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3 Shot Dead, Journalist Shot, Many Injured At Lagos APC Campaign Kickoff |RN

Many people, including journalists, were injured by the shots that were fired.

Chinelo Obogo

There was chaos yesterday as three people were killed and many injured at the kick-off of the campaign of the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, which held at the Skypower field, GRA Ikeja, yesterday.

 

The campaign was supposed to commence at 10am but it eventually started by 12:30pm after the arrival of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and Sanwo-Olu. The national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, was absent.

Before the commencement of the event, 63 out of the 91 political parties in the country endorsed Sanwo-Olu for governor. A few minutes into Ambode’s speech, a shot was fired by one of the thugs who stood close to the music stand and it was immediately followed by multiple gunshots from party supporters and police officers as those in attendance took cover.

It could not be ascertained what led to the pandemonium, but Daily Sun observed that a fight broke out among some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), who were standing close to Alabi Pasuma’s music stand, and in the process, one of the union’s executive members, Musiliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo, was badly injured.

Despite the pandemonium and stampede caused by the gunshots, Ambode continued with his speech while accusing “the other party” of being responsible for the commotion. He appealed to Lagosians to vote for the APC to ensure continuity.

As the chaos intensified, Sanwo-Olu took over the microphone and gave a vote of thanks, but by this time, the field was almost empty. Many people, including journalists, were injured by the shots that were fired. The group political editor of The Nation newspaper, Mr. Emmanuel Oladesu, New Telegraph correspondent, Temitope Ogunbanke, and Ibile Television cameraman, Abiodun Yusuf, were among the injured.

At the time of filing this report, there was no official statement from the state chapter of the APC in response to the crisis.  (The Sun)

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APC Presidential Campaign: Buhari Deceiving Tinubu – Afenifere |RN

Buhari-meets-Tinubu
      President Muhammadu Buhari and APC Chieftain, Bola Tinubu

Samson Folarin

 

A Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has described as deceitful the declaration by President Muhammadu Buhari that his campaign would be led by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.

The spokesperson for the group, Yinka Odumakin, warned that any attempt by Buhari to avoid the presidential debate slated for next week could spell doom for his re-election bid.

Buhari, while inaugurating the APC Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja on Monday had said he was handing over the campaign to Tinubu.

He had said, “But I must also add that though we will all be deeply involved, I will like to assure the nation that I will do my part without making governance or my work to suffer. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, my co-chairman, will be fully in charge and is going to be on 24-hour vigil.

“That is to say the operational buck of this campaign stops at his table, and I therefore urge all of us in the leadership of this campaign, in the field operations, on the campaign trail and in the secretariat to consult with Asiwaju whenever guidance is needed.”

Odumakin, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone on Monday, said the statement smacked of deceit.

He said, “I think the whole thing is just to make Tinubu feel good and think he is being reckoned with. But in any case, it is said that those who don’t learn from history will repeat it.

“This confirms that there are political forces that see some personalities at desperate times as people they can just toy with and once they dangle some carrots before them, there will be no problem.

“But if he tries to avoid the debate, it cannot work. Nigerians will not be wise to vote for anybody that is not ready to debate.”   (Punch)

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2019: Kidnappings, Killings, Hardship Not Enough Reason To Vote Out Buhari – Sani, ACF Scribe

As the 2019 general elections approach, Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has said kidnappings, killings and economic hardship in the land are not enough reasons to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari at the coming polls.

Sani noted that even in advanced countries where democracy is being practised, bombings and killings cannot be ruled out, and citizens of such countries never called for dethronement of their Presidents. The ACF scribe therefore called on Nigerians to be patient with Buhari and give him a second chance to take the country to the promisedland. He spoke to NOAH EBIJEin Kaduna.

Sir, how has our country, Nigeria fared in the past year 2018, considering the fact that it witnessed a lot of challenges like kidnappings, bombings and killings by Boko Haram and herdsmen?

Nigeria has been going through challenges just like any other growing nation. And the government is trying its best to overcome the challenges. Such challenges should bring about purposeful leadership and the best in every one rather than frustrations. This is noteworthy considering that order, justice, liberty, peace, common decency and prosperity for all, are never natural order of things but attained through ceaseless hardwork by both leaders and the led.

This government inherited many of these challenges and there was even prediction by some group in America that the country would reach a tipping point by 2015, and the government promised to tame some of the challenges. The government is now three and half years old, it is therefore left for fair minded and public spirited Nigerians to do the fact-check and know whether the fight against Boko Haram has yielded positive results by way of reduction of spread and frequency of attacks or not, whether killing of high profile Nigerians has reduced or not compared to the past or not, as well as noting whether there are consciously directed efforts to tame kidnapping and killings by gunmen compared to the past or not. The records should inform judgement of Nigerian voters during elections.

I say so because challenges are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living. And that explains why there are still reports of killings by gunmen in developed democracies, including America that is 241 years old, and the fact that people rate their leaders on the basis of effectiveness of consciously directed efforts at overcoming the challenges. Nigerians should use the records for informed judgement during elections.

How worried are you that Nigeria is rated as the 3rd world most terrorised country?

Whatever level of worries does not result in wiping away terrorism in Nigeria but what is required has to do with consciously directed efforts to reduce the challenges substantially. I have stated that these challenges predate this regime, which promised to tame them. Whether Nigeria is number one, number two or number three among terrorist nations is beside the point. It is the efforts by the government at taming the menace that should concern most Nigerians as to whether there are notable improvements or not.

There is no doubt that there is economic hardship in the land, and people are blaming it on bad leadership. What do you think is the way out because some people have already concluded to vote out President Buhari in 2019 as the only way to solve the problem of hardship?

The complaints by Nigerians of failure of leadership is not new. Even developed countries complain of failure of leadership. This is precisely because however developed a country is, there would still be people who would suffer from poverty, since no nation can wipe out poverty completely. Recall the import of what Jesus Christ told Judas that “the poor would always be with you”. And that is why multi party democracies provide for people to retain performing leadership and vote out feckless leaders at specified periods.

This government inherited an economy that was in shambles that made the president to admit he almost considered abdication. The recession was foretold by the trio of Soludo, Sanusi and Ngozi Iweala which explained the setting in of the recession in the third quarter of 2015.

The government has exited the recession and trying to diversify the economy starting from agriculture and solid minerals. These cannot be a day’s job. But it is left to Nigerians to decide whether the efforts have yielded enough improvement over those of the past or not.

Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi and Chairman, Northern Elders Council (NEC), Ahaji Tanko Yakassai have reportedly and respectively kicked against the re-election of President Buhari. These are founding members of ACF and elder statesmen who are supposed to stand firmly with ACF. Do you think ACF membership will ever be the same again?

I hope you are aware of the fact that the two groups of Northern Elders Forum and Northern Elders Council were formed because they thought ACF was not politically partisan enough. ACF has been political on issues most northerners share but not partisan. This is because membership of ACF cuts across partisan lines, and any partisan disposition on the part of ACF would be counter productive. More so that the North is hardly one when it comes to partisan politics right from first republic through second republic to the current dispensation. And given the nature of partisan politics, you may wish to note that NEF is in factions where the one led by Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, Paul Talfa and co have endorsed President Buhari while Ango’s faction has passed vote of no confidence on the present regime.

What is more, most members of other fora and platforms in the North belong to ACF which serves as umbrella body. For example, Prof Ango has been a member of ACF and contested Chairman of NEC with Coomasie and was later made the chairman of the ACF’s political committee. It is not long ago that we started hearing him declaring ACF a rival of his Northern Elders Forum. Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has not resigned his membership of BoT of ACF. He has even resigned from partisan politics. I am therefore sanguine that after the topsy-turvy of the electioneering campaigns and temper comes down, most of them will be active members of ACF again. There is no cause for alarm. What has happened is a result of nature of partisan politics.

There are reports that a bill for change from presidential system of government is being considered in the National Assembly. What is your take on it?

I am not sure if the problems of this country have something to do with structure of the country or form of government. This is because we have tried the parliamentary system during the first republic and jettisoned it as feckless. We tried military dictatorship and said it was aberration, and now we are trying the presidential system, which we say is expensive. But when we consider the fact that all these models have worked in some other climes, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our problems are inability to manage our national resources prudently and not structure or form of government. See how Lagos state is performing creditably under the same structure and form of government, which some groups believe are not workable. I am therefore more in favour of effective and efficient management of our national resources which come with integrity and credibility devoid of corrupt practices that have collapsed our national ideals, moral values and of our sense of what is right and what is evil.

What is your view about the effect of the president’s refusal to sign the amended electoral bill on the coming elections?

The President has his own reasons for withholding his assent to the bill, one of which is the time factor that does not allow for proficiencies in exclusive use of electronic voting that include electronic transmission of results amid prevalent hacking. He would prefer there is enough time for INEC to master exclusive electronic voting before it is put to use, which cannot happen now. He seems to have a case there. The President also does not want fusion of votes of political parties that have not merged. He may want political parties to merge and promote true multiparty democracies based on distinct manifestos as against the current practice that are devoid of ideology that inspire defections.

Other areas of concern is ECOWAS protocol which does not make for any amendment less than 90 days to the day of the elections.

And so, given those observations and the fact that the current electoral act sired by opposition PDP which claims credible elections in 2015, I think there should be no qualm for its use in 2019. But if wishes were horses, I would have preferred a situation where the two arms of government should come together and single out the card reader for inclusion in the electoral act. This is because INEC has already mastered the use of card reader and the only draw back is its lack of legalization.

What was your reaction to Gov El-Rufai’s committee’s recommendations to the ruling party on restructuring?

Though Governor El-Rufai is a member of Northern States Governors Forum, a member of the ruling party and may have the ears of the President, I do not think the committee consulted the North on this serious issues of far reaching reforms of the polity that include recommendations for resource control, scrapping of local government, merger of some states and introduction of state police. That report cannot be outcome of consultations across the North. This is because the term restructuring means different things to different people, and those who want restructuring that will allow different sections to develop at different pace are those who want unbridled inequality to push the country to a tipping point.  (The Sun)

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South West Will Vote For Buhari In 2019, Says Ayo Arise|The Republican News

Why South West will vote for Buhari in 2019 – Ayo Arise

 

A chieftain of the All progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ayo Arise, has said that the South West  zone will vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections. In this interview with WILLY EYA, he spoke on various issues.

It is two months to another round of general elections and there is a heightened political tension in the country now; what are your thoughts ahead of the 2019 poll?

Looking at what is on ground and the efforts of the incumbent government and the lackluster campaign of the opposition, it looks to me that the election is going to be what the Americans call a home run. I have my reasons. Maybe the master strategy and masterstroke that the APC as a party adopted ab initio, their social services to the poor have virtually made members of the opposition to panic with some actually saying it is like bribing the electorate. That is the kind of panic that I have seen that shows that this government is actually working. Every government around the world that has been so popular has always done so. I will take you back to immediately after the Second World War or shortly before that, during the reconstruction when President Roosevelt started what he called the social security benefits; in the process, he introduced the post stamps to those people who could not feed themselves. The idea was for them to go to the post offices and collect stamps and they could feed free in America. Something similar to that is what the APC has done to the poor in our society. Not only do they give the elderly, the very poor, they give them stipends to live on. It might be poor but there is a difference between zero and something.

The APC has done so much for the poor in our society by giving them something to feed themselves and to have hope that tomorrow will be better. They have gone beyond that. The niche is the ‘Trader moni’ programme. It is actually given in the form of a loan but is interest-free to encourage people to develop themselves and as soon as they pay back, the money is increased and the person could have 100 per cent once he pays back the initial money. How do you want to tackle that in any society? Roosevelt was not only popular, he did four terms as president.

As a matter of fact, the man was on a wheelchair. So, the APC has continued to do things for the poor people and that is where the PDP has no response. When the President came out to say that he would not allow what they did to him to happen to another person, it is that he is so confident of what he has done. Anyway you look at it, whatever grammar and noise you make, the social services to the poor have achieved a lot and the politics of the APC is working the talk. But it is very painful for those who are making easy money in Nigeria. In this dispensation, there is no free money anywhere. It is being ploughed back to those who require survival in the society and the money could go round the people. So, I support the APC and their programmes.

Our people are prepared for this election more than three years ago unlike the PDP that are struggling for votes two months to the election. You can see all the programmes of the party. Some are three years old, some two and some even recently, and looking at all of these, I want to say that 2019 is going to be a homerun election for the APC. If you look at the geographical configuration, you find out that even if the South East will vote for the APC because of the PDP vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi for whatever reasons, you find out that that zone has been effectively neutralized by the votes that will come from the South West. Don’t forget that almost all the South West states now have APC governors. Forget about all the noise in some quarters; the moment you allow a stranger to occupy your house and you do not have a house to go back to, you. are finished. The South West will vote for Buhari.

You talked about a lackluster campaign by the opposition but many people feel it is the other way round and that they are not seeing much of the APC campaigns; is it a matter of strategy or what? Again, what would you say to those who hold the view that some of the social investments your party is embarking on now like the ‘Trader Moni’ programme are like vote-buying ahead of the election.

It is just a question of looking for excuse. Those people who are complaining know the programme of the APC ab initio and were here when N500 billion was allocated for that purpose some two or three years ago. Why you see all these is because they have not been able to respond to most of these policies to make any impact in the coming election. The government started with the N-power and would you now say that because of the fear of what the opposition would say, you stop such a programme that is good for the people. Or would you say because the PDP is complaining, you would not give the poor people money that sustains them? Would you say that because the PDP might call it bribery, you would stop giving loans to the traders? There are so many things that are going on that you can see but it is only lazy people who do not want to work for their money that are complaining. I am talking about those who are used to free money and stealing. I have always encouraged everybody to work for his money; this country will move faster than waiting for free money. I was part of the PDP when I was at the National assembly and I had my voice and supported everything that was progressive. So, for me it is not an issue of waking up overnight and now saying this. I started from the Alliance for Democracy; that is my own background. Politics is about caring for the people; it is not about making money.

You sound very optimistic about the APC winning the election but unlike in 2015, the two major candidates are both from the Fulani tribe in the North and of the same Muslim faith, don’t you think that it is going to be a tough battle?

Some people are of the view that former President Jonathan lost because the election was between a Christian and a Muslim and a Northerner versus a Southerner but they have forgotten that in 2011, all those were not considered before Jonathan was elected. Some people compare Buhari to Atiku but let me tell you, if Buhari goes to any state in the North, it is always a lockdown; I have never seen that level of followership before. Even before the social investment programmes that the government has been executing, if you saw the followership, you would marvel. It is not an issue of where a candidate comes from but that of what do we want as Nigerians. If Buhari is able to do what he has done so far, imagine if he stays four more years and he now moves the power generation to 10000 megawatts or more than that. Look at our foreign reserve! Where were we in 2015? Look at the agricultural sector! We are looking for a country that would care for everybody.

In the area of security, remember that in 2015, we were already getting jittery that Boko Haram was coming to the Southern part of the country. Today, Boko Haram is contained in the North and most of the local governments where the sect hoisted its flags before have been fully recovered by the Nigerian Army.

What is your take on the order of the Nigerian Army for the Amnesty International to quit the country following its report that about 3500 Nigerians have been murdered under this administration? I listened to both sides and the Army spokesperson said they recommend their relocation from Nigeria. It is not the military that should tell them to move out of Nigeria. The woman who spoke on Channels for the Amnesty International said they never got any clarification from the military even though they made attempts to do so. She said that when there was a response from the Benue State government, they had already written their report. It is good for people to continue to do their work but when there is exaggeration of statistics based on probably rumour, it is wrong. So, I think the reaction by the military was in anger because they do not have the right to order the Amnesty International to relocate from the country. When you are wrongfully accused, there is a tendency for you to get angry and upset.

What would you say about the president declining to assent to the Electoral bill? Do you agree with those who insist that President Buhari did that because he does not want a free and fair election in 2019?

I have listened to so many people on the Electoral bill. In that bill, a section says 90 days notice is required and in another section on the same thing, 41 days is required; how would you now say you should go and pass an act that has such an obvious conflict. The president has an Attorney General who would look at it and luckily enough, he has a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as his vice. What would you imagine would happen if people go to court if they find the obvious conflict in the act? So, when people trivialize this, I started wondering what is the problem. That is the way we trivialize everything in the country. Most of the people in the National Assembly, on individual basis, we are friends and most of them who have even moved back to the PDP are people that I know but I am saying that if people defected from the party that voted them in, they should forfeit their seats.   (The Sun)

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How PDP Can Win 2019 Presidential Election – Primate Ayodele |The Republican News

The Spiritual Leader of INRI Evangelical Church, Lagos State, Primate Elijah Ayodele has said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar will find it difficult to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 polls. He said PDP would not be able to stop Buhari from winning the 2019 election because the party refused to do the right thing. According to Ayodele, he had warned the PDP to give the presidential ticket to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. In this interview conducted by VERA WISDOM-BASSEY, Ayodele still maintains that it’s only Saraki that can unseat Buhari, while pointing out how Atiku can win among other national issues.

What is the hope of the common man in Nigeria?

The government has nothing for the common man in Nigeria, that is what I see, the common man is just nothing before them. I call on the leaders to be closer to God; to be sustained and survive.

Shouldn’t the big churches come to the rescue of the people?

All those big churches are supposed to have hospitals where they should treat Nigerians free, but it seems their own market is more expensive than the government’s. The churches are making life difficult for the people, especially the big churches, in the sense that they request for money from their members, and these members cannot afford two square meal.

How can the government improve the economy?

Why not put the right people to plan the economy. It should be planned for the common man. As it stands now, if any state pays N30,000 as minimum wage, the economy will shut down. One of the things affecting the economy is the oil wells, why is the oil-rig given to the individual? Why not let each state manage it and if they don’t manage it well then, they are on their own. There are talks about recovered looted funds, where is the recovered looted fund? What are they using it for? Let the recovered looted funds be used appropriately, all these are not happening. They may say it’s given to state governors, who are the state governors? What of the monthly allowances they collect?

Are we still going to see an anointed leader emerge in February?

I am still saying it, there is nobody that God cannot use, and the person I am still saying is Saraki. The election is going to bring more problems. If Buhari wins, there is going to be more problems, not APC or PDP or any political association is our problem now. At the moment, we are in problem, they are all confused on what to do.

After the election, there is still going to be more problems, after Buhari’s government, what will happen next is a serious agitation for break up, there will be too many people to contend with. There will be an argument on zones, this one will say this is our zone and that is our zone, the world is watching on what has been threatening the unity of Nigeria, Nigeria’s unity is under threat.

Amnesty International was asked to move out of Nigeria by the military as a result of a report they gave, do you think this is right for us as a country?

Let us not trouble ourselves on Amnesty International because there is still going to be another body that will still fight Buhari’s government. And there is still going to be trouble in IDP camps as a result of the outbreak of disease that will ravage the people there.

Do you think the election will be free and fair?

There will be a free and fair election.

What is the future for Nigeria?

God is the future of Nigeria.

Buhari said this year will be tougher than last year, what will happen to an average Nigerian?

Even if it’s not Buhari that will win, any other person that enters there will still find it tough. That is why we have to set aside January 14 for prayers.  (The Sun)

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2019: Niger State PDP Receive 4,500 APC, PDM Defectors |The Republican News

 

John Adams, Minna

 

The People Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State on Friday received a big boost ahead of next month’s general election as it received 1,500 members of the People Democratic Movement (PDM

) from Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state.

The entire structure of the party in 11 wards in Chanchaga collapsed into the PDP with it 1,500 members.

The defectors were led by the local government chairman of the party, Hon. Suleiman Alhassan and were received by the PDP chairman in the local government, Hon. Jamilu Saidu in a ceremony in Minna on Friday at the party local government secretariat.

This is coming barely one week after the PDP chairman in the state, Alhaji Tanko Beji, received no fewer than 3,000 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from Edati local government who defected into the party.

Speaking on behalf of the defectors, the chairman of PDM in Chanchaga local government, Hon. Suleiman Saidu, said their decision to pitched their tent with the PDP was borne out of their conviction that the party was the only one that had the capacity to bring all Nigerians together for peace and development irrespective of their ethnic and religious differences.

Hon. Saidu said the four years APC government had taken the country ten years backward in all aspects of human development, pointing out the country was more divided along ethnic and religious lines than ever.

“This government has succeeded in causing sharp division among Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines. It has also failed to handle the security challenges in the country today.”

According to him, the peaceful conduct of PDP primaries across the country and the confusion that greeted other parties after their primaries, was a clear indication that PDP remained the largest and with the capacity to take the country to the promise land.

“PDP is the only party that can guarantee peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians, regardless of ethnic and religious differences.

“It is the only party that has the interest of the masses at heart, that can reduce the current unemployment and hardship in the country, and that is why we decided to join the party.”

He assured the party that he and his co-defectors would work assiduously to ensure total victory for PDP candidates at all levels in the forthcoming elections.

Receiving the defectors amidst cheers and jubilations at the party secretariat, the Hon. Saidu assured them that the party would carry them along, stressing that “our umbrella is big enough to accommodate everybody whether new members or old members.”

He reminded them that PDP would go into the election fully prepared and would protect their votes from the polling units to the final collation centres.

“We will protect our votes with our last blood from the polling units to the final collation centre; we will resist any attempt to manipulate people’s mandates because the only thing left for them now is to rig the election.    (The Sun)

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Buhari Surrounded By Rogues, Says Bakare |The Republican News

Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be a clean man surrounded by rogues; after some Nigerians alleged that some of those around him are dipping their hands in the national treasury.

Baker also said Buhari did not appoint ministers for six months because there was no money to pay them.

In an interview aired by Heritage Media, in Calgary, Canada, on Tuesday, monitored by TheCable, the cleric criticised Buhari’s appointment of those he described as square pegs in round holes.

“In Nigeria, what I have found out is we put square pegs in round holes, and round pegs in square holes. For example, the person in charge of Budget and (National) Planning is a lawyer.

“What experience has he gotten other than federal character? You can begin to look at each ministry the same way and, in the civil service, that is supposed to be the memory bank of government, they’ve promoted mediocrity

“What percentage of our annual budget goes into education, and what percentage has gone into grass cutting and cutlery?

“When it was made public that there were no sufficient drugs in the Aso Villa clinic, the nation should have known where their health is,” Bakare said.

The cleric said former President Olusegun Obasanjo had the best cabinet, with the best and brightest minds from across the world, adding that Buhari has not been able to do same because of his political party.

“The allegations by the Nigerian public is that those around the president are also stealing, and some names have been mentioned.

“You cannot be a clean man surrounded by rogues, if you don’t deal with those rogues, they would colour you with the same tar.

“Development under President Buhari has been slow because, as he said, he inherited an empty treasury.”   (The Sun)

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