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PDP Alleges Plot To Attack Atiku In Kogi

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The Kogi State Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday put “all Nigerians, especially the high commands of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the general public on high alert as regards the discovery of a covert plan to truncate democracy and instigate total breakdown of order in Nigeria starting from Kogi State.”

“On the last count, four impeccable sources have confirmed that this plot has been bankrolled by the Kogi State Government, led by its accidental governor, Yahaya Adoza Bello, and will start with a calculated attempt to harass the presidential candidate of our great party, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON, who is scheduled to visit Kogi State in a few hours from now,” the council said in a statement signed by its Head, Media and Publicity, Usman Austin Okai.

The statement said: “The Council wishes to remind Nigerians that reports were initially made about a well-funded exercise carried out by agents of the Kogi State government which targeted a mass destruction of campaign banners and other publicity materials of the PDP in Kogi State less than a week ago.

“It is therefore for the records that it is considered highly important to notify all lovers of democracy that indeed, the campaign of bitterness of the APC and the Kogi State Government against the PDP is set to adopt a new dimension starting from tomorrow.

Not only is the Council concerned about the clear attempt by the APC to erode a strong legacy of democracy and freedom bequeathed to it by the PDP, it appears desperate to score a new low by going against the towering personality of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON.

“Whereas we habour no fear of the unknown as regards tomorrow’s rally for which the Kogi Confluence Stadium, Lokoja has been approved for use, we sternly advise relevant security agencies to call the outgoing governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, and his band of urchins to order immediately.

“The PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Kogi State sternly warns agents of destabilisation recruited by the APC to refrain from endangering themselves by swimming against the tide in an attempt to oppose the will of a tremendous number of Nigerians who are determined to end the vicious cycle of retrogression, failure and bloodshed which the APC has visited on Nigeria and Nigerians.

“The Council also urges all leaders, elders, stakeholders, affiliate groups and supporters of the PDP to turn out en-masse for tomorrow’s rally and entertain not, fear of any kind.

“The United Nations, the African Union, the American government and the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada are also invited to take note of this latest attempt by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to abort democracy in Nigeria and urge an urgent intervention.

“The PDP on its part commits to abide by the laws of Nigeria and go about its mobilisation activities in line with the global standards which emphasis decorum, peace and constructive engagement of voters.”

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BIG STORY

You Lied About How Abiola Died, Family To Abdulsalami Abubakar

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General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), a former Head of State, has been chastised by the family of late Chief MKO Abiola for his statements about the death of the acclaimed victor of the 1993 presidential election.

In an interview, Gen Abdulsalami stated that he was not slain and that he died after being ill, contrary to the widespread belief that he died after drinking poisoned tea.

Jamiu, one of Abiola’s children, claims that the former head of state failed to provide his father with necessary medical care, resulting in his death.

Expressing disappointment over the retired military leader’s claims, he said, “This incident happened over 24 years ago. Gen Abdulsalami is much older. I used to think that age would come with more honesty, but this is obviously not the case here.

“He said that unlike late Gen Sani Abacha he made arrangements for the family of my father to see him. Can anyone, first of all, ask him why it took almost a month for any family member to see him? Other political prisoners were being released all along but yet a visit was too much to ask for.

“When we speak of death, one can be liable in two ways. If you kill a person directly like in the case of my mother who, as you know, was shot by Sergeant Rogers acting on behalf of the then military government.

“Or if you kill someone indirectly by allowing the person to die as in the case of my father during Gen Abdulsalami.”

Daily Trust reports that Kudirat, one of the wives of late Abiola, was killed on June 4, 1996, by assassins suspected to be military.

Jamiu further said, “Trying to pin down my father’s death on poison would be a waste of time since there was an autopsy report and it did not state poison as the cause of his death even though there is still a possibility.

“But my father did have heart problems and the head of state knew that. The general public knew. Even those who saw him the night before his death said he was not well so why was he not given proper medical attention?”

Reacting to Gen Abdulsalami’s statement that God’s guidance helped him to handle the tense situation in the country at that time, he said, “God provides guidance to those who seek it, but those who do not will be guided by the devil. In this case, the general was not being guided by God’s guidance.

“If he was being guided by God, why did he allow the then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Anan, to see my father before any family member? Did my father even know who Kofi Anan was?

“My mother had been murdered in cold blood; would it not have been the priority of a head of state being guided by God to allow her children to see their father after such a tragic loss? We were never allowed to see him.

“Gen Abdulsalami was more interested in getting diplomats to talk to my father and persuade him to relinquish his mandate so that he (Abdulsalami) could enjoy a more legitimate stay in power.

“This world might be a circus to the former head of state, but let’s see what the hereafter has in store for him.”

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), also criticized the statements credited to the former military leader.

Falana said the ex-head of state had to explain the circumstances around Abiola’s death while with foreigners in the villa, adding that his latest excuses were what he was told as the incident was only witnessed by his CSO, Major Aliyu, who was in the room during the tragedy.

“It has never happened in Nigeria’s history that foreigners will be allowed to give tea to a detainee, but now, it has become part of our history,” he said.

“In any case, even if it is water that you have to serve the detainee, you have to taste it first. How can you tell us that you left Abiola in the custody of foreigners?

“So, the general has to explain why Abiola was left in the hands of foreigners.”

He further said the military severally forced Abiola to renounce his mandate by bringing former Secretaries General of the Commonwealth and the United Nations, Emeka Anyaoku and Kofi Annan respectively, but failed before they brought in American diplomats.

He refuted the claim that Abiola died of natural causes, claiming he was denied medical attention for four years and was not released with other political detainees.

“When at the instance of President Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu came to Nigeria to visit Abiola, he told the whole world that his health was very bad and required urgent medical attention, for four years that was not allowed.”

He said the testimony of Gen Abdulsalam’s CSO was eventually discredited at the Oputa Panel after the general failed to attend the hearing.

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NEWS

2023: INEC Records Notable Increase In Voters Registration

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According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, new voter registration reached 5,173,335 in the third quarter of the current Continuous Voter Registration nationally.

INEC also revealed that 2,665,421 registrants have completed online and physical registration in its weekly CVR update for Quarter 3, Week 3 in Abuja on Monday.

According to the most recent figures, there were 1,344,813 men and 1,320,608 women.

People with disabilities accounted for 24,723 of the total, while teenagers aged 18 to 34 accounted for 1,854,371.

It was also stated that 1,092,742 of the 2,665,421 people who completed their registrations did it online, while 1,572,679 did so physically.

The update also revealed that INEC had received 8,550,561 applications.

The total figure includes applications for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards, and updates of voter information records, among others.

Gender distribution of the applications revealed that 4,572,235 were male and 3,978,326 were female, while 87,733 of the applications were from PWDS across all categories.

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BIG STORY

US Team, CSO Witnessed MKO Abiola’s Death – Abdulsalami

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General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd. ), a former Head of State, said that Chief MKO Abiola, the late business mogul and winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election, was not slain, but died after growing ill in detention.

He refuted the idea that Abiola drank poisoned tea and died as a result.

He said, “Well, I smile because there were lots of allegations here and there that we killed Abiola. As always when I am talking about late Abiola, I still thank God for directing me on things to do when he gave me the leadership of this country.

“On the day Moshood Abiola passed away, may he rest in peace, two to three things make me always say I thank my God for the guidance He gave me. One was I received a delegation from America headed by Pickering who was then, I think, the Secretary of State or so. In his team I remember very well, was Susan Rice. I remember her very well because of the role she played later.

“So after the normal courtesy and discussion we had, when they were leaving my office, Pickering said ‘Your Excellency we made a request to see Moshood Abiola but we were denied.’ So, I said ‘Why were you denied? Who denied you? There and then, I made a decision and I said ‘Look, you will see Moshood definitely. I overrule whoever said you cannot see him.’ So, I now called my Chief Security Officer, I said ‘Please make arrangement for this team to see Abiola.’ That is one point.

“Now during the incarceration of Moshood Abiola, except his personal doctor, to my knowledge, no member of his family saw him. So when I became Head of State, based on consultation and interaction together with Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, I gave the family a date that they could come and see him.”

Abdsalami added, “So a day before he died, his family came to Abuja to see him. For one reason or the other, the whole family could not see him at the same time, so it was agreed that when this group of his family will see him today, tomorrow the next team will see him.

“So they saw him like yesterday, now this team from the US came to see me and I said they could see him. Normally, it was in the evenings the family go and see him. So because I had authorised the American team to see him, so the other part of the family was waiting to see him.

“So, it was at this meeting when the American team was meeting Abiola that he fell sick and suddenly the security officers called the medical team to come and attend to him, and when they saw the situation, they said it was severe and they needed to take him to the medical centre. So it was the medical team plus the American team that took him to the medical centre, unfortunately at the medical centre, he gave up.

“Then my security chief called and said ‘I have bad news for you.’ I asked what it was, he said ‘Abiola is dead.’ I was shocked. He told me he was there with the American team, at that time I was staying in the barracks, I had not moved to the villa, so I said okay, let him take the American team to my house, I will meet them at the house; so I closed from the office, and went there.

“The issue now was how do I break the news to Abiola’s family and how do we tell the world Abiola had passed on? I must be thankful to God and again to Ambassador Kingibe because we called on him and asked him to bring the family of Abiola. So when they came, I broke the news, that unfortunately, this is what has happened.”

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