Godwin Obaseki: The “mulling” Governor

Opinion@JohnMayaki.com

Three years into his administration, Godwin Obaseki is still mulling. He is mulling on issues central to the development, security, and sustenance of the state even as things fall apart and more and more people are thrown into poverty and hardship.

Like a halfwit, he ponders and mulls on issues demanding leadership and decisiveness; he mulls and mulls that the people, especially those tormented by these endless torrent of “Governor Obaseki mulls” messages across his personal media, are beginning to wonder if they elected him to the Government House to mull.

For affirmation and to address the predictable questioning of some doubting Thomas, you may go through the Governor’s media pages or enter the keywords “Obaseki mulls” into Google and see what the incompetent man spends his time in office doing.

In the space of a month or so, he has “mulled” football tournament for primary schools; ‘mulled’ participation in Bendel Development Commission even though a similar commission already exists; ‘mulled’ support structures for the private sectors and a host of other issues.

These issues never went past the ‘mulling stage’ and only yesterday, another was added to the mulling list; his promise to partner with the National Open University of Nigeria to boost vocational training.

To those wondering, the word ‘mull’, according to the English dictionary, means to think about something deeply. Its synonyms include ponder, deliberate and other mental tasks which evidently in the case of Godwin Obaseki, never translates into any meaningful action.

Usually, for serious governments, three years into power, especially one that already kicked off a premature election campaign, the norm is to inundate people with achievements and progress reports on previous promises.

For instance, Obaseki promised on the 25th of September 2017 to focus on vocational courses and produce between two to five thousand technicians yearly whilst receiving training equipment and tools donated by the Industrial Training Fund and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association to schools in Edo State.

Two full years after, he has no result to show on this salient promise, except for another declaration that he is ‘mulling’ another partnership that may not materialize if other failed promises are anything to go by.

Identifying a failed government led by an unserious and inept man is not at all a difficult task. The lack of ambition and aimlessness is obvious in both actions and words. That Obaseki is still ‘mulling’ three years after winning election to offer direction on these important issues, many of which he campaigned on, says all that needs to be said about the man.

He is sowing seeds of confusion around now, threatening fire and brimstone in a supposed fight with some politicians he has refused to name. But all of these are obvious attempts to distract people from the ponderous nature of his administration that has failed to achieve nothing since inception.

It will fail, no doubt. The people who have witnessed a sad reversal of fortunes recognize without ambiguity that the root cause is the misfit in charge of leadership. When it is time to boot him out of office, they won’t ‘mull’ the decision for a second.

Nigerian AAC Presidential Candidate Manhandled, Handcuffed – Civil Society kicks…

Idemudia Osarugue

The Nigerian secret police, Department of State Services, allegedly manhandled and handcuffed 2019 Presidential candidate of the Action Alliance Congress (AAC) and leader of the planned August Revolution, Mr. Omoyele Sowore  in order to arrest him in the dead of the night, a close associate of Omoyele Sowore alleged.

According to the close associate: “At around past 1am, the armed men knocked on the door. I noticed immediately that these knocks were strange. And didn’t open. I looked and I saw men armed to the teeth. They started forcing their way in like armed robbers. But I knew they were DSS men, knowing full well the attention Revolution Now has garnered. Sowore wanted to open at first but I immediately told him who they are. 

“He retreated and like magic, he was not in the room when they forced their way in – eight of them. That was when he managed to tweet.  

“By this time, I had been beaten and handcuffed. Phones were snatched from me. An order to block all exits came from the leader when Sowore was not found inside.

“He was later arrested at the gym in a Gestapo manner and dragged after a bit of altercation. 

“They removed my handcuffs and I quickly seized that opportunity to drive his car (I drive him) to block their Sienna and Hilux vehicles they came in.”

Continuing, he said, “They hit the Lexus Jeep (I was driving) like kidnappers would do to make way for themselves. 

“I followed them immediately until we got to CMD Road around Ketu (close to the old toll gate) when one of them came down from the Sienna and corked his gun, threatening to shoot me. 

“I had to escape at that point.”

Meanwhile, Nigerians are divided over the fate of Sowore. While many youths across the country say that Sowore deserves the ill treatment being meted on him because he was one of those who deliberately brought down the Jonathan government with propaganda thus bringing on board the Buhari government. But others, especially the Civil Society groups are rallying behind him calling for his release, blaming the administration for being intolerant of opposition.

It is illegal for Police to search your Phones, Laptops or Bank Accounts without Court Order – IG of Police

Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has transmitted a matching order to policemen in Nigeria, especially the FSARS unit, who got the transmission to desist from checking citizens’ account details, phones or laptops without valid order from the court and authorisation by the Commissioner of Police in the State.

Idris told the operatives of the reformed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, to desist from checking citizens’ bank account details forthwith, warning them not to invade people’s phones and laptops unless they have a court order or an instruction from the commissioner of police in charge of a state police command.

Speaking during the weekend at a workshop on the reformed FSARS in Owerri, Imo state, the IGP warned that any FSARS operatives who violated the new rules would be dismissed from the Force immediately.

Ibrahim, who was represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP’s X-Squad, Amaechi Elumelu, said that any FSARS operative who handles cases not related to armed robbery and kidnapping would equally be dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force.

He said that under the new era in FSARS, the operatives must be professional and respect the rights and privileges of all citizens.

The IGP recalled that in the past, FSARS was considered the most elitist and professional Unit of the Police Force because of its conduct.

He regretted that in the last two years, the Unit had been riddled with allegations of abuse and excesses which made the public to call for its disbandment.

He said, “under the reformed FSARS, it is illegal to search suspects phones, computers, or inquire about their bank account details without proper authorization.

“Henceforth, the FSARS Commanders must get directives from the State Commissioners before invading people’s privacies. Any officer who disobeys will be dismissed.”

The police boss disclosed that all operatives of FSARS would undergo medical evaluation in order to guarantee their mental, psychological, emotional conditions.

He advised all FSARS operatives to be computer literate in order to adapt to the current innovations going on in the department.

The police boss warned the operatives not to detain any suspect for more than 48 hours without a remand order from the court.

He also called for the establishment of a Medical Department in FSARS so as to provide medical assistance to sick suspects.

Obaseki’s new price regime on C of O, lifts investor confidence in Edo – EDOGIS boss

Managing Director of Edo Geographic Information Service (EDOGIS), Arch. Frank Evbuomwan, has said that investor confidence in all sectors of the state is on the rise, with easier, cheaper and convenient way of processing title documents for landed property.

Evbuomwan, who disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Benin City, the state capital, noted that the process has now been computerised and is now customer-focused.

According to him,

“Our processes are computerised; we are very seamless now. When you come around, you will find that we have developed a system for customer service, which is because we are a customer-focused agency now. It is very much easier now, a lot cheaper and we have put in a lot of conveniences to ensure that even those who are outside the country can benefit from our services.”

On the new cost regime in acquiring Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) in the state, he explained, “C-of-Os differ from land to land. For instance, a piece of land measuring 100×100 feet in a place down Airport Road, which C-of-O, would have cost between N300,000 and N350, 000, now goes for far less. I am talking about official cost, under the new regime, on that same piece of land you will get the C-of-O for as little as N60,000, with no extra payment.

On the process of acquiring the title, he said,

“All you need do is to come in here, fill your application form, we will give you the offer letter. You will pay for the C-of-O and you will not need to pay for any other thing or see any other person until we call you in to come and pick up your C-of-O, signed by the governor.”

On the price variations for the different range of property, he said,

“If you have a plot measuring 100×200, the difference in cost is just N10, 000. So, the 100×200 plot will cost N70, 000. It is not geometric. We have a new website: www.edogis.org, which contains the terms and conditions for getting a C-of-O, including the prices. This is the first time in the history of this state that government will put the prices in public domain. So, you can actually calculate how much your C-of-O will cost, by yourself.”

According to Evbuomwan, the renewed focus of the agency has improved the rating of the state on the ease of doing business, noting,

“First of all, in the ease of doing business index being monitored by the World Bank, out of the 36 states with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Edo State stands at about 28th to 29th position. Before now, to get your C-of-O, it took a period of six months to three to four years, or even more. In Rwanda, which is an African country, to get your title, it takes 24 hours. One of the first things we decided to do when Governor Obaseki assumed office was a marching order to cut down the time for getting C-of-O. We are committed to delivering your certificate in 30 days. Our goal obviously is to try as much as possible to match the Rwanda time, and we are starting with 30 days.”

Government’s continued neglect threatens infrastructures in Edo State Ministry of Education

Edo State Government’s continued neglect threatens infrastructures in Edo’s Ministry of Education making it now look more or less Ministry of Dilapidation.

Edo Ministry of Education Iyaro premises.
Photo credit: URHOKPOTA REPORTERS

Ministry of Education is supposed  to be Government’s driving force for change, growth and development of the education system – shaping direction for education agencies and providers and contributing to the Government’s goals for education.

But besides these functions, infrastructures at Edo state Ministry of Education are in despair and dilapidated without any serious commitment from the government.

Urhokpota Reporters exclusively investigated the dilapidation of Edo State Ministry of Education Iyaro and the plights of people in accessing its services.

Our investigation revealed that many are the challenges confronting the Ministry of Education Iyaro. URHOKPOTA REPORTERS spoke to a number of staff both junior and senior staff, all of them pleaded for anonymity.

The staff, rightly so, are looking up to the government to tackle the ever growing number of challenges in their workplace  in order to make work more dignifying for them. But as seen in many cases, help does not always seem to come easily from the state government.

The challenges, mostly topped by dearth of infrastructures in the Ministry, have subjected staff to untold hardships and indignity.

Top on the list of complaints of staff is office space to discharge their duties.

Edo Ministry of Education Iyaro premises.
Photo credit: URHOKPOTA REPORTERS

The staff, who handle the routine duties of the Ministry suffer various forms of difficulties, depending on the level they occupy. Some suffer problems ranging from poor ergonomics, dilapidated buildings, lack of facilities to carryout their duties, and manpower shortages. For example they have to depend on business centre to type or photocopy even sensitive letters due to a lack machines in the ministry.

In some situations, staff are made to sit on top books due to lack of space as Urhokpota Reporters witnessed. Some staff  were seen under a small tree attending to a school principal who had come to seek information on take off approval for his school.

So is the situation in Iyaro, where a tree serves as the office of a staff of the Ministry of Education.

The poor state of the Ministry can be linked to years of negligence and abandonement by successive government administration, especially since the tenure of Adams Oshiomhole where a portion that was burnt by curious fire has not been repaired till date. Check the pictures.

The Ministry continue to be in despair inspite of the N6.3b  budgeted for education in 2018.

Poor governance and mismanagement have crippled education sectors in the state not leaving behind the Ministry of Education. Government’s attitude towards crucial problems of education, especially its quality, is lackadaisical.

A principal who spoke to our correspondent lamented that government’s institution should be in such state of despair,  calling on the government to renovate the dilapidated buildings.

A top staff who doesn’t want his identity disclosed said “Apart from the dilapidated nature of some of the buildings, the existing offices cannot contain all the staff”.

URHOKPOTA REPORTERS calls on Governor Obaseki to urgently do something about the dilapidation that has continued in the Ministry of Education under his watch and justify the huge budgetary allocation to the ministry.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Self-help syndrome: the bane of political evolution of Ewu land and people – Hon. J.E. Imoisili.

The inaugural edition of the EKPEBUA HOUSE, Ewu Political Lecture Series held on Saturday in Ewu has gone down in history as a wake up call to Ewu reawakening towards engendering Unity and prosperity associated with Unity.

Lead Speaker of the maiden edition of Ekpebua House Political Lecture series organised by the Ewu Progress Foundation, Hon J. Ebeagbor Imoisili, an Ewu man formerly Esan Central council boss and management consultant, while taking a historical voyage around Ewu political evolution, revealed that from time immemorial, Ewu politics has been marred by lack of unity and communal backing of candidates of Ewu origin.

According to Imoisili who is now a leader in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 8 (Ewu), whose tenure as Esan Central council boss is remembered by most people as a time of quality, altruistic leadership of focus on transformation,  politicians of Ewu origin who succeeded in getting political positions did so through self help.  This has been a bane to the political evolution of Ewu land, according to the Lead Speaker.

According to Imoisili, while other communities like Irrua, Uromi and others projected and supported their people to elective offices  to get elected into political positions, Ewu politicians only resort to self help because they lack the backing from home.

He cited the early great politicians like Shaka Momodu of Irrua, Ijie of Ibore and others having laid the foundations for their future generation to thrive in politics.

Corroborating this shortcomings of Ewu, Pa Jerome Idiata, the chairman of Elukhide Social Cultural Development Organization, popularly called Elukhide, revealed how in his own watch, the political Godfathers of that time tried to lure them into supporting the removal of Hon David Iyoha, an Ewu man, from office as the then Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly with the deceptive promise that if Iyoha is removed, then their own son would be made the next governor of the state.

He said he vehemently refused that plot because a bird in hand is worth more than millions in the bush.

Also speaking at the historic event, Hon David Iyoha, formerly speaker, Edo State House of Assembly during the Igbinedion tenure as governor, stated that the theme of the programme “Get Involved” was what motivated him to attend the Ekpebua House inaugural lecture.

According to the former speaker who is now a leader in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ward 8 (Ewu), he got involved in the 90s when he first contested as a councillor under the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM).

Under the political calculations then,  he later wanted to contest for local Government Council Chairman but had to accept the House of Assembly ticket in the end owing to the then prevailing political circumstances.

He got involved and became a Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly. He narrated further how he impacted many people in education through scholarships.

In his Keynote Address, which was the high point of the event,  the Onojie of Ewu, HRH Barr. Rasaki Isesele Ojiefo III commended the converners of the programme in their wisdom in using the name EKPEBUA for the series.

According to the legal luminary who is King of Ewu, he said the tree royal princes whose families are now the kings and kingmakers lineages; Ekpebua, Uwamen and Ughulu, were the 3 brothers who migrated from Benin to Ewu in the distant past.

The Onojie clarified  that the Ruling House of Ewu is more appropriate to be called the Ekpebua Dynasty instead of the current name of Ojiefo Dynasty.

According to the cerebral royal father of Ewu Kingdom, Ekpebua is the originator of the current Ewu Ruling House.

He further revealed that in the early 1900, Ewu was recognised by the colonial government as a Kingdom covering the whole of present Idoa, Ukhun, (now in Esan West LGA) Jagbe, and Agbede (Now in Etsako West LGA).

Zaiki Ojiejo III further revealed that the mother of Emuan n’Ogidigan (The great), one of the greatest kings of Ewu who was dreaded by the colonial government and the then neighbors, is from Agbede and that was why King Eimua, (whose three sons tasted the throne; Abhulimen, Ojiefoh and Omosun), gave the portion of Ewu land to the Agbede people which is now called Agbede land today.

In his conclusion, the Lead Speaker commended the Ewu Progress Foundation (conveners of Ewu Political Forum) and impressed on them to get involved.

He cited that the time to support our own is ripe adding that a bright son of  Ewu is asking for a position as a legislator at the House of Assembly in 2019, apparently referring to the aspiration of Saintmoses Eromosele. He died that Ewu should back him to demonstrate their resolve to break the old jinx.

Ewu Political Forum was founded on December 27, 2017 by two cousins, Saintmoses Eromosele based in Germany and Osajele Godsend Jomo based in Lagos on a WhatsApp platform. Both of them are currently members of the Board of Trustees.

The group is currently being led by Engr Fidelis Edokpa after Mr Isiwele Osezuwa handed over in a democratic election held in March 2018. Chairman of the Board of Trustees and a strong pillar for the group, Pastor Henry Amenkhena, was also Chairman of the occasion and he pledged to support any Ewu man to higher position.

The group was founded to unite Ewu towards greater sociopolitical achievement, to initiate the EKPEBUA HOUSE Political Lecture Series and to agitate for the creation of a separate Local Government Area or Local Council Development Authority to be known as Kugbe or Esan North LGA or LCDA comprising Ewu, Ukhun, Idoa and Jagbe with head quarters in Ewu.

The Chairman of the Political Lecture Series Committee of the EPF, Mr Lawrence Isiraoje, expressed satisfaction over the success of the maiden edition and asked the public to embrace subsequent editions which would be open to non-Ewu people.

Faruk from Ukhiodo-Ewu anchored the memorable event which attracted all sectors of the Ewu public. The Chairman of the Esan Central council who is an Ewu man was conspicuously absent but the two councillors representing Ewu at the council attended.

At the end of the program the guests went to inspect the medium sized Ewu Community Library of large hall and four reading rooms donated to Ewu by the TY Danjuma Foundation, which management Onojie of Ewu last April handed over to the EPF. Donations for the take off of the library were received from Hon David Iyoha, Pa Idiata, and others.

 

Osajele Godsend Jomo, reporting for URHOKPOTA REPORTERS.

Obaseki Appeals to Donor Agencies to Sustain Support For Edo’s Development

 

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called on donor agencies for continued support of its development initiatives, assuring that the government is committed to ensuring high impact of donors’ assistance for all stakeholders.

The governor said this at the First Quarterly Review of Donor Agencies’ projects in the state held at the Banquet Hall, Government House in Benin city, the Edo State capital.

Obaseki, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said that in the light of Nigeria’s transition from low to middle income status, the country risked losing access to certain funding for development.

He said this calls for more creative approaches to addressing developmental challenges, especially in healthcare and education, noting that the state government is adopting the Edo State Health Insurance Scheme to ensure that accessible and affordable healthcare does not elude her people.

According to him, “Edo State is not sleeping on its oars in the face of such dire situation. Hence, we are adopting a special Edo State Health Insurance Scheme.

“As donor support is shrinking, we must put on our thinking caps to begin to look at other sources of funds to assist us with our developmental projects. It is on this note that we request our donor partners to keep granting Edo State the understanding it truly deserves because of our unalloyed commitment of ensuring that every of your effort crystalizes into high-yielding gains for all stakeholders.”

He said the meeting was also to acquaint local government executives with the different donor funded projects in their domain so that they do not only have inventory of the projects, but also to ensure monitoring and maintenance.

In her remarks, Commissioner for Budget, Hon. Maryam Abubakar, said the state government organised the meeting to review performance and ascertain intervention and impact of donor agencies’ projects.

She added that the state government places emphasis on the deepening of development by donor agencies, especially in line with her developmental plan, captured in thematic areas in the State’s Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Richard Okundia,
Reporting for URHOKPOTA REPORTERS.

Onojie of Ewu hands over Community Library to NGO, to revive reading culture

Recently incorporated NGO, the Ewu Progress Foundation also known as Ewu Political Forum, (EPF), founded, populated and led by Ewu sons and daughters both home and abroad, paid their monarch, His Royal Highness, Onojie of Ewu Kingdom – HRH. Ojeifo, a courtesy call in his Palace (Ikpebua House) Sunday.

The EPF delegation, led by member of the Board Of Trustees (BOT), Revd. Albert Omonhan Oboh, also had other illustrious sons of Eilu amongst whom are: Lawrence Isiraojie, Yakubu Omosun, Ezekiel Izzy (alias Easy Motors), Ehizogie E. Iyeomoan (Secretary General of the EPF), Hon. Sheidu (Councillor Ward 8, Esan Central LGA). And a non-native Yakubu (a friend of the Reverend who has now taken Ewu like his home).

The palace was full to the brim and spilling out as Palace Chiefs flanked HRH, Onojie Ojeifo to recieve the EPF delegation.

The EPF siezed the occasion to seek for royal blessings and prayers from the crown and the palace. A request HRH, Onojie Ojeifo gladly obliged.

Furthermore, the EPF informed the Royal Father of the main reason for its visit, that is, its most recent plans/proposed projects, namely: reactivation of the long abandoned Ewu Community Library at Eguare-Ewu, and asked to be given the opportunity to take over management of the Library which had been nonfunctional for many years.

The EPF also informed the crown and the entire palace of its proposed Ewu Political Series termed “Ikpebua House” modelled after the Chattam House of BrutaiB, which first edition has been slated for May 27 2018. The EPF solicited for royal support – and that the Royal Father be available as one of the special guests of honour.

On his part the Onojie of Ewu who was all shades of excitement, welcomed the EPF, offered prayers to the organisation (especially towards the prosperity of its members) and Ewuland in general, stating that the growth of one is the growth of another and by extension the development of Ewu.

On the demands of the EPF, the Royal Father immediately granted that the Library be handed over to the custody of the EPF for proper management.

The Onojie Ojeifo III, who is also a lawyer, immediately directed Hon. Shiedu (Councillor, Ward 8) to assist the EPF in making the Library available for its project, stating that educational projects of this nature would reactivate the reading culture of Ewu sons and daughters.

Hon. Sheidu on his part added his voice by appreciating the EPF for honouring the royal father, and informed him (Onojie Ojeifo III) that the EPF had also extended its long hand of honour to the Local Government Council (the Chairman and the two councillors from Ewu). That he is totally in support of the EPF and its very feasible projects, especially because the EPF totally guns for partnerships for the development of Ewu kingdom.

EPF delegation to the Onojie of Ewu

His Royal Highness also hinted on the series of developmental projects Ewu has so far witnessed during his time, thanking God for every single Ewu son and daughter who had in one way or the other been instrumental to the success of these rapid growth plots.

On the EPF political lecture series (Ikpebua House), the Royal father fully endorsed the idea and promised to ‘save the date, 27th May’ on his calendar.

The Onojie said that Ewuland is one of the most prominent Kingdoms of Esan land, hence the people must keep the flag at full mast by continually driving/attracting sustainable growth to Ewu.

He added that he is open to partnerships of the kind the EPF is offering to Ewu, and would do everything within his power to assist.

The Edionwele, as directed by Onojie Ojeifo III, broke the kolanuts and said more prayers to the success of the EPF and to the growth of Ewu at large.

When contacted for his comment, the President of the EPF who was unavoidably absent, stated that EPF was established to raise the banner of prosperity and unity for Ewu and that he would use his tenure to see that Ewu regains her rightful pride of place in Esan Central, Edo State and Nigeria.

Ewu Declaration: Our Resolve Against Continued Inequity And Marginalization

Press Release:

14 January 2018

Ewu Declaration: Our Resolve Against Continued Inequity And Marginalization

The Ewu Political Forum (EPF) is a voluntary socio-cultural/political movement made up of Ewu sons and daughters.

Ewu Political Forum is one of the brand names for the incorporated name of Ewu Progress Foundation (EPF).

The membership of EPF is drawn from Ewu people living within and outside Ewu kingdom and Ewu people in the Diaspora. The body is exclusively for charitable, humanitarian, educational and developmental purposes of Ewu Kingdom.

As to be expected, this body could be partisan, if the need arises. But before doing that, it shall be very critical and dispassionate in all assessments, before taking sides. The EPF shall only support anybody or party that will help minister to the perennial and contemporary problems and aspirations of the Ewu people and kingdom.

In a statement signed by Mr. Isiwele Osezuwa, the Protem President, and Mr. Chris Egbele, the Protem Secretary General of Ewu Political Forum (EPF), the body is constrained to make public pronouncements after painfully observing the decades of deliberate neglect of Ewu kingdom in the areas of development, economics and politics.

This statement, therefore, is categorical that the good people of Ewu kingdom who are naturally peaceful, law-abiding and loving to their neighbors will no longer allow the decades of neglect and marginalization to continue. The EPF has resolved and is determined to alter this position through all lawful and available means no matter the consequences.

The Crux Of The Matter.

1. The present Esan Central Local Government Area Council made up of Irrua, Ewu, Opoji and Ugbegun was carved out of the old Okpebholo Local Government Area Council by the regime of the former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida in 1991. 27 years after, no other person from the three ethnic Esan groups that make up the Esan Central LGA  has been deemed fit enough to lead the council in any elective or executive capacity.

As if this is not enough insult on the collective sensibility, Ewu the next major kingdom after Irrua in this group, has been deliberately marginalized in all areas, be it political, economic and also in the areas of appointments, infrastructure and human development.

2. To make matters worse, in these  27 years under review, there is nothing tangible on ground to show that Ewu, that we call City of Commerce, Industry and Hospitality, belongs to an area council.  No single road has been built or tarred in any part of Ewu Kingdom. The same is the case in other areas of the economy or infrastructure. But within this same period in question, just to mention one area, almost all the major roads and adjoining roads in Irrua town have either been reconstructed or built afresh. This act of injustice can no longer be allowed to continue, and the EPF has therefore vowed not to allow this to continue, if we must continue to live in peace as Esan people from the same area council. If this state of affairs continued, we are left with no option but to demand for our excision from Esan Central LGA and rejoining with our equally oppressed brothers; Ukhun and Idoa in Esan West LGA, and Jagbe in Etsako West LGA, we will demand for our new local government area or local council development authority, as the case maybe – which name may be Esan North LGA or Kugbe LGA.

3. Another very disturbing trend is the deliberate abandonment of the Ewu market. For centuries now, the Ewu market sited in Ehanlen-Ewu, has been the center of trade and commerce in the whole of Esan land and Etsako areas of Edo State. For unexplainable reason(s), the Esan Central Local Government Council officials who diligently and dutifully collect tax and other levies from the town and market have continued to watch while the market deteriorates to a state where it is now a great source of a possible epidemic outbreak. As at this present time, no effort has been made or contemplated to clean up the market. We demand an urgent action from the Esan Central LGA council government so that we could continue to be law abiding.

4. For emphasis sake, it must be stated very clearly that Ewu people are not asking to be given undue advantage over other people or towns that make up Esan Central Local Government Area Council. All that the EPF is saying is that local government councils as the third tier of government is meant to draw development closer to the people that make up the council area; in this case, development has only been centered and concentrated in Irrua town. This is certainly not good enough for good neighborliness, peace and harmony; hence the EPF is now demanding an immediate change of tactics in the handling of the council’s affairs.

As law-abiding citizens and loyal Esan people, the EPF is not ready to play any second fiddle in the affairs of the Esan Central Local Government Area Council anymore, and is therefore appealing to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the National Assembly, the Edo State Government, the Edo State House of Assembly, and the Esan Central LGA to immediately look into the unjust and inhuman treatments of the Ewu people, so that the people continue to live in peace in this area council.

5. For the avoidance of any doubts, as from now onwards, and as 2019 approaches, any politician seeking to represent Ewu people in the Local Government Area Council, State House of Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate, must have the Executive and vibrant Members of the Ewu Political Forum (EPF) to contend with as this is the only way we can guarantee quality representation for the people.

The EPF meanwhile awaits the immediate and prompt response of all those concerned, especially the members of the National and Edo State Assemblies representing Ewu in any capacity, Edo State Government and the Esan Central Local Government Area Council to the demands.

We make these non negotiable demands because, as we say in Esan language, Oneghe, Osele!

The time to agitate for action through justice and fairness has come.

Landlords must pay Land Use tax – APC insists

The Edo state government has said that it would enforce the Land Use Charge Law to raise revenue for the state.

The Land Use Charge law is a law that compels landlords in Edo state to pay taxes on their houses and that will in effect affect the cost of renting a house in the state, because the landlord would definitely shift the burden of paying the land use charge on the tenants.

The Land Use Charge law was suggested by Godwin Obaseki, the APC gubernatorial candidate while he was economic adviser of Adams Oshiomhole. His intention, according to official explanation of the government, was to compel landlords in the state to pay extra taxes to increase the revenue base of the state.

But many landlords in the state, especially in Benin city faulted this claim saying that if the state wants to increase revenue, they should look into agriculture, industry and ICT, not tax landlords who are bearing the yokes of multiple taxations already.

Philip Shaibu, the APC deputy gubernatorial candidate, who was leader of the House that passed the bill, is said to be the sponsor of the bill that has been challleged by civil society, and is currently a subject of litigation.

TheThe PDP has said that it will review this law as it does not intend to punish landlords with taxes. Rather, the party said that they would find innovative ways to raise the revenue profile of the state, including investments in agree, industry, ICT, and other sources.

Speaking at Uselu, during the PDP gubernatorial campaign, the PDP candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, stated that the Land Use Tax by Oshiomhole and his party was repressive. He noted that the policy did not emanate from the consensus of the people.

According to Hon Frank Evbuomwan, Commissioner for Urban Development, he said that the Edo state government would enforce the Land Use law.

“The state executive council has decided to go on full enforcement.  Several owners of property have been charged to court and we are awaiting court orders to move against those property to recover the land use tax. Let it be clear that once the court judgement starts coming out more defaulters would be enrolled in the court process to enable government recover its taxes,” the Edo state Commissioner said.

The Dynamics of Youth Enterprise in Contemporary Nigeria – Saintmoses Eromosele

I would have loved to begin this speech by thanking Thomas Edison, the man who invented the electric bulb, but due to the frequent infrequency and consistent inconsistency in power supply to many parts of Edo State, despite the reportedly huge investments in power by successive administrations in Nigeria, all my thanks go to the unknown one who invented the candle.

By thanking the unknown ‘talakawa’ who invented the candle, I am challenging those concerned with managing our commonwealth to step up and hurry up to meet up with the Millennium Development Goals and bequeath to Nigerians, especially the youths, the most basic of citizens’ demand – Uninterrupted Power Supply – which has the potential to stimulate enterprise and bring Nigeria to her true stature – The Giant of Africa. Without energy, work is impossible, and without work, wealth is only a tall dream.

Without a doubt, the youths are the life-force of any nation, thus this brings me to the topic that have been assigned to me to speak on, “The Dynamics of Youth Enterprise in Contemporary Nigeria”.

When I received this topic, two things immediately crossed my mind; the words of Albert Einstein and a true life story of my childhood acquaintance, Jimoh – a son of the soil.

According to Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest scientist and philosopher, he said and I quote;

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”.

Jimoh was a naturally gifted but poor orphan who was an illiterate technician, workman and inventor. He manufactured a chopper (Helicopter) with locally sourced materials. He knew neither school arithmetic nor mathematics and he sure had no idea what they teach in school physics or chemistry. All that Jimoh knew was how to put material together and get results – practical results.

Jimoh could fix virtually any technical problem. As a teenager, I recall my admiration for Jimoh. It was rumoured then that his chopper could take off from the ground to the air. But I actually only entered the chopper, which could seat about five adults comfortably. He moved the aircraft with me and another inside within the compound, close to my alma mata, Edokpolo Grammar School, in Benin city.

Jimoh’s feat caught the attention of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa who promptly offered him full scholarship to study at Word of Faith Schools. Everyone had hoped that Jimoh had arrived by that scholarship grant and that he would end up creating the first locally made automobile engine in Nigeria.

That scholarship looked like a promise of fame and fortune and a banishment of poverty for Jimoh but it was not to be. I will explain, shortly.

Today, Jimoh is popularly known as “Goskolo”, a derogatory term to describe an alcoholic. Jimoh is a shadow of his self and a parable of a sort for “How Not to Waste a Talent”. Why did Jimoh lose it despite the scholarship? Would Jimoh become Goskolo were he to be born in Germany, America or anywhere in the developed world?

The answer is simple and direct. Jimoh lost it because that otherwise good-intentioned scholarship was misplaced, more like sponsoring a Tilapia fish for tree-climbing lessons or sending white monkeys for swimming courses.

It is apparent from this narrative that Jimoh was not cut out for academics but practical sciences. A purely technical college or technical apprenticeship programme at a production centre or factory, say Ajaokuta or Aladja Steel, would have prevented a Jimoh from turning into Goskolo.

Our educational system is seriously faulty. Our education system seeks to train fish to climb and monkeys to swim. That is where we have the tragedy. There is urgent need to reorder our educational objectives and overhaul the whole curriculum at our schools. I would strongly recommend a thorough understudy and eventual application of the German “Ausbildung” system of education.

The German ausbildung is very similar to what we in Nigeria derogatorily term “Learn Work” or, properly called, “Apprenticeship”, which lays emphasis on practical on-the-job training with recognized & prideful certification and with high chance of employment or empowerment at the end of the training which normally is three years.

The difference between German Ausbildung & Nigeria’s Apprenticeships is only that in Germany, the government recognizes, supports, & promotes the practice whereas in Nigeria today, as with many other sectors, the government abdicates its principal duty – to empower her people – and fails to stimulate youth enterprise.

Had Jimoh been in Germany, with his deficiency in academics, he would find a place in Volkswagen and be trained under the Ausbildung system on specific aspects of the automobile production process. Within three years, Jimoh would be issued with a certificate after he has been qualified and, if he has white skin and is sent to Nigeria to work for Siemens, he would be the Supervisor where Nigerian engineers who studied for Masters Degrees in Engineering would be his juniors.

This is the irony of the purposeful purposelessness and functional malfunction of our education system which mainly focuses on encouraging the acquisition of certificates and ignores the acquisition of practical life skills.

My decision to talk about Jimoh who became Goskolo was not hinged on intent to tell old wives fable or the engage in entertaining narration, rather it is intended to bring to fore the challenges that the ordinary man faces in Nigeria which in every way impedes his entrepreneurial engagements and ultimately impedes the growth and development of our national and state economy.

It is imperative on governments at all levels, especially state and local governments to wake up from their self-imposed slumber and begin to articulate policies to engage the youths in gainful employment, empowerment and proper education so as to spend less on Security Votes.

Rather than ‘create employments’, governments at all levels should start to create jobs and promote the creation of jobs for our people, especially the youths. It is no longer tenable to say that ‘it is not the duty of government to create jobs’. It is the duty of government to create jobs or pay social welfare support to the citizens who have no jobs until the government finds jobs for them. This is the practice in Germany, Canada, America, United Kingdom, Australia and all those so-called developed countries. If the practice is possible in those countries, it is very possible in Nigeria. It is only a matter of a courageous leadership with vision and passion to perform.

Governments should also promote the possibility for the citizens, especially the “talakawas”, to get access to credit for their businesses. Banks and financial institutions should be encouraged or pressurized to provide functional loans and credit facilities to the small and media scale entrepreneurs, not the bourgeoisies who eventually stress the bank by never repaying. This would not happen by wishful thinking. It requires concerted effort and courageous leadership.

Governments should stop employing youths for mere services like ‘traffic wardens’ or ‘neighborhood watch’. We have the properly and adequately trained Police and the Civil Defence Corps. What governments should rather focus on is creating jobs in agriculture, manufacturing or ICT and get the youths creatively engaged. This way, government would be committing to the next generation, rather than what we observe today which is more or less committing for the next election.

The time has come for us to look each other in the eye and tell each other the truth. Youths need jobs, not employment. We need life skills & credit facilities for our ideas and businesses, not political appointments. If you want to stop the brain drain, start the brain train and secure the happiness and security of the people.

Having said much, I would like to conclude by analyzing the words of Albert Einstein and identifying the inherent lessons to be learnt from them.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert Einstein.

This is very true. Jimoh is a genius. Even Goskolo is a genius. It is only a matter of where the genius is placed and who supervises the genius.

In physics, it is believed that “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed…but could be converted”. This is true beyond physics. Our youths are full of energies. These energies can neither be created nor destroyed. The energies are their talents, their skills, their intellect, their strength, their zeal, etc.

When government and society identify their positive energies and utilize their energies in the form of employment or empowerment, then the society would be having less need of buying more ammunition or armory for the police to kill the youths. Rather governments would convert the funds to buy more tractors, tools or machinery for our industries which the youth would drive.

Let us not forget that should the government or society not utilize the positive energies of the youths, the youths are left with no option but to convert their energies to the negative. That is when anomalies like kidnapping, armed robbery, terrorism, rape, corruption and all such vices and crimes would become vogue.

We have a chance to make amends. The task is before all of us. Government is to take the lead. Let us save the youth by encouraging work and reward culture as well as creating jobs at all costs and by all means. A government which fails to create jobs (not mere political appointments) for the youths should be regarded as a total failure.

My hope and wish for Edo State is that affliction should never return a second time and that Edo youths should never again be seen as stupid but they should be seen as the genius that they are and their energies be positively tapped to the glory and peace of Edo State.

Thank you!

– Saintmoses Eromosele

(Being text of a Speech delivered by Saintmoses Eromosele, Guest Speaker at the EPF Leadership Conference & Achievement Award held in Benin City at Best Western Homeville Hotel, 2013)

How Oshiomhole squandered over N1 trillion in almost eight years

By Solomon Ibharuneafe

Adams Oshiomhole the outgoing Executive Governor of Edo State really has a story to tell Edo people. And that is to explain to them how he squandered the over One Trillion Naira from the Federation Account and the internally generated Revenue on behalf of the people in his seven and half years when he held sway as Governor of the State.

Making the exposure of the governor’s reckless spending recently is Pastor Osagie ize-Iyamu a Lawyer, farmer, politician and a governorship aspirant on the platform of the PDP. He spoke at a Town Hall meeting in Benin organized by the House to House support initiative, a socio-political pressure group. Ize-Iyamu said that Edo State received over a trillion naira as revenue from the federation Account and Internally generated Revenue (IGR) but lamented that this huge revenue had unfortunately not been used to grow the economic base of the state but squandered on highly inflated projects that were not evenly distributed across the state. According to the politician who is also a man of the gospel, this money was restricted to one or two sectors to the detriment of the critical areas. He said the twin evil of poverty and unemployment were not tackled while sectors like Agriculture, industry, Tourism, Sports, Housing and Solid minerals were ignored. Ize-Iyamu chastised the Governor for allowing Bendel Brewery, Edo Line, Edo Courier, Edo Hotel and Bendel Insurance to collapse.

A government that chooses deliberately to ignore industry, Agriculture, Tourism, Sports, Solid minerals cannot be seriously concerned about the economy of her state, he said. He said the State Government made serious efforts at increasing the internally generated revenue of the state from N300million monthly to N2billion, a feat he said was commendable. But this increase he added brought with it pains and losses because of the arbitrary and punitive mode of assessment and collections. “Edo people who can barely survive and infact need welfare packages are forced to pay taxes and levies beyond their incomes”, adding that companies have closed, shops and have left the state as a result of constant harassment by the touts operating as officials and agents of government.

The erudite scholar revealed that vehicle owners now prefer to register their vehicles in nearby state like Delta due to high fees, stringent conditions and corrupt practices thereby enriching Delta a neigbouring state at the detriment of Edo State. He also punctured the ongoing application for certificates of occupancy needed for land documentation, loans and business transactions which have been abandoned by their owners because of the prohibitive charges that government had imposed on their acquisition “consequently government is loosing revenue and businesses are aborted because of this impasse” he said, explaining further that though taxes are important but the methodology of assessment and collection must be well thought out, When taxes are reasonable compliance becomes easier, he added..

Ize-Iyamu said when economy of a state is good, tax revenue becomes high. He pointed out that the Oshiomhole government did nothing tangible to assist, stimulate or improve the business environment, noting that government as the highest spender, ought to patronize local businesses or contractors but instead the Edo government under Oshiomhole preferred patronizing outsiders thereby encouraging capital flight and making the state unattractive for local entrepreneurs. Citing examples with the supply of furniture to schools across the state, he said one would have thought that Edo furniture makers reputed for their workmanship would have a field day providing these furniture but were denied as the entire contract was given to an Abuja company. Again, when Edo state government organizes events and receptions and they need to contract a caterer to provide refreshments, they do not patronize local caterers but rather pay millions to a company in Lagos to cook and serve. How can these people pay tax when their state government does not patronize them, he queried.

Ize-Iyamu condemned in strong term the increase in workers wages from N18, 000 to N25, 000 at the twinlight of the tenure without prior negotiation with the workers union. This gesture can only be a “Greek Gift” meant to deceive and win votes in the forthcoming gubernatorial election. We however believe that workers deserve fair wages and conditions of service, he said.

In what looks like an economic blueprint for the state, Pastor Ize-Iyamu chronicled some areas the state could improve the economy to bring her out of the current quagmire.

These include lowering the taxes and widening of the net, building of roads leading to high density areas, industrial estates, agricultural hubs and key markets, financing small businesses through partnering with financial institutions, setting up of a trade commission to be saddled with the responsibility of engaging with international agencies on rural urbanization projects and driving cross border investment into the state. Others include giving priority to the provision of pipe borne water to tie into agriculture for food and healthcare, transparency in the registration of companies and doing business in Edo State, reasonable cost of land transactions and prompt documentation to encourage people to invest for longterm, adoption of fiscal discipline to discourage waste of funds derived externally or internally, training of civil servants to help government organize its economic plan towards achieving optimum result, among others.

The lecture with the theme, Edo State Economy: The way out touched on Agriculture, Education, Land and Housing, critical infrastructure, sports Edo in diaspora, entertainment industry, tourism existing industries, solid minerals, power and security. In his final submission, Ize-Iyamu said definitely the state in the face of grossly inadequate allocations from the federation account can find its way out of its present undesirable economic state. He said the thing to do is to look inward to develop its natural economic factors, focus on priorities while avoiding waste.

The House to House Support Initiative as a non-government organization is charged with the sole responsibility of ensuring a balance between the general public and those in authority. It has its head office in Abuja and duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Six Strategies For Ewu Development – Self Help Approach – Eromosele

SIX STRATEGIES FOR EWU DEVELOPMENT – SELF HELP APPROACH

(Being text of a Paper delivered by Saintmoses Eromosele Esq aka SME at the EPF ONLINE POLITICAL LECTURE SERIES organized by the Ewu Progress Foundation/Ewu Political Forum on Sunday, 16th September, 2018, in the EPF Platform)

In this presentation, I decided to use Ewu as a case study for community development because I am addressing the Ewu Progress Foundation, and the Ewu people.

While we must continue to call on the government to come and develop Ewu, but we must realise that our destiny as a people lies in our own hands. There is a saying that “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. I share this view.

Most people, especially the politicians, think of “doing a project” when they hear the words “community development”. But my research (and experience) has been that the process of development, or following a development program is more important than mere projects – majority of which are mere stunts, not sustainable.

Ewu Political Forum incorporated in Nigeria by the CAC in Abuja as Ewu Progress Foundation, founded on December 27, 2017

We all want Ewu to have good roads, clean water, thriving economy, better access to health care, food and income, etc. But how do we achieve this? That is the ‘Selavi’ of the matter.

Successful community development approaches focus more on the “how” of projects than just receiving them.

Here are six common strategies we could utilize for the development of Ewu, before the government comes to our aid.

1. Ewu Needs Food Security.

I recall my childhood in Ewu. My uncle, Francis Airahuobhor (aka Jomo Kenyatta), and father of the BOT Secretary of EPF, Osi Jomo, he farmed in many places in Ewu. My annual visits to Ewu, especially during the Ihuenlan feast, I witnessed food, surplus food, in Ewu. My uncle had large rice farms, oil palm and yams.

I still recall my childhood with nostalgia. My grandmother, Nene Aihe, from Ehanlen-Ewu (God Bless Her Beautiful Soul) would process cassava into Akpu and corn into Emumu, Ori, Ekor and Amadidi and trade them at Ehanlen Market, Ekpoma and Irrua markets. From the proceeds she was able to buy us few presents and ‘Elamen Esi’ (Pork) which we loved then and relished. Life was simple and blessed.

Idunwele-Ewu didn’t have these tarred roads and culverts at that time (only one tarred road stretching through the whole of Ewu) yet hunger was virtually absent in the community. Why? Because the people mastered this first strategy – Food Security. Development does not consist of skyscrapers or railways only.

Ewu needs agriculture related projects that help people produce food, store food, use food more economically, or grow/produce marketable products. The EPF could obtain land in each of the seven communities of Ewu and set up EPF Farms and a Cooperative Society to produce food, generate employment and stimulate local economy by way of trade and transportation for the farm produce.

The process of Food security could also invariably bring job skills training or encourage small business startups to help increase overall individual and family income.

2. Ewu Needs a Healthcare Programme

Our ancestors were wise. They had provisions for protecting the community against sicknesses and diseases, even epidemic. But we must not continue to blame ourselves over our apparent deficiency in this area. We can evolve one today.

Let’s take active interest in all the healthcare centers in Ewu. We have a General Hospital at Idunwele, a Primary Health Care center at Eguare-Ewu and PAX Herbal pharmaceuticals at Ehanlen-Ewu, among other private hospitals and clinics (orthodox and traditional). Notable is the Omosun Trado-Psychiatry Hospital at Ehanlen-Ewu.

We must work out strategies to support these institutions to work well. We must supervise especially the government owned Hospitals and healthcare centers to ensure that they provide optimal service.

3. Ewu Needs Clean Pipe Borne Water and Sanitation

A common development oriented project is needed in Ewu to help the community with clean portable water. EPF could inspire, or execute, one. In the founding document of the EPF, we stated that we want to see this done. This is possible.

We could try to sink one or two community owned industrial boreholes sunk at the uphill part of Ewu and have safe pipes laid downtown to streets in Ewu, from which landlords could tap and get community water supply into their homes or gardens, and get water. Of course the water may not be free of charge, as those who get the service may pay a community levy or fee to maintain the Ewu Water Board that would be established to maintain the boreholes and treat the water where needed. If the government is absent in your community, organise to govern yourself!

This suggestion may sound crazy at first, but on a second deeper thought it would be seen to be a good approach in self-help to give clean water to more homes in Ewu, before the government comes – if they ever will.

4. Ewu Needs To Promote Education, Skills Acquisition and Adult literacy for Ewu People

Ewu can evolve a strategy for children and youth education, as well as adults literacy and skill acquisition for all. This strategy could include child sponsorship projects, accrual of necessary materials for attending school (books, supplies, uniforms, etc.), or even simple things such as healthy school lunches, encouragement of wealthy indigenes to provide grants or scholarship to gifted but indigent students. The EPF Community Library & ICT Centre that was commissioned by you in Ewu recently is a huge effort in this direction. We can do even more. And especially education for our women and girls too.

5. EPF Can Set Up or Encourage the Setting up of Co-operative Societies, microenterprises or microfinance ventures.

I am proud that EPF President, Mr Fidelis Edokpa, who is already doing the Faithful Investment Ventures, a micro finance investment in Ewu. He should as well lead the EPF to also set up cooperatives for agriculture, trade and other economic ventures.

President of EPF, Engr Fidelis Edokpa

6. Ewu Needs to Evolve Novel Political Engagement Strategy for Politicians, Parties and Government

This might sound odd but it’s necessary. Ewu must deemphasize partisan politics when it comes to development. Anyone who elevates political parties’ interest over community interest, in matters of development, should be ostracized.

Without political engagement, self-help may just not be enough. EPF is already doing well in this direction by mobilising for voters in the recently concluded Continuous Voter Registration ahead of 2019 general election. But it could do more.

During the campaigns, EPF could, and should, invite all the candidates and political parties (not merely to hear their delicious empty promises, but) to demand that they swear on Oath at any of the community shrines in Ewu or depose to an affidavit at the High Court (whichever they subscribed to is ok) what they pledge to do for the community if elected.

Anyone that avoids this demonstration of commitment should not be trusted and your organization, in concert with others in Ewu, should mobilise the Ewu people to vote against such a person or the party. Vote for anyone who takes the Oath (Every politician takes an oath in filling the INEC Forms, so taking an Oath in making promises to the people shouldn’t be strange unless they aren’t sincere). And other communities in Nigeria would take a cue from the Ewu model once this is adopted and you would see a better nation quicker that expected and inspired by our innovation in Ewu.

This Oath taking suggestion might sound crazy, especially to those pretending to be asleep that are hard to wake up, but – trust me – it is the way to go in Nigeria of today. The Oath might not end bad leadership overnight but it would significantly reduce promise and failing and also make parties and politicians make realistic promises and take people more seriously.

HRH Zaiki Rasaki Ojiefoh III, Onojie of Ewu

The Oath taking, if successful, would help to get the future government to come to our aid and not to frustrate our self-help because, even a straw carried over a long distance becomes heavy so also, self-help if we failed to get the government to come in at some point would eventually degenerate to Selfstress.

May God Bless Ewu.

Thank you and good evening.

Saintmoses Eromosele Esq.
Executive Director
ONEGHE SELE FOUNDATION
Irrua, Esan Central.
Tel: 0 702 040 7106
E-MAIL: info@oneghesele.com

Mandate Recovery team dissolves, changes name to Harissa Communications

Mandate recovery Group has officially been dissolved after failing to get their mandate at the supreme court. The long drawn legal battle ended 10th July, 2017 when the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the Peoples Democratic Party and upheld the victory of Godwin Obaseki of All Progressive Congress. Consequently, the Madate Recovery Group has decided to change their Facebook page name from Mandate Recovery Group to Harissa Communications. The general public is advised to take note.

Lagos police clamp down on homosexuals

By Osarugue Idemudia

Investigation reveal that a case was reported to the Police in Egbeda division that a group of young men who allegedly belong to the outlawed Gay Society of Nigeria were at a club named Kelly Ann Hotel, Egbeda.

The Police in Lagos State, Sunday, commenced clampdown on homosexuals in the state. According to eye witnesses account and police sources, the raid occurred on Sunday (yesterday) at about 6.00pm in the Egbeda area of Lagos State.

Urhokpota Reporter’s investigation reveal that a case was reported to the Police in Egbeda division that a group of young men who allegedly belong to the outlawed Gay Society of Nigeria were at a club named Kelly Ann Hotel, Egbeda.

The Kelly Ann Hotel is reported to have been notorious for hosting homosexuals and their activities in the area, a situation that has led many people in the neighborhood to lodge series of complains to the Police in times past.

The Police went to the area and discovered that homosexual activity was actually going on thus decided to apprehend the suspects involved in the very act.

Three suspects escaped arrest while the Police was able to nab only two of the suspects. Mr Ewaen Peter Erhunmwunsee, Emeka Orji and Nonso Nwanchinemelo, according to Police sources, narrowly escaped arrest with the help of one Mr. Marco Bleve, a foreigner construction worker, who was also indulging in the same act.

We are engaging real stakeholders, not Hirelings like Galadima and Afegbua

Factional National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress  (APC) who’s emergence as Chairman a fortnight ago is bring challenged by the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says he cannot lose sleep over the breakaway faction of the embattled ruling party.

Describing members of the new faction as “hired mercenaries,” Oshiomhole said he had been engaging “real stakeholders” of the party as part of measures of resolving the crisis in APC.

He disclosed this while addressing newsmen at the national assembly after marathon meetings with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives.

“There is no breakup in our party, if one Galadima is not happy, that is fine. He has a right no to be happy,” the former Edo State Governor who has loads of petitions bothering on fraud and misappropriation hanging on his neck at the EFCC said.

“We know those who are in the system. Those who are seeking breakup that is their problem. We are engaging real stakeholders. I mean between the executive and the two arms of the national assembly.” Oshiomhole said in apparent reference to Galadima the factional chairman and Afegbua the factional publicity Secretary and Oshiomhole’s former Media Aide.

“We have very important influential leaders we are engaging. If people are being sponsored by those who thought our convention will be a failure, those who were expecting implosion, so be it.

“… So they find mercenaries who are willing to be hired for a purpose, they have right to be hired but will not cause any distraction within the core of APC leaders.”

Oshiomhole ruled out the fear that the splinter group would affect the chances of the party in the 2019 elections.

Urhokpota Reporters will follow this development and as usual be your best source of correct information.

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Empowering entrepreneurs of tomorrow

Youths across Edo State this week, June 12-14 gathered at SIO Events Center, GRA,  Benin City, to explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Nigeria. The 3-days  workshop tagged Youth Empowered was organised by Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. Urhokpota Reporers’ Richard Okundia was there and filed this report.
No fewer than 500 youths in Edo State have benefited from this year’s ‘Youth Empowered’, a training programme organised by the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company.
The workshop aimed  to equipping  Nigerian youths with life and business skills for their personal development as well as enable them to transition to meaningful job positions.
The first day of the workshop saw participants divided into groups of 20 participants, mentors assigned to them and grilled on life skills. In his welcome message, the Regional Public Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company, Ekuma Eze, informed participants that Youth Empowered represents a wave of self discovery going on simultaneously across the 28 countries Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company is operating and that Nigeria is the only African country among them.
He urged  the participants to develop brilliant business ideas as the group with the best proposal will be funded to take off immediately.
Declaring the workshop open, the Executive Governor of Edo State charged participants to take the training seriously. He promised to support the initiative by sponsoring two additional business propoposals from the pool of best proposals from the workshop. Noting that of the two proposed firms, the state intends to support, one would be exclusive for women.
Lectures on the first day focused on career and life  skills  and was facilitated by Ekundayo Odele who took the participants on an introspective session on  having a short, medium and long term goal. She also focused on CV writing,  Interviewing and networking skills with some simulation exercises.
Samuel Obafemi facilited the days that followed.
 Day 2 focused on skills of project and time management,  identifying business opportunities, communicating the opportunity and using the business model canvas. With the help of the mentors, groups used the business model canvas to bring to life  their Various business ideas.
Day 3 started with a crash course on financial literacy, negotiation and sales skills where the facilitor used videos and simulations to help participants appreciate the course.
The workshop climaxed with the proposal  pitching challenge by representatives of the various groups.
At the end of the challenge, Group 4 under the mentorship of Esohe Esther Idehen emerged winner of the 2018 Youth Empowered Benin.
They sold the uniqueness of coconuts with their ‘Hetty Coconut Hub’ idea.
Some participants at the end of workshop expressed their opinions of the workshop.
Precious Ojike, a Business Administration and Management student of the Federal Polytechnic Auchi expressed satisfaction with the organisers, adding that the workshop has helped her grasp practical knowledge of her field of study. On self re-discovery she said, “I came here with the mentality that it is better to pursue employment careers. With this training, I am going back home well  equipped to set up events management firm”.
Justice Eromonsele, a graduate of Sociology said that the workshop has exposed him to the world of business. “I’m delighted to have learned how to work in a team and this knowledge has eluded me prior to this workshop” he said. Another participant, Tina Osagiede, a postgraduate student at the University of Benin said the programme has helped sparked off entrepreneurial traits in her. Commending the organzers she said, “This is a worthy project my NBC to curb youth unemploymen, I encourage other organizations to borrow a leaf from this initiative”. She planned to disrupt research laboratory industry with her newly acquired innovative ideas upon completion of her postgraduate degree. Ehi Ijie, a piggery farmer expressed delight with the organisers and solicit for increment in the number of ideas that receive funding. “It’s disappointing group seven did not get to win the challenge, we nonetheless hope to pursue to a logical conclusion the idea we conceived in this workshop” he said. Andrew Ogiamen, a cassava farmer who is also a member of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture thanked NBC for helping to reduce the weight of unemployment on government shoulder. “At a time like this, government can not do it all, I appreciate NBC for its capacity building efforts” he said. He promised to use knowledge gained to better position his business for greater success.

Governor Obaseki declares Coca-Cola Hellenic’s Youth Empowered Workshop open in Benin

By Richard Okundia

L-R: Edo State Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh; Regional Pubic Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) Ltd., Ekuma Eze; Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Chief Executive Officer, Unocasq and facilitator of ‘Youth Empowered’, Ekundayo Odele; Regional Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Lagos/West, NBC, Ifeoma Okoye; and Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Hon. Mika Amanokha, at the Youth Empowered workshop organised by Coca-Cola Hellenic in Benin City.

Governor Godwin Obaseki  has declared open the Youths Empowered Programme  of the Coca-Cola Hellenic in Benin City the Edo State capital.
The Governor  who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Barr. Emmanuel Usoh and host of others.
While declaring the workshop open the Governor said that the state government will support the setting up of two additional firms from the pool of best ideas from the participants. Noting that of the two firms the state intends to support, one would be exclusive for women.
He disclosed: “We have set aside some funds to support you. We will provide you with the opportunity to create two companies, with one of the companies to be exclusive for women.”
Noting that the state was poised for growth, Obaseki explained that the best way to achieve sustainable development is to put in place mechanisms that will engender entrepreneurial skills and  opportunities for people to realise their full potential.
He added, “Through the state government’s various skills development programmes, we will continue to support and encourage youths to improve talent required for sustainable development.”
According to the governor, “We are strenghtening education using technology, we don’t necessarily have to go through the stages developed countries went through. We can take advantage of technology.
Obaseki noted that the workshop by the Coca-Cola Hellenic was crucial, as his administration will continue to create opportunities for youths to acquire skills, and match them with existing job opportunities through the EdoJobs’ portal.
Affirmed his administration’s commitment to continue to support companies who are helping in developing youths’ entrepreneurial skills. “My administration has set up policies that will ensure that we take advantage of such skills, and create the atmosphere for our youths to have a better future for themselves,” he noted.
He charged the participants to take the 3 days training seriously and register on the EdoJobs portal through which they can be assisted and their progress monitored.
Regional Public Affairs Manager, East/Central, Nigeria Bottling Company Ltd, Ekuma Eze, commended the governor for finding time to encourage the participants, urging the participants, who have been divided into groups, to develop brilliant business ideas as those with best proposals will be funded.
In his address, Mr Eze said “We are gathered here today on a journey of self discovery. Youth Empowered is a wave of discovery going on simultaneously across the 28 operating countries of Coca-Cola Hellenic and Nigeria is the only African country among them.”
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