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.

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.”

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.”

Child Labour: Obaseki decries widespread practice, warns of sanctions

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has condemned the use of children as labourers by employers of labour and warned that his administration will not accept any form of exploitation of children in the state.

Obaseki gave the warning on the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, marked by the United Nations each year.

While acknowledging the influx of companies into the state, with the state government’s reinvigorated efforts at creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive, the governor maintained that his administration will not be home to obnoxious labour practices such as the recruitment of children to work.

“We are committed to equipping our children with quality education for a prosperous future. We have robust laws and policies that guarantee the rights of children in the state and will activate these laws and policies in the event that children are being exploited or abused anywhere in the state,” he said.

The governor urged Edo people and residents to report any case of exploitation of children to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution as the state government has sensitised the enforcement agencies to treat such cases with dispatch.

He further warned that forced labour and human trafficking have no place in the emerging Edo State, and advised parents, guardians and caregivers to be alive to their responsibilities of educating their children.

“The International Labour Organisation in 2002 launched the day to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Each year in June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organizations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them,” the UN body said.

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