authorities say he was carrying a .45 caliber handgun and used the last bullet on himself.
The two students who died were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old male. Their names were not released.
Saugus High School and other schools in the area were locked down.
Television images showed deputies swarming the school and several people being moved on gurneys. Lines of students were escorted from the school by armed deputies.
Los Angeles County Undersheriff Tim Murakami has tweeted an apology to the parents, saying investigators needed to interview the students before they could be released.
Orandi said she has heard about so many school shootings that she always assumed she’d panic in such a moment.
But she said she stayed calm, thanks to the help of her teacher who locked down the classroom.
The shots rang out — “bang! pop!” — and Orandi said she heard people yelling and running. Students in the classroom started crying and hugging one another.
“I just couldn’t believe it was happening,” Orandi said.
She was escorted from the classroom to the school gym and later picked up by her father Hamid Orandi.
“She burst out crying like crazy, but I felt better because I knew the danger was gone,” he said. “It’s one of those random things you always have to worry about.”
His daughter said she would probably go home and vomit from the stress.
Student Sharon Orelana Cordova told KNBC-TV she hid under a table in a nurse’s office until officers came to get her.
“When I got out, I saw this person lying on the ground … with blood all over,” she said.
Reps query NIPOST over non-collection of stamp duties for 9 years
The House of Representatives Thursday queried the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) over alleged non collection of stamp duties from 2004 to 2015.
The Hon. Whole One-led Public Accounts Committee ( PAC) of the House issued the query at its investigative session with the Postmaster General of the Federation, Mr. Bisi Adebuyi.
While being interrogated by the committee, the Postmaster General disclosed that NIPOST collected a total of N43, 364, 020.000 as stamp duties from February 2016 to November 9, 2019.
“I am hereby announcing to the world that what we have collected some far from stamp duties is forty three billion three sixty four million and twenty million from February 2016 to November 8 2019; domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” Adebuyi declared.
But the chairman of PAC, Hon. Wole Oke expressed surprise that there was no record on stamp duties collection between 2004 to 2015.
“What happened to collection between 2004 to 2015. Are you saying that you don’t have the record or no collection made by any agency on behalf of the the government?” he queried.
The lawmaker added that NIPOST is empowered by the law to collect stamp duties, therefore their claim that there was no collections between 2004 to 2015 was unacceptable to the parliament.
ISIS urges lone wolves to pose as journalists to assassinate world leaders
ISIS has released a guide to assassinate world leaders, urging lone wolves to pose as journalists so they can carry bombs and unleash terror attacks on politicians, according to a report.
The pro-ISIS Quraysh Media released the chilling how-to guide titled “Ways To Assassinate Leaders,” which provides three ways for would-be jihadists to execute “leaders, officials and military commanders,” according to the ‘Daily Mail’.
“The mujahid brother, dressed up in the journalist’s clothes, may participate in news conferences, forums and meetings which may enable him to target key enemy figures,” according to the guide cited by the Middle East Research Institute.
“He may also use the camera as an explosive device or to hide a weapon inside it,” it adds.
Another tactic urges the use of sniper rifles to attack VIP convoys from high vantage points, reports the New York Post.
“A lone wolf may disrupt the convoys of commanders or their places of assembly by attacking them using machine guns or Molotov bombs,” the poster says.
“They may also carry out such operations using blade weapons or carry out this operation from high places.”
And a third strategy involves scoping out a potential area to attack and monitor a convoy’s route to expose security flaws that also would allow the attacker to consider a “withdrawal plan.”
Earlier this month, Quraysh Media also urged extremists to ignite forest fires in the US and across Europe to spark an ecological disaster.
The call to action follows the death of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the hands of US special forces in a raid in Syria late last month.
The terror bigwig blew himself up, along with two of his children, in a heavily fortified compound in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
NAF: Air strikes destroy 4 ISWAP’s gun trucks in Borno
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Thursday, said a joint counter offensive operation against suspected Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters at Mallam Fatori in the Northern part of Borno State, had led to the destruction of four gun trucks
It said the operation, which was mounted by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation Lafiya Dole and troops of 89 and 97 Task Force Battalions of Sector 3 on the fringes of the Lake Chad, Wednesday, was a fallout of intelligence reports indicating movement of the terrorists towards the troops’ location in the area.
The Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who made the disclosure in a statement, said two attack aircraft were scrambled to provide close air support, in addition to an intelligence, surveillance and response (ISR) platform, for enhanced situational awareness.
According to the DOPRI,apart from foiling the planned attack, many of the fleeing fighters were killed in the process.
“The routing of the terrorists took place yesterday (Wednesday), 13 November 2019, sequel to the receipt of intelligence reports on the movement of ISWAP fighters in some gun trucks towards the troops’ location in Malam Fatori.
“In response, the ATF immediately scrambled 2 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) attack aircraft to provide Close Air Support (CAS) as well as an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform, which provided enhanced situational awareness for the ground troops as they engaged the terrorists.
“The combined sustained, intensive fire rained on the terrorists, from the air and on the ground, caused them to beat a hasty retreat,” the DOPRI said.
Impunity weakening Nigeria’s institutions, says NIPR president
President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, on Thursday, stressed the need to build strong institutions towards strengthening and improving the nation’s democracy.
Sirajo, who spoke in Abeokuta at the 2019 annual colloquium of the Ogun State chapter of NIPR, bemoaned the spate of impunity in governance and public sector, saying such was gradually weakening the nation’s institutions.
At the event with the theme, “Strengthening Nigeria’s social institutions: The PR dimensions,” the state’s Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele, advocated the imperative of public relations in achieving good governance in the country.
Discussants at the colloquium included the state commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Hammed Abodurin; Eddy Aina, Kola Olugbodi and Akin Okudero, among others.
Sirajo, in his address read by the NIPR Registrar, Kayode Yeku, said Nigeria requires visionary leaders and not strong men to build democratic institutions that would outlast generations.
According to him, the country and other African nations remain where they were today because strong men ruled their weak institutions.
He said: “Only visionary leaders and not strong men are able to build democratic institutions that would outlast generations. Africa is where it is today because strong men ruled its weak institutions.
“For example, in a presidential system of democracy, it is essential that the judicial, legislative and executive arms of government work hand in hand, albeit independent of one another.
“Nigeria requires capable, reliable, efficient and transparent institutions; strong and viable legislature, honest police force, independent judges, an independent press, a vibrant private sector and a civil society to give life to our democracy.”
Court rules APC has no candidate in Bayelsa
The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, on Thursday declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a governorship candidate in the forthcoming election in Bayelsa State.
This development is coming 48 hours to the election.
The court was presided over by Justice Jane Inyang.
The court’s declaration, was part of its judgement in a case filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, one of the APC governorship aspirants.
Lokpobiri, a former Minister of State for Agriculture, had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not David Lyon, the authentic candidate of the APC.
“The court pronounced that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa state was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and, therefore, the party has no candidate,” Lokpobiri’s lawyer, Fitzgerald Olorogun, told reporters immediately after the court ruling.
A shocked Olorogun said the court declaration was not part of their prayers. “It’s strange,” he said.
Asked what was the next option for his client, Olorogun said “We’ll do the needful. But for now, the pronouncement of the court is that APC has no candidate.”
There was heavy police presence within and outside the court premises. The main highway way leading to the court was barricaded by the police. Visitors, including journalists, were frisked before they were allowed to enter the court building, reports premium times.
Lokpobiri, before now, has been urging the people of Bayelsa to vote for the APC in the November 16 election, despite his court case against Lyon and the party.
“I’m a very strong member of APC and I came today to formally tell our chairman and to speak to Nigerians, in particular, the electorate in Bayelsa that all of them should vote for APC regardless of what happens in the court case in which judgment is slated for Nov. 14, 2019,” the former minister said in Abuja after a courtesy visit on the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole.
“I told my supporters even before I came here that no matter what happened, I will remain in APC having served as a minister under this administration.
“There is no way the outcome of the governorship primaries will make me leave APC. We are working and campaigning at different levels.
“I always advise that anybody that is grieved, the only place to go is the court.
“So, whatever happens in the matter that is pending in court will not be an infraction on any part of our party’s constitution,” he said.
On Tuesday, a Federal High Court in Abuja had disqualified Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, from participating in the forthcoming election on the grounds that he provided conflicting information on the documents he presented to INEC.
The case against Degi-Eremienyo was filed by his party, the PDP.
Islamic Jihad says ceasefire with Israel agreed
*As death toll rises to 34
The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad says an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel has been agreed after air attacks killed at least 34 people in Gaza.
The truce was in force from 5:30am local time (03:30 GMT), the group’s spokesman, Musab al-Braim, told Reuters news agency, marking about 48 hours since Israel sparked the exchange of fire by killing the faction’s top Gaza commander in an air raid, deeming him an imminent threat.
Gaza health ministry said the death toll in two days of Israeli air attacks had risen to 34, including eight members of the Abu Malhous family. At least 63 Israelis received treatment for injuries in rocket attacks fired from Gaza.
A top Egyptian official told the AFP news agency that his country had undertaken efforts to end the two days of fighting that saw Israel bombing dozens of houses and farms in the besieged Palestinian enclave.
According to an Islamic Jihad official, the agreement stipulates that Palestinian factions must ensure a return to calm in Gaza and “maintain peace” during demonstrations, while Israel must stop hostilities and “ensure a ceasefire” during demonstrations by Palestinians.
There was no immediate confirmation of the agreement from Israel.
Its officials had said previously that if Islamic Jihad fighters ceased fire, Israel would follow suit.
Following the Israeli attack on Tuesday that killed Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata in Gaza, the two sides had been exchanging fire, with Israel’s military saying it recorded more than 350 incoming rockets.
Israel said Abu al-Ata was responsible for rocket fire as well as other attacks and was planning more violence, with the military calling him a “ticking bomb”.
In Israel, air raid sirens wailed and fireballs exploded as air defence missiles intercepted rockets, sending Israelis rushing to bomb shelters.
In Gaza, residents surveyed the damage and mourned their dead.
United Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov arrived in Cairo on Wednesday afternoon, airport officials said, following reports he was to hold talks aimed at halting the fighting.
The UN and Egypt have been instrumental in mediating previous ceasefires between Israel and Gaza-based armed groups.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Islamic Jihad must stop its rocket attacks or “absorb more and more blows”.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Musab al-Barayem had said the group was not interested in mediation as it retaliated over the killing of one of its commanders.
The flare-up raised fears of a new all-out conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, which has seen three major Israeli military operations in the past decade.
Australia bushfires: Death toll rises as communities remain on alert
Australian authorities say a fourth person has died in a week of massive bushfires on the nation’s east coast.
The 58-year-old man’s body was found in northern New South Wales (NSW) on Thursday, days after a fire ripped through the region.
Crews are still battling over 120 fires in NSW and Queensland, but locals in Western Australia have now been warned of extremely dangerous conditions, reports the BBC.
Police charged a 16-year-old boy with deliberately starting a damaging fire.
The alleged arson had destroyed 14 homes around the town of Yeppoon, 650km (400 miles) north of Brisbane, Queensland Police said.
Fire chiefs have warned the worst of the summer is “still ahead of us”, after expressing alarm at the scale and severity of the spring bushfires.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has often avoided questions on whether climate change has contributed to the fires, in a response that has drawn wide criticism.
Since Friday, four people have died and at least 300 homes have been destroyed or damaged by fires in NSW.
Police said the latest victim was found in burnt-out bushland near Kempsey, 400km north of Sydney. He was yet to be identified.
The discovery follows the deaths of Vivian Chaplain, 69, Julie Fletcher, 63, and George Nole, whose age is unknown. They were found in separate locations in rural NSW.
What’s happening on the east coast?
Cooler conditions are bringing some assistance to firefighters, but many communities remain on alert.
In Queensland, crews are working to contain over 70 fires. Thousands of residents were warned to leave or defend their homes when blazes escalated on Wednesday, prompting emergency warnings.
Further south in NSW, officials said the fight was “not over yet” due to forecasts of rising temperatures ahead of the weekend.
“Even in these pretty benign conditions we’re seeing quite a lot of aggressive fire behaviour simply because it’s so dry,” said Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers.
More than one million hectares have been burnt across the state since September. The greater Sydney area was issued with its first ever “catastrophic” fire warning on Tuesday, with officials expressing relief no lives were lost on that day.
Exhausted firefighters have received help from counterparts from other states and New Zealand.
What’s happening in Western Australia?
Several fires escalated across the state’s coast on Wednesday, with two blazes threatening homes in the port city of Geraldton.
Officials warned of potentially “catastrophic” conditions in one region. About a dozen blazes remain burning in the region.
APC crisis gets messier
The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State worsened yesterday as the Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), a splinter group which laid claim to the leadership of the party, said it had suspended Governor Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Hon. Philip Shuaibu, state party chairman, Anslem Ojezua, as well as the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie.
Their suspension came 24 hours after the state party executive led by Ojezua suspended the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for allegedly fuelling the crisis in the state chapter of the party.
The factional group, led by Col. David Imuse, revoked the suspension of the state secretary, Lawrence Okah, saying his purported and subsequent removal from office by Ojezua was a nullity.
The faction rather passed a vote of implicit confidence in Okah as the Secretary of their own faction of the party.
But in swift reaction, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, described the suspension of his principal and other top government functionaries as a nullity.
Osagie stated that EPM cannot suspend any member of the APC in the state, as they were not recognised by the constitution of the party.
He argued that the said suspension was a huge joke as any decision taken by members of the EPM is ultra vires, null and void, and not binding on any bona fide member of the APC in Edo State.
“The rogue organisation, Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), claiming to have suspended the governor, the deputy governor and the SSG is outlawed by the APC in the state.
“This group was operating against the provisions of the constitution of the APC and was proscribed by the party. The group is, therefore, unknown to law. Hence, it cannot take any disciplinary action against any member of the APC.
“The kangaroo meeting of the rogue group was held at the residence of Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, who himself has been suspended by the party in the state. So whatever decision that might have been taken by the group is ultra vires, null and void,” Osagie said.
In revoking the suspension placed on Oshiomhole, the faction equally claimed that the no confidence vote passed in Oshiomhole was the handiwork of an unknown organ of the APC in Edo State.
“This development would have been laughable if it did not have serious implications for the overall integrity of our party. Their decision is unconstitutional and it is unheard of, for a lower level party hierarchy official to want to take disciplinary action against an official or organ on a higher level. We, therefore, pass a vote of implicit confidence in the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC.
“We wish to reiterate our position that Edo APC was plunged in this crisis by the unguarded actions and inflammatory statements by Anselm Ojezua. Thuggery and political violence has spiked and escalated in the pursuit of the second term ambition of Governor Obaseki and his deputy, Shuaibu.
“This is exemplified by the various incidents of attack on the Benin residence of the National Chairman, the congregation of thugs on motorbike that were led by Shuaibu to the convocation of Edo University Iyamho, the mayhem that was visited on the political meeting in Owan East LGA. The same pattern repeated at Ikpoba Okha LGA in Hon. Osarobo’s residence.
“On 18th June, 2019, members of our party who were elected into the Edo State House of Assembly were violently attacked by armed thugs led by the Chief Security Officer of the governor,” he said.
Imuse accused Governor Obaseki of anti-party activities which he said resulted in widespread electoral losses for the APC in Edo South Senatorial District during the 2019 general election.
“There is clear and unambiguous evidence by the admission of the governor himself that he actively supported and worked with opposition candidate in areas where his favoured aspirants did not pick the party ticket. This pattern of anti-party activities led to widespread electoral losses in Edo South Senatorial District, including the ward and local government of the governor where we lost.
“In the desperate bid of Mr. Obaseki to suppress all forms of perceived opposition and in his determination that no credible opposition emerges in the forthcoming primaries, elected council officials are indiscriminately removed from office with impunity.
“In light of the foregoing, it has become obvious that Mr. Obaseki has become a liability to the APC. We can no longer fold our arms and watch him drag our collective political fortunes into the abyss in his desperate bid to destroy the party. The only option is to protect the interest of all stakeholders who have laboured assiduously to build up the party,” he said.
Imuse alleged that there have been threats on the lives of members of his faction and urged the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies to take necessary steps to protect their lives and property which are now at risk.
He alleged that since his group decided to salvage the image and future of the APC in Edo State, thugs and hoodlums have been mobilized to hound them in their homes in the dead of the night, while some have been stationed at strategic locations, including the Benin Airport.
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