Why Buhari Will Lose Re-election Bid – Ex-Gov Aliyu |The Republican News

                       Ex-Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu

James Abraham, Jos


A former Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari will lose the 2019 presidential election.

He said critical stakeholders who contributed to the President’s electoral victory in 2015 had all deserted the ruling party.

Aliyu said this in an interview with our correspondent during a peace meeting which his reconciliatory committee had with Plateau Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Jos, the state capital, at the weekend.

He said, “What happened in 2015 is what  some people would  call a Northern revolution.

“We can also say that the PDP really gave Buhari and the APC the victory because if you recall, the G7 was made up of seven serving governors; five of them went to the APC and the current Senate President also went to the APC as well.

“That was what gave the APC victory and now, all of them that joined the party have all returned to the PDP. As far as am concerned, the APC has no chance in 2019 election because we in PDP  are not going to make that mistake again.”

The former governor said his party was aware of plans by the ruling APC to rig the election, having lost the goodwill of the people.

He, however, said the PDP had devised a counter strategy to stop the rigging plot and ensure that the votes of the people counted.

He added, “We are not surprised by the intimidation and harassment which we are witnessing from the ruling party.

“We have been telling our members that one needs not be afraid of a party that sees itself being defeated. We are also designing a counter-strategy to make sure that nobody is intimidated.

“Election is about people. It is about development and honesty and not about so called cult building around an individual. It is about number and since we have  the number, they will not stop Nigerians from electing  Atiku Abubakar as the next President.”  (Punch)

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Exposed: Justice Walter Onnoghen’s Nemesis, Dennis Aghanya, Was President Buhari’s Aide

The identity of the man who wrote a damning petition against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has been revealed.

According to online information about Mr. Dennis Aghanya, he was a media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari between 2009 and 2011; while he was also a pioneer National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change.

Aghanya is not new to controversy, as he once advised the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, to dissolve the party’s two factions in Enugu State when they couldn’t seem to agree on the way forward.

In a letter made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on the APC Enugu issue, Aghanya had said, “The situation is currently threatening the fortunes of the party to the detriment of efforts by serious candidates who are investing time and finance to ensure victory for themselves and President Muhammadu Buhari at the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

“I suggest that the National Working Committee of the APC should, as a matter of urgency, dissolve the two factions led by Okey Ogbodo and Ben Nwoye respectively.

According to him, ignoring the advice will amount to deliberately weakening the party to the advantage of the incumbent in Enugu State;and that it will deliberately “sabotage Buhari from making inroad into the South East.”

Aghanya, on November 5, 2018, as reported by NAN, as the Executive Secretary, Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, led a coalition of 24 Civil Society Organisations (C24) to assert that some “desperate politicians” were planning to destabilise the country’s peace, before, during and after the 2019 general elections.

Aghanya raised the alarm on behalf of the coalition at a news conference in Abuja. The allegation has not been proved, however.

Again, on April 29, 2018 Aghanya-led ARDI appealed to the National Assembly to show understanding over President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged purchase of $496m aircraft from the U.S. without due process.

He had told the legislators: “The President, as a human being, could make mistakes.”

He then advised the legislators to avoid actions that would heat up the system, NAN had reported then.

Aghanya is reasonably active on Facebook, with mostly political posts, though his LinkedIn page is nuanced. He is new to Twitter and has only made three tweets within his nine months of joining, all on political matters.

His petition against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, is Aghanya’s latest foray into public space.    (Punch)

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APC Governors Absent At Buhari Campaign Council Meeting |RN

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council for the 2019 election, who double as coordinators in their respective states, were conspicuously absent at the inaugural meeting which held at the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, yesterday.

The agenda was to consider and approve the structure and operational modalities of the campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is chairman of the council, said this at the opening ceremony before the meeting went into a closed door session.

In attendance were the co-chairman of the campaign council, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who is deputy chairman of the council.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who is the director general of the campaign team, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, the director general (Opera- tions) and Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general (Coordination) also attend- ed the meeting.

Also in attendance were the zonal directors (North West), Senator Aliyu Wamakko, (North East) Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, (North Central), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, (South West), Sola Oke, (South East), Sharon Ikeazor, and (South South), Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Other members of the council present included Senator George Akume, vice chairman (North) and Senator Ken Nnamani, vice chairman (South); among others.

Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari, expressed confidence that he’ll win the February 16 presidential election.

This was even as Oshiomhole explained to State House Correspondents why APC governors were absent at the inaugural meeting.

Speaking at the opening ceremony before the closed door session, Buhari said: “I would like to appeal to you to dedicate and commit yourself once again to the task at hand. There is no doubt that victory is with us: it is ours, but that shouldn’t mean we should rest even for a moment.

“Even though we are confident of winning, I urge you to work as hard as you can so that we can maximise the scale and extent of our victory.”

He charged council members to ensure they deliver success to the party.

“I urge you to rise to the challenge of the great expectations this party and Nigerians have for you – and the confidence that I personally have in the ability of all of you to deliver.

“Needless to add, your selection was not easy, because in forming this council, the party settled only for the best. You are the cream of the party and I assure you that with the unity of purpose and effective harmony

and communication, there is no political opponent you cannot overcome,” the president said.

On the governors’ absence, Oshiomhol said: “Because they are governors, they are governing their states. Don’t forget that elections are not defined in Abuja, it will take place in the 36 states and I’m sure there are APC members who are campaigning for the House of Assembly, various federal house and senate constituencies, governorship constituencies. So, it will not be helpful to bring them to Abuja. Here, it is about policies, it will consummated and translated to practice across the 36 states, 774 local governments and ward.”

He reiterated that the elections will be on the difference between 16 years misrule and three and half years of change.

In his remarks, the former Senate minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, said the ruling party is poised to win the presidential election.  (The Sun)

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2019: Foreign Affairs Minister Quits Buhari’s Cabinet |The Republican News

                                                  Khadija Bukar-Ibrahim

John Ameh, Abuja


Ahead of the February 16 polls, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadija Bukar-Ibrahim, on Wednesday confirmed her resignation from the Federal Executive Council.

Bukar-Ibrahim was a serving member of the Federal House of Representatives when President Muhammadu Buhari nominated her for the post of a minister in 2015.

The wife of a Senator and former Governor of Yobe State, Bukar Abba-Ibrahim, resigned as a minister to contest another election to return to the House of Representatives in February.

She is contesting the Damaturu/Tarmuwa/Gujba/Gulani Federal Constituency seat.

It would be recalled that in October, 2018, the minister contested against and defeated her son in-law , Mohammed Bukar-Ibrahim, at the primaries of the All Progressives Congress to emerge as its candidate in the February 16 National Assembly poll.

While her son in-law got 15 votes, the minister scored 1,295 votes.

She informed State House correspondents, a few minutes before the start of Wednesday’s FEC meeting, that it was going to be the last she would attend.

The minister joined other cabinet members, who had also resigned for political and other reasons.

Also, it would be recalled that a former Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubril, left the cabinet on December 7, 2018, after he was named the 13th Emir of Nasarawa by the Nasarawa Emirate Council.

On February 24, 2017, the main environment minister, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, had resigned to join the United Nations as a Deputy Secretary-General.

Similarly, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, was the Minister of Mines and Steel Development till he resigned on May 30, 2018 to contest the state’s governorship election.

On her part, Mrs Kemi Adeosun threw in the towel, following the discovery that she forged her National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate.

Another minister who resigned was that of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan.

She had left on the grounds of being disqualified by the National Working Committee of the APC when she sought to contest in the governorship primaries in Taraba State.

Speculation had indicated that her disqualification might not be unconnected to the minister’s known political association with the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

She had once described Abubakar as her political mentor, while still serving as Buhari’s minister.

The former minister also openly canvassed support for Abubakar’s presidential bid at some point, saying that Buhari had yet to declare any intention to seek a second term in office.

After her disqualification, Alhassan went to the APC’s secretariat in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, and took possession of all the furniture and equipment she had earlier donated to the party.   (Punch)

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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N22.43trn, 85.06% Increase Under Buhari, Domestic Component 70.51%

                                File Photo: Naira and Dollars

Everest Amaefule, Abuja


Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N22.43tn, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

According to the DMO, the nation’s total debt as of September 30, 2018, stood at N22.43tn.

As of June 30, 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn. This means that within the tenure of the present administration which came to power on May 29, 2015, the country’s total debt has risen by N10.31tn or 85.06 per cent.

Of the total debt, the external component of both the Federal Government and state governments’ debts including that of the Federal Capital Territory stood at $21.59bn.

As of June 30, 2015, the external debt component of the country’s total debt stood at $10.32bn. This means that the external debt component rose by $11.27bn or 109.21 per cent.

On the other hand, the omestic debt of both the Federal Government and the subnational governments stood at N15.81tn.

Analysing the debt statistics further showed that the domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N12.29tn as of September 30, 2018.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government as of June 30, 2015, stood at N8.4bn while that of the states and FCT stood at N1.69tn.

The DMO added that the debt statistics as of September 30, 2018, was only slightly different from the statistics as of June 30, 2018.

On the difference between the debt statistics of the two quarters, the DMO said, “External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

“The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

“The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).”

It added, “The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

“As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

“This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.”

The current strategy of the Federal Government is to raise external debt component to 40 per cent and to raise the local debt component to 60 per cent in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate on foreign debts.  (Punch)

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APC Presidential Campaign: Buhari Deceiving Tinubu – Afenifere |RN

      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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Boko Haram: Tearful Shettima Breaks Down, Tells Buhari ‘I am Overwhelmed’ |RN

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The activities of the terrorist sect, Boko Haram, on Monday overwhelmed the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, as he broke down in the presence of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

Shettima was in the Villa with leaders and elders from Borno State. In his introductory remarks at the meeting, he told President Buhari that they came to present a set of observations and specific requests after an extraordinary security meeting they held a week ago in Borno State. He said the elders had concluded that the state required urgent intervention by the president.

Present on the occasion were the National Security Adviser, Major Gen Babagana Monguno (retd); Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; acting Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and the Director General, Department for State Services, Yussuf Bitchi.

Shettima amid tears following the current setback in the fight against insurgency, told Buhari that the leaders had not lost hope in his ability to win the war and restore peace to the state.

Following his surprise outburst of emotion, members of the press were excused from the meeting.

Then Shettima said: “Between 2013 and 2014, we witnessed the most daring and most vicious evil of the Boko Haram, losing 20 local government areas.

“However, we rushed here because of the recent upsurge in the activities of the demented monster called Boko Haram especially in northern Borno senatorial district. We are here because since 2015, Mr President, you were able to restore our hope.

“Sir, you have demonstrated empathy for Borno and an overriding commitment to ending the Boko Haram. This is why we rushed here on witnessing some set back.

“We are here because we thought that Allah will use you to fully reclaim Borno’s traditional glory of being the home of peace. We are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your presidency in the firm and under the belief that with you as the Commander In Chief, Boko Haram will become history in Borno.

“Mr. President, we have not, and Insha Allah, we will not lose hope in you because we have witnessed and survived worse moments before you came. We do not feel hopeless.

“Our hopes are very much alive and they are very high.

“We came with some observation and ten requests for urgent presidential (president’s) intervention. These observations and requests are products of discussion in the aftermath of our extra-ordinary security meeting held one week ago.

“We didn’t rush to come after the meeting. We felt the need to travel to northern Borno, interact with displaced persons and the military so as to strengthen public confidence.

“I will seek the understanding of the journalists by not making public any of our observation and ten requests. They are matters of security which we hope to discuss with Mr President in a closed door.”  (The Sun)

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