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Buhari To Atiku: You Are A Thief Shouting Thief On Another

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President Muhammadu Buhari has described the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2019 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as a thief calling another thief.

Buhari, who spoke through his campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, on Sunday, said Abubakar has a history of corruption.

The statement by Keyamo reads in full:

A few days ago, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, called out President Muhammadu Buhari over certain allegations of “corrupt practices” which the President allegedly condones in his government. Whilst we have repeatedly addressed each and every of the instances cited by him to show the transparent nature of the government, it is shocking that the Presidential candidate of the main opposition has refused to issue a personal statement up till this minute clarifying in details his record of crass corruption and abuse of office. He is clearly taking Nigerians for a ride and hopes to distort the ethical revolution in public office that Nigerians clearly desire to his own philosophy of abusing public office to promote private interests. By his subliminal messages, he wants Nigerians to accept that becoming wealthy by abusing public office is not a bad thing after all.

With the avalanche of fake and unsubstantiated news released in the last few days, it is now clear that PDP’s strategy in the run up to the elections is to spread fake news and make wild allegations without any proof against the President and the Vice President.

This is clearly to divert attention from the record of crass corruption and abuse of office of their own candidate. Nigerians cannot and should not be insulted by the PDP after 16 years of looting of the nation, by now putting forward a man whose record of corruption they very much acknowledge, but would rather we all overlook it.

Some of the indisputable facts regarding Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are as follows:

  • The U.S Congress in a report titled, KEEPING FOREIGN CORRUPTION OUT OF THE UNITED STATES: FOUR CASE HISTORIES, featured Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as one of the four notorious cases of money laundering in the world!
  • The Congress report said “Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, a U.S. citizen, is the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria and a former candidate for the Presidency of Nigeria…… from 2000 to 2008, Ms. Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd”.
  • Atiku’s co-conspirators, Williams Jefferson and Siemens in the bribery deal were convicted and Jefferson went to jail. By running for President of Nigeria, Atiku intends to get some immunity from prosecution. Already he is hoping to obtain a visa to visit the US, as a guest of the State department, a concession that the US will grant to a Presidential candidate of Africa’s biggest Nation.
  • Both the BBC and Voice of America reported that “In a probe ordered by Mr. Obasanjo, (then Nigerian President) the vice-president was accused of diverting $125m from a public development trust fund into his personal businesses.”; Please see 1016 BBC, Profile: Atiku Abubakar, January 25, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/ 6292141.stm (Voice of America, “Nigerian Vice President Charged with Corruption,” October 10, 2006, http:// www1.voanews.com/english/news/a-).
  •    A Senate subcommittee investigating the PTDF indicted Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, having found that he abused his office by aiding and abetting the diversion of public funds in the sum of $145 million” as loans to his friends. This report was a subject of a full-blown investigation by the EFCC which actually recommended his prosecution in a court of law. That report is still pending and alive till today. How do we as a Nation end up with anyone with this sordid record locally and internationally? We have heard the lame defense that the U.S Justice Department said it has no pending case against Atiku Abubakar. That is only defense for the ignorant ones. In the United States, there are indictments the Justice Department can confirm to the world. But there is another category of indictments known as SEALED INDICTMENTS that the Justice Department cannot confirm to anyone. These indictments are sealed under the orders of a Judge. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has a sealed indictment waiting for him in the U.S. The day he visits the U.S, not as a candidate in an election, he will face charges. There is no question that the reasons for Atiku’s frequent contests for the Presidency are to steal the resources of Nigeria for self-enrichment and to prevent prosecution for his crimes of laundering and receiving bribes. No amount of fake news or ridiculous false allegations against the President or Vice President that can wash away the well-documented history of theft.We also challenge the PDP to publish a single line in the sub-committee recommendation of the House of Reps on the NEMA Emergency purchases where the report accused the Vice President of embezzlement of funds. They either do this within 24 hours or keep quiet forever. It is even noteworthy that the House of Representatives have not adopted any such recommendation to make it a report of the House.We also challenge them to show any proof whatsoever of their allegations regarding the TraderMoni.After three days of publicly announcing that they have hard proof that the President’s relations bought shares in Etisalat and Keystone Bank, the PDP has not produced a single piece of paper, a document of any sort to buttress the grave allegations it made. This is how shameless and callous the Atiku team has become, all in a desperate bid to get their hands on the public purse. Lastly, we challenge Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the umpteen time to produce his tax receipts for 2015, 2016 and 2017. It is shocking that a man who has not been paying his Personal Income Taxes now says he wants to “get Nigerians working again” – whatever that means. He is only deceiving himself and not the intelligent Nigerians that we know.
  • Thank you.
  • FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK), Director, Strategic Communications, President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation.

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BIG STORY

UN Pledges Support For Nigeria As Millions Endure Humanitarian Crisis

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Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC), has returned from a four-day visit to Nigeria.

Griffiths witnessed firsthand the humanitarian situation and reaction in the region’s north, promising to increase international awareness of the catastrophe and draw attention to the fights around Lake Chad.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, federal government officials, Chief of Defence Staff Leo Irabor, and Borno Governor Babagana Zulum were among those that met with the USG.

In Maiduguri, Bama, and Damasak, he met with Nigerians who had been affected by the violence, as well as humanitarian partners.

In Damasak, on the border with Niger, Griffiths heard from some women and families displaced by the violence. They told him of their hopes to return home.

The humanitarian chief expressed sadness about the deep impact of the violence and repeated displacement for many citizens.

Griffiths disclosed that people he met demonstrated amazing courage in the face of vicious violence, killings, and kidnappings.

In Bama, women told the UN top officials, stories of how they escaped from years of armed group captivity only weeks ago.

He, however, confirmed getting Zulum’s commitment to the authorities’ zeal to improve security and build resilience for the most vulnerable.

“It is clear we share a common objective: upholding the dignity of Nigerians and finding ways to ease the suffering too many of them face today.

“People are yearning for security, livelihoods, and better access to social services, and we stand ready to make this a reality with the Government and our humanitarian partners.”

Griffiths hailed aid workers in Bama and Damasak after listening to the challenges they face in reaching those in need.

“Brave humanitarian workers, most of them Nigerians themselves, work tirelessly and often at great personal risk to help others.”

The coordinator promised to continuously advocate their safety and for the necessary support to the persons they serve.

The humanitarian community reached more than 5 million people in Nigeria last year. The 2022 Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan, for launch in February, requires over $1 billion to help 8.4 million people.

The UN added that the Lake Chad basin conflict has taken a heavy toll on communities across Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, putting 10 million people at risk and in need of assistance.

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Subsidy: Presidency, Governors Deny N302 Fuel Increase

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The presidency and governors have reportedly distanced selves from a planned hike in fuel pump prices from N165 to N302 per liter next month. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has spoken out against the planned removal of the petroleum subsidy, which the National Economic Council (NEC) ad hoc committee advising the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on the appropriate pricing of premium motor spirit (PMS) said would save the country N250 billion per month.

The ad hoc committee, led by Kaduna State governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufia, is said to have suggested a petrol price of N302 per liter, which will be enforced by February. The presidency, on the other hand, denied that a resolution like this was passed at NEC. NEC sessions are presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

His media aide Laolu Akande, who also coordinates NEC media activities, in a tweet on his handle, @akandeoj noted that: “While there are indeed ongoing discussions on the issue of fuel subsidy, at no time has NEC made any such resolution. Public discourse can be better served by seeking further clarification from relevant quarters on matters of such importance.”

Nigerian governors, who met in Abuja on Wednesday night, dismissed the report that they were the ones pushing for an increase in the pump price of fuel. Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), the umbrella body of the governors, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who briefed journalists at end of the meeting, argued that it is not within the mandate of sub-national body, such as the NGF, “to decide on what happens to PMS price.”

According to the Ekiti governor, “the National Economic Council, chaired by the Vice President has been dealing with this issue over time.”

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How Construction Firm Completed Road To Buhari’s Kaduna Residence In Few Days

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Residents in Kaduna were astounded when the construction firm in charge of the road leading to President Muhammadu Buhari’s private Kaduna residence completed the work in a matter of days.

“This has shown that with the right people and the required resources, infrastructural development could be achieved in this country,” Malam Bala, a trader near Sultan road Kaduna has said.

He said the company engaged the engineers and other workers to work round the clock on the road that connects to the President’s house, and the result was marvelous.”

“We heard that the contractor was mandated to complete the section of the road leading to Buhari’s residence before the president’s arrival and before the president flew into Kaduna from The Gambia, the road had been completed, with street lights installed as well as road signs.

“The road is not opened for general use, security agents are still there. The construction workers worked day and night, for 4 days so as to deliver on the road. It’s a surprise that the road could be fixed within such a short time. As of last Saturday, that section of the road was under construction, a lot of work had not been done, only for me to see that a rapid project was being made and it was completed before the President arrived. This shows that if the leaders are determined, they can work for the people,” he said.

The President, who was impressed with the numerous projects he commissioned across the state, exclaimed that “if you had not been in Kaduna for some time now, surely you would miss your road home just like me. El-Rufai has really changed the face of this state. I relocated to Kaduna after serving my jail term in the 1980s from Daura. I cannot find my way home with the current development.”

On Friday, Buhari commissioned the ultra-modern Sabon Gari market in Zaria, amidst applause from locals who have not seen the President physically, some years.

President Buhari had commended Malam Nasir El-Rufai for committing himself to change Kaduna, noting that the Kaduna State Governor has been successful in that quest.

The president, who was on a two-day working visit to Kaduna State to commission some of the state’s urban renewal projects, was speaking at the Murtala Square in Kaduna.  He had arrived in Kaduna on Wednesday night direct from Banjul, Gambia.

From Kaduna, President Buhari, accompanied by Governor El-Rufai, flew to Kafanchan this morning to commission Emir Road, Katsina Road and Dan-Haya Road.

He returned to Kaduna around noon, and immediately commissioned the remodelled Murtala Square, a sprawling sporting, event and recreational centre.

Noting the impact of the urban renewal programme, President Buhari said that he can no longer find his way around Kaduna, even as someone who has lived in the city for a long. Commending El-Rufai, the president said, “you have committed yourself to change Kaduna and you have been very successful and people throughout the country are appreciating it. You are writing your history in letters of gold. I congratulate you for your achievements so far.”

The president commissioned some of the 19 completed urban renewal road projects, including the reconstructed Kawo Flyover, an almost one-kilometer long dual carriageway with three ground rotaries, the 5.6km Aliyu Makama Road, the multi-storey Basic Education Mega-School in Lokoja Road in Rigasa, and the dualised Yakubu Gowon Way and Leventis Underpass.

President Buhari also commissioned the Infectious Disease Hospital in Mando, after Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, explained the thinking behind the project. He also commissioned the fertiliser blending plant of Barbedos Group.

Malam Nasir El-Rufai launched the Kaduna State Urban Renewal Programme in June 2019 by Governor El-Rufai, shortly after which the projects commenced in Kaduna before those of Kafanchan and Zaria started. “The goal of the urban renewal programme is to regenerate Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria, the three major cities in the state.”

According to Malam El-Rufai, “these unprecedented investments in urban infrastructure are to consolidate the state’s position as an investment destination, improve its economic competitiveness and promote the welfare of the residents of the state.”

The president would be hosted at a state banquet in Kaduna on Friday.

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