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BREAKING: N5bn Loot In DSS By Buhari’s Relatives Bursted, Whistblower Goes Public |RN

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By Ike A. Offor,  Editor

This is a grand scale corruption that has been busted in the DSS, the Department of State Secret Service.  The five-men gang, also known as the Aso Rock cabal are involved in the looting of N5bn, which was initially slated to be double the amount until the unfortunate sacking of DSS Chief, Lawan Daura by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The name of the whistleblower is Mr Jackson Ude, who is not in Nigeria and now wanted by the DSS to secretly come into the country to investigate the DSS treasury without going public to avoid them being exposed in this critical time of the election.

 

According to Mr Ude, the DSS want him to fly into Nigeria any day or anytime and he would be given unfettered access to the DSS account department to scrutinise their finances .

The four family members of President Buhari who are involved in this grand case of corruption are the ex-Chief of DSS, Mr Lawan Daura,  Babagana Kingibe, Abba Kyari and Isa Funtua and Mamma Daura.

 

According to Mr Jackson Ude, these five men have also vowed to make sure that Buhari is returned back to power in this next Saturday election. This obviously is to help them be in charge and permit them more time and years to loot more.

They do not want the whistleblower to go public citing obvious national security but Mr Ude has refused bluntly and wants to drop the ball on them.

According to Mr Ude, he has been called thrice in a day by the DSS and he said that they are panicking because they know that he has detailed information about the scandal in the agency and they obviously do not want him to go public with his facts.

At some point the DSS via the Director of Operations want to know who is paying him to expose them. The DSS claimed that he is jeopardising the national security and heating up the polity especially now during the elections.

Few months before the former DSS Chief was sacked by the Acting President, he had prepared the budget for the DSS and he created a special package for the operation of the secret police for the 2019 general elections.  Perhaps, a ploy to embezzle this said amount using a false secret police operation unit.

 

Lawan Daura requested  for N10 billion to be spent by the DSS for the elections. Initally, Mr Lawan wanted N7bn but Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua asked him to inflate it to N10bn. He did inflate it to amount they requested and the N10bn budget was approved.

Not long after the budget was approved, Mr Lawan and DSS incident of invasion of the Senate caused the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to axe him.  This created a problem for the five-men gang, who now have a problem on how to extricate their loot from the accounts of the agency.

 

 

The sacking of Mr Lawan by Yemi Osinbajo got the cabal very angry because this has made it difficult for them to remove their loot from the DSS budget as previously planned.  Also, if someone else who is not the original clique to the plan takes over the leader of the DSS, it will be impossible for them to take the money out.

When the Bayelsa-born Matthew Sayeifa was appointed, the cabal never wanted him to last in that position because they had their eyes on the N10bn loot. So, they did everything to get him sacked as soon a Buhari, who was on medical vacation in London returned back to Aso Rock.

Few weeks back, Mr Lawan Daura launched a plan and made a move to get a cut from the N10bn and he made the request to the current DSS DG Bichi and was rebuffed. He then went to the trio Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua who then summoned Bichi and demanded for the loot.

DSS Boss, Bichi still put up a resistance but Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura and exerted more pressure on him. Helpless Bichi finally agreed to offer them N2bn. The trio refused bluntly rather asked for N5bn. Mr Bichi caved in and directed the release of N5 billion to the cabal. They smiled away with N5bn meant for the election budget for the DSS.

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Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura have all shared the N5 billion leaving the entire DSS with only N5 billion for election operations.

The current DSS boss, Mr Bichi is threatening to resign due to this scandal. The rank and file of the agency are all grumbling .

The top officers are doing their best to suppress the story to avoid destroying the morale of the DSS officers.

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Buhari Will Score More Votes In 2019 Than In 2015, Says Mohammed Lawal |RN

 

 

Director-General of Buhari Movement.com, Mohammed Lawal has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in next Saturday’s presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari is going to score higher votes than he did in 2015, to defeat the then incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking with VINCENT KALU, the former Deputy Director of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, emphasised that the ethnic groups that adopted Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have no electoral value.

Seven days to the elections, what are your expectations?

I want to congratulate in advance Nigerians on re-electing President Muhammad Buhari next Saturday. In the same vein, I also congratulate the president on his efforts that made his victory possible.

In this victory, everybody is a winner, no victor, no vanquished. He is not going to victimise anybody who abused him either in the social media or the mainstream media.

The whole country is his constituency and everywhere is his home and he is going to show love to all. People should dissuade the rumour that is gaining ground that he is going to victimize and chase people around. He is not going to hound anybody. He will extend more hands of love, even more to the opposition. He will like a strong opposition that can put him on his toes in order to work and deliver good governance.

He will be magnanimous in victory; he will carry everybody along, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the leaderships of NEF, Afenifere, Ohanaeze, PANDEFF, Middle Belt Forum, and the retired military generals. He wants everybody to come under the same roof to take the country to the next level.

There is no doubt that Buhari will win this election with landslide. We are mobilising to ensure that people turn out enmasse, especially my state, Zamfara, where there are security challenges. This time around, the number of votes the president will have will be almost doubled to what he scored in 2015.

Through my organisation, Buhari Movement.com, we have been doing realistic poll, which is not biased or sentimental; we have discovered that more voters are following Buhari than in 2015. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that the number of registered voters increased by about 14 per cent.

Depending on the massive voters mobilisation campaign we are embarking, I’m assuring you that the figures will be about 15 million votes to Atiku’s 7 million, and if we increase the tempo of our mobilisation, it could be 20 million for Buhari and less than 3 million for Atiku, with a margin of five per cent.   

Based on the percentage of voters in the six geo-political zones, Buhari will score 90 per cent votes in the Northwest; in the Northeast, he will get 75 per cent; in the North central, give APC about 55 per cent; in the Southwest, it is about 80 per cent, in the Southeast, give Buhari about 30 per cent and in the South-south, Buhari will score about 25 per cent. These translate to 15 million votes for Buhari, and about 7 million for Atiku. That is the way it is going to be, and in order to buttress what I have said, there are two states in the country, Kano and Lagos, whose total voters represent about 20 per cent of total votes in this country, and these states are traditionally, strongly APC states. Kano is Buhari, and Lagos is Tinubu. Look at what is happening; if you go to Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Niger, Zamfara, etc, these are traditionally states for Buhari.

That is why I have congratulated the president in advance because he is already coasting home to victory.

Williams and Associates, the United States-based polling firm predicted in 2015 that Buhari would win Jonathan with 54 per cent to 46 per cent, and it came to pass. It has also predicted that Atiku will win with 45 per cent to Buhari’s 33 per cent. How can you reconcile your position with this?

The indices are not the same; the complexity of 2015 and that of 2019 is entirely different, so we should not be deceived by that foreign poll. In 2015, what led to that victory was realistic. Now, what are the indices that the foreign firm used to arrive at their result?

Did they forget what Buhari has done in this country, decimating Boko Haram, fighting corruption head on, and carrying out massive infrastructural development, and he has aligned with the common people in this country.

He always aligns with the common people; if he sees a common man being oppressed, he would rise in his defence; that is the Buhari’s covenant with the common people of Nigeria, and he has endeared himself to their hearts and that is why they are following him. What we do is to make sure that our votes count and the common people are allowed to vote.     

Let us be realistic, the indices in 2015 are quite different from that of 2019, how can the foreign firm see what we here are not seeing. I never believed until now that there are interest groups in America, Europe that are working to the destabilisation of Nigeria. The case of Justice Walter Onnogen is a pointer. If a government functionary no matter how low tells lies, not to talk of Chief Justice of Nigeria that million of dollars were found in his bank account; if it were in America and European countries, he would have been jailed straightaway but Americans and other European countries are defending the CJN and saying that President Buhari acted in error, and they think we are foolish. Must we continue to keep quiet when things that are happening can jeopardise the integrity of the Judiciary?     

If the same firm that predicated Atiku’s victory has relationship with the firm that collected $2 million to facilitate the former vice president’s entry into the US, I’m not surprised. They can do the same to this firm to say that Atiku was going to win.

You are talking of Buhari winning the election, but regional organisations, including the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt Forum and Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) have adopted Atiku

These organisations you have mentioned, are they the ones going to vote? It is the common people who are going to vote. It is not Ohanaeze, NEF, Afenifere, Pandef, and Middle Belt personalities that are going to vote.

It is not a question of making noise on the pages of newspapers, what is their electoral value? The leaderships of these organisations don’t have electoral value; individually, none of them has electoral value.

The electoral value of former governors of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, and his integrity is far greater than the members of NEF, and he is supporting Buhari.

The Obi of Onitsha, HRH, Achebe made one of the statements I ever heard about Buhari; his integrity is higher than that of Ohanaeze leadership, and he can mobilise the people more than Ohanaeze.

Buhari came and changed the way things were done; he is not sharing money, and he showed the light for people to follow and that is why they are fighting him.

It’s never done not only in Nigeria, but also in other climes, that a president will tell the people to vote for a candidate of their choice. All these organisations rely on people to vote and these people are already with Buhari.

Even the governors of South East are not with the Ohanaeze that has adopted Atiku because they know what Buhari has done for the zone in four years is more than what the PDP did in 16 years. So, some of the governors are with us.

How many states does Ohanaeze have; how many states does NEF have; how many states does Afenifere have; how many states does PANDEF have, likewise Middle Belt Forum?

Out of the 36 states, APC has 24, while PDP has 11, so we can differentiate political facts from fictions. It is Buhari that the common man is going to vote for; nobody has redefined the political landscape like Buhari in the past four years.

Obasanjo and his associates have the mindset that if they don’t have their way, Nigeria will be in flames, but we are not going to allow that to happen. Look at all what he said about Atiku in his book, and he has recanted; a man who is supposed to be a statesman, people are making caricature of him; even low level people calling him 90- year old baboon, monkey. What a disgrace; that is the level he has reduced himself, a person who is supposed to be an elder statesman. To him, if he doesn’t get what he wants, Nigeria can go to hell. Should that be the position of a man of his status?

You were a deputy director in the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, in 2015, but you are not in the Buhari Presidential Council in 2019, why?

In 2015, there was a problem somewhere and I was called to solve it, as a deputy director in charge of coordinating and implementation. There were so many intrigues that the campaign council could not contain, and my friend, Shehu and I, had to manage them. Right now, I’m the DG of Buhari Movement.com; our office is in Abuja. We are giving huge supports to the presidential council and other Buhari support groups in terms of campaigns, materials, logistics, information, research, and intellectual analysis toward where and how to mobilise for votes. Most importantly, in my state, which has experienced some political turmoil, we are doing great mobilisation for the party, and it is yielding great dividend.

I’m satisfied with this new role, where I’m contributing immensely to the success of the presidential council and they so much appreciate my efforts.     (The Sun)

 

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2019 Election: US, UK, EU Again Send Tough Warning|The Republican News

■ Defy FG’s warnings; insist on free, fair polls

Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja And Linus Oota, Lafia

 

Despitethe Federal Government’s warnings that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union should desist from interfering in the nation’s internal issues, the three top players in the international community have maintained their earlier position, saying that their interest is to see free and fair elections conducted across the country next Saturday and on March 2.

They expressed their views in separate interviews with Saturday Sun between Wednesday and Friday. The United States said it supports only free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people. Responding to Saturday Sun inquiry on the forthcoming polls and its earlier statements, the United States, through its Public Affairs Section, Embassy of the United States of America, Abuja, called on every Nigerian citizen, official, political party, and members of the security forces, to support peacefully, the democratic electoral process in accordance with the Nigerian law.

Recall that the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, drew the ire of the Federal Government in their positions on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. The trio had said the timing was wrong and would send a wrong signal as far as the forthcoming polls are concerned.

Earlier, the Governnent of the United States and the United Kindgom, issued a stern warning to would-be election offenders in the forthcoming elections, threatening visa sanctions to offenders and their relatives.

“The United States supports free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people. Our message has not changed.

“The United States does not support any individual candidate or political party.  We support the democratic process and the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission in managing the elections.

“We call on every Nigerian citizen, official, political party, and member of the security forces, to support peacefully, the democratic electoral process in accordance with Nigerian law,” the United States said. It further said it looked forward to the impartial and professional activities of Nigeria’s security forces during the elections. “We welcomed the signing of the Peace Accord by leaders of the aspirant political parties and look forward to seeing that accord honored by all,” the United States further said.

This position was further reinforced on Friday by the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, who tasked the government and people of Nigeria to ensure a peaceful and credible general elections because “the world is interested and watching”.

Symington stated this in Lafia, after meeting with Mr Labaran Maku, the Nasarawa State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Noting that the responsibility of ensuring a peaceful, free, fair and credible polls rested with the government and all citizens, he said that Nigeria gained much credibility after the success of the 2015 general elections. “That election was credible; it lifted the country’s standing internationally. Nigeria must build on that because its citizens are desirous of a peaceful and credible election. All the candidates I have talked to, at all levels, have expressed the desire for a free, fair and credible elections, where all votes will count.”

According to him, peace is not just something you pledge but something that is planted and nurtured to growth using words and actions. “Truly, it’s up to each person to make a decision and take responsibility for doing what is right,” Symington said.

Also responding to Saturday Sun inquiry on its current position on the forthcoming polls, the UK, through its Senior Communications Officer, Press and Public Affairs, British High Commission, Abuja, TinuOluwa Adelegan, said the UK’s work regarding the elections; to support free, fair, credible and peaceful elections is focused on supporting the electoral process and the independent institutions. The UK further said it was working with civil societies to ensure that they are prepared to effectively monitor elections and call out problems when they see them. It added that in its advocacy role, the UK is speaking to all parties, including the two main parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), appealing to their leadership to live up to their obligations and to the peace accord.

The UK also said its appeal to all parties is that they ensure that the vote is conducted fairly and none of their supporters is involved in violence or vote buying, and ensuring that when it (UK) notices such issues, it calls them out. “We have over 100 observation groups covering the six geo political zones as part of our international election observation mission. They will be seeing the process for themselves first hand, and ensuring that all parties are behaving in a responsible way,” the UK further said.

On its part, the European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria, said its recent comments on the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was carried out in strict adherence to its code of conduct. The EU EOM denied any form of interference in the nation’s internal issues, stating that the EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process.

In response to Saturday Sun inquiry on its current position on the forthcoming elections and the accusation of interference by the government, EU Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts said: “We are aware of the comments made, but it’s important to emphasise that the EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country.

“The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999. Thus, this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria, following an invitation from INEC.  EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.”

When contacted, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, did not respond to the positions maintained by the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union, saying the Federal Government will not want to join issues with them now.           (The Sun)

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Buhari In Gombe: “I Have Fulfilled My 2015 Campaign Promises To You” |RN

 

President Mahammadu Buhari (PMB) says he has delivered on the 3 campaign promises he made to the people of Gombe State during the 2015 general election.

President Buhari, who was in Gombe with his campaign team on Saturday, assured the people of the state that corruption and corrupt government officials will be dealt with if re-elected back into office.

“I had in 2015 promised to address the then security challenges, create wealth and fight corruption as well, and today you can all bear me witness on what has happened to the lingering security challenge,” the president stated.

Speaking on wealth creation, Buhari said “we all know what has happened in our farms, as many of you have gone back to farm in your farms and that has declined our rice importation by 90 percent.”

While presenting the APC gubernatorial candidate to supporters of the party in the state at a brief ceremony that lasted anout half an hour, the President asked the people of Gombe to vote for all APC candidates in the state assuring that Gombe State will be well taken care of under APC leadership.

Alhaji Danjuma Goje, Senator Representing Gombe Central Senatorial District, told voters in the state to make their votes count “so as to avoid rigging that denied an APC victory in 2015 polls in Gombe.”

APC National Chairman Adams Oshomole remarked that the presidential election is an election between a president that has the country and its citizens at heart and a contester that is out to enrich his friends and grant amnesty to looters.

Oshomole also formally welcomed the Director General of the Gombe PDP Campaign team, Alhaji Bala Bello Tinka, among others who decamped from PDP to APC, including the former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Abdullahi Jalo (Kastik) and Ambassador Yarima Abdullahi, former Minister of Education and Nigeria’s Ambassador in Malaysia.  (The Sun)

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How Vice President Osinbajo Survived Chopper Crash In Kogi |The Republican News

A little more details have emerged regarding how the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, escape death in a helicopter crash incident in Kabba, Kogi State.

The propeller of Osibanjo’s helicopter was said to have suddenly pulled off at Kabba township stadium.

According to an eye witness account, the vice president’s helicopter had managed to land at about 2.22pm at the township stadium before the propeller of the helicopter suddenly pulled off and went flying in the air to the surprise of party faithful who had gathered to welcome him.

There was, however, no casualty.

Although, the remote cause of the accident was not known as at the time of filing in this report, it was learnt that the pilot of the helicopter might have found it difficult to land due to the dusty nature of the stadium.

Immediately the incident happened, the vice president was said to have been immediately evacuated from the scene of the incident into a waiting vehicle and was thereafter driven in a convoy of other political office holders to the palace of Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, where he paid a courtesy call on the monarch

He later addressed some party supporters at St Augustine’s College, Kabba field.

Osibanjo was billed to launch the Tradermoni scheme in Kabba and was expected to visit Okene in central part of the state as well as Idah in the eastern flank before returning to Abuja.  (The Sun)

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Umahi: ‘I Rented 2,000 Persons To Cheer Buhari In Abakaliki If Not APC’ll Be Booed

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye , Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

 

The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has disclosed how he rented 2,000 persons to beef up the crowd that came to cheer President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abakiliki Township Stadium. He said he did that to save the president from seeing empty seats because his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not on ground in the state.

He has also debunked allegations that he is paying any amount he likes to workers in the state saying that if he is doing that, he would have long been exposed in the media.

Umahi was reacting to APC gubernatorial candidate, Sonni Ogbuoji’s allegation at the presidential campaign rally at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, that Ebonyi workers have had to endure poor pay, no gratuity for retired workers and even some of them have been reduced to mere slaves that do not deserve any form of promotion.

Speaking to journalists shortly after seeing off President Muhammadu Buhari to his helicopter on his way to Calabar, Umahi denied that the 5,200 workers he inherited had been reduced to 3,200. He said rather than do that, he released the sum of N4 billion to the workers to access soft loans to help them to do any form of agricultural business of their choice. He added that he even had to allow them to use Fridays to engage in any business they prefer that would help them generate additional income.

The governor said: “You see, when they have nothing to accuse you of, they  come up with something. In the first place, the staff I met, I have never retired anyone of them and I don’t think two percent of the workforce has been retired. But I have said that there is no need to employ more people because the condition of those in service – not only in Ebonyi State but also, nationwide  – is not palatable. So you have to take care of those you have employed before you think of employing more people.

“That is why I made available N4 billion to the civil servants to take loans within a range they can pay back ; even if any of them has up to 25 years to stay in service, the loan will last for 25 years.

“I gave them Fridays free to go and do any agric business of their choice.. Because, I know there is no amount of money you will pay civil servants that will be enough for them; there is always nothing left after paying salaries for you as a governor to work with. Because, the essence of one being in government is to do something for the people; but when you use 100 percent of your earnings to pay salaries, then what are they working for? So, I devised a means whereby everyone should be doing something more useful and that is why we made available soft loan to them.

“If it’s true that I pay the civil servants anything I like, I will be on the pages of newspapers always; you know civil servants are not the type that will keep quiet. Ask them (APC members in the state) what is the GDP of the state like;; ask them the factors and indices that make up the GDP, they won’t know. I am a trained engineer and all my life I have been in business, employing thousands of people, and so I understand what governance and administration are all about.”

He described Ogbuoji as spent force who has nothing to campaign with.

The governor said as the Chairman of South East Governors Forum, he decided to organise 2,000 people to fill the stadium to welcome President Buhari  because he didn’t want him to feel he was not liked by the people of the state or the region, that has benefited from his administration’s projects.

Umahi said: “They have nothing to talk about but complaints. The last time Mr. President was here, they wrote a 15-page petition against me and Mr President said to me, don’t allow your frustration to overwhelm you. We have performed beyond human expectations and that is their problem; they have nothing to campaign with.

“When I was a deputy governor, they were all the people we helped. Then, and if you saw their venom against Mr. President when he was contesting in 2015, you would doubt the morality of human beings. So they have nothing to campaign about.”

On the allegation that he bamboozled the president, pretending to be his supporter while he was doing everything underneath to frustration his re-election bid, the governor said: “I don’t understand what they mean by support. We belong to two different political parties and so the support for Mr. President as a governor, is what we are doing.

We are not castigating Mr. President; rather, we are supporting him; that is our  support for him. We acknowledged publicly what he, Mr. President ,is doing for Ebonyi State, that is the support we are giving to him.

“Morally and ethically, I am not supposed to come out and start shouting while I’m still holding the ticket of PDP and saying ‘vote APC president.’  But there are many ways of giving support, as the chairman of South East Governors Forum; we have given Mr. President a very good landing opportunity in the South East and definitely he will have more votes that he had the other time.”

On the allegations that he initially denied the APC use of the Abakiliki Stadium, Umahi said: “The first time they wanted to use the stadium, But ;they had two factions of the party, and they were likely going to fight and destroy our property. So, I said no; they should clear with the Commissioner of Police and come up with one set of leadership so that they can use the stadium and I was going to give it to them free of charge.

“Today, not only did we give them the stadium which of course is important of  me it to give them when Mr. President is coming;, we renovated the stadium and painted the seats. We called them for a security council meeting; some of them came and we asked them what they want.

“ere Now, the crowd you saw there at the stadium, 2,000 of them were from me because I know they have nobody. But for it not to seem like Ebonyi people don’t love Mr. President, I had to make available 2,000 persons to come and cheer the president. That is why if you check the crowd, while they were castigating me unduly, the crowds were not clapping’, the people were not happy. But for the respect they have for Mr. President, they could have booed them. I had to do what I because L’m not into extreme politics; I’m into politics for development.”  (The Sun)

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Again, Obasanjo Slams Buhari, Says He’s Not A Saint |The Republican News

FormerPresident Olusegun Obasanjo has again taken President Muhammadu Buhari to the cleaners, rating him far below the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in competence.

Obasanjo who made the declaration yesterday at the Lagos Island Club Quarterly Business lecture, said unlike Buhari who paraded himself as a saint while being contrived in corrupt practices, Atiku never lied about his personality.

He said he never retracted his words on Atiku but that the former vice president “has done three things which are absolutely imperative for a leader to be followed and believed.

“First, know who you are and present yourself as you are – a human being in blood and flesh and susceptible to human mistakes and human frailties.

“Don’t cover up with sanctimonious veneer of bogus integrity, incorruptibility, uprightness, goodness and false figures and statistics, all of which are contrived to deceive, to cheat, to plunder and to destroy.

“Atiku never claimed to be a saint and I never described him as such. I will never so describe any human being alive let alone calling him a Messiah.

“On an occasion in the past when I said that someone was not a Messiah, some Nigerians out of bad ‘belle’ were up in arms.

“For me, as a Christian, the only Messiah I know and have is Jesus Christ and even then, the man aspect of Him was imperfect while the divine aspect of Him was perfectly messianic.

“Secondly, a leader must be honest to himself and to the people he serves or he wants to serve. He must identify and acknowledge his situation, mistakes, shortcomings and inadequacy; show remorse where and when he has erred, seek forgiveness and repent; and not passing the bulk or keep blaming others and fail to accept responsibility.

“Atiku accepts responsibility for his mistakes, shows remorse and seeks forgiveness from his political party and subsequently from Nigerians.

“He asks for forgiveness from me and as a believer, a Christian as such, I forgave him in accordance with the teaching and instruction of my Saviour, ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’ (Matt 6:14-15 NIV).

“If anybody blames me for forgiving Atiku, I leave such a person with God Almighty, especially as both Christian and Islamic clerics joined Atiku to visit me to seek forgiveness.

“Anybody who does not forgive when forgiveness is sought with contrite heart cannot be a true believer and should not expect the forgiveness of God.

“Thirdly, as a leader, you must understand the fundamentals of the problems you have to solve and be courageous, visionary and ready to reach out sufficiently to build a credible team of experts, knowledgeable men and women, concerned and interested citizens and non-citizens to work hard and tirelessly for solutions that will benefit all Nigerians and indeed Africans and humanity.

“He must have ability to build a credible team, lead them, listen to them and give them enough leeway to achieve and make meaningful contribution without abdicating his responsibility. He must be accessible to them. From my personal knowledge of Atiku, he has these qualities.

“I must reiterate that Atiku is not a saint and who is? But from what I know of Atiku, he will be a performer in all respects. I can say that again from my personal experience. He knows the problems and he handled some of them or similar and in the past.

“We now know that both Buhari and Atiku have issues and all of us as human beings have one issue or the other in different magnitude.

“But judging both of them empirically and for the task at hand, Atiku will perform much better than Buhari and he will seek for good and able people around the country and beyond and make use of them to achieve his mission and vision for the general good of Nigerians and the country.

“He will be a team leader but will not allow the seizure of his mandate by a cabal. A system to prevent impunity and ‘I can do what I like’ attitude and action must be put in place for all concerned.

“One of the most ridiculous claims I have heard on these issues is that I did not give Atiku chance to preside over the Federal Executive Council because I did not trust him.

“That was not correct because he had occasions to preside on a few times that I was out of the country on duty. On those occasions, he was in charge of the Federal Executive Council meetings.

“No Nigerian Chief Executive has devolved to his deputy as much as I did to Atiku. I did not need to designate him Acting President because the Constitution is clear, once the President is not available, the Vice-President automatically acts with full powers and he consults where and if he considers it necessary.

“But since I was not absent from home for 104 days at a time, people may not know that Atiku actually stood in for me whenever I was out.”

Obasanjo, however, said Atiku could not do it alone, he urged that everyone should ensure he is voted as president.

He told Atiku that if voted as next president by majority of Nigerians, he should be the leader of all and not act like the incumbent “who is serving the interest of sectional groups.”

However, the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation (BDSO), descended on Obasanjo over his continuous verbal attack on Buhari.

Its coordinator, Charles Sylvester, told newsmen in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday that the former president’s “public excoriation showed that he lacked the qualities befitting the status of a former president, such as self respect, decorum, discipline and restraint.”   (The Sun)

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