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How Obasanjo Revealed That Atiku Is Not Nigerian — Ajulo |The Republican News

PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

A lawyer and former National Secretary of the Labour Party, LP, Olukayode Ajulo, has stated that being a former Vice President does not automatically qualify the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to contest for the presidency.

Ajulo, an All Progressives Congress, APC, lawyer, stated this while fielding questions from The Sun on issues relating to the contention of the nationality of Atiku.

According to the lawyer, it was even former President Olusegun Obasanjo that inspired the thought that Atiku is not Nigerian when he raised the issue of the former Vice President being of ‘dubious parental background’ in his book, ‘My Watch.’

He said, “President Olusegun Obasanjo inspired that thought and this further inspired me to go into research to know who is a Nigerian citizen by birth because if somebody who had not only worked with Atiku but was also the president then can raise this issue of Atiku being of ‘dubious parental background’ in his book, ‘My Watch,’ then there must be more than what meets the eyes.

“My position is still unchanged, and that is, that Atiku was a vice president is not an automatic qualification to contest for the presidency.

“Long repetition of wrong occurrences, won’t make it right. In fact, in Australia, one of their members of Parliament had to resign when it was discovered that his nationality was questionable.

“I don’t think ours is beyond rectification and that is why the issue is being raised. I was a student when Atiku became a vice president. .

“As a lawyer, who must be on the right side of the law, I know my limits particularly when a matter is before the court; and as a counsel to one of the parties in the election, whatever I am going to say is going to be circumspect to the point that it will not prejudice the matter before the court.

“It is so clear beyond conjecture that the APC raised a lot of fundamental preliminary objections especially on the claim of Atiku that he has right to be nominated and voted for whereas the constitution has a special condition that to be able to be voted for as the president you must be a Nigerian citizen by birth.

“Yes, it is true that no one should be prejudiced by the circumstances of his birth. However, there is an exception for every right. For example, there is a right to freedom of speech and however this right is still circumscribed by the right of other persons.

“Therefore, your right must be exercised within the ambit of the law. For example, you can’t say you have a right to freedom of movement and then find your way to my bedroom, without authorisation or justification, I will deal with you.

“The constitution stipulates the condition precedent to the right Atiku is laying claim to and I am of the view that he has not, in fact, and cannot, fulfil that condition precedent.” (Daily Post)

 

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I Am Nigerian By Birth, Says Atiku With Proofs |The Republican News

PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar

by Adioolayi

The Peoples Democratic Party’ s candidate in the February 23 presidential election , Alhaji Atiku Abubakar , has denied the All Progressives Congress’ allegation that he is not eligible to contest because he was not born in Nigeria .
Atiku stated this in a response to the APC’s reply to the petition he and his party jointly filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.

He said he was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa State, therefore he was a Nigerian.
The APC had alleged in its response that as of November 25, 1946, when Atiku was born , Jada, was part of Northern Cameroon .

But Atiku insisted that he was a Nigerian citizen, adding that his parents were also Nigerians by birth.
He said while his father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir , hailed from Wumo in the present day Sokoto State, his mother, Aisha Kande, hailed from Dutse, now Jigawa State.
Atiku and the PDP said, “Contrary to the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 and 6 of the 3rd respondent’s ( APC’s) reply, the petitioners state that the 1st petitioner ( Atiku ) is a citizen of Nigeria by birth and thus qualified to vote and be voted for and returned in the election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, held on Saturday February 23, 2019 going by the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“The 1st petitioner was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa State, by Nigerian parents and he is, therefore, a citizen of Nigeria by birth.

“The 1st petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir, was a Nigerian by birth who hailed from Wumo in the present day Sokoto State, while the mother, Aisha Kande , was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in the present day Jigawa State.

“The parents of the 1st petitioner are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria .
“The birth of the 1st petitioner in Jada, in the present-day Adamawa State of Nigeria, was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku, who was an itinerant trader, from Wumo in the present-day Sokoto State to Jada in company of his friend , Ardo Usman.

“That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st petitioner, gave birth to Garba who in turn gave birth to the 1st petitioner and named him after his father, Atiku .

“The 1st petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande, was the grand daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in the present-day Jigawa State.
All averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons , League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st petitioner. ”

The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 27, 2019, declared that the All Progressives Congress alongside its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won the February 23 election with 15,191, 847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.

But the petitioners stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s ( INEC’s) server … the true, actual and correct results” from “state-to -state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
INEC had in its response to the petition distanced itself from the “server results.”

The commission, through its lead counsel, Yunus Usman ( SAN ) , had said the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.
It added that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.

In their reply to the APC’s reply, Atiku and the PDP insisted that they truly got authentic results of the February 23 election from the Independent National Electoral Commission’s server.
They said, “In reaction to paragraph 29 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the data and scores in the 1st respondent’s server were as transmitted by the 1st respondent’s officials and those scores are valid, and legitimate.

“The conduct of elections and declarations of results by the 1st respondent is the subject of the present petition.
“Contrary to paragraphs 31 and 34 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners contend that the figures and scores in paragraph 22 of the petition are neither false nor contrived or concocted by the petitioners .

“Indeed, the adhoc staff and officials of the 1st respondent in obedience to the training/instruction by the 1st respondent (INEC) transmitted the scores they got from the polling units to the 1st respondent’s server.” (Punch)

 

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Oshiomhole Mocks Atiku: You’re Destined Never To Be Nigeria’s President |RN

Romanus Ugwu

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is destined never to be the president of Nigeria.

He said that his desperation, evidenced by his penchant for jumping from one political party to the other would continue to be his greatest undoing.

Speaking during a world media briefing at the party’s headquarters, the former governor of Edo State, said that apart from portraying himself as an unreliable politician and fighting his boss in desperation, the ruling party was ready to meet Atiku in court.

He, however, admitted that the recently-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections were not perfect just like it happens in every other election elsewhere in the world.

He alleged that the party’s senatorial candidate in Akwa-Ibom State, former governor Godswill Akpabio was rigged out.    (The Sun)

 

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Elections Postponement: I Am Shocked By INEC’s Action -Atiku |The Republican News

6f90c-tattaunawa-da-atiku-1_page1_image1
                                                          Atiku Abubakar

 

Olufemi Atoyebi, Hindi Livinus, Yola

 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has expressed shock that the presidential election was postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, a few hours before its conduct.

Atiku, who spoke at his residence in Yola, Adamawa State on Saturday, said he had no issue with the sensitive materials that had already been distributed for the election in as much as they were kept in a safe place.

Atiku said, “I am shocked with the postponement of the election. You don’t postpone an election few hours to its conduct. I am going to Abuja to attend an emergency meeting of the PDP and decide the next step. I am not dampened by the postponement.

“As long as the sensitive materials that have been distributed already are kept in a safe place, there is no cause for alarm. I am appealing to Nigerians to please come out and vote and to please be patient. Whatever the stakeholders decide at the meeting in Abuja will be communicated to Nigerians.”    (Punch)

 

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Group Files Suit To Stop Atiku’s Presidential Bid Over Citizenship

Atiku-in-Rivers

Atiku Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate 

The Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to disqualify the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, from contesting the February 16 presidential election.

The group wants Atiku disqualified over alleged circumstances surrounding his  citizenship.

The suit, which was filed on behalf of the group by Mr. Kayode Ajulo, is seeking an interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the 1999 Constitution.

The group named the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as defendants in the suit.

It also wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 25 of the Constitution is the sole authority that spells out ways by which a person can become a Nigerian citizen by birth.

“Whether by the provisions of Section 131(a) of the Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of president.

“Whether by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and given the circumstances surrounding the birth of Mr. Atiku, he can be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for office of the president.”

The plaintiff, in the suit, said that if the court resolves the issues in its favour, it should declare that by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth could contest for president.

“A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(l) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and given the circumstances surrounding Atiku’s birth, he cannot be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for president.”

In an affidavit deposed to by one Michael Okejimi, a legal practitioner in the law firm of Ajulo, the deponent averred that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946.

“That from Atiku’s own testimony that is gazetted and published in most national dailies in circulation, he is from Jada town in Adamawa and Jada used to be in Ganye Local Government Area in Adamawa.

“That Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe and was never part of Nigeria legally as at the date of birth of Atiku.

“That none of Atiku’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria and his father died a citizen of Northern Cameroon in 1957 prior to the referendum of June 1, 1961 that made Northern Cameroon a part of Nigeria.

The suit has, however, not been assigned to a judge.                                                          (NAN)

 

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Buhari Support Groups Back Atiku In Dramatic U-Turn |The Republican News

                           PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja

 

Fifty-nine support groups formerly rooting for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election have made a U-turn and endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for president in the 2019 polls.

The groups explained that they took the decision because “the government we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people and we cannot continue to reinforce failure.”

Speaking at a ceremony in Abuja on Monday night, the National Coordinator, Grassroot Mobilisers for Buhari, Yusuf Ardo, accused the Buhari administration of failing to appoint youths into his government.

He noted that the nation’s economy, which was rated as the fastest growing economy in Africa, had become comatose under the Buhari government, stressing that the administration had shown that it was clueless.    (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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