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Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has resigned from the All Progressives Congress.

Abubakar confirmed this in a statement he personally signed on Friday.

He also gave reasons for quitting the party.

However, he did not state which party he intends to join, but said he is pondering on his political future.

The statement, titled: “Statement of resignation of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa) Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 from the All Progressives Congress,” reads in full: “On the 19th of December, 2013, I received members of the All Progressives Congress at my house in Abuja. They had come to appeal to me to join their party after my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, had become factionalized as a result of the special convention of August 31, 2013.

“The fractionalization of the Peoples Democratic Party on August 31, 2013 had left me in a situation where I was, with several other loyal party members, in limbo, not knowing which of the parallel executives of the party was the legitimate leadership.

“It was under this cloud that members of the APC made the appeal to me to join their party, with the promise that the injustices and failure to abide by its own constitution which had dogged the then PDP, would not be replicated in the APC and with the assurance that the vision other founding fathers and I had for the PDP could be actualized through the All Progressives Congress.

“It was on the basis of this invitation and the assurances made to me that I, being party-less at that time, due to the fractionalization of my party, accepted on February 2, 2014, the hand of fellowship given to me by the All Progressives Congress.

“On that day, I said “it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision” to accept the invitation to join the All Progressives Congress.

“Like you, I said that because I believed that we had finally seen the beginnings of the rebirth of the new Nigeria of our dreams which would work for all of us, old and young.

“However, events of the intervening years have shown that like any other human and like many other Nigerians, I was fallible.

“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalization, the All Progressives Congress has adopted those same practices and even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced.

“Only last year, a governor produced by the party wrote a secret memorandum to the president which ended up being leaked. In that memo, he admitted that the All Progressives Congress had ‘not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance’.

“Of the party itself, that same governor said ‘Mr. President, Sir Your relationship with the national leadership of the party, both the formal (NWC) and informal (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), and former Governors of ANPP, PDP (that joined us) and ACN, is perceived by most observers to be at best frosty. Many of them are aggrieved due to what they consider total absence of consultations with them on your part and those you have assigned such duties.’

“Since that memorandum was written up until today, nothing has been done to reverse the treatment meted out to those of us invited to join the All Progressives Congress on the strength of a promise that has proven to be false. If anything, those behaviours have actually worsened.

“But more importantly, the party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people. How can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth.

“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people.

“I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage. Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?

“Be that as it may be, after due consultation with my God, my family, my supporters and the Nigerian people whom I meet in all walks of life, I, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, hereby tender my resignation from the All Progressives Congress while I take time to ponder my future.

“May God bless you and may God bless Nigeria.”

BIG STORY

Ritual Killings: Police Arrest Six Native Doctors Native Doctors As Delta Girls Fortify Selves Against ‘Yahoo Boys

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Following the increasing spate of kidnapping and ritual killings in Delta State, detectives attached to the criminal investigation department ( CID) at the state police command on Thursday arrested six native doctors In Ughelli town and Abraka community through intelligence gathering.

The commissioner of police in the state, Anthony Agbidi, who confirmed the arrest of the suspects to newsmen in Asaba, disclosed that the detectives acted on intelligence gathering, adding that three of the suspects were arrested in Ughelli town, while the three other suspects were nabbed in Abraka community with strange substances including prepared charms in different containers.

CP Agbidi said: “The suspects were arrested on intelligence gathering by officers and men of the state CID and they recovered different prepared charms in containers. The suspects made useful statements to the police and they shall be charged to court upon completion of investigation”.

He however called on members of the public to always provide useful information to the police with a view to arresting criminals in their hideout.

He gave the names of the suspects to include: Bernard Thomas 52, Babalola Akin 48, who claimed to have hailed from Ijebu community, Lucky Omorofu, 47, Maculey Obaro, 52, Aghalokpe Kennedy 49, and Chief Chiedu Agbarho 56 years old, adding that the suspects will remain in the police custody until investigations are completed and they are charged to court.

Meanwhile, the police have confirmed moves by young girls across the state to fortify themselves against being kidnapped for rituals purposes.

CP Agbidi, while exchanging views with newsmen on Thursday in Asaba, disclosed that young girls between the ages of 18 and 20 years have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to fortified them against ritual killings among others.

He said; “the report reaching us has indicated that young girls have allegedly resorted to patronizing native doctors to help fortify them against ritual activities. The police have gone after these fraudsters and Yahoo, Yahoo boys. We will bring all of them to book soon.”

Reports say the ritualists allegedly use female pants, breasts, tongues, hearts, womb including other vital organs to enhance their diabolic activities.

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BIG STORY

LASU Will Get Faculty Of Pharmacy When I Become Governor —— Sanwo-Olu

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To strengthen capacity in pharmaceutical profession in Lagos State, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2019 election, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured members of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria that he will ensure that Lagos State University gets a faculty of Pharmacy, if he elected as the Governor.

Sanwo-Olu made the promise on Thursday during his interactive session with the Lagos State chapter of the PSN.

He said the state university after more than three decades of existence should be a centre of academic excellence for the production of manpower in the field of pharmacy.

He said: “To strengthen the profession and boost manpower in the field of Pharmacy, I am convinced that our state university should have a Faculty of Pharmacy.

“If elected, we will make sure LASU within our four years have Faculty of Pharmacy.

“It is not just right that we have Medical College without Faculty of Pharmacy.

“I am promising you that our government will ensure that everything is done to make Faculty of Pharmacy a reality for the State-owned University.

“As professional body of pharmacists, I will implore you to give us a position paper on what we need to do that will enable us achieve our objective and I can assure that as government, we will do all within our powers to make it a reality.”

The APC candidate told the pharmacists the importance he attaches to their profession and the entire health sector in general.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Your profession is one of the most important fields for human existence.

“No one can joke with the health sector.

“So when I received your invitation, I pledged to attend this event regardless of my schedule because it is about health and we must listen to you.”

The Chairman of Lagos State chapter of the PSN, B. T. O. Adeniran, urged Sanwo-Olu to help pharmacists practicing in the State when he gets to government.

Adeniran described the issue of turnaround time in getting drugs at government hospitals across the State as very cumbersome.

She said: “We need the government to look into the welfare and working condition of pharmacist working in Lagos State.

“We want upward review of salary and allowances.

“On capacity development, we need more training for our members so we can serve the state and the public better as integral part of the health system.”

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BIG STORY

2019: Why We Chose Five Presidential Candidates For Debate —- NEDG

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) has explained how five political parties were selected to participate in the presidential and vice-presidential debates.

NEDG Executive Secretary, Eddie Emesiri, said in a statement on Thursday that the parties for the debate were picked through an independently administered multi-stage process.

The statement was issued in reaction to the criticism triggered by the number of political parties selected by the group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) organizers of the debates.

Emesiri stressed that the decision to select five parties was taken at the beginning of the process to ensure that the debates were managed effectively.

According to him, the stages of the selection process focused on political parties while the organisers considered the importance of diversity in the nation.

The NEDG Executive Secretary insisted that no preference was given to any candidate or party, adding that nobody influenced the organisers to include or exclude any political party from the debates.

The statement read: “Further to our earlier announcement of participating parties for the Presidential Debates, the organising partners of the Debates hereby reiterate the transparency and independence of the selection process that resulted in the five participating political parties.

“Firstly, we would like to state that the Presidential Debates are organised by a partnership of the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), a broad coalition of over 100 public and private broadcasters in Nigeria with coverage of terrestrial radio, television, direct-to-home, digital terrestrial television and multimedia distribution system. The members of BON are responsible for over 250 radio and tv stations across Nigeria.

“The choice of participating parties for the debate was made through an independently administered multi-stage process. The first stage was an independent online poll and the second involved the distribution of survey questionnaires per state, to professionals, artisans, students, etc; respondents were within the voting age and spread across urban, semi-urban and rural classifications. The third stage was to take an aggregate of the stage result and extend invitations to the top 5 parties for the debate.

“Following our disclosure of the participating parties earlier in the week, our attention has been drawn to some reactions in the public space over the decision to limit the participation to five parties and exclusion of some party flag bearers from the debate. Considering the vast number of contending parties, the decision to limit to five parties was taken at the beginning of our process to ensure ease of management for the debates. All the stages of the selection process were focused on political parties, taking into consideration the importance of national spread and diversity. Focus was not on specific individuals or candidates.

“We wish to emphatically state that the NEDG and BON were not influenced or induced by anyone to include or exclude any political party from the debate. We understand the disappointment of some political parties who would have wished to see their candidates share their visions for the country at the Debates. However, Nigerians have spoken through the multi-stage process and we urge all Nigerians to respect their choice as we abide by the outcome of the independent party selection process.”

NEDG and BON had named only five political parties to participate in 2019 vice presidential and presidential debates.

The parties listed were Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP).

This meant that the presidential aspirants expected at the debate are President Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, Oby Ezekwesili, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu.

However, Presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Oby Ezekwesili, has sought for five more influential presidential candidates.

The five candidates include: Donald Duke of the Social Democratic Party, SDP; Omoyele Sowore, of the African Action Congress, AAC; Byron Fagbemj of KOWA Party; and John Gbor of the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA.

The Vice-Presidential Debate and the Presidential Debate are scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018, and Saturday, January 19, 2019, respectively.

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