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You Made Illicit Money, Buhari Campaign Team Replies Atiku |The Republican News

                                                    Festus Keyamo

…says President has run economy well

 

Eniola Akinkuotu

The Director of Media for the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku made money through illegal means and cheating the system.

Keyamo said this during an interview with one of our correspondents on Tuesday.

He said Atiku was running private businesses as a customs officer in contravention of public service rules.

The senior advocate said Atiku’s only successful business was Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, popularly known as INTEL.

Keyamo said, “Firstly, the myth about Atiku’s business acumen is one of the biggest and fattest lies ever sold to Nigerians. He has never run a successful business. He only has one company, which is a cash cow through which he invests in other things and that company is known as INTELS.

“He acquired shares in INTELS in 1982 when he was still a customs officer which was in clear violation of the code of conduct for public officers where he acquired shares in a company that had something to do with the customs and government.

“The company is not run in a competitive manner but a monopolistic manner where all other persons are totally shut out. All governments in this country until now had been compromised by this company until now.”

He said Atiku’s university ran on public funds. He challenged Atiku to prove that the money used in running the institution was not government’s own.

Keyamo said the achievements recorded by the Obasanjo/Atiku administration were not extraordinary.

He said the boom in the telecommunications sector occasioned by the introduction of the GSM during the Obasanjo/Atiku era was not peculiar to Nigeria but happened simultaneously in many African countries.

The Buhari campaign director added that the debt forgiveness of $18bn under the Obasanjo was part of a mere G8 directive and was not limited to Nigeria.

Keyamo said although Buhari was not as rich as his opponent, the President had shown that he understood how to effectively run an economy.

The senior advocate added, “He has managed an economy effectively even in the time of economic recession occasioned by a terrible crash in oil prices. Under him, foreign reserves increased; he inspired investors to invest in critical infrastructure.

“He refused to retrench workers. He also released the biggest money so far for capital projects. In 2016, he released N1.2tn in capital releases and in 2017 they released N1.5tn despite an economic recession.”   (Punch)

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Buhari Hasn’t Run Any Successful Business Ever – Atiku |The Republican News

Buhari-Atiku2

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Preisdent Muhammadu Buhari

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

The 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of never being a successful businessman.

In a statement from his media office in Abuja on Tuesday, Atiku said, “The open, democratic and free and fair election (something alien to the APC, according to Buhari’s own wife) on Sunday of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, as the Presidential candidate for the PDP has clearly left the APC in a state of panic and confusion.

“On Sunday, the Buhari Campaign Organisation launched the first weak salvo. And on Monday, the APC’s National Publicity Secretary unleashed his own knee-jerk reaction, accusing Atiku of being desperate.

“Our response to the APC is to ask who is desperate between a Muhammadu Buhari who said, ‘If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’ and an Atiku Abubakar who said, ,‘Love and peace should not only be preached, but must also be put into practice for the sake of sustaining the peace in our land’?

“It is left for Nigerians to judge, but even a blind person can see that Nigeria has been ‘soaked in blood’ ever since she was unfortunate enough to have fallen under the leadership of a man whose words are destructive and never productive.”

In his response to the APC’s demand for Atiku’s scorecard in public office, the statement said, “Some of Atiku Abubakar’s achievements as Nigeria’s Vice President are that as head of the National Council of Privatisation, he superintended over the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 50,000 to 100 million GSM lines, has added 500,000 direct jobs to the Nigerian economy and attracted $27bn to our GDP. Our question to President Buhari and the APC is how many jobs have they created?

“Another of Abubakar’s achievements is the successful privatisation of many public enterprises that hitherto consumed government resources without yielding a profit. In response, we ask President Buhari how many loopholes in public expenditure has he plugged? The spectacular failure of the 419 Nigeria Air is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians.

“Finally, the APC spokesman had the guts to question His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar’s source of wealth.

“We wish to remind APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, that Atiku Abubakar is not like President Buhari who has never run a successful private business throughout his life.

“Unlike Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar is an expert job creator who has founded many successful and thriving businesses including the American University of Nigeria, Yola; a microfinance bank that has moved 45,000 families out of poverty and Rica Gado, a livestock feed company that has significantly reduced instances of herdsmen/farmers clashes by providing a business-friendly solution instead of asking Nigerians to give up their lands for cattle ranching or face death, as the Buhari government did.”

The statement added that unlike President Buhari, Atiku does not believe Nigerian youths are lazy. “How could he when 25,000 out of his 50,000 employees are youths,”? he asked.

It urged the Buhari Presidency and the APC to mention even one successful private endeavour that the President had successfully run.

“And by private enterprises, we are not referring to 150 cows that never increase in number, year in year out,” the statement added.    (Punch)

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2019 Presidential: Atiku Begins Search For Running Mate |The Republican News

Niyi Odebode, Olusola Fabiyi, Olalekan Adetayo, Ihuoma Chidozie, Simeon Utebor, Adelani Adepegba, Chukwudi Akasike, Leke Baiyewu, Etim Ekpimah, Olaleye Aluko, John Charles, Peter Dada, and  Justin Tyopuusu

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Sunday at the main bowl of Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, won the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Hardly did Atiku emerge as the winner than the talk of his running mate started.

Investigations by our correspondents showed that the search might have been limited to the South-East region of the country.

However, in the election, Atiku polled 1,532 votes out of total of 3,221 votes, representing almost 50 per cent of the entire delegates’ votes.

His closest rival, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State scored 693 votes, while the President of the Senate, Olusola Saraki, came third with 317 votes.

A former Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso, scored 158 votes; a former Governor of Jigawa, Sule Lamido, polled 96 votes, while a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Relations, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki (SAN) scored 65 votes.

A former National Caretaker Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, polled 74 votes; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, scored 48 votes; a former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, polled 35 votes; a former Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, scored 19  votes, while Dr Datti Ahmed scored five votes.

How Atiku won

Facts have emerged that Atiku won the primary through block votes from the South-East, some states in the South-South and North-East.

It was also gathered that there was no state in the country where Atiku did not score considerable number of votes.

It was learnt that Atiku was not the favourite of some governors in the South-South who had a soft spot for Tambuwal, to become the standard bearer of the PDP.

It was, however, gathered that the alleged gang-up against Atiku from emerging the candidate of the party was thwarted by delegates’ votes from some of the states from other regions, apart from the South-South.

The National Legal Adviser, Peoples Equality Congress for Atiku Abubakar, Mr Agu Aguma, and a leader of PEC, Chief Bestman Festus, said Atiku had proved that he was an experienced politician who understood political intrigues and horse trading.

Aguma said Atiku who knew that some persons were working against his candidacy decided to engage states without PDP governors to drive his ambition.

The legal practitioner said it was good that Atiku won the PDP primary, noting that he was the most qualified and experienced to defeat the candidate of the All Progressives Congress.

He said, “Although some interests, including governors, had wanted an alternative candidate, the programme Atiku outlined for the socio-economic development of the country, his restructuring agenda, coupled with his good plans for the youth, job creation, stood him out.”

Investigations by our correspondents revealed that nearly all delegates from Ebonyi State voted for the former Vice-President.

It was also learnt that Atiku and Tambuwal shared the votes of the delegates from Enugu State.

However, Atiku beat Tambuwal in the allocation of the votes of delegates from Imo, Abia and Anambra states, according to sources among the South-East contingent.

One of the delegates, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tambuwal’s closeness to some governors in the zone was what prevented Abubakar from recording a clean sweep of the votes of the South-East delegates.

“Most of us from the South-East cast our votes for Atiku Abubakar, I know for a fact that Ebonyi delegates voted massively for him.

“Atiku got the backing of majority of the delegates from the other states in the zone, although Tambuwal was able to record a considerable number of votes.

“One of the governors (in the South-East) has a close relationship with Tambuwal and that had a major influence on the way delegates from the state voted, otherwise Abubakar would have recorded a clean sweep of the votes from the zone,” the delegate said.

He added that alleged cash inducement of the delegates by the aspirants before the commencement of voting had no effect on the outcome of the convention.

Why Tambuwal failed

Investigations by one of our correspondents showed that Tambuwal, who had been projected to win, was rejected at the convention by the delagates because of the alleged overbearing attitude of the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives was also said to have failed to break into the ranks of the Board of Trustees of the party.

“When the BoT asked its members not to ally with any presidential candidate,  Atiku appointed some members of the board into his campaign organisation,” a member of the board told one of our correspondents.

Another source said that the insistence by Wike that the convention must hold in Port Harcourt despite opposition by some members of the National Executive Committee of the party, made those opposed to Tambuwal to increase in number.

It was learnt that some delegates and their sponsors, extended their anger at Wike to Tambuwal.

The source said, “Some believed that Wike wanted to impose a presidential candidate on the party.

“Some northern delegates met and vowed not to allow southerners to impose a candidate on them.”

A source also said that his ability to stand against the ruling All Progressives Congress and his deep purse to finance the presidential election worked for Atiku.

A top source said, “We all know that Atiku can considerably finance the campaign with little donations from party members.  We don’t think Tambuwal has such capacity.”

Search for Vice Presidential candidate begins

But hardly did Atiku emerge as the winner than the talk of his running mate started.

Investigations by our correspondents showed that the search may have been limited to the South-East region of the country.

However, some states in the five states that made up the zone might have reportedly been disqualified.

For instance, Anambra, where Senator Ben Obi who was a former running mate to Atiku hailed from, was said to have been disqualified.

The reason, according to authoritative sources, was because the state had produced two former speakers, two former presidents of the Senate, one vice president and a President.

Also, Enugu State which is a PDP-controlled state, was said to have produced a former national chairman of the PDP.

It was also reportedly argued that the state had produced the deputy president of the Senate for the past seven and half years.

For Imo State, the argument for its non-consideration was that it had produced a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and had also produced a president of the Senate.

The race, according to sources close to the party,  is between Abia and Ebonyi states.

South-West not foreclosed

However, another source said the search for a suitable running mate had not been completely taken out of the South-West.

He added that the party would not impose any candidate on Atiku, saying that the PDP would only serve as a guide, by “putting into consideration all political variables that would enable us win in 2019.”

Nigerians yearning for PDP, says Atiku

Meanwhile, in his acceptance speech, Atiku, said Nigerians were now aware of the capabilities of the APC.

The presidential candidate explained that the APC administration had mismanaged the economy of Nigeria, adding that the PDP must be more committed to the country’s growth.

Atiku expressed the need for the party to be committed to solving the challenges facing Nigeria as a country.

He said it was not enough for the PDP to identify the problems plaguing the nation, adding that there must be commitment towards resolving them.

Atiku said, “Nigerians are now yearning for the PDP to return to power because they have been able to test the APC and they know the difference. We have been able to identify the challenges afflicting the people and we must proffer solutions to them.

“It is not only one man’s job and that is why we must work together to achieve our goal.”

Maintaining that the PDP must not be intoxicated by power should it win the presidential election in 2019, the candidate said he had garnered experience after working as the vice-president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to him, “I will not be standing where I am today if my former boss (Olusegun Obasanjo) had not made me the vice-president. All the experience I got then will impact on our government when we win. I give tribute to him (Obasanjo).”

Jonathan, Ekweremadu, SMBLF, others hail Atiku

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders  Forum, and the  PDP have hailed the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the PDP.

The PDP in a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the orderliness, transparency and credibility of its presidential primary should serve as a lesson to the Independent National Electoral Commission and the APC on how elections should be conducted in present day Nigeria.

The party said the process showed that the INEC had been responsible for the electoral crises in the country.

Ologbondiyan said the process through which Atiku emerged also showed that Nigerians, irrespective of their individual and group interests, were capable of holding peaceful and credible elections.

He said, “The success of our presidential primary followed our strict adherence to democratic rules and principles of transparency and fairness, which has eluded the nation since President Muhammadu Buhari-led licentious administration assumed office.

“Nigerians are no longer in doubt that our compromised electoral umpire under the Buhari administration is ostensibly culpable for injecting rancorous situations that create openings for violence, manipulations, inconclusive polls and outright rigging of elections.

“We invite the whole world to note that the PDP conducted its presidential primary and a clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, emerged, without any disagreement or reliance on heavy security, showing that Nigerians are peaceful, orderly and desirous of credible processes at all levels of political engagement.”

Atiku is Nigeria’s next president, says Ekweremadu

While congratulating Atiku, Ekweremadu said the PDP presidential candidate was the next President of Nigeria.

The Senate deputy Speaker, who congratulated other aspirants and the PDP on the primary which he described as “crucial and rancor-free,” noted that all the aspirants were qualified to lead the nation.

The senator, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, said, “I join our teeming party faithful and supporters to congratulate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by God’s grace, on his nomination as the standard-bearer of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.

“This is a watershed and a momentous occasion for the PDP and indeed the nation. More important in the race was the transparent, free, fair, credible, and peaceful process.”

Dickson, Ortom, others hail PDP candidate

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, also congratulated Atiku on Sunday.

A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Dickson on Media Relations, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, said the governor made the comment while speaking on the emergence of the former vice -president as the presidential candidate of the PDP.

The statement read in part, “Let me congratulate the former Vice President and now the Presidential Candidate of our great party, (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for his resounding victory in a free, fair, transparent and credible primary election.

“Let me also congratulate the National Chairman and all members of the National Working Committee of our party, and Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and his team for their hard work and the good job they have done.

“He (Atiku) can build bridges of understanding and unity and form a great team to address the challenges that are facing our country. We look forward to working, collaborating and supporting him in that onerous responsibility.”

Also, Ortom said the credible conduct of the presidential primary election was a confirmation that the PDP was a party that truly practised transparency and internal democracy.

In the same vein, a former National Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ray Nnaji, said with Atiku’s emergence, the PDP could defeat the incumbent Buhari.

Speaking shortly after the announcement of the results, Nnaji said, “With Atiku’s emergence as PDP presidential candidate, Buhari will face a stiff battle in 2019.

“Atiku has all it takes to defeat him – he has been in the party (APC) before and I am sure he still has his people there.”

Victory well deserved – Saraki

Also, Saraki described the presidential primary that produced Atiku as the best since the inception of the PDP, adding that the former VP’s emergence was well deserved.

Saraki, who came third in the exercise, promised that the former aspirants would work with Atiku to ensure that the PDP won the 2019 election.

In his comment, the PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, called on INEC to learn from the PDP.

He said, “We invite INEC to lift from this template and know that elections can be conducted without intimidation and harassment. We will carry out the most civilised campaign in this country to reclaim power.”

Meanwhile, Governor Wike on Sunday congratulated Atiku after he was announced the PDP candidate.

The Rivers State governor assured Atiku and other PDP stakeholders that he would continue to work for the success of the party while commending the PDP delegates for ensuring a successful convention.

Atiku’ll take Nigeria to greater heights – Jonathan

Also, former President Jonathan congratulated Atiku,  describing him as a man who had the capacity to take the country to greater heights.

Jonathan, in a text message to Atiku, said “I congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, and by the grace of God and the votes of Nigerians, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Our party members have spoken and have nominated you as the candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.

“I am convinced that you have all it takes to take Nigeria to greater heights and transform her into a hub for prosperity and happiness. Congratulations.”

The PDP National Legal Adviser, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, also said Atiku would take power from Buhari.

Enoidem, who said Atiku was the most experienced aspirant in the race, added that he was the foundational leader of the present democratic experience in Nigeria.

Also, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State said Atiku would leverage on his track record as an entrepreneur and an employer of labour to grow the nation’s economy.

The governor in his goodwill message to Atiku on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, said the ex-vice-president’s victory was victory for the party and Nigerians.

Learn from PDP, SMBLF tells INEC

Reacting to Atiku’s victory as the PDP candidate, the SMBLF enjoined INEC  to take a cue from the opposition party’s convention, saying the courts would not be filled with petitions and there won’t be post-election violence if elections were free, fair and credible.

The forum in a statement on Sunday by Yinka Odumakin (South West), Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South), Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South East) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt), reminded Atiku about his commitment to the restructuring of the country.

The forum said, “The election of Atiku from a keenly contested primary election in what is generally seen as a free and fair process is a breath of fresh air to the democratic project in Nigeria which appeared threatened by manipulation of processes in intra-party conduct and general elections.

“It is never too early to remind the presidential candidate of the clear commitment to the fundamental issue of restructuring he has made overtime and which the former Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Party, Senator Makarfi confirmed as the party agenda.

“It is clear today that no amount of good governance can get Nigeria out of the woods without a proper structure that can restore Nigeria to productivity under federalism.”

Buhari’s aides tackle Atiku

But some aides of Buhari on Sunday took to the social media to tackle Atiku.

Shortly after the declaration of the result, Buhari’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, took to the social media where she claimed that Atiku’s emergence had made the job of the president’s team easier.

Onochie claimed that the Vice-President ran away from the All Progressives Congress to avoid contesting against the president in the primary.

She also alleged that Atiku spent more money than his co-contestants before he emerged the winner of the contest.

She wrote, “Alhaji Atiku Abubakar outspends Saraki, Tambuwal and others, wins the PDP presidential ticket for 2019.

“Congratulations Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. You have outspent the rest. You have a new toy. But believe it, it is only a dream.

“Bearing in mind that you can’t go to America to represent us at the United Nations, nor meet with Nigerians in America, our job is made easy.”

Also, the spokesman for the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo, said with Atiku’s emergence, Nigerians would choose between a candidate with credibility crises and one with an unblemished record.

Keyamo posted the message on his Twitter handle.

“We welcome H.E. Atiku Abubakar to the 2019 campaign trail. Nigerians will now decide between a candidate with a history full of credibility crises, damning reports on corruption, both home, abroad and from his former boss and another candidate with an unblemished record in public service,” he wrote.

Jubilation in Taraba

But there was jubilation in Jalingo the capital of Taraba State on Sunday following the declaration of Atiku  as the presidential candidate of the PDP.

Hundreds of youths and women took to the streets with posters of Atiku Abubakar singing and dancing.

One of the jubilant youth, Collins Bonzena, told one of our correspondents that Atiku’s position on restructuring, security and job creation was the basis for their support for him.

He stated, “Atiku has the experience and the capacity to rule Nigeria.  Remember he was the vice president of this country for eight years and his experience in the private sector will make him a good President.

“Atiku has a blueprint on how to grow Nigeria, tackle insecurity and restructure the country to give us true federalism which is key to our development and that is what we need at the moment,” he said.

Also reacting, the National Coordinator of PDP Loyal Group, Mr. Dennis Shima, called on Nigerians to support Atiku’s candidature for a better Nigeria.

Ijaw’ll support candidate planning restructuring – IYC

The Ijaw Youth Council has said it will support any presidential candidate that plans to restructure the country and remove the marginalisation of the South-South people from the oil and gas benefits.

The IYC President, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, on Sunday stated this while congratulating the presidential flag bearers of various political parties in the 2019 general elections.

Oweilaemi said the Ijaw’s stand on restructuring was intact, calling “for the federating units to control natural resources in their respective domains and let them in turn pay royalty to the centre as practised by America and other advanced democracies.”

He said, “The IYC, which is the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, will mobilise its men and women to support any presidential candidate that supports restructuring of this country that is currently being managed with resources from the Niger Delta while our people are treated with disdain.

“The present situation is where our people are wallowing in misery while those who do not know the colour of crude oil are living in affluence. The IYC will no longer support any government or leader that tries to treat our people like second class citizens.”

We will still decide who to support – Afenifere

The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, said it would sit down and decide who it would support for the presidential election.

The group, which had earlier hosted Atiku in Akure, the Ondo State capital, had promised to support any presidential candidate that believed in restructuring.

Speaking with our correspondent in Akure on Sunday, the Secretary General of the Afenifere, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa, described Atiku as a politician who had paid his dues in Nigerian politics.

He, however, noted that there was a need for the opposition to come together to defeat the ruling party.

He said, “When we compare Atiku with others, you will see him as somebody who has paid his dues. Among politicians and our former rulers, Atiku has made his marks.

“Before the PDP primary, Atiku came to Afenifere and promised to restructure the country; and we have said that anybody who wants to restructure with all seriousness, such a person will be our candidate. Now that he is in, Afenifere will still sit down to decide.”   (Punch)

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2019 Elections: Keyamo, Onochie Say Defeat Of Atiku Will Be Easy | RN

Festus Keyamo said with Atiku’s emergence, Nigerians would choose between a candidate with credibility crises and one with an unblemished record.

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, has declared that Atiku Abubakar’s emergence as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2019 election has made the job of the President’s team easier.

Also, the spokesman of Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, said with Atiku’s emergence, Nigerians would choose between a candidate with credibility crises and one with an unblemished record.

Both presidential aides took to the social media to tackle the former vice president shortly after he emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 elections.

Abubakar was earlier in the day declared the winner of the party’s primary which was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Onochie through her verified @laurestar handle alleged that Atiku ran away from the All Progressives Congress to avoid contesting against Buhari in the primary.

According to her, the fact that Atiku cannot go to the United States of America nor represent the country at the United Nations, has made his defeat at next year’s polls easier.

She also alleged that Atiku spent more money than his co-contestants before he could emerge winner of the contest.

She twitted, “Alhaji Atiku Abubakar outspends Saraki, Tambuwal and others, wins the PDP presidential ticket for 2019.

“Congratulations Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. You have outspent the rest. You have a new toy. But believe it, it is only a dream.

“You ran away from facing President Buhari in a primary, now you’ll meet him at the presidential elections. Ntor!

“14.8 million people made President Buhari their candidate, 26,584 people made Atiku their candidate.

“Bearing in mind that you can’t go to America to represent us at the United Nation, nor meet with Nigerians in America, our job is made easy.

“Sai Baba Buhari. 2019 is settled. God bless Nigeria.”

Keyamo posted the message on his verified Twitter handle, @fkeyamo, “We welcome H.E, Atiku Abubakar to the 2019 campaign trail.

“Nigerians would now decide between a candidate with a history full of credibility crises, damning reports on corruption, both home, abroad and from his former boss and another candidate with an unblemished record in public service.

Onochie also responded to Keyamo’s tweet, saying, “Spot on. Nigerians have new trade currencies.

“Credibility and integrity. Our candidate, Muhammadu Buhari has both in abundance Nigerians will trade with him.

“Nigerians will not trade with Atiku Abubakar. He has neither credibility nor integrity. His currencies are counterfeit.”  (The Sun)

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Buhari Is Nigeria’s Most Incompetent President, Says Atiku |The Republican News

                                                   Buhari, Atiku

Former Vice-President Abubakar Atiku has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to retain significant individuals in his party was a sign of weakness and lack of leadership.

Atiku, through his campaign organisation, said his attempt to come to power “is to clean the mess that Buhari would leave which has resulted in job loss, poor economy and ranking of the country as one of the poorest.”

The spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Segun Sowunmi, in a reaction to Buhari’s comment while receiving the All Progressive Congress nomination forms, said, “Never in the history of Nigeria has a more incompetent person served in the chambers of the exalted office of the President. No President of Nigeria, politics apart, will speak in such manner. The fact is that freedom of association is guaranteed by all the United Nations’ conventions and the constitution of our country.

“That Buhari has not been able to provide leadership and keep high-network individuals in the APC is to his own weakness and a question of his lack of capacity to keep Nigerians together. We are in the campaign and we are on the ballot. Atiku is attempting to become the President to clean the mess that Buhari caused in our country.

“Buhari has made many Nigerians lose their jobs and our country has become one of the poorest countries in the world. He has divided the country and people cannot move freely. He has made a mess of the economy.

“Therefore, we take his comment as not possibly referring to us. He should speak to issues, development, job creation, restructuring and so on. Obviously, these things he cannot do.”

President Buhari had on Tuesday lashed out at defectors from the All Progressives Congress, describing them as weak and selfish politicians.    (Punch)

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Buhari Is Not Power Drunk But Won’t Tolerate Corruption, Presidency Tells Atiku|RN

Buhari-Atiku4
Former Vice-President Atiku abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

 

The Presidency on Wednesday denied former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar’s depiction of President Muhammadu Buhari as an “uncompromising” and a “power-drunk” retired general.

The  Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said in a statement that while Buhari, who is on a working visit to China, “is uncompromising against corruption, he is not power-drunk.”

Atiku, who recently dumped the All Progressives Congress to return to his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party, in his bid to pursue his presidential ambition ahead of the 2019 election, was quoted to have made the comment critical of President Buhari in an AFP report.

The AFP report said Atiku expressed fear about the forthcoming general elections which he said might not be free and fair under Buhari as President.

He described Buhari as “very uncompromising, also power-drunk; (and) who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.”

A few days ago, Atiku had criticised Buhari’s deputy, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, for the comment on restructuring which he made while speaking to an audience in the United States of America.

But Osinbajo, had in a letter he personally signed, debunked Atiku’s comment further clarifying his stance and flaunting his credentials as one who had successfully contributed to the deepening of fiscal federalism in Nigeria.

Responding to Atiku’s critical comment of Buhari’s democratic profile, on Wednesday,  Adesina said the former VP was only trying to use Buhari’s name to buoy his bid to get the presidential ticket of the PDP, which he said was still mourning the defeat it suffered in the 2015 election.

He stated, “Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, was quoted by a foreign news medium as accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of being “very uncompromising, also power-drunk; (and) who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.”

“Rather than use the name of President Buhari to buoy his bid to get the presidential ticket of a party, whose flag has been flying at half-mast since it got roundly trounced at the polls in 2015, the former Vice-President needs be told that the President is truly uncompromising, but only when it comes to looting the common patrimony of Nigerians, and squandering their riches.

“President Buhari is uncompromising in the quest to restore probity and accountability to public office. He is uncompromising in cleaning the rot Nigeria was consigned into pre-2015, thus the war against corruption is being fought without fear or favour.

“The President is equally resolute in the determination to ensure that Nigeria is no longer a mono-economy, depending only on oil.

“Yes, President Buhari is single-minded in effecting change in every area of Nigerian life. So, Alhaji Abubakar is right, if that was what he meant by the President being “uncompromising.”

“But power drunk? No! And being a man “who will not be ready to leave power without a fight?” Never! Not President Buhari, who has demonstrated in many ways that he is a committed democrat, though also a retired military general. He has no apologies for that. Through a sterling military career, he served Nigeria with his heart and might, before venturing into partisan politics.”

Adesina said, contrary to Atiku’s claim, Buhari had wielded power with decency, advising him to borrow a leaf from the decorous language employed by Vice-President Osinbajo in debunking his recent press statement on the restructuring debate.

He said, “In many ways, President Buhari has wielded power with decency, and as a means of serving the people, rather than for personal ends. If there’s one person not intoxicated by power, it is President Buhari, and scores of millions of Nigerians know this.

“That is why they will invest him with power again next year, knowing that he won’t misuse or misapply what has been entrusted to him.”

“Former VP Abubakar may want to borrow a leaf from the decorous language employed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, in answering his recent press statement on the restructuring debate.

“That is the hallmark of statesmen, and not crying wolf where none exists, which is what the allegation of being uncompromising and power drunk truly is.”

He also refuted Atiku’s comment that Buhari would not leave power in case he was defeated without a fight.

Adesina stated, “President Buhari is actuated by service to the country, and nothing else. So, there couldn’t be anything like “not ready to leave power without a fight.”

“Indeed, the insinuation of a fight is the mindset of a man who is either undemocratic, or has seen defeat staring him, and his party, in the face.

“Let the former Vice-President rest assured that there will be no ‘fight’ over power in Nigeria.

“Not under President Buhari’s watch. The people don’t want a fight. It is some political leaders we must beseech to eschew pugnacity and mind their language.”  (Punch)

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Buhari Is Power Drunk, Uncompromising, Says Atiku |The Republican News

Atikuand Buhari       Former Vice-President Atiku abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari

Olusola Fabiyi and Oladimeji Ramon

 

A former Vice-President,  Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed the fear that the 2019 presidential election may not be free with President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military man, now leading the country.

He said unlike former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was in power during the 2015 general elections and was “much more level-headed” being a “peaceful, (and) very patriotic Nigerian,” the country was now dealing with “a retired general, (who is) very uncompromising, also power-drunk; (and) who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.”

An AFP report quoted Atiku, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, as saying on Monday evening that these were “some of my fears for the current elections.”

“The characters that are involved this time, as far as the leadership of this country is concerned, are different from 2015,” he said.

Atiku also tasked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to explain to Nigerians the decision by the Federal Government to share $322m Abacha’s loot and also begged for a fresh $328m loan from China.

The new loan is said to be for Information and Communications Technology development.

Atiku was reacting to Osinbajo’s response to the former Vice President’s reaction to the need to restructure the country.

Atiku accused Osinbajo of not being coherent in his arguments, saying he was merely jumping from one topic to the other.

He said, “I must say that his dovetailing into the area of the economy does not explain certain facts such as the fact that the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported in December 2017 that Nigeria lost 7.9 million jobs in the 21 month period under review.

“If the Vice President cannot see that losing 7.9 million jobs in 21 months while creating 500,000 jobs is a deficit, then I do not know what to say to the honourable professor.

“Professor Osinbajo also harps on ‘prudence in public finance,’ but he fails to show the wisdom in sharing out $322m of Abacha funds to the poor only to take a loan of $328m from the Chinese the very next month. Many Nigerians, myself included, see this as imprudence.

“Finally, while the Vice President is not exactly correct when he says ‘In four years from 2010 to 2014, the PDP government earned the highest oil revenues in Nigeria’s history, $381.9bn. By contrast, the Buhari administration has earned $121bn from May 2015 to June 2018’, let us for the sake of argument say that he is right.”

Atiku further said that while he was the Vice President in 2006, Nigeria’s Economic Management Team, of which he was a prominent member, paid off Nigeria’s entire foreign debt of $30bn, at a time when he said the country was earning one third of what the Buhari administration is currently earning from oil. So, such arguments are puerile at best.

He advised the Vice President to choose whether he was for restructuring or whether he was against it and stick to his choice.

He said it was not in the interest of the professor of law to be jumping from one argument to the other without any clear point.

He rejected Osinbajo’s assertion that his (Atiku’s ) ideas on restructuring were vague, saying restructuring was a necessity, not an option.

In a statement he signed in Abuja on Tuesday, he accused Osinbajo of making a U-turn on the issue of restructuring.

The former Vice President said of Osinbajo, “Faced with an avalanche of public condemnation for his 360-degree turn on the concept of restructuring, it is understandable that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has written to Premium Times to douse the tension his comments created. However, in doing so, the Vice President should not attempt to revise history by saying that he spoke against ‘geographic restructuring.’

“I have been in the forefront of the discourse on restructuring since the 1995 Abacha Constitutional Conference and to the best of my knowledge, there has not been any term like ‘geographic restructuring’.

“It is a strange concept, not only because it is not what the restructuring debate is all about, but also because the words of the Vice President, which prompted my response,  were clear, unambiguous and unequivocal.

“Mr Osinbajo said, ‘the problem with our country is not a matter of restructuring.’ That I disagree with and so do many other Nigerians. If the Vice President has changed his stance, I welcome it, but we should not use one finger to hide behind semantics.

“For the Vice President to say ‘Alhaji Atiku’s concept of restructuring is understandably vague, because he seeks to cover every aspect of human existence in that definition’, is most unfortunate.

“I have been very clear, detailed, and unambiguous about my ideas for restructuring. At several occasions, including, but not limited to my speeches at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), and at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (made in April this year and  July 2017, respectively), I gave very clear and concise ideas about restructuring including: “Devolution of powers and resources to the states; matching grants from the Federal Government to the states to help them grow their internally generated revenue position; privatisation of unviable Federal Government-owned assets.”   (Punch)

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