ASO ROCK CABAL WANTS PLIABLE SUCCESSOR TO BUHARI - APC PCC
The Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has alleged that Aso Rock cabal wanted a pliable candidate and not a strong willed and experienced member of the party to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, hence, the sabotage of the presidential candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu.
At the same time, the campaign council has described a recent presidential election poll results released by Nextier as a pretext to cause political crisis and riots in Nigeria after the February 25 presidential election.
But the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has also alleged that his main rival, Tinubu, would acquire federal government properties across the country if he got the country’s top job later this month.
Tinubu had recently in Abeokuta alleged that the ongoing fuel scarcity and Naira redesign were part of an orchestrated plot to frustrate his ambition.
In the same vein, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai while speaking on national television alleged that certain elements in the Villa were working against the party and its candidate.
But the Director, Special Duties (11) of the APC PCC, Chief Ayiri Emami, while addressing journalists on Sunday in Abuja, maintained that some Aso Rock elements were afraid of a successor with a strong social and political network with capacity to correct the error in governance.
His words, “Let me use myself as an example. Even in our small community. If you know your right and you know what you are doing and you want to lead, many people will come after you.
“Because a lot of people don’t want somebody that understand the system to lead because all they know is how to manipulate. Asiwaju knows the inner workings of governance. I am not saying that he knows it all.
“So you will see every day all kinds of battles or kind of blackmail, or kind of way to stop him and that is how I see Asiwaju. He knows a lot about governance, he knows what to do to make sure that this place works.
“And if it works, there are persons there doing dubious things would not be able to do it again. So, if such a person is to take over, it won’t be an easy battle because they know he knows the inner workings of government and can’t be manipulated,” he said.
The party chieftain pointed out that with the revelations coming from the APC Governors at last Friday’s meeting with President Buhari, it was now clear to Nigerians that the naira notes redesign did not enjoy the buy-in of the APC-led administration at all levels.
Emami insisted that those policies were not APC policy, saying the policies were only meant to sabotage the party’s candidate.
“They are not policies of the APC at all, because if they were the policies of the APC, everybody would be involved. These are policies of some few persons to sabotage. Why introduce such policies during the election?” he said.
On the perceived indifference of President Buhari to the APC Presidential campaign, Emami said it was not indicative of any lack of commitment or cold war between Tinubu and the president.
“To me, even his own election, it was other people that were actually championing his campaign. So, I just feel that that is his normal style. All humans are not the same,” he said.
Meanwhile, in another development, the Director, Media and Publicity APC PCC, Bayo Onanuga, in another statement has alleged that the poll organisation might be preparing ground for violent protest by Obi supporters, who would allege rigging when their candidate is roundly defeated at the election, in which he was not likely to even come a distant 3rd.
He said the campaign was reacting for the sake of unsuspecting Nigerians, so that they were not misled by the Patrick Okigbo-led organisation, which appeared to have the agenda to create confusion and chaos in the country.
Onanuga said Nigerians should know that promoters of Nextier were members of Mr. Peter Obi’s Presidential Campaign Council and active campaigners for the Labour Party Presidential Candidate, stressing also that any poll conducted by such “intensely partisan” and prejudicially tainted organisation should be taken with a pinch of salt.
While noting that this was apart from the fact that the sample size of the so-called poll and methodology employed could not stand any integrity test, the APC campaign said it was quite ludicrous that Nextier Poll that projected a clean sweep of the South-East Region at over 90 per cent of registered votes also put Obi ahead of its presidential candidate, Tinubu,in the six South West states including Lagos.
“Assuming without absolutely conceding that Peter Obi will enjoy home advantage in his part of the country, we then wonder why the pollsters at Nextier, if they have any modicum of respect for the intellect of Nigerians, thought the factors that will propel landslide victory for Obi in South east will not work for the APC candidate in his own South West base,” he said.
Onanuga contended that Nextier Pollsters, also put Labour Party ahead of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in his home state of Adamawa, adding that Nextier Pollsters called the entire South South region for the Labour Party at 60 per cent in Akwa-Ibom, the base of the Chairman of PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
He further pointed out that the partisan pollsters gave Bayelsa 62.9 per cent to Labour Party and also claimed the party would win Delta 65.9 per cent, home of PDP Vice Presidential Candidate.
At the same time, he stressed that “the jesters” in Nextier also claimed Obi would win Rivers by 77.8 per cent, Edo 76.9 per cent and Cross Rivers 63.2 per cent, adding that it did not matter to them that in these states, Labour Party has no serving councillor in any ward.
Onanuga, therefore, maintained that it was important to alert Nigerians and the international community that the Pollsters at Nextier were working for the Labour Party and their poll results were all cooked up, far away from reality.
Atiku: Tinubu Has History of Appropriating Public Assets
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday alleged that his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, would acquire federal government properties across the country if he gets the country’s top job later this month.
Also, the Director of Communications, PDP Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Dele Momodu, has expressed confidence over the party’s victory at the forthcoming general election, stating that the party would record a resounding success especially at the presidential polls.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, Atiku stated that Lagos State where Tinubu had been “ruling directly and indirectly” since 1999 had become his personal fiefdom and property.
The statement was in reaction to Tinubu’s claim in a number of his rallies that Atiku sold off government properties and diverted the proceeds.
Atiku noted that Tinubu in an interview with The News Magazine some 10 years ago, said he returned to Nigeria after the June 12 struggle with nothing.
“They dispossessed me of the house, as well as my office on Saka Tinubu Street. My vehicles and everything else I owned. They claimed they found bombs in it and dispossessed me of it. I was totally cleaned out. I had only five shirts, £2000 pounds and jackets,” he quoted Tinubu to have said in the then interview.
However, Atiku maintained that Tinubu had become stupendously wealthy by taking over critical government properties.
“Tinubu converted the land where Lagos Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) was located at Ikosi near the old toll gate. He chased away the students in 2006 and went ahead to locate the choice plots to himself, his cronies and political associates. The headquarters of Television Continental (TVC), which is owned by him, is located there. We dare him to deny this,” Atiku added.
He further stated that Tinubu became the first governor in history to sign an obnoxious pension law that guaranteed lifetime benefits for himself and his family.
The obnoxious pension law, he argued, provides that a former governor of Lagos gets a residential house at any location of his choice in Lagos State and one residential house in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the governor on two consecutive terms.
“Tinubu’s law also stated that he will get six brand new cars every three years, 100 per cent of the basic salary of the serving governor, free health care for himself and members of his family; furniture allowance, which is 300 percent of their annual basic salary house maintenance allowance, which is 10 per cent of basic salary utility allowance, which is 20 per cent of the salary and car maintenance allowance, which is 30 per cent of the annual basic salary.
“Other benefits include entertainment allowance, which is 10 per cent of the basic salary and a personal assistant, who will earn 25 per cent of the governor’s annual basic salary. Even former presidents of Nigeria do not enjoy such largesse. This is the state-sanctioned profligacy that Tinubu entrenched as a former governor,” the former vice president stressed.
He added that Tinubu’s residence at 26 Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi was initially falsely presented as the Guest House of an oil company which he purportedly bought and used public funds to rebuild and renovate.
“The Lagos State government bought the property and paid an undisclosed sum to him and thereafter gave the property back to him under the bogus Pension Bill he signed into law shortly before he left office in 2007.
“The annex of the Lagos State Guest House in Asokoro, Abuja was bought by the State Government in 2006 for N450 million, purportedly to protect the main house from security breach. Shortly after Tinubu left office, the property was transferred to him under the pension plan he signed into law before leaving office,” Atiku alleged.
He added that the tollgates along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, the Alpha Beta Consulting which has exclusive rights to collect taxes on behalf of the Lagos State Government as well as many other revenue generating firms in Lagos were under the control of Tinubu.
“What Tinubu has done in Lagos is state capture. He appropriated everything to himself including but not limited to cemeteries. He has pocketed the sources of the state and that is why he claims to be wealthier than Osun State,” he said.
According to the former vice president, while in office, Tinubu allocated to himself the former Strabag yard beside the Lagos State Secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja which has now been converted to the Ikeja City Mall.
“If Tinubu becomes president, he will take ownership of the federal secretariat, Ikoyi; the Tafawa Balewa Square and every other federal property in Ikoyi to the detriment of Nigeria.
“Already, his wife is a senator, his daughter is market woman leader and she extorts levies from traders across the state. His sister-in-law is a commissioner; his son enjoys advertisement monopoly in Lagos.
“His godson, MC Oluomo, is the transport kingpin who extorts billions of naira monthly from bus drivers. If Tinubu takes over as president, the entire country will become the property of his family. Nigerians will become second class citizens in their own country,” he added.
Atiku said it was curious that Tinubu had continued to divert state owned properties despite the huge housing deficit in Lagos State which is one of the highest in the world.
“The World Bank says two out of every three Lagosians live in a slum. But how can Lagos tackle its housing deficit when its godfather has been diverting properties that could have been used in constructing affordable homes?
“In just four years, Lateef Jakande built over 30,000 housing units. Jakande lived in Ilupeju all his life. Can the same be said of the self-acclaimed architect of modern Lagos who has spent more time allocating properties to himself and his family?” he queried.
Atiku’s Media Adviser Tackles Tinubu
In a related development, the Media Adviser to Atiku, Mr. Paul Ibe has faulted a publication stating that Adamawa State Governor, RT Hon Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri was in silent war with the former vice president.
Ibe faulted the publication in a statement signed by him and made it available to journalists in Yola, yesterday.
According to the statement: “We have read with bemusement a certain story published in the Saturday, 4 February edition of The Nation newspapers captioned: Atiku, Fintiri in silent war.
“Without so much ado, it is necessary that we put it on record that every aspect of the so-called story in all material particular is a figment of the writer’s imagination.”
The release state that for the avoidance of doubt, the relationship between the presidential candidate of the PDP and his home governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri was cordial.
It further explained that it was also not surprising that the APC, “in reading the handwriting of their impending defeat on the wall in bold reliefs, have resorted to sponsoring propaganda, the only thing they are good at doing, to blackmail and tell outright lies about the presidential campaign of the PDP and its presidential candidate.”
Atiku Condemns Bakori Killings
Also, Atiku has condemned the gruesome killing of 41 people in the Bakori area of Katsina State, saying the incident was one too many.
Terrorists had last Friday atta cked Bakori where 41 people were reportedly killed.
But Atiku in a statement issued yesterday by his Media Adviser, Ibe, described the incident as another ugly episode of senseless killing.
He said: “The confirmation of the incident by the Nigeria Police on Saturday, was a foreboding moment. Another ugly episode of the senseless killings of Nigerians on account of terror attacks,” Atiku said.
“While terrorism is a serious problem affecting most countries of the world, the solution to the problem must differ among countries. Therefore, a multi-sectoral initiative that will evaluate how to decimate the capacity of these terrorists should be on the table. We must be ready to do all that it takes to put a stop to these attacks.”
The former Vice President, however, condoled with families of the deceased and called for a holistic, multi-dimensional strategy that would put a stop to act of terrorism in the country.
Momodu Predicts PDP’s Victory, Says It Will Triumph in 25 States
The Director of Communications, PDP PCC, Dele Momodu, has expressed confidence over the party’s victory at the forthcoming general elections, stating that the party would record a resounding success especially at the presidential polls.
He also predicted the party’s triumph in 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Momodu, who disclosed this during a courtesy to Arise Play Office, a sister company of THISDAY Newspaper, said a critical analysis of the presidential election revealed that the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, would win some parts in the south-east, but not the entire region, adding that voters should not assume that because he is Igbo, he would take everything. He argued that the PDP was still very strong in the south-east.
He predicted that wherever Obi comes first, the PDP presidential candidate would definitely come second, ahead of the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu in any part of Igbo land.
He explained that in the South-south, it would be Atiku, and Obi, saying Tinubu was not going to take much votes in the region.
According to him, the tragedy for Tinubu was that he was the only one without a base, describing south-west voters as the most enlightened in Nigeria.
Momodu forecasted that Lagos would be split among Tinubu, Atiku, and Obi, stating that the traditional voters who had always voted for PDP, many of them would vote for both Atiku and Obi.
According to him, in Ogun State, the votes would be split between Tinubu and Atiku, while in Oyo State, the votes would be shared between Tinubu and Atiku, pointing out that Obi may not have enough votes in the rest of the south-west.
“I don’t know why Tinubu picked a Kanuri man from Borno State to be his running mate, just like Abiola picked Babagana Kingibe. I don’t think whether this time the north would favour Tinubu because if you look at the population in the north, between the north-east and the north- west; the east prefers to have number one, which they have been asking for, for so long than to have number two in the person of Kashim Shettima.
“So Atiku is favoured to lead in the north-east. In the north-west, where you have the preponderance of the Hausa-Fulani voters, of course Atiku will lead the way and that is where you have majority of the voters in Nigeria and they go out to vote unlike those of us who will sit in Lagos and speak so much grammar and at the end of the day, we will not vote.
“In the north-central, it is going to be a split between Atiku and Peter Obi to some extent and maybe Tinubu because of the Muslim-Muslim ticket and that might be a problem because of the people in the North-central are likely Christians are likely to vote between Obi and Atiku.
“So, if you look at it, you need 25 per cent in minimum of 24 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. The first person to cross that line will be Atiku,” he said.
The PDP PCC Director of Communication said since 1993, Atiku had been contesting, and he had been able to build a formidable network, adding that the party had been existing now for 34 years and had entrenched itself in the north.
When asked what would be the fate of Atiku, if he loses this time and he decides to run in 2027, Momodu noted that it would be the decision of the party.
Commenting on the issue of rotation of the presidency, the PDP media chief said: “So between President Olusegun Obasanjo’s eight years and Jonathan’s five years that is 13 years.
Since the return to democracy, we have had 24years as today. So out of that PDP has given the south 13 years, while the north has 11 years and if Jonathan did not lost his election, it would have been 17 years,” he added.
Speaking on why he was not supporting Tinubu, Momodu said since Tinubu became governor in 1999, he had never been a member of his party.
“I have never been to Alausa to ask for political patronage. I say this with every sense of pride and responsibility. I have no apologies whatsoever for not supporting him. His wife saw me in church, at Mrs. Kemi Nelson’s funeral, and said are you saying you are not going to campaign for my husband?
“I said I am in PDP. I learn from history. In 1993, when some people were attacking your chairman, Prince Nduka Obaigbena for not supporting MKO Abiola and for going on CNN and other issues, Nduka told us that he was in the National Republican Convention (NRC) and he had to defend the interest of his party. I am in PDP and what if I am the candidate, contesting against Tinubu, will I withdraw? Definitely I will defend the interest of the party.
“Secondly, I’m very convinced that Atiku Abubakar is far ahead of any other candidates in terms of experience, exposure, competence, comportment, and composure. I believe this is the kind of man Nigeria needs right now.
“Tinubu is too volatile. You see the way he was attacking the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel the other day in Akwa Ibom. You will not see a presidential candidate talk like that. It is almost similar to what Donald Trump was doing in America where he was insulting everybody until he was kicked out of office. So, we don’t want a repeat of dictatorship in the civilian garb. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
LAGOS GOVT TO SUE CHRISLAND SCHOOL, OTHERS FOR MANSLAUGHTER, NEGLIGENCE
The Lagos State Government said it would sue Chrisland High School, Ikeja, some members of staff, and one of the vendors for “Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts,” following the death of a 12-year-old student, Whitney Adeniran, during a sporting event organised by the school.
This is according to a Friday statement released by the Director, Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Justice and published to the ministry’s website.
“On the 9th of February 2023, Whitney Omodesola Adeniran, a student of Chrisland High School, Ikeja, aged 12 years, slumped during the Inter-house Sports organised by the school at the Agege Sports Stadium and was subsequently rushed to the Agege Central Hospital, Agege, Lagos, where she was confirmed ‘brought in dead’ (BID) by the doctor on duty,” the statement partly read.
The statement added that the case was referred to the police “which carried out a thorough investigation with the help of other agencies,” adding that, “The file (of the case) was subsequently forwarded to the DPP (Directorate of Public Prosecutions)’ Office on Monday 20th March, 2023, for review of the duplicate case file.
“On the 23rd of March, 2023, the DPP issued his Legal Advice and came to the conclusion that a prima facie case of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts had been established against the school, some members of staff and one of the vendors.”
Consequently, the statement noted that they shall “be charged with the offences of Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless and Negligent Acts contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, Ch C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
“Information will be filed in accordance with the legal advice issued by the DPP. Certified True Copies of the Legal advice are available on the Ministry of Justice website (www.lagosstatemoj.org.).”
BUHARI NEVER SAID HE WON’T HAND OVER TO TINUBU- PRESIDENCY
*Says 13 committees already set up to midwife transition
*’President’s Daura community yearning to welcome him back’
The Presidency yesterday declared as “unfounded” insinuations in some quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari who campaigned vigorously for the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the presidential-elect, has vowed not to hand over to him.
Rather, it said the Buhari-led government, which is currently at transition stage, had constituted different committees to midwife a new administration come May 29, 2023.
The Presidency in a statement entitled, “The President Never Said He Won’t Hand Over To Elected Tinubu”, issued by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, also added that the hometown of President Buhari in Daura, Katsina State is agog with arrangements for the return of their son after his eight-year tenure as Nigerian President.
Shehu, in the statement said: “The Presidency wishes to denounce as outrageous and fake, and condemns the fake news brigade for attributing a false quote to President Muhammadu Buhari and circulating it.
“How can you vigorously campaign for somebody, vote for him and then say you won’t hand over to him? This beggars belief.”
He described the alleged report published by an online newspaper as “pretty pathetic”, adding: “Since their ownership is politically partisan in today’s politics, in fact a loser in the presidential election. Instead of talking about issues, they repeatedly sell lies in the hope that people believe them as truth.
“The government is already in the transition phase. The Transition Committee, made up of representatives of the outgoing administration and the incoming one is meeting on an almost daily basis planning the handover to the Tinubu/Shettima administration.
“Thirteen committees as offshoots of the main committee, some to arrange military drills and pulling out of President Buhari, are either all at work or soon to be. So far, everything is going very well and there is no indication of any hitches.
“As for the President, the Daura community has begun their preparations to receive their son back after the successful administration of the country for two terms of eight years. He, on his part, is eager to return home to enjoy his retirement.”
GODWIN OBASEKI EXTENDS RETIREMENT AGE FOR TEACHERS IN EDO
Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State, has raised the retirement age for teachers in Edo State to 65 or 40 years of service. This is part of his plan to improve the welfare of workers.
Anthony Okungbowa, the state’s Head of Service, said this in a statement. He said that the governor’s approval shows that he is still committed to building a solid foundation for repositioning the education sector in the state.
He said: “Mr Governor has approved a new retirement age for teachers in Edo State. They will now retire when they clock 65 or 40 years of service, whichever is earlier.
“This is in demonstration of his commitment to ensuring that Edo teachers are the best motivated in Nigeria. It is important to remind Edo people that Edo teachers are the best-paid teachers and Edo workers are the best-paid workers in any public service in Nigeria.”
He said that the transition would ensure that teachers with decades of experience would keep their jobs and continue to help Edo students get a good education.
“This is another big win for Edo workers. The governor has continued to show that he will always place the interest of Edo workers above all else. Today, this is another testimony to that fact.”
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