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2019: Buhari is gone, Atiku declares at South West campaign

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Atiku, Peter Obi in closed-door meeting

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday urged Nigerians not to believe in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) again because President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to fulfil the promises he and the party made in 2015.

Mr Abubakar said this while addressing PDP supporters at the opening of the South West campaign of the party at the ancient Mapo Hall in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

At the event were the National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, Mr Atiku’s running mate, Peter Obi, Senate President Bukola Saraki, former governors of Ekiti and Cross Rivers, Ayodele Fayose and Liyel Imoke respectively, and governorship candidates of the party in Lagos and Oyo states, Jimi Agbaje and Seyi Makinde.

Also at the event were the candidate of the party in the 2018 Osun governorship election, Ademola Adeleke, the vice chairman of the party in the zone, Eddy Olafeso, former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Osun, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and former Senate whip, Hosea Agboola.

Mr Abubakar said President Buhari must not be returned next year because he has failed his campaign promises as he lamented the high level of hunger in Nigeria.

“Let me tell you that today, I said before you that within six months, we shall start the process of restructuring of this country. Ladies and gentlemen, I have lived here, so I am not a stranger.”

Mr Abubakar said he headed the best economic team in Nigeria between 1999 and 2003, adding that the prosperity enjoyed by Nigeria at the time will be returned to Nigeria in 2019.

“In the next two months, you will be required to choose your next president, please, take your decision carefully. The best democracy we enjoyed in Nigeria was under PDP. In 2015, APC promised 12 million jobs but today, we have not seen the jobs.

“Buhari has gone. Since the return of democracy in 1999, the best we have in Nigeria is during the PDP. The best education we have was during the PDP. My brothers and sisters, I stand before you, I promise, every one of you know that I chaired the best economic team in this country. If you give me this opportunity again we shall invest more in education.

“Nigeria is now the headquarters of poverty in the world. We shall return Nigeria to prosperity in 2019. When we get to government in 2019, we will continue to give you best education.

“One of the best policies for Nigeria is restructuring and we will do it when we get to government. Don’t believe APC lies again. Within six months, we will reposition Nigeria. Don’t sell your vote and don’t sell your PVC. Buhari must go.”

Mr Secondus while speaking said Mr Buhari was not capable of ruling Nigeria again.

“With what we have seen here today, it is sure that our people in the Southwest want a change in government and Atiku is the only candidate who can rescue Nigeria at this time.

“Buhari is not fit to rule Nigeria again. By the grace of God, in February, we will stand to defend our votes and defeat Buhari. The hunger in the land is too much. There is hunger because Buhari is not aware of anything in government.

“His government has collapsed. This is the most corrupt government in the history of Nigeria. Where is our 25 billion dollars withdrawn from the NNPC account? Corruption has taken another dimension in Nigeria under Buhari. Poverty headquarters has relocated to Nigeria under Buhari. By the grace of God, Atiku is the next president of Nigeria.”

Mr Saraki in his remarks said the ruling APC made some promises but could not fulfil them.

“In 2015, APC promised security but could not do it. They promised to make food abundant but the price of rice is becoming higher daily. The only solution to our challenges is to vote Atiku as president.”

Mr Obi said Nigerians should elect Mr Abubakar if they want development.

“If you wants job, vote for Atiku. If you want development, vote Atiku. Atiku is the only solution to challenges we are facing Nigeria today.”

Mr Fayose who said he was very sure that President Buhari would not attend the presidential debate said PDP has won this election already.

“The only product we are selling is Atiku. The only candidate that can defeat anybody at debate. I am sure Buhari won’t attend debate. But let me tell you that you have to defend your votes. By God’s grace, PDP will be announced winner next year elections.”

Mr Daniel said “The 2019 election is family affairs. Atiku’s first wife is a Yoruba woman. He grew up and worked in Ibadan. With what we met here, it is obvious that our people have spoken that they will vote for PDP”.

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Atiku absent as presidential candidates sign peace accord in Abuja

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70 percent of my appointments will go to youth, women if elected president – Atiku

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, was absent at the signing of a peace pact for 2019 presidential candidates in Abuja.

It was not immediately clear why Mr Abubakar, the major challenger to President Muhammadu Buhari, did not turn up at the event.

Mr Abubakar was among those expected at the event.

Spokespersons for Mr Abubakar and the PDP separately told PREMIUM TIMES they were not aware of the event, which began at 3:00 p.m., and promised to make urgent findings and revert.

Mr Buhari arrived at the International Conference Centre to join other candidates in signing the peace agreement, which was drafted by the National Peace Committee.

Abdulsalam Abubakar, a former Nigerian military ruler, is the convener of the committee and the event.

A similar pact was signed by presidential candidates in 2015 and the committee was widely deemed crucial to the peaceful outcome of that contentious election.

Details shortly…

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Reps committee threatens to block aviation agencies’ 2019 budgets

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Reps discharge 16 committees of 25 referral bills

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has warned it may block the budgets of agencies under it over the failure of their heads to turn up for a budget defence meeting with the committee.

The committee Chairman, Nkiru Onyejeocha (Abia, APC), at a scheduled meeting of the committee with the agencies on 2018 budget performance said the committee would be left with no other option than to block the 2019 budgets of the agencies.

Ms Onyejeocha was reacting to the absence of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and heads of parastatals.

None of the heads of parastatals were present at the meeting but rather, sent in representatives.

Prior to the passage of the 2018 budget by the National Assembly, some agencies had alleged that some lawmakers demanded bribes as conditions for passing their budgets.

The officials said the unceasing demand for gratification was responsible for the reluctance of a number of heads of MDAs to honour invitations by Senate and House of Representatives committees to defend their budgets.

“It is either one director-general is not in the country or the other has travelled out,” Ms Onyejeocha said while lamenting their absence.

“Let it be on record that we are not happy with the ministry and all its agencies,” she continued.

“It is unfortunate because your minister is a product of this parliament. As a former member of the House of Reps and of the Senate, he should know the rules,” she told the representatives.

Ms Onyejeocha said the committee was not satisfied with the way the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, was running the ministry, adding that he cannot get anything good out of it.

“We won’t ask questions and get a reply, the budget implementation is zero to the best of our knowledge as far we are concerned. If they do not take time, they won’t have a 2019 budget; we have sent referrals and consultants to the ministry but they refuse to comply.”

The chairman said her committee recently contacted the ministry and its agencies that they would be coming for oversight but was either told the minister was not around or the head of agency had travelled.

“We are not here to play politics, we would just collect these documents, our hands are tied, the committee’s hand is tied, the House of Reps’ hands’ are tied. After this session, we may issues summons for them to appear before the House.”

She said the controversial issue of Air Nigeria and others were forwarded to the committee for investigation but was withdrawn and forwarded to the committee of the whole due to the absence of the minister and his officials.

“If Aviation is now domiciled abroad, let us know that we may request to the House and that we need visa to see your DGs. Today, we the members of the committee are saying no, we can’t take this committee for a ride, we shall collect the documents and let them speak to it.

“We give them not less than 48 hours to appear before the committee, it must happen, and if it does not, you people must appear on the floor of the House,” she ruled.

In his comments, Abiante Dgomie (PDP, Rivers), said the ministry and the various parastatals under it had become very evasive and were not accountable to Nigerians.

He said this was unfortunate, as it was happening under a regime that has a signpost of anti-corruption.

Mr Dgomie said the representatives of heads of agencies did not have sufficient information for the committee.

“If we begin to interrogate the documents, you will hear that I am not the DG or minister and so I can not talk on the matter. This is a waste of precious time and Nigerians are watching and observing a and they will run their own commentaries themselves.

“Those saddled with these responsibilities have failed Nigerians and let us put it on record. The strength of any nation is not as regards for individuals but for the strength of the institutions that run the affairs of the nation,” he said.

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I met my wife and an old man in a compromising position – Divorce-seeking husband

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I met my wife and an old man in a compromising position – Divorce-seeking husband

A Grade `C’ Customary Court, Bode Igbo, Ibadan, on Tuesday adjourned the divorce suit filed by Taiwo Philip, as the wife, Bukola, urged the court to plead with her husband on her behalf.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Philip, a plank seller, allegedly accused his wife of disobedience, keeping late nights, unfaithfulness and arrogance.

According to Philip, who resides at Omi-Adio, Bukola is also fond of not caring for the well-being of their six children; the oldest being 16-years-old and the youngest, one-year-eight-months-old.

“Two years after our marriage, my wife told me she wanted to further her education of NCE, of which I didn’t refuse.

“I established a Nursery and Primary School where she served as the headmistress but in spite of all these efforts, she still turned out to be an ingrate by behaving badly at home, ‘’ he said.

Philip said he once met his wife and an old man in a compromising manner in her shop when he went in search of their second child, who ran away from home.

According to him, as I demanded explanation from my wife, some goons, called ‘Gobe’, beat me up right there and then.

“I reported the incident at the police station for my wife to produce all those involved but the matter degenerated.

“With the matter still with the police, we were directed to approach the court for divorce, ‘’ he said.

The Respondent, Bukola, said she agreed to all her husband’s allegations, except that she never had an affair with the alleged old man.

Bukola said the old man in question was the husband to the woman who introduced her to Philip and facilitated their marriage.

“I usually approach this man for advice, because my husband will not allow me to visit my family since we wedded,’’ she said.

Bukola also defended herself by saying that her husband was the violent type at home and that he was fond of driving her as a slave.

“He places curse on me at will and he is fond of keeping late nights.

“My lord, he once sent me out of the house, forcing me to sleep in the shop.

“Sir, in spite of everything, if the court can beg him, I will still be willing to settle the issue,’’ she said.

After hearing the plea of the wife, the President of the court, Chief Muraina Agbomeji, adjourned the case until Dec. 17 for possible settlement out of court.

(NAN)

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