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President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the claims that he is indifferent to the killings being perpetrated by armed herdsmen in parts of the country because he is Fulani is handiwork of evil-minded people.

He wondered how anyone in their right minds would suggest that he will do any harm to the affected area which was where he got substantial votes that brought him to power.

Buhari said this while receiving members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from the 19 northern states and Abuja at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The President said it was unfair for anybody to accuse his government of not doing anything to stop the killings.

He said, “When some (people), for clearly political purposes, attempt to suggest that this government is doing nothing about the killings, and that I, being Fulani, must be encouraging these satanic acts, it seems to me that there is no limit to the evil in the minds of men.

“Otherwise, how can anyone in their right minds suggest that I, as an elected President even with substantial votes in the affected areas, will for any reason do harm by an act of omission to those same people?

“Secondly, the problems in all these areas, as you all know, are historical. There is no administration that has not had to contend with killings in these same areas over the years.

“Indeed, in 2001, you may recall that after thousands were killed in Plateau State, a state of emergency was declared and a governor was replaced by an administrator. To suggest that our administration is doing nothing is terribly unfair.

“We must not forget that the same Plateau State which has been crisis-ridden for years has in the past three years been celebrated for its peacefulness. The governor’s hard work for peace and the presence of the military’s Operation Safe Haven must have had some impact.”

According to the President, the government had deployed extra special forces from the Defence Headquarters.

He also said that no fewer than three special military intervention forces were currently in the troubled zones.

These forces, he said, were supported with investigative and intelligence gathering capabilities from the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and other agencies.

Buhari said the military and the police had arrested hundreds of suspects across the various flashpoints in the region and several prosecutions were ongoing.

He added, “The recent killings in Benue, Zamfara and lately Plateau are wicked, condemnable and completely unacceptable acts. We, Nigerians, are religious people and no religion or culture accepts the killing of people for any reason whatsoever.

POLITICS

Buruji Kashamu Enters Ogun PDP Guber Race

Peter Okunoren

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The senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the national assembly, Buruji Kashamu, has replaced Adeleke Shittu as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of next year’s elections in the state.

It was learnt that Shittu whose name was pasted alongside other governorship candidates of 38 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), “voluntarily withdrew” from the race for Kashamu.

Shittu had emerged the governorship candidate of PDP from the primary conducted by Bayo Dayo-faction in the State.

The other faction of PDP headed by Sikirullahi Ogundele had equally presented Hon Oladipopu Adebutu as the party’s governorship candidate, but the electoral umpire accepted the list submitted by Dayo faction.

In accepting candidates list submitted by Kashamu-backed faction, the INEC cited subsisting court judgments which recognized Dayo-led faction.

Kashamu’s Media Aide, Austin Oniyokor on Sunday, confirmed that his boss had replaced Shittu as governorship candidate.

Oniyokor in a telephone interview said the leaders and elders of the party “prevailed” on Kashamu to throw his hat in the ring in the coming election.

He said: “The party’s stakeholders, leaders, and elders met and decided that it would be better for Senator Buruji Kashamu to run if the PDP wants to win.

“Shittu who was at the stakeholders meeting saw the reason to quit the race for Kashamu.

“I can confirm to you that Shittu had last week Friday intimated the INEC of his voluntary withdrawal from the race.”

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POLITICS

APC Wins Kwara Bye-Election

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Raheem Olawuyi, was on Saturday declared the winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency bye-election held across the four councils in Kwara State.

The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, while declaring the result at the Irepodun Local Government Secretariat in Omu-Aran, said Olawuyi polled 21,236 to emerge the winner.

He defeated his closest rival, Saheed Damilare of the Peoples Democratic Party, who polled 18,095.

Abimbola, who is of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, said Olawuyi having scored the highest number of votes in the election was declared the winner.

Other contestants in the election were Femi Ona-Ara of Labour Party, Ajadi Olayemi of Peoples Party of Nigeria as well as Olaniyan Ayorinde of Unity Party of Nigeria.

Abimbola gave the total number of total registered voters as collated as 168,707; accredited voters as 41,185; total valid votes as 39,599; total number of rejected votes as 1,331; and the total number of votes cast as 40,930.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some cancellations arising from snatching of ballot boxes and over voting were reportedly experienced in three polling units in Irepodun Local Government Area.

The affected units as listed by the Presiding Officer in charge of the council included Registration Area 02 of Esie-Ijan Ward, where two ballot boxes were reportedly snatched and 955 number of registered voters lost.

Other areas were Oro Ward 1 RA 02, Polling Unit 01, where a case of ballot snatching was recorded and a total of 297 registered voters were affected and over voting in Oro Ward 2 RA 10 Polling Unit 01 with 474 registered votes lost.

Election cancellation was also recorded in Ile Apaasin RA 04 Polling Unit in Isin Local Government where only 59 voters were accredited but turned in 377 votes.

Some Independent National Electoral Officers were confirmed to have been attacked and had wounds in the process.

NAN reports that the declaration of the results was witnessed by notable officials that included the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Bolaji Fafowora; the Resident Electoral Commissioner from Kwara State, Malam Garuba Madami; as well as his Imo and Lagos States counterparts, Emeka Nzeonu and Sam Olumeko respectively.

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POLITICS

Return Our Stolen Mandates, Declare Akinlade As APC Guber Candidate — Amosun’s Loyalists Gives Condition For Peace

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A Presidential Reconciliatory Committee, Saturday, held a closed-door meeting with the aggrieved candidates of the All Progressives Congress loyal to the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, in Abeokuta.

The three-man committee, headed by a Zonal Coordinator of the committee, Sandra Oladele met with all the 26 candidates who were declared winners of the October 7 legislative Primary by the National Working Committee but had their names replaced.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, the state Chairman of the Party, Chief Derin Adebiyi, said the only solution to the crisis is for the National Working Committee to return their alleged stolen mandates.

Adebiyi, who was represented by Ogun Central Chairman of the party, Chief Yomi Ademefun, read the group’s long list of demands for peace.

He said the NWC must “Declare the primary election that produced Hon. Abdulkadir Adekunle Akinlade that took place across Ogun State on October 2 as the authentic APC governorship candidate.

“Declare the result of the State Assembly election that took place in Ogun State, October 7th, that produced the 26 State house of Assembly candidates as authentic APC candidates.

“Submit the names of Hon. Abdulkadir Adekunle who won the 2nd October governorship primary to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“Submit the names of 26 Ogun State House of Assembly candidates that won the October 7 primary election as announced by the National Working Committee

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