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For Edo APC, Ize-Iyamu, Rigging Isn’t an Option By Justin Chidoke Uzodinma

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Allegations of rigging are the standard shibboleth and apocalyptic rhetoric of an opposition party and a weak candidate especially, in this part of the world. Although it is fast becoming a norm too in some of the most civilised parts of the world, it is, however, a stale and unmelodic tune that many Nigerians no longer bob or weave to. 
The reality is that it is almost always the unpopular candidate or the self-styled underdog that typically raises such fatuous and unfounded allegations while attempting to whip up sympathy forgetting that Nigerians have become wiser to this spoof over the years. 
Expectedly, in Edo State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate in the September 19th governorship election, Governor Godwin Obaseki, are beating the torn drums of electoral manipulation again. It is a way of life for them. 
Immediately he jumped ship and got the ticket of the PDP to fly its flag in the election, Obaseki and his cheerleaders went to town raising fears of a potentially flawed election while taking no prisoners; everyone is in on the plot. From the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, everyone is culpable except them. How convenient! 
We have not forgotten that weeks before the March 9, 2019 governorship and state assembly elections in Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike claimed that the APC-led federal government had planned to use the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army to disrupt the election and had “mapped out local government areas, where they will initiate violence to ensure that elections are not conducted as they did during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.” 
Wike also accused INEC of plotting to print illegal gubernatorial ballot papers that would exclude the newly registered political parties to implement the rigging plans. Despite these allegations, Wike eventually won the election and no one heard anything about rigging again.
Now, as the chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for Edo Governorship Election, Wike is back with the oldest trick in the book. Early August, he whimsically claimed that the PDP had gathered enough intelligence report about the plan to rig the election and would scuttle it at the appropriate time. 
But nobody is swayed. Even a pre-schooler now knows that his political brand depends on such inflammatory chestnuts. Therefore, no one is taking him seriously, not least, the concerned people of Edo State. 
The immortal saying of late American President Abraham Lincoln that; “You can fool all the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time,” pretty much sums up how imbecilic the people of Edo consider Wike and PDP’s wild allegations about the integrity of the elections. 
No one is blind or deaf to the fact that Wike was merely echoing Governor Obaseki’s escapist rhetoric so that when he is eventually voted out, he can conveniently claim, like other sore losers before him, that the election was manipulated in his opponent’s favour.
Well, what the PDP has failed to accept is the unpopularity of its candidate. More than any period in the history of elections in the state, there is palpable confidence that votes will be accurately counted and they would count in the final analysis. Consequently, the electorate seems extra motivated for this election. And you can’t blame them. 
As far as they are concerned, Obaseki is a complete, bungling failure, who is now swinging and getting high on his puerile imaginations, because defeat stares him starkly in the face. Why would he even think that Edo people would re-elect him after presiding over the most chaotic and retrogressive four years in the history of the state?
Why would he be allowed anywhere near Government House beyond the expiration of his four year-term after mismanaging the commonwealth of the state; plunging the economy into quicksand and generally weakening the socio-ethnic and political fabric of the state? Unfortunately, neither the PDP nor its candidate is promising anything serious or substantive. 
Rather, Obaseki has been ululating about Making Edo Great Again, MEGA, hare-brained rehash of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan. 
Instead of campaigning on the strength of his achievements, if there were, Obaseki and his party have been distracting and deflecting from proper electioneering, resorting instead to name-calling and pointless propaganda. Whether mega or minuscule, Obaseki has proven incapable of whatever is contained in his resonantly empty agenda that was dead on arrival.
Conversely, during his eight-year reign as governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole redefined the art of governance, rejuvenated the flagging faith of the people in the system, rebuilt the infrastructure and renewed the economy. He created an Edo State that was the pride of indigenes at home and in the Diaspora. He made being called an Edolite worth its weight in gold anywhere in the world. 
On the strength of the foundations he had laid, the progressive comrade lent all his weight behind Obaseki, believing that having served in his government as Chairman of the Edo State Economic and Strategy Team; he would build on his legacies. Alas, Obaseki derailed and went on wanton misrule. 
Several well-intentioned attempts by well-meaning Edo indigenes to make him stay the course were sneered and scowled at. Many came to a sorry pass for even daring to offer concrete and critical interventions. 
Ask the billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Captain Idahosa Wells-Okunbo. He is still smarting from the many plots hatched by the governor and his agents to bring him into disrepute for selflessly wanting to help the state and later, to mediate in the faceoff between the governor and his predecessor. 
Obaseki’s warped form of gratitude to Oshiomhole and others, who gave him wings on which he flew unfettered was to betray and batter them in the media and wherever else he could and destroy and defame the same state he now seeks to make great again.
Obaseki and his cohorts should be reminded that the APC has no reason under the sun to rig the election. Apart from fielding Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a widely acclaimed popular candidate, a true son of the soil and accomplished administrator, who has diligently served the state since 1999, the APC’s achievements in the state have opened the people’s eyes to the fact that government can work for the people.
Also, for the first time in the history of democratic governance in the state, there is religious inclusivity; Ize-Iyamu’s deputy is Malam Gani Audu, a Muslim. That is a massive bloc of votes, which the PDP can never come close to.
And with his SIMPLE (Security, Infrastructural development, Manpower development, Public-Private Partnership, Leadership and Employment creation) Agenda, which has lucidly enunciated policies and programmes that are projected to create thousands of jobs in education, agriculture and rural development, housing, electrification, fire service, industrialisation, waste management system, social empowerment, and the water supply sector within four years, Ize-Iyamu has won the hearts of the people. 
What more? Rather than play dirty like the PDP, he is resolutely and remarkably going about his campaigns, selling his manifesto of hope to an otherwise harried people. Having done his homework well, Ize-Iyamu is banking solidly on the people, not any phantom rigging machinery to take over the mantle of leadership in the state. Can somebody please, wake Mr. Obaseki and the PDP up from their imminent defeat-induced slumber to smell the coffee?

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*Uzodinma is from Ebonyi State

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Sahara Reporters And A Test Of Ethical Journalism

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Herdsmen

The attention of Zamfara state Government has been drawn to a jaundiced crap called a story by Sahara Reporters where the medium alleged that His Excellency Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) has given 15 Hilux vans and ‘millions of naira’ to repentant bandits who in turn, are now using the same vehicles to attack innocent communities in the state.
As the ethics of journalism provides, allegation such as this requires balancing from the accused before publication. However, either due to carelessness, Quackery or sheer mischief, the medium went ahead to publish this story, obviously sourced  fron the enemies of peace in the state without balancing from the side of the Government.
To disabuse the minds of those law abiding and patriotic Nigerians, Governor Bello Mohammed used from the meager resources of the state Government to purchase 200 Hilux vans in support of Security operatives in the state. These vehicles were duly distributed to all security agencies in the state under the supervision of the Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police . The beneficiaries included the Military, the Police, the Customs and Excise, the Immigration Services, the NDLEA, the NSCDC, the FRSC, among others.
It is part of the State Government initiative for peace to settle down repentant bandits which the state Government is currently building a modern Rugga for them at Maradun with two more coming up in the near future. In fact, the state Government is is grateful to these so-called repentant bamduts who are daily assisting the Government in negotiating with those who refuse to surrender and in apprehending those who refuse to surrender
With all the programs of the Government towards peace in the state, at no time it gave vehicles or money to the so-called repentant bandits because there was no agreement to such. This is thus, a wicked allegation ond simply a figment of the writers imagination or an intended machination to discredit the administration of His Excellency Governor Bello Muhammad and undermine the peace effort rt in the state.
The state Government also calls on the Nigerian Military to require Sahara Reporters to substantiate their faceless and distinctly imaginary so-called Military officer source of this story because it borders on peace and  is a matter of life and death of innocent citizens or face required discipline.

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Environment

LAWMA Debunks Rumours of Sweepers’ Layoff

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Environment,
The attention of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has been drawn to the recent rumours making rounds on the social media accusing the agency of secretly laying off some sweepers in the state.
We want to use this medium to categorically state that the claim is spurious, false, misleading and inciting, which should be ignored by members of the public as lacking any form of substance.
LAWMA, saddled with the responsibility of keeping Lagos clean, is currently not laying off her workers, what we have done and continue to do over the years, is to reposition the agency for quality service delivery and effective monitoring.
The Authority, by the law that established it in the state, is a regulator, and it is pertinent to maintain such and completely distance itself from participating in waste operations, to ensure efficiency.
This is to reiterate for the umpteenth time that the Authority will not hesitate to deal decisively with any one or group, no matter highly placed, who attempts to disrupt the smooth operations of the sweeping programme according to the dictates of the law.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Authority has paid its sweepers up to date, as no sweeper is being owed any salary.
The Authority will not rest on its oars in ensuring that every nook and cranny of the state is clean at all times, so we urge residents to support us in this quest, because effective waste management is a collective responsibility.
In the same vein, residents are admonished to show a sense of responsibility towards the environment by shunning all forms of improper waste disposal, rather patronize assigned PSP operators, as we together build a cleaner and healthier city in 2021.
For inquiries and complaints on waste management related issues in your area, please call our toll-free numbers 07080601020 and 617.

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Security News

Inspector General Of Police Assures Nigerians of Improved Security in 2021

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Inspector General Of Police Assures Nigerians of Improved Security in 2021Police

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu,  has assured Nigerians of improved security in the year 2021. The IGP stressed that the Force will be unrelenting in the fight against all forms of crimes especially kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, cultism, cybercrime, Sexual/Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), amongst others in the country in the year 2021. The IGP assured that the NPF will implement aggressive, proactive, intelligence-driven and community-based crime fighting strategies in its quests to make the country safer. He promised the Force will take the battle to the door steps of the criminals and also expand its collaboration with the citizens and other Law Enforcement Agencies in its bid to flush out criminal elements in the country.
The IGP, while reviewing the scorecard of police operations at the Force CID and Force Intelligence Bureau, revealed that a total of 21,296 criminal suspects involved in various violent crimes, were arrested and 3,347 firearms, 133,496 ammunition and 960 stolen vehicles recovered. Also, 1,002 kidnap victims were safely rescued from their abductors and reunited with their families.
Meanwhile, in a renewed commitment by the Force to advance the gains recorded in the fight against crimes in the country, particularly in the out gone year 2020, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force arrested eighteen (18) criminal suspects for offences of armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other violent crimes. Eight (8) AK47 rifles, One (1) SMG sterling gun, 236 AK47 Ammunition, 12 pieces of SMG sterling gun ammunition, Two (2) Toyota Camry Saloon Cars, 2006 and 2014 models (already released to the owners), were recovered from them.
Notable among the arrests, is the arrest of one Abubakar Umaru a.k.a Buba Bargu, ‘m’, 35 years, native of Kato Shiroro area of Niger State by the operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS). Investigations by Police Team revealed that, Abubakar is a member and armourer of a gang that has carried out several kidnap for ransom operations along Lokoja-Abuja/Abuja –Kaduna highways and other major highways in the North-Central States of the country. Interestingly, this group carried out the abduction of one Mohammed Ahmadu a.k.a CONFIRM ‘m’, 30 years, a kidnap kingpin and leader of another notorious kidnapping group in the North-Central when he came to their hideout in the forest to sell live ammunition to the group. He was held and shot in the hand until his gang members paid a ransom of One Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-five Thousand Naira (N1,555,000.00) only for his release. Five (5) AK47 rifles, five (5) magazines and 120 rounds of AK47 ammunition were recovered from Abubakar Umaru at his hideout in the Forest.
Similarly, Police operatives arrested five (5) members of an armed robbery syndicate who have their criminal network and base spread across Edo, Delta, Ondo and Lagos States. The suspects namely; Godspower Ebogie ‘m’, Samede Miracle ‘m’, Efosa Rowland a.k.a Double ‘m’, Michael Ifeanyi Egwuatu ‘m’ and Ifeanyi Ewurum a.k.a Rati ‘m’ were arrested at various locations and linked to several cases of armed robbery and car snatching at gunpoint under investigations by the Police. Two (2) Toyota Camry Saloon Cars, 2006 and 2014 models, robbed from one Mr. Osayuwamen Isokpan and Mr Harrison Eribo on 26/6/2020 and 5/7/2020 respectively in Benin, Edo State were recovered from the gang.
Meanwhile, the IGP has commended the Police Teams for their dedication to duties which resulted in the successes recorded. While appreciating the citizens for their support so far, the IGP calls for improved partnership and collaboration between the citizens and the Police particularly in the area of providing useful information the Police require in tackling crimes and apprehending unrepentant criminals in the country.
All the suspects will be charged to court on conclusion of investigations.

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