Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.
Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo.
In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku. And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself. As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.
I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself. I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.
From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.
Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you.
Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party. That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party. In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.
There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends. You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition. But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared. And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.
I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate – all at the national level. With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.
For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.
You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways. As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President, said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confront-able and shunning nepotism.
As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank them all. May their coast continue to be expanded. And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin. Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.
Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.
Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.
The fundamentals of our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.
All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.
. Being a statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election on October 11, 2018.
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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