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2019: Obasanjo, Atiku, Secondus Meet, Renew Strategies​

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:17


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, met in Abuja on Tuesday in Abuja, THE PUNCH learnt last night.

The meeting was also attended by the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, amongst a few others who were said to have been carefully selected for the meeting.

Sources close to the meeting told our correspondents that the meeting was based on the strategies that would enable  Atiku and the PDP emerge winners in the general elections.

It was also gathered that the meeting reviewed the ongoing zonal campaigns of the party, which was said to be a precursor for the state-by-state campaign that would follow.

It was also gathered that the former president used the opportunity of the meeting to settle the rift between Atiku and a former Governor of Adamawa State, Admiral Murtala Nyako (retd.).

Nyako, who is a former Chief of Naval Staff, was a member of the PDP before he defected to the All Progressives Congress.

However, instead of returning to the PDP like Atiku after their disagreements with the national leadership of the ruling party, Nyako and his son, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako, joined the African Democratic Congress.

The former president was said to have been worried about the cacophony of voices from the home state of Atiku in particular about his presidential ambition and decided to step in and settle the rifts.

Apart from Nyako, it was also learnt that Obasanjo intervened in the alleged misunderstanding between Atiku and his former aide while serving as the Vice President, Dr Umar Ardo.

A source privy to the meeting said, “It was a family and an elaborate meeting.  Baba  (Obasanjo) is a fantastic leader. I have never seen such a man who combines energy with intellect and political sagacity.

“He spoke at length to everyone, including the Waziri (Atiku) and others that were there.

“He had successfully settled the rift between Atiku and Nyako and the disagreements between Atiku and Ardo.  Now, we have Adamawa to take because all the power brokers are behind us.”

When contacted on the meeting,  Secondus declined to give details.

Rather, he said the leadership of the party would always meet to strategise ahead of the election.

Meanwhile, opposition political parties on Tuesday expressed doubt over the readiness of President Muhammadu Buhari to accept the outcome of the 2019 presidential election whichever way it goes.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria said the 2019 election was not a matter of life-or-death for Buhari,­ because he would be happy to accept the verdict of the electorate.

But the Social Democratic Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance in separate interviews with our correspondents said there were no proofs so far that Buhari would do as Onyeama promised.

The National Publicity Secretary of the SDP, Mr Alfa Mohammed, told one of our correspondents that the statement credited to Onyeama was contrary to an earlier statement credited to the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau.

Mohammed recalled that Dambazzau had been quoted as saying that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, would suffer a bloodied nose in the election.

He said the statement by Dambazzau, whose ministry is in charge of internal security, was an indication that the government was ready to unleash security agents on the opposition.

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'Clone' Buhari Mocked On American Late-Night Show

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:17

President Muhammadu Buhari was the subject of a joke on an episode of the JJmmy Kimmel Live show, an abridged recording of which was made public on Tuesday.

The episode focused on Buhari addressing rumours of being cloned, and his response to the claims.

Buhari had refuted the rumours while fielding questions in Poland on Sunday, where he stressed that "this is the real me". See Also Politics 'This Is The Real Me' — Buhari Speaks in Poland On Being Cloned 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Stating that "the President of Nigeria is defending himself against an unusual accusation", Kimmel made a mockery of the situation, referring to Buhari's tweet: "One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I‘ve been cloned or not. The ignorant rumours are not surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead".

Video of "This Is The Real Me" - Exactly What A Clone Would Say: Jimmy Kimmel "This Is The Real Me" - Exactly What A Clone Would Say: Jimmy Kimmel 'Clone' Buhari Mocked On American TV Show...

Kimmel continued: "President Muhammadu Buhari was out of the country for more than three months last year and there's a rumour he died and they replaced him with a clone, which would mean they planned this when he was born, I guess. But he says that is not true."

Quoting another tweet from Buhari which read: "I can assure you all that this is the real me. Later this month I will celebrate my 76th birthday. And I’m still going strong!" to which Kimmel added: "which is exactly what a clone would say."

Jimmy Kimmel Live! is an American late-night show, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, which airs on ABC.

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Again, Tinubu Attacks Atiku, Says He’s Not Fit For Presidency​

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:12


tribune

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, yesterday dismissed the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as unfit to be entrusted with the presidency of the country, describing the main opposition party’s flag bearer as “a merry-go-round and carnival-like politician with no focus or mission.”

Speaking in similar vein Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed confidence that the APC would win the forthcoming presidential election, saying Atiku would be no match for President Muhammadu Buhari.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP presidential campaign said Tinubu’s statement could only come from an incoherent politician, who suffers from limited knowledge of politics and its dynamics.

One of the campaign’s spokespersons, Prince Kasim Afegbua, told THISDAY yesterday that Tinubu’s put down of Atiku betrayed the APC’s mortal fear of the PDP candidate’s capacity to lead the charge against, what he called, “APC’s three and a half years of incompetence that has led to debilitating hunger in the land.”

Delivering a keynote address at the meeting of National Consultative Forum by the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups held yesterday in Abuja, Tinubu said the PDP standard bearer, had changed parties so many times and collected so many membership cards that he had become unstable and confused.

The National Chairman of APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, who was listed as guest of honour at the event, however, did not show up.

According to Tinubu, “Atiku could build a house of the party membership cards he has accumulated. But one thing he should remember is that a man who builds a house of cards ought not to cast stones at a man who is building a house with a firm and true foundation.

‘’He should also realise that such a feeble house will collapse as soon as the wind of truth blows it.”
Tinubu also attacked Atiku’s campaign pledge to ensure 14 million new jobs yearly, and crashing of fuel pump price, describing them as lies that have no basis for actualisation.

The APC leader berated former President Olusegun Obasanjo for suddenly doing a somersault to endorse Atiku’s presidential bid after vowing never to support him, saying the move by the former president to mend fences with his former deputy was not a sincere one.

He dismissed the PDP’s call for the resignation of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, describing it as blackmail.
Tinubu also spoke on the role being played by Senate President Bukola Saraki in the opposition party, describing him as a sell-out, who used APC’s mandate to negotiate with the opposition.

He used the occasion to highlight some of the achievements recorded by the APC-led administration and promised to provide the support group with campaign tips.
On insecurity, Tinubu said that the administration had largely succeeded in beating back the Boko Haram terror group though there had been some skirmishes of attacks that needed to be dealt with.

The former Lagos State governor said the APC was working to convert the tragedy of herdsmen-farmers clashes into an economic gain through construction of ranches and irrigation of farmlands.
Tinubu said Buhari was committed to building the necessary foundation for a prosperous nation and diversified economy that would provide employment and fair opportunity for all.

Osinbajo: Buhari Will Win Because of His Integrity

Also speaking at the event, Osinbajo said there was a gang up by discredited elite against Buhari, adding that despite all attacks and evil wishes, Buhari is alive and well and will emerge victorious at the 2019 general elections.

“We will return President Buhari as president of the country for a second term,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, Senator Abu Ibrahim, said the meeting was intended to rally all the leadership of the support groups preparatory for commencement of campaigns.

The Chairman of the event, Senator George Akume, said there is a lot the APC will showcase to Nigerians as the campaign progresses, saying the APC-led administration has delivered on both security and in lifting people out of poverty.

APC Leader, an Incoherent Politician, Replies Afegbua 

However, responding to Tinubu’s comment last night, one of the spokesmen for the PDP presidential campaign council, Prince Kasim Afegbua, said, “We are not surprised that Senator Tinubu has suddenly found his cracked voice to run commentary against former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

“For those who parade limited knowledge of history with faint memory, it is our duty to remind them, where they are coming from. When Alhaji Atiku was in APC, Senator Tinubu worshipped him like a semi-god.

“He was always at his beck and calls. Simply because he moved to PDP, he’s suddenly turning history upside down like a typical revisionist.
“His mouth-watering commendations about Atiku when the latter was in APC are well documented in history, except he wants Nigerians to conclude that he was under a mental spell or brain wave when he was uttering those commendations and positive testimonials, else we can’t take his present comment serious.”

He added that Tinubu lacked the moral authority to accuse anyone of inconsistency, saying he has been a political traveller since 1999 in his “inordinate ambition to assume control of politics.”

Afegbua said, “He has migrated from AD to AC to ACN and now APC. How can such an individual derive the morality to pick the specks in another’s eyes, when his own history is laden with crass inconsistencies?
“Now that APC has fully realised its manifest failures and foibles, crippled governance and leadership, with ridiculous incompetence and incapacity to deliver on its electoral promises, the likes of Tinubu will deliberately want to distract attention from the critical issues plaguing us today as a country.

“A government that has been dithering on all critical sectors, with monumental failures cannot suddenly hoodwink the masses by making Atiku Abubakar the subject matter of its political discourse.”
He said Tinubu’s story was an open sore that was irredeemably contrived in several incongruities, hypocrisies, inconsistencies, and double standards, adding that he cannot wake up overnight to wear a moral badge.

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$8.1bn Refund: MTN Opts For Out-of-Court Settlement​

Wed, 2018-12-05 13:10


MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has asked the Federal High Court in Lagos to further adjourn the hearing in the suit it filed to challenge the $8,134,312,397.63 being demanded from it by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The $1.8bn demand by the CBN followed alleged forex remittances infraction by MTN.

MTN’s lead counsel Wole Olanipekun told the court that his client had approached the CBN for possible amicable resolution of the dispute.

He urged Justice Saliu Saidu to further adjourn the suit to enable parties to fully explore out-of-court resolution and deliberate on the terms of the settlement.

CBN’s lead counsel Seyi Sowemimo confirmed that the discussions for possible out-of-court settlement were in the advanced stage.

Consequently, Justice Saidu adjourned to December 12 for a report of the settlement between the parties.

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CBN, OSGF, NIPOST, NIBSS, FIRS Fail To Account For N20trillion Stamp Duty Revenue

Wed, 2018-12-05 12:38


This story is from a LEAKSNG investigation


Details of the revenues from stamp duties estimated at N20 trillion still remain opaque as the federal agencies involved in the collection have refused to provide information, despite the Freedom of Information (FOI) request filed by The International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The FOI request was sent on July 31 on behalf of LeaksNG to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) PLC.

Information requested include a report of stamp duty remittances by Deposit Money Banks and other financial institutions, the current status of the Stamp Duty Central Account domiciled in the CBN, stamp duty revenue remitted to the CBN by NIBSS between 2016 and 2017, amount of revenue collected by NIPOST between 2010 and 2016 and so on.

Two months after the requests were dispatched, on September 26, letters of reminder were again sent to the various offices to draw their attention to the enquiry. Nevertheless, till the time of this report, none of the institutions has fulfilled its legal obligations by providing the information asked for.

While NIPOST and NIBSS have not bothered to respond at all, others gave one excuse or the other for their inability to oblige.

Different Reasons, Same Conclusion

Of all the five agencies that received enquiries from The ICIR, three responded, but sidestepped the responsibility to disclose information. The OSGF, in its reply dated August 9, 2018, said it had referred the FOI application to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which, it claimed, is better positioned to provide answers.

"After a careful review of the application," wrote J.O. Obule, Acting Legal Adviser to the Secretary, "the Office is of the view that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has a greater interest and is the custodian of the information sought and therefore would be in a better position to provide same."

"Please be informed that your application has been referred to the FIRS accordingly and you are advised to deal with it directly," he added.

FIRS would later shift responsibility to NIPOST.

In a letter dated November 5 and signed by Ike Odume, the FIRS Director of Legal Services, the FIRS wrote:

"The Legal Service Department of the FIRS received a letter from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting dated 26th September 2018 requesting for details for Stamp Duties recovered from NIPOST. We regret to inform you that FIRS does not collect Stamp Duties from NIPOST."

"Therefore we ask that the above request be directed to NIPOST."

NIPOST is yet to respond to similar enquiries sent to them.

Finally, the Central Bank of Nigeria replied to The ICIR's request on November 6 and, in the letter signed by R.J. Monguno of the Corporate Secretariat, said it cannot provide the information sought as the matter is the subject "of a suit before the Supreme Court of Nigeria and is therefore sub judice".

The court action referenced in this letter is yet unclear.

Secrecy, Alleged Fraud Mar Nigeria's Potential Gold Mine

The status of unremitted revenue from stamp duties said to have run into several trillions of naira over the years, has been shrouded in secrecy.

In November 2017, the Senate kick-started a probe into the allegation that stamp duties revenue, which accumulated over a period of five years and is valued at over N20 trillion, has not been paid into the federation account.

Following a motion raised by John Owan Enoh, the senator representing Cross River Central district, the House had instructed committees on finance and banking, insurance and other financial institutions to investigate the scandal and report back to it within a period of eight weeks.

"The Senate is worried that the provision for stamp duty in the revenue framework of the nation's annual budget for 2015, 2016 and 2017 has been N8.7billion, N66billion and N16.9billion respectively despite the above reports; apprised of the anti-stamp duties collection stance of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System," Enoh said.

"It is currently being accused of systemic diversion of huge revenue flows from stamp duties collection on the electronic transfer receipt on online bank transactions, and the necessity to demand notice on all unremitted stamp duties.

"The Senate is convinced of the duties and responsibilities of the National Assembly to ensure the harnessing of all sources of revenue to the government of the federation, and to curb all forms of wastefulness, corruption and diversion of funds belonging to the federation."

The School of Banking Honours (SBH) is the consultancy agent authorised in October 2017 by the Federal Government, alongside the International Investment Law and Arbitration, to recover stamp duty revenue that has not been remitted.

It raised alarm in March that the NIBSS has been uncooperative so far in SBH's efforts to recover unremitted stamp duty revenue of about $53.3billion (N19.4 trillion) borne out of inter-bank electronic transactions.

According to Tola Adekoya, SBH's Project Consultant and Chief Executive Officer, N7.719trillion was due in 2015 as accumulated yet unremitted revenue to the federal and state governments of Nigeria. In total, he said, the funds are about N20trillion, out of which not up to one per cent has been remitted appropriately.

He also said the presidency, through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, has ordered the CBN to cooperate with SBH in implementing its mandate. However, NIBSS has refused on multiple occasions to grant access to data of relevant inter-bank transactions that passed through its central switch.

"We served the demand notice because NIBSS is the agent of banks that handles their transactions," Adekoya said.

“Banks don’t have any power over NIBSS. Once they ascertain a liability, they debit the banks immediately and that is why NIBSS is going to be a strategic partner in recovering the unremitted stamp duty revenue. It was indicated in the first paragraph of the letter sent to CBN and NIBSS that we should commence with NIBSS and that is what we are doing. We are following due process.”

According to its website, the NIBSS was incorporated in 1993 and is owned by all licensed banks including the CBN. It manages inter-bank payments so as to remove bottlenecks characteristic of fund transfers and operates the Nigeria Automated Clearing System (NACS).

The NIBSS board "is composed of the Deputy Governor (Operations) of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Chairman, representatives of banks as Directors, Executive Directors and the Managing Director/CEO, who heads Executive Management group of the organisation".

The House of Representatives Committee on Telecommunications, in October 2017, summoned Kemi Adeosun, former finance minister, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the CBN, and Adebisi Adegbuyi, Post-Master General of NIPOST, to provide explanations on why billions generated from stamp duty charges were kept in commercial banks and the CBN.

The committee's resolution was triggered by the revelations by Zhigun Shaba Usman, NIPOST's Director of Finance and Investment, who said the sum of N13.4billion had been deposited to the CBN by commercial banks.

Usman had, however, added that the figure is suspect as the banks' remittances oddly increased geometrically after NIPOST announced plans to audit the accounts.

FIRS, NIPOST Fight for Relevance in Managing Revenue

The controversy as to who is responsible for what and the fate of revenue generated so far has been on for years. In February 2016, the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) had to wade in to strike an agreement between the competing forces on access to a revenue account estimated to attract over N2.5trillion annually.

Moreover, in which authority the control of stamp duty funds resides has also been a contentious matter, especially between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST). While FIRS has claimed stamp duties collection as part of its statutory functions, NIPOST appears to disagree.

Ike Odume, FIRS Director Legal Services, has described a controversial bill to amend provisions of the Stamp Duties Act as an attempt to usurp its duties. According to him, the Act as it exists is a tax legislation which has nothing to do with NIPOST.

The postmaster-general of the federation, however, said, in his submission, that the amendment is crucial because the law has become old-fashioned and that NIPOST is only requesting for permission to sell stamps, either manually or electronically.

“We are seeking the amendment of the Act to include the sale of a postage stamp. We are not collecting the tax. It is in the interest of Nigeria to draw a line between duty and stamp. We want to sell our stamp,” Adegbuyi said.

Between December 2016 and January 2017, NIPOST put out adverts for forensic auditors to peruse bank records in an attempt to confirm the compliance level of banks when it comes to remittances.

But, as gathered by The Punch, the postal service had to ditch its plan after the CBN said it could use its supervisory powers to achieve similar results.

NIBSS Denies Responsibility for Stamp Duty Revenue

In an interview with TheCable, Samuel Oluyemi, NIBSS Deputy General Manager of Corporate Services, said despite claims to the contrary by the SBH, the NIBSS is not attempting to prevent the Federal Government from realising the full potentials of the Stamp Duties Act.

He explained that this is because the company is neither in possession of any revenue accruing from stamp duties nor is aware of how much been collected under the scheme. NIBSS jurisdiction does not cover anything having to do with stamps or cheques.

He also revealed that there is no mechanism presently in place to track how much each bank collects, and that banks charge the duty at their own discretion as not even all of them make the necessary deductions.

He recommended that the enabling act for the collection of stamp duty is reviewed to specify what should be collected.

Governors' Forum Declines Comment

When he was contacted by The ICIR, Abulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, who is the Media and Public Affairs Head at the Nigerian Governors' Forum Secretariat, insisted that the forum cannot comment on the subject at the moment because the case is subjudice. He declined to shed light on what the litigation is about or who the parties are.

"There is post office interest, there is governors' interest, so we are not talking about it until the case is adjudicated on," he explained.

He was also asked whether a report has been submitted by the three-man committee established by the NGF in April, and headed by Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, which was mandated to investigate the allegations of non-remittance. "No, they have not," he replied.

"As a matter of fact, there has not been any meeting regarding that up till now. The governor has been very busy, and we have not had it on the agenda for the last four, five meetings."

The committee had been given one week to submit its findings to the forum. NGF's concern regarding the unexplained non-remittance of the bulk of the duty arises as a result of the percentage guaranteed to flow to the thirty-six states.

With the current sharing formula , while the Federal Government takes the lion share of 52.68 per cent from the federation account, the state governments collectively get 26.72 per cent and the country's 774 local governments get 20.6 per cent.

Adebisi Adegbuyi, Postmaster-General of NIPOST, did not answer calls from The ICIR and has not responded to texts asking, among other questions, if the postal office still intends conducting an independent audit of bank records.  This story is from a LEAKSNG investigation leaks.ng

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Two Powerful Men Behind Buhari’s Slow Progress –Aisha

Wed, 2018-12-05 12:21


Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, yesterday revealed that the leadership of the country under her husband would have performed better, but for two powerful individuals standing as clogs in its wheels. Mrs. Buhari said there are two men in President Muhammadu Buhari administration who have constituted themselves as hindrance for the speedy progress of governance.

The President’s wife said that she is disappointed in men who rather than fight these two men will go to them in the night begging for favour.

The President’s wife, who spoke at a National Women Leadership Summit organised by a political group, Project 4+4 for Buhari & Osinbajo 2019, in Abuja, however, did not mention the names of the powerful persons. She noted that if not for the two powerful men, Buhari’s achievements in the last three and a half years would have been accomplished by the President in one year. Mrs. Buhari stated that the two people in government would never allow things to move fast.

The First Lady, however, stated that the President has done well in the delivery of good governance. The event was also attended by the wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo. Mrs. Buhari urged Nige-  rian women to rise up and fight.

When the Political Adviser to the President, Senator Babafemi Ojodu, was signalling to the First Lady to move away from the topic, she said: “I have realised that Senator Babafemi Ojodu, Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, and Dr. Hajo Sani, my aide, Sajo, and wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Osinbajo, are not comfortable with me saying this and want me to confine myself to my prepared speech, but we must say the truth.”

The President’s wife insisted that the two powerful people are retrogressive elements preventing the government from moving forward. This is not the first time the first Lady would be critical of her husband’s government and its functionaries.

In an interview with BBC Hausa, Aisha had stated that Buhari’s government had been hijacked by only a “few people”, who were behind presidential appointments. According to her, the president did not know most of the officials he appointed. The First Lady stated that people who did not share the vision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were appointed to top posts because of the influence a “few people” wield.

Her words: “The president does not know 45 out of 50 of the people he appointed and I don’t know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years. “Some people are sitting down in their homes folding their arms only for them to be called to come and head an agency or a ministerial position,” she said.

When asked to name those who had hijacked the government, the First Lady simply said: “You will know them if you watch television.” Asked whether the president was in charge, Mrs. Buhari had said: “That is left for the people to decide.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Buhari has observed that during the last election, women participated fully in the voting process and ensured that APC was elected. According to her, “That is why the government of President Buhari came up with social investment programmes targeted at them and their children in order to engage them and reduce the level of poverty among them.

“I wish to call on women to spread the good news and accomplishments of the present administration. “I also call on you to propagate our party manifesto which promises to change the lives of Nigerians and what it has achieved so far,’’ she said.

She called on women not to relent in their effort at sensitising and mobilising women to ensure the success of the party in the 2019 elections. Mrs. Buhari said with commencement of campaign for the 2019 elections, the key areas for APC women would be critical information sharing, security awareness and advocacy against vote buying.

She said that the summit had set the tune for Buhari/Osinbajo support groups to go on with the 2019 campaign.

The wife of the president, therefore, appealed to participants drawn from the 774 local government areas of the country to reflect on the achievements of the Buhari administration. In her contributions, the wife of Vice-President,  Mrs. Osinbajo, said that the APC government had performed creditably in the fight against insurgency and the rebuilding and rehabilitation of victims of insurgency and their communities.

On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, urged women to be resilient in the effort to ensure the re-election of Buhari/ Osinbajo in the 2019 election. According to her, women are convinced that the Buhari administration had completed and initiated new road projects as well as other infrastructure developments across the country.

Sani restated the commitment of the wife of the President to better the lives of women and children through gender balancing in Nigeria. Also, the former Deputy Governor of Plateau, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, appealed to Nigerian women to give the Buhari/Osinbajo a chance in the 2019 elections to consolidate on their achievements. Earlier, the APC National Woman Leader, Hajiya Salamatu Baiwa, urged APC women to shun campaign of calumny.

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Buhari Isn't A Candidate For 2019 Presidential Election, Says Okupe

Tue, 2018-12-04 23:49


Doyin Okupe, former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not have a presidential candidate for the 2019 general election.

He stated this while responding to questions from journalists on the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and APC in the forthcoming election.

He also lamented the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act that has since been passed by the National Assembly.

"Actions and activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are being dictated directly from the villa. If that is not the case, by now if the INEC Chairman was a truly independent person, he ought to have conveyed message to APC and the villa that they do not have a candidate for the 2019 presidential election," he said.

"As of today, the nomination of President Buhari is not valid. To be nominated for an election, there are some conditions that must be met as provided by the Constitution and the Electoral Act. Number one, you must be a Nigerian. Now, there are issues that were even confirmed by the President himself in Poland that there is doubt about his nationality, whether he is a Nigerian or a Sudanese."

Okupe also added that evidence must be provided that the candidate had been educated to secondary school level.

"As of today, the form submitted by Buhari to INEC does not contain a certificate. What he submitted is an affidavit with a false claim that his certificate is with the Army, who had sometime issued a statement that they are not in possession of any certificate of the president," Okupe stated.

According to Okupe, that by itself was perjury. "If I falsely swear to an oath that I am seven feet tall and measurement shows I am not that tall, I have simply committed perjury," he said.

He said such an invalidly nominated candidate had lost an election even before it is conducted, adding that it was incumbent on APC to either go to court or find another candidate.

"Buhari is not a candidate for 2019 presidential election and the facts speak for themselves. By the action of Buhari to have gone to WAEC for an attestation showed that he knew that his certificate was never with the military and he swore to an oath falsely. That itself is ground for disqualification of nomination of any candidate. This is the truth and Nigerians needs to be aware of it, so that nobody creates crisis in 2019. Head or tail, Atiku will  be President of Nigeria in 2019," Okupe said.

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PDP Presidential Rally Latest Form Of MMM In Town, Say Arewa Youth Group

Tue, 2018-12-04 23:18


A group of youth under the auspices of the Arewa Proactive Youth Coalition has dismissed the flag-off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign rally in Sokoto as the "latest form of MMM in town".

Inuwa Bako, President of Arewa Proactive Youth Coalition, urged Nigerians "to be wary of PDP’s ability to transparently manage public resources when it cannot be sincere with the number of people that took part at its rally".

His words: “The North-West rally which had the entire PDP loyalists from all over Nigeria left a 10,000-capacity stadium still empty and the mouthpieces of the party were still bereft of shame to lie that the number of people that attended the rally portends victory for Atiku (Abubakar). This is nothing but MMM whereby people were made to believe what did not exist. Anyone that allows themselves to be taken in by such scam is in for disappointing surprises.

“The PDP may be playing the ostrich, but the reality is that many people that should have attended the rally are aware that they will not hear anything new, but that they will be plied with insult and abuses against the ruling party since the PDP and its candidate are incapable of issue based campaign. The people of the North-West and other Nigerians are eager to attend rallies that are better organised, where they will be able to hear fact-based pitches from candidates, and not gatherings where actors and charlatans would be hopping on soap boxes.

“You can imagine that a party that was in power for 16 years with a candidate that was vice-president for eight years are unable to point to concrete projects or achievements to convince the electorate with. If after previously holding office for 16 years, all PDP can do is to make more promises of what it will do if elected instead of showing what it has done to be re-elected, then there is something capitally wrong with the party and its candidate.

“We have resolved that we will not allow the rural population or those with limited political exposure to be scammed by the PDP as they continue their other rallies. Arewa Proactive Youth Coalition has therefore resolved to embark on an enlightenment drive to educate people on the issues they should raise when any party approaches them with non-issue based messaging."

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It's The Right To Strike That Distinguishes A Worker From A Slave, NLC Tells FG

Tue, 2018-12-04 22:25


The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called out the Federal Government on the threat to stop payment of salaries of university lecturers who are on strike.

A statement signed by Acting President of the NLC, Lawal Dutsinma, on Tuesday, reminded the Federal Government that the protesting lecturers are workers and not slaves.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had commenced an indefinite strike on November 4, 2018 to demand proper funding of Nigerian universities. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: ASUU Begins Nationwide Strike 0 Comments 1 Month Ago

However, a memo dated Thursday, November 29, 2018 sent by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to university vice chancellors had noted that the Federal Government would enforce the 'No Work, No Pay' rule on the ASUU members.

Although the decision was said to have been withdrawn by the Federal Government, which NLC affirmed, the organisation said the 'No Work, No Pay' rule is an "autocratic attempt to cow workers into abandoning their legitimate demand for decent wages, conducive work spaces and social justice".

THE FULL STATEMENT

The attention of the Nigeria Labour Congress has been drawn to a memo by the Federal Government dated November 29, 2018 directing all Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities to apply the “No Work… No Pay” rule. We understand that the Federal Government has since rescinded this order. Nonetheless, Nigerian workers are concerned that for the umpteenth time, the Federal Government and many state governments have resorted to bullying and draconian threats in dealing with matters that strictly reside in the domain of industrial relations. This is truly sad, highly unfortunate and extremely provoking.

We recall that the current struggle by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for improved conditions of learning in our public universities is not the first time that the Federal Government is issuing the “No Work… No Pay” threat. During the last warning strike by the NLC on the new national minimum wage, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige issued a “No Work… No Pay” threat against workers. Also, during the last nationwide strike action by health workers, the Federal Government did not only issue a “No Work… No Pay” threat, it went ahead to implement it. Till now, government still withholds about three months of salaries due to health workers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress considers the application of the “No Work… No Pay” rule as an autocratic attempt to cow workers into abandoning their legitimate demand for decent wages, conducive work spaces and social justice. As far as we are concerned, government’s invocation of the "no work, no pay" clause in the Trade Disputes Act is selective, erroneous and hypocritical. As we speak, the Federal Government and nearly all the states in Nigeria are owing workers varying arrears of salaries, allowances, pension and gratuity – some running into years. Yet, workers have continued to endure such profound neglect by political leaders elected to prioritize the welfare of citizens. Given the grand betrayal of workers by government, workers stand the higher moral ground to invoke a “No Pay… No Work” action.

Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act of Nigeria has always been in our statutes but successive governments had hardly ever invoked it to punish an already impoverished workforce. It is sad that the current government is making a lot of fuss on just one aspect of our laws while holding in contempt several provisions in our labour laws and even our constitution demanding just and humane treatment of workers.

It is important to reiterate that Nigerian workers will never accept slavery in their own country. The right to strike is both a human and trade union right protected by our laws and international conventions particularly ILO Convention 87. It is the right to strike that distinguishes a worker from a slave. Do we need to remind government at all levels that Nigerian workers are worthy partners in nation building and not slaves? As a matter of fact, labour builds the commonwealth that political leaders and their cronies, more often than not, squander. It is, therefore, regrettable that government continues to behave as if Nigerian workers are slaves who have no rights or privileges to claim.

It is truly unfortunate that our political leaders act with a failed sense of history. On June 22, 1945, organized labour in Nigeria commenced a general strike action that shook the foundation of British colonialism in our country. Not a few historians would argue that our journey to nationhood started with the strike action of June 1945 as millions of Nigerians from every part of the country for the first time in their lives rallied around a common cause. Succinctly put, the 1945 general strike action was the foundation of Nigeria’s independence and sovereignty. It is therefore heart rending that latter day politicians would use the legitimate weapon of strike action to intimidate, hound and oppress the working class which sweat and blood procured the freedom we enjoy.

We warn government at all levels to desist from using the “No Work… No Pay” rule to shirk away from their responsibilities. We also demand immediate release of workers’ salaries withheld on the account of “No Work…No Pay” rule. Also, we ask government to respect agreements it freely entered into with ASUU in order to restore normalcy and sanity to our public institutions of learning especially our universities. Our children have suffered enough already! Enough is enough!!

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Four Feared Dead In Cross River In Clashes Involving Urugbam, Abanwa LGAs

Tue, 2018-12-04 22:08


Four persons are feared dead in renewed violence between communities of Urugbam and Abanwa in Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.

According to the state Police Command, dispute over land led to several houses being set ablaze by the warring communities.

Confirming the development to SaharaReporters, Irene Ugbo, spokesperson of the Police command, said the people resisted the policemen earlier drafted to the area to restore law and order in the affected areas.

“Yes, Biase, Abanwan and Orugbam communities clashed over farmland. It started yesterday and our men were deployed to the areas to forestall breakdown of law and order, but to no avail. The communities didn't allow conventional policemen access into the affected areas," Ugbo said.

"The Commissioner of Police has directed mobile policemen to the areas now. The situation was tense but we are on top of it. There are people who have been injured, but no death recorded has been reported."

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JUST IN: Small Doctor Released from Prison

Tue, 2018-12-04 21:50


Adekunle Temitope, popularly known as 'Small Doctor', has been set free from police custody with a warning not to engage in any violent act for the next one year.

A magistrate court at Ebute Meta in Lagos ruled in favour of the musician on Tuesday after he was arraigned by the Police for unlawful possession of firearms.

The court ruled in favour of 'Small Doctor', because he had licence to carry a gun.

'Small Doctor', alongside three others, were arrested and paraded by the Police on Monday for harassing a Police officer with a gun. He was also accused of unlawfully carrying a functional rifle.

Edgal Imohimi, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, stated during the parade that the state had called on all those with similar rifles to relinquish the ammunition to the state regardless of their licences.

“You will recall that only recently, the  Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, gave a window of opportunity for all those who have this category of firearms to return them. All licences were cancelled and all approvals were suspended," the CP said during the parade.

However, the magistrate court ruled in favour of Small Doctor.

The musician was among a group of popular Nigerian entertainers appointed ambassador to the Nigeria Police Force earlier this year.

The group, including Omoni Oboli, Odunlade Adekola, Sound Sultan, Dr Sid, Korede Bello and Ruggedman, were seen in Police uniforms posing with Officer Dolapo Badmos.

He also performed at a show tagged ‘Entertainment Meets Security' at the University of Lagos in March.

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Our Bishop Has Goofed! By Tife Owolabi

Tue, 2018-12-04 21:03


Have you heard? The rumor has finally been busted? What rumour? Who busted it? The wind has blown; we can see the anus of the chicken. The clone president has been revealed.

By who? The Holy sprit revealed to the Bishop. Which bishop? Papa of course. I was revealed to him at the back page of a newspaper. That can’t be truth. Holy Spirit doesn’t speak in the newspaper.

Someone might have authored it in the dailies. Ok, the bottom line is that papa said the president is cloned. He read a column of cloned president by an author, Prof Dare.

You mean Professor Olatunji Dare, the satanic writer… sorry I meant the satirical writer?

Yes, the column which papa read. The man wrote: "Since 2017, so goes the tale reportedly originated by the fugitive leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nigeria has been ruled by a Buhari look-alike, Jubril al Sudan, a native of Sudan — or Niger, take your pick. Buhari had died in the UK in 2017, where he was undergoing medical treatment. Notwithstanding the fact that Queen Elizabeth had sent a message of condolence to the Nigerian government, the entrenched cabal in Aso Rock had procured a Buhari double in Sudan, and pressed him into service as Nigeria’s president.

"Despite occasional stumbles and apparent loss of memory, the transition had gone so smoothly that the only tell-tale sign of the infernal switch was a scar on Jubril’s left earlobe that was not a part of Buhari’s profile. Kanu, or whoever began the tale, and those who have been peddling it, should update their material.

"I can report authoritatively that representatives of the Jubril family, having discovered the gigantic swindle, suddenly showed up in Abuja the other day and demanded to be compensated with a power-sharing arrangement at the federal level in perpetuity, plus 50 per cent of Nigeria’s oil revenues for ten years in the first instance. Failing this, they warned, they would tell their story to the whole world."

But that Is a satire. It means “the use of humor, irony and exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues".

Haba!

Bishop has goofed for taking Professor Dare's article hook, line and sinker.

Oyinbo re pe te. How is that mean? No, it's 'what does that mean?' It means you don’t take everything one says? Even the Bible says prove every spirit whether it’s of God.

Again Bishop goofed!

Ah! From your mouth? Abomination! You say negative of a man of God.

That is the problem of we Nigerians. We sometimes seem holier than the pope. We think the man of God is infallible. They are humans and they can make mistakes and not all they say is God talking through them.

This is why I still believe many of us aren't educated, but are aware of education. It is not enough to read and write. One's attitude must connect with education to sieve the truth in all matters.

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Housewife Arrested For 'Attacking' 12-Year-Old Houseboy With Hot Water, Razor Blade

Tue, 2018-12-04 20:11


Abimbola Oreoluwa, a housewife, has been apprehended by the officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Ondo State for allegedly inflicting bodily injury on her 12-year-old houseboy.

Oreoluwa allegedly attacked the boy with a razor blaze and hot water for stealing her personal belongings.

Pedro Awili, the NSCDC Commandant, disclosed this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while parading the suspect before journalists on Tuesday.

Awili stated that Oreoluwa was arrested following a tip-off on how she had been maltreating her houseboy since he started living with her.

“Our investigation revealed that the boy is from Benin Republic and the woman got him through his master in Abeokuta, Ogun State. She brought him as a houseboy and paid N120,000 to his master. We are going to arrest the man in Abeokuta because this is a case of a child abuse and human trafficking. The woman has been maltreating the boy. She doesn’t allow him to go to school; she seriously abuses the boy by beating him up for any little mistake he makes,” he said.

Awili called on those engaging the services of househelps to always show them love instead of maltreating them. He also urged people to desist from engaging underage children as househelps or face the full wrath of the law.

“If you know that to beat up your househelp or inflict injuries on them, especially the underage ones is your aim of engaging them, it is better to rethink and desist from such attitude. Parents need to know about the welfare of their children and know who to give them to, if need be,” he added.

Speaking with newsmen, Oreoluwa said she acted in self-defence.

“He has been living with me for almost a year now and is fond of destroying my properties: my car, my wears and many other things. He also steals. I got him from one woman at Abeokuta and l didn’t know he is from Cotonou. I told the woman that l needed someone as an assistant and not a child like this," she said.

“When the boy came, l told the woman that the boy is too small for me to accept. She said l should just leave him and that she would bring someone in two months. Since that time, l have been calling her but she didn’t show up.

“But what really happened was self-defence; it wasn’t intentional. He was trying to block me with an iron chair, when the kettle l was holding which had hot water in it poured on him, when he wanted to run," she stated.

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'Dozens Were Killed' — Policeman's Family Says Police Lied About Zamfara Attack Casualty Toll

Tue, 2018-12-04 20:04


Sergeant Sunday Itodo

Days after the Nigeria Police Force announced that its officers were attacked by Fulani militia in Zamfara State, with one officer killed, the family of a missing officer have come out to counter the claim.

A family member, who spoke to SaharaReporters, maintained that dozens of police officers were killed in the ambush.

DCP Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, had said the Police team was attacked at Mahanga forest in Zamfara. He disclosed that the Police killed 104 bandits, while an officer was killed and 12 persons were injured.

“The Police Joint Operation Team at about 1600Hrs, 29th November, 2018, repelled attacks from armed bandits at Mahanga Forest in Birnin Mogaji LGA of Zamfara State, and in the process killed one hundred and four (104) bandits, destroyed over fifty (50) bandits' hideouts in three (3) camps, recovered over five hundred (500) cattle and seventy-nine (79) sheep from the bandits. Unfortunately, we lost a policeman and twelve (12) policemen were wounded during the attacks. The Police team has restored normalcy and peace in the affected areas,” DCP Moshood had said.

However, a family member of one of the officers deployed with the team, Sergeant Sunday Itodo, countered the claim, insisting that Itodo's whereabouts was unknown and the Police are yet to state whether he is dead or alive.

Yemi Itodo, the Sergeant's brother, who spoke with our correspondent, also revealed that the Police lost more than 12 officers in the ambush.

He said the family got information that Sergeant Itodo was shot during the attack, as well as a colleague who tried to rescue him.

“The family got information on Sunday morning by a source at the operation that our brother, Sergeant Itodo, was shot during the attack and a colleague who attempted to rescue him by taking him to a nearby bush path, was also shot,” he said.

He, however, mentioned that they have been unable to get in touch with Sergeant Itodo, as his phone was switched off. It was also gathered that the bodies of the officers shot by the armed bandits were yet to be recovered by the Police.

"We learnt that dozens of policemen were killed in the ambush. My brother and all other officers shot were still under hostage in the forest, as efforts by both the Nigeria Police and Army to recover bodies became fruitless,” he added.

The family questioned the Force on why the casualty figure was pegged at just one, and they urged the Inspector General of Police to “please intensify efforts to rescue our brother and hopefully alive too".

“We don't want to believe he is dead. He can't just abandon his young wife and four kids at this moment. My brother will not die. I only want the IGP to act fast," Itodo said in tears.

Sergeant Itodo, a member of Mopol 15 Kwara, according to the family, has been in the Special Mobile Force of the Federal Government for almost eight years and was part of the foreign peacekeeping mission in Somalia in 2013 and returned with an award for gallantry.

He has also been part of the Special Forces fighting insurgency for many years in Borno, Kaduna, Sokoto, with his latest posting in Jos before he was deployed to Zamfara three weeks ago.

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After Buratai's Petition, Police Rearrest Adeyanju For 'Cyberstalking'

Tue, 2018-12-04 19:08


Barely 24 hours after his release from prison custody, Deji Adeyanju, Convener of Concerned Nigerians, has been rearrested and arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Abuja on a two-count charge bordering on cyberstalking inciting disturbance and criminal defamation.

He was taken to court by men of Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS) at 12:26pm. The offence is contrary to Section 391 of Penal Code and section 24 (1) of CyberCrime Prohibition and Protection Act 2015.

The latest charge came on the heels of a petition written by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, against Adeyanju for "promoting terrorism on social media over Melete attacks on the Nigerian Army".

Idiat Akanni, the Presiding Magistrate, adjourned the matter to Thursday, December 6, 2018 for ruling on the bail application filed by the defence counsel, Barrister Tolu Babaleye, who appeared alongside S.M. Oyeghe. 

Deji will remain in Police custody pending the determination of the matter.

Adeyanju’s detention has drawn outcry from rights groups and individuals.

What is Cyber Stalking?

Section 58 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act, 2015 (hereinafter referred to as the Cybercrimes Act) defines cyber stalking as "a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear".

The offence is created by Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act. Section 24 (1) provides in part as follows:

A person who knowingly sends message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that -

(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message to be so sent, or,

(b) he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causes such a message to be sent, commits an offence under this Act and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or both."

Under Section 24 (2), "A person who knowingly or intentionally transmits or causes the transmission of any communication (1) Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that-

(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent; or

(b) he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causes such a message to be sent: commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(2) Any person who knowingly or intentionally transmits or causes the transmission of any communication through a computer system or network -

(a) to bully, threaten or harass another person, where such communication places another person in fear of death, violence or bodily harm or to another person;

(b) containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to harm the person of another, any demand or request for a ransom for the release of any kidnapped person, to extort from any person, firm, association or corporation, any money or other thing of value; or

(c) containing any threat to harm the property or reputation of the addressee or of another or the reputation of a deceased person or any threat to accuse the addressee or any other person of a crime, to extort from any person, firm, association, or corporation, any money or other thing of value:

commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction —

(i) in the case of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subsection to imprisonment for a term of 10 years and/or a minimum fine of N25,000,000.00; and

(ii) in the case of paragraph (c) and (d) of this subsection, to imprisonment for a term of 5 years and/or a minimum fine of N15,000,000.00.

through a computer system or network -

(a) to bully, threaten or harass another person where such communication places another person in fear of death, violence or bodily harm to another person.

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Re-examining Oyedepo’s Comment On Jubril From Sudan By Kunle Yomi

Tue, 2018-12-04 18:49


Anyone who thinks politicians are the sole problem of Nigeria is not discerning enough. A discerning mind would realize that the politicians, in many instances, are symptoms of what ails Nigeria, which is a perverted clergy across creeds. Nigeria is plagued by too many clergymen who are addicted to living lives of opulence that openly conflict with the earthly sojourn of the founding prophets of the faiths. Only such carnal disposition will embolden the overseer of a church to validate the fake news about President Muhammadu Buhari being a clone.

This desire to be earthly kings, in sharp contrast to their own admonition to their followers to only be expectant of heavenly rewards, has created first class scam artists that blaspheme against the very doctrine enshrined in the testaments by which they rate others. Of course, any attempt at censuring the misdeeds of these clergy is immediately condemned as challenging God: the followers of some of these clergymen are quick to point out “judge not” or “touch not my anointed” without a memory of what portion of the scriptures confers such immunity on a General Overseer or “Daddy GO”.

In response to this article, Bishop David Oyedepo, to task over his perversion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the expected reaction is for his members to invoke curses. But there is adequate provision for them. The Bible says in Proverbs 26:2 ESV “Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight” (or in the Contemporary English Version “A curse you don’t deserve will take wings and fly away like a sparrow or a swallow). So Oyedepo’s followers are free to invoke curses that will not come anywhere near me instead they will reap what is promised in Proverbs 26:27 “He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him.”

That said, it is time to address the role Oyedepo thinks Nigerians expect of him in the run up to the 2019 General Elections. He has taken it upon himself to be the sole delegate who will decide who becomes Nigeria’s President by May 29 of next year given his recent outings, utterances and missteps. It is fair to make a disclaimer at this point that other clergymen have commented on the political process and Oyedepo is not in their leagues – there are those who make emergency prophecies after buying intelligence report from security operatives, there are those who enjoy the attention they get from being controversial and there are a few respected clergymen that are known to constantly make social-political interventions that are borne out of their being divinely led to so do.

A major indicator that Bishop Oyedepo is losing the plot first came when he escorted the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to receive the absolution and the blessings of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Otta, Ogun state. A backlash from Nigerians saw him walking back that endorsement by claiming he was on a peacemaking mission, which left us wondering why his peacemaking mission did not berth in Plateau, Taraba or Kaduna state where ethnic strife claims lives regularly. Some smart online commentators later identified Bishop Oyedepo, Atiku Abubakar and Obasanjo as using the so called reconciliatory meeting as a cover for them to meet as private universities owners who are smarting from the impact of the anti-corruption war.

Interestingly, Bishop Oyedepo smarts from more than just that. His jet setting lifestyle took a hit with the fiscal policies of the Buhari government, which saw no sense in allowing him to park his private jets at any federal government owned airport for free, a decision reported to have compelled him to find alternate arrangement for his aircraft, as many as four by some counts. The same government stopped the duty waiver the Bishop’s many businesses enjoyed under the PDP government.

His tantrums are therefore understandable. He began the tantrum before his photo-op stunt when he told his congregation to vote against President Buhari and support Atiku. Now PDP, whose flag is flown by Atiku, wants to get back to the Presidential Villa and they have a worthy campaign director in Bishop Oyedepo.

This explains why he was able to abuse the sacredness of his position as a clergyman to propagate the fallacy of “Jubril from Sudan” who some halfwits separatist leader claimed has replaced President Buhari in the Villa. The sad part is that Bishop Oyedepo, as a clergyman, did not quote from the infallible scriptures to support his outrageous claim. He quoted from a newspaper! A newspaper quoted from the pulpit by a clergyman in place of the Bible and his hypnotized shouted hallelujah to the claim that “Jubril from Sudan” has been cloned to replace President Buhari.

But even to those that operate from the shrine, reality is setting in. This is a clone of the Bishop whose words once turned men from the path of iniquity unto righteousness. 

Perchance like President Buhari the real Bishop would be able to confirm to the world that he is not a clone.

 

Yomi is a social critic and writes from Lagos.

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Okorocha's Son-In-Law Abandons Him In APC, Joins AA

Tue, 2018-12-04 18:42


Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, has dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking on Tuesday at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, on his arrival from Abuja, he expressed his intention to contest for the Imo governorship seat on the platform of the Action Alliance (AA).

Giving reason for his decision, he said “Injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution” forced him out of APC.

He stated that aside this supporting Okorocha's senatorial ambition, others had defected from the APC.

“We are going to work with APC to deliver Imo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. We will deliver Governor Rochas Okorocha as senator because Action Alliance has no senatorial candidate in Orlu zone," he said, clutching the Action Alliance (AA) flag and flanked by the state chairman of the party.

“I have no problem with President Muhammadu Buhari. My headache is the National Chairman of APC. It is a divine project and we are ready for the election. It is inter-party marriage between AA and APC in Imo State.

“We will work with APC to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rochas Okorocha, myself and all our candidates.”

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EXCLUSIVE: APC Forges Signatures Of Candidates, Tells INEC They Surrendered Their Tickets

Tue, 2018-12-04 18:38














Two candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) vying for seats in the Lagos State House of Assembly have accused the party of forging their signatures in forms sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to request the withdrawal of their names from its list.

Olanrewaju Suleiman Afinni, candidate for Lagos Island II Constituency, and Hon. Olumoh Saad Lukman, candidate for Ajeromi/Ifelodun Constituency 01, have instituted summons against the party on the matter.

According to the letters submitted to INEC on their behalf and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, Afinni and Lukman are said to have withdrawn from the race “after due consultations with Lagos State Stakeholders”. However, the candidates say this is not true, insisting that they never wrote any letter or gave up their tickets.

         

Their withdrawal forms submitted to INEC were attached to a cover letter dated November 30, 2018 and signed by Honourable Mala Buni, APC National Secretary and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, APC Deputy National Chairman (S). Adebayo signed the letter on behalf of the APC National Chairman.

However, the duo of Afinni and Lukman insist that the Notice of Withdrawal Forms CF004C submitted on their behalf were done without their knowledge.    

Afinni’s name was replaced with one Giwa Shakirudeen Olushola, while Lukman’s name was replaced with one Hon. Famakinwa Adedayo Olufemi.

Protesting the replacement, the aspirants have written letters through their counsel, Madyan Legal Consult, informing INEC of the “clandestine plans by some highly placed persons to steal their mandate by substituting their names with those of other people”.

The letter by Maydan Legal Consult on behalf of both candidates, dated November 30, 2018, noted that the plan is to forge their signatures on "a purported notice of withdrawal of candidature so as to unlawfully substitute" their names with the names of some unknown persons.

         

They have also written individual letters to the APC National Chairman. While noting that he won the Lagos State primaries held on October 5, 2018, like Lukman, Afinni stressed that he didn't know how the withdrawal of their candidature came about.

The letter addressed to the APC National Chairman read: “I know for a surety that I did not write the letter at all, neither did I sign same. I also know that I did not deliver the letter to any of the offices of our great party, neither did I instruct any person to deliver the letter to any of the offices of our great party on my behalf".

         

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Sowore Takes Presidential Campaign To Enugu

Tue, 2018-12-04 18:23



Omoyele Sowore, presidential aspirant on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC), continued his campaign on Monday, December 3, 2018 in Enugu.

A crowd held him 'hostage' just after the grassroots campaign at Enugu main market premises, as he was compelled to address the crowd.

In his address, he assured the people of his determination to lift Nigeria from economic and political underdevelopment. He also expressed his displeasure with how the government under PDP and APC have looted the country.

"We have come here today to inform the good people of Enugu State that you should change the change in 2019. Vote for a new candidate; a young person that is capable with vision and mission for Nigeria so that he can change the future of this country. Our economy is down and we are ready to reinvigorate it," he said.

“They have nothing to offer us, including our children and parents. They have divided and destroyed this country. They have plundered this country to dryness and we are here as young candidates of AAC to change Nigeria forever and so that we can have a country we can be proud of; so that we can have a country that will not be governed by ancestors who have no interest of the citizens in mind."

He spoke on the APC's ‘Next Level’ stating that “Don’t vote ‘Next Level’; it's a scam. Vote for the highest level".

“We are taking back our country in February 2019 from the people who have destroyed and looted Nigeria, to young people who have ideas, because ideas must become the new currency and politics in Nigeria. This is the reason we are here in Enugu.

“We appreciate the people of Enugu for your help is on the way. Vote for African Action Congress. Don’t ever vote for APC and PDP because they are killers,” he concluded.

Sowore had embarked on a week-long campaign tour of Northern Nigeria. He has been to states like Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano, Kastina among others, where also met with young people, who represent not less than 60 per cent of Nigeria's voting population.

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'The Govt We Put In Place Has Failed' — 59 Buhari Support Groups Endorse Atiku

Tue, 2018-12-04 17:14


Support groups loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari have endorsed former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar for President in the 2019 general election.

The groups — 59 of them — explained that they took the decision because “the government we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people and we cannot continue to reinforce failure".

According to The Punch, National Coordinator, Grassroot Mobilisers for Buhari, Yusuf Ardo, accused the Buhari government of not including youth in his administration.

“Today, our country is faced with legions of challenges. Our economy that was the fastest growing in Africa has become comatose under the present government, which has shown that it was unprepared and completely clueless. We believe under Atiku, our economy will be revived and returned to the path of progress," he said at an event held on Monday night.

Nathaniel Isah, National Publicity Secretary of the group, spoke on the TraderMoni programme of the Federal Government, branding it a scheme to influence voters.

In his remarks, Abdulazeez Zubair, Coordinator of Legend Youth Mobilisers, stated that the hardship in the country informed the decision to withdraw support for Buhari.

“I am a student of Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano. Things are very tight in the country. My father could no longer support my education on account of the economic downturn in the country. We decided to support Atiku because we believe he can do better,” he stated.

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