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It’s Not Compulsory North Must Return Power To South In 2023 – Babachir Lawal Ex-SGF

THE immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, has given a graphic picture of how the Governor of Adamawa State, Jibrilla Bindow, betrayed President Muhammadu Buhari which led to the poor performance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state during the presidential and governorship elections.

Lawal said Bindow, right from the onset, pitched tent with the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Al- haji Atiku Abubakar, who Bindow believed, sponsored his governorship in 2015.

Lawal said: “Part of what led to this out- come was a historical position that the government of Bindow had on several occasions publicly declared that their government was a government of Atiku. It is on record that in so many fora, his supporters, his henchmen had said it in his presence and he didn’t take any step to deny it.”

Lawal also dwelt on the 2023 presidency, saying that the constitution did not say that power must leave the North in 2023, even as he said every part of the country was qualified to produce a president for the country. Among other issues, Lawal opened up on the issue of marginalization by the Igbo under President Buhari in the sharing of National Assembly leadership positions, declaring that the agitation by the Igbo is genuine, but the basis defective. He spoke more on these and others in this interview with AID- OGHIE PAULINUS in Abuja.

What went wrong that the APC didn’t win the presidential and governorship election in Adamawa State despite big names like you, General Buba Marwa (retd), wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, Mr Boss Mustapha, Governor Bindow, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and others?

I don’t know. We tried our best. Big names don’t mean big votes. We went into this election as a divided party in the state. It has been so for almost two years and you would recall that most of the so-called big names you mentioned had protested the way and manner the party was being run.

By who?

By the governor who hijacked the party structure and his loyalists and which we said was being run wrongly. And we had protested this over and over. I led several delegations to the national party chairman with some of these members you just said in the group, to complain about the manner the congresses were being organised. So, we were doing this being mindful of the fact that the presidential candidate of the PDP is an indigene of Adamawa State; a man who at one time won the governorship election of the state before he migrated to become the vice president of the country. This is by no means a small position, and obviously, would have some supporters in the state. And he will be, maybe not desperate, but he will deploy enormous resources to see that at least, he wins his state. This is the norm in every country where politics like ours is being played. So, it is not therefore surprising that the president didn’t win, but he didn’t lose either because the margin was very small and it is thanks to the combined efforts of these people you have mentioned that we were able to reduce the margin to what people call almost insignificant level.

Who do you blame for this defeat? The national chairman or…?

The national chairman doesn’t vote in Adamawa State.

 

Because you said that you led several delegations and nothing was done…

It is not a matter of blame. In the end, it is the decision of the voter as to how to cast his own vote. And obviously, if a party goes into an election factionalised, the message to the voter will not be unitary and therefore, probably, even demoralising to the rank and file of the party. So, the zeal to mobilise the voters to vote might not be that much. It is not about blame. It is about the voter in Adamawa State deciding to vote where his heart is.

On the presidential election, do you have evidence to say that Governor Bin- dow worked for Atiku rather than President Buhari?

Part of what led to this outcome was a historical position that the government of Bindow had on several occasions publicly declared that their government was a government of Atiku. It is on record that in so many fora, his supporters, his henchmen had said it in his presence and he didn’t take any step to deny it. I remember at one of their road launching somewhere in Adamawa State, the then-led Chief of Staff, made a long speech in which he insisted that Adamawa State Government was for Atiku. Now, we did also point out the fact that the governor himself had claimed that it was Atiku’s money that facilitated his victory at the polls. He had said that on several occasions. We have also had cause to protest that in Bindow’s government, there were about seven serving com- missioners who were very close to Atiku, including his own daughter. Without regard to their merit as qualified indigenes, but I mean, their political inclinations in normal politics will disqualify them from participating in an APC government. But the governor didn’t think so.

Why didn’t he lean on the Atiku’s backing to win the governorship election?

You see, in a democracy of our type, I

think the person that got this very, very well was the president who admonished the voters to vote for candidates of their choice. In my previous interview with you, I did mention that in 2015, we propagated the principle of APC. That is, from top to bottom, APC, on our understanding that the president would need such a cohesive team to perform. But to our dismay, as the political drama was play- ing out, it was in fact, the APC legislators that were fighting the government to a standstill. So, it didn’t make sense, therefore, to repeat the same principle in which just because somebody is in APC, vote for him whereas as we have seen, they ended up being the most vociferous enemies of the president.

Sir, is that not a kind of anti-party statement?

At 63 years old in a country like Nigeria with about 90 political parties, am not afraid of pitching my tent with any political party. I mean, if as an individual, if by chance or by mistake, somebody gets the APC ticket and decides not to follow the APC manifesto and decides not to do some developmental goals in line with the APC constitution, in line with the APC manifesto, I don’t think it makes sense for my state to continue to be a state of underdevelopment. It is a state of penury, so I can’t continue to support somebody just because he says we are in the same political party. It is not religion. Political party is not religion. Even in religion, people do change faith.

Is there any agreement with Fintiri, maybe he will join APC later?

I don’t know much about Fintiri. I first came into contact with Fintiri when he was Speaker and was working to impeach Governor Nyako, the then APC governor decampee. And I was one of those the party assigned the responsibility of working to frustrate the impeachment. It was at that time I first heard of his name and subsequently, told to frustrate that impeachment process.

But I was not likely to do so. After that of course, he later became acting governor for three months or less than three months. But I am not a state party man.

Can APC ever rise again in Adamawa?

Definitely! Part of the consequences of what has happened is APC trying to rebrand itself in our state. And definitely, we will learn our lessons from what has happened in the last four years. We will rebuild our party, we will reorganise our party with the belief that even those in our party who probably misadvise the governor or probably advised him wrongly whether deliberately or not, would have learned their lesson and will now be able to rebuild a party that am sure definitely, we will reclaim our mandate in 2023. This I am very sure of.

With the struggle for leadership positions in the 9th National Assembly, do you fear that the APC might lose control of the legislature like it did in 2015?

APC didn’t lose the legislature in 2015. Obviously, those who emerged as leaders, except one, were APC members. It was just the candidates themselves that were a dis- appointment to the government. They per- formed in a way that bears that out. Now, I am not a senator, I don’t have votes in the National Assembly. I believe majority of the senators in this 9th Assembly are people that are matured, grandparents, experienced in politics and have learnt their lessons from what happened in 2015. And my expectation is that they will try to avoid those pitfalls and choose leaders that are APC in nature, APC in party, APC in conviction and committed to the manifesto of the party and committed to support the government to succeed, a gov- ernment in which they are a part because the National Assembly is part of the government.

There are concerns that only the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole and APC National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, are the two people pulling the strings in the party. Do you agree that the party has been hijacked by powerful forces ahead of 2023?

Truly, if they pull strings, those strings do not include my own tail. I don’t know what strings they are pulling. As I have just told you, as I have learnt from Adamawa State, and which I continue to say, getting the nomination of the party to contest election is a completely different ball game from the general election because the electorates have their own minds and they have their own PVC and it is not a colony owned. It is one man, one PVC and one vote.

There are insinuations that the North may not cede power to the South in 2023. Do you believe this?

I don’t attend any meeting in which a so called north takes decisions. If there is such an organization that takes those decisions, they don’t invite me. For obvious reasons, I am a democrat and I believe every part of Nigeria has qualified candidates for the presidential. Every part of Nigeria! Indeed, I don’t see why the… even if it is in the north, if we say the Northwest has produced a presidential candidate, the Southwest had produced one, I don’t see why the North Central can- not produce or the Northeast cannot produce just as South-South, Southeast, Southwest and even Northwest can still produce. The constitution doesn’t say it is prohibited. And as I said, I believe every zone, every state, has capable people that can run this country effectively.

Do you believe in the principle that deputies should always succeed their principals like Osinbajo succeeding Buhari in 2023?

It is not in the constitution, so it is not a principle. Principle of what? It is not in APC constitution, it is not in the national constitution, it is not in the Bible, I don’t know whether it is in the Koran; I don’t know. So, I don’t see how it became a principle.

From the way you are sounding, you are speaking as if in 2023, there is no hope for the southerners at all?

When I said every area can produce a president, where do you get this conclusion? I just said every part of Nigeria can produce a president, a competent one. I know so many. Being a cosmopolitan man, I know Igbos not less than ten that can successfully run this country; I know Yorubas that can do, I know Ijaws that can do, I know Hausas that can do, I know even Kilba. Hey myself, my friend, I can be president of this country. I consider myself quite competent to do so from a small tribe of 300,000 people. There are so many such tribes that can produce good, competent leaders all over Nigeria.

For the second time, the Southeast is already shouting of marginalization under Buhari in the sharing of National Assembly leadership positions. Do you think their complaint is genuine?

Personal to me, their complaint is genuine, but their basis is defective.

How do you mean Sir?

I keep telling you I am not a member of the National Assembly. But my understand- ing of their rules is that you must be a rank- ing member. That is to say you must have been a member before, and therefore, has knowledge of how the place operates. But if the goodwill is there, somebody must begin somewhere. I mean, if the goodwill is there and the desire to unite the country and make everybody feel a sense of belonging is there, you can bend over backward, modify the rules and even a green horn can take one of the leadership positions. However, be that as it may, it is also true that in a political party contest, those who delivered the votes are en- titled to the perks of the office.

But in this case, the Southeast even has a ranking lawmaker.

The Southeast?

Yes. Dr Orji Uzor Kalu was in the House of Representatives and now going to the Sen- ate. He is a ranking lawmaker.

Yeah. I didn’t know that. He was in the House?

Yes

And he was a governor.

Yes. And he was a governor. Is he not eminently qualified?

He is qualified. Maybe not eminently, but he is qualified. Maybe not eminently, but he is your boss. He is qualified.

Why are you removing the eminently?

Because as I said, the qualification criteria is subjective. If you like, you can say hey, how are you going to give the Senate President to Abia in which the president didn’t get much votes, the people don’t believe in the APC and they believe in a different political party that lost? So, how do you dissuade the worries and the feeling of marginalization by those who overwhelmingly voted for the party? These are the reasons why they voted for the party and they are entitled to the perks of the office, the benefits of the office be- cause they delivered the votes. Without the mandate of the overwhelming votes of those people, we would not have won the election. So, that is why I am saying that on the face of political party system, those who delivered the votes are entitled more to rewards of their votes. Those who delivered few votes are still entitled to, but in principle, the minimum constitutional requirements. But if the good will is there, why not? You can bend over backward and say hey, these are our brothers. You can still give it to them.

Don’t you think by giving the position of Senate President to the Southeast, it will win more followers to the APC?

This type of thing, you know they say I am too troublesome. But you see, the APC has won presidential election. Even in spite of the minimal votes it got from the South-east, it still won. The APC, as it is, you have to go like searching for a needle through a haystack to be able to find one elected per- son from the APC in the Southeast. And there are zones that have hundreds of elected members. So, you want to jump them where you have people and people where you can choose from and go and start…?

Should it be done on that basis?

I don’t think you heard me. I think you have a preconceived mind. You want your boss to be Senate President. I don’t mind, he is my friend. We are not discussing personalities, but if you want us to do… Uzor Kalu is my friend and among all those contesting for this thing, I think he is the closest to me. But I am pointing out the realities to you, the realities of politics. I don’t say ok, let me give you the presidency so that you can vote for

me. Vote for me and then you get what you are looking for. It has always been the case with the Southeast. They go their own way which they are entitled to doing and then they come round and say marginalization in an election in which they marginalised themselves. They marginalised themselves in this election. They went for PDP which lost. No-body forced them to vote PDP. But they lost. So, that is politics. Politics is a game of risk. You lose, you sit down and watch through the window when people are chopping on the dining table. So, they shouldn’t blame anybody on marginalization.

How do you assess the Buhari government on its three point agenda in the last four years and what do you think should be done differently in the second term?

It is an unfair statement because for two years, I was an active member of the government; the Secretary to the Government which people say is the engine room of the government. So, to ask me how we have per- formed is like asking a mother whether her son is smart.

What is next for you politically? Are you looking at the presidency in 2023?

I, B.D. Lawal, joined politics in 2003. I joined politics in the Buhari political structure to contribute my quota and effort towards making Buhari president. In 2003, my goals, my ambitions were not achieved. In 2007, it wasn’t. In 2011, it wasn’t. But in 2015, God gave us what we have always been looking for patiently and doggedly. Now, by the constitution of Nigeria, President Buhari can only be president for two tenures, two terms and by the grace of God, He has made the second tenure possible. Buhari has won the election. So, to that extent, as far as I am concerned, God has been kind to me, He has helped me achieve my ambition in politics.

Are you saying that you are done?

As far as I am concerned, my principal, primary goal of joining politics has been achieved.

 

So, every other thing is addition?

 

Every other thing is a hobby.

 

 

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NigeriaDecides Result Updates: All Election Results In One Place |RN

 

Odeda LGA, Ward 7 in #OgunDecides2019; #OgunDecides

OLG School 1, Obantoko II PU
APC – 230
APM – 158
ADC – 122
PDP – 013

Alogi Bust stop PU
APC – 269
APM – 139
ADC – 182
PDP – 018

Aaya Pry School PU
APC – 54
APM – 49
ADC – 25
PDP – 12

Odeda LGA, Ward 7
Ayetoro Budo PU
APC – 11
APM – 18
PDP – 08
Isolu village PU
APC – 64
APM – 27
PDP – 08
Anigilaje village PU
APC – 240
APM -165
PDP – 018
Illupeju Alagbede village PU
APC – 73
APM – 43
PDP – 09

21:19

KANO: Gwale LGA

PDP: 50,834
APC: 12,283

Kano: Dan’agundi primary 001, Dan’agundi ward

Governorship election

APC: 77

PDP: 119

18:50

Bondon Mangai PU
Result

Assembly:

ADP – 3
APC – 9
PDP – 203

Governor
APC – 10
PDP – 205

IJEBU ODE LGA,OGUN EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT. WARD (06) UNIT( 009)

GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION:

APC 120
PDP 71
APM 34
UPN 9

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:

APC 82
PDP 70
APM 35
UPN 31

In Delta: PU 011, Ward 05, Ogborikoko, Uvwie LGA

Governorship election

PDP: 152

APC: 93

18:40

PU 021, Ward 005, Ikorodu Lagos State.

#LagosDecides2019
#LagosDecides

Governorship
APC:87
PDP:36
ADP:1
Void:NONE
Registered voters:508
Accredited voters:124

House of assembly
PDP: 34
APC:88
PCP:1
Void:1

Barnawa Kaduna South
PU 027

Gubernatorial
PDP – 501
APC – 115

HA
PDP – 427
APC – 92

Plateau: Wild life park, ward 2, Jos north

Governorship election

APC: 94

PDP: 184

Wildlife park, ward 1, Jos north

APC: 63

PDP: 177

PU 007, Ward 015, Lagos Island, Lagos State.

Governorship
PDP – 15
APC – 129
Rejected- 2

House of Assembly
APC – 124
AAC – 1
PDP – 16

Rejected 4

18:30

In Akwa Ibom: PU 008, Ward 10, Ibiono Ibom LGA

Governorship election

APC: 60

PDP: 306

State: Bauchi
Zone: North
LGA: Katagum

R.A: Kafin kuka
PU: 002 kofar dancilakowa

Governorship Election:
ADC: 01
GPN: 03
NNPP: 13
PRP: 37
PDP: 166
APC: 228

Mazugal 050 Nasiru Aliko Koki DG Compaign if Ganduje polling unit

Governor
PDP 143
APC 90

House of Assembly
PDP 142
APC 90

Oyo Guber: Alao-Akala Wins Polling Unit

PU RESULTS

Ogbomoso North, PU 013, Sabo-Tara 10

Gubernatorial
APC – 201 √
PDP – 82
ADP – 23

OYSHA
APC – 65
PDP – 72
ADP – 146

Ward 010, PU 013, Ogbomosho South LGA, Oyo state.

Governorship
APC 201
ADP 23
PDP 82
AD 01
AAC 03

House of Assembly
APC 65
ADC 5
ADP 146
PDP 72

KANO

PU 019 Wasila Islamia DanAgundi Ward, Kano Municipal LGA

Governorship

APC 165

PDP 80

House of Assembly

APC 93

PDP 135

Lamido, Kofar Lamido ll, 019… Shamaki ward, Gombe State

GOVERNORSHIP.
Inuwa Yahaya APC: 195
Bayero Nafada PDP: 86

STATE HOUSE
Ali Baba Manu APC: 175
Haruna FADA PDP: 77

KANO STATE RESULTS

S.D……Kano South
LGA…. Rogo
WARD… Yola
PU….010
TIME OF VISIT…4:00pm

GOVERNOR:
APC…123
PDP…169
PRP…28

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY:
APC…132
PDP…164
PRP…21

KWARA STATE RESULTS

In Kwara: PU011, Oko Erin ward, Ilorin west

Governorship election

APC: 167

PDP: 48

Ashipa Atiba LG Oyo, Oyo State.
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY RESULT
APC 105
PDP 27
ADC 55
L.P. 1
ADP 212
ACD 2
APA 1
APDA 1
ZLP 1
TOTAL NUMBER ON REGISTER 500
NUMBER ACCREDITED 245


Saraki’s polling units

PU 005

Governorship
PPD 157
APC 21

House of Assembly
PDP 151
APC 21

PU 005(2)

Governorship
PDP 179
APC 51

House of Assembly

PDP 179
APC 48

PU 006

Governorship
PDP 253
APC 125

House of Assembly

PDP 257
APC 118

PU 021

Governorship
PDP 202
APC 45

House of Assembly

PDP 202
APC 45

Ends

15:56

From Senator Dino Melaye

Kogi State

Ogale aduge ward

Ijumu LG

PDP 531

APC 442

Iffe/Ikoyi Ward in Ijumu LG

PDP 534

APC 276

Odo Eri /okoto ward YW LG. pdp 684. Apc 477.

AYEGUNLE/ILUAFON WARD UNIT 04. Ijumu LG. PDP  122;   APC 100;       ADC  37;       ACD 03

Ikoyi/Iffe ward

Iffe-Tedo Ijumu LG

APC    20

PDP   73

Ikoyi/Iffe ward

United. Pri. Sch. IJUMU LG.

APC    24

PDP   111

Ikoyi/Iffe ward

Old market(Ikoyi) Ijumu lg.

APC    41

PDP   77

Ikoyi/Iffe ward

Okejumu unit. Ijumu lg.

APC    67

PDP   74

15:52

Unguwan katia, Niger State
Governorship
APC 240
PDP 114

Member
APC 212
PDP 123

Abak unit 3 ward 3.
Governorship in Akwa Ibom State:
APC, 171
PDP, 336
PDC, 2
PDP, 2

House of assembly
PDP, 254
APC, 247

Kaita Yabo, 029, Sokoto South LGA, Sokoto
STATE HOUSE
APC: 42
PDP: 45
PPA: 1
INVALID: 2
GOVERNORSHIP
APC: 38
PDP: 50

15:20

State: Adamawa
Zone: Central
LGA: Song
Reg Area: Song Gari
PU: Wuro barde Pri SCH
PU Code: 007
House of Assembly:
Voting Point I
APC: 81
PDP: 51
ADC: 23

Tsanyawa LG, Yanganau Ward. PU 004 Sallawa Takatsaba, Kano State Governorship result

APC= 181
PDP= 152
PRP= 011

Box 001 Galadanchi Ward
PDP 86
APC 75
PRP 6
APA 1
A. A 1
APDA 1
GPN 2

Source: ElombahNews

 

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SHOCK: Another Cancellation Looms As INEC Has No Result Sheet For Inspection

 

There is palpable apprehension over the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC] on February 23, 2019.

Sources have revealed that fear of cancellation of the election result is looming as, 12 days after, INEC has no result sheets for inspection by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

ElombahNews had reported on March 6 that one week after INEC declared President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the president-elect, the electoral umpire has failed to provide explanations on discrepancies noted in the results of the February 23 presidential election it announced last Wednesday.

It was also reported that the Court of Appeal ordered INEC to allow Atiku Abubakar and his party have unfettered access to all certified copies of the materials used in conducting the 2019 elections.

That court order is reportedly causing tension in INEC as to what to do.

It was also gathered that, soon after the court ruling, INEC on Wednesday ordered its legal department to look into the ruling to advise it appropriately, a source in the know revealed.

It is now two weeks after the conduct of the elections but it seems the Electoral Commission does not have full results in its kitty for inspection.

Worse still is the fact that INEC does not have result sheets and other materials it used for collation of the results, causing anxiety and fears of annulment of elections aftermath of court ruling on Wednesday.

Even of concern is why INEC has yet to provide details of the outcome of the polls either on its website or at its state offices.

Checks conducted through INEC online portal, calls to its states’ offices, wards, local governments, federal constituencies and senatorial districts showed no physical collation or online release of the results.

This is causing fears the election results may have been cooked as efforts were rather placed on declaring winners than following processes as allowed by extant laws before declaration of election results could be done.

When Daily Mail enquired from Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, INEC’s Director of Voter Education and Publicity, it was not successful.

Also, attempts to speak with Festus Okoye, INEC’s National Commissioner on Voter Education was also unsuccessful as his phone rang out.

But several sources told Daily Mail that it should normally take few weeks to collate all election materials “owing to the magnitude of the election and the materials used.

“Nigeria is a large country, we shouldn’t be hasty in some issues but I can agree with you that at least all the materials and equipment used should have been at states’ offices.”

Asked why state offices are yet to have the equipment and materials, he said state offices should be asked or INEC “higher authority would be in a position to answer that.”

A source at the legal department of INEC told Daily Mail on phone that “it was always going to be tough providing the materials the court has ordered.

“I don’t know why materials used during the election have not be submitted but I am not in a position to speak – I am in the legal department, my mandate is not to speak on issues like this.”

According to her, “There should be thing to inspect, in fact all things being sought should be available for a petitioner to examine – that’s what all relevant laws in the country says.”

When asked what if the petitioner cannot be provided the materials being sought, she responded, “That is left for the court to decide, but it could mean cancellation of result because you can’t announce nothing for something.”  (ElombahNews)

 

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Elections: FG Declares Friday Public Holiday, Excludes Bankers, Others |RN

                   Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.)

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

 

The Federal Government has declared Friday, February 22, 2019, as a public holiday, in preparation for the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Bello Dambazau (retd), made the declaration in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Interior in a statement on Wednesday night by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, however, excluded bankers and those offering essential services across the nation.

It said, “The Federal Government declares Friday, February 22, 2019, as work-free day. Those providing essential duties and bankers are excluded.

“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their polling units for the reschedule Presidential and National Assembly elections.”

“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election,” the statement added.    (Punch)

 

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Obasanjo: I Have Not Fled The Country |The Republican News

                                 Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

Tunji Bosun

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Friday said he has not fled Nigeria, contrary to a social media report that he had travelled out of the county ahead of the presidential election scheduled for Saturday.

Obasanjo spoke with newsmen at his Presidential Library, Abeokuta, describing the Social media post as “fake news.”

The former president was reacting to a Facebook post of one Gbenga Lawal who posted: “Breaking: Obasanjo jets out of Nigeria. He can’t even wait for the thief he is imposing on Nigerians.”

In his reaction, Obasanjo said “Why should I travel out of the country before the election?

“If not for anything, I believe I should be here to perform my civic responsibility, which is to vote according to the dictate of my heart tomorrow and on the second of March.

“Those who are carrying that type of rumour or fake news; I leave them in the hands of God; I am used to that kind of thing.

“In Yoruba land, if your head is hard, you don’t have to worry yourself.

“Let anybody tell lies against you, let anybody issue fake news against you, let anybody abuse you, God will deal with them rightly and appropriately.”    (Punch)

 

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Buhari, Mbaka In Closed Doors Meeting |The Republican News

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka are in a closed doors meeting at the State House Villa, Abuja.

Mbaka arrived the forecourt of the president’s office at about 12 noon and went straight to the president’s office.

The cleric, who predicted Buhari’s victory in 2015 recently chastised the Peoples Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for not donating money to his congregation.   (The Sun)

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2019: Don’t Succumb To Plot To Derail Nigeria, Adamu Warns Electorate |RN

Linus Oota, Lafia

 

North Central presidential director of Buhari/Osinbajo campaign organisation, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has appealed to Nigerians not to succumb to plots by enemies of Nigeria to derail the country through the ballot as the 2019 general election draws near.

Senator Adamu who represents Nasarawa West senatorial district at the National Assembly, made the call on Thursday in Toto, headquarters of Toto local government, during the flag off of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial campaign in the state.

He said the gang up against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari was a plot against the collective prosperity enjoyed under the leadership of the current administration.

He urged Nasarawa voters to vote for the APC governorship candidate, Mr Abdullahi Sule, having seen what Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura had accomplished in the past eight years in the state.

In his remarks, the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Abdullahi Sule, lamented that despite being christened “Home of Solid Minerals,” Nasarawa State was yet to harness and enjoy the benefits of its rich mineral endowment.

Sule, the immediate past Managing Director of Dangote Sugar refineries, promised to deploy his experience in the private sector to take Nasarawa State to its next level of development.

Also speaking, Governor Al-Makura appealed to the people to vote for all APC candidates from the presidential to the House of Assembly.   (The Sun)

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Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Shut Down Oil Wells Over CJN, Onnoghen’s Trial

               Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators on Sunday warned that it would begin to attack oil wells in the oil-rich region if President Buhari failed to reverse the harassment of  Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The various militant groups said they were shocked to learn about the planned arraignment of the CJN over allegations of false asset declaration.

A statement issued via electronic mail by the coalition alleged that Onnoghen was being persecuted because he was from the Niger Delta, adding that the petition was plotted by the Presidency to forcefully remove Onnoghen as the CJN and replace him with a northerner.

The statement was signed by John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs  and Convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers; Simply Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force); Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters).

It stated, “In the first instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was not disposed to Justice Onnoghen’s appointment to this position, which was why he refused to confirm the appointment after so many months of serving in an acting capacity. It was during the period of his sickness while in Britain that the (then) acting President – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, confirmed the appointment.

“We wish to also recall that in August last year, Mr Matthew Seiyefa of Bayelsa State, who was the most senior and most qualified officer at the time was appointed to the position of acting Director-General of the Department of State Services by Prof. Osinbajo, only to be replaced with a retired and junior officer to Seiyefa, Mr Yusuf Bichi, by President Buhari as soon as he resumed duties.

“We hereby vehemently resist any attempt to remove the CJN from office. We, therefore, want to state categorically that if the Presidency failed to reverse its harassment against the CJN, we will have no other option but to mobilise all the Niger Delta fighters and commence serious actions that would shake the country and the whole world.

“We shall shut down all the oil wells in the Niger Delta. We call on all the northerners and Yoruba who own oil wells in the Niger Delta to prepare to vacate immediately.

“We also want to warn our Niger Delta brothers, who are working for Buhari to watch their back and know that we are watching them and their family members. We warn them to stop campaigning for Buhari in the Niger Delta,” the militants added.  (Punch)

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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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2019 Election: Buhari Will Beat PDP, Others With Wide Margin – Lai Mohammed

Iheanacho Nwosu Emmanuel, Abuja

The Federal Government has boasted that President Muhammadu Buhari would win the 2019 presidential election with a margin higher than the score line he recorded in 2015 poll to beat then President Goodluck Jonathan.

It also accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of sponsoring insinuations that the police and other security agents were working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated these during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja also dismissed as untrue, claims that the implementation of 2018 budget was only within 10 percent. He upbraided some National Assembly members for disrupting last Wednesday’s budget presentation by President Buhari.

He said, “Yes, some unruly lawmakers threw away parliamentary decorum to behave like ordinary protesters or agitators. It is nothing but bad politicking.

“But the real news is that the unruly action provided the platform for our party, the APC, to assert its majority in the National Assembly.

“The plan by the opposition was to embarrass the president and prevent him from presenting the budget.

“But they were comprehensively overwhelmed by our lawmakers who are in the majority.

“That also sends a clear signal to the opposition that they lack the number to override the president’s decision not to accent to the Electoral Bill.

“I must also note that all through the sniping by some unruly lawmakers, the president remained dignified and presidential. He rose above it all to make his presentation.”

Describing next year’s election as crucial, Mohammed said everything so far points to the fact that Buhari would record a landslide victory at the polls.

He continued, “APC will win with a larger margin than it won in 2015. We have no fear in this election. We are going to win; we are going to win massively.”

The minister claimed that the performance of the government in the area of infrastructure, wealth creation, employment generation, security and diversification of the economy would gift the party victory at the polls.

He said it was wrong to say that APC was not campaigning, stressing that the party’s presidential campaign had not kicked off because it was not long the window for campaign opened.

The minister who spoke on a wide range of issues insisted that there was no truth in claims in some quarters that APC was working with the police on electoral matters accusing PDP of being behind the allegation.

Reminded that two United States of America (USA)-based groups, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), in their reports last week, made similar allegation against the police, Mohammed insisted that PDP was behind the allegation.

He said, “The opposition is only crying wolf where there is none and in view of what they did during their 16 years in power.

“They never really won a free and fair election. Their strategy was to use the security agencies to thwart the wishes of voters. They did it in Ekiti and Osun in 2014. I was a victim in Osun, so I know what I am saying.

“But the guilty are always afraid. They think what they have done to others is what will be done to them. Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch; no security agency will play that kind of ignominious role in any election.”

On the recent hullabaloos over the report of Amnesty International on killings in Nigeria and government’s lack of or slow response, Mohammed said although there were aspects of the group’s report that were correct, it was fraught with misrepresentations.

He said, “Let me say that I have gone through the statement by the Amnesty International on this.

“One thing they got right in their report was the cause of the killings. Amnesty said the root cause of this conflict had nothing to do with religion or ethnicity; and that it was largely about land and access to grazing.

“That is correct and confirms what we have been saying that the clashes were a result of environmental factors that had made the contest for resources, especially land and water, very keen, demographic factors and, sometimes, sheer criminality.

“But they were wrong, very wrong to suggest that the government had done nothing to stem the killings. I think their report is largely outdated.

“Everyone knows that the killings resulting from the farmers-herders clashes, and indeed killings from cattle rustling and other causes, have gone down drastically.

“This didn’t happen by accident, but by a concerted and determined efforts by the Buhari administration.

“Let me list some of the actions that led to the drastic reduction in the killings: deployment of a Joint Military Intervention Force (JMIF), comprising Regular and Special Forces personnel from the Army, Air Force and Navy, and working in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security (DSS), and Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).

“Establishment of the Army’s 2 Battalion Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Kanfanchan, Doka Village, Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna State.

“Establishment of a new Area Command and two additional Divisional Police Headquarters in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

“Establishment by Nigerian Air Force of Quick Response Wings (QRW) in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, and deployment of Special Forces to these Quick Response Wings.

“The inauguration, by the Nigeria Police Force, of a new Mobile Squadron in Takum, Taraba State.

“And Operation WHIRL STROKE, operating in Benue, Nasarawa, Taraba and Zamfara states, to tackle the menace of armed herdsmen, cattle rustlers, communal militias, kidnappers and other bandits.”

He added, “Amnesty also accused the government of lethargy, saying this has allowed impunity to flourish. Again, they got it wrong.

“Apart from taking concrete measures to end the killings, as I have stated above, there have been arrests and prosecution of offenders.”

He equally faulted the recent report of New York Times which indicted the military in the killing of Shiites members during the latter’s religious procession.

He said, “I have read the report and watched the video. First, let me say that as an administration that believes in the sanctity of life and the rule of law, the Nigerian government does not and will never condone extrajudicial killings or the willful violation of the rights of its citizens.

“This does not define who we are as a government. In this regard, the government will study the report and the video with a view to determining their authenticity and taking necessary actions.”

He submitted, “The bigger picture must not be lost on us, there seems to be a choreographed campaign to demoralise our military. This is dangerous, considering their sacrifice, gallantry, and patriotism.

“Thanks to our men and women in uniform; we sleep with our two eyes closed at night.

“We must be careful not to do anything that will kill their morale, thus hampering the fight against terror, which they have prosecuted with tremendous success since this administration assumed office

“For example, when we suffered a setback recently with the killing of our troops at Matele by Boko Haram, we didn’t see the kind of outrageous reports that we normally see when Amnesty International or a section of the foreign media writes to condemn the Nigerian military.

“There was no widespread condemnation of Boko Haram. I think the impression must not be given that our military is a target of attacks by the human rights organisations and the media, especially the foreign media.”

He tackled the former Vice President and presidential candidate of the PDP over his alleged statement that that killings would continue if President Buhari was re-elected, contending that such comment amounted to politicisation of the matter.

He said, “This amounts to politicisation of the killings and bad politicking and it is totally unacceptable.

“If it is indeed true that the former vice president said that, it must be an act of desperation due to his floundering campaign.

“It is clear to all Nigerians that the electioneering campaign of the PDP presidential candidate has failed to gain traction.

“From Sokoto to Ilorin to Ibadan to Gombe, it has been a disastrous outing for the campaign. With that magnitude of failure, anyone can say anything to stay afloat.”       (The Sun)

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