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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to give 40 per cent of appointments in his cabinet to youths, if he wins the 2019 presidential election.

Atiku made the pledge yesterday at the inauguration of the national and state executives of a pro Atiku group, Intellectual Think-Tank for Atiku (ITTA) in Abuja.

The former Vice President, who was represented at the inauguration by the Chairman of All Atiku Support Group (AASUG) Mr Oladimeji Fabiyi, said: “Having identified the critical role of youths in the emergence of any leader, I pledge to give youths 40 per cent of appointments in my cabinet if elected as the president of Nigeria in 2019.

“As a youth friendly leader who thinks and understands the feelings of youth, I urge them to give me the chance to make their dreams possible”.

His wide, Mrs. Titi Abubakar, represented by Sen. Grace Bent, said that her husband deserved to be the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2019 presidential election.

She said Atiku was the right man with the political stamina to wrestle and return power back to PDP and Nigerians.

In his acceptance, the National Coordinator, ITTA, Mr Theophilus Ohuoba, said that group would get down to work immediately.

Ohuoba said that the zonal and state coordinators of the group would go back to their various bases to inaugurate their executives.

He said they would move to the grassroots to mobilise delegates and voters to support Atiku’s candidacy.

 

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POLITICS

It Doesn’t Matter Who You Choose To Believe, Honest Nigerians Know The Truth — Sani

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It appears the current state of affairs in the country has emboldened not only Nigerians, but most importantly a handful of the country’s vital voices. It must be noted that a good number of these top critics of Buhari’s government have been accused of corruption, and had at some point, tasted what they referred to as the “ruthlessness” of the Buhari administration despite the fact that we are in a democracy.

The fact they refused to be deterred despite their experiences in the hands of the current government, defies the saying that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Or perhaps, they are emboldened by the feeling of not being as guilty as the man in power. This belief of course, depends on which side of the divide you belong.

Senator Shehu Sani’s recent outburst against political office holders who shamelessly flaunt their children studying in expensive universities outside the shores of the country, sparked heavy reactions among Nigerians to no surprises. While some rooted with the former Senator, others questioned his contributions to poverty alleviation in the north during his time in the Senate. But the former Senator who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, keeps talking.

Sani this time around, will leave Nigerians to decide who they’d rather believe in the nation’s moment of truth.

He said, “If Obj’s truth is tainted with partisanship,discard it & take that of Soyinka.If Soyinka’s truth is just academic,disregard it & take that of Balarabe Musa.If Balarabe’s truth is simply Marxist dogma,take that of Comrade Madam or Comrade Aliko.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently made headlines once again with his second letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the current state of insecurity in the country. Obasanjo’s letter generated heated debates with those rooting for him saying the letter was very timely, while those on the other side said the letter was ill-timed, and accuse the former president of attempting to destroy the country.

Buhari’s inability to win the trust of Nigerians especially southerners thanks in part to his lopsided appointments, and failure to improve the economy, curb unemployment, and provide security across the country, has pushed the country to one if not its lowest point in history. Political analysts have argued that the country is currently sitting on a keg of gun powder and its only a matter of time until the nation’s greatest fears, becomes a reality.

But it does appear as though president Buhari cares less about the concerns raised not only by the masses and other prominent voices in the country, but by even past leaders like Obasanjo himself. In fact, there were even calls to arrest the former president for his letter to the president.

Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ is only getting started. Whether or not he’ll eventually win over the confidence of Nigerians and unite the country, is anyone’s guess. But as things currently stand, it’s a long way off.

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POLITICS

Yahaya Bello After My Life, Deputy Governor Raises Alarm

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The Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Elder Simon Achuba, has alleged that the governor of the state, Yahaya Bello has sent gunmen after his life, Concise News reports.

Abuba on Thursday called on the Inspector General of Police, SSS, Army and other security personnel to safeguard his life, family members and his aides.

Achuba, who spoke with newsmen at his official residence in Lokoja said, “From all information at my disposal, the governor has mobilized gunmen to attack me.

“I want the police, SSS, IGP to know that if anything should happen to me, my family and aides, the governor should be held responsible”

The deputy governor likewise called on the president to beam his searchlight on the state.

Elder Achuba had accused Governor Bello of owing him, an accusation the state’s number one citizen denied.

In related news, Governor Bello has condoled with his Adamawa Counterpart, Ahmadu Fintiri, over the death of his father, Alhaji Umaru Badami.

A statement released on Thursday in Lokoja by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Onogwu Muhammed, quoted Bello as saying that he was extremely saddened by the news of the death of Badami.

He commiserated with the family, government and people of Adamawa over the incident.

Bello described the octogenarian as ”a devoted statesman, devout Muslim and disciplinarian who dedicated his life to the service of God and humanity.

”Alhaji Umaru Badami was also a strong voice for his community,” he said.

The governor prayed God to forgive the shortcomings of the departed and accept his soul to Aljanna and comfort those he left behind.

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Atiku is a Cameroonian flesh and blood, says Abba Kyari

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Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buahri on Tuesday told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar in the Feb.23 general election was a Cameroonian “flesh and blood’’.

Kyari, who was led through his deposition by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Counsel for the president, insisted that Jada, hometown of the former vice president was in Adamawa Province, an enclave that belonged to Northern Cameroon in 1946 when he (Atiku) was born.

He explained that Atiku was already born in 1946 before the plebiscite was conducted in 1961 to balkernize Nigeria and Cameroon where Jada which was part of Northern Cameroon voted to become Nigerian territory.

Kyari further said that the plebiscite also resulted in the Southern part of Cameroon officially aligning to becoming Cameroonian territory.

The witness therefore, said the French system of assimilation had compelled people of Jada, including Abubakar’s father and grandfather to be full Cameroonians in “flesh and blood’’.

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Fani-Kayode reveals greatest obstacles to liberation of South from Northern hegemony

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Controversial former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has revealed the greatest obstacles to the liberation of the South from northern hegemony and bondage.

Fani-Kayode, in series of tweets on his Twitter handle on Friday said the greatest obstacles were the Yoruba that hated Igbo; the Igbo that hated the Yoruba; the southern minorities that hated the Igbo and Yoruba and the Igbo and Yoruba that hated southern minorities.

“Southern unity is a fundamental prerequisite to southern emancipation. Without the former, you cannot achieve the latter.

“Our greatest enemies are not the northerners or their Fulani masters but the southern fool that is filled with hate and malice for his fellow southerner,” he said.

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POLITICS

Reasons Buhari must withdraw Fashola’s nomination – CACOL

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, on Friday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the Ministerial nominee of Babatunde Fashola.

CACOL said Fashola, who was the immediate past Minister of Work, Housing and Power, had failed to ensure good federal roads within Lagos State and Ogun axis.

In a statement addressed to the President, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran also insisted that Fashola failed in Power and Housing sectors while he was a Minister, hence should not be reappointed.

The letter reads: “We wish to draw your attention to some vital issues concerning distinguish men and women, that you have assembled to be part of your cabinet with a view of partnering with you, towards realizing your plan for promoting good governance and accountability.

“We believe that competence; integrity, track record and diligence will no doubt determine the realization of your goals, to birth a new Nigeria in accordance with your avowed commitment towards a socio-political environment in Nigeria, and a rejuvenated, economically virile, peaceful and united country in line with the dreams of our founding forebears.

“Against this background, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) hereby urge your Excellency to withdraw the nomination of Mr Raji Fashola whose name, unfortunately, featured prominently amongst those to be reappointed as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Sequel to the letter sent to you on 9th of April 2019, where we demanded that Mr Fashola should not be reappointed based on the fact that he has failed in carrying out his duty in the three portfolios in terms of Work, Housing and Power.

“Suffice it to outline our in-depth analysis on the key portfolios of the outgoing Minister as follows: –

“Deplorable conditions of federal roads within Lagos state and Ogun axis

“In Lagos, deplorable federal roads include the entire stretch of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, some sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yet to be touched by the ongoing reconstruction of the dual carriageway and where work has been ongoing, the quality of work has not been impressive

“Within the city, some of the affected roads are the Ijora Causeway and Flyover; Funsho Williams Avenue, Alaka, Custain Roundabout to Eko Bridge ramp and Costain to Iganmu bridge.

“Also affected are Carter bridge roundabout to LAWMA Junction inwards Eko Bridge, Herbert Macaulay Way from Jibowu Junction to Adekunle Junction, Outer Marina to Ahmadu Bello Way from Apongbon bridge to Bonny Camp, Falomo roundabout through Kingsway Road to Osborne Road, Apapa Road to Western Avenue, between Iganmu bridge ramp and Western Avenue bridge ramp among others

“Bad portions on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway such as Sango-Ota, Joju, Owode, Ijako, Iyana-Ilogbo and Pakoto have not only become death traps for motorists, but they have made commuters plying the road prone to armed robbery attacks

“Many spots on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway are in a deplorable state, which of course have made things very difficult for the commuters and motorists. These spots are the Toll Gate area, the Sango Market area, Under Bridge, Joju junction, Oando Petrol Station junction, Owode-Ijako and Iyana Ilogbo, along Lagos-Abeokuta road. Specifically, on Sango-Idiroko axis, you have bad portions at Iyana Ota, Oju Ore, Fowobi Junction, General Hospital, Ota Junction as well as Ota High Court, Iyana Iyesi and the Bells area

“The deplorable state of the iconic Third Mainland Bridge has left many motorists dumbfounded as they continue to lament the fragility of this all-important, connecting bridge. Not only that some portions of the bridge evokes occasional tremor and instability, even on occasions that repairs are done, the quality of work usually leaves much to be desired. The dream of a Fourth Mainland Bridge remains what it is: a dream, as no tangible dateline for its commencement is in sight many years after its official launching. This would have no doubt, ease much of the congestion in movement of people and goods from Lagos hinterland to the surrounding cities

“Apart from the Lagos-Abeokuta and Sango-Idiroko express roads begging for urgent intervention, other federal roads in the state-required major intervention such as Ikorodu-Shagamu road, Shagamu-Ijebu Ode road, Ijebu Ode-Ore are equally in terrible conditions and require urgent attention.

In the area of power, CACOL said Fashola propagated more propaganda during his first term as Minister.

“Power Holding (Electricity supply) and Nigerians’ Experience

“The experience has been that of continuous epileptic power supply even as the power generation availability hovers around 3, 500 to 4, 500 megawatts with tens of billions of US Dollars expended as shortfalls to Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOS)

“Almost four (4) years in the saddle, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing has demonstrated more of rhetoric and propaganda in protecting electricity consumers from the shylock electricity distributive companies (DISCOS) as more of darkness is supplied as bogus billing system (estimated billings) is enforced with people being hamstrung to pay for power they never enjoyed. The situation remains evenly pathetic, throughout the federation metering of homes and offices remain a pipe dream with different stories of how the exploited Nigerian power utilizing individuals and corporate organizations lick their wound daily, with unimaginable consequences on the entire economy and social activities

“Even with the claim of the power Ministry under Babatunde Fashola that power generation has increased from 4,000 (Four thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand Megawatts, Transmission from 5,000 (Five Thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand) Megawatts and Distribution from 2,690 (Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety) Megawatts to 5,222 (Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-two) Megawatts, nothing is on ground to justify this claim as diverse protests rock the nation by frustrated and agonized members of the public who suffer these defects in power supply

“As it is characteristic of Babatunde Fashola’s style of leadership, when confronted with indifference and complacency on deployment of huge quantum of resources on electricity with defaulting companies not brought to book by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and challenged through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts, all that could be extracted was the role of an Abuja based company named POW Technologies Ltd that got paid for 19 (Nineteen) items since 2014 but has remained in default of 6 (six) items while palpable failure of many other procurements and contracts remain sketchy till date.”

Highlighting Fashola’s failure in the area of Housing Policy and Result, CACOL added: “Honourable Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) while commenting on the housing sector hinted that the pilot National Housing Programme which to him is second in the history of the nation has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States of the federation, where landed properties were provided. He also insisted that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation-building.

“The Works and Housing Boss opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands, explaining that a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest inland and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed.

“However, unlike what was clearly visible under Lateef Jakande’s administration as Minister of Works under General (rtd) Abacha’s regime, most Nigerians continue to lament lack of adequate and affordable Housing scheme under this regime.

“CACOL had written to advice against the appointment of same Babatunde Raji Fashola in concordance with our objective appraisal of his performance whilst he held sway as governor of Lagos state. Today, we have been sufficiently vindicated as his inability to deliver the goods stare us all in the face. It is in view of this noted incompetence that we hereby, express our dissatisfaction of his performance in all those three (3) vital portfolios and call on your leadership to not only relieve him of any future responsibilities, but to probe his office on all supposed contracts given out under him with a view to bring him and others who may be culpable of siphoning and diverting humongous sums of money for work not done.

“Please, accept our esteemed regards as we believe you would view this intervention as our little contribution towards assisting in the greater success of this government, especially during your last lap in office.”

The Senate had on Wednesday commenced the screening of the Ministerial list Buhari sent to them for confirmation among whom was Fashola.

Other nominees include: Chris Ngige, Hadi Sirika, Rotimi Amaechi, Adamu Adamu, Mohammed Adamu, and Lai Mohammed.

Others in the list are Uche Ogah, Emeka Nwajuiba, Sadiya Farouk, Musa Bello, Godswill Akpabio, Sharon Ikeazor, Ogbonnaya Onu, Akpa Udo, and Adebayo (Ekiti).

Also, Timipre Sylva, Adamu Adamu, Shewuye (Borno), Isa Pantami, Gbemi Saraki, Ramatu Tijani, Clement Abam were also declared as part of the nominees.

Paullen Tallen, Abubakar Aliyu, Sale Mamman, Abubakar Malami, Muhammed Mamood, Rauf Aregbesola, Mustapha Buba Jedi Agba, Olamilekan Adegbite, and Mohammed Dangyadi.

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NEWS

Systematic corruption is still going on in Buhari’s govt, says Adamu Adamu

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The former Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has said that systematic corruption is still going on in Buhari’s government.

Adamu stated this while reacting to questions when he was being screened among the first batch of the nominees on Wednesday.

He said only the legislature could tackle the menace through laws and policies.

“Corruption in Nigeria is systemic. People have been prosecuted and assets seized, but corruption is still ongoing”, the former Minister of Education said.

Speaking on appointment of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian Universities, he disclosed that appointment of VCs had taken an ethnic dimension in Nigeria.

“Considering the appointment of Vice Chancellor, I know what it means because I have always been under pressure from the people of the affected States who says appointment of Vice Chancellor must be somebody from their area.

“Unfortunately, appointment of Vice Chancellors no longer lies with the University or in the hands of the Ministry.

“Before, the University use to select, bring it to the Minister and the Minister takes it to the President, but now, it’s for the Minister’s information.

“On the issue of Open University, it is not a question of the trending issue, but what the Ministry is going to do in order to expand educational opportunities for the people; most countries are introducing private Universities and open distance learning because of the population.

“Therefore, our own should be how to expand our learning system.

“On the primary education, I think it is not a good story in Nigeria and I tried as a Minister to do something because it is the lynch pin of Education. I tried to bring the state and the National Council of Education on board. Before I handed over, there was a survey that discovered about four million, seven hundred and thirty thousand, five out of school children.

“The Federal government is not in a position to force the children back to school, so I think the National Assembly should take the matter to the National Council of States.

“Whatever the National Council of States does would come to nothing without a Primary School foundation,” he said.

The former Minister of Education was the ninth to be screened on Wednesday by Senators.

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INEC chairman consistently told us of a server -Chidoka

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Chidoka, an agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says Mahmood Yakubu, national chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “consistently” told party agents of a server.

Chidoka, number one on the petitioners list, said this on Friday when he was being cross-examined by Yunus Usman, counsel to INEC.

The former minister of aviation served as an agent of the PDP at the national collation centre.

While under cross-examination, Osita told the tribunal that he was not there when INEC officials transmitted results to the server.

“I have not seen it but INEC chairman consistently told us of a server,” he said in response to Usman’s question.

When asked if he was there when results were being transmitted to to a server of INEC, he said “no.”

He added that he did not have particulars about the server. The petitioners, citing the server, had claimed that Atiku Abubakar polled 18,356,732 votes while President Muhammadu Buhari secured 16,741,430.

Chidoka said although he was born in 1971, he knows that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946.

“It is not biological possibly to know but I know that Nigeria got independence in 1960,” he said.

He said his deposition at the court were formed from reports he got from party agents across the country.

Before Chidoka’s testimony, the petitioners tendered an additional 3,451 results sheets as evidence.

They had earlier tendered 1,353 result sheets.

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POLITICS

Presidential Election Petition: Atiku’s star witness denies seeing INEC server

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The star witness invited by Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Osita Chidoka, on Friday admitted that he has never seen the purported server, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) allegedly used to transmit results.

When asked if he witnessed the transmission of the results electronically to the server, Chidoka said no.

According to him, he got the idea of the server from past statements by INEC Chairman.

Chidoka also said he did not know the address of the server and where it is located, claiming a whistle-blower provided information about the existence of the server.

The Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, also rejected his request, to amend his written statement on oath.

Chidoka was PDP’s National Returning Officer during the 2019 presidential election.

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