Ovation Publisher, Dele Momodu has shared his conversation with the Senate President Bukola Saraki about the 2019 election, President Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Tinubu, among others.
Momodu made the revelation on Saturday in an article entitled, “How Saraki plans to defeat Buhari in 2019”.
Momodu said he and Saraki spoke during the Eid El Kabir festival, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
He recalled that the presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed confidence that he would defeat Buhari in 2019 and that he dared the president to a debate.
Momodu wrote: “Saraki’s roadmap to victory is simple. Buhari is going to play the usual ethnic card that only a candidate from North West can win a Presidential election in Nigeria. Saraki feels otherwise. He believes that the pro-restructuring crusaders now have an opportunity to make the Presidency available to other Nigerians. He concedes that it may be difficult for any candidate from North West and North East to compete or beat Buhari hands down, despite the fact that PDP parades more experienced politicians and competent aspirants.
“What is then needed is to keep North Central on lockdown with a popular candidate from that zone. With the support of PDP stalwarts from the other two Northern zones, Buhari’s votes would be whittled down to make up the requisite percentages in terms of spread but no more. He believes that it may be a waste of time and resources trying to compete in the President’s traditional enclave other than to strive to get up to 25%. PDP should instead focus on mobilising the forces from the opposite direction and lockdown four out of the six geo-political zones.
“Saraki says he is well-positioned to make this happen. With one leg in the North and another in the South, especially the South West, the people would have a higher stake in the Presidency and this will galvanise more passionate voters. If the PDP presents just anyone, there may be voter apathy and Buhari would coast home to victory. As to where his deputy will come from, it would have to be from the South-East/South-south axis, since he has already covered the South West, technically. Theoretically, this would ignite enthusiasm in that region. He believes the APC has played into his hands somehow by this calculation.
“According to Saraki, the only reason Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been fighting him is that he wants to take over from Buhari in 2023. “Where does that then leave the Igbo people who have not been able to produce any Vice President or President since Dr Alex Ekwueme in 1979-1983?” In simple Arithmetic “PDP needs a candidate who can block the South West and the South East simultaneously since Buhari will still run with Osinbajo…” This race is getting mathematically interesting and the Saraki option is looking feasible, I thought. However, Saraki said he was only just starting. He said those days are gone when an individual can instruct people to go out and vote as if they have no minds of their own.
“He plans to challenge and tackle Buhari strictly on issues and not pettiness, which he sees to be the current order of the day. He said the world is driven today by knowledge and not by crude force. He said he is better informed on how to resurrect the comatose economy which collapsed because of the over-simplistic and myopic handling of affairs since Buhari took over. “Any student of elementary economics would know that a country can never develop in an atmosphere of obsession for scaremongering, instability, uncertainty, Stone Age policies… Nigeria urgently needs a unifier indeed and not in words… I’m one of the most cosmopolitan leaders around today with every sense of modesty…”
“Saraki is looking forward to a serious debate between him, Buhari and other candidates on every aspect of daily life in Nigeria. “If Buhari likes, he can stay at home and do the debate by Skype or whatever, but moving forward, we must discuss Nigeria publicly…Anyone wanting to lead a country as important as Nigeria in this century must be someone who can ably represent us in the comity of nations and has a grasp of modern ways of life.”
“Saraki says he has matured with time in various offices and his cumulative executive and legislative experiences are almost second to none in the country… ‘You can see this in the way I have conducted the affairs of the Senate, and we are easily the best, but for the occasional and unfortunate distractions from people who see me as a serious threat to their personal ambition. They had to feed the President with lies and destroy our relationship. I did all I could to support the government, but I was constantly harassed and treated like a pariah by those desperate to keep a firm grip on Nigeria…’ But he continues to see the positive side of his travails. ‘Perhaps, I would not have declared an interest in this race, but they kept pushing me away, demonising me for no reason, but, inadvertently, they made me very popular by their action and some of those who never liked me started pitying me as a victim of oppression.”
JUST IN: CCT Grants Suspended CJN, Justice Onnoghen Bail As He Pleads Not Guilty To Charges
The Code of Conduct Tribunal, Friday granted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, bail on self-recognition and, adjourned to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.
This development followed an oral bail application made by the defence counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, after Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the six count-charge preferred against him by the complainant – the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The six count-charge were subsumed that aside allegation that he failed to disclose his assets as prescribed by law, FG, in the charge that was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, equally accused the CJN of operating foreign bank accounts.
It also alleged that contrary to relevant laws regulating the conduct of public office holders, the CJN, maintained a domiciliary foreign currencies account that comprised use of Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account.
However, before the tribunal proceeded with the matter, Uche pleaded that the order or warrant of arrest slammed against his client be vacated.
In his words, “We are here for the arraignment but before the tribunal proceeds, it will be recalled that there are applications pending.
“It was the view by way of the majority decision of this tribunal that the defendant must appear.
“And here is the defendant. But may I plead that the order of the bench warrant be discharged before proceedings “.
In reaction, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar conveyed approval but said it would be on the condition that the CJN makes himself available whenever needed.
Also, after the vacation of the order of warrant of arrest and Onnoghen pleaded not guilty to the aforesaid charges, Uche, again rose to apply for an adjournment over which the prosecuting counsel, Musa Ibrahim did not object.
On this premise, the tribunal chairman acceded to the application and adjourned the case to March 11, for hearing of all pending applications.
Nnamdi Kanu Calls Off Election Boycott, Asks Igbo To Vote En Masse On Saturday
Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has called off the election boycott in the south-east region of the country.
In an audio message made by the IPOB leader, Kanu also asked the Igbo to come out in their numbers and vote during Saturday’s presidential election.
Kanu had been calling on the Igbo to boycott any election held in Nigeria until the government agrees to a referendum regarding IPOB’s quest for a sovereign state of Biafra.
On Wednesday, just two days ago, he told BBC Igbo that IPOB will ‘shut down’ the south-east and ensure voting does not take place in the area.
In the broadcast obtained Thursday night, Kanu said unnamed individuals have met the demands given by the group before any election could be held in the south-east.
He said: “Earlier today, February 14, 2019, I received confirmation from our team that all of our pre-conditions played before those kicking off to call off the elections have been met. And in view of that, I hereby lift the boycott of elections.
“IPOB was very steadfast, we have fought a very good battle; we have made it very clear to all and sundry that we are very determined and this is victory for IPOB and for the emancipation of Biafra.”
Kanu expressed hope that those who agreed to the group’s demands will implement them.
He asked the Igbo to spread the “good news” but added the group’s resolve remains the same: a sovereign state of Biafra.
“We said it from the beginning, nobody should expect us to participate in any form of elections unless our demands are met. And I am glad to tell you that they have acceded to our demands and it will be fully implemented,” he said.
“I therefore ask each and everyone of you to take this good news to all our towns and villages that the boycott has been lifted. And we will all go about on the 16th of February to discharge whatever duties we have or whatever beliefs … for groups and individuals.
“Never again will they take IPOB for granted, and never again will people underrate our resolve. We have showed it to them and we shall continue to demonstrate it until Biafra republic is restored. I thank you very much and may God be with you.”
It is not clear who the IPOB leader is rooting for in Saturday’s presidential election.
But it is obvious neither of the two front line candidates – President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – has his support.
While he claims Buhari is “dead” and being replaced by a “clone” in Aso Rock, he says Abubakar is a Cameroonian by birth and does not have the constitutional right to run for president.
Hot Iron Inserted Into Private Part Of LG Boss, Governor Demands Arrest Of Perpetrators
The Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Awosola Awotunde, has been directed to fish out those who allegedly inserted hot iron inside the private part of the Vice Chairman of Ikwo Local Government Area of the state.
Governor David Umahi gave the directive on Thursday, when the new police boss paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Abakiliki.
Umahi, who expressed bitterness over the incident, described it as “barbaric”.
He said: “The hoodlums inserted a hot iron inside the private part of the vice chairman, while they cut the tendons of some men in the area.
“I have demanded for the immediate arrest of the perpetrators and would never allow the matter to go untreated.
“I will follow the matter up to any level, even reporting it to President Muhammadu Buhari because the victims were actually kidnapped.”
The governor said he always insisted on fairness and justice to all and had never abused his office to order that anyone be punished unjustly.
Umahi said: “I have always maintained that whether it is the Peoples Democratic Party or All Progressive Congress, among others, the life of every human being is important to us.
“I hate to see blood and your officers can attest that I have never supported evil.”
Umahi said he had always propagated the philosophy “that all perpetrators of evil must be arrested and prosecuted, even if they are my brothers or sisters.”
He pledged to cooperate with the new CP but insisted that his work would only be made tedious “if a man is made a woman.”
He said: “Where there is fairness, there is no crisis as someone without a gun can neutralise another with a gun by insisting on his right, which should not be marched upon.
“The main opposition party in the state boasts it would write the election result and use the federal might on us but I declare that we pay the federal might.
“Everybody owns the federal might and the present Inspector-General of Police and the Director-General of the Department of State Services do not break the law.
“We have actually prepared for this election with anti-terrorism trainings to guard against intimidation of the common man in the state.”
Governor Umahi further said he would on Friday expose a tape where a candidate of the main opposition party in the state revealed how they intended to foment trouble during the elections.
He said: “I also learnt they are bringing in thugs who are camped in Enugu but fortunately, I am paying one of them.
“I am trailing them and when they arrive in the state, we will round them up with the assistance of security agencies.
“Any of them that we apprehend on our own would be kept in the state until after the elections.”
Earlier, Awotunde thanked the governor for the reception and assured the people that the police would be nonpartisan during the elections.
He said: “The whole world is focusing on Nigeria and we are assuring all the political parties of a level playing ground during the elations.
“We would ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the elections, while also ensuring that no soul is lost during the exercise.
“We also pledge our loyalty to your government and would do our jobs as professionals.”
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