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How Saraki Plans To Defeat Buhari In 2019 ;What He Told Me About Tinubu — Dele Momodu

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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.”

BIG STORY

Communal Clash: Sanwo-Olu Reads Riot Act To Miscreants In Lagos, Promises To Compensate Victims Of Faagba Ethnic Violence

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has read a riot act to miscreants and hoodlums in Lagos, urging them to be law-abiding and peaceful or face the full wrath of the law.

Speaking during a visit to Faagba in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State to assess the level of destruction of properties caused by last week’s ethnic clash between Yoruba and Hausa community in the area, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be hard and very decisive on miscreants if they refuse to turn a new leaf.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was accompanied by his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folasade Jaji, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab and Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, assured residents of Faagba who were affected by the ethnic clashes that Lagos State Government would assist to alleviate their pains.

He said: “The level of destruction that I have seen here is colossal; it is unfortunate. Enumeration would start immediately by the two local governments. The council chairmen and all the community leaders will come together and come up with a list of those whose properties have been destroyed.

“The security operatives are here; they can hear everything. We are using this opportunity to give notices to all the miscreants in the neighbourhood and that is why I am looking at you.

“If you know that you are not doing any work and that you are one of the people that have caused this trouble, we are giving you the final notice because we are coming to clear this whole place.”

Stressing the need for miscreants to vacate Faagba, Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “We are coming to clear this whole place and we will make sure that you do not disturb or harass the peace-loving people that we have in this neighborhood. We have a Hausa community, Igbo community, and Yoruba community and they are living well.

“You need to look for what to do; we will not allow you to come and tarnish the image and the peace that we have in Fagba and in Lagos State as a whole.

“We will make sure that we also come and see what we can do to help the youth. And once we do that, we are giving you an opportunity to remain law-abiding and be peaceful. If not, we will be hard and be very decisive on all of you.”

Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by the violence, which led to the destruction of properties worth billions of naira in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area and Ojokoro Local Council Development Area, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government will not leave the people to bear their pains alone.

He said: “Please let peace reign among us here. That is why I have to come here myself today and I have seen the destruction and it is a big shame on all of us. I want to appeal, please let peace reign. Let us live like brothers and sisters in Lagos.

“We will do the compensation as soon as we get the breakdown of the enumeration. We might not be able to give you all the full benefits but we will ensure that we do not leave you alone.

“Please let’s be sincere about it. If you don’t have more than two shops in this place, don’t say you have eight. If you don’t have more than two rooms, don’t say you have nine rooms. That is the only way the government can assist well and we can help.

“I have come here to see things myself and I can assure you that we will not leave you alone. I can assure you that we will not leave you to bear the pains alone. The government will come and we will try and help out.”

Speaking earlier, the chairmen of Ifako-Ijaiye LGA, Hon. Oloruntoba Oke and his Ojokoro counterpart, Hon. Hammed Tijani, as well as leaders of the Yoruba and Hausa communities, appealed to Governor Sanwo-Olu to assist them in ensuring that the Faagba area is rid off of miscreants, who according to them are the architects of several violence and disturbances in the area.

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BIG STORY

SARS Tortured Me For 47 Days, Extracted My Teeth, Sold My Properties —- Victim Tells Lagos Panel

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The Panel of Inquiry and Restitution set up by the Lagos State Government to look into cases of human rights abuse by men of the recently-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) opened the hearing on Tuesday with four cases.

First was the case of one Mr Okoliagu Abunike, a father of five, who narrated to the retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel how he was in 2012 arrested by policemen from Ojo Police Station at the instance of his boss, who accused him of embezzling the company’s funds.

According to him, the cops at the Ojo Police Station, after beating and humiliating him by tearing his clothes and parading him around Alaba Market, handed him over to SARS men, who detained him at Ikeja for 47 days.

He said men of SARS, including one Inspector Sunday, alias Baba Ijapa; and one ASP Haruna, tortured him so much so that two of his teeth were extracted.

Abunike said, “My family didn’t know where I was. When they eventually knew and my mother and wife came to the SARS office in Ikeja, they beat up my mother and wife in my presence.

“While I was in detention, they took over my house, they sold all my properties, including my Acura jeep, 17KVA generator, my inverter, my three blackberry phones, and my land.”

He said after spending 47 days in SARS cell, he was hurriedly charged before a magistrates’ court after a lawyer hired by his family wrote a petition.

Abunike said on getting out of detention he filed a fundamental rights suit and Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos in 2016 awarded N10m damages in his favour against the police and his former boss.

Abunike, however, said four years after the judgment, all efforts to enforce it and claim the money had proved abortive.

Asked whether the magistrate court found him guilty of any crime, Abunike answered in the negative.

The panel admitted a copy of Justice Buba’s N10m judgment as an exhibit and said its decision would be made know in seven days.

The second case was that of one Ndukwe Ekekwere, who was brought to the hearing in a wheelchair by his mother.

Though his case could not be heard by the panel on the grounds that the SARS operative, who is the accused in the case was absent, Ekekwere told our correspondent that he became paralyzed and was confined to a wheelchair after he was pushed off a two-storey building in 2008 by men of SARS.

While adjourning the case till November 2, 2020, Justice Okuwobi said although she noted the difficulty in bringing the man in the wheelchair to the hearing venue, it was necessary for the panel to give the accused SARS operative an opportunity for a fair hearing.

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BIG STORY

People Stopped Thugs Loaded In 15 Buses From Burning My House —- Dino Melaye

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The Senator who represented Kogi West in the 8th National Assembly, Dino Melaye, said on Tuesday that his people rallied him to save his house in his home town, Aiyetoro-Gbede, from being burnt by hired thugs.

Melaye, who spoke with Punch correspondent on the telephone, said the thugs were sighted at Obajana junction in 15 buses and armed with weapons.

He, however, said the majority of the people in the town, especially the youth, relocated to his house to prevent the thugs from perpetrating any evil action.

He said, “My people moved into my house the moment they heard of the evil plans of the thugs to safeguard the place.

“The thugs had to turn back when they probably heard that my people were battle-ready for them.”

Melaye had alerted Nigerians that some thugs were on their way to his house in Aiyetoro Gbede to destroy it.

The Senator, who tweeted on his verified Twitter handle, alleged that a top politician sent the thugs to destroy his house.

He had Twitted, “Loaded thugs left Government House, Lokoja, now on their way to my house in Aiyetoro Gbede.

“Their mission is to destroy the house.”

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