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PDP Rented Sokoto Crowd From Niger Republic, El-Rufai Alleges |RN

                                                   Atiku’s Sokoto rally

Olusola Fabiyi and  Godwin Isenyo

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has alleged that the mammoth crowd that attended the Monday rally of the Peoples Democratic Party in Sokoto was rented from Niger Republic by the party.

El-Rufai, who made the allegation on Tuesday during the inauguration of the campaign council of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna, said the PDP had nothing to offer Nigerians.

He described the PDP campaign inauguration in Sokoto as a gang-up of “thieves”.

El-Rufai said, “Thieves have ganged-up against President Muhammadu Buhari.  Yesterday, they were in Sokoto and they rented a crowd from Niger Republic just to show people that they have supporters because Sokoto people refused to come out.

“So, when it is time to launch President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign in Kaduna, people should come for the whole world to see that, it is not Niger Republic people that are disguising as Nigerians.”

Speaking during the inauguration of the 69-member Kaduna APC Campaign Council, the governor noted that the 2019 General Elections were between patriotic leaders and those who went to Abuja to loot.

He said the APC government anchored its agenda on putting the people first, saying the government since 2015 had focused on running an “equal opportunity government.”

“We have tried to empower our people by anchoring our programmes on putting people first.

“We are making life better and reordering the priority of government to focus on human capital development.”

The governor claimed the APC government for the last three years had been fixing the rot the PDP left behind in its 16 years rule.

He added,  “The task in 2019 is to continue to work towards the uplift of our people. We cannot allow the people whose ideology is looting to return to power.

“The PDP has nothing to offer the people of Kaduna State and they have nothing to offer the rest of Nigeria. Over 16 years, they left most of our 4,250 primary schools in terribly bad conditions; many did not have toilets, roofs, windows or doors.”

‘El-Rufai, others created PDP crisis’

The PDP in its response accused El-Rufai and others of creating problems for the PDP while they were members of the party.

It said the rots created by the former minister at the Federal Capital Territory and others while in the party were being cleared by the National Working Committee of the party, led by its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, who spoke with our correspondent on the allegations made by El-Rufai also dismissed the claim that the PDP imported people from Niger Republic for its North-West rally that held in Sokoto State on Monday.

He said it was sad that El-Rufai was now referring to the indigenes of the North-West who attended the rally as foreigners.

Ologbondiyan said the governor by his pronouncements had exposed the plan of the APC to allegedly import people from neighbouring countries to rig the general elections next year.

He said, “El-Rufai has exposed the plan of the APC to import foreigners for the forthcoming elections.

“He has spoken from the depth of his mind and unwillingly exposed the plan of his party and the Federal Government to bring in foreigners from Chad, Niger, Cameroun and even others, for the election.

“El-Rufai is callous.  These are the people that he and his party begged for support in 2015, but because hunger and poverty have made them to avoid the APC like a plague, they are now foreigners.

“That is fine. Let him know that the same foreigners will vote them out in 2019 with their authentic PVCs. They will use the PVCs to chase away hunger, poverty, killings, insecurity, favouritism and all forms of bad governance that El-Rufai and his party represent.”

On the claim that the PDP is populated by looters,  Ologbondiyan said, “This is ridiculous and funny. This same El-Rufai and others had their root in the PDP. He would not have even be known if not because the PDP brought him to limelight from obscurity and gave him appointments.

“The mess he and others like him created is what the Prince Uche Secondus -led NWC is clearing today.  Without the PDP, he would have been nowhere near the corridors of power.

“Anyway, since he has forgotten,  we will remind him. Here is a man who once described President Muhammadu Buhari as unelectable and not fit to rule. El-Rufai is a double agent. He is a fair weather friend. When Buhari is defeated next year, the man called El-Rufai will sing a new song.”    (Punch)

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INEC Registering Foreigners To Vote In 2019 – Southern, M’Belt Leaders

INEC-.-Prof.-Mahmood-Yakubu-takes-oath-of-office-as-INEC-Chairman-before-PMB

PIC.16. NEW INEC CHAIRMAN, PROF. MAHMOOD YAKUBU TAKING OATH BEFORE PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA IN ABUJA ON MONDAY (9/11/15) 7076/09/11/2015/ICE/NAN

Friday Olokor, Eniola Akinkuotu, Okechukwu Nnodim and Olaleye Aluko

The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum has raised the alarm that the Independent National Electoral Commission has embarked on the registration of foreigners,  especially from the Niger Republic,  to pave the way for electoral malpractices in 2019.

The forum, which stated this in a communiqué made available to journalists on Sunday, alleged that registration of foreigners could be one of the reasons why the Federal Government was in a haste to construct a rail from Kano, through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi in the Niger Republic.

The leaders from the Middle Belt, South-South, South-East and South-West had met in Lagos on Friday and issued the communiqué titled, “Our case against 2019 elections preparations” on Sunday.

The communiqué was signed by  Yinka Odumakin (South-West);   Senator Bassey Henshaw (South-South);  Prof. Chigozie Ogbu (South-East) and Dr Isuwa Dogo ( Middle Belt).

The leaders, who expressed concern about the 2019 general elections, restated their demand for the suspension of the current Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, pending the investigation of the underage voter scandal in Kano.

They restated their lack of confidence in the INEC chairman “whose conduct over the scandal of underage voters in Kano has shown a gross betrayal of public trust.”

The leaders alleged that intelligence report at their disposal had shown that INEC was registering Nigeriens and other foreigners for the purpose of voting in the 2019 elections.

They stated, “Equally worrisome is the intelligence report at our disposal that a large number of mercenary voters have been registered from neighbouring  countries especially from the Niger Republic under the continuous voter registration which could have been one of the reasons why the Federal Government is in a haste to construct a rail from Kano, through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic. Money has been appropriated for this in the 2018 budget.”

The leaders also recalled that the INEC chairman assured Nigerians that alleged underage voter scam in Kano would be fully investigated.

The forum also recalled that the INEC boss promised to look into the voter registers nationwide in order to purge them of any possible ineligible registrants.

According to them, Yakubu promised to make the findings of the investigation public.

They said, “Five clear months after the promise and prompt conclusion of the assignment by the team he set up, the INEC chairman has refused to release the report which would necessarily have necessitated a nationwide interrogation of the voter registry.

“Information at our disposal is that the report of the committee is so damning and that is the reason why he is doing a macabre dance on it. How on earth can we trust a man doing such over an issue of public knowledge to be fair on matters relating to free and fair elections that would not be in the public glare?

“We demand the immediate release of the INEC report on the Kano underage voter’s scandal and interrogation of the voter registry by a judicial commission with representatives from international and local elections observers to check cases of underage voters and foreign mercenaries before the 2019 elections. This is very necessary as INEC cannot be a judge in its own case.”

To ensure equity, they also demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari should “rejig the nation’s security apparatus now…and reconstitute the security apparatus so as to earn the confidence of all communities in Nigeria.”

Provide evidence, INEC challenges SMBFL

In his response, however, the INEC Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said anyone who had evidence should come forward.

He told one of our correspondents on the telephone that there was no cause for alarm since the voter registration would be displayed before Permanent Voter Cards would be issued.

Osaze-Uzzi said in the event that any alien was spotted on the voter register, he or she would immediately be removed.

The INEC director said, “If anyone is alleging that there is irregular registration, we display the register and they should furnish us with evidence of such illegality. If someone who is not entitled to be in the register is on the register, we will have the opportunity of removing that person.

“So, if they can furnish us with details, I think we will be able to properly look into it because the voter register is exclusively for eligible Nigerian citizens. If there are non-Nigerians on the register, they should help us by providing us with details such as location, pictures especially since there is an opportunity to do so when the register will be displayed next month.”

Allegations serious – TMG

But the Chairman of Transition Monitoring Group, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, in an interview with The PUNCH, said that the allegations of the leaders were serious and called on them to provide evidence.

She said, “The allegation on registration of mercenaries is a serious indictment. The TMG ad hoc observation has not revealed this development. We, therefore, call on the group to provide more evidence on this allegation…

“However, TMG opposes the call for suspension of INEC chairman, as an unnecessary demand. What we need now is to strengthen INEC and not distraction capable of truncating 2019 elections agenda.”

SERAP, CACOL demand FG’s investigation

Also,  two civil society organisations, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project and the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, asked the Federal Government to investigate the allegations of voter registration in the Niger Republic, noting that the groups must also come forward with pieces of evidence to their claims.

The SERAP Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said, “I hope that these groups are altruistic in their position and they are not raising the alarm for political purposes. If it is indeed true that such exists, we demand that 2019 elections must be free, fair and credible. Such elections start with the proper registration of voters.

“The Federal Government has to ensure that it looks into this matter immediately and see that nothing untoward happens to the electoral process. This is because if the 2015 election was not free and fair, President Muhammadu Buhari would not be the President of this country. So, what he must do is to ensure that the tradition of credible elections takes root in the country.”

Also, the CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, “The authorities of INEC have meetings regularly and if there is anything suspicious, the groups ought to come forward with petitions. Otherwise, their claims will be like a storm in the teacup. They need to provide adequate witnesses and pieces of evidence. If such secret voter registration is ongoing, it is going to affect the whole country and this is not good for our electoral process. The groups must come forward with evidence and witnesses.”

Rail project not for such venture – NRC

But when contacted to comment on the rail allegation, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mahmood Yakubu, said the NRC was not aware of such thing.

He said, “I am not a politician and don’t comment on political issues. I am a civil servant. You should contact the Minister of Transportation because I don’t have any idea about that as the NRC spokesperson.”   (Punch)

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Maryam Abacha University Earmarks N1bn For Infrastructure |The Republican News

Maryam Abacha varsity earmarks N1bn for infrastructure

 

President and Founder of Maryam Abacha American University of Niger Republic, Dr Adamu Abubakar Gwarzo yesterday said the management of the institution has set aside N1 billion for the construction of theatre halls, classrooms, administrative blocks and laboratories at the permanent site of the university.

Dr Adamu who stated this during a brief ceremony to mark the foundation of the permanent site said the university was fast growing in number, adding that there was the need to create a conducive environment for easy assimilation of knowledge.

He added that “the N1billion will also be used for the construction of lecture theatres, classrooms, administrative blocks and laboratories in the University.”

According to him, construction of the permanent site will boost economic activities in Jiratawa village, Maradi state, in the Niger Republic where the University is established.

Read also: Abacha’s $400m Loot: FG To Pay Switzerland $79m Commission |The Republican News

Dr Adamu said the management would provide state-of-art equipment, especially in the departments of health science and technological studies, adding that, “the management will provide all the infrastructural development at the permanent site in phases.

“The University pledges to lay a solid foundation and contribute its quota in the educational sector with the aim of strengthening the existing relationship between Niger and Nigeria.

Read also: Abacha Loot: Switzerland Returns $723m To Nigeria In 10 years

“The establishment of the University will bring the boosting of the socio-economic development of Niger Republic in general and the state of Maradi in particular,” he said.

Speaking at the event, the former Nigerian first lady, Maryam Abacha, thanked the management of the University for naming the institution after her, adding that the Abacha family of would continue to identify with programmers that would uplift the standard of living of the less privileged.

In her own remarks, the First Lady of Niger Republic, Mrs Malika Mahamadou Issoufou, congratulated Maryam Abacha University for its giant strides that recorded infrastructural and academic advancement within a short time of three years.

Read also: Why U.S. Is Still Holding $458m Abacha Loot, AGF

“This University, being the first English speaking University in the country will greatly compliment the broad and rich academic culture that already exists in the Niger Republic.

“The goals of University education are well known essentially as it includes the dissemination of Knowledge, teaching, research, training and production of needed manpower for the society,” she added.

She further pledged that the Niger Government would continue to give the university management maximum support in all areas that will ensure the growth of the institution and promote education in the country. (Punchng.com)

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