Nigeria: ‘Go after Amnesty office not just Yahoo boys’ – HURIWA tells EFCC,

By Fikayo Olowolagba

A pro-transparency and non-governmental organization, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA (HURIWA) has called for the arrest of the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Amnesty Affairs for Niger Delta region, Mr. Charles Dokubo.

The group in a statement sent to DAILY POST issued by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko called for the arrest of Dokubo ‘for justifying the wasteful, meaningless and substantially ill-intentioned claim that the office will spend a whopping N88 million to set up 22 barbing saloons for repentant ex-armed militants in the crude oil-rich but massively neglected Niger Delta region.’

HURIWA further called on EFCC to instigate an investigation into financial transactions undertaken by Amnesty office, adding that the office under the presidency had become the ‘cesspool of corruption’.

Onwubiko urged the EFCC to go after Dokubo and officials of Amnesty office, not just yahoo boys and train ticket racketeers.

He noted that the continuation of alleged corrupt practices in Amnesty office under the Presidency without investigation by EFCC would cause President Muhammadu Buhari to lose his claim of anti-graft war.

The statement read: “HURIWA carpeted the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Amnesty Affairs for Niger Delta region Mr. Charles Dokubo for justifying the wasteful, meaningless and substantially ill-intentioned claim that the office will spend a whopping N88 million to set up 22 barbing saloons for repentant ex-armed militants in the crude oil rich but massively neglected Niger Delta region. The group said the President Major General Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR) (as he then was)must stop the heist from ever happening or he loses his claim of any kind of anti-graft crusade.

“HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to beam it’s searchlight on the financial transactions of the Amnesty office under the Presidency because it has become manifestly clear that the office has become the cesspool of corruption to an extent that facilities set up for the benefits of youths of Niger Delta in Bayelsa state was vandalised recently and property worth over a billion Naira were carted away without the thieves thought to have been hired from within ever arrested or prosecuted and now the head of that accountability challenged and corrupt-minded agency has come out to shamelessly justify the illogical and irrational bogus expenditure on setting up of barbing saloons at very earth shaking and exorbitant rates that tongues have started wagging from all over the World regarding the propriety or ethical justification for investing that huge amount to achieve so little and set up shops that could have taken a little less than N25 million even as that line of trade/vocation does not guarantee consistent potentials for expansion and engagement of more hands since barbing saloon business is a service industry that requires minimal labour.

“Saloon business is not the immediate needs of the grossly marginalised and wantonly neglected Niger Delta region. Niger Delta youth shoyld be empowered to become marine engineers and petroleum technologists or empowered by granting them oil well licences so they can become real owners of the ecploration of the huge resources that God Almighty has endowed their communities with.

“How can outsiders be granted oil well licences whereas the real owners of the crude oil resources are only at best given peanuts in real time to become barbers to be prividing barbing services to their oppressors who are backed up by the powers that be in Abuja? This is a clear insult to the sensitivity and intellects of the peoole of Niger Delta far apart from the crime that this venture constitutes”

HURIWA stated that on no condition should the management of the Amnesty office be allowed to embark on such wasteful venture except if there is someone embedded directly in the office of the President who wants to corner substantial amount of the stated but obviously over inflated and over bloated budget for setting up 22 barbing saloons/shops even as the Rights group challenged the head of Amnesty office to allow credible Non Governmentsl bodies to recruit barbers to assist in setting up and training those 22 barbers for just N5 million after which the Amnesty office can be guided on how to set up modestly well-equipped and well-staffed beauty parlours and saloons for the 22 selected candidates from Niger Delta ay less than N20 million. Many of our members own and run successful saloon and barbibg businesses which we set up with modest amounts abd these ventures are thriving

“Dokubo who claims to be a professor must be presuming that his ’22 super barbers’ would be engaged to handle the multi-million Naira annual barbing contracts included in the budget of the state house in Abuja to handle the hairstyling needs of Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari. We know that in the last four years, the President has always been known to have allocated nearly N100 million Naira each year for the purposes of barbing his hairs. Is it that these 22 potential barbers and stylists to be ’empowered’ by Amnesty office at the huge costs to the tax payers amounting to N88 million would be deployed to provide services of barbing the hairs of Mr President or what?

” The attempt to tie a wool of confusion on the eyes of docile Nigerians by the Amnesty office to justify the planned heist of N88 million in the name of empowering 22 barbers and beauty experts is both preposterous and odious. We call on the EFCC to wake up and go after those guys in Amnesty office even as the EFCC seems to have devoted substantial resources and time to go after yahoo yahoo boys and train tickets racketeers.

” This shameful crime that will happen in Amnesty office must be stopped. Nigerians must speak out to stop these officials from frivolous use of our hard earned resources. Moreover, Amnesty office should be focused on capacity building of the Niger Delta youth in very productive and rare scientific areas that have potentials to yield massive profits for both the practitioners and their neglected society that produces the crude oil that contributes almost 90% or more of our total annual revenue as a Country.

“Barbing business is not economically viable in terms of creating massive job opportunities for other disadvantaged Niger Delta youth who never carried arms against the nation-state and therefore were not included as beneficiaries of this corruptly mismanaged Amnesty office. This is a crude form of stealing public fund under nebulous covers and must never be allowed to happen. A good man should stop it by all means. If Muhammadu Buhari is a good man then he must stop this emerging roguery right under his Presidential nose

“HURIWA recalled that the Amnesty Office had insisted that the award of the N88million contract for the empowerment of Niger Delta youth in barbing and beauty salon business under the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) did not breach any legal conditions.

HURIWA quoted Amnesty office, as spuriously and dubiously claiming that the contract, which was awarded to Messrs Tovo Vicks Nigeria Enterprises Limited, was part of efforts to provide skills for human capital development in line with its mandate.

HURIWA recalled that a statement issued on Tuesday by Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant (Media) to Professor Charles Dokubo, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, noted that the N88million contract sum for 22 beneficiaries was valued at N4million per beneficiary.

“HURIWA noted that in the clearly unjustifiable claims the Amnesty office purportedly broke down the cost as follows: Provision of refresher/entrepreneurial training course to prepare beneficiaries for effective management of their businesses; land acquisition or shop rent for use by the beneficiaries; business name registration, tax papers, account opening and branding; provision of mentorship/monitoring and evaluation for three months after successful setup process for beneficiaries; comprehensive documentation of empowered beneficiaries, among others.

“We wish to state that the contract was awarded in line with due process and the company, Tovo Vicks Nigeria Ent. Limited is duly registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, with RC 1150012. “Therefore, Prof. Dokubo did no wrong by awarding the contract in furtherance of the mandate of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. However, it should be noted that the implementation of the contract is yet to commence.

“HURIWA further recalled that Amnesty office was clever by half by attempting to deceive Nigerians when the office without any verifiable scientific and evidence based convincing reasons for such obscenely prohibitive empowerment of just 22 barbers at N88 million abused the intelligence of Nigerians by stating that: “This clarification has become necessary in view of the post of a bromide of the contract award letter in the social media by mischief makers, thereby causing opprobrious remarks from undiscerning members of the public. Prof. Charles Dokubo will not be distracted by the antics of enemies of progress whose aggression to grab contracts at the Amnesty Programme and pocket funds meant for the training and empowerment of beneficiaries of the programme has been effectively checkmated. It is no longer business as usual.”

“HURIWA however thinks that without any shadow of doubts empirically, the explanation holds no water and must never be allowed to happen. “This is a monumental crime that is about to happen before our very eyes. We must stop it or shout to high heavens until those who will be allowed by the Presidency to divert our N88 million are prosecuted and punished. “

Source Daily Post

Nigeria needs skillful youths – Buhari

By Okodili Ndidi

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said that Nigeria at this point requires the youths to be highly skillful in order to solve the problem of unemployment, security and youth restiveness.

The President, who was a Visitor at the 31st Convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), stated that the era of handing certificates to graduates without self-sustaining skills is no longer sustainable.

Buhari who was represented by the State Minister of Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, observed that the growth and establishment of new industries to absorb the graduates is rather too slow.

According to him, “there is a need to re-double efforts in turning out graduates with self-sustaining, globally competitive skills and talents for the realization of national goals of building a free, democratic, just and egalitarian society, a united, strong and self-reliant nation”.

He continued that, “our universities are also challenged to key into modern trends in Computing and Information Technology, Cyber security, artificial intelligence, solar and alternative energies and modern biomedical technology, which is where the future is headed”.

The President assured that, “on our part as government, we remain committed to changing the negative narratives of our universities by making effective and efficient policies that will place our higher education at the right pedestal”.

He disclosed further that the Federal Government has completed the energy audit of 37 Federal Universities and is set to award the contracts for the commencement of Independent Power Plants in those Universities, “when completed, it will put an end to the perennial problem of power challenge in all Federal Universities in Nigeria”.

Earlier in his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Francis Eze, said that the University within the available resources has continued to provide facilities and equipment for effective teaching, learning and research.

He however noted that the University urgently needs a befitting Senate building, staff quarters, a sustainable power supply and refurbishment of existing old buildings and other facilities.

Meanwhile, 2,506 were awarded with degrees with 42 bagging First Class Honours.

Source The Nation

Nigeria: Christian youths urge religious balance in appointments

Press Release

The Christian Youths Alliance of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress to balance the appointments across religious divides to avoid marginalisation after their inauguration for a second term in May.

The group noted that with the trend of development and arrangement of the APC, there was the possibility of having Muslims as the President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chief Justice of Nigeria in the new dispensation.

“Already we have Muslims as Chief Justice of Nigeria and the President and if the body language of the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and other stakeholders is anything to go by, there is the possibility of having Senator Ahmad Lawan another Muslim as the Senate President and Dr Femi Gbajabiamila, a Muslim as the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” the group said in a statement signed by the Coordinator, Jude Adetunji and Secretary, Hassan Blessing, on Tuesday.

The group said Buhari and the APC should note that Nigeria is a secular state with people from different religious backgrounds. They argued that therefore all religious groups should be properly represented in the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.

“Though credibility is important, but there are other Christians who are equally credible and capable of running the affairs of the National Assembly and other key positions in the government.

“Marginalising people of other religions should be guided against by the President who claims to belong to everybody.

“This call is not against any religion but to sensitize Nigerians on the need to support balanced appointments and equal treatment.”

Source Punch

Nigeria: More women, youth will be appointed – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to give women and youth more appointments to enable them contribute to national development in the last four years of his administration.

Speaking at a dinner organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Women and Youth Presidential Campaign team to celebrate his re-election Saturday night in Abuja, the president only those with integrity and interest of the country would be considered for appointments in the next cabinet.

He said more women and youth would be considered for appointments because they have played significant role in his reelection.
He said the federal government, under his leadership, would not disappoint women and youth in its policies and programmes.

The president, who spoke on the activities of the Ministry in the agriculture sector, said more fertilisers would be made available to farmers at a lower rate in order increase production and reduction in food importation.
He called on Nigerian youth to embrace agriculture to ensure more food sufficiency and food export.

The president also spoke on the previous administration, saying the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wasted the nation’s resources in its 16 years rule.

He said the country witnessed rampant infrastructure decay in spite of the huge resources earned during the period.

Source blueprint

Nigeria: Youth network condemns suspension of CJN, vote buying

By Tochukwu Maxwell

The Youth Anti-corruption Network, YANET, has condemned the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Coordinator and President of YANET, Mr. Ovo Otarigho, said the president’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria threatens democracy as it is against the principle of separation of powers.

Otarigho commended the president’s desire to fight corruption, noting, however, that things must be done according to the law and with due process.

According to him, non-conformity with due process alone amounts to corruption on its own and must be resisted.

He said, “This action alone if not changed makes mockery of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

“As it stands, our democracy is under attack, the Judiciary is on the frontline, we the civil society will build trenches and we call on the general public to live up to their civic duties in defence of our democracy.”

Furthermore, he also stated that the fight against corruption must be total and nobody guilty of corrupt practices should be forgiven simply because they have decamped to the ruling party.

“The case of corruption against the Kano state governor is currently being swept under the carpet while the reporter who exposed the case is being victimized,” he lamented.

However, he chided Onnoghen for flouting the law, while he called on the agencies concerned to investigate and prosecute the Justice. He said,

“The judge must not be corrupt, a judge must not be partial, even as innocent omission or ignorance remains inexcusable in the eyes of the law.”

He further called for thorough investigation of the facts behind Onoghen and his finances, and if found guilty, he should be subjected to the prosecutorial dictates of the laws.

“But until then, he is presumed innocent according to Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended until proven guilty and through proper procedure,” he noted.

Otarigho also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to play a truly independent role in the conduct of the election and must not be seen favouring any party.

“INEC must remember that the commission was being funded by our common wealth, from the common purse of our nation and as such, INEC allegiance must be to the citizens of Nigeria and not individuals or political parties or candidates,” Otarigho stated.

He also stated that the YANET is worried at the level of vote buying syndrome, and called on all citizens to vote in the right candidates to avoid corrupt people taking leadership position.

Source Vanguard Nigeria

Why Nigeria will die if Buhari wins Atiku – Elliot Uko

By John Owen Nwachukwu

Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko is the founder of Igbo Youth Movement and the Secretary of the Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA.

In this interview with DAILY POST, the Igbo youth leader bares his mind on the forthcoming coming general election, especially the contest between President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

In his opinion, the return of Buhari will perish most Nigerians.


Evangelist, you have been so quiet for a while now?

I have been quiet for a reason. One, I am getting old, two, what I set out to achieve 30 years ago, God has granted it. Actually, I do not think it is proper to continue playing to the gallery. What do I mean, I set out as a young man to inspire the younger generation of Ndigbo, to wake them up from slumber. I spent over 25 years of my adult life, organizing seminars for Igbo youths, in Lagos, Jos, Aba, Onitsha, Nnewi, Owerri, Abakaliki, Enugu and everywhere, first to make them aware of themselves and the condition of Ndi Igbo in Nigeria, second, to wake them up to start asking questions about our future in Nigeria, then to make them aware that they need to start demanding for their right and finally to get them to agitate for justice in Nigeria.

That has been achieved through the grace of God. So am thinking of retirement and that was why I have been quiet. Another reason is that they called me Elliot Uko (Onye ala restructuring) a mad man of restructuring for more than 20 years. Suddenly, last year, the Igbo leaders finally bought into restructuring. I thank God for that. So I am thinking of retirement. If I continue to repeat myself then I will be playing to the gallery. And I don’t want to do that.

Had the elders adopted restructuring 20 years ago in 1999 when I brought all the groups from old Eastern Region at Hotel Presidential, and Ojukwu welcomed the Ijaw youths and Onoh welcomed the Ogoni youths, Nigeria would have been restructured long before now. Had they adopted restructuring then and began to fight for restructuring, it would have been a different ball game by now. But they just bought into restructuring barely a year ago. So we thank God for that. I have to step down a bit and watch them and pray for them in the course to the restructuring of Nigeria which is actually the only panacea to getting Nigeria working again. These are the reasons why I have been quiet.

Have you resuscitated your advocacy now?

Yes. Now I am talking because Nigerians surprisingly are about to make some terrible mistake. If General Buhari is given a second time, Nigeria will die. General Buhari should be rejected on the 16 of February, 2019. He should pack his loads and leave Aso Villa. Nigerians of all the six-geopolitical zones are hereby enjoined to vote Buhari out.

He is not a fit and proper person to govern Nigeria. Nigeria is a heterogeneous and multi-religious country. He will bring doom to Nigeria. I am pleading with Nigerians all over to think about the future, to think about the reality which is that Nigeria is better off with leadership that is all embracing, leadership that is fair to all sections, leadership that is genuinely committed to developing the country. Gen Buhari is not that. He has a hidden sectional, religious and regional agenda which is dangerous to the unity and survival of Nigeria. Any man or woman who cast his vote for Gen Buhari is an enemy of Nigeria. Three and half years ago, Buhari rolled to power promising change, the only change he brought is bringing the economy down. Everything in Nigeria is upside down today. Condoning killings, institutionalizing bloodshed, so dictatorial that is weakening the constitution, weakening the democracy, and enthroning a system of government where 23 military operations are been used to hold Nigeria together. No military operation, cobra jump or viper dance is being used to hold Ghana together. No military operation named after any reptile is being used to hold South Africa together. Gen Buhari is the only leader that is deploying military operations to hold Nigeria together. Without all these military operations, Nigeria would have collapsed three years ago.

Some people are still supporting President Buhari as seen in different rallies in some states.

Gen Buhari is a disaster. Anybody supporting Buhari hates Nigeria. The only people who want Buhari to continue are members of the cabal who are running Nigeria on his behalf and their acolytes, the ignorant people who are not informed enough, then thirdly people who blindly shout he is their man from their region, they don’t care if he is taking Nigeria backward; as long as he is their man, he should continue. No enlightened man, no normal human being will want Gen. Buhari to continue. He should pack his load and go. This message is an emergency; all hands should be on deck to show Gen Buhari the way out of Aso Rock. He should go and rest.

Does it mean there is nothing good since three and half years of Gen. Buhari in power?

Absolutely nothing. Nothing good about Gen Buhari. He came to power and spent six months commanding the central bank and reversing them without ministers, without cabinet for six whole months, personalizing the government of the country, trying to institutionalize himself as an oracle.

But the federal govt. has claimed that the economy has improved.

He destroyed the economy, divided the country, institutionalized nepotism and condoned bloodshed. Everything must be done to return him to Daura so that he can take care of himself. The quality of every product in the market has so much decreased from tissue paper to roofing zinc. The quality has decreased and the prices increased. Go to the market and check. The quality of our life is diminishing under Gen Buhari. So many companies have closed, some have ran away from Nigeria under Gen Buhari. Millions of people have been thrown into unemployment market under Gen. Buhari. Farmers in the Middle Belt and many other parts of the country have received it hot under Gen Buhari.

His people just ceased fire because their “Oga” is running for election next week. Maybe they will resume again immediately after the elections, confirming that they listen to him. When his interest is at stake, his people will know and they can ceasefire. People are killed like rat under Gen Buhari. The Shiite, the IPOB, and ordinary people. Insecurity is worst under Gen Buhari. From the Fulani Herdsmen militia to the Boko Haram unleashing mayhem in the North East to armed gunmen in the North West in Zamfara, Kastina and Sokoto. The country is ablaze under Gen Buhari. Anybody who wants Buhari to continue in power is an enemy of progress. Any Nigerian who does anything or engages in anything that will assist Gen Buhari in one way or the other to return to power that person is not being fair to himself because Gen.

Buhari is a clear enemy of unity and survival of Nigeria. His worldview is inimical to the growth of Nigeria. We are calling on all men and women of good will to campaign door to door and tell their neighbours in all the six geopolitical zones that we must retire Gen Buhari on the 16th of Feb. 2019 out of Aso Rock so that Nigeria can be rebuilt and reconstructed.

But the IPOB said they are boycotting the election?

Yes, IPOB is angry with Nigeria and rightly so, they have been killed, detained, blackmailed and hunted down and labelled terrorist group, which they are not. IPOB is popular among our people. We respect their decision, nobody is angry with them.

Well, the IPOB have a right to boycott the election if they so choose. We also have a right to vote out Buhari if we so choose. We have not attacked the IPOB for boycotting the election, nobody has attacked them and IPOB have not attacked anybody which chooses to vote. It is called fundamental human right and freedom of choice. They want to boycott we, want to vote out Gen. Buhari. The most imminent task before all Nigerians today is to gently remove him from Aso Rock. Now I want to use this opportunity to plead with Nigerians to troop out in their mass and vote in Atiku/Obi ticket.

The Atiku/Obi ticket will ensure first of all justice and equity for everybody, level playing field and next promise to begin reconciliation and reconstruction of Nigeria by devolving power back to the regions. Secondly, Atiku himself is a consummate Nigerian, who understands Nigeria, who is well received and well receives Nigerians from all the sections of the country. And his vice Obi is a consummate business man and a very frugal administrator of men and resources which is what Nigeria needs now. We must support them and we must plead with our neighbours, friends, brothers and sisters to join hands and vote in Atiku/Obi into office and retire Gen Buhari. Then thank him and ask him to go home and rest.

Do you think there will be a free and fair election?

It is impossible for Gen. Buhari to rig himself in, this 2019, because Nigerians have rejected him. Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones have rejected suffering, poverty, insecurity, bloodbath and then fake integrity. Nigerians from all the six geopolitical zones want to see a level playing field and leadership that will give all sections justice and equity. No right thinking Nigerian will want Buhari to have second tenure. It will be impossible for him to rig. It will be impossible. Because it is clear that the people in Agatu, who buried over one thousand people last year cannot want Gen Buhari to continue. It is clear that people in Plateau who buried hundreds of people cannot want Gen Buhari to continue. It is clear that the people in the North East and North West who are undergoing difficult time starting with both insecurity, poverty and all kinds of misery cannot want Gen Buhari to continue. The people from the South West are enlightened people. The Yorubas are learned people, they are educated and very smart. They do not want this misery to continue. Yes I know that a few of them are erroneously supporting Buhari, because they believe that Buhari will give them presidency in 2023 when you and I know that if by some miracle or opportunity Buhari gets second term, he will disappoint them in 2023, you know that and I know that.

What about the South East and the South-South?

The entire South East and South-South are no go area for Buhari because he hates these regions with passion. He says we are 5% people. He proved it in his appointment, proved it in his statement and utterances, proved in his treatment of our children by killing them in cold blood. It is impossible for him to rig. Gen Buhari will not get up to 40% of vote cast on Saturday 16th February, 2019. He is a disaster, he should pack and go. Nigerians love late Umaru Musa Yar’dua, Nigerians miss him, Nigerians respect him, Nigerians adore his memory. He is from the same Katsina State as Gen Buhari. He is Muslim as Gen Buhari, he is Fulani as General Buhari. So it is not about Buhari being a northerner or he is Muslim or Fulani. Even Atiku is also a Fulani and we are pleading with Nigeria to vote Atiku. It is about the man Buhari, he is a disaster and a big mistake. It will be a tragedy if Buhari is given a second tenure. He should pack and go. It will be a tragedy of monumental proportions to engage in anything that will secure second term for Buhari. Thank you.

Source Daily Post

Nigeria: Gwamna, youth groups feud over Atiku, Buhari’s popularity

By Auwal Ahmad

Barely 48 hours after All Progressive Congress Presidential campaign rally in Gombe State, a coalition of youth groups in the Northeast geopolitical zone, known as Atikulation2019, has endorsed former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The coalition enjoined all registered voters in the zone to vote massively for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, saying that he is more qualified to deliver the goods.

The Gombe State coordinator of Atikulation2019 Support Movement, Sirajo Bappah Jauro, who announced the decision to journalists in Gombe shortly after the coalition’s zonal meeting, described the victory of Atiku in 2019 election as victory for the entire Northeast region.

He said the anticipated victory of Atiku has already been seen as “well deserved and a humbling honor to the entire Northeast zone that has never had the privilege to lead Nigeria in a democratic setting since the end of the First Republic.”

Meanwhile, APC chieftain, Dr. Jamilu Isyaku Gwamna, has rejected reports on the degree of acceptability of PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), which anticipated that Atiku would net as much as 60 per cent of votes to Buhari’s 40 per cent.

Gwamna, who made his reservations known to journalists in Gombe, said the popularity contest was laughable and fake, as it does not reflect the true picture of events in the state.

While stressing that the criteria for such rating were unfounded, unjustifiable and do not reflect the current political fervor in Gombe as a state, the APC stalwart said the entire narrative must have been cooked.

He said: “I saw the online report on the degree of acceptability of candidates of PDP and APC for Gombe and I know that such analysis is fake, laughable and unjustifiable looking at the sea of people that came out to welcome the president on Saturday.

“The criteria used for that publication is unfounded. Atiku came to Gombe as well as President Buhari and they both used the same stadium. What was the result? Atiku came for a zonal rally and got less than half of the stadium. President Buhari came on a campaign visit, not for zonal campaign, but the crowd that stood on the field was six times more than the ones that came for the PDP zonal rally in Gombe.

“Another factor that must be considered is the fact that the injustice in PDP and the yearnings of the real voters in Gombe have pushed many PDP bigwigs into APC. Last Saturday, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, received 16 former PDP aspirants and senators into APC.

“So the popularity contest for Gombe that we know and live in is not a reflection of what is obtainable. Hence, I reject it in its entirety for lack of facts and figures as it seems like an attempt only to score online popularity for PDP that was annihilated with Buhari’s visit.’’

Gwamna disclosed that he has a strong support base in Gombe, which he ceded to President Buhari and Alhaji Inuwa Yahaya, adding that the same obtains for other defected ex-PDP chieftains that are now in APC.

However, the Atikulation2019 Support Movement maintained that its members across the geopolitical zone have resolved to “cooperate and fully support Atiku and PDP to put an end to the retrogressive leadership of APC in Nigeria.”

Jauro urged all PDP structures and people in Northeast to rally round the PDP presidential standard bearer and bring victory to Northeast region as well as for the good of Nigeria and it’s people.

The coordinator said: “Full support is what we owe candidate Atiku Abubakar and PDP to change APC’s obnoxious change. The last time the North-east had Nigerian leadership to work for was with Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister, who laid the framework for a developing Nigeria. We have another opportunity to serve Nigeria, and the time is now.”

He explained that the Buhari administration has failed in securing the lives and property of Northeast and Nigerians at large, remarking that the nation’s security in its current state is worse than it was under the 16 years of PDP.

“Atiku deserves the presidential seat in 2019, because he has shown the qualities of a good leader that the nation would be proud of,” Jauro added, assuring that the country would have a new look under the PDP presidential candidate as elected president.

Source Guardian Nigeria

Pictures: President Buhari Meets Nigerian Youths

President Muhammadu Buhari dropped his trademark traditional cap for a dapper face cap as he met with a cross section of Nigerian youths on Friday night.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a dapper face cap on Friday night

Buhari on arrival for the event

4+4: A Cross Section of Nigerian Youths during a town hall meeting held at the State House Conference Centre

President Muhammadu Buhari with Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu at the town hall meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari flanked by a cross-section of Nigerian Youths during a town hall meeting held at the State House Conference Centre Friday Night in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari chats with Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola

President Buhari addresses the youths

President Buhari addresses the youths Emblozoned on the face cap is ‘PMB”, the shorthand for President Muhammed Buhari.

He wore a blue kaftan to match the cap. The event was at a town hall meeting at the State House Conference centre It was organised by the Directorate of Youth Mobilisation for the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council.

At the event, Buhari said that securing Nigeria’s future was the legacy he desires to leave behind.

“Our future must be secured at all cost; that is the legacy I want to leave behind.

“I will continue to work towards improving on security and national integrity, and continued growth and development of our economy.

“Since 2003, this administration has implemented policies aimed at the three main issues—security, economy and fighting corruption.

“Those who know me know that I don’t make promises I cannot keep; but I assure you that young people will continue to be part of this administration even as we consolidate on the gains so far and more to come.’’

He said that with over a population of 70 per cent of youths making up Nigeria’s 180 million people, youths were as important presently as they would be in future.

According to him, the voting population of young people is the determinant factor in any election that any politician cannot neglect.

The president expressed his sincere appreciation for the support from young people during his presidential ambitions from 2003 to date.

“I will like to assure you and other young people who are not here that I remain committed to the cause of a better Nigeria for you and for every generation.

“I am still committed to the pledges I made to the country in 2015 and I stand before you today to renew those same pledges that I will continue the fight against corruption.

“I can assure you that no one, no matter who or what will make me compromise on fighting corruption.

“I will not shield anymore who is brazen enough to embezzle public funds; or betray peoples trust. They will face the music in due course.’’

Earlier while fielding questions from the youths, Buhari said his experience as the Petroleum Minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo was brought to bear in tackling perennial fuel scarcity.

On infrastructure, he said that his administration had creditably acquitted itself in three years in spite of earning far less than the previous administration. He said that between 1999 and 2014/2015, oil production was 2.1 million barrels per day; at an average cost of 100 dollar per barrel and it went up to 143 dollars per barrel. Buhari said that in spite of the huge earnings, the roads were in sorry state as they were last rehabilitated during his days at the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

He said that the railway was virtually dead and there was no power even as some key actors in the previous government admitted they spent N16 billion U.S. dollars on power.

“But you know more than I do; where is the power? When we came, we were quite unfortunate, one, the price from about 80/90 dollars per barrel then came down to 37/38 and was oscillating between 40 and 50 dollars.

“And then the militants were unleashed and production went half a million barrels a day from over 2 million barrels per day.

“All the same, from the time we took over till now, we tried to do the road, to do the rail, and to do the power,’’ he said. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu also responded to questions relevant to their ministries.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Hadiza Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority also took questions from the youths. On his part, Mr Tony Nwoye, Director of Youth Mobilisation for APC Presidential Campaign Council, said he was delighted that Buhari spared some time to interact with the youths.

He said he was confident that Buhari was committed to a credible, free and fair election and urged the youths to protect their votes.

Source Vanguard Nigeria

Nigeria: 1,000 youth groups back Buhari on suspension of Onnoghen

With the dust from the suspension of Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen yet to settle, almost 1000 youth groups across the country have backed President Muhammadu Buhari’s action.

The embattled judicial chief is facing trial over non-declaration of assets.

In a statement released by Comrade Aaron Tobias Turner, Secretary of the Communique Drafting Committee, on Monday, Mr Buhari has no fault in the decision taken. According to the group, Mr Onnoghen would have done the needful by stepping aside hence avoided such dramatic and shameful exit.

“Questions about the integrity of Justice Walter Onnoghen are not new. What is new is that there is finally an administration that is bold enough to take steps that will save the judiciary from the transactional culture that had turned the courts in Nigeria into shams where justice is bought and sold. The hesitation in naming him as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) was informed by the knowledge of his pro-corruption tendencies.

“Upon being found out, if he were a patriot and one that is conscious of his oath of office, Justice Onnoghen should have recused himself from judicial duties for the length of time it would have taken to defend himself before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) after which he could return to his post should he be able to prove himself as innocent.

He would have gone down in history as a great Nigerian had he threaded this path instead of turning himself into the lead character in the unfolding drama of absurdity.

“Justice Onnoghen, in a previous ruling, had himself affirmed the independence of the CCT being a creation of the Constitution and one that cannot be challenged by other courts. It is only proper that President Muhammadu Buhari follows the order of the CCT that directed him to suspend Justice Onnoghen to answer charges of false assets declaration against him.

“The offence of failure to properly declare his assets including the secret bank accounts and operating foreign accounts in contravention of the law are now being overshadowed by the unnecessary drama that have been whipped up by his supporters.

The duplicity of using the elections as blackmail has not obliterated the fact that Justice Onnoghen violated the law and this in spite of his untenable defence of mistake and forgetfulness.

“The composition of those speaking in defence of Onnoghen is suspect. Those canvassing for his reinstatement are clearly people that stand to benefit from his continued stay in office.

They include leading opposition figures, the same people that have been accused of bribing him with the money found in his undeclared bank accounts.

His support base include militants and separatist terrorists with members standing trial. Like the opposition politicians, their members could be handed death sentence, they have cases that would be appealed up to the Supreme Court. The nature of those that have spoken in favour of Justice Onnoghen therefore constitute a fresh crisis of interest for him.

“Justice Onnoghen supporters have recruited foreign interests and other countries to undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty in an attempt to block the country’s ability to fight corruption. The opposition and their civil society arm are now creating a precedence where Nigeria must get the approval of the United States, United Kingdom, the European Union and just any other western country before taking any action in furtherance of citizens’ interest.”

Source Vanguard Nigeria

Nigeria: Onnoghen’s Suspension Is Coup Against Democracy

“This is a coup against democracy and the rule of law. Nigeria is under a constitutional democracy that is governed by the rule of law and the action by President Buhari lacks foundation in law.”

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) says the news of the suspension of Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), is “a coup against democracy”.

Onnoghen’s suspension was announced on Friday evening by President Muhammadu Buhari. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed was sworn in as the acting CJN.

A statement by Eric Omare, the IYC President, noted that the move is desperation taken too far.

The statement read: “This is a coup against democracy and the rule of law. Nigeria is under a constitutional democracy that is governed by the rule of law and the action by President Buhari lacks foundation in law. President Buhari lacks the powers to suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria without the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) and it is even unthinkable to suspend Justice Onnoghen in the light of the multiple valid and subsisting orders of the National Industrial Court, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, which bars the Code of Conduct Tribunal from going on with the trial of Justice Onnoghen.

“President Buhari claimed to have acted pursuant to an order of the CCT made on January 23, 2019. However, from the records of proceedings of the CCT, no such order was made. The pending motions are yet to be taken, hence it is surprising for the President to be relying on a non-existing order.

“This is desperation taken too far and the IYC in the strongest terms condemns this display of impunity by President Buhari. This is the height of lawlessness and the greatest threat to democratic rule in Nigeria. The IYC calls on President Buhari to immediately reverse this illegal, despicable and undemocratic decision.

“We also call on Nigerians and all lovers of democracy all over the world to rise up and defend our democracy in Nigeria. Anti-democratic forces who truncated democracy in the past must not be allowed to truncate democracy again.”

Source saharareporters