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.

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.

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.”

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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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.

Restore Okpella electricity within 10 working days – NERC orders BEDC

By Richard Okundia

In pursuance of a workable solution to the lingering Okpella electricity problem, the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Forum in Benin, on Thursday 17th May called for hearing between representatives of Okpella community and BEDC.

The Forum headed by Prof. Canice Asonye, Chairman, ruled thus, BEDC should restore Okpella electricity within 10 working days; that a grace period of 90 days be used to determine the actual average meter readings of the meters in the transformers; and that within these 90 days, Okpella households should be individually metered with prepaid meters Urhokpota Reporters reports.

The order came as a result of some conditions the BEDC sent to the community, which was subsequently redrafted by Dr Ayuba Giwa and others prominent Okpellans.

The Chairman Okpella Electricity Committee, Chief Luke Obalo on behalf of the Community expressed joy over the decision of the NERC and described the ruling as an act of God.

The order came after BEDC threw the community into 152 days of perpetual darkness since 16th day of December 2017 because of the community’s indebtedness to the tune of six hundred and sixty three million, six hundred and thirty-three thousand, four hundred and fifty-nine Naira electricity bill.

In a chat with Urhokpota Reporters, a member of Okpella delegation Abu Abdulganiyu
congratulated his team, the NERC forum and lamented that the issue of power outage in Okpella could have been avoided.
Another member of the group Akemokue Lukeman expressed satisfaction with the decision of the Forum. Commending his team he said, “Because of the unity of purpose, the collectivity of resilience and tenacity of insistence, we have succeeded in this struggle”.