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Buhari Never Called For Violence In Zamfara, Says APC Campaign Organisation

12 February 2019 - 6:33am


The All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Council has debunked the claim that President Muhammadu Buhari called for violence during the presidential campaign rally held in Zamfara State on Sunday.

Festus Keyamo, Director of Strategic Communications, APC Presidential Campaign Council, made this known in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Keyamo accused Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and his party of “peddling falsehood, scaremongering and misinformation”.

He said the use of the Hausa word ‘fitna’, by the President during the campaign in Zamfara, was taken out of context.

The statement read: “Typical of the PDP and Atiku’s Campaign team, they have continued in their favourite pastime of peddling falsehood, scaremongering and misinformation. This time, the candidate of the main opposition himself, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, sensing a comprehensive defeat this Saturday and out of frustration, threw caution to the wind in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday, February 11, 2019, when he alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari called for violence when he campaigned in Zamfara State.

“Nothing can be farther from the truth. The Hausa word the President used in Zamfara, which has been taken out of context, is ‘fitna’. Incidentally all our Hausa language scholars have said the word means different things: it means distress, trial, affliction or temptation. It can also be used to describe rebellion or uprising.

“In this case, President Buhari was actually weighing in on the joke told very often of recent in the North that due to the rice boom, farmers have embarked on pilgrimage and the marrying of more wives. So, what the President meant was actually a joke deliberately taken out of context: he simply told the crowd to ensure they eat very well because of the rice boom before they can contemplate giving in to those temptations.

“Even in some private meetings with our campaign team, the President has always commented on this joke. Sadly, out of desperation, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has decided to peddle falsehood.”

Keyamo urged Atiku to tread cautiously, so as not to set the nation on fire by “outright falsehood”.

“We urge Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to realize that it is God Almighty that gives power and takes power. He should not use his palpable desperation to return to power (in order to sell Nigeria to his ‘friends’ and to make them rich) to set this nation ablaze by outright falsehood,” he said.

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BREAKING: APC Vows To Punish Amosun ‘Immediately After The Elections’

12 February 2019 - 5:51am

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced that Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, will not escape punishment for the embarrassment he caused the party during the presidential rally at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Kuto, Abeokuta, on Monday.

At the rally, Amosun had shocked everyone when he campaigned for both APC and the Allied People’s Movement (APM), the party of his anointed who did not get the APC governorship ticket.

But the high point was Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari being pelted by the crowd.

Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the party, was also videoed flinging the party’s flag away in annoyance.

The party has now announced that it intends to “review this gross misconduct of deliberately positioning thugs to attack and embarras the President and the party's leadership”, and take a decision on this matter “immediately after the elections”. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Confusion In Ogun As APM Supporters Take Over Buhari's Campaign Rally 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

 “The All Progressives Congress (APC) regrets Monday's premeditated attacks sponsored by Governor Ibikunle Amosun on President Muhammadu Buhari and other senior party leaders at the venue of the presidential campaign rally in Ogun State,” Mallam Lanre-Issa Onilu, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said in a statement.

“This is one act of indiscipline too many. The APC will not condone acts of indiscipline, indiscretion and anti-party activities from any party member no matter how highly placed.

“The party will review this gross misconduct of deliberately positioning thugs to attack and embarrass the President and the party's leadership. The party will take a decision on this matter immediately after the elections. See Also VIDEO NEWS VIDEO: Tinubu Flings APC Flag Away At Presidential Campaign Rally In Ogun 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

“It must be stated that party supremacy and discipline according to our constitution are not matters of choice but binding principles which must be adhered to by ALL party members.

“The APC is a party known for discipline, justice, fairness and equality hence any plan to destroy what this party stands for would be rejected. No single person will be allowed to put his personal and selfish interests ahead of the wishes of the people of Ogun state and elsewhere.  See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Amosun Campaigns For Both APC And APM At Buhari's Campaign Rally 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

“Post primaries, the decision of the National Working Committee to uphold the wishes of party members is unbendable. Therefore, whatever means being presently deployed by persons intending to undermine the wishes of the people for personal gains will not be tolerated.

“We urge our teeming party supporters and members not to be disturbed by Monday's condemnable incident. We urge all to continue trooping out en masse for our remaining campaigns and vote massively for ALL and ONLY APC candidates in the forthcoming general elections.”

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4 Days Until #NigeriaDecides2019: SaharaTV Live Broadcast

12 February 2019 - 5:44am

SaharaTV Live Broadcast: 4 Days Until #NigeriaDecides2019

 

 

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'Shattered Hope' — Buhari's Former Supporter Pens Book On Four Years Of 'Incompetence'

12 February 2019 - 5:27am


Nigeria author Erasmus Ikhide has released 'Shattered Hope', a book about the frittering away of the greatest hope that Muhammadu Buhari's candidature generated in the affairs of the nation in 2015.  

"Given the hopeless social political reality then, it was a unique period in the life of the largest black nation on earth," the authour said.

This book graphically showcases how the Nigerian hope has been systematically broken by the official deceit, incompetence, half-truths and propaganda in just three-and-a-half years of President Muhmmadu Buhari in power.

This is a story of how the electorate in Nigeria have been cruelly short-changed; how a gigantic hope has been turned into a mirage. This work is from the same pen of a social crusader that unsparingly contributed to the electoral defeat of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The book sells for $18.8 on Amazon.com, while the hard copy goes for N6,500.

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AUDIO: Atiku's Campaign Spokesman Says Victory 'Practically Impossible' For Ex-VP Without Rigging

12 February 2019 - 4:42am

Segun Sowunmi, spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, says unless they choose to rig the forthcoming elections, it may be “practically impossible” to win if they don’t focus on serious campaign.

He stated this in a leaked audio published by Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the Buhari campaign organisation, on Tuesday.

The date of the audio was not yet verified as of the time of this report, but Keyamo claimed the conversation happened in earlier in February.

Video of Atiku's Campaign Spokesman Says Victory 'Practically Impossible' For Ex-VP Without Rigging Atiku's Campaign Spokesman Says Victory 'Practically Impossible' For Ex-VP Without Rigging

In the audio recording, Sowunmi said: “Except for rigging, it’s practically impossible for Atiku to make the number again. Therefore, we are now back on campaign. We cannot abandon our campaign.”

In his remarks on the audio, Keyamo tweeted: “It’s all over!!! Segun Sowunmi, Atiku’s spokesperson, in a leaked audio early February, throws in the towel. I expected this long ago, but it’s better late than never."

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BREAKING: Bad News For Rivers APC Candidates As Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal On Primaries

12 February 2019 - 4:31am


The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the decision to exclude its candidates from contesting the 2019 elections.

The factions of the Rivers State APC had filed different appeals at the Supreme Court after a stay of execution judgment granted in their favour by a Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had challenged the decision by a Federal High Court barring the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising the Rivers APC candidates.

On Monday, the Supreme Court has commenced the hearing of the three appeals filed by the two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State. The two Rivers APC factions are led by Ibrahim Umah and Ojukaye Flag-Amachree.

At the proceeding on Monday in Abuja, the court heard arguments on the ruling of the Appeal Court, which ordered a stay of execution of the judgment by Justice Chiwendu Nwogu. After listening to the arguments of the factions, the Supreme Court proceeded on a short recess.

However, at the sitting on Tuesday, the court ruled that the preliminary objection raised by the APC faction would be upheld.

However, Justice Aliyu Sanusi struck out the appeal, and said the reasons for striking out the suit would be given on a later date.

The development comes as bad news to candidates of the party in the state, who are seeking to force their inclusion in the ballot ahead of the February 16 and March 2 elections; however some hope still remains as the court is yet to rule on three pending appeals on the primaries.

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BREAKING: Babachir Lawal To Remain In EFCC Detention

12 February 2019 - 4:31am


Sahara Reporters Media

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered that Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Lawal had pleaded not guilty to the 10-count charge of N544,119,925.36 charges levelled against him by EFCC. He is being tried alongside Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited

Lawal was said to have private interest in the approval of N544,119,925.36, for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation.

He was arraigned before Justice Okeke of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Ruling on his bail application will be determined on February 13, 2019.

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Why APC Is Just ‘Turnioniown’​ By Fredrick Nwabufo

12 February 2019 - 3:20am


Fredrick Nwabufo

It is easier to solidarise in "struggle" than in victory.

In 2013, the PDP galloped from one crisis to another until it imploded and lost power at the centre in 2015. But the party’s eclipse happened after it had enjoyed 16 years in power.

Currently, the APC is embroiled in tremulous wrangling. And this is just after three and a half years of savouring victory. 

A few days ago, I watched as Adams Oshiomhole, APC national chairman, gave Rochas Okorocha, Imo state governor, a dressing-down at the presidential rally in the state. I was shocked at the national chairman’s indiscretion with words. This is a governor whose support is crucial in the APC winning the presidential election in the state. How do you expect him to really work for the party after a public and televised ridicule by the chief of that party?

The triggers of the kerfuffle in Imo state are the same as those in Zamfara state, where the governor vowed to assault any of the party executives who come to mediate in the crisis.

Why is the party unravelling so soon?

The APC presidential rallies across the states have accented the deep and festering sores in the party.  I watched as Rotimi Amaechi and Abike Dabiri “squabbled” at the rally in Adamawa. And yesterday at the rally in Ogun, a despondent Bola Tinubu flung an APC flag like garbage. More discomfiting is the distraught party supporters throwing projectiles while the president raised the hand of Dapo Abiodun, the party’s gubernatorial candidate.

And where is the logic in President Buhari asking supporters to vote for him, and at the same telling them to vote for any governorship candidate of their choice - “across party lines” – as he did in Imo and Ogun state? This must be a novelty in political immolation. It is a recipe for disaster.

But is this upheaval capable of causing an upset in the electoral fortunes of the APC? I think so, if it is not managed well and soon enough. This is exactly where the PDP was in 2015.

When political parties do not run on ideologies, but on interest, there is bound to be head-on collisions. Obviously, the merger which resulted in the carnation of the APC was oxygenated by one interest – to grab power. But the brokers of the deal did not ask, “after we take over power what next? How do we manage it? How do we manage the pool of interests? And how do we deliver good governance to Nigerians.”

Success not prepared for could be a curse.

This here is the reason the APC is just ‘turnioniown’.
 
Fredrick Nwabufo

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JUST IN: Lawyers Present Arguments As Court Decides Whether To Remand Babachir Lawal In Prison

12 February 2019 - 3:09am


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, arraigned Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), before a Federal High Court in Abuja for offences bordering on conspiracy and fraud.

Lawal, who appeared in court in a grey kaftan, is facing a 10-count charge of conspiracy levelled against him and Hamidu David Lawal, Suleiman Abubakar and two companies, Rholavision Engineering Ltd and Josmon Technologies Ltd., an offence contrary to Section 26(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act.

Lawal was alleged to have conspired with Hamidu, a Director in Rholavision and Abubakar, a staff in the same company, to fraudulently acquire a property.

In October 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari had sacked Lawal, after a report of investigations by a panel chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, into allegations of fraud levelled against him.

Lawal pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, ass his lawyers are currently arguing for his bail application.

The matter is being presided over by Justice Jude Okeke.

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JUST IN: Babachir Lawal Arrives Court As 'Grass-Cutting Trial' Kicks Off

12 February 2019 - 2:26am


Babachir Lawal, the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has arrived the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

He is standing trial over allegations of having private interest in the approval of N544,119,925.36, for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation.

The former SGF will be tried on a 10-count charge, alongside Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited.

He arrived the court on Tuesday morning alongside operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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PREVIEW: Durotoye, The Public Speaker Seeking To Hold Nigeria's Highest Public Office

12 February 2019 - 2:17am

Adetokunbo Olufeolami was born into the Fela family of professors ‘Layiwola and Adeline Durotoye on May 12, 1971 in the ancient city of Ibadan. His parents were both lecturers at the University of Ibadan —the premier university — as of the time of his birth.  From Ibadan, the Durotoye family moved to the then University Of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) located in Ile-Ife, Osun State in Nigeria in 1972. Ile-Ife, historically, prides itself as the cradle of the Yoruba race.

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

As it is the custom of lecturers to live in the apartments provided by the university management, the Durotoyes lived on the campus quarters where the little Fela started his education. He attended the Staff Children’s School between 1974 and 1981. After his primary education, he proceeded to Moremi High School where he started his secondary education, which he finished in 1986. Having completed his secondary education, he proceeded to the Obafemi Awolowo Unioversity, Ile-Ife, where he obtained a Barchelor’s degree in computer science with Economics. He later had a Master’s degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) as well as a Master of Philosopher in Strategic Management.

He left the shores of Nigeria for the Kennedy School Of Government at the world famous Harvard University, Boston (Massachusetts). He also attended High Impact Leadership for a better society programme at the world class Yale University, New Haven (Conneticut) and The Leadership Institute, Arlington (Virginia), all in the United States Of America. Durotoye is also a Certified leadership coach of the John Maxwell Team.

In 2015, he completed the Executive Seminar Programme on Strategy, Innovative and Governance with specific focus on Sustainability for the Non-Governmental Organisations and corporate organisations at the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. In the same year, Fela Durotoye completed the supernumerary police training programme at the Nigerian Police Training College, Ikeja, and received the Distinguished Student at his graduation and passing out parade.

CAREER BEFORE POLITICS

Fela’s career over the years has straddled lecturing and pure motivational speaking. His professional career began in 1992 as a Project Finance Analyst in Ventures and Trusts Limited. He would later join Phillips Consulting Limited (PCL), in 1998, where his competence earned him the post of Head of Customer Service Group.

In 2000, he founded V.I.P. Consulting Limited, and it did not take long for the company to become a household name and gain a reputation as one of the leading experts in the area of Customer Management and Workforce Activation in Nigeria. Barely seven years after, V.I.P. metamorphosed into Visible Impact Limited. And with the change in name came with the direct change in purpose; it changed from being a management consulting firm into a social enterprise.

The transformation or re-branding of the company added to its existing Consulting group. Four other divisional groups comprising the Project Management group, the Multimedia group as well as the Investment Management and Foundation groups formed the new Visible Impact corporate structure.

Durotoye is currently the Chairman of the boards of Directors of some of Nigeria’s leading companies, including House of Tara International, a leading beauty company in Nigeria with over 4,000 beauty representatives, 22 beauty studios and 12 make-up schools; Homebase Mortgage Bank Limited; I-Aspire Media, operators of Nigeria’s premier inspiration and leadership radio; and ORBRA ICT, manufacturers of cutting-edge smartphones, tablets, smart devices and accessories.

Durotoye currently lectures Ethical Leadership at Stanford University Seed Program to CEOs of businesses with operations across Africa. He is also on the advisory board of Nigeria Canada Forum (NCF) based in Regina, Canada.

POLITICAL ANTECEDENT

Before becoming presidential candidate of the Alliance For New Nigeria (ANN), Durotoye had never held a political post before.

STRENGTHS

His motivational speaking skill has the tendency to win him people who appreciate the power of diction and elocution. He is known to be a good communicator and motivator, which means regardless of whether his ideas are workable or not, he has the advantage of the ability to make people believe in them.

His religion helps, too. Durotoye is a devout Christian and he has never hidden it. Even when he is on the hustings to address potential voters, he talks more like a pastor than a politician. Since religion is a tool in the hand of politicians to actualise their dreams, some pastors may see Durotoye as the voice of Christians in the political scene and talk their members into voting for him.

The he has broad-based clients. Durotoye has a vast and variegated pool of clients across almost every walk of life.

The Influence of his wife also counts for something. It may sound ridiculous but Fela has a wife with Influence — Tara, founder and CEO of House of Tara International. In 2013, Tara was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was also named one of the Forbes ’20 Young Power African Women’. She has large following that her husband can surely exploit.

WEAKNESSES

Political neophytism. It can be argued that oftentimes Fela mistakes a serious enterprise like governance for motivational speaking. This is very obvious to those who know much about politics and they see him as a joker who cannot be entrusted with their mandate.

Religion. His ‘churchy’ disposition may cost him the votes of the electorate who are of other religious persuasions apart from Christianity, as well as the atheists.

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Yakata, The Spithouse Is Falling Again! By Kunle Wizeman Ajayi

12 February 2019 - 1:41am


Last time, it was at the campus of the legendary Great Ife.

This time, the much awaited happened right at the Olumo Republic (apology to Adeola Soetan). Ex-comrade Adams Oshiomhole, APC national Chair and President Buhari were stoned.  

The reason was the anti-democratic credentials that both have been exhibiting, using the internal politics of their party as an opening glee.

We are all witnesses to the fact that both Buhari and Oshiomhole have been speaking recently like small gods. They call the bluffs of all dissents and act as dictators on issues affecting the common man and the entire populace. 

Recall that the uncomrade Oshiomhole once retorted that when a looter joins APC,"all your sins are forgiven! " This is a pure daring of the entire people who had been fooled in 2015 by Buhari's anti-corruption posers and his so-called no-nonsense and strongman politics. And Oshiomhole, had trusted his legendary dramaturgy of a great trade unionist who is standing with the masses. Of course, from his foray as Edo Governor and his recent misrules as APC chair, all the fakings of being a real comrade before the people is now exposed. 

The APC had used Oshiomhole's labour influence and his usual fruitless grandstands as posters to deceive the working people. This is the same thing being done with Festus Keyamo. The party is never progressive as they claim, but needs some ambitious individuals acting as progressives to fake us and keep us so deceived. Buhari's "gaskiya" tag as a soldier of integrity was also explored in 2015 and is still sold to us a dummy now. But that black and beautiful rock, Olumo, stoned their lies away yesterday. 

Some jesters would ascribe what happened at the Ogun rally yesterday as "internal party politics" or the godforsaken "family affairs," we the working people are scattered across parties and are the ones used to build the spithouses they call political structures. The same suffer head affects the many working people in APC and PDP despite the fact that these parties are anti-people. This is not blamable as life does not, like politics, allow for any vacuum.

Many of the youths trooping to Omoyele Sowore's AAC today have been in the big parties before. So, a democratic ideal is always on the cards anywhere the masses are. We need to patiently explain to the angry APC members who raged against their party's nondemocratic way in Abeokuta yesterday to look for a real democratic party away from both big ones and support the struggle to birth another Nigeria. 

Buhari and the APC do not have a democratic culture which is reflective of how they rule Nigeria. Alas in Ogun. Charity began at home. The spithouse is falling!

This piece is meant to be a comic relief and short skits crack the ribs longer. 

Emperor Tinubu got glued and lost action in all of the stoning saga, only to vent his toad-like anger on the flag of the broom. The Jagaban flung away the sweepless brooming flag!

But while we cry and laugh, we must never forget that the PDP also crumbled this same way at the last general elections. Yet we failed to make the best out of the mockery. We handed the baton to another side of the old order. This must not repeat itself. 

It is insanity to keep trying the same formula for the same problem. To replace the rulers stones yesterday at our proud Olumo republic, we must not concede another four years of tragedy to the PDP. It is better to dare history and make the best change. The African Action Congress (APC) with its alternative programs highlighted in the SPICER HEAT, and its activist membership and leadership; portrays a party that can safely secure our future. 

The spithouse of PDP fell with Jonathan, another spithouse in APC replaced it. What is to be done is to do away with spithouses and erect a structure we can own and call our own. 

A structure built with our hard earned millions wilfully. A structure that will be truly democratic and will care more about the general welfare of the majority through free education at all levels; free and quality health care; a minimum wage of #100,000; mass employment through the public sector; and a country that will never feed the greedy and make the needy hungry. Let's not overate the power of these so-called big parties, we are more in mass than them. Those who make the mistake of not voting in anger or in the feeling that the elections will be rigged should take the pain to act first instead. The AAC has veteran activists who have been leading participants in major mass actions against bad governance from Anti-SAP to June 12 Six-Revolution; the fight against Third term to the nine general strikes against neo-liberalism since 1999, and especially the January 2012 Uprising Against Fuel Subsidy Removal.  

AAC is also populated with valuable youths that have been significant activists on their campuses; work places; trade unions and the civil society. Many of them were active participants in the famous #ENDSARS; TUFACE/Enough is Enough 2017 struggle; anti-demolition struggles in Otodo Gbame and other parts of the country. The party also have a mass of practical intellectuals and professionals who represent a fast declining middle class that is being chopped up by the wide gap between the poor and the rich. It is a peopled structure that is needed now, not one built by stolen public money. 

That structure is in Omoyele Sowore's AAC. It will be a mass stoning of both big parties when we all match out in our millions to vote out the worthless brooms and the leaking umbrellas, and carefully heartfully pin our hind fingers to vote the ten trusted hands waving at the third box in the February 16th ballot paper.  

Let's make a destiny with history and #TakeItBack!
 

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President Buhari Writes Nigerians By SOC Okenwa

12 February 2019 - 1:37am


Fellow Nigerians,

It has given me tremendous delight to address you all, my compatriots, through this open letter. As you all know I am a man of few words. I am not a professional letter-writer like those who used stolen funds to construct a 'wonderful' presidential library where they retired. And English (nay grammar) is not my language -- apology to Sir Shina Peters. Hausa is the language of my birth as English is to the English, French to the French and German to the Germans. I make bold to say that I speak Hausa more fluently than any other foreign language!

When you overwhelmingly elected me in 2015 to preside over our national affairs there was great hope in the future in a nation ravaged by mind-boggling corruption and leadership mediocrity. Almost four years down the line we have made some significant progress in some critical areas of our national life. 

We have technically defeated Boko Haram terrorism even though the terrorists still succeed in attacking our villages and towns up north in a guerrilla warfare. We have worked hard on the economy improving the fortunes of our people. We have employed thousands of our jobless youths in different sectors besides empowering other artisans and petty traders through soft micro-credit schemes. Thousands of our farmers are having it good with bumper harvests -- smiling to the banks happily.

On graft we have fought institutional and individual corruption with determination and vigour expected of us. Billions of Naira has thus far been recovered from glorified criminals and looters. Some folks are cooling their heels in different prisons across the federation. Though corruption is fighting back furiously we are determined to continue weeding out of the system those practices inimical to our collective development.

As we approach interestingly the presidential election of Saturday (16th February) we, of the ruling APC coalition, are very confident of sweeping the polls as we did during the Jonathanian era. We are looking forward to yet another landslide victory with your expected massive support. On the D-Day this weekend I personally implore you all, fellow countrymen and women of voting age, to troop to the polls to cast your votes.

Of course we recognise that power belongs to you, the people! Therefore, it is pertinent that all of you should exercise your constitutional right to elect your leaders without let or hindrance. Please do not forget to remember where we were when we came to office and where we are now. Before we came in corruption had eaten deeply into the national fabric that solution ought to have been found to confront and defeat the cankerworm without compromise.

Before we came on board security was a huge challenge. Boko Haram elements had taken over many of our towns and villages hoisting their Islamic black flags and ruling as they pleased. Though there exists still a security challenge nationwide we have done well to protect lives and properties of Nigerians. Before we assumed office unemployment was rife and the economy was in poor state but today we have effortfully stabilized the economy attracting foreign investments and growing businesses.

Those who spent a humongous 16 billion Dollars to provide electricity but ended up producing darkness while in power are saying that this administration has failed! They say we are incompetent, sectional and slow. But when they were here they never performed better than us. We challenge them to prove us wrong on this score.

Indeed we have delivered on some of our promises but we recognise that not all promises made have been fulfilled in full given the time constraints. That is why we are seeking another mandate of four years from you to consolidate our achievements and achieve even more.

Fellow Nigerians, we are seeking a second constitutional term and not unconstitutional third term as some hypocrites 'Babacratically' did but failed in the past. I assure you that the upcoming general elections would be transparent, free and fair. Some opposition elements are crying wolf where there is none in sight. We, in the APC, do not believe in "do-or-die" politics of their godfathers or the fixing syndrome that characterised their 16 giddy years in the saddle.

My people, let me emphasize more on the three cardinal programmes of change we promised you, something that led to your massive votes for the APC last four years. On security we are still having problems contending with both Boko Haram and herdsmen/farmers clashes. But we have done our very best to secure your lives and properties. There is no nation (including America, Britain, France, Russia and China) without one security challenge or another.

On the economy we have dutifully positioned and repositioned the economy for a steady growth in the years ahead. On corruption our committed war on graft has yielded bountiful dividends. Today, corruption is no longer as pervasive as it was before we 'swept' our way to Aso Villa. So far we have done well to deserve another four years to be able to build upon our accomplishments.

Some addicted critics of this administration had accused my presidency of ceding power to the so-called 'cabal' in the Villa. My wife, Aisha, our First Lady, had not helped matters by alluding to this ludicrous claim. Believe me I am in full charge! No cabal exists in the Villa to the best of my knowledge. Please disregard, therefore, the nonsense being peddled by the disgruntled opposition. I take full responsibility for whatever happens in this government.

Some uncharitable critics equally say conveniently that I am going senile or suffering from dementia. But that is not true! Perhaps my difficulty during the campaign rallies to correctly pronounce the word 'gubernatorial' or recollect the exact date we assumed official duties must have informed their erroneous conclusions. As I said before I regretted coming back to power at this age. 

When I was a military dictator post-Shagari, decades ago, you would agree with me that age was on my side then. Now the reverse is the case! I was then as active as President Macron or Prime Minister Trudeau. But today age has taken a toll on my physical and intellectual abilities! No one can cheat nature. At 76 I believe Allah has been kind to me and Nigeria has favoured me immensely. I am proud to be one of you.

A fellow old soldier who had the rare opportunity of ruling this great nation twice takes pleasure in painting me black before you all and the international community. I refuse to join issues with him on many unfounded allegations and vituperations he had heaped on my person. I leave him to his conscience (if he has any) and God (if he believes truly in One).

Some idiots who address themselves as critics had alleged criminally that I was cloned in London and that a certain "Jubril from Sudan or Chad" is the one running our national affairs on behalf of an imagined 'dead' Buhari. That is the height of insolence taken to the extreme! The fugitive boy, the terrorist Nnamdi Kanu, who first made the unsubstantiated allegation is known to be a rabble-rouser without base. Today he is a Nigerian, tomorrow he is a British citizen and next tomorrow he fancies himself as a Jew from Israel! I hold him in absolute scorn.

As we go to the polls come Saturday and beyond we must endeavour to behave ourselves as good democrats and patriots. The security forces across the federation have been fully mobilized to guarantee peace and tranquility. However, they have my instructions to deal decisively with anyone (no matter how lowly or highly placed in the society) who tries to disrupt the electoral process in particular or jeopardise democracy in general.

Conclusively I urge you to vote wisely. Please vote APC so that we can, together as one political family, take ourselves to the Next Level! Long live democracy! Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!


SOC Okenwa
soco_abj_2006_rci@hotmail.fr

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Gunmen kidnap Two Bowen University Workers

12 February 2019 - 1:04am


Gunmen have kidnapped two workers of Bowen University on Monday evening.

The victims, who are yet to be identified, were said to have been kidnapped at Ile-Ogbo junction along Iwo-Osogbo Road.

An eye-witness who managed to escape narrated the incident. He said they were stopped by armed men and marched into the bush.

He managed to escape, but was shot in the leg by the kidnappers and is currently being treated at an undisclosed hospital in the state.

Confirming the kidnap to The Nation newspaper, Folashade Odoro, spokesperson of the Osun State Police Command, stated that the Police is combing the bush to rescue the victims and apprehend the kidnappers.

“Yes, two people were kidnapped, and our men are already in the bush trying to rescue the victims and apprehend the abductors,” she said.
 

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EFCC To Arraign Babachir Lawal Over N544m Grass-cutting Scandal

12 February 2019 - 1:01am


Secretary to the Government of Federation Mr. Lawal Babachir

Secretary to the Government of Federation Mr. Lawal Babachir politiscope

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to arraign Babachir Lawal, a former Secretary General of the Federation, on Tuesday.

Lawal is accused of benefiting illegally from the approval of N544,119,925.36 for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation.

The former SGF will be be tried on a 10-count charge, alongside Hamidu David Lawal, Sulaiman Abubakar, Apeh John Monday, Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Limited.

The EFCC accused Lawal of indirectly holding a private interest in the contract awarded to Rholavision Engineering Limited and Josmon Technologies Ltd by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE).

In the charge sheet dated January 30, and filed by Offem Uket, M.S. Abubakar and Abba Muhammed, some of the charges read: “That you, Engr, Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a Director of Rholavision, Hamidu David Lawal being a director of Rholavision Engineering Limited, Sulaiman Abubakar being a staff of Rholavision Engineering Limited on or about the 7th of March 2016 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did conspire to commit an offence to wit: fraudulent acquisition of property and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 26 (1) (c ) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act.

“That you, Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Hamidu David Lawal; Sulaiman Abubakar; Apeh Monday John being the Managing Director of Josmon Technologies Ltd and Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about February 2016 at Abuja did conspire to commit an offence to wit: fraudulent acquisition of a private interest in contract awarded to Josmon Technologies Ltd and thereby, committed an offence contrary to Section 26 (1) (c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same Act.

“That you, Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 4th of March, 2016 at Abuja did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technologies Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N272,524,356.02 by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

“That you Engineer Babachir David Lawal while being the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a director of Rholavision Engineering Ltd on or about the 22nd August, 2016 at Abuja did knowingly hold indirectly a private interest in the contract awarded to Josmon Technologies Ltd but executed by Rholavision Engineering Ltd for the removal of invasive plant species and simplified irrigation to the tune of N258,132,735.00 by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) through the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 12 of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000.”

The former SGF is currently in the custody of the anti-graft agency and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

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Court Remands Three Men For Inserting Pepper Into Lady’s Private Parts

12 February 2019 - 1:00am


An Edo State High Court has remanded three men in prison for inserting pepper into the private parts of one Favour Ada Friday.

The three suspects: Lucky Igbinovia, a.k.a. One Man Squad, head of vigilance group in Ugbiyoko community; Iyamu Kingsley and Joel Otoghile, who is the prime suspect, were arraigned on Monday following their arrest by the Police.

The accused were arraigned on a 14-count charge bordering on kidnapping, attempted murder, unlawful administration of a noxious substance into the private parts of Ada and unlawful trial by ordeal.

A video of the men carrying out jungle justice on their victim had gone viral on social media last week.

Ada was accused of stealing an iPhone worth, N44,000 and was tortured into confessing to the alleged offence.

Trouble started for Ada after Otoghile, who had just returned from Ghana with his wife, lodged at Lafun Hotel located at Ugbiyoko community in Egor Local Government Area of the state and later “organised ladies for his cousins”. 

Ada was one of the ladies.

Ada and other ladies were leaving when Otoghile discovered that his iPhone was missing. 

A native doctor, who is still at large, through some magic, fingered Ada as the culprit and within minutes, she had been stripped naked.

While she was being tortured, one of the accusers recorded the incident. The video was later uploaded on social media.

Peter Ugwumba, prosecuting counsel, prayed the court to remand the three pending advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

He said: “A native doctor, yet to be arrested, magically inserted two live bullets into the body of Ada, saying she would die if she refused to confess.”

Justice J. Acha ordered the remand of the three while adjourning the case till March 6, 2019.

He asked the prosecuting counsel to produce other culprits in the act, especially the native doctor.

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Court Bars Nigerian Govt From Freezing Onnoghen's Accounts

12 February 2019 - 12:41am


An Abuja Federal High Court has barred the Nigerian government from freezing the accounts of Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), except there is a court order directing it to do so.

Onnoghen is standing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal over allegations of a fraudulent declaration of assets.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu granted the order on Monday, on an ex parte motion, filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project Ltd/GTE.

Justice Ojukwu said: “The Attorney General of the Federation must obtain a court order before freezing the accounts of Justice Onnoghen Walter.

“That where it is shown that the order of court was obtained before the freezing of the accounts contained in Exhibit B, the freezing order shall remain valid.”

The judge adjourned the matter till February 13, 2019, while ordering the respondents to be served before the next adjournment.
 

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INEC: We'll Prosecute Any Political Party That Spends Beyond N5billion On Presidential Campaign

12 February 2019 - 12:41am


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is closely monitoring campaign spendings of political parties and candidates towards the forthcoming elections.

Speaking on plans of the commission to ensure compliance with the law, Anthonia Okosi-Simbina, INEC national commissioner, said the commission has collaborated with relevant agencies to ensure that political parties abide by the stipulated limit for all campaign budget.

According to Section 91 of Nigeria's Electoral Act 2018 (amended), campaign limit for presidential candidates is N5billion, while candidates campaigning for seats in the National Assembly are not to spend beyond N70million.

She noted that any candidate that exceeds the limit would “have themselves to blame”.

She said: “We will check adverts on newspapers, TV, radio, billboards and we must see to the conclusion. Those who spent beyond what the legal framework provides for or spend outrageously will have themselves to blame.”

Okosi-Simbina stated that the enlisted agencies would work with the electoral finance and party monitoring department of INEC to monitor funds spent by all candidates for the campaign.

Ishaq Garba Aliyu, INEC Assistant Director, Campaign Finance Tracking Unit, said the commission has trained its staff to closely track every fund spent by candidates.

“We have built the capacity of the staff members. They reviewed the tracking forms to include separate forms for candidates and political parties. The tracking ends on the day of the election," he said.

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Osinbajo Has Made Himself An Enemy Of Yorubas, Says Afenifere

12 February 2019 - 12:37am


Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, has condemned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over what they termed his support for the Hausa/Fulani community to the detriment of the Yoruba people.

Afenifere made this known in a communiqué issued after its meeting that held in Akure, Ondo State, on Monday.

The group said it is one of the reasons it would not support the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the coming elections.

The communiqué, signed by its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, read: “That a person is your son does not mean you support him when he is working against your interest. Osinbajo is working against the interest of Yoruba and our support for Atiku is not the question of Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa, but about somebody that believes in what Awolowo believed in, which is federalism.

“Osinbajo is hanging on the Fulani to work against Yoruba interest. When our people are being killed in their farms by Fulani herdsmen, Osinbajo did not say anything. When we are talking about restructuring, Osinbajo is arguing against restructuring and all the Yoruba want is restructuring. So, when Osinbajo is working against restructuring, he is not for Yoruba people. So, we cannot support because of Osinbajo who has turned himself to the enemy of Yoruba.”

Afenifere also aligned itself with other socio-political groups like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Middle Belt Forum, and Northern Elders Forum (NEF) that have endorsed Atiku Abubakar over President Muhammadu Buhari.

Afenifere rebuffed the faction led by Senator Ayo Fasanmi that endorsed Buhari, condemning the faction as an attention-seeking group of people.

“These pretenders are doubtlessly not Afenifere members, but as usual, only dubiously seeking to exploit the goodwill and reputation of Afenifere to market their bad political product," the group said.
 

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Maintain Silence If You Can't Speak As An Impartial Envoy, Keyamo Tells US Ambassador

12 February 2019 - 12:28am


Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, has asked Stuart Symington, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, to embrace silence until he attains the level of "informed impartiality" as regards making comments of the forthcoming elections.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Buhari Campaign Organisation on Monday.

Keyamo accused Symington of causing "damage" as a result of the "uninformed statements" credited to him on the forthcoming elections.

He, however, noted that it was "not too late for Ambassador Symington to repair the damage of his uninformed statements."

"He needs to speak as an impartial envoy instead of a person who appears to have prejudged the quality of the process and the outcome. Until he attains that level of informed impartiality, whatever good he seeks is better achieved by his silence than by tendentious utterances," he added.

Calling for caution when it comes to making comments on the polls, he said: "We are deeply concerned about many of the expressions of the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington and other Western Diplomats which have been directed towards Nigeria’s upcoming elections. Whilst we laud and whole-heartedly welcome their interests in the elections, many of these expressions have been notably off- key. The continued warnings about ‘flawed elections’ is capable of casting an unwarranted cloud over the process. Instead of encouraging our country toward credible elections, such statements undermine public confidence. It would appear that these envoys seem to have discredited the election before it has even taken place.

"However, in condemning other forms of political speech, the American envoy overstepped his ambassadorial brief. For us it is significant to note that such strong political speeches are not unlawful in the United States, but Ambassador Symington is seeking to penalize such speeches by Nigerians. He seeks to shrink our ambit of free speech so that we may behave in accordance with their vision of well-behaved Africans, rather than in consonance with our vision of our own democracy, no matter how tumultuous and dramatic we may be. It would appear that his position seeks to prohibit forms of expression integral to our political discourse. These forms of expression have time and time again been adjudged to be constitutionally-protected speeches by the United States Supreme Court.

"However, Ambassador Symington intentionally issued his threats to place a chilling effect on speeches in Nigeria that, if uttered in America, would be constitutionally protected. Unfounded allegations and threats to penalize people for constitutionally-protected free speech is improper interference in our internal affairs. 

"Sadly, what Ambassador Symington and some other western diplomats are doing border on the improper. We take the view that the constant statements by Ambassador Symington and the other diplomats are implicit attacks against the government of Nigeria. These statements imply the Nigerian government is inclined to rig the election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is unfair and unacceptable to us. President Muhammadu Buhari has never been accused of electoral malpractice all his life.

"However, in contrast, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar publicly boasted a few months ago that he rigged the 2003 election in the Southwest States. Here, we have an open confession of blatant electoral malfeasance by the PDP candidate. But in all of these, there seem to be no concern by Ambassador Symington and other diplomats about this well-acknowledged proclivity of the main opposition.

"We expected that such open confession to rigging in the past would have drawn condemnation from the United States. Rather what we witnessed recently was the ignoble act of giving such a self-confessed rigger with a decade-old indictment in America for corruption hanging over his head a special status to enter the U.S for a few days. Such is the double standard that America now displays for the whole world to see.

"It is unfortunate that most of these countries that sermonize about free and fair elections have ugly histories of denial of voting right to people because of their colour and are still facing many challenges with their electoral systems till date."

He referenced the 2015 elections, noting that although President Muhammadu Buhari won, the figures were inflated in some states to favour former President Goodluck Jonathan.

"The continued reference and praise of the 2015 election by Ambassador Symington clearly shows he needs further briefing about the Nigerian situation. For his information, the 2015 presidential election, at the end of the day, produced the correct outcome, but with flawed figures in many areas. Though they lost, the figures attributed to the PDP were inflated in many places, especially in the South South, to save the face of the past President and to reduce the margin of his defeat. President Buhari is determined to improve on the 2015 elections and so it cannot even be our benchmark," he said.

The statement continued: "An American ambassador has a great responsibility in representing the strongest economic and military power in the world. His comments carry weight because of the status of his nation. This means his comments should reflect a deep knowledge of the subject. Sadly, Ambassador Symington has not shown the deep knowledge of Nigerian situation. The impression he creates by constantly harping on suspected government interference with the electoral process is that President Buhari cannot win without tipping the results. He seems to be saying that only a PDP victory will be evidence of a fair election.

"Again, he is in great error. From all of the information at our disposal, President Buhari can and should win a free and fair election. However, it appears to us that Ambassador Symington is substituting his subjective conclusions for the sovereign will of the Nigerian people. In doing so, he has abandoned the impartiality of a true envoy and has trespassed into interfering in our electoral process.

"Instead of encouraging free and fair elections, these judgmental statements and threats only cast an unnecessary pall over the elections and the nation. This is an international disservice and not international diplomacy. The days of unquestioned condescension to Western powers are long gone and we are not prepared at this time in Nigeria to recede to that era.

"Nigerians will define Nigeria’s democracy. We shall hold fair and just elections, not because of scolding by diplomats, but because we have sufficient intelligence and morality to do what is right for ourselves. If Ambassador Symington has familiarized himself with Nigeria’s history from 1999 till date, he would have realized that those in the main opposition are being haunted by their past: they think President Buhari would behave exactly like they did all these years when they consistently rigged elections and denied Nigerians the right to choose their leaders

If Ambassador Symington truly intends to be impartial, his statements should acknowledge that both Government and Opposition (particularly in States where the opposition have Governors in place) must respect the process and refrain from rigging. We expect him to counsel both governing party and the Opposition from any form of electoral malpractice. After all, it is not only Governments at the center that rig elections. Elections can also be rigged in opposition-controlled areas.

"It is not too late for Ambassador Symington to repair the damage of his uninformed statements. He needs to speak as an impartial envoy instead of a person who appears to have prejudged the quality of the process and the outcome. Until he attains that level of informed impartiality, whatever good he seeks is better achieved by his silence than by tendentious utterances."

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