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Atiku speaks on Bank PHB, tells FG what to do

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Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has described as ‘cock and bull story’, the allegation that he played a role in the collapse of Platinum Habib Bank, Bank PHB.

Veloxnews had reported that the Federal Government of Nigeria on Friday said Atiku would be questioned when he returns from the United States.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on Friday said the government would investigate Atiku’s alleged role in the collapse of former Bank PHB.

According to him the investigation was “following fresh evidence that he (Atiku) benefitted from slush funds that led to the collapse of Bank PHB.”

But reacting, Atiku in a statement issued Phrank Shaibu, his special assistant on public communication, challenged the federal government to either prove his alleged corrupt activities, or forever remain quiet.

He stated that the federal government should bury its head in shame having failed to stop him from travelling to the US.

He said, “It is disgusting to continue to spin allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office. Isn’t it a shame that the ruling party whose National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole only yesterday gave official confirmation to the general belief that, even if Lawrence Anini becomes an APC member today, Buhari will forgive and consecrate him can turn around to accuse me of corruption today?

“They just suddenly woke up to the reality that, their lies about Atiku being corrupt can no longer hold? I challenge the federal government to come up with evidence that I benefitted from N156 million slush funds through Claremont Management Services Account on 13th January, 2009 as well as the collapse of Bank PHB as they have alleged.

“It is instructive to note that, the same BankPHB is now Keystone bank which was said to have been acquired Buhari’s cronies through AMCON last year,” Mr Abubakar said.

Atiku also said with or without a trip to the U.S., he will defeat the President Muhammadu Buhari at next month’s election.

“Tell them that their days of deceit are numbered. Nigerians are tired of them and they can no longer lie or take the people for a ride anymore,” the statement said.

”It was a mark of the idleness of the folks in charge of the APC that they resorted to lobbying the US to deny him (Atiku) visa, when they should be busy strategising on how to save their party from an imminent defeat.

“I am shocked that the minders of the governing APC can be lobbying the US to deny me a visa, when no other party is in a bigger mess than the APC following the confusion arising from its unprecedented record of non-performance.

“There is no need to worry, as we shall unveil on Sunday, January 20, 2019 “Buhari’s Hall Of Shame”. It’s a scorecard of failure, incompetence, nepotism and a President’s proclivity to harbouring indicted and other famed thieves of our patrimony. Date and venue shall be made public in due course.

”Never in the history of Nigeria have the people being subjected to the kind of unemployment level that the country is now witnessing under the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is indeed a double tragedy that a government that cannot even provide for the people is also unable to ensure their security.

“Having failed woefully, it is time for the Buhari led administration and APC governments at all levels to be kicked out through the forthcoming general elections,” the statement added.

Ronaldo vs Messi: Mourinho speaks on who’s a better player

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Former Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has said that it will be “unfair” to say Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo is “better” than Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi and vice versa.

Mourinho stated this ahead of his “forthright opinions” on the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea on Saturday.

Asked to pick between Ronaldo and Messi who is better, Mourinho heaped praises on the five-time Ballon d’Or winners without calling one of them superior.

“I think it is unfair to both of them when someone says one is better than the other one,” the 55-year-old told beIN SPORTS.

“I think they are just different. “The only thing that I can say is that when I had Ronaldo on my side I was a very happy man.

“And when I had to play against Messi I had to think a lot to try and help my team to have chances to succeed.”

Monurinho added: “The thing to admire is the number of years that they have stayed at the top. To win once, it can happen. To win and win and win and win and win is much more difficult.

“As a player, you can appear like a hurricane and then disappear. “These two guys have been there for ten years and everything is about them until the moment they decide enough is enough and other people can raise the bar.”

2019: Atiku’s “family” backs Buhari for second term, refuses to explain why ex-VP was dumped

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The Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term bid.

The leadership of the political group, led by its National Chairman, Senator Abubakar Maadi, met with President Buhari on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja for the endorsement.

PDM is the political family of late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua who mentored and groomed former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, in politics and business.

In 2013, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered the PDM as a political party.

Reports suggested that the party was formed by Atiku as a back-up plan in case he was unable to fulfill his rumoured presidential ambitions on the PDP platform in 2015.

In a statement, Atiku had acknowledged that the PDM was founded by his “political associates”, but that he remained a member of the PDP at the time.

Speaking to reporters after the event, Maadi disclosed that the leadership of the PDM met on the 4th of January, 2019 to adopt President Buhari as their candidate in the forthcoming election.

He said that what informed the decision to adopt President Buhari was his integrity and his sincerity towards public service.

Maadi said, “This group is formed since 1987 by Buhari’s late friend and brother, Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua. We have traversed on the Nigeria political space for too long, we have never seen a president or a leader that is so focused and honest about developing the country and at same time making sure that development is key towards what should take us to the next level in this country.”

Asked whether the PDM was factionalized, he said it was still a movement despite its status as political party.

“There is a different between a political party and a movement. A movement is based on the principles of our founding father. It is our commitment to support the good work that this president is doing,” he said.

Also asked why they did not support Atiku Abubakar who is a member of PDM, he simply said, “We don’t discuss individuals.”

The President had earlier commended the members of the late Gen. Yar’Adua’s political family for remaining committed to the organization over the years.

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Sarri reveals expectation from Premier League clash

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Chelsea boss, Maurizio Sarri has revealed what he expects when his side tackles Arsenal on Saturday evening in the Premier League fixture.

Sarri says he expects a ‘very difficult’ game against Unai Emery’s side at Emirates.

According to the Italian gaffer, Arsenal are dangerous opponent with one of the best attack line in the Premier League.

Sarri’s side head to the game following a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United last weekend in the Premier League encounter.

“This match for us is a risk and an opportunity. It’s a risk because they are doing very well at home, so it’s a difficult and dangerous match or us,” Sarri was quoted by Metro UK as saying at pre-match.

“They are really a good team. In the offensive phase they are one of the best teams in the Premier League, they are really very dangerous, and so for us it will be really very difficult.”

Sarri added: “That was a different match I think. They changed in the last seven or eight matches.

“But we learned that they have really very, very dangerous movements in the offensive phase, very dangerous without the ball, especially when our full-back is out of the line to cover the ball.

“We have to be careful. We worked during the week about this. But they are really very dangerous.

“I think that we can be dangerous against this opponent but we have to stay in the match, we have to defend with a very high level of attention of application for 95 minutes.”

Presidential poll: Oshiomhole, Amaechi hit Atiku, PDP in Kaduna

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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday said that the fundamental issues of the party’s campaign were the pronouncement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to sell the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

Oshiomhole spoke at the APC Kaduna rally attended by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He lambasted Atiku for the idea, saying it was the same way they (PDP government) sold NITEL, NEPA, Nigerian Airways and other government agencies.

The former Edo governor said the people should resist the move by not voting for Atiku and PDP.

He called on the electorate to reject the PDP because it was responsible for the collapse of the biggest textile industries in Kaduna State, sending thousands of people out of job.

Oshiomole said Kaduna is home to the President and himself, adding “with what I have seen here today, the APC has already won the general elections.

“I am therefore calling on you to ensure that you vote for all of the candidates of the APC from top to bottom during the general elections.”

Earlier, the Director General, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Rotimi Amaechi, urged party supporters to vote the party all through to ensure smooth running of the APC administration.

“APC will see votes, but I must advise you, PDP has a rigging machinery.

“PDP will be happy if you make mistakes during the polls. President Buhari has lived all his life a hero and you owe him that duty of returning him to power,” Amaechi said.

Transfer: Morata agrees to join Atletico Madrid from Chelsea

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Chelsea striker, Alvaro Morata has agreed to join Atletico Madrid in this January transfer window.

This claim was made by respected Spanish football pundit, Guillem Balague.

According to Balague, the deal is subject to Chelsea signing a replacement and Atletico selling striker, Nikola Kalinic.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are believed to have agreed a deal with Juventus to sign striker, Gonzalo Higuain this month on loan until the end of the season.

“Morata has already agreed deal with Atletico Madrid. It seems to be a matter of finding a buyer for (Nikola) Kalinic,” Balague told BBC Radio 5 live.

“Everything else seems to be in place for Morata to abandon what feels like a nightmare.”

Morata has struggled at Stamford Bridge since joining Chelsea from Real Madrid last summer.

The 26-year-old was dropped by Blues manager, Maurizio Sarri in Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League encounter last weekend.

Chelsea will now tackle Arsenal in their next Premier League fixture on Saturday.

APC vs PDP: Buhari blows hot in Kaduna, recalls coup against him

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians that his administration would not waiver in its fight against corruption and ensuring sanity in public affairs.

NAN reports that Buhari gave the assurance while addressing a mammoth crowd of supporters at the flag-off of his re-election campaign in Kaduna.

“We have taken measures to ensure that recovered funds and assets are not handed back to those who looted the treasury as was done after my detention when my administration was toppled in the 80s.

“What we are doing is to ensure that all recovered assets are sold off and the proceeds lodged into the Single Treasury Account. That way, no one will have the opportunity to appropriate such assets.”

The President assured that the government would not be cowed to abandon the corruption war.

“The anti corruption is difficult in the current democratic dispensation, but we will continue to work carefully and steadily until we insulate public funds from looters,” he said.

He said that the administration has recorded tremendous success in the war against insurgency, restiveness in the Niger Delta and other crimes and would not rest until peace is restored to all parts of the country.

“I have nothing to say than to remind you of the situation we met this country and the promises we made to you.

“So the best we can do for our country is to return the APC to power.

“The biggest gift we can give to our country is security and sufficiency and economic prosperity”, he said.

Buhari assured Nigerians that the nation’s economy “is recovering and is on track of development.

“The larger population of the country are youth between the ages of 35 and below, Nigeria has lots of work to do to get you employment and sufficiency. We are determined to do that.”

According to him, the government has also recorded massive success in the area of agriculture and commended the support of all governors, especially those of Lagos, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kano and Jigawa states for the turnaround in rice production.

“We have stopped spending our foreign reserve to import rice, there is sufficiency in rice as we now produce it locally.”

The President expressed confidence that his victory is assured in the state and North West region, and solicited for the support of all to ensure peace and
economic development of the country.

He also promised that his administration, if re-elected in the 2019 general elections, will continue to make life easier for all Nigerians.

The President then called on the people of Kaduna state to ensure that they vote for all APC candidates to enable the party complete all ongoing developmental projects and programmes across the country.

He assured the electorate that the APC administration would not betray Nigerians or allow anyone to betray them.

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Ozil sends message to Emery ahead of EPL clash

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Arsenal playmaker, Mesut Ozil, has sent a clear message to manager Unai Emery ahead of Saturday’s must-win match against Chelsea, by declaring himself available for selection.

The 30-year-old was left out of the squad last weekend for tactical reasons, the third time he has missed a match on that basis this season.

Ozil also continues to struggle with various back and knee injuries.

Arsenal’s defeat at West Ham left them six points behind Chelsea in the race for fourth place and defeat at the Emirates would almost certainly signal the end of their challenge for Champions League qualification via the league.

Emery has reportedly told the former Germany international to seek a new club in the summer and according to Corriere dello Sport, Ozil has already been offered to Milan.

The former Real Madrid playmaker, meanwhile, has no intention of leaving Arsenal and is said to be working hard in the gym, in a bid to convince Emery he is worthy of a place in his starting XI.

On Friday, he tweeted: “Another week of full team training done. Feeling good & confident”.

Asked whether Ozil would feature this weekend, Emery said on Thursday: “He has injuries, where sometimes he is okay, sometimes not okay. I want every player to be okay for every match and he is the same.

“He didn’t play the last game but this Saturday he could possibly be with us. Now he is training consistently.

“I want every player to give consistency. This is not always easy. What is most important is how he can help us.”

2019: Corruption has hindered Nigeria’s development, Buhari will fix it – Osinbajo tells Ondo residents

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday stated that corruption has been the major bane that has hindered the development of the country.

Osinbajo, who stated this at Ifon in Ose Local Government during his visit to Ondo State for the house to house campaign ahead of the forthcoming election, emphasized that it was only President Muhammadu Buhari that can fix the country.

Osinbajo also visited some royal fathers in the state.

He said that for the people to continue to witness more developmental projects, they must give their votes to his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, as well as for President Muhammadu Buhari at the February 16 presidential election.

“Buhari is an honest man and he will do something if he says so. Anyone that is honest can be in government.

“The development of Nigeria is a major concern to us. We all know what happened when we first got here. No country can develop when corruption is order of the day.

“This forthcoming election is particularly important to us because it is not all the time we have a representative in government, but when we have one, we should support them to have more development.

“Our school feeding programme feeds 9.2 million children daily. Things like this has been budgeted but not started physically.

“Whatever we promise, we will do one by one. The railway, roads, and water and power promised in Southwest will be done,” he said.

Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who appreciated the Vice President for his visit to the state, said, “As you are here today, and the people have seen you with us, it has great impact and it’s more than any rally we could have organised.

“We are the same family and we see ourselves as one. I am happy, we started in Ifon. A lot of things started in Ifon. It is part of three key areas of Ondo State.”

Akeredolu further assured that the forthcoming elections was already won by APC, saying the party presented credible candidates.

Earlier, Oba Israel Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon, appreciated what he described as the commitment of the APC led federal government to development of humanity.

He explained that there has been unprecedented development since the government of APC took over in 2015.

2019 Presidency: ‘Come and debate, you have no excuse’ – Fayose dares Buhari

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Ayodele Fayose, former Ekiti State Governor, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to ensure he attends the presidential debate slated for tomorrow.

Fayose, factional head of the South West campaign organisation of Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made the call on Friday.

Messrs Buhari and Abubakar are major contestants in the presidential election scheduled for February 16. They are expected to participate in the debate.

Also, there are insinuations in some quarters that the president who seeks a second term in office will dodge the debate. The media have not been able to confirm if President Buhari would debate his challengers personally or through proxy.

Weighing-in on the matter, Fayose wrote on Twitter: “They challenged @atiku to travel to US, he is there now. We are challenging President Buhari to come and debate tomorrow, no excuse!”

Recall that Atiku yesterday travelled to the United States for business and political engagements.

Since he left office, Atiku has been unable to visit the country, this the All Progressive Congress (APC) maintained was because of corruption allegations involving him at the U.S.

Atiku’s visit has rattled the APC-led adminstration, forcing it to dug out a fresh corruption allegation against the former number two citizen.

The government said the former vice president has issues to clarify on his role on the collapse of Bank PHB.