Northeast Better Off Under President Buhari, Says Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

The Presidency on Monday said that the Northeastern region of Nigeria has fared better under the Buhari-led administration.

This assertion was contained in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.

In the statement, Shehu argued that so much has changed in the past few years under President Buhari’s leadership.

Shehu said the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the President for a Second Term of four years, is proof that the northeast if better off now than it was under the previous administration.

READ ALSO: Killing Of Briton Does Not Reflect Nigeria’s Character, Atiku Tells UK Government

Below is a full statement by the President’s special aide.

“In an action that broke the old tradition of staying above politics, the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza delivered a homily in which he spoke angrily against President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as “sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief.” This is not a fair comment.

There is so much that has changed in the past three to four years in and around Yola, and the Catholic Church in particular that a true assessment would show that but for the Change Administration of President Buhari, things would have continued the way they were, or even get worse. These could not have happened if a Commander-in- Chief was asleep.

Bishop Mamza was, and is still a strong member of the Adamawa Peace Initiative, API, composed of religious and community leaders which did the lovely work housing and feeding 400,000 displaced people from Northern Adamawa and Borno States in 2015. The API also did the extraordinary work of easing tensions between Muslims and Christians during that period and ensured that both groups did not turn on one another based on suspicion.

As widely reported by the local and international press, in the premises of St. Theresa’s Cathedral where Rev. Mamza ministered, there were more than 1,500 IDPs, mostly women and children on whom the church administered food rations and issued bags of maize, cooking oil and seasoning. We are truly touched and very grateful for the work that the Bishop and the others had done in that difficult period.

Now that Boko Haram has been degraded, the more than 400,000 displaced people absorbed by the Adamawa community have all gone back to Borno State and to those council areas in northern Adamawa.

In addition to the capital,Yola, the towns of Michika, Madagali and Mubi which had been occupied by Boko Haram during their military advances have since been retaken by the Nigerian military, whose personnel are also clearing litters of Boko Haram’s carnage and are, through the support of the administration as well as local and international partners, rebuilding roads and bridges, power lines, burnt schools, markets, destroyed churches and mosques.

Without an iota of doubt, the Northeast is better off with President Buhari than it was under the previous administration. That should explain the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the President for a Second Term of four years.

Sadly, one of the realities of today’s Nigeria is that it easy to blame President Buhari for the violence all around us. Community leaders are too scared to blame the warlords and the sponsors of killings we live with because they fear for their own lives.

What is happening in several communities racked by inter-ethnic and religious violence is arising from the refusal of community leaders to point at known criminals in their midst for the law enforcement agencies to act against them. They rather blame President Buhari for their woes.

It is indeed an irony that in the week that Bishop Mamza was speaking, another Bishop with a known commitment to peace, and results to show for his work in neighbouring Plateau State, is being dispatched to go to Taraba, Adamawa and Benue States to work in collaboration with security agencies in mending broken inter-communal relationships.

This senseless violence can never be condoned by the administration and we sympathize with the families of those who lost loved ones as well as those injured. The administration’s intense security efforts and peace building will not only continue, but will expand in response to such explosions of violence in the country.”

Kajuru Attack: UN Humanitarian Coordinator Expresses Condolences For Death Of Two Aid Workers

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has extended his heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of two aid workers who lost their lives in Friday’s attack on Kajuru Castle, a holiday resort 220 kilometers north of Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

Faye Mooney, a British communications and learning specialist with non-governmental organisation Mercy Corps, and Matthew Oguche, a Nigerian training assistant with the International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO), were killed when gunmen stormed the resort in Kaduna State, spraying gunfire and reportedly kidnapping three other individuals.

READ ALSO: Briton Among Tourists Killed At Kaduna Resort, Police Confirm

“I express my deepest sympathies to the families, colleagues and friends of these brave and dedicated aid workers, who were selflessly committed to humanitarian work in Nigeria. This horrific tragedy has left the entire humanitarian community in mourning,” said Mr. Kallon.

Faye Mooney had been working in Nigeria for nearly two years and was known for her devotion to making a difference and countering hate speech and violence. Matthew Oguche was training not-for-profit partners in personal safety and hostile environment awareness and was passionate about helping others.

Budget Padding: Tinubu’s Statement Was Filled With Untruth, Fallacies And Misrepresentations – Saraki

A file photo of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Senate President Bukola Saraki has described as fallacious, a claim by Bola Ahmed Tinubu suggesting that he and the leadership of the National Assembly, hijacked the 2018 budget and by extension stifled progress in Nigeria within the last four years. 

The Senate President in a riposte on Sunday, argued that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should know more about the inner working of the Nation Assembly in that he has been a legislator himself.

Tinubu had on Sunday, accused him and the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, of highjacking the 2018 national budget process.

In his statement titled, ‘Tinubu Focusing on the Issues of Today: ‘Tomorrow is the Master of Itself’, the APC CHIEFTAIN said “National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person.

“After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly”.

In reaction to Tinubu’s claim, the Senate President wrote, “Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts”.

Below is the full statement by Saraki in which he enunciated the working of the National Assembly, giving Tinubu a detailed break down on the budget issue.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

“Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts

Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate. In the statement, one could see the master of media spins getting ensnared in his own game as he struggled to extricate himself from the narratives about the contest for leadership positions in the Ninth National Assembly.

2. Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership.

3. First, he alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should have a better understanding of how the legislature works. The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done in the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.

4. It is also a known fact that any so-called delay in the passage of budgets under the Eighth National Assembly is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time. Last year, the President himself had to direct the Secretary to Federal Government to compel heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly committees following the report made to him by Dr. Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is. “jockeying and manoeuvring for influence”, as he puts it.

5. To further make the points here clear, we invite. Tinubu to look at the records of the time of submission of budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that with the exception of the 2013 budget which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets have been passed between March and May of the same fiscal year. This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriations Bill is submitted to parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors in when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.

6. In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as. he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he should withdraw it.

7. However, there is need to let him know that it is the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to review the proposals sent by the executive and where it deems necessary, it is within the power of the legislature to make changes. A good example, is the decision by the National Assembly to include in the 2018 budget the one percent of the total budget, amounting to N33 billion, as allocation for Universal Health Coverage as provided by an extant law, which had been hitherto observed in the breach. Is this what Tinubu considers as budget padding? And this was a decision which was praised across the world as a real benefit to ordinary people across the country.

8. Tinubu also claimed that the Senate leadership “stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation”. We wonder what these “legislative initiatives” are because in the four years of the Buhari administration, it has only forwarded 11 bills to the Senate, apart form the routine annual appropriations and supplementary budget proposals. Two of these bills, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the National Minimum Wage Bill, have been passed. One of the bills, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act (amendment) Bill was withdrawn by the executive following the disagreement between the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also, another one, the National Water Resources Bill was rejected because it infringed on the rights of states to develop their water resources. The remaining seven which are the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Establishment Bill, Federal Institute of Industrial Research for the Development of Micro, Small and Large Industries Bills, the Suppression of Piracy Bill, Communications Service Tax Bill, 2015; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Bill, 2017; Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2018; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Establishment etc) Bill, 2018 — are at various stages of passage.

9. As a leader of the Eighth National Assembly, Dr. Saraki is proud that under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous Senates in the number of bills passed, the significance of these bills to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery. to the generality of the people. The bills passed, motions moved, interventions made and frequent engagement with the people were all directed towards addressing the day to day issues that affect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. This Senate has passed 282 bills (the highest any Senate had passed is 129 bills recorded by the 5th Senate), among which is the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Public Procurement Act (amendment) Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, Police Reform Bill, Police Trust Fund Bill, Nigeria Railways Authority Bill, Company and Allied Matters Act (amendment) Bill, Secured Credit Transactions Act, Whistleblowers Protection Bill, constitution amendment bills, Discrimination Against Persons With Disability Bill, Electronic Transaction Bill, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act, Witness Protection Programme Bill, Credit Bureau Reporting Bill, Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill and Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, National Financial Intelligence Agency Act, Federal Audit Services Commission Bill, among others. It will be good to know which of these Bills Tinubu believes is “self interested” and not in the interest of Nigerians.

10. We will like to point the attention of Mr. Tinubu to the fact that most of the bills listed above got international and national endorsement from stakeholders who lauded the Senate for the move. For example, the Financial Intelligence Database Agency (Ultrascan) commended the Senate for passing the NFIU Act which enabled the country to be re-admitted into the Egmont Group. Also, the Nigerian Police leadership have praised the Senate for passing the Police Reforms Bill and the Police Trust Fund Bill. Again, when the National Assembly in the 2018 budget gave effect to the law allowing one percent of the budget to be devoted to Primary Health Care Delivery, it got kudos from Bill Gates, Bono, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO, and various national groups who believe the move would bring health care delivery to the poor people across the country. The passage of the UBEC Act (amendment) Bill was praised by Pakistani child education campaigner and youngest Nobel Laureate, Yousafzai Malala. When the PIGB was passed, APC led by Tinubu, National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), among others, hailed the Senate for a good job. Even, the World Bank commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Company and Allied Matters Act and Secured Transactions in Movable Assets and Credit Bureau Reporting Act. Of course, all these initiatives will be ignored by a man who is still sulking because his vow in 2015 that Saraki and Dogara will never lead the National Assembly did not materialize.

11. Tinubu and his mob have been sponsoring the narratives in the media that the emergence of the present leadership of the National Assembly was a mistake. We hereby submit that Dr. Saraki and other leaders of the National Assembly were democratically elected by their colleagues. And it is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months, despite all the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives’. In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, it was the miscalculation by himself and his small cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect. When they failed after their grand-standing that they could always get whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature by waging a campaign of calumny against the law making body. It is now clear that those who took Senators away from the chambers contrary to the directive contained in the proclamation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9, 2015 are ‘mistake personified’. It is obvious that if they repeat that arrogance during the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, they will fail again because Nigeria is greater than them. The institution of the legislature is bigger than the over-bloated egos of these power mongers and dirty schemers.

12. Let us repeat again that we know that a Machiavellian politician like Tinubu will forever agonize over his erroneous belief that Dr. Saraki frustrated his ambition from becoming running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari through a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. In his usual cavalier manner, he will stop at nothing to punish Saraki for that. We know that this attack is not about the interest of the nation or that of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is about his 2023 ambition and it is obvious in the statement as he struggled to explain this away.

13. However, Tinubu should leave Dr. Saraki out of his schemes and manipulations towards 2023. It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process for the emergence of the leadership of the Ninth Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts. Our only advice for him is that if he is interested in the stability of the National Assembly, he should allow the members to elect their leadership in consultations with the party leadership. He should stop treating the legislators like hapless pupils receiving orders from a cane-wielding headmaster. A situation where he, Tinubu, is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only a leadership that truly enjoys the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives. It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realized that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his steps and in his usual devious manner, he is looking for scapegoats. We advise him to leave Dr. Saraki out of his manipulations and “jockeying and maneuvering for influence and power”, as he termed it.

14. The Eighth Senate has done very well and will leave a good legacy. Despite all the underhanded tactics to undermine the legislature by outsiders and the public posturing, members have always worked as a team on critical issues that benefit our nation. That is why hitherto unachievable legislations like the PIGB, Police Reform Act and other bills or amendments to existing laws were passed with ease because the members and the leadership know that they are elected as Senators of the Federal Republic not as party representives.

15. Tinubu should know that while we await his attack for the next quarter, we can only advise him to stay on facts.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity to Senate President)”

Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, speaks at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquim in Abuja on March 28, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has accused the leadership of the 8th National Assembly of hijacking the national budget in the last fours and by extension, constitute a brake on progress and good governance.

In a statement from his media office on Sunday, the former governor while noting that the National Assembly’s positions are important to the fulfillment of the President’s agenda, lamented that a painful lesson was learned in this respect in the last four years.

Tinubu said, “With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. “The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.”

Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, hijacked the budget process these past four years.

“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly,” he added.

He pointed out that in 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. “He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.

“Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty”.

He said: “Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence to get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.

“In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the president’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it”.

READ ALSO: NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu

The full statement titled “TINUBU FOCUSING ON THE ISSUES OF TODAY: TOMORROW IS THE MASTER OF ITSELF,” is as follows:

“We have monitored, with rising incredulity, the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulating the APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to position himself for a presidential run during the 2023 election cycle. Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled, they are injurious to President Buhari’s historic quest to reform Nigeria. It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise we would have continued to watch on in silent amusement.

“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhari and the APC’s resounding victory in the last election. The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda and what it promises in terms of economic and social growth & development, these people want to skip ahead to the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.

“However, the Nigerian people do not elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people elect those who they believe will be the best public servants, committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they reelected in President Buhari while rejecting the horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.

“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023 appears before we even reach the midway point of 2019. If these people would only enlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead of in the service of political intrigue and gossip mongering our country would be much the better.

“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts the plain truth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has he tried to insinuate himself into any major government office.

“If you were asked to name another political figure who has exercised such forbearance, you would be hard pressed to identify another person with a comparable record when it comes to restraint in seeking office. Where others, upon leaving one office, tend to set their eyes immediately upon another, Asiwaju, uniquely in Nigerian politics, has foregone his personal ambitions as his political ideas and policies have flourished in the hands of his allies and mentees.

“This track record does not evince a man obsessed with power and office. While the intrigue-mongers seek to depict Asiwaju as a man hungering for position, his deeds speak of something else. These peddlers of tales do not know the measure of the man nor can they understand what motivates him. Thus, they project their own petty ambitions and designs on to him. The rumors reveal more about the mongers than they say about Asiwaju. They merely reveal what these people would do if they were Asiwaju. But they are not him and thankfully he is not motivated by the same selfish designs that fuel such people. Perhaps because these people have nothing to contribute regarding statecraft or providing actual solutions to actual problems, their minds remain forever mired in political machinations.

“What afflicts them does not affect Asiwaju. Since he last held public office, Asiwaju has, with unprecedented success, dedicated himself toward building a political party that would furnish a progressive alternative to the regressive policies of the PDP. Joining forces with President Buhari and others who shared his progressive ideology, he helped form the APC. Since the inception of the APC, Asiwaju’s focus has been to assist President Buhari develop, refine and implement a progressive agenda that would give every Nigerian a fair chance to prosper and provide for his loved ones.

“As he enters his second term, President Buhari has stated that he will give the economy special priority. His goal is to defeat poverty and joblessness while spurring the type of growth and development that will make Nigeria’s a durable and flourishing economy. These goals are laudable and necessary to move Nigeria forward. However, the obstacles before us are vast and complex.

“Asiwaju’s mind, heart and efforts are focused on supporting the President in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people. He is committed to doing what he can to help President Buhari surmount the challenges in order to achieve the economic reform the nation sorely needs. Given that the imperatives of today are sufficiently daunting in and of themselves, Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naïve, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.

“It is against this backdrop that Asiwaju’s support of the party position regarding the National Assembly leadership must be interpreted. There is no surprise in him supporting the party and the president’s position regarding the National Assembly positions. Nor is it wrong that he do so. As a loyal party member and progressive leader, he would have committed a terrible wrong by navigating against the president and party in these matters.

“That Asiwaju has actively and publicly supported the party and president should not result in such public backbiting. We all know how important these positions are to the fulfillment of the president’s agenda. One need only look to the last four years to see how painfully this lesson has been learned. With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk highjacked the budget process these past four years.National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them. Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.

“If we are truly committed to optimal governance, then we also must be equally committed to ensuring that the National Assembly leadership be competent and experienced as well as imbued with a progressive mindset and a desire to work in close cooperation with executive. This is all Asiwaju has hoped to achieve. There are no ulterior motives. Everything he has done is in concert with and in furtherance of the wishes of President Buhari and the party.

“Thus, those who cast aspersions at Asiwaju, in reality are bucking against the stated position of the President. This is a democracy and people have the right to oppose whomever they wish to oppose. However, if these mongers oppose the president let them be of sufficient courage to plainly say so. They should not disparage Asiwaju as an indirect way to contend against the President.

“What everyone who cares about Nigeria should now do is rally around the president to give him all possible support in driving to reality his economic policies and objectives. This is how we progress as a nation.

“In the end, the rumor-mongers should court greater discipline and wisdom. As Asiwaju recently said there is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four years from now.Moreover, that having allies in the national assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions is a spurious claim.

“In 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position. Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.

“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influenceto get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians. In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it.

“Elections are over. Now is the time for governance to take primacy. Those who have taken to intrigue about 2023 reveal themselves to be lacking in essential concern for the people and the substantive issues that confront us. Our challenges are steep and multiple. Resolving them will occupy all of our time and energy. We do not have the luxury to embark on fantasies about the future. Let the future stay where it is for now. In due time, it shall come and shall decide the shape it is to take regardless of the plans we mortals hold for it.

“As for Asiwaju, he lives in the here and now. His words and deeds are geared toward perfecting progressive governance and resolving the substantive issues of today. Nothing more, nothing less. Those so enamored with gossiping about him, would do themselves and the nation well if they would follow his more productive example”.

Tinubu Media Office,

Tunde Rahman,

April 21, 2019.

Ends.

I Am A Nigerian, Atiku Replies APC

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has rebuked the All Progressives Congress, APC, describing the allegation that he is a Cameroonian as puerile, face saving, vexatious, absolutely and completely unfounded.

Atiku, in his response to preliminary objection the APC filed to challenge his petition against the declaration of President President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23 presidential election, maintained that he is a full blooded Nigerian.

He urged the Presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja to ignore what he termed as “extraneous facts, contradictory, diversionary, evasive, speculative and vague assertions”, by both the APC and President Buhari.

Atiku told the tribunal that contrary to APC’s allegation that he is an alien, he said he is a Nigerian by birth and a Fulani by tribe.

He told the tribunal that he has been a Nigerian politician for about 30 years, adding that in 1992, he contested in the Presidential Primaries under the platform of then Social Democratic Party (SDP) alongside the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.

READ ALSO: Killing Of Briton Does Not Reflect Nigeria’s Character, Atiku Tells UK Government

He said: ” Contrary to the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply, the Petitioners state that the ” ” ” 1st Petitioner is a citizen of Nigeria by Birth and thus qualified to vote and be voted for and returned in the election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of

“In further response to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply, Atiku and his party state as follows:

.”The 1st Petitioner was born on 25th November, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian Parents and he is therefore a citizen of Nigeria by Birth.

“The 1st Petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir was a Nigerian by Birth who hailed from Wumo in present day Sokoto State while the mother, Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.

“The parents of the 1st Petitioner are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.

“The birth of the 1st Petitioner in Jada, in present day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku who was an itinerant trader, from Wu.mo in present day Sokoto State to Jada in the company of his friend, Ardo Usman.

“That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st Petitioner gave birth to Garba who in turn gave birth to the 1st Petitioner and named him after his own father Atiku.

“The 1st Petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande was the grand-daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.

“That all averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons, League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st Petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st Petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic ofNigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st Petitioner.

“In response to paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply, the Petitioners aver that the votes of the 1st Petitioner in the Election of 23rd February, 2019

to the office of the President are not wasted votes, and the 1st Petitioner being a qualified candidate in the said Election indeed secured majority of lawful votes over and above the votes of the 2nd Respondent.

“In further reaction to Paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent Reply, the Petitioners hereby plead and contend that at all times material the he Atiku has been a Nigerian by birth and has participated in the following career and political activities and has also received the following awards and honours:

“That he was a civil servant in the Nigerian Customs Service for over 20 years and retired as a Deputy Director.

“That he has been a Nigerian politician for about 30 years and in 1992 he contested in the Presidential Primaries under the platform of then Social Democratic Party (SDP) alongside the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.

” That he contested for and won the 1999 Gubernatorial election in Adamawa State under the platform of the 2nd Petitioner.

” That Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and himself contested for and won the 1999 and 2003 Presidential Elections, respectively as President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the 2nd Petitioner.

” The 1st Petitioner is the recipient of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

“The 1st Petitioner was the traditional title holder of Turakin Adamawa from 1982 to 2017 when he was elevated to Wazirin Adamawa amongs other avarment to support his claims.

Video: Apostle Johnson Suleman buys Private Jet

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has acquired a private jet to enhance his ministry.

It was gathered the private jet was acquired recently.

This was disclosed by the Omega Fire Ministries International, Dubai branch on its Facebook page.

The church, after posting several pictures of the jet on Facebook, congratulated Suleman for the new jet, which it said was for the propagation of the gospel of Christ to all nations.

It said: “Join us as we congratulate our Father, the Restoration Apostle, God’s General, God’s own Oracle, A dispensation of our time, The Lion Of Africa, Apostle Johnson Suleman on his brand new private jet for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ to Nations of the World with his undiluted word of power, signs, wonders, deliverance, healing & restoration and the Prophetic.

“He has paid his dues. As you rejoice with him, whatever you are believing God for shall manifest in a hurry! Daddy Sir, you belong to the air, keep soaring.”

Watch video here:

Source: PM News