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The first batch of 187 Nigerians in South Africa returned to on Wednesday following the xenophobic attacks.

The returnees were assisted home by the Federal Government with the support of a Nigerian carrier, Air Peace.

The B777 aircraft, with registration number 5N-BWI, which departed Thambo International Airport, Johannesburg, landed at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, , at 9.37 p.m.

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The returnees expressed joy on their safe return and sang the Nigerian National Anthem upon arrival.

Narrating their ordeal in South Africa, indigene who identified himself simply as Saheed lamented how he was sacked from for being a Nigerian.

He said having worked in Pretoria for over five years, he suffered discrimination.

Another returnee from Edo State, described his trauma in South Africa as unfortunate.

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He called on the government to sever ties with South Africa because of the maltreatment suffered by Nigerians.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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BREAKING: Edo Assembly: Bola Tinubu attacks Obaseki, makes fresh claims against Governor

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has reacted to recent events at the Edo State House of Assembly, describing Governor Godwin Obaseki’s actions as “the gravest possible assault on constitutional democracy and the rule of law and escalation of violence and tension in the state he purports to govern.”

Tinubu said this in a statement he personally signed and made available to DAILY POST on Friday.

The former State Governor berated Obaseki, accusing him of making a mockery of ’s constitution by blocking the timely inauguration of two-thirds of the elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly, and now resorting to the strong-arm tactics of dictators.

According to Tinubu, Obaseki had sponsors hoodlums to deface, indeed destroy, parts of the House of Assembly Building in Benin while feigning the building is undergoing renovation.

“Then, he imports sand and gravels to prevent access to the assembly complex,” Tinubu said.

He noted that by this singular act, Obaseki spent state “funds to thwart the very apparatus of the state government he was sworn to uphold.”

Tinubu said that the Governor squandered “public money to defeat the very will of the public. This is tragic beyond words.”

The statement added, “As a pretext for his refusal to allow the Edo House of Assembly to function, Governor Obaseki’s actions are perverse. This is a cowardly act and a move to thwart representative democracy in Edo.

“No renovation has been planned for the state house building. No appropriation was made in the state’s budget. The only reason any renovation could be deemed necessary is the destruction wrought by his own goons.

“Governor Obaseki’s governance of Edo State recalls the worst excesses of our military past and represents a direct threat to the democratic order. By his refusal to permit duly elected members of the Edo State House of Assembly to perform their constitutional duties, Governor Obaseki betrayed contempt for the people of his state and, unfortunately, his ignorance of Nigeria’s constitutional order. As a Governor he ought to know better than to obstruct the functioning of his own legislature, but perhaps he is in need of a quick lesson.

“The legislative function is, perhaps, the most foundational obligation of any government. In the UK, the Parliament was famously said to be “that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government”. In most democratic systems, the legislature is the arm of government containing within itself the people’s representatives in government.

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“As such, the legislative arm is critical. It is an important symbol of democratic governance. The voice, will and desires of the people are reposed in their elected representatives sent to the legislature to express and distil their amorphous will into the laws and codes by which the society has agreed to live.

“In the context of a constitutional democracy such as ours, the legislature’s authority stems, in effect, from the recognition that it is the authentic mouthpiece of the people, entrusted with the responsibility of representing their collective will and the power to interpret and mould it into the laws of the land. It is, in short, not to be toyed with as a plaything of an errant and ill-disciplined governor. Undermine the legislature and you imperil democracy and allow governance to descend into anarchy.

“Indeed, it is no coincidence that of the three arms of government, the powers of the legislature are enumerated first, in our Constitution. The legislature is the authority imbued with the power to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of the federation and states. Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that a Governor’s role primarily extends to the maintenance and implementation of the laws set down for him by his state’s legislature.

“In placing himself above the legislature, deciding who gets in and who is shut out, Governor Obaseki not only places himself above the nation’s constitutional order, he places himself above the people of Edo State whose representatives he so brazenly tramples upon. One can only wonder, given the desperation with which he has acted and his belligerent refusal to honour the free choice of the people of his own state, what mortal offence the majority members he has shut out have committed to warrant such treatment.

“Although Governor Obaseki’s conduct in the past year is undoubtedly impeachable, these legislators have made no threat to impeach the Governor. Their only desire is to peacefully perform the duties asked of them by the constituents who elected them. What, then, is their offence?

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“By all appearances, the Governor is punishing these legislators for their loyalty to a party that is no longer his own. If every governor behaves as he, obstructing the performance of any legislator who does not pledge to him their undying fealty, the entire edifice of democratic governance in Nigeria would grind to a complete halt.

“In his campaign for re-election, Governor Obaseki promises to represent and defend the interests of all the people of his state. Yet, so blinded is he by his personal ambition, he sees no irony in the fact that his actions have denied two-thirds of the people of his state their right to representation in the state’s only legislative chamber.

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“Governor Obaseki must think the people of his state to be as foolhardy and ignorant as he, for even as he courts their votes, he continues to make a mockery of the institution of democracy in his own House of Assembly. If Governor Obaseki believes the people are not aware of this inherent irony, he will undoubtedly learn the cost of this grave miscalculation in the fullness of time.

“The rule of law and preservation of democracy is too important to sacrifice at the altar of any one man’s ambition. Governor Obaseki’s woeful leadership of Edo State will hopefully be brought to an end soon by the very people whose rights he has so carelessly trampled upon. One can only hope that the damage he is doing to the most important of the state’s democratic institutions can just as easily be repaired.”

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Edo election: Details of Buhari’s meeting with Ize-Iyamu, others emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja received the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, urging party leaders and campaign team to do all that is necessary, following legal and constitutional means, to win the election.

President Buhari received the governorship candidate at the State House alongside Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, as well as APC Campaign Chairman for Edo State elections and Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The President charged the party leaders to avoid the pitfalls that affected the party’s victory in Rivers, Zamfara and Bayelsa States in the 2019 elections, pointing out that with the resolution of the “acute crisis’’ in the party in Edo State, he was optimistic that the party will regain its pride of place in winning elections, and serving the people.

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President Buhari urged party leaders at the national and state levels to follow the electoral process in an open and transparent manner.

“What I want is a transparent process so that the confidence of the people will be strengthened.’’

The President congratulated Pastor Ize-Iyamu on his emergence as the party’s candidate in Edo State after a “turbulent process’’, assuring him of full support.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, who presented the candidate, told the President that: “Pastor Ize- Iyamu is a seasoned grassroots politician who is loved by his people’’, noting that President Buhari’s blessings on the candidate further validates the party’s confidence.

The Chairman of the APC Edo State gubernatorial campaign, Governor Ganduje, said in line with the principles of the party, the APC will lead a clean campaign, devoid of acrimony, hatred and violence.

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Governor Ganduje said the campaign had started on a good and happy note, with the APC already taking over the state legislature with a majority of 17 out of 24.

In his response, Pastor Ize-Iyamu assured the President of his commitment to ensuring good governance in the state if elected in September elections, recalling that he served as Deputy Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee of the APC at its formation.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu said he was glad to return to the APC, describing his initial exit as that of a “prodigal son’’.

The APC candidate thanked the President for the warm and fatherly reception, saying he was honoured to receive the party’s flag from the President.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu told State House Press Corps that he was fully in charge of his campaign as a popular candidate who served the State as Chief of Staff and Secretary to State Government in previous administrations.

He also said former APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had already explained that his initial unfriendly comments during the 2016 campaigns were purely political aimed at giving another candidate an edge in the elections.

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The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum said all the APC governors were fully behind the candidature of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

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