El-Rufai: Atiku Could Only Win Kaduna In His Dreams

Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai on Friday said the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s claim that he won the presidential election in Kaduna State, could only happen in his dreams.

He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa to show that he was alive against the rumour of his involvement in car accident.

Reacting to the PDP’s claims of winning election in his state, he said: “Well, I heard about that. Initially, I thought it was a joke and when I checked I saw clearly that he said he won Kaduna. It must be in his dreams.

“Let me say this without any fear of contradiction, since President Buhari started contesting for the presidency since 2003, he has never lost Kaduna.

“So, PDP has never won elections in Kaduna from 2003, even with a sitting governor in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

“It has never happened. I don’t know what will happen that Atiku will win Kaduna in this election this time.

“He lost Kaduna, he lost very badly, even though about 100,000 votes he claimed to have got were added because elections conducted without card reader in some parts of the state, that’s how he even got up to the 400,000 that he got.

“He has lost Kaduna, he will always lose Kaduna. He will lose Kaduna 10 more times because he has never won Kaduna in any presidential elections.”

When reminded the results were said to have come from the INEC server, he said: “Well, I don’t know about INEC server, it must be Atiku’s server.

“I don’t know about INEC server, we don’t know how they had access to it. They will tell us during the tribunal proceedings what is this server and how they got access to it and how they got their numbers.

“You do not go to court in an election petition by quoting INEC server or any other server. Anyone can create a server, I can go and buy it, it is a piece of equipment and call it INEC server.

“But that does not mean that it amounts to anything, we are guided by the electoral act and the evidence act and other enabling legislation and he has to proof his case.

“But anyone can make claims, we live in the age of fake news and fake claims. Anyone can make claims but you have to proof it,” he said

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A(N)Tikuated Choices, By Babafemi Ojudu

Sometime in 2014, my uncle- in -law, the late Professor Babalola Borisade, requested I help him organize a meeting between Atiku Abubakar and South West Senators. Atiku was about to go for the season’s primary election that will enable him bid for the Presidency.

He and President Mohammadu Buhari were front runners for the ticket of the then recently formed All Progressives Congress (APC). About ten or twelve of us showed up for the meeting and with rapt attention we listened to both him and Borisade, his then campaign Director General (DG).

I was the first to respond.

I praised his business acumen and told the story of a female friend of mine, an award winning former Cable News Network (CNN) Correspondent in South Africa who, when invited to give a convocation speech in Atiku’s American University in Yola, sought my advice on whether to accept the invitation or not. It was at the height of the rampage by Boko Haram across the North East.
I strongly encouraged her and told her the university would ensure her security. She went and gave her speech and after the event she sent a message to me that what she saw in Yola , at the university, was ,in her words, an “oasis in the desert”.

I also cited my experience in Rivers State when I, in company of a committee of the Senate, visited Intels, a company in which Atiku has substantial interest . I was impressed with what I saw, the work environment, the goals and objective of the company as enunciated by one of his sons who received us at the company. The vibes I picked up in Intels was a mark of can- do, particularly when we were told the company was about picking up a multi billion dollar contract to build a port from scratch in a southern African country.

At the meeting, I told Atiku that with those testimonies, I would have loved to vote for him at the coming APC convention in Lagos but, and there is a big but… his image and reputation had been sufficiently damaged by no less a person than his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo.

I told him with all emphasis I could muster that he is a damaged product and he should not just waste his time. He tried to explain why his erstwhile boss chose to say and write those damaging words about him. He indicated he was not corrupt and challenged anyone who thinks otherwise to bring the evidence of his corruption.

Truly most of the accusations of under- the -table deals done by the regime in privatizing government enterprises that were laid on Atiku doorstep were actually Obasanjo inspired as we found in the course of our investigation . We invited Obasanjo then to shed more light on the allegations against him as well as our findings but he failed to show up. Our attempt to subpoena him was stalled by the Senate leadership then.

As we have come to see Obasanjo is the one who calls everyone thief when the entire community could see his fingers dripping of palm oil.

Branding is very important in public life. Atiku and his supporters didn’t give much attention to this . They rather spent their time building up and promoting lies against the opponent. If the amount of money , Social media space time and resources committed to demonizing President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo had been expended on rebranding Atiku, maybe things would have turned out differently.

Atiku’s first major error in his last bid was going back to the same Obasanjo to mend fences or seek forgiveness when he should have gone after him with the ferocity of a wounded lion to show he lied against him , if he did ,or demonstrate his innocence.

I can’t remember any major decision taken by this politician in his entire political career that didn’t turn out to hurt him .

The moment Atiku went on that journey to Abeokuta with his band of peace makers I knew he had lost the bid for the Presidency again.
Young partisans of Atiku’s opponent went out, combed every available source and researched into all Obasanjo has written and said about him to find materials, consolidating Atiku’s branding as a very corrupt politician.

Omoyele Sowore AAC dug his teeth and nail into him and presented him as an example of what is wrong with Nigerian leadership. Madam Ezekwesili was not left out until she herself got an uppercut from the Chairman of her party who doubled as her running mate.

The campaign saw a mincemeat and couscous made of his reputation and credibility. Obasanjo, who he courted to add value to his campaign became his albatross.

How dumb could he be as a politician!

It is difficult forgiving Atiku for his political blunders. He has all it take to educate himself properly and to hire people who have the capability to advise correctly.

His political faux pas kept recurring all through his career.

Let us cast our mind back to 2010 . 
Rather than stick with his party, ACN, Olagunsoye Oyinlola lured him to Abeokuta to prostrate for Obasanjo.
He thereafter quit Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and went on another adventure. He was at a meeting with Bola Ahmed Tinubu the night before . Both took time to strategize on how to build a party that will defeat Jonathan. He gave no inkling of his visit to Abeokuta the following day. His advisers had billed the meeting as a private consultation with Obasanjo but the old, never forgiving fox kept journalists somewhere in the premises and soon as the meeting ended they pounced on Atiku like a hound of watch dogs will on an unwanted visitor.

What can one say of his attitude as Vice President . Atiku could have waited the time out, demonstrate loyalty and serve the country truly. Instead of waiting for the appointed time Atiku embarked on setting up a political machine that thrashed and undermined his boss.

He allowed himself to be deceived by some governors then who met with him during the day and scurried to Obasanjo in the night to inform him of Atiku schemings.

If money making were same thing as political acumen, Atiku would have towered above any other politician in Nigeria.

His political understanding and sensibility has almost been numb. Whatever he has achieved in politics has been purchased with money and there is limit to how far that could have taken him.
Let’s not talk about his choices of running mates on the two occasions he ran for President. He has an untrammeled love for Obis. Could he have made better choices? He sure could have if he had been a much more savvy and calculating politician.

His utterances? Gosh! Every statement that came out of his mouth is politically awful. I will sell NNPC, I will enrich my friends, I will give amnesty to looters. I insist on selling NNPC even if they will kill me. Haba! Won pe e lole o ngbomo eran jo ( you are said to be a thief, you are playing with someone else’s lamb).
Some internet brats could not stand his determination to sell NNPC and quipped that it appears he has already taken deposits from buyers.
He was even quoted as saying that he will only complete the 2nd Niger Bridge because the Igbos are his in laws.

Atiku’s party hopping proclivity is astounding. A man of such means could have organized a movement around himself and his ideology if there is any. He rather chose to look for parties to hop into each time he dreams of becoming a president. Often they were parties he had abandoned before with such loud condemnation and reproof. Talk of going back to ones vomit serially.

As it turned out Atiku didn’t build a base. He support came mainly from those who hated Buhari’s guts and many others who lost undeserved entitlements .

Whenever he quits a party to join another, the reasons he often give are banal, self serving and contradictory. One often wonders why he never get to hire a sound strategist. Or is it just a question of a swollen headed wealthy, fat cat who assumes he knows it all.

I remember the mess he was made of by a young South West politician who had allegiance to three candidates in the APC primaries that produced President Buhari. He invested so much dollars in the politician who promised him many delegates.
The same politician had collected money from another aspirant from the North while he at the same time pledged support for President Buhari who he clearly knew was the favorite of the party leaders to pick the ticket.

Our man advised Atiku to stay put in his hotel suite and not to show up at the convention venue until late while he went about his deals.
It was one of Atiku’s confidants who I learnt at about 10.00 pm on the convention day roused him from this deception and scolded him for listening to the advise of someone who was everywhere on the convention ground doing deals.
Atiku eventually arrived at the venue and the young man refused to go say hello to him or even walk close to where he sat. Thousands of dollars thrown away, wasted.
I pray Atiku is not being set up by political yahooist to part with whatever is left in his war chest for the 2019 expedition. Your excellency shine your eyes well well.

-Senator Babafemi Ojudu is a Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters

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PDP To Release Fake Results, Unleash Thugs On INEC, Says APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) claims that the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party has perfected plans to release fake results.

The party also called for the arrest of Alhaji Buba Galadima, a spokesperson to PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar after he released a video declaring Mr. Abubakar winner of the polls.

“Devastated by authentic results filtering out of polling units nationwide, our usual sources within the camp of the PDP have informed us that an emergency meeting of the main opposition party has been summoned for today somewhere in Abuja,” APC presidential campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo said in a statement on Sunday.

He explained that, “Top on the agenda of the PDP is to activate the last strand of their Dubai strategies that have since collapsed like a pack of cards: they plan to release fake results of the presidential election later today or early Monday morning that they claim to have compiled themselves.”

“Our information is that they aim to create crises and confusion that will lead to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claiming victory in a day or two from today ahead of the official announcement of the results by INEC.

“Then, what would follow will be some carefully choreographed protests by pockets of hoodlums in some parts of the country. The ultimate aim is to curry the sympathy of our foreign friends and push us to the Venezuela situation.

“Our call is therefore to INEC, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission and all law-enforcement agencies to continually warn the PDP and all their surrogates like the amorphous CUPP and their likes that anyone who flouts the law on announcement of official results will be made to face the law. Opposition does not confer immunity on anyone to flout the law.

“In preparation for this reckless move, some PDP social media agents are already flying some kites online as to the number of States allegedly ‘won’ by PDP.

“In fact, Alhaji Buba Galadima, an official spokesperson for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has made a short video announcing PDP as the ‘winner’ of the presidential election.

“As an official spokesperson, he is clearly acting on behalf of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and on his instruction.

“We, therefore call for the immediate arrest, interrogation and prosecution of Alhaji Buba Galadima in this regard. The world is watching  and waiting on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to say something on the video by Alhaji Buba Galadima.

“Consequently, we urge all well-meaning Nigerians, the International Community and even reasonable members of the Opposition not to be bought by these cheap antics of the PDP.

“Let’s restrain our wards from being used by these unscrupulous elements. Nigeria will continue to exist after this election.

“Over the years, the PDP had been declared ‘winner’ of Presidential elections under controversial circumstances. On those occasions, President Muhammadu Buhari never took laws into his hands and declared himself President.

“He also never declared parallel results. He availed himself of constitutional means to address his grievance by approaching the law courts.

“Their latest devilish plot against the country is a clear indication that their apology to the Nigerian people was just a hoax.

“They have learnt nothing and they have forgotten nothing as they just cannot win any election fair and square,” Mr. Keyamo said.


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Just In: PDP’s Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar Set To Concede Defeat

The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Atiku Abubakar is about to concede defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This was after the President took what seems like an unassailable lead in early results from the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The Former Vice President dropped hints of his intention to make an early phone call to the President during an unscheduled meeting with his close aides on Saturday evening.
Atiku Abubakar told his aides he’s seriously thinking of an early communication with Buhari who is looking very much likely to emerge winner of the presidential election, however, a number of his closest aides are not favourably disposed to that yet.

What may have further pushed the PDP Presidential candidate to the brink of conceding is the jubilation that greeted the loss of his Ajiya ward in Yola North Local Government Area to President Buhari.

The PDP Presidential candidate had not only lost his polling unit in Adamawa state to President Buhari but also did not do well in most of the voting centres in the centre.
In addition to this is the manner the Director General of his campaign council Bukola Saraki lost in virtually all the polling centres in his stronghold of Kwara Central.

To make matters even more constraining for Atiku is the unexpected thrashing of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his polling Unit in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Atiku had adopted Obasanjo as godfather and inspiring figure in his presidential bid. In the realisation of that role, Obasanjo had embarked on a campaign of mudslinging against President Buhari since his rapprochement with Atiku, his former Vice President.

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Buhari Beats Atiku Inside Presidential Villa, Coasting To Victory

President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate defeated Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Presidential Villa polling unit.

He beat his closest rival, Mr. Abubakar by more than 40 votes at the villa during the elections that held on Saturday, 23 February even as results began to trickle in from across the country.

At the Presidential Villa polling unit 021, President Buhari won the votes by 47 votes. He polled 552 as against Mr Abubakar’s 505 votes but at Police Affairs PU, 022, Mr. Abubakar garnered 525 votes to President Buhari’s 465 votes.

It would be recalled that former President Goodluck Jonathan lost both polling units in 2015 when he sought reelection against President Buhari.
Results from across the country shows that incumbent, President Buhari, is in a comfortable lead with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, expected to announce results latest Monday.

President Buhari who had contested the presidential election on three previous occasions before winning the 2015 polls has vowed to take Nigeria to the Next Level with promises of more infrastructure, jobs, security and economic growth.

He is seeking election alongside his Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo who voted at the Victoria Garden City in Lagos.

President Buhari has led in most of the polls conducted locally and internationally, confirming the outcome of the elections.

The incumbent president has scored big points at his polling unit in Daura, Katsina state as well as in the polling unit of Mr. Abubakar.

At his Sarkin Yara ward A in Daura, he polled 523 votes to Mr. Abubakar’s paltry three votes. He then went on to defeat his challenger at his own polling unit, PU 012, Ajiya Ward, Yola.

President Buhari’s APC got 186, 19 more votes than Mr. Abubakar’s 167 votes but one of his biggest victory came at the polling unit of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who is supporting Mr. Abubakar and has been a staunch critic of President Buhari.

He defeated his opponent by a very comfortable margin garnering 87 votes as against Mr. Atiku’s 18 votes at the polling unit in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

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Yoruba Groups Blame Atiku, Saraki For Attacks On Osinbajo

A coalition of 45 Pan Yoruba groups has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki for the shooting incidence during Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’ s visit to local communities in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The groups describe the attack as an assassination attempt on the Vice President.

In a statement on Friday, the groups which earlier issued a proclamation supporting Osinbajo said the PDP leading politicians are plotting to harm and eliminate the Vice President.

It said Atiku and Saraki were desperate to portray Prof Osinbajo-s visit to Alamu Aluko in Ilorin as riotous and violent so as to fuel the impression that he was an unwanted guest in Kwara State.

The Pan Yoruba groups also accused the Government of Kwara State of complicity in the armed attack against the VP saying that as the host, the Kwara State Governor should have provided adequate security instead of exposing the VP to death by the gun. Two people were shot during the organised and premeditated incidence

” The atack on the Vice President Prof Osinbajo at Ilorin is nothing but an assassination attempt. We hold the PDP leaders represented by Atiku and his soul mate Saraki responsible for the dastardly and cowardly acts. From reports available to us, there was a conscious effort to kill the VP in order to put his victory and that of his party on Saturday in disarray and further hurt the Yoruba Nation”, the statement signed by Diran Obalola of Ibile Movement, Raham Adekunle of Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC), Wale Balogun of Yoruba Revolutiinary Movement, (YOREM) Ayodele Rasaq, Assistant Secretary, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) and leaders of 42 other groups.

The groups described the incidence as a rehearsal of PDP plots in the coming days.

It described Atiku and Saraki as notorious for their hate and prejudice against the Yoruba people adding that it is a known fact that Atiku, Saraki and the current PDP national leadership hate the Yoruba with unhidden bitterness.

The groups said ” We are watching with keen interest the plot against the Yoruba Nation by the PDP leadership. It is not a new plot. The latest armed attack in the VP by PDP thugs was a clear attempt by Atiku, Saraki and his thugs to kill the VP.

It shows the level of desperation and wicked determination to set Nigeia on the path of anarchy”

It said “Atiku, Saraki and their tendency represent evil, murder and all known atrocious cultures. We warn that Atiku, Saraki
and their cronies will be held responsible if anything happens to the VP”

The group again reiterated it’s determination to resist plans by the opposition to create post election chaos

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France Funding Atiku’s Bribes To INEC RECs Through EU Ambassador To Nigeria – Security Sources

Recent revelations have confirmed that French interests have been the funders of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s bribes to INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioners.

A security source who asked not to be named explained that the bribes were being brought into Nigeria through diplomatic channels, specifically though the European Union Ambassador, Ketil Karlsen.

“The EU Ambassador to Nigeria has been the one facilitating these bribes from France to Nigeria using his diplomatic privileges, with the money being distributed at the residence of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki”, the security source revealed.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki is known to have a very strong relationship with Ketil Karlsen, the EU Ambassador and persons close to him have revealed that the Ambassador is a regular visitor at his residence.

Recall that Ambassador Ketil was the first diplomatic guest at Saraki’s residence to congratulate him when he was discharged at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

A diplomatic source stated that Frances’ interest in paying for the bribes and ensuring Atiku’s victory is secured through even a back-channel means was based on an agreement the former Vice President has with some interests in their country to sell off NNPC to them if he wins.

The security source also confirmed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and retired  General TY Danjuma are fully aware and part of these plans.

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How Atiku Abubakar Plotted To Rig The February 16th Presidential Election

Abuja based Citizens Response Centre (CRC) has obtained exclusive information and classified documents detailing an elaborate plot by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to compromise and rig the 2019 Presidential election.

In one of the uncovered documents deceptively captioned “Projections”, the Atiku team allocated votes to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (PDP) and President Mohammed Buhari (APC) zone by zone and state by state including the FCT.

Investigation and credible information gathered from anonymous sources privy to the plot revealed that this was part of an elaborate and well coordinated strategy to rig the election in favour of the PDP candidate. According to the sources, it was a “plan B after the firm contracted by the Atiku team had turned in a very bleak report on the chances of the candidate defeating the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in a free and fair contest at the polls”.

The sophisticated plan entailed hacking into the INEC data base and feeding in already concocted figures. This would match doctored results from compromised Resident Electoral Commissioners and INEC staff.

Further investigation revealed that this was one of the reasons why the PDP desperately insisted on electronic transmission of results through a last minute ammedment of the Electoral Act spearheaded by Senate President Bukola Saraki whose political future lies heavily on an Atiku victory.

It was revealed that part of the grand plan was to compromise some INEC officials. Credible information indicate that as much as $1M was earmarked for some Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in selected states especially in the South East and South South.

The elaborate plot also included carting away of PVCs from some selected INEC offices and setting the offices ablaze thereafter to cover the tracks.

Electronic Card Readers were to be pre-programmed while huge amounts were budgeted to bribe INEC adhoc staff and security agents at the polling units.

In addition, ballot papers already in their possession would be thumb printed and result sheets filled all in advance to back up the already manufactured figures.

With these done and after compromising the INEC system through a combination of technology and complicit INEC officials, Atiku Abubakar would be declared the winner and the onus would then be on the loser to go to the Tribunal according to the plot.

Investigations also revealed that this was the point where the now suspended Chief Justice of the Federation would have come into the picture according to the grand plot. The CJN with the resources to be put at his disposal would ultimately bring his weight to bear to ensure that the election result was sustained.

It is not clear whether these revelations played a role in the postponement of the election scheduled for 16th February but there are clear indications that the top heirachy of INEC is aware of this grave plot.

The Atiku camp is said to have been thrown into deep confusion by the unravelling of their plot and the postponement of the election but “they are frantically exploring other options” according to the sources.

All eyes are now on the electoral Commission and its Chairman to see what they will do about the compromised INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners and other staff and forestall any other plot by the PDP candidate to ensure a credible election on the rescheduled date of February 23rd 2019.

Citizens Response Centre

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The Fall Of The Dubai Strategies And The Wailing, By Ussiju Medaner

We had known and categorically asserted before now that the only reason Atiku and his cohorts went to Dubai to plan their way into Presidency was because they already knew that they had no chance of winning a free and fair election, at this moment, against President Buhari or in the nearest future against any serious contender.

The Dubai meeting was a concoction of schemes to collectively rob the entire Nigerian electorate and win the presidential election through devilry, cheating, deceit and unholy manipulations of the electoral processes.

The major strategies produced by the evil propositions from Dubai contain three elements. The first was the grand plan to internally disrupt the entire country with lies and unfounded propagandas against the sitting president. They were so good at it but the problem is that Nigerians have become more enlightened and able to sieve the lies and discard mendacities. This is responsible for the ineffectiveness of the very many lies from Atiku, his running mate and their many pawns. That is the reason the Amina Zakari issue, the ownership of 9-mobile and the very many other fabrications from the campaign council of Atiku Abubakar were all dead on arrival. We all remember the vice-presidential debate and the myriad of unnecessary concoction of figures and lies to deceive Nigerians to accept the candidature of Atiku and the good jobs Nigerians did after the program to rebuke PDP for reducing itself to such a trifle.

The second plan was the engagement of the services of Mr Brian D. Ballard of the BALLARD PARTNERS, INC., a US-based firm which was believe to have lobbied for diplomatic waiver to enable Atiku enter United States, is planning to manipulate the electoral system electronically the very way they did for Trump in the last election in the US. Mr Brian and his office are said to be placed on a contractual agreement worth $90,000 (?31.5m) monthly which shall also last for as long as the contract would, came under the obligation to pave way for Mr. Atiku to enter US despite a long standing ban on him. According to reliable information the firm also has the task of organization and perfection of a cyber-attack in Nigeria to aid his victory at the polls. It was for this purpose that the PDP insisted on passing of the electoral law that will approve only electronic transmission of election results from the field. The company’s responsibility was to import the technology and train the manpower to use it locally. The proposed software would have jammed INEC system and automatically replace several documents during transmission. It therefore creates little wonder that until about two weeks ago when INEC came out to categorically state that all results will be manually transmitted, PDP was still busy pushing its luck by blackmailing the commission to abandon manual transmission of results. PDP would have created a serious unprecedented integrity issue for INEC Ann the electoral process . How will INEC explain out the existence of a near legitimate result favouring the PDP as against its own authentic result in favour of another candidate? There would be cry of rigging and possibly grounds for litigation and finally an opportunity for PDP to go down gracefully as the cheated one instead of as a villain that has been disgraced.
With the exposure and failure of that plan, PDP has decided to go ahead with the plan of arresting communication in specific locations on the day of the election while they perpetuate their rigging plan. Pre-empting the possibility of the ruling party’s reaction and Nigeria’s rejection, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, speaking for his principal is already trying to divert attention from themselves when they eventually implement their plan of jamming all communications around selected regions.

It calls for serious questioning how Mr Fayose got the information that APC jammed telecoms networks 3Km around the Government House and other locations during the Ekiti Elections and yet did not cry out as has been his manner until now. We must also be prepared to stop PDP from disrupting the election and change the will of Nigerians in the forthcoming elections.

Nigerians must collectively be prepared for the PDP grand plan to create integrity issues against INEC by collating and projecting fake election results to the public and claim it is the authentic result. The plans may include breaking into INEC server to manipulate information and results transmission. This is part of their pact with some election pundits on their payroll. This will give them grounds to accuse the ruling party of rigging the elections in favour of its principal. Earlier, we raised the issue of PDP establishing command centres across the nation for this purpose.

A covering letter and report alleged to have originated from the Brian Ballard Company was immediately denied by both PDP and Mr Ballard as expected. Will he accept that the letter originated from him and truncate all chances of his principal winning the election? It is expedient of common sense to think that their first reaction should be denial. For what purpose would such a letter emerge from elsewhere at this material time? Unlike PDP, the President and his party are very sure of victory at the polls and have no reason to resort to unbecoming, disparage and diminishing acts as projected by PDP. Nigerians know better.

The third devilish agenda from Dubai was the strategic placement of the suspended CJN Walter Onnoghen. Perhaps the reason behind PDP outcry on the issue was for the singular expected duty of the then Chief Justice as defined was to await the day the presidential election litigation would get to his court and simply throw all caution to the air as he faults the victory of President Buhari and declare Atiku winner of the election and President-Elect. The fact remains that after such pronouncement, Nigeria will be turmoil; there would be chaos yet the pronouncement, like the word of gods, stands. We must all have providence to thank for exposing the suspended CJN and prevent such theft of our franchise. You would imagine the vehemence with which PDP responded to the suspension and threatened to upturn Nigeria if the decision is not rescinded. As soon as it was confirmed that Onnoghen is gone forever, Atiku started to mull losing and what would happen after that.

It is now lurid that the entire Dubai plan is a fiasco because it lacks the basic elements of healthy participation in the game of electioneering; it was filled with devilish arrangements intended to usurp power in the country. Nigeria has grown beyond manipulation, cohesion to unhealthy submission, and acceptance of lies. PDP lost contact with reality; the party was of the opinion that Nigerians were the same people they manipulated for 16 years and had their way all through but no, it has seized to be business as usual.

The worst scenario, though not coming from the Dubai template is the element of desperation currently being exhibited by PDP. After failing in its entire plan, the party has now resolved to impede smooth running of the election by preventing the use of card readers in every region possible. They have been against this all along, knowing it was singularly responsible for their loss in 2015 and would still stand as the major obstacle to whatever plan of rigging and result writing they plan. They tried without success to hand twist INEC to reject the use but the failure of the President to assent to their new electoral bill make that impossible. Now they have resolve to setting INEC offices on fire across the country. The only reason anyone would carry out such demeaning act would be to prevent the use of the card reader; so there is no way a president and a party who is a proponent of the use of the system and stand to benefit more from transparency of the system through the use of same will act in a way that endangered the system.

The incidences of fire outbreak at various INEC offices across the country must be duly investigated and perpetrators brought to book but much more, INEC must refuse to be cowed into abandoning the use of card readers in those affected areas. If need be, election should be postponed in such areas until Smart Card Readers are available. Burning offices of INEC would not give them the victory they desire, not even setting INEC headquarters on fire would, it would only postpone the doom hovering over them.

As it has always been, in all humility, I welcome constructive criticism to the above submission

May Nigeria Succeed!

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Buhari v. Atiku: The Inconvenient Truth, By Azu Ishiekwene

If you walk by sight you cannot help approaching Saturday’s presidential election with a heavy heart. The candidates of the two major parties, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been presented in the worst light possible.

One foreign newspaper said Nigerians have to choose between a former dictator and an alleged kleptocrat.  Another one, International Guardian, was not so diplomatic. It said Nigerians have to decide between “a stingy rightwing dictator and an established thief.”

In the same article, the newspaper said, “without a doubt, this race might boil down to a choice between Buhari, a timid, nepotic but stingy rightist who would sit down on the national wealth without a clue about how to invest, and a lavish an irresponsible spender called Atiku, who could share the national treasury with the wolves that currently surround his candidacy.”

The local news menu is not very different, only fouled up a bit more by the sour taste of partisanship. But as I prepare to vote on Saturday, I choose to have my omelette sunny side up, and here’s why.

Whatever may be the shortcomings of Buhari and Atiku, their parties believe they are the best candidates they can produce at this time. Buhari was pressed into the race by APC kingmakers who not only regard him as the party’s best bet to retain the centre, but also as their own insurance to keep the spoils, getre-election or both.

Atiku’s candidacy, on the other hand, is a child of aconvenient marriage between a few influential PDPold soldiers feed up with Buhari’s obtuseness and an extremely wealthy business class used to easy money and unhappy with Buhari’s old school economics.

Neither candidate is easy to warm up to. But that appears to be a modern-day problem with politics, the post-modern variety that produced the fantastically ineffectual Theresa May in the UK, the bombastic Donald Trump in the US, and the reprobate Rodrigo Roa Duterte in the Philippines.

On Saturday, we’ll have to choose from what we have or sit on our blistered backsides for another four years.Things are far from perfect but this time, more than ever before, public scrutiny has been reasonably robust in putting the candidates to the test.

For me, that’s part of the sunny side up. In the five national election cycles in 20 years, no set of candidates has been dragged across more public debating floors, questioned and inspected as closely as have candidates Buhari and Atiku, especially.

The two – and other distant runners – have been forced to appear at live debates or townhalls organized by different groups and when they failed to show up, their empty stands have been mocked as evidence of disdain, incompetence or both.

The candidates have been forced to reconnect with different parts of the country, however superficially, and in a few instances, compelled to confront, face-to-face, situations that they had been shielded from in their comfort bubble.

Smaller parties that were shut out of the debates have protested or gone to court for redress, insisting, quite rightly, on fairness and greater transparency.

The fact-checkers have been tracking the exaggerations and outright lies, holding candidates to higher standards and forcing voters to take notice. Twenty years ago, when candidate Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP was requested to debate Olu Falae of the AD-APP, the latter turned up only to debate an empty stand.

Even if the organiser’s fantasy had been realised and the debate had taken place,the country had no single mobile telephone line at the time for the sort of community and instant engagement now possible.

Thanks to the ubiquity of technology also, we can joke about Buhari’s awkward moments during his Kadaria interview or wince at the audacity of the audience member who pulled out his phone and aimed a devastatingly ugly reference from Obasanjo’s book at Atiku during a live interview.

Those who insist that the cup is half empty must also remind themselves of how the outliers may have set off a momentum that would change politics as it was. It’s not the first time that a host of smaller parties will seek to wrest power from the more established parties.

But I cannot remember any other time when over 90 parties, comprising mostly determined young people, from Omoyele Sowore to Tope Fasua and from Fela Durotoye to Oby Ezekwesili, Kingsley Moghalu and Datti Ahmed, would mount a sustained challenge to the status quo at great personal cost and with very limited resources.

The significant number of young people – 51 per cent – registered to vote in Saturday’s election is not only a reflection of the growing frustration with geriatric politics, it is a result of the rallying cry of the new crop of young politicians.

If they do not despair – and there’s no reason why they should – what they have started will impact our politics more in four years than have the last 20 years of alternating between indifference and moaning. Donald Duke even challenged the nonsense that zoning in a party’s constitution is superior to a citizen’s constitutional right to contest. And he won.

Can the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), be trusted to do its job? I believe it can. No matter what you read on social media, INEC is not playing origami with the ballot; it appears far more prepared for the vote than it has been credited. Politicians know this, that’s why they have been inventing new ways to cheat or doing their best to discredit the commission.

From the time in 2015 when 80 election results were nullified by the courts we have moved to the point where only three court-ordered cancellations occurred out of 178 conducted as at February last year.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, has done more since then, regardless of the multiple social media executions he has suffered. Apart from prosecuting over 100 staff of the commission for various electoral offences, he has scrapped the “incident form”, which the commission’s field staff routinely used to fraudulently bypass the card reader.

But we can’t leave the job to INEC alone. Better voter awareness and more widespread use of technology will also help greater citizen vigilance.

We don’t need to approach the polling booth with a heavy heart. Apart from Buhari and Atiku, there are over 70 other candidates on the ballot, presenting one of the most delightfully confusing crises of choice for voters in recent times.

My prediction is unchanged. Don’t let the surfeit of scientific, non-scientific and pseudo-scientific forecasts from home and abroad compound your misery. In an article widely published in the first week of January, I predicted, among other things, that Atiku will lose and gave reasons: my reasons stand.

When all is said and done, when the name-calling, slander, and scaremongering are over, and the voter is alone in the booth, face-to-face with the ballot paper, it will all come down to this central question: which candidate, given what I know, can I trust to have my back for another four years?

Atiku will not lose on Saturday. He already lost in 2006 when he fell out spectacularly with Obasanjo and suffered a Humpty Dumpty’s fall. The sum of the ongoing feverish endorsements and lobbying, the extravagant claims of momentum and the fantasy electoral maps would be insufficient to stitch his candidacy together forever again. He’s done.

Atiku would lose marginally, not because voters are overdosed on Buhari love, but because when trust is at stake – man-to-man – Buhari is the lesser of two evils. This is the inconvenient truth.

Ishiekwene is the managing director/editor-in-chief of The Interview and member of the board of the Global Editors Network.

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The Fall Of The Dubai Strategies And The Wailing, By Ussiju Medaner

We had known and categorically asserted before now that the only reason Atiku and his cohorts went to Dubai to plan their way into Presidency was because they already knew that they had no chance of winning a free and fair election, at this moment, against President Buhari or in the nearest future against any serious contender.

The Dubai meeting was a concoction of schemes to collectively rob the entire Nigerian electorate and win the presidential election through devilry, cheating, deceit and unholy manipulations of the electoral processes.

The major strategies produced by the evil propositions from Dubai contain three elements. The first was the grand plan to internally disrupt the entire country with lies and unfounded propagandas against the sitting president. They were so good at it but the problem is that Nigerians have become more enlightened and able to sieve the lies and discard mendacities. This is responsible for the ineffectiveness of the very many lies from Atiku, his running mate and their many pawns. That is the reason the Amina Zakari issue, the ownership of 9-mobile and the very many other fabrications from the campaign council of Atiku Abubakar were all dead on arrival. We all remember the vice-presidential debate and the myriad of unnecessary concoction of figures and lies to deceive Nigerians to accept the candidature of Atiku and the good jobs Nigerians did after the program to rebuke PDP for reducing itself to such a trifle.

The second plan was the engagement of the services of Mr Brian D. Ballard of the BALLARD PARTNERS, INC., a US-based firm which was believe to have lobbied for diplomatic waiver to enable Atiku enter United States, is planning to manipulate the electoral system electronically the very way they did for Trump in the last election in the US. Mr Brian and his office are said to be placed on a contractual agreement worth $90,000 (?31.5m) monthly which shall also last for as long as the contract would, came under the obligation to pave way for Mr. Atiku to enter US despite a long standing ban on him. According to reliable information the firm also has the task of organization and perfection of a cyber-attack in Nigeria to aid his victory at the polls. It was for this purpose that the PDP insisted on passing of the electoral law that will approve only electronic transmission of election results from the field. The company’s responsibility was to import the technology and train the manpower to use it locally. The proposed software would have jammed INEC system and automatically replace several documents during transmission. It therefore creates little wonder that until about two weeks ago when INEC came out to categorically state that all results will be manually transmitted, PDP was still busy pushing its luck by blackmailing the commission to abandon manual transmission of results. PDP would have created a serious unprecedented integrity issue for INEC Ann the electoral process . How will INEC explain out the existence of a near legitimate result favouring the PDP as against its own authentic result in favour of another candidate? There would be cry of rigging and possibly grounds for litigation and finally an opportunity for PDP to go down gracefully as the cheated one instead of as a villain that has been disgraced.
With the exposure and failure of that plan, PDP has decided to go ahead with the plan of arresting communication in specific locations on the day of the election while they perpetuate their rigging plan. Pre-empting the possibility of the ruling party’s reaction and Nigeria’s rejection, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, speaking for his principal is already trying to divert attention from themselves when they eventually implement their plan of jamming all communications around selected regions.

It calls for serious questioning how Mr Fayose got the information that APC jammed telecoms networks 3Km around the Government House and other locations during the Ekiti Elections and yet did not cry out as has been his manner until now. We must also be prepared to stop PDP from disrupting the election and change the will of Nigerians in the forthcoming elections.

Nigerians must collectively be prepared for the PDP grand plan to create integrity issues against INEC by collating and projecting fake election results to the public and claim it is the authentic result. The plans may include breaking into INEC server to manipulate information and results transmission. This is part of their pact with some election pundits on their payroll. This will give them grounds to accuse the ruling party of rigging the elections in favour of its principal. Earlier, we raised the issue of PDP establishing command centres across the nation for this purpose.

A covering letter and report alleged to have originated from the Brian Ballard Company was immediately denied by both PDP and Mr Ballard as expected. Will he accept that the letter originated from him and truncate all chances of his principal winning the election? It is expedient of common sense to think that their first reaction should be denial. For what purpose would such a letter emerge from elsewhere at this material time? Unlike PDP, the President and his party are very sure of victory at the polls and have no reason to resort to unbecoming, disparage and diminishing acts as projected by PDP. Nigerians know better.

The third devilish agenda from Dubai was the strategic placement of the suspended CJN Walter Onnoghen. Perhaps the reason behind PDP outcry on the issue was for the singular expected duty of the then Chief Justice as defined was to await the day the presidential election litigation would get to his court and simply throw all caution to the air as he faults the victory of President Buhari and declare Atiku winner of the election and President-Elect. The fact remains that after such pronouncement, Nigeria will be turmoil; there would be chaos yet the pronouncement, like the word of gods, stands. We must all have providence to thank for exposing the suspended CJN and prevent such theft of our franchise. You would imagine the vehemence with which PDP responded to the suspension and threatened to upturn Nigeria if the decision is not rescinded. As soon as it was confirmed that Onnoghen is gone forever, Atiku started to mull losing and what would happen after that.

It is now lurid that the entire Dubai plan is a fiasco because it lacks the basic elements of healthy participation in the game of electioneering; it was filled with devilish arrangements intended to usurp power in the country. Nigeria has grown beyond manipulation, cohesion to unhealthy submission, and acceptance of lies. PDP lost contact with reality; the party was of the opinion that Nigerians were the same people they manipulated for 16 years and had their way all through but no, it has seized to be business as usual.

The worst scenario, though not coming from the Dubai template is the element of desperation currently being exhibited by PDP. After failing in its entire plan, the party has now resolved to impede smooth running of the election by preventing the use of card readers in every region possible. They have been against this all along, knowing it was singularly responsible for their loss in 2015 and would still stand as the major obstacle to whatever plan of rigging and result writing they plan. They tried without success to hand twist INEC to reject the use but the failure of the President to assent to their new electoral bill make that impossible. Now they have resolve to setting INEC offices on fire across the country. The only reason anyone would carry out such demeaning act would be to prevent the use of the card reader; so there is no way a president and a party who is a proponent of the use of the system and stand to benefit more from transparency of the system through the use of same will act in a way that endangered the system.

The incidences of fire outbreak at various INEC offices across the country must be duly investigated and perpetrators brought to book but much more, INEC must refuse to be cowed into abandoning the use of card readers in those affected areas. If need be, election should be postponed in such areas until Smart Card Readers are available. Burning offices of INEC would not give them the victory they desire, not even setting INEC headquarters on fire would, it would only postpone the doom hovering over them.

As it has always been, in all humility, I welcome constructive criticism to the above submission

May Nigeria Succeed!

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Atiku Will Not Get South-West Votes – Afenifere

A socio-cultural organization Afenifere has stated that the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar has no votes in the Southwest.

In a statement signed by Senator Ayo Fasanmi, national leader of Afenifere Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba, Atiku does not embody the virtues of the Yorubas.

“Our attention has been drawn to the news of a recent endorsement of the PDP candidate Alh Atiku Abubakar by a motley socio-cultural group which calls itself Nigeria Leaders and Elders forum and which particularly includes a group which has been parading itself under the name of Afenifere for some time now.

“We sympathise with Alh Atiku Abubakar ahead of the February 16 presidential election if he actually believes that his endorsement by this Afenifere will translate into a harvest of votes for him in the southwest, because it cannot.

“In the first instance, the atrocities of the PDP in the southwest is not something that can be so easily forgotten nor hastily forgiven without genuine repentance.

Senator Fasanmi noted that the attack on TraderMoni and the support for suspended Justice Onnoghen are pointers that the PDP does not want the progress of Nigeria.

“The PDP has neither reformed nor repented from its ways as it continues to brazenly promote economic exclusion, evidenced in its stringent attack and condemnation of the TraderMoni programme of the APC which is targeted towards lifting the poorest of the poor from abject poverty.

“It’s recent staunch stand for the protection of an erring chief Justice of the federation in what appears to be extensive criminality over a fairly long period clearly demonstrates where the PDP stands in the fight against corruption and for the enthronement of virtues and policies that are so critical to our overall wellbeing and progress as a nation.

“Finally, nothing demonstrates the loss of connection between this Atiku Afenifere and the people of the southwest than the fact that they are recommending Alh Atiku Abubakar for the people of the southwest zone of Nigeria as someone that deserves their vote.

“Atiku Abubakar without prejudice to his other virtues represents the opposite of all that the southwest cherishes in political leadership.

A man who has transversed the entire range of the political spectrum in just a little more than a decade cannot be recommended to the southwest by anyone who is truly in touch with the leadership preference of the southwest.

 “From PDP to AC to ACN to PDP and then to APC and back to PDP within a decade represents a new level of crass political opportunism, an attribute which the southwest holds in disdain.

“Unprincipled pursuit of political goals is a stranger to the generally accepted leadership culture of the south west.

“Character traits such as Courage of Conviction, fortitude, patience, perseverance and commitment to group goals are essential qualities that the southwest insist on from their political leaders all of which are clearly in short supply in the PDP candidate.

“It is in view of the above that Afenifere Egbe Ilosiwaju Yoruba calls on the people of the entire southwest to remain strong focused and committed in their journey to the next level under the leadership of President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo and ensure that they cast their votes for all APC candidates in the forthcoming elections,” Senator Fasanmi said.

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