Only Selfish Elders Would Endorse Atiku, Says Arewa Progressive Initiative

The attention of Arewa Progressives Initiative (API) has been drawn to a news item earlier today announcing the endorsement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a detachment of self-acclaimed elders drawn from the North, East, West, Niger Delta and the Middle Belt.

While we acknowledge that this sort of hurried endorsement, such as the one given by the ‘elders’ hardly have any effect on the electoral outcome, considering that the candidate of the same PDP was endorsed by the same elders in 2015 without any reasonable outcome; we however consider it necessary to give our views on the endorsement, if only to expose the selfishness of our so-called elders.

It is a fact of life that when people attained old age, they think less of the future and think more of what they could get at the moment before they finally take a bow. We understand the desperation of our ‘elders’ to make as much money as they can, especially during election season. So it is not at all surprising that they have endorsed a man who has plenty dollars, a significant portion of which was corruptly amassed, to throw around.

What is patently shocking is that our ‘elders’ claimed that having compared the credentials of the leading candidates; Atiku “possessed integrity to take the nation out of the wood”.

How anyone, least of all people who are regarded as elders, would even think of adorning a character like Alhaji Atiku with the toga of INTEGRITY beats imagination. But we understand that money buys everything in Nigeria, even undeserved names and appellations.

However, the good news, despite the disappointing conduct of our ‘elders’ is that the majority of voters (96.31% of the total 84 million voters) who are expected to vote in the 2019 elections are those who understand that tomorrow is important.

A large percentage of the Nigerian voters would rather that President Muhammadu Buhari carefully plan and prepare a glorious future for them and their children; rather than live to see a government that would fritter Nigeria’s commonwealth in a bid to keep a President and his friends happy like the PDP candidate already promised.

Thankfully, even if the ‘elders’ expect to benefit from the free looting that would no doubt take place under an Atiku presidency, the chance of that happening is slim; considering that they constitute a staggering minority of the voting populace.

Anyone who seeks to understand how selfish and self-centered our ‘elders’ are, especially those of them from the north, need not ask too much questions. He only need to ask these ‘elders’ to state just any two major projects they have facilitated or negotiated on behalf of their different regions from 1999 to date. All they are concerned with is to secure appointment for their families and relatives; or get money and contracts. They are less concerned about the welfare of Nigerians or other issues that relate to the general good of the people.

This is why a President Muhammadu Buhari who is doing everything humanly possible to build infrastructures that would quicken the steps of Nigeria towards growth and development would never enjoy their endorsement, whatever its worth.

This is a president that within three years has completed the Taraba power project; approved the Mambilla power project which is only awaiting the NEXIM funding to kickstart; commissioned the first ever northern oil well in Bauchi and opened up exploration in four other frontier Basins of Lake Chad, Gongola, Anambra, Sokoto and Bida; initiated an ongoing hydro power project in Niger State; built the Baro port in the north; granted approval for three modular refineries; completed the long awaited Kano-Jigawa-Damaturu-Borno expressway; undertakes the laying of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline; undertakes the reconstruction Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road; among other lofty projects aimed at resetting Nigeria and returning it to the path of progress and shared prosperity envisioned by its founding fathers. But all these meant nothing to the ‘elders’, as long as President Buhari would not share appointments and throw money around.

While we acknowledge the choice made by the ‘elders’ to be greedy, despite all they have benefited from this country in their prime; we also reserve the rights to take our future in our hands. As young people who constitute the largest representation of the voting populace; we would use our votes to retain President Buhari in office beyond 2019 in order to complete the onerous task of redirecting this nation away from mismanagement and avarice that the ‘elders’ obviously prefer.

This election that comes up in a fortnight would be very decisive, and it would be the very end to all those who wish that Nigeria should only function to take care of their needs and desires. And we won’t need any endorsement from ‘elders’, but from God and the Nigerian electorate, to make this happen God willing.

Signed:

Alwan Hassan
Coordinator,
Arewa Progressive Initiative.

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I’ll Complete 2nd Niger Bridge Because Of My Wife, Says Atiku

Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has promised the Southeast people that he will complete the Second Niger Bridge.

Atiku, who made the promise yesterday at the party’s mega campaign rally in Onitsha, said he would ensure its quick completion because of his wife, who hails from the commercial city of Anambra.

He also promised to ensure the completion and construction of roads in the region with the assistance of his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi.

Atiku, who was accompanied to the campaign field by Obi and his wife, Jenifer Atiku Abubakar, said he was not in Onitsha to campaign, but to present his wife and deputy, who he said were the real contestants.

“I’m not here to campaign, but to inform you that your son, Peter Obi and your daughter are the real contestants. I’m in the minority.

“You asked me to complete Second Niger Bridge, that I’ll do because of my wife. With Peter Obi as the VP, be rest assured that the roads in the region will be completed too,” the candidate said.

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Beware Of Atiku And Friends, BMO Advises Nigerians

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has advised Nigerians to be wary of presidential candidates who say they have no problem selling national assets to their friends and cronies.

This, according to BMO, is because of the latest Freudian slip by Atiku Abubakar on his commitment to favour his friends and cronies on his disposal of our national assets, just like he did as Vice President and chairman of National Council on Privatisation (NCP) between 1999 and 2007.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that this is yet another proof that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential candidate have no plan for the good of the country.

“We certainly were not shocked to hear the PDP Presidential candidate deliver what clearly sums up the Atiku Plan-unbridled sale of national assets.

“It was clear from the stunned look on the faces of the cream of Nigeria’s business community present at the occasion that an Atiku Presidency would only be for the benefit of friends as well as cronies of the PDP Presidential candidate.

“We had in the course of an earlier statement dropped hints about promissory transactions that the former Vice President had sealed on national assets including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).


“And now that he has with his own mouth confirmed his plan, it is clear that Atiku Abubakar and national assets are two entities that should not be allowed to come together”.


BMO recalled how the PDP Presidential candidate, as Vice President to President Olusegun Obasanjo, presided over the sale of national assets in such a way that Nigeria had little or no benefit.


It noted that it is also public knowledge that many people lost their jobs in the questionable deals.


The group said, “some of the highly prized assets that were sold at ridiculous prices include Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) whose sale had been the subject of a litigation between two foreign firms since the 2004 bid process won by the US-based BFI group.


“Nigeria is on record to have lost billions of naira to that intractable transaction that is now before the Supreme Court because of the obvious lack of transparency. 


“Daily Times was also sold in questionable circumstances and its assets stripped just like that of Nigeria Airways without any real benefit to the Nigerian state, apart from unpaid benefits to the former staff.”


“There is also INTELS which Nigerians now know is partly owned by Atiku Abubakar which was granted concession to run the Onne Port and manage the Pilotage at Apapa Ports on the former Vice President’s watch”.


BMO consequently urged Nigerians to be cautious of handing their votes to a politician that has no qualms about short-changing the masses to enrich his friends.

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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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2019: Atiku Vows To Sell NNPC If Elected

residential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar yesterday vowed to sell the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if elected on February 16.

Addressing the business community with his running mate, Peter Obi, during a conference on “Getting Nigeria’s Economy Working: A Pragmatic Approach,” in Lagos, he argued that NNPC must be disbanded through privatisation if they must be efficient.

“Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” he said.

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Atiku Rejected Restructuring While In Office As VP – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that the Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar rejected restructuring when he had the opportunity to implement it as a Vice President under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Osinbajo, who chaired Chief Bisi Akande’s 80th birthday colloquium in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, recalled that the then Lagos State Government under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu made presentation to the Federal Government for Nigeria’s restructuring, particularly the practice of true and fiscal federalism, but that Atiku, who was then vice president, rejected the move.

Osinbajo was addressing the topic of the colloquium, “Nigeria: Achieving national unity through peaceful restructuring”.

The vice president noted that Tinubu told him straight away when he was invited to be part of his administration that his major aim was to pursue restructuring and devolution of power to the states through legal and political means for the country’s betterment.

He said Atiku’s rejection forced Lagos State to look inward and undertake the struggle alone, a move, which he said, paid off eventually.

According to the VP, Lagos State pursued it through the courts, adding that it succeeded in winning on four major issues.

They are: the power of the states to create local governments, the declaration that the Federal Government does not have the right to withhold federal allocation of any state or local government being jointly owned by the federating units, the right of states to create taxes and the right to issue their own urban and regional plan to which the Federal Government must comply, if it has any property in the state.

The vice president emphasised that there was a general agreement among Nigerians on the need for restructuring, but that the structure it must take was what citizens from different divides were yet to agree on.


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2019: Atiku Vows To Give Women 30% If Elected

Presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has promised to give women 30 per cent of the positions in his government if given the mandate.

Atiku stated this at a presidential campaign rally at Freedom Square, Osogbo, in Osun State.

According to him, the current administration has failed the country in the area of security, a situation he vowed to correct if elected.

He further urged the people of the state to vote for all PDP candidates in the forthcoming elections and defend their votes.

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Atiku Breaking Peace Accord…Inciting Anarchy – BMO

Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been accused of inciting his followers to anarchy in the run up to the election. 

Making this accusation in a press statement in Abuja yesteday, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) also accused Atiku Abubakar of contravening the terms of the peace accord signed by all Presidential candidates at the instance of the National Peace Committee.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said Atiku Abubakar’s recent posturing “is a blantant exhibition of bad faith.

“When the former Vice President and his party failed to show up for the agreement signing ceremony on a flimsy excuse, we raised an alarm that it was because they were not prepared to commit themselves to terms of the accord.

“Rather than focus attention on convincing Nigerians that Atiku Abubakar could do better than what President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have done in only three and half years, they have resorted to character assassination and inflammatory comments.

“It all started with pushing lies and false news to paint the President and his family in bad light. Now the PDP Presidential candidate is subtly instigating his supporters to anarchy having realised that  majority of Nigerians are favourably disposed to re-electing the President”.

“So for us at BMO, it is not surprising because this is what they had in mind when they initially refused to endorse the agreement”

The group also noted that Atiku, who few months ago, said he would focus on issues, has in recent times been launching personal attacks on the President and government institutions.

This, it says, is with a view to discrediting all institutions that would be involved in the forthcoming elections.

 “With about a month to the Presidential polls, the opposition candidate has, directly and through proxies, been attacking President Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Police.

“The plan is clearly to discredit the President and relevant institutions in the run up to the election as well as instigate opposition supporters to resort to violence even before the first ballot is cast.

“Or how can anyone describe a situation where a former Vice President would boldly, without facts, tell PDP social media influencers that President Buhari is bent on stealing votes on February 16.

“He also alleged that the President was out to manipulate the electoral process by ensuring that ‘his relative’ collates the results even after INEC had cleared the air on Amina Zakari and her role at the National Collation Centre.

“Does it not amount to paving way for violence once it is clear that the outcome of the election does not favour him, as it is obvious from the manner the PDP is losing key members and its campaign losing steam?

“What is more shocking is that the PDP Presidential candidate through his supporters few days ago warned Anambra state governor Willie Obiano to stop campaigning for President Buhari.

“If this is not a call to violence by the militant arm of the opposition against a political leader for expressing his democratic right, we wonder what it is”, BMO said.

The group consequently urged former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and other members of the National Peace Committee to call PDP and its Presidential candidate to order.

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BMO Hails Buhari’s Directive On Campaign Funds, Upbraids Atiku For Corrupt Enrichment

President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to his ministers not to use public funds for his re-election campaign is a novel act of patriotism and altruism in the history of electioneering  in Nigeria.

Reviewing the outcome of the last federal executive council meeting in Abuja, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) noted that the presidential directive signified the unmatched integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari on the use of public funds, as against past leaders who looked the other way while public funds were used to fund political campaigns.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said it is happy that President Muhammadu Buhari advised his cabinet members to use text messages and multimedia messages to canvass for votes. “This shows his implicit faith in the ability of Nigerians to vote according to their conscience. 

“His directive further proves that his administration’s commitment to the war against corruption is unequivocal and aimed at setting new standards in electioneering campaigns in Nigeria.

“President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision not to dip his hands in the public treasury to fund his campaign or share money to potential voters is a clear indication that things are turning around for better in Nigeria under his administration.

“We applaud President Muhammadu Buhari for leading by example and urge Nigerians to identify with his administration in its quest to set new standards and bequeath a country where corruption in elections is abhorred. This will not only strengthen our democracy but save the country from the usual practice of governments in power using public funds for partisan purposes”.

Also reacting to the allegation by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar that the Buhari administration is using public funds for his presidential campaigns, the Buhari Media Organisation described the allegation as a lie from the pit of hell reiterating that “President Buhari remains unscathed as far as utilisation of public funds is concerned. On the contrary, Nigerians cannot forget in a hurry how Atiku took advantage of his office of vice president to set up the American University of Nigeria and gave a licence to them. As a Customs officer, he used his position to accumulate wealth by using proxy companies. 

“We therefore insist that President Muhammadu Buhari is above board and cannot be compared with Atiku Abubakar whose tenure as vice president was used to accumulate wealth for himself, to the detriment of Nigerians”, the group added.

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Buhari Administration’s Achievements Have Rattled Atiku, PDP – Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the
massive achievements of the Buhari Administration have rattled the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Alhaji
Atiku Abubakar.

Reacting to the statement from Abubakar’s media aide, over the
widely-circulated testimony series of the Federal Ministry of
Information and Culture to showcase the Administration’s achievements,
the Minister said the action of the PDP candidate amounts to an
acknowledgement of the Administration’s impressive achievements.

He dismissed as ‘acute paranoia’ the allegation by the former Vice
President that the APC-led federal government is using state resources
for electioneering campaign.

Alhaji Mohammed however said, in a statement issued in Ilorin on
Friday, that it is up to those who made the accusation on the use of
state resources for electioneering campaign to prove it, in line with
the maxim that he who alleges must prove.

”In publicising the activities and achievements of the federal
government, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is only
carrying out its statutory role. Long before the elections, the
Ministry has used various platforms, including Town Hall Meetings, to
showcase the activities and achievements of the Administration.

”We understand that the PDP and the Atiku Campaign Organization have
been rattled by the achievements as well as the effectiveness of the
campaign to showcase them. We are sorry we can’t help them,” Alhaji
Mohammed said.

He however expressed surprise that the PDP that said the Buhari
Administration has not achieved anything has now turned around to
admit that the media is awash with video testimonies from Nigerians on
the Administration’s achievements.

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US Group Warns Against Voting Atiku, Says He Will Enrich Self, Cronies If He Wins

An America political risk consultancy firm, Eurasia Group has issued a clear warning to Nigerian voters against voting the opposition Peoples Democratic arty (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

According to the group, Atiku poses to enriching himself and his cronies if he wins the presidential elections holding on February 16.

He (Atiku) is “gerontocrat who would focus on enriching himself and his cronies, avoiding the difficult and politically unpopular tasks necessary for reform,” Eurasia Group said in the report published on December 7.

The group added that Atiku “also pose the risk of a return to an even more rent-seeking governing style.”

Alhaji Abubakar is considered by critics as a corrupt figure, a perception that dates from his time in Obasanjo’s administration when he allegedly accumulated significant holdings in oil and banking enterprises and built a sizeable real estate portfolio.

He and his fourth wife Jennifer Douglas, an American citizen, were allegedly indicted in 2010 in a 328-page American Senate committee report for transferring over $40 million “suspect funds” to America from offshore accounts between 2002 and 2008.

“Ms Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd,” the Carl Levin-led Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation said on page 173 of its report.

Although Abubakar has not visited the United States since he was indicted, he has maintained that he did nothing wrong.

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We Didn’t Endorse Atiku For 2019, Says Ohanaeze

The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has denied endorsing Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election.

The deputy national publicity secretary of the organisation, Mr Chuks Ibegbu disclosed this on Thursday in Enugu at a media briefing to mark the second anniversary of the current executive of the organisation.

Ibegbu said that the clarification became necessary following misconceptions on the event of November 14, 2018 where some Igbo leaders endorsed the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar for presidency.

It would be recalled that some Igbo leaders had during a meeting in Enugu attended by Atiku and the national leaders of the PDP including the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki endorsed Atiku.

Ibegbu, however, clarified that the said endorsement was done by the friends of Atiku, adding that the organisation had not endorsed any particular candidate.

The deputy national publicity secretary said that the organisation needed to be circumspect, “as our children are in all the political parties.’

“It is erroneous to say that we endorsed Atiku. Ohanaeze Ndigbo did not endorse anybody. That meeting at Nike Lake Resort was organised by friends of Atiku.

“However, due to our peculiar circumstance in the country, we will identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria if voted into power,” he said.

He said that the organisation would soon meet to take a holistic position on the 2019 general elections.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo has been canvassing for our people to identify with candidates that will restructure Nigeria.

“We still stand on that and in the next few days we shall meet to take a holistic position on the elections,” he said.

Ibegbu noted that within the two years in office of the Chief John Nwodo led Ohanaeze Ndigbo, “we have given our modest contribution by re-jigging Igbo leadership and issues concerning our people”.

He said that the current leadership of the organisation had built synergy with its affiliate groups with a view to achieving unity in the area.

He said that the dexterity and leadership acumen of Nwodo had positively affected the relationship between the organisation and other ethnic socio-cultural associations in the country.

“This has earned the president general an award as ‘Bridge Builder of the Nation’, which will be presented to him on January 17 by Daily Independent Newspapers,” Ibegbu said.

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