2019: What Saraki, Obi, Umahi, told Ebonyi people

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has lamented the high rate of hunger and unemployment in the country since the coming of the APC to power.

He spoke in Ebonyi State during the party’s presidential rally.

He attributed the economic downturn in the country to the inexperience of the ruling government in management of the economy.

“Atiku is experienced having been in the private sector, so vote for a man that can talk to anybody, bring in investors to Nigeria, eliminate hunger from the land and revitalise the economy. That man is Atiku Abubakar”, he said

Also, the Vice presidential candidate of the party and former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi said that the party wants to replicate what Ebonyi state governor is doing in the state in the entire country.

“What the governor is doing in the state is what we want to be doing for the entire country. The country is collapsing, no security, nothing is moving. With Atiku Abubakar their will be a better Nigeria. Students are home instead of in school, hospitals are not working. If you want these things to be corrected vote for Atiku, vote PDP”, he said.

Also responding, the Wife of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Mrs Jennifer Atiku noted that the huge crowd in the stadium shows that the state governor is solidly behind the presidential candidate of the party.

“I have known Atiku for over 35 years and I can tell you that he is the right man for this job. He is your in-law and so he will threat you people well”, she added.

However, the presidential candidate Mr Atiku while addressing the mammoth crowd promised that Southeast will not be marginalised in his government, and urged the people to vote and protect their votes to ensure that there is no rigging.

“I want to promise you that Ebonyi will never be marginalised again. This is your best time for the southeast. Come out in numbers and vote for PDP. I have been to many states in this country; I have not seen this kind of mobilisation. I want to single out governor Umahi and commend him for such mobilisation. This is the only road that they are building road with concrete. It means your roads are going to be a lifetime road. It is only somebody like Umahi who can do that. Not only do you vote but you should protect your votes” he stated.

Earlier, governor Umahi while welcoming the Presidential campaign train to Ebonyi, assured that the state will vote massively for Atiku and all candidates of the party.

Meanwhile, thousands of PDP members and supporters trooped into Abakaliki township stadium to welcome Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the party into the state for his campaigns

Corruption Allegation: ‘Ganduje Enjoys Immunity In His Own Right’ — Buhari

The President in a statement, by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday said there is a difference between perception and reality.

President Buhari noted that he has never taken sides when it comes to the issue of corruption, arguing that even those close to him the present dispensation have all been made to face the law once they are found wanting.

He also noted that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of his commitment to transparency and accountability.

 

Below is the President’s statement in full.

“GANDUJE: PRESIDENT BUHARI’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR REMAINS ON COURSE

President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claims that hisassociation with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano has diminished hiscommitment to the war against corruption.

The Presidency in a statement Thursday said that there is adifference between perception and reality.

According to the statement, which followed comments afterthe proclamation by President Buhari of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as thegovernorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, at a rally in Kano,the presidency cited a number of high profile prosecution of senior governmentofficials that a former Secretary to the Government and a former state governorwho is a party member and now serving term in jail as indications of will anddetermination to wage the anti-corruption war without fear or favour.

It also added that the Executive Secretary of the NationalHealth Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrativeleave as part of President Buhari’s commitment to transparency andaccountability.

The statement explained that despite some of the suspectsbeing close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation,administrative suspensions and prosecution.

The Presidency added that it is sheer mischief to suggestthat President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him,explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished oncethey break the law.

On the specific issue of Governor Ganduje of Kano State, thestatement noted that Dr. Ganduje, as a sitting Governor, enjoys immunity fromprosecution in his own right. Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect ispresumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

In the circumstances, the matter is in court and thePresident has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House ofAssembly, which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with theallegations against Ganduje.

The Presidency added that it is unfair to ignore the largerpicture of the President’s major successes in the war against corruption,including blocking leakages of corruption, which in turn, boosted governmentrevenues.

The statement challenged President Buhari’s critics to provethat those facing corruption allegations are innocent, adding that thePresident’s zero tolerance for corruption has boosted and remarkably improvedNigeria’s image in the eyes of world leaders.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

January 31, 2019

Protesters Storm Kaduna Govt House, Demand Onnoghen’s Resignation

Protesters have stormed the Kaduna State Government House, demanding the resignation and subsequent prosecution of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

 

The group under the umbrella of the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Kaduna State, included women and youths.

 

They believe that having admitted to not declaring his assets in line with the law, the CJN ought to have resigned from office, and saved himself from further embarrassment.

Read Also: Onnoghen’s Suspension: ‘Nigeria Is Not A Colony’, Oshiomhole Replies US, UK, EU

 

They also faulted the statement credited to the US, UK, and EU on the matter, which according to them, amounts to a clog in the fight against corruption

 

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Nobody Will Be Allowed To Manipulate Elections In Rivers – Wike

He gave the warning at the Campaign Rally of the Peoples DemocraticParty (PDP) at Okrika Local Government Area on Thursday, adding that the choiceof the people must prevail.

According to the Governor, Rivers people have resolved to defend theirvotes across the 4442 polling stations.

He said: “Nobody can subvert the will of Rivers people during theforthcoming general elections. Anybody who comes to rig in the state willface the consequences.

“Allow Rivers people to vote persons of their choice. Nobody cansteal our votes in Rivers State”.

“Ensure you defend your votes. Nobody can hijack materials herein Okrika”.

Speaking further, Wike assured the people of Rivers State that if electedfor a second term, he would improve on the good work that he believes hehas started in the state.

He also called on the people to vote for Atiku Abubakar and other PDPcandidates in the forthcoming elections, adding that the APC-led FederalGovernment has failed the people and must be voted out for the country to makeprogress.

Meanwhile, the state PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah, presented the party’s candidatefor the Rivers East Senatorial District, Senator George Sekibo, the candidatefor Okrika/Ogu-Bolo Federal Constituency, as well as the candidate for OkrikaState Constituency, Linda Somiari Stewart to the people ahead of the generalelections.

He expressed confidence that the PDP will succeed at all levels during theelections.

Later on, the governor commissioned the Okrika Island Water Reticulation Scheme which will cover 11 kilometres of the Island community

Peaceful Elections: I Have Been Assured By All Presidential Candidates, Says US Ambassador

Symington stated this on Wednesday in Kaduna State after meeting with the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmad Abdulrahaman.

“I have talked to your President, I have talked to the leading candidates and they have all reassured me personally of their commitment to every vote counting, to people being able to cast their vote and for those votes to be counted lawfully,” he said.

The US envoy believes that Nigeria plays a crucial role in consolidating democratic norms in Africa as the world watches with keen interest.

“These elections are really about only about Nigerians. They will be decided by Nigerians and the Nigerian law and they will define the future of Nigeria. But they are also important for others.

“They are important for everybody who has looked up to Nigeria’s example of democracy in the past and who may, if these elections are as good as the elections of 2015,  that credit can be invested in democracy and freedom throughout Africa, throughout the Western Africa and throughout the rest of the world.

“So they are important for Nigeria and they are also important for the rest of the world,” the envoy added

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Atiku Promises To ‘Accelerate Investment, Double Infrastructure’ If Elected President

Specifically, he said he would accelerate investment and double infrastructure, a situation he believes would also attract more foreign direct investment.

The PDP candidate said this on Wednesday while delivering a lecture at the Lagos Island Club titled My Vision To Get Nigeria Working Again.

He said, “Our philosophy is that people are fundamental reasons for economic growth.

“Accordingly, we will increase investments in the human development sub-sectors especially education and health by committing 25 % of the budget to education and 15% to health under a collaborative process within the G3 partnership and of course, also the participation of the private sector.

“Our vision is to accelerate investment, to double our infrastructure stock to approximately 50% of GDP by 2025 and 70% by 2030.

“We will improve liquidity by undertaking fiscal restructuring and improving the management of our resources by improving the spending efficiency and reducing the share of recurrent expenditure and increasing the share of capital expenditure in the budget which we were able to reasonably achieve during the Obasanjo administration but soon after that, there was a decline

General Elections: INEC To Release Final List Of Candidates Tomorrow

The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said the list will be published in all the state offices of the commission across the country and on the commission’s website.

He said this at the swearing-in ceremony of the new Resident Electoral Commissioner in Bayelsa State, Monday Udo on Wednesday.

Professor Yakubu also noted that the commission is awaiting the confirmation and appointment of the nominee for Osun State.

He further stated that the commission has implemented 10 out of the 14 activities outlined in its scheduled programs of activitie

Harris Emerges As Frontrunner To Oust Trump As Rivals Circle

Early 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris introduced herself to American voters Monday by drawing a sharp contrast with Donald Trump, offering a robust defence of her progressive positions a day after formally declaring her White House bid.

By launching her campaign a year before any primary votes are cast, the Democratic senator from California leapfrogs several party luminaries waiting in the wings, and a few already in the race, to become the de facto frontrunner.

It is a burgeoning field that may ultimately feature dozens of candidates seeking to oust President Donald Trump.

Harris immediately took her campaign to Iowa, the state that votes first in the nominating process, holding a televised town hall from Des Moines where she eviscerated the Trump administration for “lighting that fire” of racial division and seeking to “vilify” young immigrants.

“There is a lot of work to do,” she told a crowd at Drake University, deftly handling questions from health care to criminal justice reform to gun safety to the war in Afghanistan.

 

A crowd of more than 20,000 watched her kick off her campaign Sunday in Oakland, California. But her prime-time town hall brought her into the living rooms of many more Americans.

Complicating the launch, billionaire former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said hours after her announcement that he is seriously considering entering the race — as an independent.

The self-described “lifelong Democrat” told CBS news show “60 Minutes” that he will run as a “centrist independent outside of the two-party system.”

Not only is Trump unqualified to be president, Schultz said, but Republicans and Democrats are failing the American people by engaging daily in “revenge politics.”

Schultz’s announcement drew sharp rebukes from Democrats, who warned he would siphon off Democratic votes and clear Trump’s path to re-election.

“I urge him, for the good of the country, to reconsider this bad idea,” tweeted House Democrat Brendan Boyle.

Trump, clearly aware that a Schultz run could help the sitting president, appear to seek to goad him into the race, declaring the coffee king “doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President!”

But another billionaire businessman, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, strongly urged Schultz to halt his independent antics.

“In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the president,” said Bloomberg, who himself considered an independent run three years ago but ultimately backed off.

Schultz, at a book signing in New York, stressed he was not aiming to split the Democratic vote.

“I am not running against the Democrats,” although the party has shifted “far, far left,” Schultz said, insisting “nobody” wants to see Trump out of office more than he does.

– ‘Speaking truth’ –

Harris, 54, and Schultz, 65, join several candidate already in the race, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, New York’s Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, House Democrat Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Obama-era housing secretary Julian Castro of Texas.

The compelling Oakland speech and follow-up town hall was a double-barrelled show of strength by Harris and most likely a calculated shot across the bow to those still on the 2020 sidelines, notably the four Bs mulling a run: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke.

Harris, a former state attorney general, said her platform will include several progressive policies like debt-free college, a “green new deal” addressing climate change and “Medicare for all,” which would allow Americans to opt into government-run health coverage.

Harris rarely mentioned Trump by name, but he was clearly a target.

She said projecting presidential authority “means speaking with integrity (and) speaking truth, and speaking in a way that expresses and indicates some level of interest and concern in people other than oneself.”

On immigration, she blasted Trump’s “inhumane” policy that has led to child separations at the border, and said he has failed young immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

“They’re serving in our military, they are living productive lives, and this administration has decided to vilify them and to trade on them for the sake of this president’s medieval vanity project called a wall,” she said.

Harris’s father is from Jamaica and her mother is Indian. If elected, she would become the first African American woman president in US history.

One distinct advantage for Harris is the shift that her home state has made in the primary calendar.

For years, California — the nation’s most populous state — voted near the end of the process, meaning nominees were often decided before a single Californian cast a vote.

But the state has moved its primary forward to March 3, 2020, which would give the Golden State a dramatically more powerful say in determining the nominee.

AFP

Northern Youths Protest, Back Buhari On Onnoghen’s Suspension

A coalition of northern youths in Kaduna is backing President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, thereby calling for his resignation.

The youths took there demands to the streets to protest against those that are calling for the CJN’s reinstatement.

The protesters, who marched through some major roads in Kaduna state capital carrying banners and placards with various inscriptions, commending President Buhari for taking the bold step in cleaning the judiciary of corruption, urging him not to relent in the fight irrespective of whose ox is gored.

Addressing Journalists, the leaders of the coalition groups, who describe those calling for the reinstatement of Justice Onnoghen to his position as enemies of the country, also warned the public from given Justice Onnoghen’s suspension any religious or ethnic colouration but rather look at the gravity of the offence at hand.

According to them, Justice Onnoghen having failed to fully declare his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau has violated the law, and should, therefore, resign honourably rather than engaging in judicial arms twisting.

Describing the suspension of Justice Onnoghen as a right step in the fight against corruption, the group notes that Nigeria cannot move forward with wrong judges piloting the affairs of the country’s judiciary.

The group, therefore, demanded the immediate dismissal and prosecution of the embattled CJN which they believe will save the country from further embarrassment.

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Onnoghen’s Suspension: Lawyers Shun NBA’s Directive As Court Activities Hold In Abuja

Despite the directive by the Nigerian Bar Association to boycott court activities for two days, there was no total compliance as some lawyers were seen at the court.

At the Federal High Court in Abuja, several lawyers were seen, including Justice Binta Nyako.

Although some courts were not sitting while those that did said they are at liberty to decide for themselves on what to do.

The NBA on Monday declared a two-day boycott of all court matters in protest against the suspension of the ChiefJustice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.

The decision, according to the NBA was part of the resolution which was reached at the emergency National Executive Committee meeting of the association held in Abuja.

 

The two-day boycott will be observed on Tuesday, January 29th and Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

 

 

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