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Iyamho attack: Oshiomhole, deputy governor trade blames

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Who instigated the attack on Governor Godwin Obaseki and Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos in Iyamho, Edo state on Saturday when they came to visit former governor Adams Oshiomhole in his country home?

The jury is out to determine the culprit as Oshiomhole and the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu traded blames.

Oshiomhole in a statement blamed Shaibu, alleging that the hoodlums who carried out the attack were the same thugs who invaded the university community on the orders of the Deputy Governor of the state, Philip Shaibu.

But Shaibu has promptly denied the accusation, with his spokesman providing an alibi: the deputy governor was in the convoy attacked by the hoodlums, asking rhetorically, whether he would have organised his own attack.

“The Governor, his deputy, Oba of Lagos and their entourage were at the gate of the National Chairman of our great party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to pay him the usual homage since they were in his domain.

“Surprisingly, the large crowd that gathered at the gate brutally attacked the convoy, destroying three cars in the process.

“The convoy had to quickly turn and came back to the varsity campus. So, how did the Deputy Governor cause it, could he have arranged his own attack?

“In fact, they were there on the invitation of the Comrade himself.”The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has condemned the attack on him, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Chancellor of the Edo University, Iyahmo, Dr. Aderemi Makanjuola and other guests at the residence of former Governor of the State and National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

But Oshiomhole in heaping the blame on Shaibu said tension in the community started last Friday when Shaibu imported thugs into the community with a view to intimidate political opponents.

Oshiomhole’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem said Oshiomhole left the convocation lecture on Saturday through the back to avoid being attacked by the thugs who laid siege at the entrance gate of the university.

Oshiomhole said he and other guests were already in the hall when at about 11:30am, the deputy governor stormed the University with over 200 Okada riders and thugs.

“Security operatives accosted them at the gate and refused them entrance. The thugs started threatening the security operatives who insisted the deputy governor can enter the venue but they will not allow the thugs to gain access.

“Following their threats the security operatives tear gassed the thugs and the deputy governor. The thugs were dispersed while the deputy governor joined other dignitaries at the venue. This created tension already in the small community.

“However, after the event, Comrade Oshiomhole invited the Oba of Lagos, the Chancellor and others for lunch at his country home which is right opposite the university. Consequently, he left instruction at the gate that he was expecting these respected leaders.

“So when the visitors came, the governor drove in a bus with other officials but following the incident that occurred earlier where thugs sponsored by the deputy governor invaded the university, Iyamho youths barricaded the gate of the national chairman with a view to protecting him against any harm.

“Unfortunately, these youths sighted Andrew Momodu, Osaigbovo Iyoha in the bus which conveyed the governor to Oshiomhole’s residence. They decided to stop them from entering the compound because these were the same people who led the thugs that attacked Oshiomhole’s residence in Benin City penultimate week.

“While this confusion was on, the thugs brought by the deputy governor started destroying the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s kinsmen. I want to state clearly that the vehicles destroyed were not in the convoy of the governor. The thugs targeted the vehicles belonging to Oshiomhole’s relations and friend and destroyed them. Thank God for the intervention of soldiers and other security operatives who came to restore peace.

“This would not have happened if not for the thugs who invaded the community loyal to the deputy governor.

Governor Obaseki, who has been fighting a political war of survival with Oshiomhole deplored the attack.

He said it was shameful it took place at the residence of the National Chairman of the ruling party in the state and at the national level.

“It is very unfortunate that we can’t feel safe in the house of our National Chairman. I am not sure that if I visit the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that they will attack me the way they did in the house of the APC National Chairman.”

“It is unfortunate that things have degenerated to this extent. But we will continue to sue for peace. We cannot afford to lose the gains of the last three years. We will continue to pursue peace,” he added.

Oshiomhole, meanwhile has apologised to Oba Akiolu and the new chancellor of Edo State University, Makanjuola for the embarrassment.

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We can only release Sowore to his sureties, says DSS

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DSS DG, Bichi

The Department of State Services (DSS) says it is ready to release Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement.

Sowore was arrested in Lagos on August 3 and subsequently flown to Abuja where he has been detained.

A federal high court in Abuja had granted him bail but the activist is yet to regain freedom even after fulfilling his bail conditions.

This had prompted a nationwide outrage and protest at the headquarters of the agency. There were reports of assault on the protesters on Tuesday.

But in a statement sent to The Witness on Wednesday, Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, said operatives of the agency, did not open fire on protesters but prevented those who wanted to forcefully break into the agency to release Sowore.

Read the full statement below:

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to state that its operatives did not open fire on alleged protesters who had stormed its facility on 12th November, 2019.

As a normal global security practice, the operatives stood in defence of their facility when some group of persons made unruly attempts to forcefully break into the place and effect the release of Omoloye SOWORE.

Despite serial and unwarranted provocations, the Service, as a professional and responsible Organisation, did not shoot at the so called protesters. It could not have done so.

For emphasis, the Service reiterates its avowed readiness to release SOWORE once the processes are concluded. It maintains that the appropriate persons have still not turned up to take delivery of SOWORE.

While all those that have so far shown up are not directly concerned with the matter and therefore unqualified, many others have either chosen to grandstand or politicise it to achieve hidden interests.

In the last few days, the Service has continued to witness deliberate campaigns of calumny, threats and aspersions against it. It will not, for any reason, join issues with its mudslingers. The media is called upon to be neutral and remain champions of the truth.

It is only appropriate that those who stood surety for SOWORE present themselves and have him released to them. It is even more disappointing that Femi FALANA, who is a senior lawyer, would wrongly guide his client and supporters. He is rather playing to the gallery and mobilizing miscreants to subvert the Service and other state authorities. He has excellent relationship with the DGSS. But in the circumstance, he has refused to reach out to him over the case like he had on previously related ones.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Service restates its commitment to the rule of law and particularly respect to the Court. It, therefore, calls for calm but states that it will not be intimidated or harassed into hasty actions.

It reassures the public that it will not waste a second to release SOWORE if the proper processes are followed. And FALANA, sure, knows what these are.

Peter Afunanya, Ph.D
Public Relations Officer,
Department of State Services,
National Headquarters,
Abuja
13th November, 2019

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APC suspends Edo gov, deputy, SSG over alleged anti-party activities

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Leaders of the All Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State have suspended the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy governor, Philip Shuaibu and the Secretary to the state Government, Osarodion Ogie for alleged anti party activities.

A chieftain of the party, Mr. Patrick Ikhariale stated this while briefing journalists in Benin City on Wednesday.

Details later.

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APC govs to Oshiomhole: You have failed, resign now

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Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed dissatisfaction with the various crisis currently rocking the party and have demanded that the National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole convene a National Executive Committee (NEC) Meeting or resign immediately.

The governors under the aegis of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) specifically mentioned the ongoing political battle between the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki and Oshiomhole himself among many others across the country.
The APC in Edo State on Tuesday suspended the APC National Chairman over what it termed as “his role in the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party”.

The decision followed the vote of no confidence passed on Comrade Oshiomhole by the Chairmen of the APC in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Edo State.

However, In a statement made available to newsmen Wednesday morning in Abuja and signed by the PGF’s Director-General Salihu Moh. Lukman, the forum asked “Why is it impossible to convene a NEC or even National Caucus meetings, which are supposed to hold every quarter to resolve all these issues? Why should the NWC under Comrade Oshiomhole continue to imagine that it can conduct affairs of the party without mandatory meetings of party organs?

What legacy is Comrade Oshiomhole hoping to achieve as a National Chairman by running the party in a way that suggests almost zero commitment to issues of party development?”
While demanding for a statutory NEC meeting, the governors said: “In the current circumstance, nothing short of a NEC or National Caucus meeting of the party can resolve all our increasing organisational challenges as a party. It is either Comrade Oshiomhole respects the provision of the party constitution and convene superior organ meeting to deliberate on all our challenges, or he should just accept his inability to manage the party and simply resign.

“Our national leaders must rise to the challenge facing us as a party and take all necessary measures to convene superior organ meetings to begin to resolve all our challenges as a party. The current public disgrace must end!”

The governors said it is very painful for many of them who have had the privilege of being mentored by Comrade Oshiomhole to see him being devalued to a local factional leader from a very high pedestal of an illustrious national leader.

“As National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole hardly appreciates that he now has a national constituency and not just a state constituency, which may have been responsible for his apparent intemperance in the handling of matters affecting Edo State. I wish he paid similar attention to the handling of issues affecting Rivers and Zamfara states during the 2019 elections.

“Information coming from Edo State indicate that members of the State Executive Council of APC have passed a vote of no confidence in Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of our party, APC. In so many respects, it could be argued, it is a natural outcome of unfolding power play between Comrade Oshiomhole and Governor Godwin Obaseki since June 2019 with the contentious inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.

“Possible retaliatory responses from both Comrade Oshiomhole and groups such as Edo Peoples Movement who are loyal to Comrade Oshiomhole should be expected. In other words, the could be counter pronouncement suspending Governor Obaseki.

“Side by side with the news of the vote of no confidence was also the discomforting report of the Federal High Court judgement in Abuja disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as our Deputy Governorship candidate for the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa election. While expecting that every necessary step will be taken to vacate the judgement, it is very depressing forever.

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