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APC vs PDP: Why Atiku’s visit to US was ‘downright catastrophe’ – Buhari Campaign

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has reached to the trip to the United States by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the council, in a statement on Sunday, recalled that the campaign had in December predicted that by running for President of Nigeria, Atiku intends to get some immunity from prosecution.

He said APC was not surprised by his visit to the U.S because it was really a non-event considering the issues involved in the forthcoming election.

Keyamo added: “However, we have bad news for those who think this is a momentous event for Atiku Abubakar: the visit was nothing but a downright catastrophe because rather than dispel the fact of indictments hanging over his head, it further confirms and reinforces those facts for the following reasons:

(1) The visit had all the trappings of a fugitive sneaking into America under a “special diplomatic waiver”. For the candidate of the major opposition party in Nigeria, it is an absolute disaster that the visit was not announced ahead of time in Nigeria, with his programmes and itinerary clearly spelt out, the decent and customary minimum standard of such visits. This culminated in his close aides issuing conflicting statements about the visit when he was already on his way there. In fact, one of them called Paul Ibe actually spoke to the Press that his principal was nowhere near America! Such was the secrecy of the planning and execution of that visit.

(2) It is shameful that a presidential candidate of a major opposition party in Africa’s most populous country would visit America, and the international press was kept in the dark: There was NO SINGLE press conference with the array of international media and correspondents required for such ‘high-profile’ visit. Atiku knows he has no moral stamina to withstand the avalanche of hard questions bordering on his sordid past in America. In fact, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claims he visited the Voice of America (VOA) but only did two carefully-packaged interviews with the Hausa service and the English to Africa program – platforms that have always been available to him back home. How strange! In fact, both the Twitter handle (@VOANews) and official website of VOA did not mention any such visit of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to their station. For news hounds, you would agree with us that such an ‘important personality’ cannot walk into a news premises without reporters swooping on him. Whatever he went to do in the premises of the VOA must have been a carefully-arranged private visit for the photo-ops, which was intended to scam Nigerians. What more evidence do we need of a “sneak-in-sneak-out” arrangement than this?.

(3) For a candidate who claims he wants to “get Nigeria working again” (a meaningless phrase) to sneak into America without meeting major players in private businesses is a curiosity and an indication that we are dealing with a candidate with a dodgy and questionable character. He claims he went to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, which is supposed to be a business federation. Again, the Twitter handle (@USChamber) and the website of the organization make no mention of the visit of such an ‘important personality’ to them. Maybe their famous American lobbyist on a salary of N9million per month can help them ‘do something’ about this after this press statement.

(4) It is also an anomaly that the candidate of the major opposition party in Nigeria sneaked into America and did not meet large sections of political leaders of similar ideologies and persuasions towards which he claims to be inclined. For all his claim to be going to America to meet “U.S Government officials”, he only succeeded in meeting a certain “Congressman Smith”, who is the equivalent of a member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria. You would agree with us that as dignified and respected as the office of a Member of the House of Representatives is, an important personality cannot come to Nigeria on an official visit and claim he has met the “Nigerian government officials” after he pays a private visit to that Member. For all we know, the Congressman Smith may just be a private friend of Dr. Bukola Saraki or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. That reminds us of Atiku’s famous legislator friend he threw under the bus, Williams Jefferson, who taught us how to hide laundered money ( which was meant for Atiku Abubakar) in the deep freezer when the cops came knocking on his door!”

APC reacts to Obasanjo’s attack on Buhari, FG

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, has lambasted former president Olusegun Obasanjo over his latest attack on President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government.

Addressing a press conference Sunday evening in Abuja, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said during Chief Obasanjo’s regime, government policies were determined by whatever mood he (Obasanjo) found himself and all decisions of government were subjected to his whims.

He said: “When you are used to a particular thing, that means something you know how to do very well. For eight years of President Obasanjo, all the elections he held, in fact his government policies were determined by whatever mood he finds himself and all decisions of government were brought under his wings, and all that he did in those eight years are what is hunting him.

“Obasanjo can not imagine that it is possible for a government to allow INEC statutory independence that it has. We have had 93 elections since APC came to power and we are sure that all those elections were conducted without any interference from this government.

“In fact, if there is anything you want to credit this government with, it is the fact that institutions are allowed to fulfill their mandate without anybody’s interference. So, we can understand where the former President is coming from, his past is haunting him.

“The 2003 and 2007 elections were nothing to write home about and those elections happened under President Obasanjo. So, for us in APC, votes must count. We are going to have a free, fair and credible election. We have no reason to want to rig elections because our achievements speak for us.

“So, President Obasanjo should adjust to the reality of imminent defeat that is staring him in the face. He has carried himself about as the dispenser of our destinies and God is showing him clearly that he has just only been lucky and the favour God has done for him, he has now considered them as things that come from him.”

2019 presidency: What Buhari, Atiku, others must do – Pastor Bakare

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Serving Oveerseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has called on presidential candidates for next month’s poll to look beyond the 2019 election.

According to him, the presidential candidates must place the interest of the nation above their political interests.

The cleric stated this in Lagos on Sunday while delivering his 2019 State of the Nation Address in his church.

He said candidates must not see the election as a do-or-die affair or consider winning it as the only means of impacting positively on nation-building and good governance.

Pastor Bakare stated that the country was losing with the winner-takes-all politics.

He said, “Our country needs a uniting force that can rally our diverse strengths around a common narrative, towards a common objective, to achieve a common vision – The Nigeria of Our Dreams.

“After all is said and done, may Nigeria win, no matter who wins or loses in this year’s elections. After the elections, we have a nation to build together.

“I am reminded of the words of Anwar al-Sadat, ‘There can be hope only for a society which acts as one big family, not as many separate ones’.

“With our zero-sum game and winner-takes-all politics, we could be losing the ideas, the brilliance, and all the strengths required to build a nation.

“But when, beyond the elections, the Buharis, the Atikus, the Moghalus, the Ezekwesilis, the Durotoyes, the Sowores and the likes come together to minimise our weaknesses and maximise our strengths, as one political family, with one agenda – nationhood, we can shape a new nation beyond 2019,“ he said.

Bakare said restructuring was a precondition for the progress of the country, advising that candidates could form what he called, ‘Team Restructuring’ to address the country’s challenges after the elections.

He pointed out that the array of brilliant candidates paraded by some of the political parties was a good development for the nation’s democracy.

APC vs PDP: Buhari Campaign compares Atiku, Saraki to ‘Yahoo boys’

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has compared Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his Campaign Director-General, Bukola Saraki to “Yahoo boys”.

Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the council, in a statement on Sunday, said the duo’s trip to America was for photo-ops.

He said: “Throughout the trip, Atiku Abubakar looked cagey, frightened and on edge. We note the close support always provided by Senate President Bukola Saraki like a comforting guardian angel. The visit and arrangements smack of things local yahoo yahoo boys do to scam their victims. It is utterly disgusting and puerile that it has been brought into a serious political contest.

“Rather than being the highpoint of his campaign, the American visit is indeed the lowest watermark of Atiku Abubakar’s campaign. It was a political and P.R disaster. The statements he released from there only to the Nigerian Press back home that he intends to alienate other countries and do business with the U.S is actually the antithesis to our policy of non-alignment.

“For the information of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his handlers, Nigerians know that Nigeria is already working again for everyone and not for a few. As confirmed by him in a town-hall meeting a few days before his disastrous trip to the U.S, he said he wants to “get Nigeria working again” only for few of his friends who he claims he wants to make rich. If he cannot get them rich now from his private businesses, it is obvious that he is referring to the use of public funds to make his friends rich. Nigerians should judge for themselves whether this is the type of President they want.

“Finally, whoever advised Atiku Abubakar to undertake that trip to America just destroyed his entire campaign and exposed him for who he is – a questionable character who has continued to leave huge questions over his suitability for the highest office of the land and as such cannot be trusted by the Nigerian people.”

Adamawa: Gunmen attack Numan village, reportedly raze Catholic seminary, other structures

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Gunmen, said to be in their hundreds, have attacked Bare, a community in Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa State, reportedly razing houses and structures, including a Catholic seminary there.

Witnesses said the attackers were herdsmen, and that this latest incident would be a continuation of past similar attacks over grazing land that made many residents to leave the community.

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Stephen Mamza said nothing of the identities of the attackers but confirmed
the destruction of the Catholic Seminary, and said security agents did not respond on time to save the day.

The bishop, who is also the Adamawa State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said he had been duly informed that the invaders stormed the community in their hundreds and operated for several hours without restraint.

He said, “Our reverend father’s house was burnt and there’s no house around
that area that is standing now. They have burnt all the houses. All my
parishioners have left. Nobody can live there.”

Mamza said the incident was most unfortunate because after a previous attack and people ran away, many of them had returned and rebuilt their houses, but that “the people are now back to square one because their houses have been destroyed completely.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in Adamawa State, Othman Abubakar, said the attackers burnt down several
houses, but did not confirm if the Catholic Seminary was among them.

He explained that the report before him did not indicate the identities of houses burnt, stressing that there was no human casualty.

“There was an attack with houses burnt down but there was no loss of lives. But so far we have deployed our men to restore normalcy,” the police spokesman said.

APC vs PDP: Atiku states position on Buhari-led APC govt

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Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Sunday stated his position on the performance of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

Atiku, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, said Buhari’s first term in office is a sad reminder of Nigeria’s arrested development since 2015 when his clueless party, the APC came to power.

Shaibu called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister the ruling APC, which, according to him, has metamorphosed from a political party to a ”nest of corrupt politicians’’.

“This was attested to by the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole who was recently said that once any politician defects to the APC, he or she becomes a saint even if such a person were an armed robber”, the aide said in a statement.

Shaibu said that the most compelling reason for the APC to be de-registered is that it has driven millions of Nigerians deeper into poverty since 2015, when it took over leadership of the country, and spent trillions of naira procuring hunger, darkness and insecurity.

“It is the view of the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that Nigerians from all walks of life call on the APC to apologize to all Nigerians for bringing them nothing but suffering of unquantifiable proportion since 2015, and to make a solemn pledge not to have anything to do with governance, especially with the February 16, election that is fast approaching,” Shaibu said.

He added that the Buhari administration was only chasing shadows by trying to drag Atiku Abubakar into the mud, which according to him, has now become the natural habitat of APC top leaders.

“President Buhari and his APC are criminal enablers and harborers of looters of our collective patrimony and this document “Buhari’s Hall Of Shame” is a scorecard of failure, incompetence, nepotism and a President’s proclivity to harbouring indicted and other famed thieves of our patrimony.

“Recall that, the former acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Mohammed Dauda, in a sworn testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence, revealed that President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet comprising Abba Kyari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Kingibe, had pressured him to share the $44 million Ikoyi millions.

“After giving his sworn evidence, Ambassador Dauda was dismissed and has now gone underground. This is President Buhari’s style of fighting corruption.

“The hawks seem to have finally convinced Buhari to frame Atiku in some bogus N156million alleged scam, which they claimed is responsible for the collapse of Bank PHB. Assuming but not conceding that this allegation is correct, can N156million Naira collapse a bank with a reserve portfolio in excess of N25bn? But Nigerians are wiser and I am sure, would resist any devilish plot by some APC crooks who believe that it is either the President wins reelection or our democracy is truncated”.

Continuing, the Special Assistant said, “Nigerians are intelligent enough to know that the allegation of Atiku being responsible for the collapse of BankPHB is balderdash! They also know that the said BankPHB metamorphosed into Keystone Bank which was said to have been acquired by Buhari’s cronies through AMCON last year.

“By this latest allegation of the Federal Government through the office of the Minister Of Information, it is clear that the responsibility of AMCON has been appropriated. In appropriating the responsibility of AMCON. It is therefore no more a matter of speculation that Buhari and his family members are the new owners of Keystone Bank (Former BankPHB)”.

The former Vice President then asked what the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was doing before now when it refused to name Atiku as one of those behind the collapse until now that the leaders of APC see that he is just a few days from becoming Nigeria’s president, and wondered whether the revelation is at the instance of the new owners.

“Why was Atiku’s name not mentioned when Bank PHB collapsed? Is it because the APC and its goons know that they will be defeated in next month’s election? Or is the APC government acting on behalf of Buhari’s family who are reportedly the new owners of the bank?” he asked.

The former VP described the Bank PHB story as diversionary and a calculated attempt to divert the attention of Nigerians from the failure of the APC government to deliver dividends of democracy.

”Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars who wait with bated breath for FG’s monthly N5,000 handout aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections.

”Talking of infrastructure, despite an ‘investment’ of over N1trillion by the Buhari-led APC administration in infrastructure, the nation’s roads have become death traps and power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 mega watts PDP left in 2015 to less than 3,500 mega watts even though Buhari’s handlers consistently claim that 7,000 mega watts is what is currently being generated,” he said.

Shaibu said the exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about 170 (official rate) to the dollar. “Today it is 360 to the dollar. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?”

He said Atiku Abubakar’s policy document focuses on job creation, ensuring security, growing businesses, developing power, and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how ‘Nigeria’s next president will empower women.

”Unlike Buhari’s policy proposals, our policies outline the goals and methods for developing and revitalizing Nigeria and getting the country to work again,” Shaibu concluded.

BREAKING: Buni Yadi in Yobe under Boko Haram attack

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Report reaching Veloxnews indicates that, Buni Yadi, the headquarters of Gujba local government area of Yobe state is under attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents.

It was gathered that heavy gunshots were heard from eastern and western fringes of the town on Sunday, a development that plunged residents into panic.

The suspected insurgents were said to have entered the town in a convoy of four trucks.

Details of the latest attack are still sketchy as it was difficult reaching out to the locals.

Buni Yadi is about 45 km away from Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

The attack is coming less than 24 hours to a presidential rally scheduled for tomorrow, Monday in Damaturu.

Details soon…

Presidential debate: Ohanaeze accuses Buhari of insulting Nigerians, reveals what Atiku should have done

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The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo on Sunday reacted as President Muhammadu Buhari and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar boycotted the presidential debate.

Buhari had failed to attend the debate which was held in Abuja, on Saturday, blaming his non-appearance on his hectic schedule.

Buhari’s failure to attend the debate made Atiku to walk out of the event shortly before it started.

Reacting, spokesperson of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu, in a chat with Veloxnews, said the development was an insult to Nigerians.

He said: “I express my deep reservation over the shunning of Nigerians by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Buhari’s action was the greatest insult of the century. His action shows he has no regards for Niverians but still want to rule them.”

Ibegbu maintained that the former vice president should have still participated in the debate despite Buhari’s absence.

“Atiku should have also partcipated in the debate despite the insult to Nigerians by Buhari,” he added.

PDP speaks on ‘plot to disrupt’ APC rallies

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The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has assured that the party would not send anybody or its agents to disrupt rallies of other political parties in the state.

Chairman of the party in the state, Mr Paul Ekpo, gave the assurance during a press conference in Uyo on Sunday.

Ekpo said that the party would base its campaigns on issues and achievements recorded by Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s administration in the last three and half years.

He urged opposition parties to also base their campaigns on issues as against intimidation and blackmail, stressing that only the will of Akwa Ibom people would prevail.

“We hereby state as follows, that we have not and will not send anybody to disrupt rallies or meetings of any other political party.

“We can assure the opposition that no amount of arrest and intimidation will bend the will of the people.

“The greater the opposition, the more resolute the will of the people will be to ensure their resounding failure.

Our people will vote their choice and defend their votes,” Ekpo said.

The party state chairman denied allegation that the PDP in the state was buying Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) from the electorate.

Ekpo, however, alleged that there were plans to frame up officials and financiers of his party with the aim of keeping them away from the elections.

2019 election: Cross River monarch, APC governorship candidate’s brother endorse Ben Ayade

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The Paramount Ruler of Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State, His Royal Majesty Ntufam Emmanuel Oru has said the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator John Ewan-Enoh “stands no chance of winning the governorship election in March.”

He made the declaration while stating that the incumbent Governor, Ben Ayade will emerge victorious during the forthcoming election.

Speaking in Etung Local Government Area, the monarch said the “election will be a walk over for Governor Ben Ayade.”

Oru also lamented alleged false reports by the APC that he had endorsed Owan-Enoh.

He said: “Enoh and APC are lying to the public. He (Enoh) cannot win. Election is not by appearance. Election is of the mind and Ayade will win this election.”

The monarch, who described Ayade as his “very good friend,” said “there was no chance in hell that he will enlist his support for Enoh.”

Oru had recently led a delegation of high profile personalities of Etung, including the elder brother to the APC candidate, Professor Anthony Owan-Enoh, to endorse Governor Ayade for second term.