Revealed! How Atiku May Have Lobbied His Way Into The U. S.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, may have lobbied his way into the US, according to a journalist, Judd Legum.

Atiku, a former Vice President, had not visited the United States of America for over 12 years until his recent trip to the country with Senate President Bukola Saraki alongside other politicians.

On arrival in the US, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party lodged at the Trump Hotel, owned by US President Donald Trump.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) had constantly mocked Atiku over his inability to visit the U.S., using it as a proof of his corruption and unsuitability for public office.

Atiku had been accused of laundering over $40 million in the US with the aid of his wife Jenifer Douglas.

The Waziri of Adamawa was also mentioned in a bribery scandal involving congressman William Jefferson, who is currently serving time.

However, Legum, a journalist with Popular Information, said the PDP candidate may have lobbied his way into the United States.

According to Popular Information, a former US government official confirmed that Atiku was until recently formally barred from obtaining a visa pursuant to a presidential proclamation targeting corrupt foreign officials.

Former US President George W. Bush had in 2004 signed the Presidential Proclamation 7750 which ban entry into the United States for current and former corrupt foreign officials.

According to the report by Legum on Popular Information, things change after the PDP hired Brian Ballard, a key member of Trump’s political operation, with a $1.1 million per year lobbying contract.

Ballard, who is widely renowned for his deep connections to the Trump administration, chaired the “Trump Victory organization” in Florida.

Ballard, among other things, was to help Atiku advance “democratic values and the rule of law in Nigeria.”

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President Buhari Campaigns In Maiduguri

The President Muhammadu Buhari campaign train on Monday arrived Maiduguri in continuation of its re-election campaign activities.

President Buhari landed at about 10:30am at the Nigerian Air Force wing of the Maiduguri International Airport.

He was received by Mr Adams Oshiomole, the Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC); National Security Adviser, Maj. -Gen. (rtd), Babagana Monguno and the Minister of State Works, Alhaji Baba Shehuri.

Other dignitaries that received the president are Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno, members of the national and state House of Assembly and other party leaders.

The president is expected to address a gathering of party supporters at the Ramat Square in Maiduguri, to drum up support for his re-election bid.

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Just In: Acting IGP Orders Disbandment Of FSARS, Others

The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate disbandment of the Federal SARS, Special Investigation Panel and Special Tactical Squad.

He announced this on Monday at his inaugural conference with Commissioners of Police and other senior officers in Abuja.

Based on the new directive, the FSARS will now be domiciled under the direct supervision of the Commissioners of Police in the 36 states.

The IGP Special Investigation Panel and IGP Special Tactical Squad were established by the former IGP Ibrahim Idris who also centralized the operations of SARS into Federal SARS.

Channels

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At 49, Keyamo Has Earned Public Respect – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended crusading lawyer, Festus Keyamo, SAN for having earned the “highest place and esteem” in the legal profession through his defence of the rights of ordinary Nigerians.

In a message of congratulations to mark Keyamo’s 49th birthday Monday, signed personally by him, the President thanked the Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council for bringing these qualities to bear on the ongoing campaign for elections.

In a letter headlined “Happy Birthday, Festus,” President Buhari said: “I write to heartily congratulate you on your 49th birthday, today. The story of your life has always been to speak up for the masses of our country and at critical times in the life of our nation. You have also used law as an instrument to achieve these goals. This has rightly earned you the highest place and esteem in your profession as Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

“As you apply these qualities in helping to CHANGE this nation through our campaigns, I pray that God Almighty will continue to bless you and grant you long life and good health.”

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US Chamber of Commerce Bans Journalists From Business Meeting With Atiku

The United States Chamber of Commerce has confirmed a private meeting with Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a mailed response to TheCable’s inquiries on attending the meeting, Katharine Cooksey, senior manager, media and external communications, US Chamber of Commerce, said no reporters will be able to attend the meeting.

“Thank you for reaching out to us. The event you mention is private, closed press, and off the record,” Cooksey said.

“Only U.S.-Africa Business Center members are invited. No reporters will be able to attend.”

TheCable had initially tried to confirm the details of the event from the chamber and the US Africa Business Centre websites, but there was no record of the meeting.

Atiku, who arrived the US this afternoon, however, said he will be meeting with US government officials, without giving details of who and who he will be meeting.

“Just arrived Washington D.C for meeting with US government officials, Nigerians living in D.C metropolis and the business community,” Atiku tweeted with his signature AA.

The chamber is the largest lobbying group in the US, spending more money than any other lobbying organization on a yearly basis.

It has specific economic and political leanings, which plays major roles in elections in the United States and the creation of jobs in the world’s largest economy.

Atiku has built his campaign around job creation, running with the tagline: “Atiku means jobs”. It is, however, unclear how Atiku’s meetings will further facilitate his quest to create jobs in Nigeria.
Cable

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An Objective X-Ray Of The Buhari Presidential Town Hall, By Dr Uche Diala

On the 16th January 2019, I was privileged to once more sit up close with the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR). The occasion was the Town Hall sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation which held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja.

Reading some people’s take on that event, I am compelled to share my experience and make an objective post mortem of that Town Hall.

First, there is no overstating the impeccable sense of time keeping of the President. The program was billed to start by 8:00pm and as I checked my time as he walked in as on other occasions, it seemed perfectly choreographed. The President’s knack for time keeping is historic and legendary. Interestingly everyone including Ministers, Aides, even Journalists who cover events involving him and Guests have come to get used and adjust to that.

As the President walked into the Hall, there was that characteristic and unmistakable aura that perennially accompanies him everywhere he goes. It doesn’t matter how many times you get close to him, the feeling is always the same (even for those who might not like him) – that peculiar feeling of awe and authority which derives from a deep sense of genuine respect and admiration; sophisticated, yet clothed in the utmost simplicity, which is far removed from the air of arrogance and vulgar power often associated with many of our leaders even at a level way below the Presidency.

As the President and Vice settled down and the questions started coming, I paid closed attention. As one with an inquisitive and analytical mind, I found myself listening beyond what was being said. I watched the body language, facial expressions and the general disposition of both the President and Vice President.

Some people have made unnecessary bone out of the fluency or fluidity of the President’s spoken English. I sincerely think those people miss the important point or as one person put it, some people ‘’were watching only to find faults or criticize rather than to understand or be informed’’.

There were moments during the Town Hall when I thought the President was stalling but on closer look, I saw a man who was thinking through and then when he comes up with his response, the sheer wittiness and wisdom packed in most of his answers showed a man whose mind is fine and uncorrupted.

This was exemplified at moments when the Anchor asked what I considered ‘gotcha questions’ like, the question on Kano State Governor, Acceptance of defeat should he lose the election, Chief Justice of Nigeria/Asset declaration saga, whether he was “frustrated” with the slow pace of the anti-corruption war amongst others. On each of those occasions, his response was not only spot on but brutally frank.

Let me confess, sincerely as a Buharist, I would want the President to be more hedgy, diplomatic, ‘trickish’ with his responses and comments but the truth is he is too authentic and sincere to be all that. He is far too straightforward and forthright and I daresay too old school to bother with being politically correct. He is not interested in telling people what they want hear, even when he knows it’s a lie. I discover that this is exactly why millions of Nigerians love him. With him what you see is what you get. Not deceptive rhetoric and flamboyant grammar that end up in monumental betrayals. Ironically, that is also why many hate him.

Furthermore, some people have tried to draw the Vice President into an unnecessary and I daresay mischievous debate. According to them, he was more expressive and more detailed. Well, let me first of all say a big kudos to the Vice President. I have never been more proud of Prof Osinbajo and thankful to God for giving us these two leaders at this critical time in our nation’s history as I was that night.

As I watched the President and Vice President on stage, I couldn’t help but observe the genuine respect the Vice President had for the President. I watched with admiration how he deferred to the President, allowing him to deal with the issues raised while knowing exactly when to drop in to fill in the gap and buttress. After all it is a Team. After all he is the Professor of Law, Communicator and younger partner in the Team.

I don’t know what some of those compulsive critics saw, but I saw something that we have not had in a very long time in the leadership of this nation – a President and Vice President who have almost perfect chemistry, genuine mutual respect for one another, united by an unquestionable determination to make a difference and move our nation forward. I saw a ‘political marriage’ made definitely in heaven where the two most powerful men in Nigeria understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and are ready and able to fill in the gaps or lapses where necessary without friction.

I am not under any illusion that at 76 years of age, President Buhari would be as agile as he was at 36, but I’m also not naïve to underestimate the unquantifiable role his personality, integrity, principles, meticulousness and sheer presence brings to the table which is key to the undeniable turn around we are witnessing in the nation today.

President Buhari unarguably brings to the table authentic, unadulterated, incorruptible and focused leadership backed with decades of practical experience at nation building and the wisdom of age and time. These no amount of money or education can buy. The beauty is that whatever President Buhari lacks, Vice President Osinbajo adequately compensates for.

It is this, in my view, that has made the Buhari/Osinbajo partnership, unarguably the most effective, successful and honorable Presidential partnership in the political history of Nigeria and truth be told the most viable Partnership/Ticket out of all we are being offered for the 2019 election.

In all, sitting up close, I could not help but acknowledge the unmistakable sincerity, authenticity, passion, commitment and resolve of President Muhammadu Buhari. I saw a Leader who is totally and irreversibly committed to the progress and success of his nation. As an icing on the cake, I saw a fiercely loyal, extremely humble, highly cerebral lieutenant in the person of Professor Yemi Osinbajo who not only shares Buhari’s and our collective dream for a better Nigeria, but equally possesses the critical virtue of integrity required to navigate our nation away from the sharks and undertakers of yesterday who desperately want to hang on to power.

Conclusively, if I wasn’t a Buhari/Osinbajo supporter already, I would surely become one without hesitation, knowing fully well that not only do these two men epitomize who we truly are as Nigerians, they equally represent the realistic future of integrity, progress and genuine prosperity we desire as a people and a nation.

I humbly implore us all, for the sake of our dear nation and generations unborn to keep sentiments, partisan and ethno-religious differences aside and vote for Buhari/Osinbajo on February 16th 2019 – for the greater good of all of us citizens and not a few “friends”.

GodBlessNigeria

© Dr Uche Diala
Buharists & Patriot

BuharistsHangOut

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Resign Now, El-Rufai Tells CJN Onnoghen

The Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai has urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen to step down from office.

El-Rufai, who made his views known on a Channels Television Programme, “Sunrise”, said:  ”All the arguments being made that the allegations against the CJN should first go to the National Judicial Council (NJC) are wrong.

“I presented a paper at the Bisi Akande Colloquium on restructuring. I believe that we should look at our federation. Constitutional restructuring is one thing, restructuring our minds to be objective about what is right is another.

“I am extremely sad about this Chief Justice matter; if I am the Chief Justice, and write and say, ‘yes I have these bank accounts but I did not declare them’, I will not even allow the CCB to file charges, I will resign there and then to protect the institution.

“The admission that I did not declare my assets, that infraction alone, is enough for him to step down and protect the institution. All these court orders and lawyers are not helping the judiciary or the legal practice and are not helping Nigeria.”

The governor said it was not obligatory for the President to know about the prosecution of any Nigerian, including the CJN.

He said: “Why should the President know about the prosecution of anyone? Let us please stop personalising institutions. Won’t you be worried if the President is worried about prosecution? Institutions should be allowed to function.

“I am the governor of Kaduna State. The constitution requires that I declare my assets before being sworn in. Also, the constitution states this specifically, in plain language. This is not law; we don’t need law to tell us this.

“I don’t have to know if the Attorney-General of Kaduna State goes and murder or rape someone, and the police arrest him; I don’t need to know. They should charge him to court. Institutions should be allowed to work, and we should stand up to protect the integrity of institutions.

“Saying that the President doesn’t know, I think it is a compliment to the president; it shows that he does not interfere with institutions and doesn’t get involved in it.

“What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong; I think we should stand up for that, we should seize being ethnic and religious, otherwise this country will not go anywhere.

”The man has admitted that ‘I did not declare my asset, I forgot’. If the matter was simply that the Code of Conduct Bureau has made an allegation and filed charges in the tribunal, I will presume innocence, but I have seen a written statement by the Chief Justice saying that ‘…yes I have these accounts, yes I did not declare them, but I forgot’. Forgetting is not a defence in law.

“The constitution is very clear; if the matter has to do with Code of Conduct of public officers, the only court, the only tribunal vested with the power to consider the violations of that code is the Code of Conduct Tribunal. It can try anyone, including the President.

“The NJC is supposed to take petitions on the professional misconduct of Judges; if a Judge kills or steals, it is not NJC, it is the regular court. You cannot say the NJC is a self-appointed court, a special court that will first have to clear judges before they go to regular court.

”It is saying that Judges have immunity that the constitution has not contemplated. It is only the President and the governors that have immunity in the constitution.

“For me, that is not even the issue, the issue is this, the Code of Conduct for public office requires you to declare your assets – all of us, have you declared your assets? Yes! Have you declared all your assets? No, I have not! The Chief Justice has admitted it; his defence is ‘I have forgotten’, that is not a defence in law.”

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Sokoto Assembly Passes Budget

The Sokoto State House of Assembly has passed the 2019 Budget of N169.652 billion as proposed by Governor Aminu Tambuwal.

The Appropriation bill was passed following a motion moved by the Assembly Majority Whip Alhaji Habibu Modachi representing Isa constituency.

The motion came after consideration of a report by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

Presenting the report, the Committee Chairman, Alhaji Malami Muhammad, said that the amount proposed for both recurrent and capital expenditures remained the same as submitted by the governor.

Alhaji Muhammad said the sum of N70,468,519,058.00 representing 41.53 per cent is for recurrent expenditure while N99,184,252,425.00 representing 58.47 per cent is  for capital expenditure and both remained the same.

He also said based on the genuine request of the Sub-Committee, the Committee moved resources to accommodate some important demands and interest of the people.

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INEC Intensifies Issuance Of PVCs

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Ebonyi State says it has intensified efforts for easy issuance of Permanent Voter’s Cards, PVCs in the area.

The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Professor Godswill Obioma, told Radio Nigeria that out of the three hundred and eighteen thousand PVCs received from its Headquarters in Abuja, over one hundred and forty-five thousand cards have been issued to their owners while about one hundred and seventy-two thousand cards are yet to be collected.

Professor Obioma explained that the commission had brought the collection points closer to the people to reduce the burden of traveling long distances to obtain them, and even work on Saturdays and Sundays for maximum result.

Professor Obioma cautioned eligible voters and politicians against selling and buying of PVCs, saying that the dynamics of the current electoral process would not allow rigging with such cards.

Professor Obioma said that INEC had begun a partnership with the National Orientation Agency, NOA, to sensitize the people to reduce incidences of void votes.

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Don’t Renew BEDC’s Licence, Oba Of Benin Urges President Buhari

OBA of Benin Ewuare II yesterday urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to renew the licence of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) for what he called its inability to provide electricity.

Ewuare II spoke when President Buhari paid him a courtesy visit at his palace in Benin City during his campaign tour of the state.

He said: “Mr. President, I will not fail to mention the challenge of electricity supply in Edo State. Electricity supply is, no doubt, key to the development of any society. Unfortunately, over the years, the people of Edo State have experienced inadequate electricity supply by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

“In fact, during one of the meetings of the Edo State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, we issued a communique condemning the inefficient performance of BEDC, including its estimated billing method.

“We also called for the withdrawal of the operational licence of BEDC. In its place, Traditional Rulers appealed to the federal government to encourage and support the efforts of Edo State government in seeking alternative sources of providing electricity to meet the demand of the people.”

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Army Foils Fresh Attack On Borno Community

The Operation Lafiya Dole of the Nigerian Army has successfully repelled a Boko Haram attack on Rann Village in Borno State on Tuesday.

Spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, said that troops successfully foiled an attempt on Gajiram community on Wednesday night, killing scores of terrorists.

According to him: “Troops deployed to the Forward Operational Base in Gajiram have fiercely countered a group of Boko Haram terrorists who made frantic attempt to infiltrate Gajiram community on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.“The terrorists wanted to take advantage of sunset to attack the town. They met with the prompt response of the vigilant troops who fiercely engaged them in combat, killing several of them and recovered dozens of weapons.

“During the encounter, troops recovered an AK 47 rifle, two AK 47 magazines, a Rocket Propelled Grenade Tube, three Rocket Propelled Grenade bombs, four Bomb Chargers and a Light Machine Gun Belt Links.”

He said that troops are currently on trail of some of the survivors, who fled the scene of encounter.

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BMO Exposes PDP, Atiku’s Rigging Plan

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says it has unearthed plans by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar to rig next month’s Presidential election.

A part of the plan “to subvert the will of the people”, according to the group, is PDP’s recent recruitment of a former INEC Chairman known to have presided over the worse election in Nigeria’s recent political history.

BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that the rigging plot also involves spending huge sums of money on police personnel and election officials in many parts of the country.

“With their campaign daily losing steam, PDP has also resorted to accusing everyone directly or remotely connected to President Muhammadu Buhari of corruption; after realising that Nigerians are not buying any of their Dubai Strategy of lies”.

“Their leaders had been working on this plan for a while and had consciously been raising all sorts of allegations and attacking national institutions involved in the electoral process in order to divert attention from their devious agenda.

“Part of the plot is to discredit INEC’s new election guidelines which included simultaneous accreditation and voting, and which also barred collation officers from making or receiving calls on election day.

“This same style was successfully test run in all bye-elections in recent months including those won by PDP candidates, but the party did not see anything wrong with it until the Commission insisted that it would be used during the next elections”.

BMO noted that PDP is also working on infiltrating INEC by embedding its supporters among ad-hoc electoral officials as part of its rigging plan.

It consequently advised the Commission to be cautious in its recruitment plan for the general election.

 “We want to place Nigerians on notice that they should be at alert and not allow PDP elements at all levels to subvert the will of the electorate.

“There is also a need for the election management body to properly scrutinise ad-hoc staff to be recruited for Election Day duty as well as pay more than a passing attention to its officials in the run up to the February 16 election.

“This is because PDP, a party that is known for electoral manipulation, and which has a lot of dirty schemes in its kitty to rig the process in favour of its Presidential candidate, needs to be put under close surveillance”, BMO concluded.

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