By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has hailed Edo people and supporters of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for their display of immense courage and support in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalisation as he emerged victorious in Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state.
Obaseki defeated his closest rival, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polling a total of 307,955 votes against APC’s 223,619 votes.
The governor in his appreciation message in Benin City on Sunday hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and other stakeholders who participated in the conduct of the gubernatorial election for ensuring a free, peaceful and credible poll in the state.
Obaseki said: “The Great People of Edo State have spoken. They have spoken loud and clear. We thank God Almighty and give him all the glory for this victory.
“Thank you, President Muhammadu Buhari, for defending our democracy and allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to perform their constitutional functions without interference.
“INEC and the security services have shown to Nigerians and the world that they are capable of conducting free and credible elections.”
The governor continued: “Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for this triumph over godfatherism.
“I am eternally grateful to my party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and my brother governors not only for giving me the umbrella during my political storm but for the hard work which has brought me back to office.
“Our success has reinforced my belief that there is nothing we cannot achieve as a people if we pull forces together and collectively call on God for support.”
“I reiterate that working with my Deputy, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, we are committed to Making Edo Great Again. Thank you for your support,” he added.
KNOW MORE ABOUT PRINCE (HON.) BENSON OLAYINKA OMOFE (PROFILE)
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe was born on the 18th of December, 1965 into the royal family of His Royal Highness, Oba Omofe Adebayo Emmanuel and Late Olori Sarah Omofe both of Okoro Gbede, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, North-Central, Nigeria. Prince Omofe’s father is the Olukoyi of Okoro Gbede (the traditional ruler of the community).
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe attended Okoro Gbede Local Education Authority Primary School, Okoro Gbede from 1971 to 1976 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate and later proceeded to Kabba Teacher College, Kabba from 1977 to 1982 where he bagged Grade Two Certificate. He proceeded to the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (Institute of Education) from 1983 to 1986 where he acquired National Certificate in Education.
As a youngster with promising future, he applied and secured admission into the University of Ibadan in 1988 and graduated with Bachelor Degree in Education (Geography) B.Ed in 1994. Also, Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe attended Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja from the year 1996 to 1998 where he bagged Advanced Diploma in Public Administration.
In the year 1983, Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe started his professional career as a Class Teacher under the then Oyi Local Government Education Board of old Kwara State. At the creation of Kogi State in the year 1991, he was transfered to Ijumu Local Government Education Authority, Iyara where he served as the Head-Teacher in-charge of the administrative work at St. Michael Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Ogidi from 1995 to 1996. He was also transfered to Ijumu Local Government Education Authority, ILGEA Office, Iyara where he served as Sport Officer for the local government primary schools and coordinates sporting activities for primary schools in Ijumu Local Government Area from 1996 to 1998.
Also, Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe served as the Guidance Counsellor and Continuous Assessment Officer for Ijumu Local Government Education Authority, ILGEA, Iyara the position he held from 1998 to 2006. After his political assignment, Prince Omofe continued his civil service career with Ijumu Local Government Education Authority, ILGEA, Iyara as Director in-charge of Research and Statistics from 2011 to 2015 when he voluntarily retired from civil service.
PAST POLITICAL APPOINTMENT AND ASSIGNMENT
From 2007 to 2008, he served as the Personal Assistant on Political Matters to the then Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Council, Late (Hon.) Joseph Adeyemi Owotogbe. He equally served as Chief of Staff and Supervisory Councillor in-charge of Special Duties from 2008 to 2011 under the leadership of Late (Hon.) Joseph Adeyemi Owotogbe, the then Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Council, Kogi State.
Base on his achievements in office as a dedicated civil servant and his competence, Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe was elected as the Chairman (Local) of Nigeria Union of Pensioners Ijumu Local Government Area Chapter in the year 2016. He is still in-charge of that position till date.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICE
As a respected Prince in his community, Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe has contributed immensely towards the development of his community, Okoro Gbede, Gbede land, Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi West Senatorial District, Kogi State and Nigeria in general in area of community and human capital development. As at today, he is a member of the Education Committee of Okoro Gbede Development Association, the highest socio-cultural organization in his community, Okoro Gbede. He is also the Chairman, Community-Base School Management Committee of Okoro Gbede Local Government Education Authority Primary School, Okoro Gbede.
POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe has been active politically for some decades now and he has achieved a lot in politics. In short, he is a successful and reliable grassroot politician. In the time past, he has contributed to the political successes of some prominent politicians in Kogi State which include Late (Hon.) Joseph Adeyemi Owotogbe, the then Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Council, Senator Smart Adeyemi, senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Hon. Tajudeen Ayo Yusuf, member representing Kabba-Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Senator Daniel Dino Melaye, former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria etc.
On the 11th of August, 2020, the current State Executive Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP under the chairmanship of Engr, Sam Uhuotu announced Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe from Okoro/Odokoro/Araromi Ward in Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State as the State Vice Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP for Kogi West Senatorial District as late Barrister Taiwo Kola Ojo’s replacement as enshrined in the constitution of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP as amended in the year 2017.
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe is a religious person and dedicated Christian. He is a member of Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Okoro Gbede, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State. Due to his commitment in religious activities and obvious reasons, he was ordained as an Elder in his church in the year 1995.
PERSONAL QUALITIES AND SKILLS
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe is a political activist, community developer, grassroot mobilizer, and youths-friendly person. He has strong interpersonal relationship, ability to work well with individuals at all levels, humble and loyal to the core.
Prince (Hon.) Benson Olayinka Omofe is happily married to Olori Helen Oladepe Omofe and the union is blessed with two Children namely Princess Evelyn Bukola Omofe and Prince Wilson Olamide Omofe.
Written & Compiled by:
Yusuf Adeyanju Yisau, MPR, ANIPR, MIMMA
PDP Member, Ayegunle/Iluhafon Ward, Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
PDP Raises Alarm Over Plot To Release Electoral Offender
By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State has raised the alarm over plans by Police in the state to release a man, who was arrested for alleged electoral crime committed during the governorship election held in the state on Saturday.
The party warned the police not to give in to pressure by leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to release the suspect, Mr Kayode Mobolaji, who was arrested in Ubiaja, Esan South East Local Government Area.
According to the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nehikhare, the suspect, Mr Kayode Mobolaji who claims he is from Ibadan, in Oyo State, in company of some other unidentified persons had disrupted voting at ward 6, Unit 13 in Esan South-East local government area.
The suspects led by Mr Kayode stormed the voting center in two Hilux vans, shooting sporadically in the air. They engaged a patrol team of the Police in a shooting battle that led to the killing of one of the suspects after the police had demobilized their vehicles. The others ran into the bush.
After an intensive and extensive search of the area, Mr Kayode Mobolaji was discovered in his hideout and caught with an AK-47 riffle and about 200 live ammunition.
He was arrested and taken to Ubiaja Police station where he made useful statements. “We followed up the matter up to the point where the suspect was transferred to Benin for further interrogation.
He said, ” while we are waiting for the police to arraign the criminal, we have received intelligence that the police were set to release the armed and very dangerous electoral offender.
“We know that those who sent out these men are the same people mounting pressure on police to release him without facing trial so that their cover will not be blown. We insist that his sponsors must be unveiled and tried alongside him.
” He is not a local. He was provided with the Hilux vans he used for the operations, he was accommodated in someone’s house where the plan was hatched. His sponsors are shivering hence the pressure on the police.
” We demand he should be placed under protective custody as his sponsors are very desperate and are considering the option of ordering his elimination in police custody.
This is of grave concern to us because we desire that those who committed electoral crime should be made to face penalties for their actions so that it will serve as deterrent to others.” Nehikhare concluded.
Kogi Council Polls: Stop re-cycling all those saddled with the responsibility of administering our Local Government for the past 5 Years IPAC Advices APC, ….. Warns Against Imposition
PRESS RELEASE ON THE CONDUCT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PRIMARY ELECTION
Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) is the Umbrella Body of all registered Political Parties in Nigeria, Kogi State Chapter, deemed it fit to call on all registered political parties participating in the forth coming Local Government Primary Election in Kogi State to adhere to the following tenets of party rules and regulations as estrenched in our political party constitution, to observe internal democratic values of political parties to reflect in the conduct of our primaries in the process of selecting candidates based on free, fair and acceptable primaries.
The emergence of credible candidates breeds credible dividends of democracy in the third tier of Government. It is on this note that we appeal to all political party chairmen and leaders to avoid impunity of imposition of candidates which is against the internal Democratic values of our Political Parties.
Furthermore, all Political Parties are expected to operate an open door policy for all aspirants interested in participating in the local government election for the electorate to choose a candidate of their choice. By so doing, credible candidates will emerge in a participatory exercise, especially that this third tier of Government is closer to the people.
Any form of Godfatherism, nepotism, consensus, or any nomenclature used to adopt candidate is anti – Democratic process and tantamount to the will and interest of the masses.
We appeal to political parties to relax and make nomination and intent fees flexible for credible aspirants to participate in the process.
After 2015 General Elections, tax clearance is no longer a relevant document as part of the credentials for nomination of candidates in an election and it is not a prerequisite or condition for disqualification of candidates.
We appeal to the ruling All Progressive Congress Party to stop re-cycling all those saddled with the responsibility of administering our Local Government for the past 5 years because of lack of performance and capacity; they have over stayed their usefulness and have lost credibility of value in their Local Government Areas. When the process is participatory, devoid of interference, credible candidates will emerge naturally that is acceptable to the generality of the electorate.
Therefore, our appeal is to the Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission is to conduct this election free, fair and credible for posterity to remember this commission after this election in the anal of history.
We also solicit for the co-operation of the General Public, political parties, civil society organizations and all stake holders to co-operate with the commission in fulfilling their mandate to conduct this very important election as it impacts the third tier of Government directly.
Hon. Ilyas Badanga
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