Front-leading politicians from the ruling All Progressives Congress were on Monday absent from the 80th birthday celebration of the first National Chairman of the party held in Benin, Edo State.

But the National Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus, and the Edo State Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, were at the special church service held in honour of the octogenarian, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo sent a representative and goodwill message.

Prominent APC members absent at the occasion were President Muhammad Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, among others.

Among the APC governors, only Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State was at the mass held for Oyegun at St. Paul Catholic Church on Airport Road.

However, prominent Edo indigenes, including Governor Godwin Obaseki, a former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion; the Esama of Benin, Chief, Gabriel Igbinedion; the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Francis Okiye; and the minister-designate, Osagie Ehanire, were at the event.

The Archbishop of Benin Diocese, Augustine Akubeze, in his homily, said President Muhammadu was not listening to the cries of the people.

Akubueze said, “We must point out that many Nigerians are not happy about the high level of insecurity in the country. A government cannot claim to be legitimately presiding over the country when it has no control over terrorisation of Nigerians. From the North to the South, from the East to the West, from Middle Belt to Mid-West of the country, there are constant fears among the citizens.

“Many Nigerians rightly feel that the present Federal Government is not listening to them. Many Nigerians feel that the issue of insecurity is one that should be primarily dealt with. The loss of lives and property of Nigerians must never be politicised. In many countries, people come together to fight terrorism; the death of Nigerians should be of great concern to every politician, irrespective of political divide,” he said.

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