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April 17, 2017
[img]https://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2017/04/16be3860c840cc09ad116a7b446d58d9_view.jpg[/img] Oba of Benin, Otaru of Auchi and Oba Danise II of South Ibvie, during the visit Otaru of Auchi Kingdom, Ikelebe III gives insight into Oba’s meeting with traditional rulers of Edo North Penultimate Saturday, the joyous mood of indigenes and residents of Auchi town, who trooped to the Otaru’s Palace, was an indication that an important guest was about to visit Auchi and was being eagerly awaited. Most residents woke up that morning to find an unusually clean town, as major streets wore new and beautiful looks. At the Otaru’s end of the town, palace officials kept regular communication with the Oba’s Palace in Benin City. Indeed, men were deployed from the Otaru’s Palace to all strategic points in the town to direct the august visitors to the Otaru’s Palace once they arrived town. At about 2:45 p.m., the convoy of the OmoN’Oba N’Edo Ukuapolokpolo arrived Auchi and headed straight for the Otaru’s Palace, where notable traditional rulers from Edo North alongside its sons, daughters and elites from the senatorial district gathered to receive the OmoN’Oba. On why the journey from Benin to Auchi took the OmoN’Oba and his entourage such a long time, the Oba was quoted as saying, “I did not quite anticipate that the Benin/Auchi Road was in such a deplorable state.” This road happens to be one of the major links between the south and northern parts of Nigeria. Palace Watch had an interview with the Otaru of Auchi Kingdom on the visit. How will you assess the reign of OmoN’oba Eware 11 so far? I believe leaders are inspired to seek the common good of their people. It is also my belief that most kings are appointed by Almighty Allah, although there are some leaders, who one could safely say, are not too endowed with the spirit of Almighty in their rulership. But with regards to the OmoN’Oba Ewuare II, he is a man with an excellent spirit and administrative skills, no matter what some people might say. These skills he has aptly demonstrated during his tour of duties as Nigerian Ambassador to so many world countries. As expected, he is bringing this rich background to bear on the management and administration of the traditional institutions in Edo Kingdom. During his coronation recently, we all saw the assemblage of men and women of quality from diverse cultures and backgrounds that graced the occasion. Oba Ewuare II, in a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that he is clear-headed about what he wants for his Kingdom in particular, as well as other kingdoms alongside the good of the entire Edo State, immediately he ascended the throne of his ancestors, curbed the recklessness of land grabbers in Benin City and its environs. This particular action helped to check activities of known and unknown land grabbers in Benin and its surroundings. Previously, this ugly trend was becoming an embarrassment, as we had a situation, where youths went about grabbing lands that did not belong to them. They were also selling such land to one or more persons, thus creating lot of commotion, confusion and pains all over the city. But the Oba came in and said, “No, this can no longer be allowed to continue in this city.” This type of action is a mark and quality of a focused leader. I must say though that land racketeering and such other vices were not restricted to Benin City alone, as it was also occurring here in Auchi. Before OmoN’Oba’s decisive intervention, the problem of land grabbing and racketeering was more pronounced in Benin and Edo State in particular. I was, therefore, not surprised, when Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State took it up immediately. This has now kick-started a major step towards comprehensive Land Reform in Edo State. This is because the governor has come to realize that once miscreants are allowed to take over the land and deploy them to reckless use, a time will come, when the state government will need land(s) for meaningful developmental purpose, and there would be no land for such. Another bold step being taken by Oba Ewuare is the effort and spirit of having one common language for all Edo speaking people. He is presently working very hard to ensure that this objective is realized. Does that mean as an Esan or Estako person, I will now have to learn to speak the Benin dialect, whether I like it or not? No this is not exactly the position of things. Mind you, this is not the first time this initiative is being introduced. Chief Anthony Enahoro of blessed memory once initiated the idea of one language for Edo State. The realisation of this objective might not be during our own time. What is important is for us to work on it, and get credible people to sit down to consider how we can marry these dialectical variances of all the people of Edo State and then have one acceptable language. It can be done. It is possible. I am not saying everybody in Edo State will be forced to speak Benin, for instance. No, this is not the idea and this was not the issue, when Chief Enahoro first mooted the idea. What is of importance is for us to come up with one common Edo language that will be acceptable to all. This can be done. Of course, some of our linguistic and history professors have said it is possible and of course, if we all put our heart to it, it will be done, Insha Allah. I believe there are some other issues that have been raised, which, when the international seminar/council for the state is inaugurated, all the gray areas and fears of our people will be adequately thrashed and taken care of. So, why is His Royal Highness in Edo North? Oba Ewuare II came visiting in the spirit of unity. He craves and wants one united, indivisible and focused Edo State people. This is the way I look at the visit. To me, he is a very simple man. You just need to know him to know that his heart is pure. He desires that Edo State people should have a common approach to all the good things of life; and that we spread from here to such places as the South-South and then across the country. He strongly believes that the Edo State people have something to offer all the segments making up Nigeria. He simply wants Edo State to be a model. This is precisely what Oba Ewuare II is navigating now. What was the kernel of your remarks, during the opening speech? I just highlighted the events that have taken place in recent time. For example, it was obvious for all to see that Oba Ewuare II had a very grand coronation. Indeed, I have never seen any other event(s) better organised or more glamorous anywhere in and outside Nigeria than that. The event was a takeoff, opening the gate of light into Benin Kingdom, in particular and Edo State in general. This was for all of us to see and appreciate. It was for us all to know for sure how it came and what it was. By the world standard, that coronation was a spectacle to behold. It was beautiful and dignifying. That paved the way for various other things the Oba wants to do. He has planned to visit other senatorial districts in Edo State. He told me he is also going to pay similar visits to other parts of the country, just to appreciate all the people that came for his coronation. He will personally go to appreciate and thank all those kings, obas, emirs and obis that graced his coronation from various parts of the world.” So, what have the Edo North Traditional Rulers gained from this visit? The visit re-created the much-desired unity among the traditional rulers and institutions in Edo State. This is a good omen. A few of our brother traditional rulers do not have the spirit or more appropriately, the know-how to negotiate and do things that will strengthen the cohesion among ourselves, thereby promoting commendable spirit in the administration of traditional and cultural values, which will bring about the unity of Edo people. This interaction will invariably become the basis for traditional rulers to discuss and initiate projects for government to work on. What was the significance of your four-year-old son presenting the Holy Qur’an to Oba Ewuare II at the occasion? My son, Aliru Momoh Mumin, who presented the Qur’an to Oba Ewuare II, is presently memorising the Holy Qur’an, with the hope that by the time he is 10, he would have successfully completed the entire Qur’an. We wanted to present the OmoN’Oba with the Qur’an, but it occurred to me he should recite a verse, i.e. any Surah in the Qur’an before the presentation. We had to pick the boy from school and I told him to decide on the Surah he would recite at the occasion. Later, the teacher came to tell me that the boy had decided to recite “Suratu AL-NUR (The Light)” in Chapter 24 of the Qur’an. It reads: “With the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful. This is a highly dignified Surah, which We have revealed and the ordinances of which We have made obligatory and We have revealed in it clear commandments so that you may rise to great eminence.” This Surah is in nine parts. The magical thing was that, after the recitation of the Surah and presentation of the Qur’an, to the surprise of all those present, the heavens opened and it rained heavily. You know what? It has not rained in Auchi for quite sometime now. This was a sign of good and wonderful things to come. That was the climax of the event. By: Gabriel Omonhinmin

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December 31, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/12/eb44ca6d4f4c174b60e69c392ddbde46_view.jpg[/img] Amnesty International stated it is a disappointed for the actions of the Edo state government over the executions of prisoners carried out on December 23. The organisation urged the federal government and even state governments to stop the use of executions. Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki has been slammed by Amnesty International over execution of prisoners [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/12/fad34fabb5239f67e5b22533482d8ef6_view.jpg[/img] Godwin Obaseki International human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) has slammed Edo state government for executing three prisoners who were on death row on Friday, December 23. The Punch reports that AI urged the Nigerian authorities, including state governments to return to putting a temporary stop to executions in the hopes of eventually abolishing the use of capital punishments. In a statement on Thursday, December 29, AI’s Acting Country Director Makmid Kamara said Edo state’s action is a “backward step in the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty.” The statement read: “Amnesty International strongly condemns the executions on December 23 2016 of three death row prisoners in Benin City prison by the Edo State government and calls on authorities in Nigeria not to carry out any further executions of death row prisoners. ”We urge the Nigerian government, including all states in the federation, to return to a moratorium on executions, with a view of abolishing the death penalty. “The latest executions in Edo state is a backward step in the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty and is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international human rights commitments. “Stopping executions and doing away with the death penalty does not mean that criminals go unpunished. It is essential that human rights standards, including allowing for full appeals to complete, are respected in all stages of the criminal justice process. All punishments must be compatible with human rights.”

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December 23, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/12/690ca68e56af02b1cbff11c9ee8978a4_view.jpg[/img] Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State Barely one month after he was sworn in as the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki has announced his intention to execute three death row prisoners at Oko Prisons in Benin City. The convicts had been sentenced to death by military tribunals under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree 1971 as amended, in which there is no right of appeal. The prisoners are to be executed today (Friday), according to the Legal Defence and Assistance Project, a non-governmental organisation working to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria. Chino Obiagwu, LEDAP’s director, in a petition to Mr. Obaseki, urged the governor to halt the planned execution. “These earmarked prisoners were sentenced by military tribunals under the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree 1971 as amended, in which there was no right of appeal. We have filed an appeal pending at the Court of Lagos seeking order that these prisoners have right of appeal under the 1999 Constitution,” Mr. Obiagwu, a lawyer, stated in the petition dated December 23rd. The group urged the governor not to start his regime with execution of prisoners “who have insisted on their innocence and have not exhausted appeal processes”. Mr. Obaseki was sworn-in as the governor of Edo State last month, replacing Adams Oshiomhole who had governed for eight years. Mr. Obaseki and his predecessor signed the execution of the inmates. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/12/e05eba6304143e1972648d0879b09c14_view.jpg[/img] When contacted, John Mayaki, the interim Chief Press Secretary to Mr. Obaseki, said he was not aware of the petition. “I need to see the petition before I can respond,” Mr. Mayaki added. In 2013, four prisoners on death row were hanged by officers of the Nigeria Prison Service in Edo State, with Mr. Oshiomhole signing the death warrant for two of them, according to Henry Idahagbon, then Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in the state. It was the first known execution in Nigeria since 2006, according to Amnesty International. The prisoners – Chima Ejiofor, Daniel Nsofor, Osarenmwinda Aigbonkhan, and Richard Igagu – were convicted of murder, armed robbery, and rape. They had instituted a suit before a federal court contending that executing them after 16 years of trauma and imminent death was inhuman and degrading and asked that their death sentences be commuted to terms of imprisonment. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/12/27a59d3b28deb8e2c751ae0c6b4b09fb_view.jpg[/img] “These people were convicted 15 years ago,” Mr. Idahagbon had said following a widespread condemnation that greeted the hanging of the inmates. “I was only informed of this (last night) by the prison authorities that they had been hanged. One of them was convicted in Kaduna, while their matters had gone up to the Supreme Court and came back to the Federal High Court, Benin. “It really has nothing to do with us a government. The governor only signed the death sentence of two, while previous governors signed that of two others.” By: Ben Ezeamalu

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November 21, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/9ae28f58dad8e004d94eeb18a5ba845a_view.jpg[/img] The Oba of Benin The ancient kingdom of Benin and indeed the good people of Edo State are making history. A new dawn beckons as the 39th Oba of Benin is being crowned. Twenty-one days from now, that is on November 12, a new governor, elected after a fierce gubernatorial election of September 28 will be inaugurated to steer the ship of the state for the next four years. By any standards, the two events, with their promises of new beginning, are historic as they are auspicious. While both Prince Ehenede Erediauwa and Godwin Obaseki come to office in the atmosphere of great expectations, the good news of course is that both, young in age and at heart, possess not just the vitality, but come fully prepared for the burden of service to the good people of Edo State. It is truly a new dawn for the people of the state. Talk of answers to prayer, the emergence of Godwin Obaseki as governor-elect, could only have come as personal testimony to the countless prayers offered by the new monarch to his ancestors –prayers for a peaceful poll, and the emergence of a credible individual to pilot the affairs of the state in the next four years. In the heat of the tension that enveloped the governorship election, one recalled the Oba as saying: “We all went down to our knees…We prayed harder and honestly, our ancestors and God Almighty answered all we prayed, that He should give us a peaceful election and a governor that will keep food on the table for our people and respect the traditional institution”. Today, it is unlikely that anyone will still doubt that the prayer has been answered hence the Oba is thankful to “God and our ancestors for hearing the fervent prayers we prayed before the election and for bringing out somebody that will uplift our people and respect the tradition”. Never one to miss the import of the mandate and the burden it carries, the Oba would not fail to admonish the governor-elect: “I will tell the governor-elect, keep to your promises, keep your words, put food on the table of our people, respect the traditional institution and ensure you build on what Oshiomhole has done”. In this, the Oba of Benin is not alone; it was the same refrain from other traditional rulers from Edo Central and Edo North who, aside offering their unanimous in the support for Godwin Obaseki have also expressed their willingness to partner with the government, to safeguard investment that will improve on the economy and well-being of their subjects. Note that Obaseki’s loyalty to the royal family and the Benin tradition is ever in doubt. For guidance and advice, Obaseki has stated that he would be counting on the Oba to succeed just as the governor-elect has spoken of his vision of Edo State where the famous cultures and traditions will be reinvigorated as part of economic growth strategy and harnessed to the greater benefit of our people. Said Obaseki: “I see an Edo state where our people will leave in peace, equanimity and where social justice, equity and fairness shall prevail at all times”. On a day like this, the two great men not only have reasons to celebrate each other. Together with the entire people of Edo State, they have enough reasons to be proud of the new dawn. For Obaseki in particular, it must come as something of pride not only to witness the milestone in the Great Benin Kingdom, but as a major participant. Moreover, the import of the partnership between the palace and the in-coming government can only forebode greater strides in a state ordinarily hungry for development. For the good people of Edo State, it is time to tap into Obaseki’s formidable personal and leadership skills garnered in the course of a sterling career in private and public life – a factor which has now propelled him to become the first banker to be governor in the state. Surely, the people cannot wait to see him deploy these managerial skills to end the socio-economic gridlock that the opposition PDP has plunged the country to build a better, prosperous and economically sustainable Edo State based on cultural cohesion and ethical values. Little wonder the mood, across the state today, is one of great excitement. The city centre and its environs are wearing a new look while all traders and drivers carrying out commercial activities around the Urhokpota Hall have been found a new arena for their business are they welcome their new monarch. Visible on the horizon is the huge tent – the temporary abode for the Crown Prince erected at the Urhokpota hall premises – the place called Eko-Ohae (bachelors’ camp) where Prince Erediauwa is expected to stay for three days immediately he leaves his Palace at Uselu. Once again, Edo people have shown that we can never be more hopeful about our future; indeed, we’ve never been more hopeful about Edo State and the progressive government and virile traditional institution as we are about to experience. And this hope, Edo people will sustain under our new Oba and our new governor. By: Mr. John Mayaki, a public affairs analyst, Benin City, Edo State.

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November 12, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/24b08bd9d72b5934bc9c257e31eaccdf_view.jpg[/img] Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State, Nigeria. Godwin Obaseki on Saturday November 11th, 2016 in Benin took an oath of office succeeding former governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole. Mr. Obaseki took an oath of office at about 12:30 PM administered by the Chief Judge of Edo state, Justice Cronwel Idahosa. Similarly, Obaseki’s Deputy, Philip Shaibu took an oath of office at about 12:00 noon, thereby succeeding Dr. Pius Odubu as the state’s new deputy governor. Oshiomhole presented the handing over note to Obaseki on Saturday night. Oshiomhole expressed explicit hope that Obaseki would continue with the development strides his government had achieved in the past eight years. Among the dignitaries at the occasion were the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun. Also present were business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu. The ceremony also had in attendance a former military head of state, Yakubu Gowon, and ministers including that of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

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November 7, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/48ae31cad452230a919f55196579b04c_view.png[/img] The Oba of Benin and President Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari today, November 7, 2016, began two day official visit to Edo state. According to Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, the President would during the visit commission some of the projects of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. On his arrival on Monday, President Buhari commissioned the New Central Hospital in Benin City, Edo State. Present at the occasion was Governor Adams Oshiomhole, some top members of the All Progressives Congress in the state and Edo State governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki. [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/cb41c740c0e129214bdaf3713b9029d7_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/2254806d87bf5af58f6a709a6fe9ad44_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/a498192ac28262abd27f6081539fa0b0_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/172683f842d2cae4bf27f8dc12a83a66_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/1b5f46a4ae75940522f9181945d4465e_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/e1ca22e801d3de6276fd6b6bd5b9aee5_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/4cda9f1453c586cb1962d4e353663174_view.png[/img] [img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/11/4b668438197abd0cb6b194a8121f0abe_view.png[/img] By: Bamidele Olowosagba

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October 24, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/10/a5e3cff95cee9de75a8732a04b2aa0ef_view.png[/img] Protesters on Monday blocked the Uselu/Ugbowo section of the Benin-Lagos highway over plans by Egor Local Government Area of Edo to relocate traders. The protesters, under the aegis of Uselu Market Women Association, were resisting the directive to move to lock-up stores built by the council. The women, displaying placards, blocked both sides of the highway, preventing motorists from continuing with their trips. Some of the women said the N1.2 million charged for the stores was too expensive for them, especially given the type of businesses most of them has. The women said their problem was compounded by the action of the local council, which commenced the removal of their make shift shops on Monday. Mrs Celena Okon, one of the market women, described the council’s action ”as an act of wickedness”, in view of the current economic situation in the country. “What am I selling that you will force me to pay over a Million Naira for a single store? I believe they should consider the worth of our businesses individually. “Where do you expect a woman who sells only crayfish or tomatoes to get such a ridiculous amount of money to pay, when in actual fact most are in dire need of additional funds to grow their businesses,” Okon said. Another market woman, Mrs Imade Osifo, who described the situation as pathetic, said their decision to barricade the highway was for the world to know what they were going through. She said, “They want to force us to go into the stores and we have told them that we cannot afford the stores; that is why they are destroying our businesses.” Mrs Osifo also alleged that the council was ”insensitive to them”, especially against the backdrop of the different fees levied to allow them do business in the market. “When the plan to construct these lock-up stores came up, they (Council) told us that the prices will be pocket friendly, especially to some of us involved in petty trading. “But what do we have now, N1.2 million for a store is a price that most of us cannot afford; there is no way many of us can afford that now. “Even if the country’s economy was okay, how do you expect a woman who sells only salt and Maggi to generate such,” Osifo asked. All efforts to get authorities of Egor local council to comment on the situation proved abortive, as the Council’s Head of Service was said to be unavailable. When contacted on telephone, the Council’s spokesman, Mrs Prisca Ebvadiaro, said she was not in the position to comment on the matter. “I cannot speak on this; there is a committee that has been set up and as such, I cannot speak on it,” Ebvadiaro said. As at the time of filing the report, several motorists were stranded on the highway while other commuters have resorted to trekking to get to their destination. The women resisted attempts by the police to get them off the road. By: Ezekiel Enejeta

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October 11, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/10/7b45427144f35a988a8aac22f2681ff8_view.png[/img] Osagie Ize-Iyamu the PDP Governorship candidate in the Edo State election, The PDP has scored a major point in the ongoing case against the conduct of the recent Edo election after being granted right to inspect election materials PDP’s plea contained in a nine-paragraph affidavit was granted by Hon. Justice A. Badamasi-led Edo State Election Petition Tribunal Edo State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Benin, on Tuesday granted an exparte motion to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the September 28 governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to inspect all materials used in the conduct of the election. Presenting the nine-paragraph affidavit before the Hon. Justice A. Badamasi-led Tribunal, Counsel to the Petitioners, Barr. Kingsley Obamogie, said it was in compliance with Section 151 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended. “In compliance with the Section 151 of the Electoral Act of 2010 as amended, we have approached and pray the Court to grant us the permission to inspect all the electoral materials used by INEC in the just concluded Edo State Governorship Election,” he said. Following a careful study of the 9-paragraph affidavit submitted by the Petitioners, the Presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Badamasi, granted the exparte motion for the petitioners to inspect the election materials. Other members of the Tribunal are Hon. Justice E. A. Ade Sodun and Hon. Justice Khadi Adamu Usmaan. It would be recalled that he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had on September 29, 2016, declared candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki, winner of the election with over 300,000 votes to defeat his PDP opponent who polled a total of over 250,000 votes. It's recalls that PDP candidate Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was defeated in the Edo governorship election, led a massive protest against the result of the exercise which favoured Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Since the final result of the election was announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (EFCC) on September 29, supporters of Pastor Ize-Iyamu have led various protests in Benin, the state capital while Governor Adams Oshiomhole and his APC supporters have continued to celebrate. By: Akinyemi Akinrujomu

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September 29, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/09/6ab07a2aa9d4222f3f6cb8bc16122a01_view.jpg[/img] Godwin Obaseki, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party candidate in the gubernatorial election in Edo State, has won the election against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidtate, and he won most of the votes. Pastor Ize-Iyamu of the PDP came second in the votes collated and announced by INEC. The Independent National Electoral Commission, announcing collated results across the state, said APC won 13 of the state’s 18 local government areas.

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September 23, 2016
[img]http://edostate.com/PF.Base/file/attachment/2016/09/1c54ef0b6e01d563fa4a80f343c05017_view.jpg[/img] Operation Show of Force in Benin City, yesterday. Photo: MIKE OSAROGIAGBON BENIN CITY-Eligible voters in Benin have expressed eagerness to participate in the Sept. 28 governorship election in Edo State as security agencies, yesterday, displayed readiness for the poll. The residents comprising market women, traders, artisans, bankers and Civil Servants thronged out amass to watch gallant security agents displayed their readiness to provide adequate security before, during and after the election. The agencies comprising the Police, Army, Immigration, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSDC) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) paraded major roads in Benin City, yesterday, in an exercise codenamed, “Operation Show of Force”. Commenting on the exercise, the Commander, 4brigadge, Benin, Brig-Gen Benbella Ahmed Raji stated that the event is one of the precursor operations for the election security. He said that the exercise which he disclosed, is holding simultaneously across the state, is meant to demonstrate the synergy between all the security agencies in the state. Brig-Gen Raji disclosed that the role of the army for the election is to ensure security of strategic locations across Edo State. “The army is expected to be at strategic locations to ensure that security in and out of Edo State, is top-notched, to ensure that we do not have unwanted elements to come and disrupt the election process”. Brig-Gen Raji stated. Also, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations at the Edo State Police Command headquarters DC Olatunji Ayodele stated that the morale of security agencies in the state, is very high. He disclosed that the state police command had mapped out strategy for the election. “This “Operation Show of Force” is to warn criminal elements that Edo State is not a place for them”. DC Olatunjito reiterated. The eligible voters who were among thousands of residents that thronged out to watch gallant security officers drove in over 30 patrol vehicles including two ambulances, along major roads in the state capital. “With what we are seeing now, I have no doubt of voters’ safety at the various voting centres, no security collaboration can be more than this. I hail this oneness. Whoever foment trouble would have him or herself to blame”. Some of the residents stated. The exercise, organized by the state police command, lasted several hours as the security men finally returned to the command headquarters, where they earlier took off. It will be recalled that similar operation was carried out on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. By: MIKE OSAROGIAGBON