Restructuring depends on what Nigerians want, says Atiku.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday said any decision on the restructuring of the country would be taken by the people and not by the politicians alone.

Abubakar said this in Minna, Niger state capital, after visiting Ibrahim Babangida, former military president, who recently returned to the country after a medical vacation in Germany.

He said he was at the residence of Babangida to know how the former president was faring after his medical trip abroad.

“The issue of restructuring the country is left to Nigerians to decide whether they want it or not,” he said.

On the issue of recession, he said he had been advising the federal government positively on how to tackle the problem, even outside the media.

“I have been in the corridors of power before, so it is not easy. Using the media always to advise government is a disservice,” he said.

“I know I have been making positive contributions to the government aside the media to enable us come out of recession.”

Abubakar was accompanied by Abubakar Bello, governor of Niger and some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Oyegun plans to sack Tinubu, Atiku from APC – Timi Frank

Embattled Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has alleged that the Chairman of the party.John Oyegun has made moves to sack Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from the party.

In a release he signed and made available to newsmen, he warned the National Chairman to stop running ruling party like a dictator, stressing that the plan by the chairman to review party’s constitution “is a grand plot against the national leader of the party, Bola Hammed Tinubu, myself and other leaders who oppose his leadership style.”

The National Chairman had, on Wednesday, set up a constitution review committee headed by the party’s National Legal Adviser Muiz Banire, with a charge to closely look at the provisions for discipline members he (Oyegun) described as problem within the party “to be speedily neutralised.”

“Chief Oyegun is vigorously working to ensure that he pushes out some prominent members of the party including the National Leader Bola Tinubu, myself and so many other leaders who have spoken against his leadership style which is now more of a dictator,” he said.

Comrade Frank also noted that it is shameful for the National Chairman to talk of indiscipline “when he has breached the same constitution more than any other persons. His leadership has breached party constitution several times, even as regard to National Convention which the party law states clearly that it must be held every two years.

“Oyegun is talking about indiscipline when there are several allegations of bribery and favouritism yet unanswered hanging on his neck.”

The APC deputy spokesman challenged his national chairman to tell the world how he plan to fill some vacant positions in the NWC when “he is talking of non elective national convention.”

He said if APC is a Democratic Party, members should be allowed to criticises the wrong doing of the handlers.

“Some of us have prepared to meet them at the convention no matter the evil agenda they are planning against us,” Frank said.

 Source: naij.com

 

Atiku’s campaign poster floods Kebbi State.

With the 2019 general elections about two years away, the campaign posters of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is already being circulated across Kebbi State.

 

Atiku, who visited the state at the weekend during the Abdullahi Fodio 1805 book launch at the Emir of Gwandu’s palace, was surrounded by political supporters chanting “Say Atiku Turaki Adamawa for President 2019.”

 

The former vice president who was the chief launcher at the occasion donated N10 million. He described the book as historical, chronicling the qualities of good leadership since 1805.

 

Source: Guardian

Atiku Will Be Forced Out Of APC, Tinubu May Be Poisoned – Prophet

The head of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Prophet Emmanuel Omale, has given series of revelations concerning the new year saying that God told him that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, will “be forced out of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)”, even as he added that the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, “may be poisoned.” even as he called for fervent prayers.

Reading out 2017 prophecies and vision God showed him in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Prophet Omale, also said that if “President Muhammadu Buhari chooses the Mandela option, (that is, not to contest again in 2019), a very powerful man will be anointed by him from North West to rule after him.” 

He also revealed that if fervent prayers were not said, the Ekiti State governor Ayodele Fayose “may face impeachment.”

He said God told him that the proposed Mega Party will not come to reality in 2017 added that aside two People Democratic Party (PDP) governors “cross carpeting to APC,” another “South-South  strong man who rose out of the walls will join the ruling party.”

On corruption, Prophet Omale said 2017 will witness the anti-corruption hammer landing on three serving ministers in President Buhari’s cabinet.

On economy, the man of God said Dollar will move from last year prediction of $350 to $570, even predicted that “No oil in commercial quantity will be found in the North, NNPC should seek the Divine Hand of God to know where to find oil in the North.

“I see peace in Niger Delta, but federal government should make peace with former President Jonathan and his family to sustain that peace.”

While calling on the country to “pray against a plane crash in early 2017”, he also warned that prayer should be said “against Boko Haram efforts to create mayhem in Abuja: residents of Gwagwalada should be vigilant.

January 27th keep ringing bells  in my head, let us pray for ourselves, for our country, we deserve political stability to enable economic prosperity. Let us pray! There will be no shedding of blood.

“Let us pray for the health of a former President to avert  bereavement.

“I see fire outbreak in Lagos and Abuja markets.

“I see changes in INEC Leadership

“Taraba should pray to avert a very severe Ethno-religious crisis.

“A very important Emir should pray against bereavement.

“Nigeria should pray to avert deadly inter tribal clash in Lagos state.

“A former governor should pray against sudden death.

“I see massive oil spillage around Kogi that will lead to seven days fire.

“Three banks will collapse.

“A service chief of one of the armed forces  will be dropped.”

On international level, the prophet said he “foresee a massive typhoon in Thailand that may be worse than the last tsunami.

“The new Ghana President-elect should pray against liver and internal organ sickness after inauguration.

“Yahaya Jammeh will hand over to President-elect Barrow.

“Robert Mugabe may not survive 2017.

“Jacob Zuma may still be in trouble, adding that “big tragedy will happen in China.”

“The English Queen should pray against life threatening health challenges.

On sports, he said a “famous Nigerian Athlete should pray against injury that may end his career.”

The Prophet however admonished that some of these danger can be averted if serious prayers are done.

He also encouraged people to be fervent in prayers and to have strong faith in God saying “with God all things are possible.”

Atiku: This economic hardship has exposed FG’s fundamental weaknesses

Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says the current economic situation has exposed the weaknesses in having a central government.

 

An advocate of restructuring, Atiku said the responsibilities of the federal government needs to be reduced to avoid it collapsing “under the weight of too many responsibilities it burdens itself with”.

 

He questioned the rationale behind having a central government that can “no longer meet its obligation”.

 

The former number two citizen made this position known on Twitter as seen below:

 

 

Atiku’s presidential ambition responsible for our crisis, says Lagos PDP

Segun Adewale, factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, says the ongoing crisis in the party is due to Atiku Abubakar’s 2019 presidential ambition.

In a statement, Adewale said there were external forces working to install Abubakar, a former vice president, as the party’s 2019 presidential candidate.

He accused the Ahmed Markafi faction of the party if working against the interest and progress of the party ahead of 2019 presidential election.

“These agents are working towards the nomination Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as our presidential flag bearer in the 2019 general election,” he said.

“They have resorted to cheap blackmail as it is becoming obvious that the efforts of Ali Modu Sheriff at frustrating every attempt to impose a non party member as our presidential nominee is beginning to gain the attention of well-meaning members.

“If you x-ray recent activities in the party and comments of the Markafi led illegal faction, it’s obvious who is working against the general interest of our party. Everything is about Abubakar Atiku’s ambition to be President in 2019. There is no point going through the back door as there is room within the party for every genuine member seeking elective office.”

He said the factions within the PDP had failed to reconcile because “Markafi reneged on the proposal that two of them step down and for former President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan to head the committee”.

“It is unfortunate that it seems while Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is all about rebuilding PDP to a formidable opposition party that can stand against the current charade and  political ineptitude of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the other faction is busy negotiating a mega party deal with some aggrieved members of the ruling APC,” he added.

Nigeria not working, her existence must be renegotiated – Atiku

Nigeria as currently constituted is an entity that is rooted in corruption, impunity and injustice and thus must be reconstituted, a former vice-president said on Monday.

Atiku Abubakar, who served under former President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999-2007, said at a forum in Abuja that the current system is the bane of Nigeria and not the individuals running it.

“Political and civic leaders from across the country must come together, discuss, negotiate and make the necessary compromises and sacrifices needed to restructure our federation to make us a stronger, more united, productive, and competitive country,” Mr. Atiku said while expanding on a paper titled: “Nigerian Federalism: Continuing Quest for Stability and Nation-Building.”

Mr. Atiku has been at the forefront of renewed calls for a reconstituted Nigeria since the beginning of the year.

In June, he used his remarks at a book launch, also in Abuja, to call for a more federal system which would put to rest the disparate yearnings of Nigerians from all sections of the country.

Mr. Atiku said there’s a perennial cry of marginalisation from every section of the country, a situation, he said, was caused by the flaw in the country’s constitution.

“No section of this country can claim correctly that its people are better served by the current structure of our federation. When we were not dependent on oil revenues and when the federating units had greater autonomy of action and were largely responsible for their affairs, they, that is our regional governments, did not owe workers their salaries for several months.

“They did not shut down schools and universities for several months because of teacher strikes and inadequate funding. Take a look at the industries that the regional governments established and ran and the quality of schools that they established, and see if you can see a state government or a group of state governments that have bested them since the emergence of our unitary federalism.

“And also ask yourself which of those establishments taken over or established by the federal government since, has performed as well as they did under our pre-1966 federal system.”

The former vice president said Abuja should be prepared and willing to relinquish some of its powers over the remaining 36 federating units.

This call, Mr. Atiku said, does not mean a call for a break up of Nigeria, but only a call for the imposition of a system where transparency, efficiency and equity will prevail.

“National unity does not mean the absence of disagreement or agitations. In fact disagreements and peaceful agitations indicate vibrant and living relationships,” Mr. Atiku said. “The key to making national progress is to manage those disagreements in peaceful and mature ways.”

Arrest Obasanjo, IBB, Tinubu, ex-ASUU President advises

A former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Humphrey Asobie, on Thursday advised the anti-corruption agencies to be holistic and go for the ‘big fishes’ in the fight against corruption.

Mr. Asobie, who was the chairman of the board of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, NEITI, made this call while speaking as the guest speaker at the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) 2016 roundtable discussion hosted by the United States Embassy.

The discussion had the theme “Corruption: an impediment to the sustainable development goals”.

Mr. Asobie suggested the use of “shock therapy” and “bing bang strategy” in the fight against corruption, stressing that the most important personalities should be taken in.

“Pick OBJ, IBB, (Rotimi) Amaechi, (Bola) Tinubu, Abdulsalami (Abubakar) and Raji (Fashola). They will all think you are mad when you say it,” the professor of Political Science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, said.

OBJ is the popular name for former President Olusegun Obasanjo while IBB refers to former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida. Like others mentioned by the don, the former Nigerian leaders have been accused of corruption while in office.

“Corruption is systemic in Nigeria; it’s not just a few certain individuals. It also includes the anti-corruption agencies, they have a problem of corruption.

“It has reached a stage where we are confused as to what is wrong and right, you start to wonder whether it has affected their intellect.

“After speaking at an event in 2013, the then Governor of Anambra State Mr. Peter Obi was provoked, he came to me and said, “I was one of your student but I’ve avoided you because you are at the left and am on the right. All of us are corrupt,” Mr. Asobie said.

In his welcome remark, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, David Young, said the U.S. government is committed to work with Nigeria in fighting corruption and recovering stolen funds.

Sam Saba, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, while speaking said that the major problem the Bureau is facing in the fight against corruption is poor funding.

“The essential thing here is funding, we don’t receive allocation on time and when we do it comes in halves.

“Some countries receive budget of five years but since Obasanjo’s regime, we only receive half and it’s a problem”, Mr. Saba said.

While speaking to journalists, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, who was also at the event, urged the U.S., Switzerland and other foreign countries who are in possession of stolen funds from Nigeria to release them immediately.

“Nigeria has $458 million stashed away in the U.S., we have filed a suit in Jersey, where the money was kept but the U.S. government is claiming the money should be paid to them so as to help us manage them.

“Similarly, we have $321 million in Switzerland. The Swiss government is saying they won’t release it unless they are allowed to supervise its use. Our government should be prepared to adapt an aggressive ruling to these corrupt foreign agencies. The press should join in this campaign. We should not beg for our money, we should fight for it,” Mr. Falana said.

The 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day marks the 13th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

To commemorate the event, the U.S. Embassy hosted a roundtable discussion with various stakeholders.

The panel was moderated by Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission.

Tinubu denies plotting Atiku, PDP mega-party alliance

Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has denied plotting to leave the ruling All Progressives Congress for a new party.

Mr. Tinubu played pivotal role in the formation of the APC and the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

But his political clout has been increasingly curtailed as forces within the party realign ahead of the 2019 election.

Mr. Tinubu openly demanded the resignation of the party’s chairman, John Oyegun, after his candidate for the Ondo State governorship election lost to a candidate supported by Mr. Oyegun and President Buhari.

Reacting to a report by Punch on Sunday, Mr. Tinubu said on Monday he was not quitting the party as claimed by the newspaper.

He denied that he was partnering with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, also an APC chieftain, and the Ahmed Markafi faction of Peoples Democratic Party, to form a mega party.

“This is a party I labored with others to build,” said Mr. Tinubu said on Twitter via his handle @AsiwajuTinubu. “We would not abandon it for another. Millions of Nigerians who voted are watching and praying.”

Mr. Tinubu has faced what appears to be an increasingly hostile political climate in the ruling party.

Last week, the winner of the Ondo polls, Rotimi Akeredolu, dismissed him as not more than a state level APC leader. He was explaining his refusal to include Mr. Tinubu’s name in his victory speech.

Mr. Tinubu did not lose only in Ondo State. Long before the election that held two weeks ago, his candidate for the Kogi governorship election, James Faleke, lost out too, as did those for the leadership positions of the National Assembly.

But despite his apparent frustration in the party, one of Mr. Tinubu’s loyalists, Adesoji Akanbi, a Senator representing Oyo South, told PREMIUM TIMES “Asiwaju will not leave APC which he built; he is a veteran fighter and he is going to fight from within.”

In his tweets Monday, the former Lagos governor said he would not “engage in destructive pettiness.”

“In our Journey to national betterment, plans and policies will be made, then amended. Mistakes will occur and then corrected,” he said.

“Achievements will be had and replicated. Through it all, I, Asiwaju will remain true to the progressive ideals that fueled the creation of APC.

“I have devoted my political life to achieve what has been achieved. My heart is too much of the people and my mind too fixed on establishing positive historic legacy… rather than engage in destructive pettiness.

“This government, APC, is for the betterment of the people and the national purpose is bigger and more important than any individual’s desires.”

Atiku, Tinubu, Makarfi Converge Over Formation Of New Mega-Party

Barring any last-minute change of plans, the proposed mega opposition party in the country will be formed before the end of March, 2017, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

It was gathered that the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party and aggrieved chieftains of the All Progressives Congress had intensified efforts aimed at forming the party since the result of the Ondo State election was released.

Findings showed that besides the plan to form a new mega party, those involved in the talks were also considering adopting any of the existing political parties as their platform.

It was gathered that those who were participating in the talks included former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and a national leader of the APC,  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

A PDP chieftain, who confided in Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, said with what happened in Ondo,  it had become obvious that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was ready to relinquish power despite the fact that it had no solution to the economic recession in  the country.

The source said, “The mega party is still at a formative stage but I can tell you we are making steady progress.

“With what happened in Ondo, you will agree with me that the cabal around the President, including a governor from the North-Central, and some ministers, has hijacked the party structure.

“They have shown more than once that they want to frustrate Tinubu and Atiku out of the APC.  These are tested politicians, who have no plans of retiring any time soon.

“The picture will become clearer before the end of the first quarter of next year (March 2017) because some of our people believe that if we come out now, the cabal will use executive powers to frustrate us.  Others feel it is better to let Nigerians know but our leaders are meeting at home and abroad. We are waiting for them.”

Investigations showed that those involved in the talks were aware of the Federal Government’s plot to thwart the groups’ plan to form a new mega party, informing the plan of the groups to adopt any of the existing parties and uplift it to a mega status.

A PDP chieftain, who confided in Saturday PUNCH, said, “We are working on the plan to form a mega party, but we may adopt any of the existing parties, if the government thwarts our efforts.”

It was also gathered that the Makarfi faction planned to strengthen its electoral strength in the South-East by entrenching rotational presidency in the constitution of the new party.

A top member of the party, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH on condition of anonymity, said the group was aware of the plans by the  Buhari administration to make an inroad into the South-East in 2019.

The PDP chieftain added, “The South-East and South-South are areas of our strength. We have noticed that the Presidency has been receiving Igbo leaders at the Aso Rock. This is part of the bid to win the zone in 2019.

“We may have to make some concessions to the South-East to truly show that we care for the zone. These will include rotational presidency.”

For Tinubu, it was also gathered that the group was seriously considering the offer of the Makarfi faction to form a mega party.

It was learnt that the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had been reaching out to the Tinubu group on behalf of the faction.

A member of the Tinubu group, who confided in SUNDAY PUNCH, stated, “We do not want to make the mistake we made with Buhari by rushing to support him. We are considering the offer from the PDP faction.”

Besides Tinubu and Atiku, other prominent politicians being targeted by the Makarfi faction include a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankanso; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and an ex-governor of Sokoto State, Senator Aliyu Wamakko.

It was gathered that the Makarfi faction was aware of the desperate move of the President to woo Saraki.

This, it was learnt, was one of the reasons for the Senate President’s recent frequent visits to the President.

“We have not given up on Saraki. He is one of us and we believe he is going to be part of the mega party we will form,” a PDP chieftain stated.

One of our correspondents learnt that the Federal Government had dropped the Senate Order forgery suit against Saraki in order to ensure his loyalty to Buhari.

It was also believed that the Senate President was instrumental to the emergence of former sports minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, as the National Publicity Secretary of the ruling party.

“Even the trial of the Senate President at the Code of Conduct Tribunal may crumble or never be concluded. It’s all part of the plan to ensure that Saraki does not join the new party to be formed,” a source told one of our correspondents on Saturday.

For Kwankanso, it was gathered that the former governor had almost been pushed out of the APC by his successor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje.

“Kwankanso is going to be part of the new arrangement because for now, he is only a fringe member of the APC,” the PDP source added.

Efforts made to get the reaction of the Makarfi faction were unsuccessful as calls made to the telephone of the National Publicity Secretary of the Caretaker Committee of the PDP, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, were not connected.

Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, had, however, once denied that the inter-party committee, set up by Makarfi, was given a mandate to change the name of the PDP.

When one of our correspondents contacted the Special Adviser to Tinubu, Mr. Tunde Rahman, he said he was not aware of the plan to form a mega party.

He said, “I am not aware of that development. I am not aware at all.”

On his part, the media aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, Paul Ibe, dismissed insinuations that his principal was considering dumping the APC.

He accused those he referred to as political jobbers and mischief makers of trying to drag the former Vice-President into their baseless conspiracy theory.

“The statement we issued as far back as 2015 on this vexatious speculation is as valid then as it is valid today.

“The same sets of mischief makers are at it again. The Turakin Adamawa has shown in his words and deeds that he is a committed member of the All Progressives Congress nothing has changed,” Ibe stated.

The statement, which was issued by the Atiku Media Office, described media reports linking Atiku to a new party, as “lies concocted by some mischief makers who were trying to cause disaffection between the former Vice-President and his party.

Political realignment is ongoing, says Timi Frank

But the suspended Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC, Timi Frank, said, “I can tell you clearly; political re-alignments are going on and people will make their stand known very, very soon. That is all I can tell you for now.”

PDP crisis may delay party formation

It was, however, learnt on Saturday that the factionalisation of the PDP might  delay the formation of the mega party.

It was gathered that the two factions of the party, especially the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, were waiting for the outcome of the ongoing factions legal battle to determine the authentic leadership of the former ruling party.

Already, the intra-party committee set up by the Makarfi’s PDP, was said to have met with some aggrieved members of the ruling party..

A member of the committee, who spoke with one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, said some of the APC leaders the committee met had agreed to leave the ruling party.

He, however, said those who had agreed to defect from the APC, especially those who left the PDP, said they would not return to the former ruling party, but would be desirous of forming a new party with the PDP.

He said, “We have been meeting with politicians, our former members in the APC and those who were never members of the PDP.

“For strategic reasons, I don’t want to mention their names in order not to jeopardise our ongoing plan.

“Let me however say that majority of them are not willing to join our party. They are suggesting that we form a new party to accommodate all other interest groups. That’s where we are now.”

Asked if that condition would be considered, he said that would be determined after the ongoing case involving the Makarfi and the Ali Modu Sheriff factions was determined.

Impeccable sources said the leadership of the Makarfi faction of the PDP would determine whether to merge with another party if it wins the cases at the courts.

The Sheriff faction, however, accused the Makarfi-led group of working with the APC to destabilise the PDP.

It cited the defection of Senator Yele Omogunwa from the PDP to the APC, which it said was as a result of the ongoing talks between the Sheriff faction and those who defected from the PDP to the APC.

Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, told one of our correspondents that Nigerians should hold the other faction responsible if the party died.

He said, “I saw what Makarfi said in The PUNCH and I must say that the defection could be as a result of the talks they said they are having with those that defected from the PDP to the APC.

“They have told the world that those people would return the PDP. Is this a sign that they are coming?

“These people are killing the PDP and this is why we are in court, to retrieve the party from the grips of its enemies.”

Meanwhile, Senator Buruji Kashamu warned that the crisis rocking the party would linger for a long time.

He said the issue might become what he described as a circus show.

The Senator, representing Ogun East Senatorial District, said the final outcome of the leadership tussle would be determined by the apex court.

He said, “Let us not lose sight of the fact that the appellate court is yet to finally determine the issue of the national leadership crisis. Irrespective of what the High courts say, for or against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff or Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are still there to adjudicate on the issues, and it could become a circus show.

“Besides, anyone, who is unjustly punished, will not fold his hands and allow his rights to be trampled upon.

“He will do everything legally possible to fight for his rights. And this could result in a series of litigation and create more problems than they are meant to resolve.”

Sacked PDM chairman vows ‘long, messy fight’ with Atiku

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Bashir Ibrahim, who was removed Thursday, has vowed “a long and messy fight” with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, whom he accused of masterminding his sack.

A meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, which held on Thursday in Abuja, announced the sack of Mr. Ibrahim and all other national officers of the party.

Mr. Ibrahim, in a statement Friday, described the dissolution of the National Executive Committee of the party as a “huge joke and a hatchet job by political contractors, sponsored by a notorious Big Man”.

He described the people who met to execute the “hatchet job” on behalf of the “unnamed notorious Big Man” as either ignorant of the provisions of the PDM Constitution or that they were in such a hurry to deliver on their contract to care about the fine points of the law.

Although, Mr. Ibrahim did not mention the name of the alleged “big man”, he had on Thursdaytold PREMIUM TIMES that the former Vice president was behind the crisis in the party.

He said Atiku plans to use the PDM as a second option in case he fails to get the ticket of his current party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.

“We all know calculations for 2019 are in top gear and he who must be President by hook or crook is, once again, at his notorious best,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim also said that although the PDM welcomes any Nigerian who wishes to contest election on its platform, “but we are not for sale and will not be brow-beaten or intimidated by anyone”.

He said his leadership of the PDM has established a strong culture and reputation for integrity and compliance with the rule of law.

“We will not allow a desperate and serial presidential candidate to destroy our party by enticing hungry members of the National Executive Committee to precipitate crisis within our ranks.”

“For the avoidance of doubt” Mr. Ibrahim said, “the National Executive Committee of PDM cannot be dissolved to pave the way for a hostile takeover of our Party by this notorious Big Man.

“This same notorious Big Man, who specializes in destroying institutions, is also responsible for the intractable crisis from which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had been reeling lately, a party which gave him the platform to serve as a high-ranking official in its government from 1999 – 2007 only to sabotage the same government in which he was a part.

“As far as this notorious Big Man is concerned, his ambition to be President must be achieved at any cost and all casualties along the way are justified.”

Mr. Ibrahim said he was not going to bother himself with the people who announced his sack but will engage Atiku directly.

“ We are going for the notorious Big Man, himself. We are ready to fight and defend the structures and integrity of Peoples Democratic Movement and we are fully equipped for this fight.

“He has picked on the wrong adversary. This will be a long and messy fight. We are tired of giving in to the impunity of this man. If he wants a fight with us, we are more than happy to give him one.

“There is a Nigerian saying, if an elder throws away his old age, the young ones will happily trample in it. Just because a politician made money in public office through shady deals, does not give him the right to set his own rules and insist everyone must play by them. At PDM we know what we are worth and what we are worth is not for sale,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim also appealed to PDM members who, he said, called in to express outrage over the development to remain calm and continue the hard work of making the Party the envy of all.

“I registered this Party almost single-handedly” he said “and will not allow opportunist who are shopping for a platform to contest election to destroy it on the alter of inordinate ambition and unbridled greed. Everyone knows we do not give up on a good fight and this fight for the soul of PDM will not be different”.

He urged party members to accost the people he referred to as “political contractors” who executed the shady contract and demand their share of the proceeds.

“After all, they claimed they did it in your name. There is no reason why you should not share in the largesse,” he said.

Boko Haram still retains capacity for deadly attacks – Atiku

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said the Boko Haram insurgents still retain the capacity for occasional deadly attacks in the North-eastern region of the country.

Atiku made the remarks at the 11th Founder’s Day ceremony of American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola in Adamawa State, which was also to mark his 70th birthday at the weekend.

The former vice president, while acknowledging the effort of the security to improve the security situation in the region, said more still needs to be done to restore normalcy in this area, adding that the insurgents remain and still occupy a specific geographical space in the region.

He said the improvement in the security situation also means that some internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been able to return to their homes to live normal lives.

“I would like to specially acknowledge the efforts of our security forces in making these possible,” Atiku said.

However, he said many citizens in the zone still remain vulnerable and live in fear, adding that more needs to be done to finally address the situation so that all the IDPs would return to their homes.

According to him, “Many citizens in the zone still remain vulnerable and we cannot say that the problem is over until every displaced person is able to return home, to the office, to the market, to the farm, and resume normal activities.

“We cannot say it is over until we rebuild the schools, the churches, the hospitals, the markets and the homes that had been destroyed. And we cannot say it’s over until the survivors of this insurgency receive the help they need, including psychological therapy to deal with the trauma that they have been through.”

Meanwhile, the federal government today begins an education advocacy programme for school-aged children displaced in the North-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe by Boko Haram insurgency.

A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the programme would include a writing and speech competition among the children.

He said the programmed is aimed at countering violene extremism.

He said: “The competition is open to all school-aged children (8 -18 years old) currently receiving various forms of education in the Internally Displaced Persons Camps and Host Communities in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.”

He explained that the advocacy model would engage the children in conversations concerning their educational plans, intending to create a sense of involvement and enhance the success and sustainability of their education.

The programme, tagged ‘2016 Protecting Education Advocacy Challenge, PEACH’, will involve school-aged children residing in the camps and host communities across the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, and will be conducted in three stages.

The stages are self-expression through creative writing, focused mentorship and the development of an advocacy campaign which will be presented by the children themselves before a live audience.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Dr. Mariam Masha, who is overseeing the programme said education remained one of the pivotal tools in addressing ignorance.

The programme, according to her, is jointly hosted by the Office of the National Security Adviser, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) who would also actively participate in the focused mentorship for the children.

She described the programme as a huge opportunity to catch school-aged children residing in the various camps, aimed at actively engaging the vulnerable children who have been out of school, in advocacy to counter violent extremism.

She pointed out that whilst the maiden edition of the programme was targeting children displaced in the North-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, subsequent editions would be on a national scale.

She also added that the education advocacy challenge would decisively engage the children, who she noted, were “at continued risks of exposure or influenced by radicalism.”

4 Reasons Nigerians Cannot Afford To Have Atiku In Aso Rock – Tonye Barcanista

I have been observing the recent moves by a former Vice President of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is also a veteran aspirant for the office of the President. Atiku Abubakar has suddenly shifted from his subtle campaign for President to what seem to be like an almost direct campaign for the number one seat in the country. In the Social media, some sycophantic groups and individual with inspiration from their stomach have been making noise by endorsing the Turaki Adamawa-perhaps, with expectation of gratification “when the time comes”.

While I am not against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to exercise his right to aspire for the office of the President in 2019 or any office in Nigeria, I have the responsibility as a young man, a patriot and a youth leader in my own right to enlighten Nigerians and eligible voters about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy (just like I would to any other aspirant for the office).

I shall give some reasons why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is unfit to occupy the office he is aspiring for;

1. Lack of Integrity:

During the period when he was the Vice President of the country, Atiku was appointed to chair the Petroleum Technology Development Fund by the President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. As Chairman of Petroleum Training Development Fund(PTDF), Atiku lodged over $30million and $164 in Trans International Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank respectively from the account of PTDF according to EFCC’s forensive indictment in 2006. In fact, ‘loans’ that yielded interest as high as 15% to the banks were collected from the said banks by Atiku and his proteges AFTER PTDF millions of dollars has been lodged with the illegal account. It was all business! When the deal was busted in 2006, Atiku simply said that he ‘kept the monies for safe-keeping’ and even claimed that he deserves commendation. He brought back the PTDF “capital” that he put in private account and benefited hugely from it.

Atiku Abubakar was indicted by EFCC, Senate, and a Presidential Committee. He is yet to clear his name. As usual, a court that he went to never discussed whether he was innocent or guilty, but simply said the FG Committee lacks power to investigate and indict Atiku Abubakar because they weren’t courts.

You may look these for reference.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6402241.stm
www.saharareporters.com/2006/09/24/objatiku-scandal-what-efcc-failed-disclose-thenewssaharareporters
www.saharareporters.com/2007/02/28/breaking-news-ptdf-scandal-senate-indicts-obj-atiku-impeachment-motion-looms

It is a shame that we are in a country where we forget easily. Otherwise, how could sane Nigerians be asking for Atiku’s Presidency when Nigerians in unison were asking for him to come out clean as for back as 2006.

Apart from the PTDF, Nigerians are yet to understand how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from a humble background became an extraordinary billionaire despite the fact that most of his productive adult life was spent in the Nigeria Custom Service.

There is also an indictment on Atiku in the USA, I am yet to see him take up the challenge to take a trip to the United States as requested by exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo in 2014.

2. Tribal Supremacism:

One of the challenge of President Buhari’s administration is that he is more aligned with his brothers in the north than with the rest of the country, hough Buhari has never hidden where is primary loyalty lies (his north). While many think Atiku is detribalised (we can only be patriotic and not detribalised anyway), the bare truth is that Atiku is a northern supremacist that believe that his northerners should always align with their own. Unlike Buhari, Atiku is pretentious about his- but his sin shall find him out.

In 2010, in their bid to stop Goodluck Jonathan from seeking the ticket of PDP in the 2011 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, Aliyu Gusau, Gen IBB and Bukola Saraki(now Senate President) all submitted themselves to Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum to come up with a consensus NORTHERN candidate to upstage Southern Goodluck Jonathan. Atiku was eventually chosen as the eventual “northern candidate” over Saraki, who wasn’t considered “northern enough” by the Ciroma led Forum. Atiku led a campaign in the north that he christened “Naka Sai Naka” meaning “Northerners go for your own”.

The record is there for all to see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12193681

3. Insincerity And Deception:

Atiku is a very wealthy man no doubt, but of late we have seen a picture of him drinking sachet water aka pure water. When did Atiku start drinking such? Who is he trying to deceive? We won’t forget the N40 sacthet Milo/tea gimmicks that the Buhari campaign employed to deceive gullible Nigerians into believing that he was a “poor man”. We won’t forget the “akara” frying stunt of Mrs Aisha Buhari during the electioneering period in 2015. We should realise that when politicians are desperate, they take to any act just to impress and deceiving the gullible into giving them their votes. #NeverAgain should we be falling for such. It amounts to deception in the part of the elite to continue to use such gimmicks.

Also, Atiku has been making case for federalism and stuffs, but in ALL his years in Aso Rock as VeePee, he never initiated nor suggested such. In fact, Atiku was a very powerful VeePee between 1999 and 2003, as he was in charge of home-front while Obasanjo was travelling the world, yet he never thought of any pro-Federalism/restructuring policy. It is true that he fought against the third term agenda of Obasanjo, but we all know that he did it so that he can be able to succeed the president in 2007- he didn’t do it for Nigeria.

4. What Does He Have To Offer That He Can’t Suggest To Incumbents?

Atiku is part of the political system in Nigeria. In 1993 he ran for President, but lost to MKO Abiola in the Social Democratic Party primary election. In 2007, he ran for Presidency under Action Congress, but lost to Umaru Yaradua of PDP, and coming behing ANPP’s General Buhari. In 2011 he ran for Presidency and lost to Jonathan in the contest for PDP ticket. In 2014, he ran again but lost to Muhammadu Buhari in the APC primary, coming behind second placed Rabiu Kwankwaso. Now he is eyeing 2019! What is Atiku looking for after serving as Vice President for eight years? What did he forget in the villa that he wants to go back to get?

Atiku is already 70, he will be 73 in 2019, he is not an outsider of the system (like the American Trump), what does he have to offer that he couldn’t offer as VeePee? What stops him from sharing his “developmental” ideas to the incumbents since 1999 (considering that he was always in the incumbent parties)? What stops Alhaji Atiku from grooming younger, smarter and intelligent politician for the plum job?

Like I said earlier in my first paragraph, I am not against the right of Atiku to seek office, but I am against the idea of him becoming President. Nigeria cannot afford to continue to rotate failures and grannies. We need generational shift in leadership, we need to retire the system elite and bring him visionaries in 2019.

Nigeria has to be great for our own good, and we must make it great!

U.S Justice Department Issues Statement On Atiku’s Criminal Case Allegation

The United States Department of Justice has addressed the alleged criminal case involving the former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

Recall that speculations had been flying around regarding an alleged pending criminal case in the United states.

Addressing the allegation, the United States Department of Justice in an email sent to Punch through its spokesperson, Peter Carr said: “Thank you for reaching out to us. I have checked the public court records, and they do not show cases filed against a defendant named Atiku Abubakar.”

The statement came in reply to a request by the news source demanding confirmation on the wanted status of the ex-vice president in the United states.

The statement further cleared the former vice president of the alleged money laundering case involving a former United States lawmaker, William Jefferson as the US DOJ denied ever banning Atiku Abubakar’s entry into the US.

In reply to the request seeking to confirm if the All Progressive Congress chieftain has been banned from entering the US, the US DOJ replied: “Visa issues are confidential under section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If your question is specifically about entry – not about visas per se – I would refer you to the US Customs and Border Protection.”

The speculation surrounding the wanted status of the former Vice president stemmed from the allegation levelled against him by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

Jungle justice shows failure of Nigeria’s justice system – Atiku

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the alleged lynching of a purported 7-year-old boy in an unidentified area in Lagos State.

 

Earlier in the week, the news of a 7-year-old boy, lynched and burnt to death for allegedly attempting to steal some garri in Lagos ‘greeted’ the social media.

 

The former VP condemned the act via his Twitter account, @atiku.

 

He wrote, “That jungle justice still exists is an indictment of our justice system. We must work harder to deepen confidence in our justice system.

 

“I’m saddened by the stories of lynching from different parts of Nigeria. Irrespective of age or alleged crime, we have to be more tolerant.”

Atiku will become Nigeria’s President or die trying – Jude Egbas

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is driven by a burning desire to become Nigeria’s President.

It’s an ambition that dictates every course of action the man has taken since Nigeria’s return to democracy.

Atiku wants to be President so bad, he’ll give an arm and leg to make that dream become reality.

It’s also one ambition that may ultimately consume the man who harbours them.

And it hasn’t been for want of trying.

Atiku was barely a year into his job as Governor of Adamawa State in 1998 when he was drafted into the PDP presidential campaign as Olusegun Obasanjo’s running mate.

Obasanjo and Atiku prevailed.

‘Baba Iyabo’ (as Obasanjo is fondly called) would soon find out that Atiku was too ambitious for his own good. Most of the Governors elected on the platform of the PDP, were Atiku loyalists.

Atiku had also inherited the PDM political structure founded by the late  Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.

The PDM political machine was instrumental to PDP’s electoral conquests of 1999. Atiku had all of the PDM structure in his back pocket.

Obasanjo was the first to recognise the Atiku political threat. The Ota farmer had one job as his first term wound down—begin cutting Atiku to size.

And he did.

When Obasanjo sought for a second term, he couldn’t help running to Atiku who was still the most powerful and smartest politician in the land at the time.

According to one version of events, Obasanjo went down on his knees as he pleaded with Atiku to support his second term bid.

Atiku acceded to Baba’s request and Obasanjo got his second term.

If any agreement was struck between Baba and the Turakin Adamawa (Atiku’s traditional title) that the latter should succeed the former as President, no one would tell.

But Obasanjo made sure Atiku didn’t succeed him. He pulled out all the stops to thwart an Atiku Presidency.

Without the support of his boss, Atiku announced his presidential run on November 25, 2006 on the platform of the Action Congress (AC). Obasanjo made sure there was no space under the PDP umbrella for Atiku.

Atiku lost that presidential election to Umaru Yar’adua. He polled a distant third behind Muhammadu Buhari who ran on the platform of the ANPP.

2006 wasn’t Atiku’s first Presidential run, however.

In 1992, the elder Yar’adua had propped Atiku for the SDP Presidential primary. Atiku lost the SDP ticket to MKO Abiola and abandoned his Presidential ambition on the floor of the convention.

There was a gentleman’s agreement that Abiola would announce Atiku as his running mate, but Abiola announced Babagana Kingibe as his running mate instead.

In October of 2010, Atiku announced yet another Presidential run. He had staged a return to the PDP after flirting with the AC.

Atiku lost the PDP presidential primary election to Goodluck Jonathan. He had garnered a paltry 805 votes to Jonathan’s 2736 votes at the Eagle Square in Abuja.

But Atiku wasn’t done just yet.

In February 2014, Atiku defected from the PDP to the APC in a bid to realise his dream of becoming Nigeria’s President.

After the APC presidential primary ahead of the 2015 general elections, Atiku was left licking his wounds again. He was floored by Buhari at the party convention.

Buhari went on to become Nigeria’s President, with the opposition APC handing the then governing party, PDP, a bloody nose during the general election contest.

Atiku retreated behind the curtains, but he has been doing enough to suggest he’ll be back when another presidential contest comes around in 2019.

Atiku has set up his stall perfectly on social media, he’s taken to philanthropy, he’s become friends with the millennials, he lets you know when he’s watching Arsenal play, he tweets like the rest of us, his PR handlers have been working overtime and he’s began to grant more and more interviews to the mainstream media.

Plus, he boasts very deep pockets.

For Atiku, the mantra is– become Nigeria’s President or die tryin’.

Atiku belongs to the school of thought that says, it doesn’t matter how many times a man falls, what counts is how many times he’s able to get back up.

 

There’ve been insinuations that Atiku is working behind the scenes to float yet another political party ahead of the 2019 election.

For a man who has no scruples swapping one political party for another when it suits his cause, those speculations aren’t entirely unfounded.

He’s tried and failed in the past, but you can almost take this to the bank:

Atiku will run for President again in 2019—whether you back his bid or not.

Atiku: Obasanjo wanted to be president for life but I stood in his way.

Former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar has insisted that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo wanted to pave the way for a lifetime presidency and not just a third term in office.

Atiku said this in an interview with a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Zero Tolerance.

The former vice-president said, initially, it was assumed that the plan was to modify the constitution so that Obasanjo could serve a third, four-year term as President.

He, however, said the aspect of tenure limitation was carefully removed so that Obasanjo could be President for life.

When asked why he and Obasanjo were at loggerheads towards the end of their tenure, he said, “My offence was that I disagreed with him on the amendment of the constitution to remove tenure/term limits or what was popularly called the ‘third term agenda’.

“In fact, he sent the then Attorney-General and Prof. Jerry Gana to my office to bring the draft amendments to the constitution. After going through (them), I found out that tenure limits had been removed. In other words, he could be President for life.

“I then asked them that ‘if I send you to the President, can you deliver this message?’ They said yes. I said ‘go and tell him I will not support it and (I) will fight it’.”

Atiku said due to his disagreement with Obasanjo, the ex-president decided to tag him as a corrupt person.

The former vice-president said the then Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, accused him of corruption but later came to him to apologise.

He said, “When he came to ask me for forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you, Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now (have) realised that I am not corrupt.

“Then he said ‘sir, you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly without them going to TV stations to apologise to you’ and I said, ‘your case is different because first of all, I helped to found the EFCC’.

“I was instrumental to your appointment, so, I believe I have contributed to your development and this is how you are paying me back. In any case, he kept on apologising and I said, ‘okay, no problem. That closed the chapter’.”

Atiku denied media reports that a United States Senate report accused him of laundering $40m in the US between 2000 and 2008.

The former vice-president confirmed that he did transfer money to the US but it was not illegal.

He added, “It was an allegation which was not proved. It was my legitimate money which I transferred to the US; there was nothing (wrong) about it. More so, I was not indicted in that report. They only said suspicious funds but I proved before the Senate committee that they were not suspicious.”

Atiku explained that the accusations emanated from his dealings with a Louisiana congressman, William Jefferson.

He explained that Jefferson had approached him for a communications project but he referred the American to the minister of communications.

Atiku said the US lawmaker collected $100,000 from a woman under the pretext of using it to bribe him (Atiku).

The ex-vice-president said he, however, rejected the money which he described as too little for a man of his status.

He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation subsequently searched his wife’s US home but nothing incriminating was found.

Atiku said, “Apparently, I didn’t know he (Jefferson) had duped a lady and collected marked money from her in my name. Unknown to him, the FBI were on his trail. But, of course, there was no way he could give me money because what was $100,000 to me?

“Eventually, my wife’s residence was searched and nothing was found but when his residence was searched, of course, the money was found there and he was convicted. I was not even called as a witness.”

Why I don’t visit US – Atiku

Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has given explanations over his alleged avoidance of the United States over a purported corruption case for which he was said to be wanted.

 

Atiku denied that he was avoiding US because of any travel ban on him. He also faulted the widely held notion about him as a corrupt person, saying if he was corrupt, he would have been convicted by now.

 

In an interview published in the latest edition of Zero Tolerance Magazine, a publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Atiku said he “no longer has compelling reasons” to travel to US, as his family, who used to live there, had relocated.

 

“There is no travel restriction on me to the United States. After leaving office, I have been to the US severally to visit my family, which has eventually relocated,” he said.

 

Atiku, however, did not answer the question on when last he visited the US, insisting that the reason for his US travels were his wife.

 

The former vice president also denied having any relationship with William Jefferson, the ex-US congressman accused of being his linkman in the US bribery scandal.

 

In one of the editions of the magazine in September 2013, Atiku’s ex-boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had dared the ex-VP to travel to US, alleging that Atiku was a fugitive who cannot travel to US.

 

Atiku maintained that despite panels and court actions against him, he was yet to be found guilty of any financial infringement.

 

“If Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts. I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court.”

Court cleared me of corruption charges cooked up by OBJ, El-Rufai, Ribadu – Atiku

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has given himself a clean slate from corruption tag, saying that court has cleared him of the corruption allegations “cooked up” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and gazetted by a government white paper during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

 

Atiku stated this in the interview granted to the editorial team of the EFCC, which was published in the latest edition of their in-house Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”.

 

He noted that he is one of the strongest advocate of the anti-corruption war, having pioneered the establishment of the major anti-graft agencies including the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

 

He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.

 

“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court. The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”

 

The Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on his relationship with the then Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, saying he has rested their differences.

 

He said that Ribadu apologised to him on several occasions and that he has forgiven him despite the fact that he refused to do so publicly as he demanded.

 

“I can recall when he (Ribadu) came to ask for my forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now realised that I am not corrupt. Then he said sir, ‘you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly, without them going to TV stations to apoligise to you. Why is my own case different?’ I said, ‘your case is different because first of all I helped to found the EFCC; I made sure that even when you had no budget, I took money from the privatisation council and gave you as a loan so that you can function before the National Assembly approved your budget. I was instrumental to your appointment, so I believe I had contributed to your development and that is what you are paying me back with’.

“In any case, he kept apologising and I said ‘okay’, no problem’. That closed the chapter”.

 

Atiku however, insisted that it was Ribadu and the then Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, that Obasanjo “used in cooking up the indictment that was eventually thrown out.”

 

“So where is the evidence of corruption? Its not just fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years. So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to it was unethical of me to have accepted those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?,” he queried.

 

Atiku debunked the allegations made by El-Rufai in his book: “Accidental Public Servant”, that he spearheaded the N50 million bribe scandal involving Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonathan Zwingina and others during his ministerial confirmation screening.

 

He said that the former DG of BPE might have “misconstrued what happened”, saying “He actually ran to me to say that he was denied confirmation by the Senate”.

 

“Of course, I called Mantu and others and confronted them, and they admitted that yes they denied him because they do not see him as a Minister. It is also on record, because I controlled the campaign funds; and el-Rufai now went and said those campaign funds were meant to be a bribe. This is how he came about concocting that story. Of course, my boss, the President (Obasanjo), investigated the story and found out that indeed every Senator got contributions from the campaign fund which I was managing.

 

“So where is the corruption in that? Had he discovered that there was corruption, he would have used it against me because he was looking for anything to nail me. But he couldn’t get it because I brought him evidence of all those that benefited from the fund”, he explained.

2019: I never spoke about Atiku’s bid – Bindow

Governor Muhammad Umar Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa state has denied making any reference to “unconfirmed” presidential ambition of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The governor’s position came against the backdrop of a media report quoting him to have said “it’s either Atiku or nobody for the 2019 Presidency.”

A statement by his Special Assistant, Media and Press Affairs, Martins Dickson, yesterday urged those who must have been offended by such misrepresentation “aimed at tarnishing his image” to shun the report as it did not emanate from him.

“The attention of Adamawa state Governor, Senator Muhammad Umar Jibrilla Bindow, has been drawn to a story on Peoples Daily newspaper of Friday, November 11, 2016, titled: “2019 Presidency: It’s Either Atiku Or Nobody, Says Gov Bindow.”

The governor said “at no time during the flag-off ceremony of the Girei-Pariya-Wuro Bokki last Thursday did he make any statement about 2019 Presidency.

The statement read in part: “The governor only stated that Atiku is like a father to him and he has no political godfather as insinuated by some sections of the media.

“He then thanked President Buhari for bringing peace to the Northeast and Nigeria as a whole, and called on the people of Adamawa to unite and make the state a better place.”

“The attribution of such statement to him by the newspaper is false, mischievous, fictitious and malicious. It’s is a surprise that such concocted story is published by a reputable newspaper like Peoples Daily.”

Continuing, it read: “To attribute a statement to a person means a direct utterance of the person or an issued statement by the personality. This, I am sure, the Peoples Daily reporter and his editors know very well.

“Bindow has no glance on 2019, he is more concerned with the continuous development of Adamawa state and delivering good dividends of democracy to people of the state.”

Atiku rallies support for FG’s anti-corruption war

Former vice president and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, has reiterated the need for the mass media to be in the vanguard of the promotion of good governance and anti-corruption campaign.

This is as the APC chieftain recieved the ‘Quintessential Pacesetter Award’ in recognition of his immense contributions to communication for the promotion of democratic values and ethos for nation building.

The Turakin Adamawa made the charge while receiving the management staff of the Atiku Media Office (AMO) at his Asokoro residence in Abuja, on the twin purpose of felicitating with him ahead of his 70th birthday anniversary and the establishment of the Atiku Media Office, 10 years ago.

The former vice president, who recalled the role of the media in partnering with progressive-minded politicians to end military rule and dictatorship in the country, said that the fourth estate of the realm has a more entrenched role to play to ensure that democratic tenets remain intact and are not assailed by anti-democratic forces.

While acknowledging the pioneering role the Atiku Media Office has played in the past ten years and continues to play in the promotion and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria, the former Vice President, however, observed that the media office was a creation of necessity.

Oyegun/Tinubu Feud, Atiku Wades In

Former Vice President and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar today waded into the altercation between the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and another leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, the former vice president said the leadership of the party cannot make rules only to discard it while the game is on.

He charged “the APC on the promotion of rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs


noting that they are germane to the unity and stability of the party”.

According to him, “it is imperative for the national leadership of the party to live by the rules of internal democracy and respect for democratic consensus”, warning that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”

Abubakar spoke in light of the face-off between Messrs Oyegun and Tinubu following the party’s decision to jettison the majority report of its Appeal Committee on the primary election in Ondo state which recommended a cancellation of the exercise that produced Mr Rotimi Akeredolu.

APC Crisis: Atiku backs Tinubu

A former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar, has charged the party to promote the rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs, noting that they were germane to its unity and stability.He gave the charge in a statement on Wednesday against the background of the festering crisis trailing the conduct of the APC gubernatorial primary in Ondo State.

 

A former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, had on Sunday demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, accusing him of favouring an aspirant in the gubernatorial primaries in OndoState and forcing his choice through using a sleight of hand.Mr. Tinubu, who alleged that thenational chairman was perpetrating injustice, said the development showed that there was an evil and regressive forcewithin the APC using Mr. Oyegun to derail the party’s democratic and progressive tenets.

 

The name of a former National President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu, was forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission, as the APC candidate in the November election, despite protest by other aspirants and some members of the party’s national working committee.

 

Mr. Abubakar said it was imperative for the national leadership of the party to live bythe rules of internal democracy and respect for democratic consensus, warning that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”He argued that the party was supposed to be an impartial entity in the arbitration of crisis amongst its members in any given election.

 

He further contended that since the APC found veritable reasonsto review the outcome of the gubernatorial primary election it conducted in Ondo State, and was able to establish valid grounds to cancel that election and call for a fresh one, the decision to deviate from its own resolution is a negation of due process and an unfashionable hollow in democratic best practices.

 

“It was wrong for the APC to have set aside a resolution it had reached aimed at resolving the crisis in our party in Ondo State. It is a recipe for acrimonyand division,” he said.

 

The former vice president also noted that pretending a problem doesn’t exist won’t make that problem go away, and therefore,advised the leadership of the party to do a soul searching and address why this problem arose and escalated.According to Mr. Atiku, the party leadership should always be guided by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus.

 

He, however, urged aggrieved members of the APC in the Ondo election to exercise restraint in seeking redress to the crisis. He also urged the leadership of the party to retrace its steps and do the needful to restore confidence among the conflicting parties in the state for the overall benefit of the ruling party.

Atiku Chairs African Agric Experts’ Meeting

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar will chair the first ever African Veterinary Association (AVA) congress to be hosted by Nigeria in November this year.

The Guardian gathered that the congress, which the association is co-hosting with the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) was part of efforts to proffer solutions to the country’s economic situation as well as suggestions for sustainable growth.

Dr Kelvin Ugwuomarima, who is the Enugu State chairman of the NVMA, who dropped the hint at the weekend, stated that the five day event which would hold in Enugu, would also deliberate on the need to diversify the economy against the frequent collapse in oil prices.

He stated that the country’s situation was a wakeup call on other sectors of her national life.According to him, other areas the congress would look into include agro-business operators such as poultry, pig, fish, cattle, pharmaceutical industries, hospitality industries as well as public health practitioners.

He stated that the Small Medium Entreprenurs would use the opportunity of the congress to meet with the major players in the live stock sub sector in Africa and showcase their businesses and services during the period.

“The AVA/NVMA congress is programmed to be a tourism harvest for the state and an opportunity to meet with and attract investors to the state and Nigeria in general”, he stated.

He stated that Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Animal Resources, Sudan, Prof Musa Tibin Musa, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, Ghana, Dr Hanna Louisa Bisiw and ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tchambakau Ayassor, would grace the occasion among others.

Atiku Denies Involvement In PDP Crisis

Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday dismissed reports that he is responsible for the leadership crisis currently rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Speculations in some quarters linked Atiku to the lingering crisis within the fold of the PDP.

Atiku had served as the country’s vice president under the platform of the PDP for eight years.

In 2013, he decamped to the All Progressives Congress, APC, and in 2015 contested for the APC presidential ticket which he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.

But reacting to the unconfirmed report that he is behind the disquiet in the PDP, Atiku denied any involvement.

A terse statement on his official Twitter handle, @Atiku, read: “Former VP @Atiku has no hand in PDP crisis.”

Osinbajo, Tinubu, Atiku, Saraki, Others In Close Door Meeting

Senior leaders of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, are currently meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting is taking place at the presidential villa.

Those in attendance include Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu; APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun; Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun; Senate Leader, Ali Ndume; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; and a former interim chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, among others.

The meeting is behind closed doors, and its agenda was not immediately clear.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Zayyad I. Muhammad: Governor Bindow And Cheap Loyalty

What is the loyalty of a state governor worth? This is the question being asked by many observers inside and outside of Adamawa state, after the governor, Muhammad Umaru Jibrilla Bindow revealed that his unalloyed loyalty currently lies with former vice president Atiku Abubakar because of the latter’s 500 million naira donation to his governorship campaign during the 2015 general elections. Political pundits and the lay-man view the acclaimed loyalty from different perspectives. The lay-man sees it from the perspective of the monetary benefit of 500 million naira donation, while political pundits see it as being beyond mere 500 million naira donation.
In retrospection, Governor Bindow won APC governorship primaries solely by relying on former governor Nyako political structures- twice, Bindow beat Atiku’s preferred candidate Yayaji Mijinyawa in the primaries. The Nyako group had to support Bindow during the primaries because they did not have an option, because among all the candidates, it was only Bindow who openly opposed Nyako’s impeachment. On the other hand, Atiku did not show any enthusiasm in support of Nyako. Basically, the APC governorship primary election was a contest between Atiku and Nyako. After all, the duo of Bindow and Yayaji Mijinyawa did not have the capacity to beat people like Boss Mustapha, Dahiru Bobbo and Tahir Mamman.
Despite Bindow’s victory at the polls, former governor Nyako is still pursuing his court case in his attempt to upturn his impeachment by the former Adamawa State House of Assembly. The implication is that, if he wins, he will return as governor and Bindow will automatically lose the governorship seat.
In order to save his political career and governorship seat, Mr. Bindow is left with the only option of relying on Atiku for political structures and guidance including access to Atiku’s legal team. So the main reason for Bindow’s unalloyed loyalty to Atiku is to tap from Atiku legal purses of experience and successes, including the strong political structure.
The implication of Bindow’s publicly declared loyalty to Atiku is the continued political rivalry between Atiku and Nyako. The battle may get fiercer and expand sooner or later as Bindow had made some political miscalculation at the course of forming his government- for instance; the Adamawa chapter of the legacy parties (CPC, ANPP and ACN) that formed the APC were not adequately taken care of in terms of government appointment and patronage.
 Atiku’s seeming over-bearing influence on Bindow’s government and the obvious sidelining of Nyako’s men may lead the Nyako group to team with the aggrieved bigwigs of the of legacy parties to fight Bindow. But for the Nyako group to effectively mount a good challenge against Bindow, they need a strong leadership to rally around- probably Senator Abdul-Azeez Nyako. Though, no right-thinking politician can ignore Atiku’s well-established vast political structure, immense war chest and history of successes in political legal battles that easily scares off his opponents. However, Atiku’s decision to support Yayaji Mijinyawa who has least experience and weakest political contacts among Atiku’s political sons and daughters has seriously affected Atiku’s hitherto political family’s cult-like loyalty.
Governor Bindow’s loyalty to Atiku goes beyond the 500 million naira campaign donation, if there was such donation. Governor Bindow’s uncommon loyalty to Atiku is an attempt by the governor to face the Nyako challenges by using Atiku’s many available political and legal structures. However, the common people’s loyalty is the most important weapon Governor Bindow direly needs.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State, zaymohd@yahoo.com, 08036070980. He blogs at www.zayyaddp.blogspot.com
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

“I’m Not Plotting Against President Buhari” – Former Vice-President Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has asked his political opponents to desist from fabricating lies in a bid to cause a disagreement between him and President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku, who alleged that his political enemies were sponsoring propaganda to cause distrust, said he was not plotting against the President.

He said this in a statement issued by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Sunday.

He dismissed an allegation that he had been hosting political meetings at Burj Al-Arab, Dubai, to frustrate Buhari.

Atiku said, “This is the work of rumour-mongers planning to cause distrust and distraction in Buhari’s government. They do not mean well for the APC administration. With the challenges of providing good governance for the country and creating job opportunities for Nigerians, including reducing the impact of poverty, President Buhari needs all the goodwill and support in these endeavours.”

According to the former vice-president, the success of Buhari’s administration has been his preoccupation.

He said that contrary to the rumours being peddled by his political opponents, he was currently in Dubai with his family for physiotherapy on his injured knee.

He said it was unfortunate that at a time that energy should be channelled into helping the President actualise his change agenda, some were busy spreading deliberate falsehood to cause distraction.

He warned that his private affairs should not be politicised by anybody to achieve sinister objectives.

Atiku said he was entitled to enjoy his private life, including the right to attend to his health without being harassed and lied against by political opponents.

The statement read, “This is yet another plot by the enemies of our country and democracy to divide, divert attention and distract the APC in its avowed commitment to secure the country, provide jobs for the unemployed youths, build the needed critical infrastructure, enthrone a regime of probity and accountability and pull the country out of the economic woods it has been consigned to by locust years of mismanagement.

“Whether at home or abroad, the Turaki is preoccupied with his unassailable support to President Buhari and his administration, especially at this critical time, as he works assiduously to turn the fortunes of our dear country around and make Nigeria work for the greater good of all.

“Rumour-mongers are toxic to the progress of the APC and the country at large. The campaigns are gone, and therefore, all energies should be constructively devoted to the success of the Buhari administration.”

Buhari, Atiku, Others Urge PDP To Learn From APC’s Success Story

President Mohammadu Buhari and other eminent Nigerians, Monday, challenged the PDP and other opposition parties in the country to learn from the tenacity and rough path to glory of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in order to advance the democratic space and good governance in the country.

 

They threw the challenge at the public presentation ceremony of the book: From Opposition to Governing Party: Nigeria’s APC Merger Story, written by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, at Yar’ Adua’s Centre, Abuja.
In his remarks, President Mohammadu Buhari, described the book as a compendium of political history of APC’s success story, worthy of emulation by every opposition party.
The President, who commended Onu for authoring the book, traced the history of APC’s merger, which said was a very torteous journey for all the merger forces that gave birth to the ruling party.
He said the book would not only be an asset to the economic development of the country but also politically. He stressed the need for every politician and parties to learn for the book what it takes to rise from opposition to ruling party, describing it as an intellectual exercise.
‘‘Onu has not only contributed economically by writing this book but politically. It is a product of intellectual and political work. We are inclined not to learn from the history but this book will serve as a compendium of our checkered political history for everyone to learn from our political past and move the nation forward.
‘‘Without the emergence of APC, PDP would have killed Nigeria. That is why we stood our ground tenaciously in the midst of failures and difficulties to form APC. After I lost three times in the presidential election I decided not to contest again but people came and persuaded me to run again, saying that, ‘‘I no longer belong to myself but to them and urged me to accept their request.”
He however, challenged the Minister to use his wealth of experience and intellect to transform the nation through his ministry by producing creative and innovative scientists.
‘‘As a scientist, I can trace my relationship with Ogbonnaya Onu to 2005, during the early days of the formation of APC merger. I throw the challenge to him and I would want to see how many world class scientist he will produce for Nigeria,’’ he said.
Earlier in his address, former Vice President and Chairman of the occasion, Atiku Abubakar, said Onu’s appointment was a well-deserved.
He described the Minister as a gentle man, with amazing intellect with sense of focus, humility and honesty.
He said the book represents story of patriotism, hope, determination and sacrifice for humility and above all for change, which Nigerian have long awaited.
‘‘It is amazing for him to find time to chronicle a book on the progressives to come together in the interest of the country to provide alternative leadership.
‘‘For me, it is a story of patriotism and hope, determination, sacrifice for humility and above all for change,’’ he added.
The former Vice President went further to commend the author for putting together the history of the ruling party and how it snatched power from the former ruling party, the People Democratic Party (PDP), which he said ‘‘has lost its soul and abandoned its patriotic principles.’’
For him, the story of APC, will place Nigeria as a reference point for other African countries to learn from.
‘‘Nigeria’s story in Africa makes this a story of innermost lessons for all African countries. I have no doubt that you have the capacity for a multi-task to drive the ministry of science and technology to the desired level,’’ he said.
In his goodwill message, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwa, said his emergence as the Speaker of the seventh Assembly was as a result of the effort of all the forces that formed APC.
Tambuwa, who described Onu as a man of many parts, said the book will ever remain a reference point for all political parties, which for him was a classical outing for Dr. Onu.

 

Credit : Vanguard

Former VP Atiku Abubakar Supports The Book Launch On HID Awolowo With N10m cash

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and a host of other prominent Nigerians attended the book launch on Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo. According to Vanguard, Atiku Abubakar who was the Chief Presenter of the biography of HID Awolowo, In the Radiance of the Sage: The Life and Times of HID Awolowo supported the book with the sum of N10 million cash. More photos below…

Atiku Heartbroken By Recent Maiduguri Blast, Desperate To Crush Insurgency

Former vice president of Nigeria and APC presidential aspirant expresses sadness over the recent Maiduguri blast.

He took to his facebook account to express how he feels about the situation. He went further to sympathize and pray for those affected and the traumatized North East as a whole.

See facebook post below:

https://www.facebook.com/Atiku.org/photos/a.10151912691824640.1073741829.14312764639/10153716183854640/?type=3

Atiku Reacts To Yola IDP Camp Terror Attack

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has expressed grief over the recent terror attack on an IDP Camp in Yola.

He bared his mind on his facebook page and saying:

I’m deeply saddened by the bombing incident at the Yola IDP camp today. Only persons with hearts of evil could do this.

The Yola IDP camp is the largest in Nigeria, and refuge to thousands of people who fled the insurgency from Borno and Yobe.

Many people I know were working as volunteers in the camp, including staff and students of AUN, who sustained minor injuries in today’s blast.

Today’s attack is an attempt to break the spirits of the people who came to seek refuge. The perpetrators will know no peace.

We refuse to be broken. We will win the war against terrorism. We shall overcome!

https://www.facebook.com/Atiku.org/posts/10153646360594640:0

Tinubu Reacts To APC BoT Chair Rift With Atiku

National leader of All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has denied any rift between him and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar over their interest in the Chairmanship of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT.

Urging Nigerians to ignore rumour mongering, Tinubu stated that both of them and indeed, the party’s utmost priority was to galvanize support for President Mohammadu Buhari to succeed.

He said: “Don’t listen to rumours, there is no struggle. Our party is not even looking at the direction of power struggle or anything of such. The support structure is to encourage and support the President as you have heard from Chief Bisi Akande, to help him institutionalize his goal, principle and vision for a new Nigeria.

“There is pitfall in rushing, quick fix, depending upon the depth of the rot. And that rush can cascade into mistakes of unimaginable magnitude. There is equally glory and recovery in slowness, when you have a slow fix of a bad foundation. So to me, I would rather take the one that will last the country and endure for a longer period of time than the rush hour shopping.”

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Probe Obasanjo, Atiku, Tinubu, Others, LP Urges Buhari

If any probe of those alleged to have looted the nation’s treasury is to have any meaning and not be seen as a selective witch-hunt, then President Muhammadu Buhari should start with all past civilian administrations beginning from 1999.

This was the position of the Chairman, Labour Party of Nigeria (LP), Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, who yesterday urged Buhari to be holistic by extending such probes to former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, erstwhile Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senate President Bukola Saraki and other former state governors.

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Atiku Abubakar’s Daughter Nominated As Commissioner In Adamawa State

Fatima Atiku Abubakar, one of the daughter’s of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been nominated to serve as a commissioner in the administration of Gov. Bindow Jibirilla of Adamawa state.

Fatima along with four other women, Shanti Victoria Shashi, Kaletapwa Farauta, Fatima Atiku Abubakar and Lilian Nabe Kayode, are part of the 22-man nominees list sent by the state governor to members of the state House of Assembly for screening today August 6th.

I Chose Yar’Adua Because Others Were Corrupt – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Wednesday that he chose the late former President Umaru Yar’ Adua as his successor because the others who wanted the post were corrupt.

Obasanjo said one of the people who wanted to succeed him in 2007 was “stinkingly corrupt” and that the only way he (Obasanjo) could justify himself before man and God was to go for Yar’Adua, who, he said, was the only one among the contenders then who was not corrupt.

The former President, who spoke in an interview with a private television station, Channels
Television, in Abeokuta, did not mention the ‘corrupt’ Yar’Adua rivals.

Among the prominent presidential hopefuls in the Peoples Democratic Party in 2007 were Obasanjo’s deputy, Abubakar Atiku; and ex-Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili.

Atiku later abandoned the PDP to contest the presidential election on the platform of the defunct Action Congress while Odili’s ambition fizzled out with the nomination of Yar’Adua.

The AC later metamorphosed into the Action Congress of Nigeria, which later merged with the Congress for Progressive Change and the All Nigeria Peoples Party to form the now ruling All Progressives Congress.

Obasanjo’s choice of successor died on May 5, 2010 from heart-related ailments. Many condemned Obasanjo for choosing a man who was manifestly sick to lead the country.

But in the Channels interview, PUNCH reports that Obasanjo said he only acted based on the information made available to him. He said:

“Even if you take your son as your successor, you are not sure of what he will do when he gets there. Don’t ever kid yourself. What do I know about any successor? What he presents. When he gets there, he presents it differently.

We did our best, but if you say our best is not good enough, I will say, when it comes to your turn, do better. With all the people that are available for successor, what we came up with was about the best that we could think of at that time.

One of those who wanted to do the job came to me and said, ‘Sir, I like your job, but I cannot do it the way you are doing it.’ Now, if he had told me that, should I then come and say, ‘okay, come, let me give you the job?’ He had told me that, ‘I like your job, but look, the way you are doing it, I haven’t got the stamina to do it that way.’ Then, what do you expect me to do?

Or the one that I know that, oh!, this one, before he gets the job, he’s stinkingly corrupt. Now will I be able to defend myself before God and man if with what I know I give this job or I encourage the man to have this job?”

I Remain Loyal To Buhari, Says Atiku

A former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar, has said that it is dangerous for any individual or group within the APC to constitute themselves into an opposition even before the constitution of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. He also expressed his loyalty to President Buhari.

The former Vice President made the call against the backdrop of development in the polity, which he noted were interplay of forces and dynamic interests that should not be promoted to the point of being a threat to democracy and the new administration.

In a press statement released by his media office in Abuja on Sunday, and signed by Mazi Paul Ibe, the Turaki Adamawa acknowledged that it was legitimate and desirable for individuals or groups to pursue their interests.

He, however, noted that such should be done with the spirit of equity, fair play and justice. “Anything to the contrary may jeopardise our hard-earned democracy and constitute a clog in the wheel of the new administration,” Atiku said.

He noted that because of the historic nature of the mandate of President Buhari and the arduous challenges ahead to deliver on making Nigeria work for all Nigerians, it was important, especially for members of the APC, to rally behind him in the quest to enthrone good governance.

Credit: Punch 

APC Crisis: Buhari Meets Atiku, Oyegun

The need to further consult and calm frayed nerves has been adduced as reasons why the leadership of the All Progressives Congress shelved a meeting scheduled to hold in Abuja on Tuesday.

It was learnt that some of the party leaders who were still sore about the outcome of the National Assembly leadership elections, are yet to agree to sit on the roundtable with individuals they claimed stabbed them in the back.

A member of the party caucus who pleaded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue said, “You expect me to sit with people who for their selfish interests connived with the opposition to deny our party what is due to it?

“We need time for the wounds to heal. You must also understand that the comment of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso which is in the papers today, has not helped matters.”

It was further learnt that as part of the consultations before a wider meeting would be called, President Muhammadu Buhari met with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and the Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, at his private residence in Abuja on Thursday.

When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, denied knowledge of any scheduled caucus or Board of Trustees meeting.

He told The PUNCH, “I am not aware of any meeting scheduled for Abuja, today (Tuesday), I only know that the Governors Forum is meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).

It will be recalled that Al-Makura had on Sunday told newsmen in Lafia, that party leaders would meet in Abuja, on Tuesday to deliberate on the challenges facing the party.

Creditpunchng

Reports Of Me Decamping To PDP Is Laughable And Absurd – Bukola Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has described as absurd and laughable, rumors of him defecting to PDP from APC. In a statement he released today June 10th, Sen. Saraki said he left the PDP willingly and will not be going back there at this time when he’s already in a ruling party.

“The new Senate President also denies that he had a plan to decamp to the People’s Democratic Party, describing the insinuation as ” absurd and laughable.” According to him, “it is just cheap blackmail by political adversaries who want to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. And those making such desperate allegations should remember that I willingly left the PDP on matters of principles when the party was in power. Is it now that the party is out of government and in opposition that I will now return having worked so hard for my party in the last general elections”.

Read the full statement below…

The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s reaction to Tuesday’s election of National Assembly leaders as a “great mark of leadership” and a demonstration of the President’s commitment to democracy. In a statement issued by his media office on Wednesday, the Senate President commended President Buhari for remaining steadfast in his commitment to the principle of non-interference in National Assembly politics even in the face of great pressure on him to act otherwise. “This shows that Mr. President is a man of great conviction who, in his own words, belong to everyone and to no one,” the statement reads. In a similar vein, the new Senate President also denies that he had a plan to decamp to the People’s Democratic Party, describing the insinuation as ” absurd and laughable.” According to him, “it is just cheap blackmail by political adversaries who want to call a dog a bad name in order to hang it. And those making such desperate allegations should remember that I willingly left the PDP on matters of principles when the party was in power. Is it now that the party is out of government and in opposition that I will now return having worked so hard for my party in the last general elections,” he queried.

He stated his commitment to the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he remains a loyal party member and a leader of the party, committed to contributing his quota to building the party and helping it to deliver its promise of change to Nigerian people. He urged all members of the National Assembly to put politicking behind them and settle down for the proper business of legislating. “Our country is going through a very trying times. We have the challenge of insecurity in the North East. The massive problem of youth unemployment and general economic challenges occasioned by the falling oil prices in the international market and the consequential fall in revenue. All these are coming against the huge public expectation that propelled our party into office. We have pursued our legitimate aspirations appropriately. Now that the issues have been settled, we need to move on in the larger interest of our people, without whose mandate we would not have been in a position to aspire to these positions in the first place.” The Senate President stated his readiness to embrace every member of the Senate regardless of his or her political leanings in the leadership elections just concluded.

APC To Sanction Atiku For Supporting Saraki’s Insubordination

There are indications that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, may sanction former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and present Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, over the outcome of the National Assembly elections that challenged the supremacy of the party.

Sources within the APC said Atiku colluded with Senator Bukola Saraki to undermine the will of the party while Tambuwal, who is the former Speaker of the House of Reps, supported Yakubu Dogara who emerged as Tambuwal’s successor.

The suspicion of the APC leadership was reignited by the fact that Atiku was the first person Saraki visited after emerging as Senate President on Monday, apparently to thank Atiku.

A reliable source within the party said the party was aware of moves by the PDP to secure principal offices in the National Assembly over a month ago and that was why the party selected staunch APC members, – Ahmed Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila – as its candidates for Senate President and Speaker.

The source said the APC knew that the PDP would approach its old members to actualise this plan. Both Saraki and Dogara defected to the APC from the PDP.

The source said, “We started keeping tabs on Atiku in January when he showed that he was not interested in the success of President Buhari when he was our presidential candidate. Our fears were reignited when the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, paid Atiku a visit shortly before the elections.

“A large section of Atiku’s supporters defected to the PDP a day after that meeting with Jonathan and that was why Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Rufai Alkali, said shortly after that meeting that Atiku would soon return to the PDP. Atiku even admitted himself that he did not attend Buhari’s rallies.

“Don’t you find it curious that the first person that Saraki visited after emerging as Senate President was Atiku? We have information that Atiku told his supporters in the Senate to vote for Saraki and that was what happened. We know that Atiku is still nursing a presidential ambition for 2019 and he is now beginning to build blocks.”

The source said the APC had evidence that Tambuwal supported Dogara so that he (Tambuwal) could retain his influence over the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

He said Tambuwal ensured that Dogara emerged the Chairman, House Services Committee, which is the most influential committee in the House because of his closeness to Dogara.

He said, “Tambuwal is also nursing a presidential ambition and needs to retain control over the House. He will not be able to retain such influence if Gbajabiamila is the Speaker.”

Atiku Urges Assembly Leaders To Be Non-Partisan

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has encouraged newly-elected leaders of the National Assembly to be professional in carrying out their mandate.

He encouraged them to view their elections beyond the” narrow interests”
of respective political parties.

“The Nigerian people look up to the new National Assembly to work with the executive arm in finding solutions to the problems of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and joblessness in the country. Their election is indeed a call to duty, and it is a call for which they cannot afford to fail the nation,” Abubakar said.

Abubakar, the All Progressives Congress executive noted that with the elections of its presiding officers, the 8th National Assembly should swing to work and put the overall national interest beyond the personal political interests of its members.

He said that with the election of its presiding officers, the eighth National Assembly had prepared the ground work for a full legislative business.

While congratulating the new leaders of the Parliament on their election, Atiku reminded every member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives of their responsibilities to their constituents, which, he said, is to put national interest before their individual political interest.

Abubakar’s sentiments follow the election of the National Assembly leaders on Tuesday.

Bora Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu have been elected and retained as Senate President and Deputy respectively. Yakubu Dogara has been elected Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Credit: CAJ News

Atiku, Tambuwal, Owie, Others Hail Lawmakers

Mixed reactions, yesterday, trailed the emergence of the leadership of the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Reacting to the development, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State commended the lawmakers for exhibiting maturity and for the defence of legislative ethos in the choice of their leaders.

He said the outcome of the elections indicated that democracy had come of age in Nigeria, adding that the doctrine of the independence of the legislature was gradually taking firm root.

Tambuwal admonished those who were unsuccessful in the contests to regard their actions as positive contributions to democratic process and accept their defeat in good faith.

He urged Nigerians to rally round the new leadership for them to execute their mandates.

Similarly, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, congratulated the newly-elected leaders, admonishing them to see their elections beyond the interests of their respective political parties.

Atiku, in a statement, noted that with the elections of its presiding officers, the eight assembly should swing to work and put the overall national interest beyond the personal political interests of its members.

He said: “The Nigerian people look up to the new National Assembly to work with the executive arm in finding solutions to the problems of insecurity, poverty, illiteracy and joblessness in the country.

“Their election is indeed a call to duty, and it is a call for which they cannot afford to fail the nation.”

Credit:  vanguardngr

Pres. Buhari Is A Leader, Not A Politician – Atiku

For almost an hour penultimate Thursday, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar spoke to LEADERSHIP’s KUNLE SOMORIN and AUWAL SA’ID MU’AZU. In a very frank manner, he bared his mind on topical national issues, including calls for probe of the government he served, his participation in the APC presidential primaries, his political struggles and the PDP challenge, among other sundry issues

We just had an election which has been widely regarded as the real transition, because an opposition party has taken over from the ruling party. How do you see it?

Well, I will disagree with you because the real transition to democracy was when the military got out of power and we had a democratically elected government. The fact that in about 16 years or so we now have an opposition party taking over from a ruling party should not be seen as the real transition to democracy. For sure, it is healthy for our democratic process but certainly I will disagree with you.

Do you see the new PDP which you led as being critically instrumental to this change that we now have?

Of course, many groups were instrumental to this change because it required the coming together of political parties to form this viable opposition and alternative to the PDP. So, everybody played a role.

 

There are names that have been mentioned as those who played a great role to bring about this change. What role do you think the Yar’Adua group played in bringing about this change?

The Yar’Adua political group is almost in every political party in this country; even Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was part of the Yar’Adua political group. So, whichever way you look at it, coming from the PDP, I was part of the Yar’Adua political group. Asiwaju from AD, AC and then ACN, I mean we scattered kind of but it is not surprising that we are all regrouping into one big political family.

People still see the hand of Yar’Adua in the president’s emergence because he was a classmate of the president elect. Was that a consideration in your support for him even after the primaries?

No, the consideration was the fact that I really wanted to see a change of government. I wanted to see a viable opposition and my struggle for a viable opposition started even when I was in the PDP because this is what I wanted to see.

You know since the time I joined politics, I have always been an advocate for a two-party system and this is really what I will want to see for the country.

 

Are we running a two-Party system?

De facto two party system, tell me which party again apart from PDP and APC.

But we have APGA with a sitting governor…

APGA, I believe, is part of the PDP and sooner than later, they will join PDP. They worked with the PDP in the last election. So I think what is likely to emerge is that after this transition, since the PDP is reorganising itself, it’s most likely that APGA and Labour Party will join PDP to make it a stronger.

 

Looking at the mass defection from the PDP to APC after the elections there is the fear that the PDP might fizzle out…

No, no, no.

 

What kind of opposition do you think PDP will present?

I will like to see a very viable opposition, so that Nigerians can have a choice. If you don’t like the performance of APC, you vote PDP and vice versa.

 

So it is a word of caution for even your party?

Oh yes. It’s very exciting for me. But we should not take the electorate for granted.

You have always reinvented yourself. No matter how tight the system is, you manouvre and bounce back. What is your staying power?

It’s just because I enjoy what I am doing.

 

The public will really like to know because people always wonder, what keeps you going?

Why should they wonder, I am still active and I am still in politics. And you never write off a politician except he decides to write himself off. Any politician who does not reinvent himself has, maybe, decided to go on retirement and I have not yet decided to go on retirement.

 

You have no doubt carved a niche for yourself in Nigerian politics and in the build up to the 2015 polls, you came across as one of the most prepared presidential aspirants. It wasn’t your first outing. What has been the driving force?

It’s because whatever I set my mind to do, I like doing it very well and I like preparing to do it well. This is the difference between me and others.

 

What was your immediate reaction to the primaries after the announcement of the results?

To be honest, my immediate reaction was that I recalled Jos in 1993. Some people didn’t want me to emerge and I did not emerge. But they did not stop me from my destination. In 1998, six years later, I became what they did not want me to become. And when the results were announced I said to myself that it was just a repeat of what happened in Jos and I clapped.

 

Was the outcome surprising or shocking to you?

Absolutely not.

 

That brings back the memories of 1993 to me. Between this election and that of 1993 can you draw a parallel?  

Well, I will compare them in the sense that the political chess game that took place in Jos and what happened now is almost the same. And that is why I said, if you are destined to be something, nobody will stop you. You will still get there no matter how people try to stop you from getting there.

 

You seem to be a strong believer in fate, does that mean that no matter how one prepares, preparation alone cannot take one to his goals?

No, not even in business. I have been in business for over three decades now so I can tell you that. There are some businesses that if I touch, I will lose money and there are some businesses that will yield profit.

How do you know the ones that will bring money and those that will not?

Don’t worry (laughs), it’s some trade secret.

When the result of the March 28 presidential election was finally announced on April 1, many people especially former President Goodluck Jonathan’s supporters felt it was a conspiracy between the North and the South West that played out and not that people didn’t want Jonathan? Was there any conspiracy?

No. There was no conspiracy as such. If you look at the votes, you will find out that 82 per cent of President Buhari’s votes came from the North and about 18 per cent from the rest of the country. So I don’t think it is a conspiracy.

Do you think it was politically correct for the South East and South South to choose to ignore the wind of change that was blowing across the country?

No. Again you are wrong. It’s a question of choice. You don’t expect Buhari to win in the South-South because President Jonathan comes from there. And by reason of neighbourliness, the South East is also close to the South South. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Why do you think they were wrong? Don’t they have a right to their political positions? Why should we all move towards the same direction? Then, it will not be healthy for this country or our democracy.

There is the fear that now that the South-South and South-East are in the opposition, they may be marginalised in the leadership scheme in the 8th National Assembly. With this gap created in the political equation, what sort of National legislature are we likely to see?

But they have their representatives in the PDP. They have chosen to be in the opposition, so they will be in the opposition. At some point, we were in the opposition too. There is nothing unusual or strange there in a democracy.

 

When the 2015 election results were trickling in, there was some kind of tension in the land. As a stakeholder, what was your feeling at that time and were you expecting the results to come the way they did?

Well, I expected the results to come out the way they came t. Yes, I agree that before the elections, there was a lot of tension, there were concerns because before the election, the campaigns were very unhealthy, there was too much uncertainty in the air and that led to a lot of apprehension, fear and anxiety but that did not change my expectation about the results that came out. I knew APC was going to swing the elections.

 

Now that there are tales of empty treasuries, how will your party tackle the problem of accumulated debts, vis-à-vis the delivery of the campaign promises it made?

If you look at our current position, especially, the price of crude, we were worse off in 1999 than today. In 1999 when we came in, the price of crude was just about 20 dollars. So, all that is required of President Buhari is prudent management of our resources.

Of course, I will caution Nigerians that they should not expect miracles overnight but for sure, the government will try to make sure that the resources are very well managed and that the dividends of democracy trickle down to the lowest person.

We have pledged to fight corruption which is one of the most fundamental problems we have. It breeds waste of resources and anti-development. I believe that in a few months’ time, people will begin to see the difference. People are already adjusting themselves because they know what is going to come.

 

The issue of corruption has become endemic and you are one of those who have been accused severally by Nigerians, who are already calling for the probe of the outgoing administration. What do you make of President Jonathan’s statement that “if you want to probe me, it’s fine but probe others too?”

It was an unnecessary statement.

Do you think he (Jonathan) is afraid of probe or better still, are you afraid of probe?

Even the government I served probed me. So, the issue of me being scared of being probed is not there.

 

Many have described President Buhari as the Abraham Lincoln of our time; do you see any similarities in their political sojourn?

Well, I don’t understand the similarities they are trying to draw because Abraham Lincoln contested about 12 times and Buhari contested for three times and won on the fourth. Is it the age?

 

Maybe the perseverance…

Yes, he may have persevered, but he is still short of Abraham Lincoln. However, I commend his perseverance and courage to continue.

 

What is your relationship and personal knowledge of the president?

I have known him for a very long time now. When he was head of state during the military administration, I was still in the Federal Civil Service and I implemented some of his policies at that time as a civil servant. Since then, I have known him as an astute leader and a tough one for that matter and I think we should brace up for that kind of tough leadership.

 

Tough leadership, but politicians may not find that funny?

Well the point is that he is a leader, he may not be a politician but certainly he is a good leader and he can lead well. And that is all that you are looking for in politics.

You are a politician, any difference between you and him?

Quite a lot!

What are these differences?

As a politician, I may see things in different perspectives from him and vice versa.

 

Is there anything that can sway you from playing politics, and what are those things?

Maybe when I am old and not able to run around, then I will retire from politics.

 

Away from politics, how do you relax?

I go on vacations a lot; I love travelling, reading and swimming.

 

Talking sports, football has become a game for both the high and low, do you watch football?

Yes, I enjoy football quite a lot.

 

Do you have a team you support?

Yes, I have been a fan of Arsenal Football Club for more than 20 years now.

 

Were you impressed with the performance of Arsenal in the just concluded season?

Well, in the last couple of seasons, the team has not been at its peak but that is how sports are. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t and you drop to certain positions, the most important thing is for one to remain consistent and not try to move from one winning team to another just because they are wining, that is if you are a real fan.

You have had both high and low points in your career, which do upou consider the highest and lowest?

The high point of my career was when I was the Vice President; I was in charge of the economy. I enjoyed how I liberalised and opened up the economy to the private sector. My lowest point was when I saw the PDP disintegrating. I was really sorry for myself.

 

Why were you sorry?

It’s because when we formed the PDP, we formed it with good intentions to transform this country but overtime, most of the founding fathers were relegated to the background, some moved out of the party and instead of them to allow orderly generational shift of leadership from one generation to the other as it happens in matured democracies, they couldn’t wait.

 

Do you see the party bouncing back?

Yes, it’s quite possible. I want it to bounce back because I am scared of a one-party system. I want two parties that are almost at par with each other, so that they can give Nigerians a choice every time elections are held. If one party does not fulfill the promises it made to be voted into office, then Nigerians should be able to look towards the other party for hope. That is the kind political arrangement I hope to see in this country; that is the best.

Are you likely to be seen mounting the soapbox again?

I am a politician and as long as I am a politician, I will mount the soapbox and talk. Either I will be talking for somebody or for myself. Am I not talking for myself now?

 

What do you consider as the best legacy that you have bequeathed this country in your almost 40 years of service?

The best legacy is what I have been able to do for my immediate community in the area of education and job creation; I want to believe that is my best legacy so far.

Are you fulfilled?

Not quite, I am still moving on

 

At what point will you be fulfilled?

At the point when I will see that there is relative prosperity. You see the kind of poverty that I see when I go to the village worries me a lot.

 

What is your take on the crisis of Boko Haram which is ravaging your region, the North East?

You know I have always spoken strongly about the inability of government to contain this insurgency. It is unbelievable that a country as powerful as Nigeria that is rich in all manner of resources will allow such insurgency to fester for five years.

What is your charge to Nigerians as the APC-led government takes over?

I will appeal with Nigerians to give APC a chance and like I said before, they should not expect miracles overnight because it’s going to be a very daunting task since the APC government is taking over with such huge challenges all over the country. I will appeal to Nigerians to give APC a chance.

Blame Obasanjo For The Failure In Power Sector- Atiku

Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, has blamed his former boss, Nigeria’s ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo, for the prolonged crisis in the power sector.

Atiku, who served under Obasanjo’s regime from 1999-2007, said this in an interview with Punch on Sunday, May 24, where he alleged that the latter’s adoption of a reform modeled after the gas power stations resulted in the lingering power crisis in the country.

Atiku said  he advised Obasanjo to adopt a short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to the power sector reform. He said the country had gotten foreign investors, who were prepared to come and invest between $250m and $500m to set up small and medium -size power stations.

He faulted Obasanjo’s  long term solution, which involved the building the of gas infrastructure.

“By now, we would have been self-sufficient, but he said, ‘Oh, we must go gas’ and I said, ‘Gas? There is a problem. It’s long term; a lot of investments. There is instability in the region (Niger Delta). You must bring peace, before they would allow you to evacuate the gas.”

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I Don’t Give A Damn What Obasanjo Says About Me — Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, in this interview with NIYI ODEBODE, JOHN ALECHENU and ADE ADESOMOJU, speaks on the expectations of Nigerians from the incoming administration of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), his perception of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, among other issues:
The President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has acknowledged the fact that expectations of Nigerians from him are very high. How do you think he can meet these within the next four years?
Whenever there is a change in government in a democracy, whether in Nigeria or anywhere else, normally the expectation tends to rise. It is not unexpected in Nigeria, particularly when this is the first time in our democratic process that we are witnessing a smooth change in government from the ruling party to an opposition. Therefore, expectations are much higher within the normal

circumstance of change.

After several shots at the presidency, will you still present yourself if the opportunity avails itself to you again?
It is quite too early for such a question. We are in a transition process. We have not even formed the next government. You are asking me whether I will like to run again or not. I think it is just too early. My concern is to make sure that the transition process is smooth and complete and a new government is formed because it is the party that I belong to that is coming in. My dream for Nigeria is always that we can, from time to time, change government so that there can be competition among parties and that competition will bring about, perhaps more development and progress in the country. I think that is my most important concern now rather than thinking of whether I’m going to run again or not.
Why is it taking your party so long to decide on zoning?
I think that is one fundamental thing Nigerians tend to forget. There is no zoning in the constitution of the All Progressives Congress. In the true sense of it, there is no zoning. But we also know that this country is between North and South, Muslims and Christians. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country; hence there is the need for balance of government appointments. We are not unaware of that. In the strictest sense of it, there is no zoning in the APC’s constitution. It is in the Peoples Democratic Party’s constitution and it has a long history. Those of us who were in the Constitutional Conference of 1994, 1995 actually initiated it.
What are the pitfalls the APC must avoid to steer clear of the fate that befell the PDP?
There are quite a few and fundamental ones that I will urge the APC government to avoid. Firstly, the political party should be allowed to freely operate on its own so that the issues of governors and the president being the leaders of the party and also the leader of government can be separated. It is only when one does that that internal democracy is allowed to thrive within the political party. Internal democracy is the building block, but when one mixes the two (leadership of political party and that of government), then one will find oneself where the PDP has found itself in the last 16 years.
Secondly, the governors and the president must be focused on key fundamental issues of governance. If they want to make an impact, for instance, in the first 100 days, three months, six months, as the case may be, they have to pick up certain key areas and also let Nigerians know that in the first 100 days, this is what you should expect from us. For instance, in my policy document, when I was running for the presidency, I said in the first 100 days, this is what you should expect from me. I think it will be necessary for the government to tell Nigerians that this is what you should expect from us in the first 100 days and so on.
What is your take on the prediction that the APC would be torn apart by the struggle for positions in the incoming government?
I don’t believe so. I think we have come across a number of challenges since the formation of the APC. I believe that government is not essentially an employer of labour. It should create the necessary environment for the private sector to create jobs. I think there is too much emphasis on government employment or government patronage in this country. This is because various levels of governance, whether local government or state, don’t function well. In other words, it is the failure of our institutions. If one goes to certain countries, one doesn’t find the president even having one visitor. For instance, I have visited my brother and friend, Jacob Zuma, several times. You don’t find even one single individual sitting with him and he goes out like a normal person because the institutions are working. The local councils are working. The provincial governments are working, everything is okay. Thus, whatever one is looking for at any level of one’s life is being provided for by the institution that is established to do it. Therefore, one doesn’t need the big man at the top. But unfortunately in this country, all our institutions are not working. They have been undermined. The constitution is very clear on that. But because the implementers of the constitution have not implemented the constitution as they should, the institutions are failing or have failed. Therefore, everybody looks up to the president to solve all the problems. No, that should not be. That is why we have local and state governments. Hence, I think we have to strengthen our institutions and make sure that they deliver services to their respective people.
The President-elect, like many other Nigerians, believes that corruption has reached an intolerable level in this country. Do you share the view that he (the President-elect) cannot achieve much in tackling the menace as he has promised because he is surrounded by many politicians that are also accused of being corrupt?
I think it takes political will to fight corruption. I have sat down with the President-elect and I believe he has the political will to do that. He told me clearly that anybody who is corrupt should not expect any appointment from his government and I agree with him. I also told him that if he really wants to cleanse this society, he should not make the mistake of trying to appoint anybody who is alleged or perceived to be corrupt and he can do that by making sure he gets the necessary information from the relevant government agencies. So, I believe he has the political will.
Apart from the area of appointment, what other specific areas must he explore to ensure that corruption is curbed?
Corruption has become so endemic in this country that any level of the society one goes to, it is present. Even in my house, my wife is always fighting with the drivers; fighting with the mechanic; fighting with the cooks. When she gives them money to do this or that, they do fake receipts and all that. Therefore, corruption is so endemic in the society, even in households. But then, if the political leadership provides the direction, the leadership and the will to fight corruption, one will find out that gradually we will be eliminating corruption and we will bring it to a minimal level. There is no society where there is no corruption, even in the advanced democracies there is corruption, but at a very minimal level. It is not threatening their progress as a country.
Still on corruption, you once said that you were one of the most investigated Nigerians. If the President-elect says, again, he is going to investigate the cases against you, will you be afraid or worried?
I’m not worried. You can investigate me. But you know most of my cases have ended up in the court up to the Supreme Court and the apex court has ruled on them. Thus, for you to reopen a case that has been closed by the Supreme Court … but I am ready to be investigated.
Before the general elections, President Goodluck Jonathan visited you. The picture that was being painted out there by his loyalists was that you gave a tacit approval for his second term bid. Can you use this opportunity to tell Nigerians what really transpired between the two of you at that meeting?
I have told Nigerians what transpired between the two of us. He wanted me to come back to the PDP and I said I was not coming back.
There is this story that the PDP is being repositioned and that the party is reaching out to you and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano State. If the party leaders reach out to you, will you return to the PDP?
Nobody has reached out to me yet. And for the question of if I would go back or not; how many people will the President go to their houses to say, ‘This is the favour I want’ and they will look at him in the face and say, ‘No, we are not going back?’ How many in this country will do that?
Your former boss, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, said so many not-too-complimentary things about you in his latest book, ‘My Watch’. Have you both met since then?
You know, really, I don’t give a damn (about) what Obasanjo says about me.
You talked about South Africa working. Do you think that the concentration of power in the hands of the Federal Government is undermining the development of the country?
There seemed to be better service delivery by the government during the period we ran the regional government system. I had said that in my paper to the last Constitution Conference. I wrote a very comprehensive paper on that. I believe that the powers of the Federal Government are too many and there should be power devolution to the state and local governments.
Still talking about former President Obasanjo, do you think he scuttled the best chance you ever had to lead this country as president?
I don’t think so. How? When?
Your second term with him as Vice-President between 2003 and 2007 was stormy and he did everything to stop you from succeeding him as a result of which you left the PDP for the then Action Congress.
As far as I am concerned, Obasanjo may believe that he scuttled my presidential ambition, but I believe it is about God. If God says I will be president, I will be president; if He says I will not be president, I will not be president. Let’s forget about Obasanjo.
You chaired the privatisation committee and you did a lot in various sectors, including telecommunication, by laying the foundation. I can’t remember you handling that of power…
I refused to handle that of power.
Why did you refuse?
I refused to because I had a fundamental disagreement with the President (Obasanjo). He believed we should go left; I believed we should go right. He said I should become the chairman of the committee, I accepted. He inaugurated it, but I never sat. I allowed the Minister of Power then, Liyel Imoke, to sit. You can see that I was right because I told him what we needed was short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to the power sector reform. He wanted to go for the long-term and up till now, we are not yet there. If we had adopted the short- term and medium-term solutions to our power problem, we would have been self-sufficient by 2005; even before we left office; because that strategy was planned for small and medium power stations in various parts of the country. We had even harvested international bids: people, who were prepared to come and invest $500m, $250m to set up small and medium -size power stations. By now, we would have been self-sufficient, but he said, ‘Oh, we must go gas’ and I said, ‘Gas? There is a problem. It’s long term; a lot of investments. There is instability in the region (Niger Delta). You must bring peace, before they would allow you to evacuate the gas. There is the issue of building the gas infrastructure, which takes a longer time and also a lot of investments and that I don’t see us even getting there in the next 10 years.’ But he said, ‘No, this is the way I want. We must go that way.’ I said, ‘Ok, fine, you are the President,’ and I declined to sit on the power committee till we left office. That is why when there was an investigation by the National Assembly; nobody invited me because my name was never there. Contracts were awarded and paid 100 per cent upfront; people disappeared with the money, and even stole, yet no power. I stand by this: We must have short- term, medium-term and long- term power solutions.
Is that why you recently called for the reversal of the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria?
How does one begin to privatise distribution? Distribution of what? There is no power. First of all, one should start with generation. When one starts with generation, then transmission follows. After there is enough power, then one knows that one has the capacity to transmit and then one can now distribute. But they started with distribution, distribution of water or what? I mean, one can’t do that. Now we have privatised distribution, where is the power to distribute? No power! And they borrowed money from the banks to go and set up these companies. They said the Federal Government gave billions to encourage the privatisation; now they are not recouping the money. They have huge loans. There will be interest and there is no power to distribute. They have also increased electricity tariff when there is no power.
Some people have called for the removal of fuel subsidy while oil price in the global market has crashed. Are you in support of this and what must the incoming government do to diversify the economy because almost all the states have problems?
First and foremost, I was in charge of deregulation and we had started. If we had continued our programme, we would have finished deregulation before our government left office. But unfortunately we did not. Thus, as far as I am concerned, I’m in for full and total deregulation in the downstream oil sector. Let the market determine (the economic needs).
Believe me, we are complaining now because there is subsidy. By the time one deregulates and opens the market, everybody is free to bring in these finished products and sell, there will be competition and the prices are even likely to come down. I am for deregulation. There is no doubt about it because at the end of the day, I think that is the best for the country.
On the issue of the prices of petroleum, I don’t think $50 is too low because when we came in, how much was it? $20? Yet we were able to implement our programmes. Therefore, it is all an issue of planning. Of course, governments, both military and democratic, over the years have always been talking of diversifying the economy, but no government has really focused on the issue of diversifying the economy so that the reliance on oil can be reduced substantially. When we go back to the Gross Domestic Product, we know oil is just about 15 to 20 per cent; the rest is either services or this and that. But then, I believe the diversification of the economy would have been much better for us if we had done it a long time ago.
Do you have any pact with the APC leadership or the President-elect for you to nominate people into positions in the incoming government and what roles will you play in the next administration?
There is no pact. Essentially, I am a party man. Therefore, I will do wholeheartedly whatever the party decides I should do or that I should help in doing.
At the APC primaries you were expected to win, but you were in a distant third position.
No! With 20 votes.
But did you suspect any conspiracy?
As far as I am concerned, the APC primaries have become history. We have gone beyond that. I have endorsed the outcome of the primaries. I said the process was successful. That is it.
Talking about forming the next government, do you support reducing the cost of governance by cutting down the size of government in the country?
Yes, I believe that particularly, the Federal Government should cut down on cost. If we devolve more powers to the state and local governments, obviously we don’t need a very unwieldy government structure as we have. There is too much at the federal level – too much to do.
How many ministers should the President-elect appoint? The constitution says a minister must come from each state of the federation?
One cannot avoid constitutional provisions. One has to be law-abiding so he (the President-elect) has to go by the constitution as far as the issue of ministerial positions is concerned.

May 29, 2015: A Date Nigerians Keep With Destiny. By Adedayo Osho

Days countdown to the fall of rulership by PDP, a party which steers the wheel of affairs in Nigeria since the rebirth of democracy in 1999.

I watch with glee the shift to limbo, if not extinction of that once great party. One lesson learnt by the victim is that in democracy “Power reside with the people” and as such they remain the custodian of arsenal to fire any under-performing or non-performing government. To the incoming, an average Nigerian electorate is already enlightened about the parameters to justify if a serving government live up to its traditional role or not. Buhari is free to repeat Jonathan’s mistake if he so wish.

As we anticipate the swearing in of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the president elect, I urge us to be wary of Fifth columnists. Their role in postponement of the earlier scheduled February 14 Presidential election is still fresh on mind. Regardless, the hand over date remain sacrosanct.

Any discerning mind should be able to read the sign of the time. On the part of the incoming, it appears these countdown days is too slow. On the contrary, it is just too fast to the incumbent power holders. In Africa, leaders are only theoretically committed to democratic ethos, their urge for power and thirst to retain same is second to none elsewhere.

Fast forward to Buhari’s Nigeria, the striving poor cannot afford to wallow in another four years of poverty. Failure to provide basic amenities have seen the rise in rural-urban migration. To an educated rural dweller, the Nigerian state is nothing but a nuisance to be avoided.

Chasing their dreams, artisans and small and medium entrepreneurs are bereft of steady electricity for operation. It is illustrative to note that the incumbent government met 2600 Megawatt, it struggled to achieve 4000MW, alas, power generation has slumped to 1327MW, the lowest and worst since 4th Republic beginning. We expect speedy upgrade of electricity. Each distribution company should be given a run for their money.

Since it is glaringly obvious to even the blind, that corruption has reached its seemingly Olympian height and has defiled all curative therapy. It is imperative we deal with its root cause. In Nigeria, the common man pays for the sin of a rich man.

I indicated in a 2014 piece that “With corruption effectively out of the way, Nigeria will catch up with the rest of the world and even leave some developed economies behind.” However, the potential to achieve this lies with having men of integrity at the helm of affairs. Those who perceive of stealing as not synonymous to corruption should have their brain examined.

My critique on Ethiopia reveals that with exception of the years of the great Emperor Haile Selassie, himself a man with chequered history, yet, his name can be found in African leaders Hall of Fame, the economic boom and recently, emergence of middle class families albeit immigration is not a product of election. Rather, change in the 2nd most populous African country was engineered by its dedicated revolutionary leaders, majority of whom are already aware of sufferings of their citizens and are ready to ameliorate it to the bearest minimum.

Despite the reality adduced to huge debt incurred, stipend or non-availabilty of funds in the national treasury and the failure of about 18 out of 36 states of the federation to fulfil wage obligation to workers, all of these to be inherited by incoming government{s}, the man whom the bulk will stop at his table, Buhari and his team should devise alternative medium to generate funds and vigorously pursue electoral promises. A sound note of warning should the passed across that Nigerians will not welcome irrelevant excuses. The first one year will serve as a yardstick to measure the intention of APC for the country.

With premium placed on youth and women welfare, intervention in the needs of people living with disability, pensioners and the aged. If implemented within earliest time on assumption, the masses will rally round the government.

If you belong to one of the hues which peddle false information about poverty and unemployment reduction, why not embark on an itinerary to our villages and observe social life? On listening to ordeal of many unemployed graduates, one wonder if truly here is where you can find one of earth’s purest crude oil, much availability of limestone and largest deposit of bitumen, second after bilingual Canada. On job creation, Nigeria need more of our own Aliko Dangote, Strive Masiyiwa or Patrice Motsepe.

The ability to faithfully address issues raised herein is a relief that Change has come indeed. It also have the potential to orchestrate the rebirth of a new Nigeria.

Adedayo Osho is a Political Scientist/Analyst based in Lagos, Nigeria. He writes on his own personal capacity. +2349030589989 {SMS only} On Twitter @Jahpolitical

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Senate Presidency Tussle: Akume Meets Obasanjo, Tinubu, Atiku, Kwankwaso

Ahead of the zon­ing of the Senate Presidency, former governor of Benue State and one of the top con­tenders to the nation’s num­ber three position, Senator George Akume, has intensi­fied consultations, meeting leaders of the All Progres­sives Congress (APC) and other stakeholders.

Akume, last week, met with former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; the APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu and former Osun State gover­nor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyin­lola, in the South West.

The former Benue State governor, who is returning to the Senate for the third time, met all the leaders in their respective domains in Abeo­kuta, Lagos and Okuku, re­spectively.

Though there was no of­ficial statement after each of the meetings, it was gathered that the parleys might not be unconnected with the position of Senate Presidency.

Sources told Daily Sun that Akume had also met with former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, who may likely emerge as chairman of the APC Board of Trustees.

Also, the former governor had visited Kano State Gov­ernor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, a senator-elect. He also met Prof Ango Abdullahi, an in­fluential northern elder; a for­mer Inspector-General of Po­lice, Ibrahim Coomasie and former Kogi State Governor, Prince Abubakar Audu.

One of Akume’s aides, said of the meeting: “Senator Akume is a very highly re­garded statesman in his own right. Consultations with like-minded leaders on issues bor­dering on our socio-politics should be a routine affair.”

On the Senate presidency contest, the aide stated: “If the APC is truly about change, that change should reflect in the way we do things; so, we send a very strong message to all Nigerians that they can be assured of a sense of belong­ing irrespective of where they come from.

“We have produced a Pres­ident-elect from a majority ethnicity; we have produced a vice-president-elect from an­other majority ethnic group. APC must be sensitive to the sensitivities of the minorities across both divides of the Ni­ger.

“Come to think of it, the outgoing President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, is from a minority ethnic group. What is in stock for the minorities in the incoming administra­tion?”

Read Moresunnewsonline

Buhari Appoints Atiku To Lobby African Leaders For Adesina

President-Elect General Muhammadu Buhari has mandated Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, to lobby for the candidacy of the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) The Guardian reports.

A statement issued by Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday said Atiku’s shuttle diplomacy to drum support for the Nigerian candidate followed a mandate from the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the statement, Buhari asked Atiku to leverage on his contacts to lobby for the emergence of Adesina.

PDP’s “Corruption And Inefficiency” Are To Blame For Fuel Scarcity – Atiku

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has blamed the current fuel scarcity in parts of the country on the People’s Democratic Party.

While speaking to journalists on Wednesday, after a private meeting with President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari at the Defence House in Abuja, Atiku said the PDP’s trademark has always been inefficiency and corruption.

Speaking on his meeting with Buhari, he said: “We just discussed private matters. Well, there is nothing unusual in what is going on. That is PDP for you: corruption, inefficiency and what have you. Real changes will come.”

Speaking further, he said, “the president elect has assured that but it will not just come over night. It has to be gradual. Definitely there will be positive change in that matter but it will be gradual”.

Atiku also spoke on the ongoing jockeying for principal offices in the National Assembly, saying it will be resolved.

“This is something the party and the leadership are handling. I believe it would be resolved before the House reconvenes”, he said.

Credit – ekeekee.com

Atiku Commends Military On Rescue Of 293 Girls And Women

Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) Atiku Abubakar has expressed elation at the news of the rescue of nearly 300 girls and women from the Sambisa forest by the troops of the Nigerian military.

The former Vice President said in a statement by his media office in Abuja on Wednesday that it is unacceptable that hundreds of women, girls and boys have been abducted by the insurgent group, Boko Haram over the last couple of months.

“While we rejoice in the rescue of the women and girls yesterday, we urge that our military continues steadfastly in the operations until all abducted Nigerians have been rescued and territories recaptured,” Atiku said.

The Turaki Adamawa expressed his unwavering support to Nigeria’s military forces in its ongoing mission to restore peace and sovereignty.

Atiku To Buhari: Reverse PHCN Privatisation

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has advised the incoming government of Gen. Muhammad Buhari (Rtd), to will the political power and reverse the current privatisation exercise of the Power sector for Nigeria to move on.

Atiku made this statement at the 36th Kaduna International Trade Fair’s Seminar organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA).

He said the failure experienced in the power sector of the economy has been due to the successive government’s approach in tackling the problem in the sector.

The former Vice President recalled that the Obasanjo-led administration which sunk several billions of United State Dollars into the sector, took the wrong approach in tackling the power sector but failed to address the problem of the power sector because the government took a long-term measure rather than a short-term approach.

In response to why private investors were unable to collect licenses to build private refineries during the Obasanjo/Atiku administration, he said that in his eight years as Vice President to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, he knew nothing about what happened in that sector as Obasanjo doubled as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

“During our administration, there was no transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry. There was a time we were handed a Ghana-must-go memo on the oil and gas and asked by the president for our input and I refused to support it”, he added.

According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan also took a wrong step in solving the Power sector problem which has accounted for the current epileptic power supply in the country.

“Japan, Singapore never depended on oil but human capital development and today they are ranked among the world best economy,” he said.

Elections Re-Run: Atiku Demands Removal Of Implicated INEC, Security Officials

Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar, has callled on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to replace those found wanting during the governorship election in Taraba and other States.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Turaki Adamawa expressed agreement with the widespread reports of irregularities in some local governments of the state.

“These irregularities, including the use of armed personnel to intimidate voters, were perpetrated in Southern Taraba, specifically in Wukari, Takum, Kurmi and Donga local councils.” Abubakar said.

Read More: dailypost

Atiku Pleads With Voters For Buhari During Rally Debut Appearance

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, made his first appearance at the campaign rally of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari.

 Atiku made his debut appearance at the Northeast Zonal Rally of the All Progressives Congress, at the Ibrahim Babangida Square, Makurdi.
He also used the opportunity to refute reports of his possible endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term, stressing that only Buhari could tackle the critical problems facing the country.

“I want to use this opportunity to plead to you all of you to vote for Gen Buhari. All his promises to you in 2003, 2007 and 2011 would be fulfilled this time if given the needed votes in 2015. Buhari, I am telling you that so many challenging responsibilities await you if God allows you to be President The task is enormous. It is the task of fixing Nigeria. Presently all the sectors in this country have collapsed.”

“We have been supporting you for a very long time because we believe that you will save this country. When God makes you the President, the retarded development we have had in this country and the growing unemployment should be among you priorities. We are pleading that you save this country. Our support for us is as a result of some of these challenges we have highlighted.”

Read More: xwaizi

2015 Elections: Obasanjo Uncovers Plot To Hand Over To Military

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday warned against any military intervention in the affairs of the country for whatever reason.

Reacting to rumour that this Saturday’s presidential election might result in confusion and consequently lead to military take over, Obasanjo said such an action would undermine the integrity of Nigeria among the comity of nations.

He spoke when the South-West women of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) led by the wife of the party’s presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, Hajia Aisha Buhari, paid him a courtesy visit at his Abeokuta Hilltop residence.

Obasanjo, who said he was happy that Nigeria had gone beyond the rumour of Interim National Government (ING) and that he hoped the country would also “survive the rumour of handing over to the military”, said the intentional community, especially the African Union (AU), would not accommodate or recognise any government that emerges outside the constitution of the country.

According to him, Nigeria has all it takes to dictate the pace for other countries in Africa, adding that Nigerians should blame themselves for where “it is today.”

Buhari’s Real Enemies Are Atiku & Kwankwaso- Gov Lamido

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, has faulted the recent claim by the media committee of Buhari’s campaign directorate that President Goodluck Jonathan has directed him to campaign against Buhari, saying that the claim was mischievous and misleading.

He also warned General Muhammadu Buhari to consider former Vice president Atiku Abubakar and Kano State governor Rabiu Kwankwaso as his real enemies.

Governor Lamido, yesterday, during the rally of Malam Aminu Ringim, the state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate, at Garki Local Government Area of the state, said he was too big to be used to campaign against Buhari because when it comes to political game, “I am not afraid of anybody.”

He stressed that if he wanted to say anything about General Buahri, he would say it without fear, adding he had expressed his mind in the past.

“There is no amount of hatred, harassment and intimidation by any political party that will stop the PDP from winning this month general elections in Nigeria.”

Read Morevanguardngr

I Know Those Behind The Plot To Form An Interim Government —Wole Soyinka opens up

Nobel laureate, Proffessor Wole Soyinka, has told SaharaTV about a plot to impose an interim government in an attempt to scuttle Nigeria’s upcoming elections. The popular activist said after investigating the plot he approached President Goodluck Jonathan to find out if he is involved…

According to the professor, President Jonathan denied any involvement in the illegal scam.

Prof. Soyinka warns Nigerians that if care is not taken a shadowy group of former and serving military generals including some politicians might overthrow Nigeria’s democracy. Nigerians, be on the alert! Watch the video above for more details

What We Discussed With President Jonathan- Atiku

More than 72 hours after it was reported that Atiku Abubakar, the former vice president, had a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, the APC chieftain has revealed what he discussed with Mr President.

In an interview with Sahara Reporters, the one time governor of Adamawa state said that he had retired to bed when he was woken up and told that President Jonathan had come to see him.

According to Atiku, Mr President was already waiting in his living room when he was informed of his presence. While disclosing what transpired during the meeting, Atiku opined that President Jonathan tried to prevail on him to rejoin the PDP which he rejected.

Read More: naij

Atiku Restates Commitment To APC, Calls Party His Last Bus- Stop

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has dismissed rumours that he is about to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) saying the opposition party is his final bus-stop  in politics.
In a statement released by his media office today obtained by Daily Trust, Atiku said that the demands of today’s cannot afford him the luxury of a vacation from politics.

He said: “You know, it’s funny how some people put politics and vacation in the same sentence. Let me assure you: politics is a serious business, it is hard work, and for me at least, it is more than a full time job. I really don’t know how you can seriously think of taking a vacation, in a country like ours,with the politics we have.

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“I did that when we built the great assemblage of the finest men and women under the umbrella of the PDP to get rid of the generals; I did that when I left and returned to the PDP, and I did that when I helped to turn the APC into a serious opposition party.

“When I toured our country, and listened to the hopes, fears, and expectations of Nigerians from all walks of life, I said the APC is the final bus stop, and that it is the end of the line. Because it is, for me.”

“So some say I’m a PDP man to the core. I’m asking you, what does this even mean? what is the PDP?” he asked.

“You know where I stand: I want a competitive democracy, true federalism, a government that creates conditions for people and business to thrive, and keeps out of business and people’s lives, and I want a country that is united and proud of its diversity,” he noted.

Reports surfaced in the media yesterday about a total of 120 groups loyal to Atiku decamping to the PDP which sparked rumours of the vice president’s imminent defection to the ruling party.

Meanwhile, the Turakin Adamawa as Atiku is famously called the APC  has revealed what he discussed with Mr President recently.

Credit – Naija politica

Atiku Will Return To PDP, He Is On Vacation In APC- Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is on vacation in the All Progressives Congress (APC). He sated that Atiku remains a core member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

President Jonathan, who spoke through his special adviser on on political matters, Prof Rufai Alkali, said Atiku will return to the party before the general elections. Alkali was speaking when 120 members of Atiku Abubakar Support Group formally defected to the PDP.

President Jonathan had on Friday night met with Atiku to convince and persuade the former VP to return to the PDP.

Read  More: Leadership

Atiku Disowns 120 Groups Defecting To PDP

A former Vice President and chieftain of the All progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar, has denied knowledge of the groups of politicians who announced their defection to the PDP from the APC.
Atiku said in a statement by his media office in Abuja that he remains a committed member of the APC and urged that the purported defections of these groups be discountenanced.

A total of 120 so-called pro-Atiku support groups on Tuesday defected from the APC to the PDP.
They dumped the APC for the ruling PDP at an elaborate ceremony held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

However, in a reaction, Turaki Vanguard, the umbrella group of Mr. Atiku’s supporters said members of the 120 groups were not supporters of the former vice president.

The National Publicity Secretary of Turaki Vanguard, Soji Bamidele, told PREMIUM TIMES that the defectors were not Mr. Atiku’s loyalists as they claimed.

“They are faceless groups, we don’t know them,” he said.

Mr. Bamidele, who confirmed that Mr. Atiku was being wooed back into the party, said the former vice president “is not shifting ground and will never go back to the PDP”.

Mr. Atiku was a member of the PDP before decamping to the APC in 2014. He however failed to pick the presidential ticket of the party, losing to Muhammadu Buhari, who is flying the party’s ticket in the March 28 presidential election.

While the groups were being received at the Yar’Adua centre, Atiku was attending a meeting with Mr. Buhari and media representatives.

Peter Ogar, national coordinator of Renaissance for Socio-political Transformation of Nigeria, who spoke on behalf of the groups, said they decided to return to the PDP as there was no alternative to President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said after critically analysing the president’s development programmes, the groups came to the conclusion that they surpassed all those executed by previous governments in the country.
“We have understood the event of December 10, 2014, wherein our able leader, the Turakin Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was, through a gang up, denied us and indeed Nigerians the chance to have a true option in the forthcoming presidential election,” Mr. Ogar said.

“Accordingly, we had to take time to analyse the inner workings of the current administration under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and came to the conclusion that outside the Turaki, there is no better candidate within any opposition political party, hence the need for a rethink and strategic political repositioning for the sake of our great country, Nigeria.”

Receiving the defectors, the National Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, assured them that they were now in the right party.
“Today, you have decided to return, you have equal rights with any other member of the party who have been there for a long time,” Mr. Secondus said. “You are free to engage in any party activities especially at this time when we are campaigning and election coming on the 28th.

“There would have been no better time for you to show and to declare your support for the party and our candidate, Jonathan. The rally point today is Jonathan; he is the symbol of Nigerian unity.”

Source: Premium Times

120 Atiku Support Groups Dump APC For PDP

A total of 120 support groups of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party. They dumped the APC for the ruling PDP at an elaborate ceremony held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

However, in a swift reaction, Turaki Vanguard, the umbrella group of Mr. Atiku’s supporters said members of the 120 groups are not supporters of the former vice president.

Credit: premiumtimesng

Jonathan Visits Atiku, Begs Former Vice President To Head Interim Govt, Return to PDP

President Goodluck Jonathan paid a secret visit to former Vice President Abubakar Atiku on Friday night to hold a meeting that lasted till the early hours of Saturday.

Sources at the Presidency told SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan went to Mr. Atiku’s home with the aim of persuading the former VP to lead a so called interim government of national unity that the president has been covertly attempting to sell to numerous political figures in recent weeks. One source said Mr. Jonathan and some hawkish members of his inner circle, including Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, First Lady Patience Jonathan, Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose of Ondo and Ekiti respectively, as well as senior presidential aide Doyin Okupe, have decided that handing over power to Muhammadu Buhari “is out of the question.”

Several electoral monitoring groups are projecting that Mr. Buhari, a retired army general and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is the odds-on favorite to win the March 28 presidential election.

When SaharaReporters reached Mr. Atiku, he expressed surprise that we knew about his meeting with President Jonathan. He asserted that the idea of his heading an interim government did not come up during the long discussion with the president.

Mr. Atiku said he had retired to bed when he was woken up and told that President Jonathan had come to see him, adding that the president was already waiting in his living room.

After denying that he was asked to head an interim government, the former vice president admitted that Mr. Jonathan tried to prevail on him to rejoin the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He disclosed that he rejected the invitation outright.

According to Mr. Atiku, the president also discussed the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgents, asking for support for Nigerian troops fighting in the area. He said they also discussed the possibility of displaced Nigerians returning to the areas that have been recaptured from Boko Haram.

Asked by our reporter whether he thought President Jonathan was interested in allowing elections to hold on March 28, the former vice president hesitated before stating that he would not wish to speculate, but he said the president’s body language did not reveal that he was interested in the polls that are scheduled to hold in two weeks.

The secret meeting between Mr. Jonathan and former VP Atiku has caused unease among some APC stalwarts. A few hours after the meeting, a faction of Mr. Atiku’s original political organization, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), announced their endorsement of President Jonathan.

In his telephone interview with SaharaReporters, Mr. Atiku disclosed that he was opposed to the formation of an interim government. He stated that when former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, set up an interim national government in 1993, the dictator offered him a position in the government through the late General Shehu Yar’Adua (ret.). He said he rejected the position, adding that it was eventually given to a Lagos politician Dapo Sarumi.

Asked further about the substance of his conversation with Mr. Jonathan, the former vice president said advised the president to ensure that the elections were free and fair and devoid of the bloodshed that trailed the 2011 general elections.

Source – Sahara Reporters

Jonathan Holds Secret Meeting With Former VP Atiku

President Goodluck Jonathan paid a secret visit to former Vice President Abubakar Atiku on Friday night to hold a meeting that lasted till the early hours of Saturday.

Sources at the Presidency told SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan went to Mr. Atiku’s home with the aim of persuading the former VP to lead a so called interim government of national unity that the president has been covertly attempting to sell to numerous political figures in recent weeks. One source said Mr. Jonathan and some hawkish members of his inner circle, including Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, First Lady Patience Jonathan, Governors Olusegun Mimiko and Ayo Fayose of Ondo and Ekiti respectively, as well as senior presidential aide Doyin Okupe, have decided that handing over power to Muhammadu Buhari “is out of the question.”

Several electoral monitoring groups are projecting that Mr. Buhari, a retired army general and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is the odds-on favorite to win the March 28 presidential election.

When SaharaReporters reached Mr. Atiku, he expressed surprise that we knew about his meeting with President Jonathan. He asserted that the idea of his heading an interim government did not come up during the long discussion with the president.

Mr. Atiku said he had retired to bed when he was woken up and told that President Jonathan had come to see him, adding that the president was already waiting in his living room.

After denying that he was asked to head an interim government, the former vice president admitted that Mr. Jonathan tried to prevail on him to rejoin the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He disclosed that he rejected the invitation outright.

According to Mr. Atiku, the president also discussed the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgents, asking for support for Nigerian troops fighting in the area. He said they also discussed the possibility of displaced Nigerians returning to the areas that have been recaptured from Boko Haram.

Asked by our reporter whether he thought President Jonathan was interested in allowing elections to hold on March 28, the former vice president hesitated before stating that he would not wish to speculate, but he said the president’s body language did not reveal that he was interested in the polls that are scheduled to hold in two weeks.

The secret meeting between Mr. Jonathan and former VP Atiku has caused unease among some APC stalwarts. A few hours after the meeting, a faction of Mr. Atiku’s original political organization, the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), announced their endorsement of President Jonathan.

In his telephone interview with SaharaReporters, Mr. Atiku disclosed that he was opposed to the formation of an interim government. He stated that when former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, set up an interim national government in 1993, the dictator offered him a position in the government through the late General Shehu Yar’Adua (ret.). He said he rejected the position, adding that it was eventually given to a Lagos politician Dapo Sarumi.

Asked further about the substance of his conversation with Mr. Jonathan, the former vice president said advised the president to ensure that the elections were free and fair and devoid of the bloodshed that trailed the 2011 general elections.

Source – Sahara Reporters

I Remain Irrevocably Committed to APC, Atiku Restates Allegiance

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has said that his commitment to the APC and the success of its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates of the party in the 2015 general elections is unwavering and never been up for bargaining.

“I remain irrevocably committed to the APC, as I promised in my concession speech at the conclusion of our party’s presidential primaries, and has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the victory of General Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates of our great party at the general elections,” the former Vice President is quoted to have said.

A statement by the Atiku Media Office in Abuja on Tuesday said that reports of the Turaki Adamawa’s purported return to the PDP or any other party is the handiwork of mischief makers focused on pitching the former Vice President against other leaders of the opposition party.

Atiku Abubakar said that for the avoidance of doubt he is unequivocally committed to the unity of APC and that it will take more than the antics of mischief makers to break that bond.

Atiku Abubakar noted that his return from Adamawa, where he convened a stakeholders’ meeting and reconciled disagreeing camps within the party, towards ensuring victory for the APC bears eloquent testimony of this commitment.

The statement reminded that the former Vice President currently supports the financial operations of the APC in many states, in most cases as a sole financier.

“I have backed my words and commitment with my resources to ensure that I bring my influence and support to bear on our party’s march to victory at all levels in the general election. That should be enough to shut up mischief makers bent on derailing the APC’s success at the March 28 and April elections,” he said.

The Atiku Media Office observed that as one of Nigeria’s astute politicians and businessmen, there may be overtures from across political divides to the former Vice President, but restated that Atiku Abubakar has publicly stated his commitment to the APC and has privately rebuffed the approaches from all quarters.

Signed:

Atiku Media Office

Credit: SaharaReporters

Atiku Blasts Police For Mistaking Late ABU Don For Boko Haram Member

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has charged the Nigeria Police to provide reasonable explanations on the circumstances that led to the murder of Prof. Ahmed Falaki of the Ahmad Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.

Abubakar said in a press statement by his media office in Abuja on Sunday that “the explanation given thus far about how the leading Professor of Agriculture died under police custody falls short of logical assimilation”.

Atiku said the account given by the police on the circumstances that led to the death of Falaki, a scholar and Africa’s leading authority in Agriculture, is an embarrassment to the Nigeria Police.

“It is particularly distasteful and confounding that the police would confuse the identity of a personality such as Professor Falaki as a member of the Boko Haram sect,” Atiku noted.

“In the manner that Professor Falaki was killed, it is not in doubt that he had believed that the police station was a sanctuary of safety for him from the jungle justice that he was receiving in the hands of locals who had mistaken him for a member of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.

“That men of the Nigeria Police will stand and become witnesses to murder, and even allow the police station to become the theatre of jungle justice, is a very disturbing narrative about the circumstance that Professor Falaki was killed.

“Such a narrative is a complete embarrassment to the professional integrity of the Nigeria Police and it is wholesomely unacceptable.

Source – Daily Post ng

Obasanjo’s Book Sells Out, SSS Block Importation Of More Copies

Capture

The controversial autobiography of former President Olusegun Obasanjo titled “My Watch” has reportedly sold out just four days after it was officially launched.

An associate to the former President who spoke with Sahara Reporters, said Obasanjo has exhausted the first copies of the book. “Baba sold all the copies that were brought in,” the associate said

The book sold out despite a high court injunction to stop it from circulating. A judge had ordered that copies of the book be confiscated by the police and the DSS after Obasanjo went ahead to launch it despite a court order not to do so…

The associate of the former President who spoke to SR said SSS have stopped the importation of more copies of the book. “The SSS people have told us that they won’t allow more copies of the book into the country,”

The three volume book among many things, critiqued the leadership style of President Jonathan as well as his former VP Atiku Abubakar, Late President Yar’Adua as well former Governors Ibori, Tinubu and Saraki.

Source – Global news

Buhari: Another Chance To Make Nigeria Great By Hygienus Nwagwu

“Daddy what are you doing?” That was the question from my two year old son as I tapped away on my keyboard, crafting this piece. “Sorting out your future” was all I could utter in response. Not that it made sense to him, but a cold shiver went down my spine on the realization of the inevitable fact that in the years to come, the question will be “Daddy what did you do?”
What is the situation? 2014, my beloved country is still struggling to generate 4000m/w of electricity despite massive investments in that sector. 2014, oil is still being stolen in alarming proportions from the creeks of the Niger Delta. 2014, the Nigerian economy is in a shambles, reeling from shock occasioned by global oil price crash that followed many years of boom. 2014, our commonwealth is being frittered away by a bunch of opportunists united in an unholy alliance of corruption and sleaze, bent on giving a bewildered populace no respite until there is nothing more left to steal. 2014, insecurity reigns supreme, impunity and official lawlessness are the order of the day. 2014, the state house has become a sanctuary for religious bigots and ethnic jingoists whose stock in trade is fanning the embers of disunity for personal aggrandizement. 2014, the ship of the Nigerian state is steering rudderlessly to a cataclysmic end.
What have I done? In 2011 I did what I felt needed to be done by voting for a certain Goodluck Jonathan, more out of sentiment than conviction, hoping that with his background, age and education, my beloved country would be launched into a new era of development, probity, accountability in governance and all that 21st century developmental imperatives require. I was wrong! It was a vote badly wasted. I never bargained for the mess I see my country in today.
What is the problem? A cabal has taken the very soul of this country and until they are dislodged, the Nigerian people will continue to moan and groan. The biggest impediment to growth and development in Nigeria today is official corruption. Nothing else explains why little progress is being recorded in all spheres after massive investments while near-worthless fellows have turned billionaires overnight with no visible means of livelihood except their closeness to the powers that be. Stolen pensions, stolen petro-dollars, bulletproof car buying ministers, jet-flying government house chaplains are all a sad reminder of our abysmal descent to ignominy.
Who will bell the cat? Without a shade of doubt, General Muhammadu Buhari is one of the very few Nigerians who have shown that it is possible to live an upright life, not ruled by mundane desires. His harshest critics attest to this obvious fact. A man who has the ability, passion and unassailable integrity and moral compass to tackle headlong, that hydra-headed monster called corruption poking violently on our collective future as a people.
Tackling corruption is an open war against the status quo. Entrenched forces will be shaken to their very roots before being dislodged. The apple cart will be upset and things will never remain the same again. Heads will not just roll. They will crack and ache as they do. This is not a task for any feeble-minded opportunist, who in any case already has his hand in the pie. According to Prof Attahiru Jega, those whose hands are soiled can only soil whatever they touch. They cannot do otherwise.
Buhari will not let you go to church on a Sunday. All ancestors will be barred from receiving their traditional dry gin and fowl blood if Buhari becomes President and a plethora of other lies from the very pit of hell have been the modus operandi of the cabal that has ruined Nigeria. Buhari is closer to Boko Haram than either the pastors whose jets secretly engage in gunrunning and other shady transactions or those who control defence budgets and ill-equip our military leaving our gallant men and women with the option of tactical manoeuvres into neighbouring countries.
Unfortunately, they target the uninformed who, interestingly, form bulk of the electorate to sell their lies and maintain their stranglehold on our beloved country. Hear it today! They fear going to jail. They fear losing their grip on our commonwealth. These are the issues at stake.
Despite a stiff opposition, Nigerians have been presented with one last opportunity to utilize the God-given virtues of General Muhammadu Buhari to fundamentally tackle the main problems facing this country and set it back on the path of development and greatness. His moral compass is our guide out of the woods.
Those of us who believe in General Buhari have elected to spread the good news to all and sundry. Preach it to your family, in your mosque, church or shrine. Tell it to your friends and make them understand what this fight is all about. If you are too close to your G(g)od, tell him Buhari is just a mortal concerned about the wellbeing of his people and have neither the intention nor the capacity to annul any divine establishment. It is about our collective future as a people. Would you stand and be counted as one of those who pandered to the whims of ethnic and religious bigotry either out of ignorance or for personal benefits while your country was being ruined? Would you not rather be counted among those who defied the odds and helped make Nigeria great again?
Whatever choice you make, remember you children will ask you: WHAT DID YOU DO?
Hygienus Nwagwu.
@hymanprof

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Atiku’s Loss: “Concerned Nigerian” Sparks Controversy on Atiku’s FB Page

Former VP, Atiku Abubakar, exhibited courage and won the admiration of many when he congratulated General Buhari for winning the APC presidential primaries, as the messages reflected on his social media accounts.

He took on his facebook page to show appreciation to those who supported him and it caused a serious debate with exchange of words among his facebook followers. Here is how it happened… (Click on Images for Clarity)

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APC Primaries UPDATE: General Buhari Takes the Lead…

Initial reports provide that Atiku Abubakar was in clear third place, until Governor Kwankwaso overtook him. Rochas Okorocha and Sam Nda-Isaiah are far behind.

General Buhari has been said to be taking the lead as his box is literally stuffed with ballot papers. Over 7,200 votes are being counted and processed. The names of the candidates are spoken out loud in the process of sorting. Counting is almost over. Minimal number of the ballot papers are left.

 

Nda Isaiah Denies Stepping Down For Buhari

Contrary to reports claiming that APC presidential candidate, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, has stepped down for Buhari, Nda-Isaiah through his campaign team denied stepping down for anyone, insisting that he is still in the race.

Chairman of the APC National Convention and immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi dismissed as false, reports that any of the aspirants had stepped down.

Current situation report provides that Buhari and Atiku are hitting heads in fervent battle for delegates.

 

Accept Results From Primaries, Gani Solomon Tells Presidential Aspirants #APCDecides

The Senator representing Lagos West senatorial district, Mr. Ganiyu Solomon, has advised all presidential aspirants to accept the outcome of the primary which is holding today.
Solomon, who lost to Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode,  at the Lagos governorship primary last week, said this during an interview with reporters at the on-going national convention of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos
However, when asked if he had accepted the outcome of the primary, he refused to respond.
Also, when he was asked if he had congratulated Ambode, he said, “Has Ambode reached out to me? Go and ask him if he has reached out to me.”
Source – Punch NG

APC Primaries UPDATE: Kwankwaso Steps Down for Buhari, Atiku Desperately Reaches Out to Delegates

Reports have it that Kwankwaso has been persuaded to step down for Buhari, which he agreed, but will still put up an appearance without putting up a fight at the convention.

Recent update provides that 12 APC governors have reached a final agreement to support Muhammadu Buhari, while his counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, is reaching out directly to the delegates.  Atiku, on this part, is basing his calculations on the fact that APC governors control only 14 states and their influence in the remaining 22 states is not strong.

Report add that Atiku has zeroed in on delegates from 16 states which they consider winnable: Adamawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Jigawa, Taraba, Yobe, Delta, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Ekiti and Ondo ? as well as the FCT. In Atiku’s camp, the calculation is to deal directly with the delegates, even from states controlled by pro-Buhari governors.

 

APC Primaries UPDATE: Atiku Secretly Winning Delegates?

Investigations reveals that Atiku Abubakar and the Kano State governor, Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, have emerged to give Buhari a big fight for APC ticket. Sources in the party say that while the ticket appeared to have been sealed for Buhari, the two other contenders, Atiku and Kwankwaso, had been working underground to reach the delegates.

Already, the Director General of Atiku campaign organisation, Professor Babalola Borishade, had confirmed during the week that his principal was sure of victory in many states, except Kwara and Imo. It was gathered that while Buhari was banking on the support of former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu for victory, Atiku and Kwakwanso had been reaching out directly to the delegates. As of the last count, Atiku had visited 35 states of the federation in the process of electioneering.

Sources said Atiku’s meeting with the delegates had always been more rewarding, as many of the delegates in the states look forward to meeting him.

“Remember that Atiku’s network is practically the longest standing in the polity right now. He has been there since the aborted Third Republic and his structure has been waxing stronger. His network is not restricted to any particular region and that is the Atiku advantage,” a source said.

Sources in the party said Atiku had moved very quietly within the party and had apparently endeared himself to the delegates. It was gathered that Atiku’s strength spread from the North-East to North-Central and even the South-South.

He is also primed to come very close to Buhari in states of the South-West controlled by the APC, while Ekiti, Ondo, as well as Osun states are said to be within Atiku’s reach. Besides, Atiku is believed to maintain a hold on delegates from the North-Central, with delegates from the states like Kogi, Benue and Niger firmly for him.

Sources also said Kwakwanso has been strategising and moving solidly within the party and that the delegates are also looking at him as a possible candidate.

“Unlike what some people are painting, Kwankwanso has been moving around, securing delegates, faster than thought. He is truly moving like a “Trojan horse” among the delegates and it is looking bright for him on a daily basis,” a source close to the party said.

Reportedly favoured by former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Kwankwaso’s project is said to receive boost by plans to pick his running-mate from the South-South, with Rivers State governor, Amaechi, expected to be the beneficiary.

Unlike the initial indication that Buhari would make a clean sweep of the votes from North-West, it emerged during the week that states like Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara may not be intact for Buhari.

Sources said that Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko is behind Kwankwanso.

Investigations also revealed that the fact that delegates at the presidential primaries will cast their votes through the secret ballot could be a plus for the likes of Atiku and Kwankwanso, as the leaders would not have a way of tracing which state voted for which candidate. But the sources said the moves in Atiku and Kwankwanso’s camps notwithstanding, the aspirants were still wary of the “Tinubu’s magic wand.” The fear, according to sources, was that the former governor could corner the votes of delegates from the South-West and deploy it for whoever he wished. “If that happens, Buhari could be on his way to victory,” a source said.

Credit: Tribune

Jonathan Set to Face APC Candidate on Debate, Says PDP

The Peoples Demo­cratic Party, PDP, has challenged the All Progressive Congress, APC, to an issue based de­bate between its presiden­tial candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan with the duo of General Muham­madu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar.

The party said it was high time presidential de­bates are taken to a high level of intellectual excur­sion pin with the future of the country along the lines of development, peace and stability from which the electorate can make an in­formed decision.

National Publicity Secre­tary of the Peoples Demo­cratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, who said this on Tuesday while addressing the press in his office at Nation­al Secretariat of the party in Abuja also boasted that President Jonathan will de­feat combine efforts of all APC aspirants.

The PDP said it was pre­pared to engage all the can­didates of the opposition individually and collectively to a debate on performance-based contest because they have a well prepared candi­date for the election in 2015. The party said it is field­ing a good product that has performed and has made their work easier to present him to the public for accep­tance.

The party said the presi­dent is the most suitable can­didate in the lot that would be seeking the election in 2015. Metuh said: “We have a very good product to sell to Nigerians. GEJ will win the 2015 presidential poll based on his popularity. We are today sending notice to the opposition party, the APC to expect a crushing defeat at the poll,’’ he said.

“In view of our confidence, preparedness and the popu­larity of our candidate, we declare and urge the APC to put forward its two frontline aspirants in one pot as joint presidential candidates with their collective cre­dentials and followership to face our president.For us in the PDP, we are certain that with the grassroot support and love we enjoy from Nigerians across board, jonathan will secure an emphatic victory against any presidential candidate of the APC or all the candidates put together as one.Let us elevate the con­duct of this election. We will base it on who is best for this country in terms of unity of this nation, who is best to stabilise our public policy,who is best to lead us to prosperity. On those three and other issues we will defeat whoever is the candidate of the APC”.

Credit: National Mirror

Atiku, Buhari, Rochas, Kwankwaso??? APC Decides

The national convention of the All Progressives Congress begins in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Wednesday. Presidential candidate of the party will emerge Thursday.

More than 8,000 accredited delegates are expected to elect the party’s presidential flag bearer who is to face President Goodluck Jonathan, the sole candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, in the 2015 general elections.

Five aspirants are ex-Head of State, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari; a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, and the Publisher of Leadership Newspaper, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah. They are all vying for the party’s sole ticket.

Credit: Punch Nigeria

Don’t Trade Your Votes For Cash , APC Urge Delegates

Chief John Oyegun, National Chairman of the APC

Ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s national convention holding in Lagos on Wednesday, the Publicity Secretary of Edo State chapter of the party, Comrade Godwin Erhahon, has admonished all delegates to the national convention to emulate their Edo state counterparts at the just concluded state and national assemblies primary elections by refraining from selling their votes.

Erhahon’s admonishion is contained in a press statement issued in Benin on Tuesday. He urged delegates to the national convention to nominate a “candidate whom the electorate can trust to rescue the nation from the wicked exploitation and devouring corruption of PDP.”

According to him, APC needs a presidential candidate who will win election, not one whose candidature will be difficult to sell to the electorate, adding that “Nigerians are hoping on all APC national delegates for a redeemer.”

The Edo APC Publicity Secretary? in the press statement, saluted all Edo delegates who voted in the just concluded state and national assemblies primaries for demonstrating true party spirit.
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“Your peaceful conduct and free choice of candidates stand you all out as citizens with good conscience and firm patriotic spirit,” he said, adding that the sportsmanship manner by which most losers in the primaries accepted their defeat stand them out as heroes of democracy.

He however assured that all losers at the various primary elections would be “be rewarded in appropriate measures in due time, because by making the exercise rancour-free, you have all become winners of peace and unity for our great party.”

APC Primaries: A Glimmer of Hope By Aliyu Aliyu

The All Progressives Congress, Nigeria’s largest and most formidable opposition party is a merger of three hitherto independent political parties with huge followings spread across the length and breadth of the country. Though the relative influence of these parties varies considerably and also span across the country, the political party system in Nigeria has traditionally taken on ethnic and regional hue, consequently the political power base of these parties are found in the regions where these parties originated.

But times are changing and learning from the past, many politicians have seemed to avail themselves of the fact that ethnic politics is a sadly confining and reclusive idea which has continued to lose ground in the reality that is Nigeria’s tempestuous political space, thus prompting the need for a heterogeneous , multiethnic and integrated opposition to rival the ruling People’s Democratic Party. It will not be fair to say that the APC is late, even though the PDP appears to have solved this problem, its zoning palaver still very fresh in memory is a very convenient pointer to the destructive effects of ethnic politics in a so called all-inclusive party. While the PDP’s solution to the problem seems like a hastily done cosmetic surgery, the All Progressives Congress seems to be making sure and natural progress. The success of the APC so far has continued to baffle a lot of observers , having fruitfully brought together these groupings by accommodating the needs of the respective parties involved. Anyone who is sentient of the challenges involved in such an ambitious venture can only bless the fact that the All progressives Congress has done remarkably well.

The ruling People’s Democratic Party which has ruled Nigeria for 15 odd years has so far witnessed the largest number of defections due to increasing disillusionment with the party brought about by several factors not excluding being excessively boring and hopelessly predictable.

For the APC its not yet uhuru as there are numerous challenges that could possibly perturb an alliance such as it. The APC will still need to up its ante, even after having gathered so much momentum, by coming up with a transparent and all-inclusive process to produce a viable presidential flag bearer. Looking at the caliber of aspirants the quality of the candidates strikes forcibly, and had led some political pundits to assert that the presidential flag bearer of the party will emerge via a fiercely contested presidential primary, in glaring contrast to a consensus candidate which would be disappointing, considering the high level political maneuvering and untiring exertions of party members and might not be good for moral. Now that the party is clearly past the consensus stage, it is obvious that the APC has registered its commitment to a peaceful and all-inclusive democratic process.

With the presidential primaries already here, the APC seems to have the undivided attention of Nigerians at the moment and a passing observer can with little difficulty, hear small talk on the streets about the candidates lined up with an emphasis on their strengths and chances. Here is a brief exposé on the candidates in no particular order.

First up is Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state, this dynamic politician is a two time governor of the most populous state in the country. Having lost to Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau in the 2003 Kano state governorship elections, he served as the country’s Minister of Defense under the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration only to return as governor in 2011. This promising politician whose unique signature is a red fez cap might be new to politics on the presidential level but many are of the opinion that he does possess the essential oils to grease the party machinery to success come 2015.

Another shining star that needs not much introduction is the former military head of state General Muhammadu Buhari. The peoples general as he is so fondly called is a highly experienced politician and leading opposition figure in the country. General Buhari who came into power after the overthrow of the civilian administration of Alhaji Shehu Shagari following a widely rigged election is a highly principled politician who is averse to corruption. Despite contesting three consecutive elections without success the amiable general gave a very good account of his stewardship as head of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) which had touched the lives of many Nigerians without enriching himself. General Buhari who is also known as the nemesis of corruption has pledged to bring looters and agents of state robbery to justice which has endeared him to the common man in no small measure.

Chief Rochas Okorocha, an established business man is founder of the Rochas Foundation and Executive Governor of Imo State, he is a generous philanthropist and politician who had unsuccessfully vied for presidency on the platform of the APC in 2003 and was the last candidate to declare his ambition to run for president. His defeat of the incumbent governor Ikedi Ohakim and his consequent defection to the APC was highly welcome throughout the country. Governor Rochas who is of the opinion that president Jonathan is not an igbo man and his people of the South-East have been marginalized is definitely one man from the South East who has won the love of North and obviously has what it takes to emerge as the party’s presidential flag bearer.

Next up is the highly respected and capable publisher of the Leadership Newspaper, Mr Sam Nda Isaiah Though this knowledgeable politician might be new to the intrigues of partisan politics he does command the respect of a multitude of readers and admirers and is touted to possess the intellectual stamina to see the party through come 2015. He was the first aspirant to declare his interest to run for the office of president and is reported to have said that he harbours no ill feeling running against his political mentor General Muhammadu Buhari.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, was a two time Vice President of the Federal Republic. This formidable grassroots politician is a bridge builder with a vast network of friends and associates across diverse ethnic and regional divide and is by no means a new comer to politics on the presidential level. The Turakin Adamawa came close to clinching the Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential ticket after the military government of the time had disqualified General Shehu Musa Yaradua from the race. He won the governorship election of Adamawa state in 1999 but was later sworn in as vice president to former president Olusegun Obasanjo in which capacity he served for two terms. Turaki whose political escapades include playing a prominent role in frustrating the third term agenda of Former president Olusegun Obasanjo quit the PDP for the defunct Action Congress (AC) on which platform he contested against Yaradua and lost in the 2007 presidential elections which was known to be massively rigged. Turaki , who is arguably the most experienced politician in the country contested the PDP primaries against president Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 he later left the PDP for the APC due to an obvious lack of internal democracy and since then the ruling party has not been the same again.

Whatever the outcome of the primaries it is very clear however that the APC will do well to present a candidate with the political clout to garner votes from all geopolitical zones in the country with a view to dislodging the ruling people’s democratic party come 2015 and with all the excitement and attention that the opposition party has commanded so far it is very obvious that this time around the opposition is here to stay and the ruling People’s Democratic Party will have to struggle in good truth to make an impact come 2015.

Aliyu Aliyu  Liruk2001@yahoo.com

Views Expressed are Solely Author’s.

People You Shouldn’t Vote For in 2015 By Omonile Olasunkanmi

We are months away from making a crucial decision that will, in no small way, shape the course of history of our nation from here on. This is no ordinary election and whatever choice we make come February 2015 will forever be remembered as either the last straw that broke the camel’s back or a major turning point towards the right path. As always, the choice is entirely ours.

As a concerned citizen of this great nation, having watched events unfold especially in the present democratic dispensation birthed in 1999, I know we’ve missed it in more ways than one. We’ve allowed ourselves be blinded by ethnic and religious sentiments, like the bible puts it “we’re tossed to and fro by every wave of doctrine” yet the most part of the populace continue to live below the poverty line, short of their GOD-given potentials.

2015 presents an opportunity once again for us to chart a new course, as President Barack Obama at his maiden inauguration ceremony said: “we remain a young nation but in the words of the scripture, it’s time to put away childish things”.

As political parties, pressure groups and the noise makers continue to make cases for their preferred candidates, I come with a slightly different perspective, with a list of those who shouldn’t be trusted with the nation’s apex office.

1. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome prescribed democracy as the root of Africa’s problems. He explained that democracy gives the power to decide to the majority. ‘Majority carries the vote’. This looks a fair bargain until you consider what “majority” means in this part of the world, they’re the uneducated, broke, sick and neglected- destitute. The result of their choice is evident in Goodluck Jonathan.

Since his inception as acting president, Dr. Jonathan has always set his sights on one thing- winning the next election. He couldn’t care less whose ox is gored. Those who call him clueless have not the slightest clue of who the man is, I don’t think he’s dumb, in fact I think he’s very smart, his smartness just doesn’t care beyond his ego and pocket.

Goodluck Jonathan is a record breaker in many respects, the first president from the oil producing south-south axis of the nation, most educated president we’ve had and above all, the only politician whose achievements you only see on pages of newspapers and on social media. Jonathan’s administration sits comfortably amongst the worst we’ve had and more of the same means one thing- doom!

The blame is not all on him though, it’s partly on us who can’t read between the lines, he never made secret of his aim, in contrast he declared them boldly. At his first rally, instead of telling us how he intends to fix the mess this country finds itself, he took to storytelling; how he trekked the streets of Bayelsa without the luxury of shoe to feet and then he ended with the words; “if I can make it, you can make it” we all know what it means when a Nigerian declares “I don hammer”. He was not going to serve but to be served.

There however remain time to make amends; he can help conduct a credible election so we can have a shot at electing a true leader or at least give another Nigerian a chance to make it!

2. Atiku Abubakar

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is no doubt one of the front runners in this electioneering process, and of all those vying for the seat of the president, especially in the opposition party, he’s the one to beat. Rich, charming, well educated, he no doubt know more than a few things about politics and elections in Nigeria. He was very popular as vice-president and has stamped his name on the hearts of more than a handful of voters. Many people credit Bola Tinubu with the popularity of opposition in Nigeria but I strongly disagree, while the asiwaju might have pulled a few weights in the south-west, Atiku brought the fight to the centre. He gave the then president Olusegun Obasanjo and his anointed presidential aspirant, Umaru Yar’adua a run for their money (or our money) and caused them more than one night’s sleep. He’s done more than ok as a businessman and politician but has that earned him enough trust to be handed the presidency? Absolutely not! Reasons being:

First, Atiku is only your friend if he hopes to milk you or he’s milking you. Like a brother described him on his twitter handle- @deeengr described him; “Atiku is like (Wayne) Rooney, he is strong, he is good (more like average) and he knows how to get the job done but like Rooney he might just threaten to sink the ship if there’s no money to embezzle”. Once the grass appears greener on the other side, you won’t even get the courtesy of a “goodbye”. Is anyone still keeping count of how many times he’s crossed from the PDP to APC (ACD, AC, and ACN)? All for one reason- a selfish presidential ambition and he doesn’t walk out quietly, he brings down the house on his way out. He went from calling former president Olusegun Obasanjo unprintable names in 2007 to kissing his ass in 2014. Classic political prostitute.

Secondly, if Atiku Abubakar tells you he’s different from Goodluck Jonathan, don’t believe it for one second; he’s taking the same road Jonathan took to Aso rock in 2011. First, he started a website and chronicled how poor he was growing up and had to claw his way up the food chain, Jonathan gave us “I had no shoes”. A wise man once said “every politician wants every voter to believe he was born a poor lad but He built himself”. He then moved on to social media acting like the man of the people and drawing the youths in, Jonathan never missed a day on facebook. Then he made friends with Michael Collins, popularly called Don Jazzy, the boss of Mavin records, Jonathan had a fling with D’banj. “suddenly, suddenly, Jona is my friend” he even had a youth parley, Jonathan organised a book reading thing.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat them!

3. Muhammadu Buhari

General Buhari has been touted by critics as a fundamentalist, they say he’ll “Islamise” Nigeria. (Still trying to figure out what that means). Asking people to vote or not vote a candidate based on their religious belief should rank as the dumbest political strategy. We’ve had Christians as president as well as Muslims, imams and pastors, Alhajis and countless JPs as political office holders yet, the only semblance we have to religion is when you’re as old as Jesus was in his time, you’re near your grave! I refuse to have anything negative against Buhari’s beliefs but I do have a few things against his presidential ambition.

First, the foundation of his campaign is faulty. He’s called principled, incorruptible and his supporters continue to hammer on these, he’ll fight corruption they say. Noble as that might sound, it’s just not enough reason to make a man president, he can be chairman of EFCC! They say it takes more than love to build a marriage, I say it takes more than fighting corruption to make a successful president. If he’s elected and manages to end corruption in 6months, what will he do with the rest of his term in office? How does he intend to fight it? Where will He start from? How will he deal with cases that are not moral but not illegal?

Secondly, general Buhari just can’t avoid shooting himself in the foot with words. He was alleged to have, sometime in 2003, charged a group of Muslim faithfuls to “defend their faith with whatever means necessary” his comment of “the blood of baboons…..” is still haunting him and when rumours were flying around about him planning to field another Muslim as deputy he replied with what won’t go down well with many Christians. According to reports, he asked journalists what they expected him to do as he had fielded 3christians in previous elections and lost. Rewind back to his military days and you’ll find where he threatened to deal with workers “without the nonsense of legal proceedings”.

Finally, President Bill Clinton while answering questions from famous British journalist Piers Morgan on who’ll make a better president between his wife and daughter voted for the younger generation without thinking twice. Pushed further and asked if he’ll like a return to the oval office, he responded with “I have complete faith in this current generation of democrats” this is evident in his unwavering support of Barack Obama even after his wife lost their party primaries to Obama. Why can’t general Buhari walk and talk the same?

Omonile Olasunkanmi @sunkytemmy

Views Expressed are Solely Author’s

I Love Nigeria And I Wont Give Up On Nigerians – Atiku Abubakar

No matter what anybody tells him, he says he will never give up on Nigeria. Read and know why former Vice President Atiku Abubakar loves Nigeria and wants to occupy Aso Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“How can I be discouraged? You are just asking me to give up on Nigeria. I have no other place to go. I don’t. So, why should I give up on Nigeria. I cannot give up until I can no longer or do not have the capacity or the strength. There is no way I can give up on Nigeria.”

Those were his responses to a question put to him by a journalist during a press conference in his Asokoro, Abuja residence on September 16, 2014.

The journalist had sought to know why he won’t give up on his presidential bid after two unsuccessful shots in 2007 and 2011.

But by his candid answers, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar showed passion, faith, determination and optimism that, someday, the Nigerian nation would be great again.

Former Vice President and presidential aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar

Indeed, it is called the Giant of Africa, but this is one appellation that many people now struggle to defend. Even the present administration led by Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan won’t bat an eyelid in acknowledging that Nigeria is yet to get out of the woods and, for this reason, has asked Nigerians to renew his mandate in the 2015 general elections.

But this is where his critics get worried. To them, a government that has not tackled insecurity which has claimed thousands of lives, has not built social infrastructures and failed to fix a bleeding economy after four years deserves to be shown the way out. One word which has continued to resonate for a long time now suffices: “clueless”.

– Source – www.vanguardngr.com

RCCG Perfects Plan For Nigerian Politicians #2015Elections

The Redeemed Christian Church of God has said it will keep politicians at arm’s length during its forthcoming annual Holy Ghost Congress.

See What Pastor Adeboye When He Visited UniJos Students

The Pastor in Charge, RCCG Lagos Province 12, Ola Adejubee, said this while fielding questions from journalists during a press conference to announce the annual event at the RCCG Dominion Cathedral, Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Lagos.

Adejubee, however, said President Goodluck Jonathan, would be allowed to address members who are citizens of the country, if he chose to attend the programme.

He said, “The church is for everybody. Members of all political parties are members of this church. Everything will be done for the congress not to be turned into a campaign ground. We have a reputation to protect and I want to assure the public that the platform provided by the congress will be used for the edification of the church and not political campaigns.

“However, the point must be made that if the President attends, it will be our duty as citizens of Nigeria to allow him address his people, not necessarily for campaigns. But surely, politicians will be kept at arm’s length in order for the people of God not to be distracted.”

On the traffic congestion that usually trails the event, Adejubee said efforts were on to address the situation, adding that the roads within the camp had been expanded to accommodate more vehicles.

This year’s congress, which is themed, ‘The Good Shepherd,’ will hold from Monday, December 8, to Sunday, December 14.

Atiku, Kwankwaso, Okorocha Reject Lagos For APC Presidential Primaries

Trouble is brewing in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the choice of its presidential standard bearer as four aspirants gang up against the party leadership over orchestrated plan to favour former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari. Already, former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar, Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and Sam Nda- Isaiah have petitioned the APC national leadership, questioning the rationale for the choice of Lagos for the December 11 national convention.

The quartet had last week met to review the development in the party and the direction at which the national convention is heading. The aspirants feel that the choice of Lagos was to favour Buhari against other aspirants.

The presidential aspirants also kicked against the list of delegates from Lagos State. Of all the presidential aspirants, only Buhari failed to sign the petition. The aspirants gave the party conditions on the way forward. One, that any list of delegates from non-constitutionally recognised councils should be rejected.

Two, that the national convention of the party scheduled for December 10 and 11 be held in Benin City against Lagos or in the alternative, the date should be brought forward to the original date of December 7 and 8, and hold at Eagle Square, Abuja. New Telegraph reliably learnt that the petition was submitted to the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun, on Saturday at his Asokoro, Abuja residence. Odigie-Oyegun confirmed the receipt of the petition when New Telegraph contacted him last night.

Disturbed by the development, the party leaders scheduled an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) for 7p.m. yesterday and another meeting for 9a.m. today. An impeccable source told New Telegraph that the party leadership has succumbed to the wishes of the presidential aspirants by moving the national convention to Benin City still on December 10 and 11.

Source – newtelegraphonline.com

APC Leaders Meet On Consensus Candidate

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) met behind closed doors on Monday night to midwife the emergence of a presidential candidate in a rancour-free process.
The meeting was necessitated by the need to have a consensus candidate so that, among other things, the party would have more time for campaign, according to sources.
It was learnt that besides Atiku, all the presidential aspirants, including House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, have accepted to step down for Buhari.

2015: History Beckons On Buhari To Step Forward

I am writing this article in my capacity as Joe Igbokwe, I am writing this piece as an Author and writer and I am writing this as a public commentator on national issues. I am not writing piece this as the spokesperson of Lagos APC. I speak strictly for myself and I crave your indulgence to give me this liberty to speak at a time like this. Nigeria is in a deep crisis and anybody who wishes this country well must speak out now or hold his peace forever.

I have said it before that when a nation is in crisis, the people must search and fish out a great president. When a nation is at crossroads, a competent and strong hand is needed to restore normalcy. When a nation’s territories are being threatened by external forces, you need a president with military background to put a stop to the insurgency. When corruption, impunity and mediocrity ravage a country, you need a disciplined man with puritanical disposition to be on the driver’s seat.

General Muhammadu Buhari(GMB) has come of age in Nigerian politics since 2003. He contested presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and again in 2011. In 2007, he was mercilessly rigged out of power and he went to court to seek redress. The case went up to the Supreme Court where the three Supreme Court judges agreed that the elections were flawed while three voted against. It took the vote of the Chief Justice of the federation to save the country from national and international embarrassment. GMB accepted the verdict. In 2011, he returned to the ring to box again. This time the electoral thieves got bolder in the South East and South South. They loaded and loaded votes until they became satisfied with the number. A friend of mine who went to vote was told to go home because they had got the required number. Again the great betrayal by members of his party and the inability of members to work together created the room for PDP to retain power again. General Buhari cried. He wept for Nigeria, he wept for the state of nation and the level of impunity and corruption ravaging the landscape and he wept for generations yet unborn. He wept because he reasoned that Nigerians do not want to fight for change. He wept because the few who were choking Nigeria work twenty four hours a day and seven days in a week while the majority and those who should know better go to sleep and pray 20 times in a day asking God to come down to do the talking for them. GMB wept because he considered that he has tried his best to help restore Nigeria. He wept because he saw no hope for this country when the evil ones are getting bolder. The rest is now history.

In the last three and half years the rapacious greedy lots in Nigeria, the corrupt, the meretricious mediocrity and the nitwits became bolder. NNPC, Immigration, Pension funds, NPA, etc became cash cows. It became a big scramble for these characters to pillage anything their hands could touch. NNPC could not remit all the money accruing from crude oil sales to CBN. When the former CBN Governor, now Emir of Kano, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi raised an alarm, he was sacked with ignominy. Federal Ministers became laws unto themselves, attacking the common patrimony with reckless abandon, stealing what they do not need. The great threat to the nation’s corporate existence became the Boko Haram insurgency. Over 5000 Nigerians have been killed in the past three and half years. While the ruling party and the opposition continue to trade blames, the nation continues to go down. Mutinies reared its ugly heads in the Army of Nigeria. Junior officers started disobeying their superiors and our combatant soldiers escaping to Cameroun for fear of the rag-tagged insurgents called Boko Haram. In the midst of this, our infrastructure continues to decay. In 1999, our power generation stood a 3000 plus Mega Watts and after almost sixteen years we are now under 3000 Mega Watts after spending billions of dollars in that critical sector. Never in the history of this country has any leader played up the dangerous issues of Religion and Ethnicity as we have it today under President Jonathan. The Vice President, everybody including this writer fought so hard to make him assume his constitutional responsibility as president when President Yar Adua died in office, has put a knife on things that have held us together as one political entity. The president has systematically divided Nigeria along ethnic and religious lines, something unheard off in the history of Nigeria. Dangerously and tragically he moved from being the president of Nigeria to become the president of Ijaw nation. To make matters worse, some cowards and efulefus(nonentities) from his tribe took on other Nigerians, pouring invectives on them for asking questions.

I guess it was these errors of history that drove General Buhari to throw his hat into the ring once again to see if Nigerians can go back to history and take the right steps to right the wrongs of the past sixteen years. After giving up hope for Nigeria, GMB decided to return to take his last chance to help Nigeria out of trouble. I may not know what informed his decision to stage a comeback but I guess he knows what is wrong with this country and feels he knows what to do to reverse the trend.

I find it difficult to believe why the other equally good candidates in APC cannot step down for GMB given his antecedents, track records, history and character. No other former Head of State in Nigeria can be said to possess the discipline, honesty and integrity of General Buhari, all things considered. As a war time General, a former minister, a former Head of State, former chairman PTF and a fourth time contender in the race since 2003, I think that the man deserves all the support from all Nigerians to make it this time. Despite his dictatorial tendencies when he was the Military head of state, Buhari restored discipline and probity in Nigeria. His War Against Indiscipline (WAI) paid off handsomely and Nigeria is still reaping the fruits today. His intervention at PTF paid off too. His fight against corruption stood him out.

If today, the people at the corridors of power hate GMB, it is not because he is a bad man but the fear that some of them will end up in jail for corruption and impunity. They know that if GMB becomes the President, things may never be the same again and many of them will enter the next available flight to anywhere outside Nigeria. They know that oil subsidy looters will not go scot free. They know that GMB knows all of them. They know money does not mean anything to GMB and therefore he cannot be bribed.

Nigeria needs a tested and trusted Buhari now and this is the reason why I am pleading with all other APC presidential aspirants to step down for GMB. He is the most prepared for this office at a time like this. The little we saw of him in the 80s tells us that his wisdom, courage, discipline, strong character, fearlessness etc is what we need now to drive the new Nigeria of our dream. We must seize the moment. We must grab it with both hands or history will leave us behind.

Make no mistake about it, if we make the mistake of allowing President Jonathan to continue in office beyond 2015 we would have sowed the seed for this great country to go down. With all due respect, and without sounding immodest, President Jonathan has nothing to offer Nigeria. His emergence in 2010 was a big mistake. It was an error of history. It was something that could never have happened if we had known his innermost disposition, his training, his background, his philosophy, his ideology and his character. He cannot fight the insurgents, he cannot fight impunity, he cannot fight corruption, he cannot fight mediocrity, he cannot hold the country together and he simply cannot get it. The age of his ideas worries me to the marrows.

Let us help to get President GEJ out of the China’s shop to forestall further colossal damage. HE has tried his best and has made history for himself and his people but his best is not good enough for the country. This country is far bigger than the ambition of one man and therefore President Jonathan should be prepared to go because he will be roundly and mercilessly defeated in 2015.

Joe Igbokwe

Lagos

First published on http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Buhari Will Pick A Southern Christian As Running Mate – Fashakin

A former National Publicity Secretary of the now rested Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, has ruled out the possiblity of a Muslim becoming the running mate of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

He said Buhari would rather choose a southern Christian as his running mate.

Fashakin, who is a strong force in Buhari’s campaign organisation, said Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, a fellow Muslim, would not emerge as Buhari’s running mate

Read more at http://dailypost.ng/2014/11/17/2015-buhari-will-pick-southern-christian-running-mate-fashakin/

Is Atiku Our Moses?

It’s no longer news that the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alh. Atiku Abubakar is aiming to govern this country. There have been campaigns in all nooks and cranny of the country.

Personally, I never thought Atiku could be our ‘Moses’ but recent events has proved otherwise, the way his campaign is being structured both online and offline has been very impressive and he has won so many people with him.

WHAT DOES THE THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN THINK OF ATIKU?

  • He is corrupt.
  • He embezzled billions while in office.
  • He unethically privatized public institutions, sold them to himself and his allies.
  • He is CORRUPT.
  • HE IS CORRUPT

HOW CAN WE BE SO SURE HE IS CORRUPT?

  • How else can you explain his immense wealth? (Meaning every wealthy Nigerian is corrupt? Dangote, Abiola, Adenuga?) SMH
  • Well, he has to be corrupt, he was in Customs. (Meaning everyone in Customs is/was corrupt?)
  • He was Vice President for 8 years and he enriched himself. (He declared his assets when he ran for presidency in 1993. He was a multi-millionare (in dollars) then.)

And when they have nothing else to say;

  • Well, Obasanjo said he is corrupt. (And OBJ said that just because Atiku refused to support his 3rd term bid)

MEANWHILE

  • Atiku has always had a nose for business. He became a very wealthy man when he started Intels with an Italian business man named Volpi. His only crime was starting it while he was still a Customs officer. But is that a crime? In this Nigeria where everyone is advised to get a Side Hustle, to add to one’s income?
  • In his Customs days, Atiku had one of the highest records of revenue returns to the government
  • When Atiku exposed Buhari’s 53 suitcases issue, and the junta ordered that he be fired, the minister of finance, Dr Soleye, found he had such a good record at the customs, there was no ground to even order an official query.
  • Atiku, through the various businesses he created BEFORE he joined Politics is responsible for over 50,000 jobs, nationwide
  • Atiku started, and has been sponsoring the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), an interfaith initiative working to ensure that peace is maintained in the state. This API is the reason the (religious) uprising and riots in most northern states never get to Adamawa.
  • Atiku has awarded over 10,000 scholarships to Nigerians from all ethnicities. 10% of the students in the AUN, his group of schools, are on Scholarships. Only recently, 15 of the Chibok girls who escaped from Boko Haram were admitted and are being rehabilitated there.
  • Atiku has refused to play dirty politics. Rather than hit the opposition below the belt by exposing their many deficiencies and inefficiencies, he is focusing his campaign on his strengths, groundbreaking ideas, innovative policies, etc

Alhaji Abubakar’s declaration speech got me drenched in tears, I was amazed with the passion, he clearly stated the problems and gave his short and long-term solutions. He addressed the issues without sentiments. Of recent , Alh Atiku Abubakar called a world press conference as regards the recent capture of Mubi ( the President has not responded to it till date), he focused on the issues, he propagated solutions, I was taken aback with the way the press conference went.

Mr President is on his way to Burkinafaso at the moment while Bokoharam members are renaming a town in Adamawa state, I don’t know whether to start to weeping but I won’t, the future is bright.

I AM NOT A POLITICIAN! I WANT THE BEST FOR MY COUNTRY!! I WANT A ‘MOSES’ THAT WILL LEAD US TO THE PROMISED LAND AND I BELIEVE ATIKU ABUBAKAR IS THE MAN.

Itunu is a political analyst and social media commentator that wants a better Nigeria ( @hiteeobama).

Views Expressed are Solely Author’s.

Atiku Accuses Jonathan of Running ‘Clientelism’ government

Former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Monday, accused President Jonathan for running an administration characterized by ‘clientism’ and nepotism, implying that his government does not benefit Nigerians in general but his close family relations. He mentioned this at  a  press conference  held at  Olusegun Obasanjo President Library, Abeokuta, to  herald  a two-day Atiku Abubakar policy review summit, through the Director-General, Atiku Campaign Organisation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, who lamented that the country was being misgoverned by the present administration.

He went further to say that the presidential system of government under Jonathan has been turned to presidentialism, in which the president wields enormous power, where he favours only his cronies.

According to him, “as a result, effective accountability and representation through popular democratic participation is giving way to personal rule and single party dictatorships rooted on politics of Clientelism. Clientelism refers to the awarding of personal favours among patrimonial cronies. These favours take the form of public sector jobs, appointments, distribution of resources through licences, contracts and tax wavers. Corruption, nepotism and official impunity have brought our country down to the bottom 3 per cent in the world in terms of political stability.In essence, what we have now in Nigeria is a form of patrimonial democracy. This is posing serious threats to the durability of democracy. Not only because it erodes civil liberties of citizens, thus creating a culture of political apathy and disenchantment among them, it also severely limits the extent to which Government can be pressed to be responsive and accountable towards the citizens. Thus, for both of those who are inside and outside the network, the future is bleak.”

 

2015 Presidential Election: APC Holds The Ace By Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro

I want to make it clear that I am not a member of any political party and I will give my single vote to any candidate that I believe have a better program for Nigeria. What I will be presenting in this piece is a personal opinion and may not pass rigorous scientific examination but they still remain my opinion based on longtime observations.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the ruling party(PDP) has chosen the incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as its sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election. The president’s managers have also been out trying to sell his candidacy. The selling point for the president from all the adverts and jingles for now has not been different from that of 2011 election: Humility, love for the nation and humanity and to some extent his achievement in office. Weather this connects with the electorate is left to be seeing but for me, I think they need to do better. The ruling party does not give too much room for choice, therefore, there is no need discussing further about its candidate.
The opposition party (APC) on the other hand have three leading contenders for its ticket:

Rtd. General Mohammadu Buhari is a veteran aspirant. He will be taking his fourth shot at the exalted position if chosen as the candidate. He was a former head of state, a former military governor, former minister of petroleum, former chairman PTDF among other public offices he held. He is probably the only politician in Nigeria that has occupied a public office and came out with his reputation unscathed. He is probably the only politician in Nigeria with loyal followers without necessarily funding them. His selling point as usual has been his integrity (Believe me, we need somebody like that in this country) and his managers have been hammering on that. His only agenda if elected seems to be stamping out corruption, which is not bad, but we need more than that. His weakness is that he has been labeled a religious bigot and ethnic jingoist by his opponents. This label has somehow stuck to him with little or no effort from him to change it until recent. He is 72yrs old now and in some quarters considered too old. He got about 12milliom votes during the 2011 election but only 350 thousand of this votes are from the south. I believe he will do better in the south this time around if given the ticket.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is another candidate of the APC that has signifies his interest in vying for the ticket of the party. He is also a veteran contestant. He retired as a senior custom officer and also serve as vice president of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007. He is a successful businessman. He seems to re-invent himself with time and that’s the reason he connects with youth on social media. Of all the candidate, he seems to have a more robust and complete policy statement. He has remain consistent in his idea on how to move the country forward overtime. He has the best political network across the country among the candidates. He seems to have knack for assembling a good team around him as was evident when he was vice president. He also have deep pocket to give PDP a good run for their money; naira for naira. His major problem is that he has not been able to extricate himself for the label of a very corrupt person as he was labeled by his boss when he was the vice president. This may be his greatest undoing if he emerges as the APC candidate.

The third major candidate vying for APC ticket is Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, the current Governor of Kano State . Apart from been a sitting governor, Engr. Kwankwaso is also a former minister of defense. It is widely believe that he performed creditably well as a governor of a complex state like Kano. He has almost cult like following in the state. He also has the political sagacity to understand that all politics is local, hence, his people oriented policies. Unlike the first two candidates, he is still relatively young. He major undoing may be lack of political spread beyond Kano State. I think he is a candidate for the future.

Having briefly examine the candidates above, I still believe that 2015 general election will be majorly determine by ethnicity and religion. This is due to the fact that most Nigerian elites don’t vote. Majority of those that will read this article will not vote. The voters are not on social media. They don’t understand what you say in all the jingles, more especially the elitist jingles on electronic media. The voters in

Nigeria are the Okada riders, the miscreant are the motor parks, the market men and women, the taxi drivers etc. The ethnic and religious dummy can easily be sold among this voting population.

I have been privilege to visit all the geopolitical regions within the last one year. I have sought the opinion of these people from different races and towns. My conclusion from this interactions is; If APC is able to choose a candidate without internal rancor, the result of the next election will be as follows:

Northern Nigeria- APC 70%, PDP-30% with the exception of Benue and Plateau State. Benue may be upto 50-50. I cannot hazard a guess for Plateau State.
Southwest – APC 60%, PDP- 40%
Southeast – APC 20%, PDP – 80%
Southsouth – APC 40%, PDP- 60% ( this is due Ameachi and Oshiomole factor)

Going by the analysis above, the election is for APC to lose instead of the other way round. PDP may win some states in the north in governorship election but it will lose same state with wide margin in the presidential election. I have also noticed that an average northerner may not be as sophisticated as his southern counterpart but he appear to be more politically aware. It should also be noted that Kano State,

Kaduna State and Lagos States have over 22% of the voting population of Nigeria. The party that control these states will have a big say about the election result. These States are most likely to be APC states come 2015.

If the analysis is done base on geopolitical zones, Northwest has about 27% of the voters, Southwest about 19.3%, Northeast about 14.56%, NorthCentral about 14.53%, Southeast about 12.93%, SouthSouth about 10.34% and FCT about 1.28%. There is no need arguing that bulk of Northwest, Northeast, NorthCentral and Southwest will go for APC. If this assumption is correct, the APC will have about 60% of the vote. This is only feasible in a free and fair election. I believe the 2015 election will be free and fair.

Follow: Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (Ph.D)
@bengbenro

Articles on www.omojuwa.com are solely authors opinion

Buhari Picks APC Nomination Form, Complains About High Fee

As a follow up to his formal declaration yesterday, All Progressive Congress, APC presidential hopeful and former head of state, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari today picked the expression of interest and nomination forms to run for the presidency in 2015 at the APC national secretariat in Abuja.

After picking the forms, Gen. Buhari, who had contested for the presidency on three previous occasions, complained about the N27.5 million price tag the party put on the forms, saying he was unable to influence a reduction of the fee.

Speaking to reporters shortly after picking the forms, Gen. Buhari said: “It’s a pity I couldn’t influence this amount to be put down ?as in the case of ladies and the disable that intend to participate. I always look left and right in our meetings but I could not read sympathy, so I kept my trap.

The retired General, who many believe to be APC’s best shot said he feels sorry for himself because he does not want to resort to asking anybody to pay for the nomination forms for him, adding that his saving grace was the good relationship he has with his bank Manager in Kaduna, whom he has put on standby to honour the payment for forms notwithstanding whatever his account balance may be.

Continuing, Gen Buhari said: “I was about to go to Kaduna this morning and I told the Chairman, but he said in that case, you better pick your form and keep a straight face, that means there is no excuse”.

Kwakwanso Explains Why APC Abandoned Consensus Arrangement

The Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who is among the presidential aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has justified the decision of the party to throw away its customary consensus arrangement in preference to primary elections.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, shortly after being honoured with an award by the Leadership Newspaper for his boldness in leading the revolt against his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kwakwanso said the opposition party felt that subjecting aspirants to primaries would create better chances for it to emerge victorious at next year’s elections.

Hear him, “consensus is part of the belief of the party, but the fact of the matter is we have seen in the PDP, from 1999 to 2011 every election year there was primary election and primary election in my opinion strengthens the party. Therefore, probably that is why the PDP has been winning elections.”

Kwankwaso expressed his confidence that his party would come out with a candidate that would be generally accepted by the party and by extension, Nigerians.

We Did Not Endorse Jonathan For 2015 , Fulani Chiefs

Fulani Fulani chiefs under the aegis of Fulbe Lamibe Association of Nigeria, FLAN, have denied endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan for second term.

The group was reacting to a recent endorsement of President Jonathan by some “self-appointed Fulani leaders” for the 2015 presidential election.

FLAN, in a statement by its secretary, Hussaini Salisu Kachia, said the purported endorsement of Jonathan was not the position of Fulani nomads in Nigeria.

“We, the Fulani Council of Chiefs, totally and completely dissociate ourselves and the entire Fulani people from the statement made by some self-appointed Fulani leaders to the effect that Nigerian Fulanis have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election.
“This purported endorsement is not the position of Fulani nomads in Nigeria. The impression created or given is erroneous, and at best misleading”, the statement read.

The association added: “We have total confidence in former vice president Atiku Abubakar, not President Goodluck Jonathan, who they said is not constitutionally qualified to even contest”.

2015: Atiku Picks Presidential Nomination Form For N27.5m

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday picked the N27.5m presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress.

The ex-Vice President picked the form after a short ceremony at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.

Addressing party members during the event, Atiku called on all leaders to ensure a level-playing field for all aspirants before and during the primaries.

Atiku said, “Mr. Chairman, I need not let you know my political antecedents as far as the provision of a level-playing field for every member of this party is concerned because that is the only thing or one of the things that will make us different from the so-called ruling party.

“Anybody who believes he has a democratic right to exercise should be given that opportunity to exercise that right. It is left for the members of this party and the Nigerian public to make a decision.

“I don’t think it is the responsibility of anyone of us as an individual or group to decide for this party or its membership for the people of this country. Yes, as leaders, we have a responsibility to guide those coming behind, but the guidance should be based on this firmly rooted democratic principles.

I Did Not Endorse Buhari For Presidential Ticket Saraki Says

Contrary to unconfirmed reports that he may have thrown his weight behind the aspiration of former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), Senator Bukola Saraki said he not endorsed any of the aspirants seeking the presidential ticket under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Saraki’s clarification came on the heels of a newspaper report on Monday.

He was touted as possible director-general of General Buhari’s campaign in the report.

But Saraki, through his campaign office, has denied the report insisting that he was still consulting on his next line of action regarding the endorsement of any of the aspirants.

A statement from his media team said: “Our office will like to clear the air concerning the above. Senator Saraki, indeed, met with other aspirants as it relates to getting our country back on the right path.

“Senator Saraki is convinced that all candidates are committed to presenting candidates that will be acceptable by all. At this time, Senator Saraki has not endorsed any aspirant.

Atiku/ Buhari Tussle over Presidential Primaries Procedure

The All Progressives Congress, APC experienced some sort of crisis following strong reservations among its major presidential candidates over the procedure for adopting the 2015 presidential candidate for the party, over the weekend.

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, being the party’s major actors were at the head of the major divisions over the adoption of a consensus or the conduct of primaries for the adoption of the presidential candidate.

Party sources disclosed that Buhari’s supporters in the party were pushing for consensus on the fact that majority of the party positions across board were filled with consensus. On the other hand, the Buhari supporters are praying that if the consensus arrangement is jettisoned for any reason that a direct primary involving all 18 million registered members of the party be held.

On the other hand, Atiku’s supporters proposed a Modified Direct Primary, which would involve about 20,000 delegates choosing the party candidate. That prospect is feared by the Buhari camp who claimed that it would offer opportunity to easily woo or take over delegates hitherto pledged to other aspirants.

 

#KakandaTemple ~ Ekiti Epiphany: Politics Beyond Idealism

Ekiti Politics

The most amusing thing about Nigerian analysts, the outspoken observers of our political evolution into a pseudo-democratic nation, is our shared hypocrisy in reacting to outcomes of predictable public issues. This can be seen, most recently, in our responses to the outcome of Ekiti governorship election. In this build-up to the next presidential election, I have personally transformed from being an uncompromising idealist into being an unequivocal realist. You will recall I even wrote, frustrated, in my Friday column at one point, to congratulate Goodluck Jonathan as 2015 President-elect – a year in advance!

What happened in Ekiti is a mere restatement of our tragedy as a nation, where a politician is seen as Santa Claus and thus his primary duty, when elected, comprises uninterrupted three-square meals on the table of every voter and a constant flow of gifts in kind and cash. Realistically, this is an expectation impossible to maintain. Worse yet, not only is this the genesis of corruption in government presenting a ready-made excuse for mediocrity and underdevelopment, it’s a nightmare for even the most honest of populists because one’s faith in one’s ideals (a belief that votes can be vehicles for change just by their nature, by their use) is shaken and one is at the gates of a dangerous but luring cynicism. Yet, that Santa Clausism is the form of politics the people desire and a man, a politician, who comes to the arena with better plans for solid development, will be punished for his foolishness of NOT being Santa Claus.

Reading the commentaries of Ekiti people in the past week, I have learnt that the outgoing Governor, Kayode Fayemi, despite holding Town Hall meetings with the grassroots and setting up welfare system to cater for the old, was still perceived as “elitist” in having his government dominated by “technocrats”, some being “non-indigenes”. He has hired these last instead of hiring the “actual politicians” to assist him in entrenching the principles of prebendal politics. Outgoing Governor Fayemi is also “unpopular” with the political philanthropy-awaiting masses and threatened school teachers. He is also “insensitive”, perhaps because his “modernist” approach to developing Ekiti was seen as unbearable by parents who think the new tuition fees of the state university are unreasonable and unaffordable, and by farmers who think his agricultural policy is a scam, by maybe even job-seekers who think his employment scheme is a gimmick. These are all detailed in a feature on the Ekiti election by my good friend, Femi Owolabi, for The Scoop NG. He reported a voter saying: “(PDP runs) a ‘chop make I chop government’. Money didn’t flow well in (Fayemi’s) government… APC is now pumping in money at the die (sic) minute to election.”

But I forgive the masses. Our politicians undermine the conditions of their unschooled and hungry followers, schooled and unemployed followers, poor and hopeless followers, the enterprising and economically unfortunate followers and even the sick and the destitute, as well as the financially handicapped illiterates and dropouts who in turn are to rely on these same politicians’ policies. There’s something not quite right, something incestuous and sad about this–this is what Achille Mbembe called “the politics of death”.

The current politicians wouldn’t have been faulted if their understanding of populism wasn’t limited to distributing food items while the chunks of their budgets are invested in their private businesses. We inherited a structurally flawed system with a particular class unfairly subjugated and taken for granted by the political establishment. Members of this class are the countrymen whose only dividends of democracy are the “gifts” they receive from the politicians in exchange for their votes every election year. They exchange this great abstract value for a far less but real value, a sack of rice for example, because they’re hungry and a hungry man is an irrational man. And the politicians in turn, elected to redeem the welfare of the masses, deliberately avoid doing so simply to keep them dependent and asking for handouts. This is our present lockstep. Dear countrymen, dear masses, the blunt truth is that these “gifts” you are being given were paid for with your own public funds or are otherwise the proceeds of an abandoned or inflated community contract. It is your loss when a politician who tries to match the value of your vote with an equal value in infrastructure is shown the way out. “Stomach infrastructure” lasts only so long as the next trip to the toilet. And imagine how many trips to the toilet you, poor benighted masses, will undergo in contrast to the FOUR years of looting your vote gives the politician. Understand this and see how benighted you are!

But more than anything, I’m happy that our wisdom has been restored by the outcome of Ekiti governorship election, with more people finally becoming realist analysts of our politics. I have been interacting, debating and arguing, screaming myself hoarse, just to highlight that Nigeria is bigger than our blogs. Perhaps the urban middle-class is coming around to my long stated position? The politician as a Santa Claus is the only image the masses have of a “good politician”. Speeches and promises and the urban middle classes pseudo-intellectual “surutu” are a waste of their time. And as much as I respect the decision of the people of Ekiti State who, under the sun, with branded bags of rice waiting for them at home, voted for their choice candidate, I have a question for some of us activists: would the voters have taken Ayo Fayose serious if he had not spoken the language of the masses, which is the provision of items for “stomach infrastructure?”

So, what next for APC? APC, to some, is “old wine in new bottle”, but being the first time the opposition emerges with the strength to put the incumbent government on its toes, I am, as a citizen unimpressed with the status quo, willing to settle for another shape of bottle over the old one now no longer convenient to carry! This is the peak of my realism as a citizen in search of the “fresh air”. I think this is the time for the opposition, for whom I have sympathy, to play politics beyond impracticable idealism. APC needs, for the coming election, a presidential candidate with street credibility, identifiable by the masses: a Buhari or an Atiku or any member with their clout. These are brands that don’t need re-introduction to the masses, being one-time Head of State and Vice President respectively. As for the personality of these two, I’ve my opinions, favourable and damaging in respects. But I am firm in my belief that with a well-built party structure, especially at the grassroots, they can be rebranded and managed for the greater Nigerian good. Our politically immaturity is so pronounced that if a visionary Fashola emerges as APC presidential candidate today, with his thoroughly modern ideology, and stands against a rugged James Ibori, whose pocket is big and intention destructive, Fashola will lose in a free – and (un)fairly induced – election. It’s that simple, that brutal.

There is another problem though: a huge number of our political analysts see alignment with, and sympathy for, a political cause as compromising, because they confuse neutrality with objectivity. It’s absolute self-deception to say that you’re neutral in choosing the side to promote between the oppressed and the oppressor, especially when the oppressive incumbent has failed the people, is unresponsive to apolitical activism and deaf to the clamouring for a progressive society. So, to say that I’m neutral in my political choices means I have no sense of perception at all, knowing that this crucial decision determines my well-being as a citizen. Objectivity, to me, is one’s ability and wisdom to criticise his own when they err and others when they oppress him and his.

Also, in their analyses of third-world democracy, our writers have shown an absolute ignorance of practicable political idealism. Which is why, as they condemn Bola Tinubu as a “thief and nothing but a thief,” they cannot name an alternative capable of ousting the GEJ-led opposition forces. While they promote an impracticable idealism in their pursuit of stainless political saints, they should be prepared to be “ruled” by GEJ again from 2015. It’s that simple.

We, the urban middle-class activist potential pressure group, have no option than a stratagem to get the existing members of the establishment competing to serve us–to compete to offer us the better, the best deal, for our votes. We must ally to remind them that unless rural community developments and the welfare of the urban masses too are given the same attention as building bridges and installing streetlights in our cities, only money and of course “rice”, not promises, can get you votes from this manipulated class, largely based in villages remembered only in election years.

This is why we need to get off our bums. And the price for victory, whether by the PDP or APC establishment, will not, must not, be mere bags of rice. We must demand bridges and free trade zones, specialist hospitals and quality education. I am a political realist, I will be bribed but I will be bribed only with something concrete, like roads and hospitals and electricity, not bags of rice and maggi. And this is a message to the political elite, the Establishment–Gimba Kakanda will be at the forefront of a new block with new demands. If you want my vote and my block’s vote, come and negotiate–we speak the language of civil engineering works and economic infrastructure. That is the return on my political education over the last months. And political education isn’t acquired in classrooms, it’s acquired in our ability to strip ourselves of polarising sentiments in making political choices.

We must quit thinking that “third-world” politics is all about writing “deep” articles, composing tweets and writing profound Facebook posts and screaming ourselves hoarse about how things ought to be run from our AC-ed rooms and offices. For so long as we are content with screaming and writing about failed governments without struggling to infiltrate the ranks of the “laboratory politicians” whose incompetence cause these troubles, for so long we are complicit in the fall of this nation. I’m checking out. I’m taking a stand. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)