Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-rufai, has said that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is not a threat to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election.
He reiterated that even if Atiku is given the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, he will not defeat the President because Atiku is known as a serial defector and presidential aspirant.
El-rufai disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents on Friday after joining Buhari in observing juma’at at the Presidential Villa mosque.
El-rufai was reacting to the exit of the former vice president from the All Progressives Congress.
El-rufai said he had in 2014 told Atiku in Dubai that no northern politician in the entire north was as popular as Buhari.
Ahead of the 2019 Presidential election, the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation Committee, Nyesom Wike has revealed the party’s readiness to woo former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to ensure it regains the lost presidential seat.
Wike made this known in the latest issue of ‘The Interview,’ a monthly magazine published by Azu Ishiekwene.
He also listed Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso as one of the many APC Chieftains to be wooed.
In the same vein, the governor vowed that he and Rivers people would do everything to ensure PDP emerges victorious in the state come 2019 election.
“The whole thing boils down to sincerity and commitment. We said if things would not happen, all of us would go down with it. That was the driving spirit for us and that is what we are going to repeat in 2019.
“If the Federal Government is going to kill all of us, so be it. Because we know what they have planned and their strategies and so when it is time, we will face the APC squarely in this state. Just watch,” he said.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to fulfil its promise of making Nigerians “feel safe again”.
In a statement signed by his media aide, Atiku said those who have suffered from the Boko Haram insurgency deserve to get the treatment and support they need.
According to him, his intention was to give the freed Chibok girls “the best possible education”.
The statement partly reads:
“The Waziri Adamawa prays that those who have suffered so much get all the treatment and support they need, and urgently calls on the federal government to honour its promise to make Nigerians feel safe again.
“Atiku, the founder of the AUN Group of Schools, is shocked that some would-be journalists think it is fair game to exploit a young girl’s trauma to score cheap political points.
“Atiku Abubakar is not aware that anyone is forced to attend ABTI Schools. The story is contrived hogwash. He urges the media, a critical partner in our march to progress and development, to remember that not everything is about 2019.
“I wish to stress that the intention of the Waziri Adamawa was to give the freed Chibok girls the best possible education, and that was why he helped set up the foundation programme to create such an opportunity in a familiar environment.
“Unfortunately, the best intentions can backfire. These girls are still healing, and clearly, the recent deterioration of the security situation in the north-east has opened old wounds.”
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, has denied report circulating round some sections of the media that he is supporting the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
In a statement issued by his media aide, Paul Ibe said, Atiku described the report as classical fake news, asked Nigerians to ignore the report.
The statement reads: “It has come to the notice of the Atiku Media Office that there is an opinion article titled “IPOB: Loathe or love Kanu, he has fought better – Atiku” purportedly written and signed by His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 and chieftain of All Progressives Congress in circulation.
“What started as the handiwork of mischief makers and their sponsors bent on tarnishing the reputation of the Waziri Adamawa was first noticed on chat rooms.
“But having found its way on the website of a reputable newspaper which obviously fell victim to the evil work of the scammers, the media office of the former Vice President is compelled to respond and to state as follows:
“That the article in circulation is unknown to Atiku Abubakar or Atiku Media Office;
“That His Excellency Atiku Abubakar never signed any opinion article with that title in circulation;
“That this is the handiwork of evil people and their cowardly sponsors aimed at soiling the reputation of Atiku Abubakar and his political standing;
“That this signposts a wicked and deliberate plot to unleash media attack on Atiku Abubakar with a view to portraying him in bad light;
“That this is classical Fake News;
“The Atiku Media Office urges Nigerians and the reading public to discountenance the article and to be vigilant as more of such diabolical stuff are underway.”
Following report on a national newspaper which claims that former Vice-President H.E Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential Bid is unsettling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Enugu state, the attention of Concerned Enugu APC Stakeholders has been drawn to unfounded and unsubstantiated speculations in the report.
For the records, the APC in Enugu has not decided on any Presidential candidate ahead of 2019. No member of our great Party can authoritatively say which candidates will be contesting for the APC Presidential ticket in 2018; since no leader has formally and publicly declared intention to run for exalted position in our great country.
The former Vice President has not inaugurated any committee to drive his
campaign in Enugu. So, we find it absurd to link H.E Atiku Abubakar’s ambition to the crisis unsettling the APC in Enugu.
We restate here that the crisis in the Enugu chapter of our Party has to do with alleged financial misappropriation by the Chairman, Ben Nwoye, and his cohorts.
Well-meaning members of our Party in the state have filed several petitions to the National Leadership of our great Party and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) calling for the investigation of the allegations of financial impropriety brought against our Chairman.
While, we await timely response to the petitions filed, we join voices with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is the highest ranking member of our Party in the state, to plead for peace and also call for dialogue among key stakeholders.
We also maintain our position that due process, transparency, accountability and fair-hearing as enunciated by the APC constitution be adhered to in handling Party affairs.
Finally, we emphatically state that linking the crisis in the Enugu chapter of the Party to H.E Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential bid is an effort to cause confusion and disaffection in the Party in the State.
It should be noted that as many as will indicate interest in contesting for our Party’s Presidential ticket in 2018 are free to set up their structures in our state at the end of day we will gladly work together to ensure that the APC retains its Presidential mandate.
Concerned Enugu APC Stakeholders
Concerned Enugu APC Stakeholders
The Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan on Thursday appeared before the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress.
The Minister met the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun with the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.
Although details of the closed door meeting were not made public, it was learnt that the Minister was given an opportunity to explain herself in the light of the recent controversy generated by her media comments.
The minister emerged from the meeting and rushed into her waiting vehicle.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has promised to take the war against corruption to a greater height if elected as President of the country in the 2019 polls.
The APC chieftain said this during a facility tour of the new ultra-modern Yaliam Press Limited in Jabi area of Abuja on Monday.
A statement by his Media Office in Abuja, quoted thus: “he would fight corruption like never before if he is given the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the country.”
The former vice president further state that: “It is sickening to continue to regurgitate allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office.
“Despite previous desperate efforts to link me with corruption, the William Jefferson trial in the United States ended in 2009 without indicting me or linking me to corrupt activities.”
A former Deputy Director of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, Mallam Mohammed Lawal, has said that former Vice President and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar contributed “nothing” to the campaign of President Buhari in 2015.
Lawal, a director on the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation( NNPC), stated that Atiku remained bitter for losing the presidential ticket to Buhari.
Lawal said: “We know that right from the time Buhari was sworn in, Atiku started plotting to cause problem, to ensure that this administration does not succeed.
“During the campaign, he granted an interview to BBC and said he was sure APC would not win the presidential election.
“He was making preparations that if APC did not win, he will go back to PDP and get the ticket after ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s projected exit in 2019.
“Immediately after the presidential primaries, Atiku left the country. He did not come back. All along, while we were prosecuting the presidential campaign, Atiku was not in Nigeria. He did not participate in the presidential campaign.
“After the presidential election, he came to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and left the country. He is complaining now that he was not contacted.”
“ I knew all the intrigues. Atiku fought Buhari tooth and nail. He was extremely unhappy about the loss of presidential primaries.
“He did not campaign for Buhari during the election. He even refused to contribute any money. He promised to campaign and to contribute to the campaign. He did not contribute anything meaningful.
“ Let him say how much he spent. How much did he claim he spent? Is his money more important than his appearance at the campaign? He spent all the money he thinks he has to ensure that Buhari did not win.
“People are not foolish. He told the BBC in 2015 that he was sure that Buhari was not going to win. So, will somebody who did not believe in the party’s candidate spend anything?”
The Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, has said that only illness could stop the President from seeking a second term.
This is coming after a statement credited to Women Affairs Minister, Hajia Aisha Alhasan, who openly endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as candidate for the 2019 Presidential election.
The governor spoke with reporters in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, shortly after a Book Launch and Scholarship Scheme in commemoration of one year remembrance of renowned educationist, the late Chief Lamidi Sofenwa.
According to him, if Buhari and his administration had not come in time on rescue mission, “only God knows where Nigeria would have been today.”
“On this 2019 for me, the only thing that can probably prevent Mr. President from contesting is on health ground because if not for this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari only God knows where Nigeria would have been.
“As humans, we quickly forget things, if we could be fair to this administration, they came in at a time the country was plunged into a very deep end and imagine where the country is today. We were in recession and now we are out of it and it is not easy to get to this point.
“Again I am saying it, the only thing that can stop Mr President is on health ground but as we can see today Mr President is back and is rejuvenating and very soon, it would be clear for everybody to see that Mr President is so well now.
“Meanwhile nobody will take the fact that from the three cardinal points he set for himself, this administration has been doing tremendously well in the aspect of security and we all know that nothing good can happen in any country without adequate security.
“Yes, some people are saying Boko Haram has not yet been conquered but if you look at America and put into consideration how many years it took them to win the war against Osama Bin Laden, among others you will know that this administration should be applauded as far as security is concerned.
“The same thing in our economy, just look at our agriculture it has never been this good. At least, I am a governor and this is my seventh year,this is the first time that truly Nigeria is diversifying,” Amosun said.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed his displeasure at the Buhari-led federal government, saying he was sidelined by the President and the party (All Progressives Congress) he helped brought to power.
In an exclusive interview with the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, VOA, Atiku alleged that despite his efforts in making sure that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was defeated in 2015, he was deliberately kept away from government and decision making.
His words: “Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.”
“But sadly, soon after the formation of government; I was side-lined, I have no any relationship with the government, I’ve not been contacted even once to comment on anything and in turn, I maintained my distance. They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”
Speaking on the fight against Boko Haram, Atiku mentioned that “the ruling government had failed in many fronts.
“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip. People cannot dare go back to their dwellings.
“This thing baffles me; I never imagined that Nigeria will fight a protracted battle with Boko Haram for five years. At a time, we fought the Biafra war, which was more complicated because of the terrain in the South but the Biafran soldiers were roundly subdued in 30 months. But here we are, fighting an endless battle with the Boko Haram and there’s no end in sight”.
On corruption, Mr. Abubakar said little was achieved, asking “How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?”
He also made reference to the achievement of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, during which he was vice president, in recovering stolen funds.
“When we came on board in 1999, I remember we recovered between $4.5 and $4.7 billion from those that looted under (Late Sani) Abacha,” he said.