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Massive Turnout As Ekiti Voters Troop To Polling Units

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There was a massive turnout of voters in Ekiti as the accreditation and voting process got underway in Saturday ’s governorship election.
Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) monitoring the election across the three senatorial districts of the state report that many voters had arrived their polling units as early as 6.30 a.m. to wait for election officials.
Across many polling units in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, there was an impressive turnout of enthusiastic voters determined to exercise their civic responsibilities.
At ward 10 Unit 12 a&b, Basiri area of Ado-Ekiti, the Assistant Presiding Officer, Miss Nafisat Jamie, told NAN that though they collected all the election materials as early as 6.00 am, the process could not start due to transportation challenges to the unit.
As at 8.53 am, the names of eligible voters were just being pasted for viewing and confirmation.
An observer from the Transition Monitoring Group, Mrs Tosin Abati, told NAN that the process started late due to the late arrival of INEC officials.
At Ward 10 Unit 9, Okesha area of the state capital, the Assistant Presiding Officer 2, Mr Owoseni Taiwo, addressed the voters, who were already on the queue and opened the ballot box for everyone to see and confirm that it was empty.
Visits to Wards 3, Units 5 and 13 Idemo, and Ward 9 Unit 12 Odo-Ado revealed that accreditation and voting were going on simultaneously with security men on standby.
Dr Mike Omilusi, an observer from the Alliance for Credible Election, commended INEC for its pro-active strategies in terms of voter education and sensitization ahead of the poll.
He also commended INEC on the use of the card readers for the election but advised that more card readers be made available in future elections.
The observer said that the new idea of accreditation and voting simultaneously was commendable, noting that this would ensure quick conclusion of the exercise.
At the St Michael’s School, Ajilosun, opposite Mobil filling station, the turnout was also impressive while the accreditation and voting process was also going on simultaneously.
Speaking with NAN, an observer from the Justice Development and Peace Initiative, Mr Aluko Isiaih, said that, the election started well until when the card reader in one of the wards stopped working for about 45 minutes before it was rectified.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing this report, elections were going smoothly in all the eight units located within the school ’s premises while there was no report of violence.
Efforts to speak with members of the monitoring team from the British High Commission, however, failed as they declined comments.
Mr Wale Adebayo, a member of the team, told NAN that they had no comment to make.
In Isan-Ekiti, where the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Kayode Fayemi, hails from, accreditation and voting commenced across many polling units between 8.03a.m and 8.38.
In Fayemi’s Polling Unit 009 Ward 11, NAN reports that accreditation and voting commenced at about 8:38 a.m. although INEC officials arrived at about 7:26 a.m.
Accreditation and voting began in Polling Units 006 and 007 as well as 005 between 8: 03 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.
At Unit 009, no fewer than 345 names of voters appeared on the pasted registered list.
In Ikere –Ekiti, the hometown of the PDP flagbearer, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, voters trooped out as early as 6.30 a.m. to various polling units.
NAN reports that a huge crowd was sighted at the Ofamofuru Polling Unit 007, Ward 02, of Olusola.
The Presiding Officer of the polling unit, Mr Layeni Segun, had urged the voters to conduct themselves in an orderly manner after displaying the empty ballot box to those gathered.
He equally appealed to the voters to allow the elderly and nursing mothers to cast their votes first.
Other polling units visited such as ‎L.A Pilot Polling Unit,08, Ward 002, Custom Polling Unit,08, Idiyin Polling unit 006, Ward 002 also‎ witnessed a massive crowd of voters.
NAN reports that no fewer than 667,064 eligible voters had collected their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) out of the 913, 334 registered.
NAN also reports that the electorate would vote in 2,195 polling units spread across 177 wards in the 16 local government areas of Ekiti while 35 candidates are contesting. (NAN)

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Postponement of elections: Why INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu must be sacked – Peter Obi’s camp

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The Peter Obi Support Network, POSN, has demanded for immediate sack of Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Yakubu Mahmood.

The group, in a statement to DAILY POST on Saturday, said the INEC boss undermined “the integrity of our electoral system and wasted Billions of Public Funds.”
DAILY POST reported that the INEC Boss had on Saturday morning announced the postponement of Presidential and National Assembly election.

This was despite multiple assurances that the elections will hold as scheduled.
The camp of the former Anambra Governor, who accused INEC boss of sinister motive, asked other stakeholders to join them and demand for the immediate resignation of Yakubu.
This was contained in statement, signed by the groups Spokesman, Chief T.E. Ezeoke.

It added, “This postponement is an embarrassment to Nigeria and all those who believe in this country. The pain and shame is just unbearable.
“Several people travelled to various destinations this weekend to perform their civic duties – many events were adjusted to ensure they did not clash with today’s election only to wake up and be greeted with this heartbreaking announcement.
“The financial damage is unimaginable. Enough is enough. Nigeria cannot continue to reward incompetence.

“The INEC had three and half years to prepare for this election and it has failed under Mr. Yakubu.
“With this development, Nigerians have clearly lost confidence in the ability of this chairman to conduct free and fair elections.
“POSN is raising the following posers

“Why was the election cancelled after sensitive election materials have been deployed?
“What happens to the materials, will the materials be recalled?
“How secure are those materials?

“How is it that INEC was not aware of the ‘logistics problems’ until a few hours to commencement of voting?
Is INEC’s postponement of the election within the said time frame constitutional in view of section 26(1) of the Electoral Act as amended?
“(The section provides for security concerns and natural disasters, where cogent and verifiable as only reasons for postponing election.)

“Should Nigerians insist on the use of new ballot papers as the sanctity of the ballot papers are no longer assured?
“Is the postponement part of a grand plan to rig the elections?
“We hereby call on the INEC Chairman to resign or be removed from office if he fails to do so.
“This is no time to shift blames. It’s simply a failure of leadership on INEC and President Muhammadu Buhari who controls the security agencies. Same-day cancellation is the height of gross incompetence.”


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APGA accuses PDP of plotting to rig Abia election

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The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia said it has uncovered the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) grand plot to rig the general elections in the state.
The state Chairman of the party, Mr Augustine Ehiemere, said this while briefing journalists in Umuahia on Sunday.
Ehiemere, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Chima Onyekwere, said that the plan was busted on Friday night, when police reportedly arrested a man in unlawful possession of election materials.
He said that the materials included written result sheets that purportedly gave victory to PDP in the aborted Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly polls.
He further alleged that the plot, involving top government officials, was to be executed using men in fake military uniforms.
He said that the uniforms had already been purchased and stored in a secret location.
According to Ehiemere, the uniforms will be given to scores of carefully selected, trained and armed thugs, who would impersonate security operatives, while working for PDP.
He said that part of the plot was to also use Toyota Hilux vans, fraudulently branded in army colour to carry the thugs round the state on the election day.
He alleged that the thugs would intimidate voters and others on legitimate electoral duties as part of the designed to disrupt the voting process.
Ehimere said that the plot was hatched to once again deny the good people of Abia the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights to elect credible leaders.
He warned that the plot would have triggered off a chain of violent reactions capable of endangering the lives of innocent people, if not uncovered and halted.
He said that PDP had become uncomfortable with the rising popularity of APGA’s governorship standard bearer, Dr. Alex Otti, hence the plot to rig the poll.
He, therefore, called on the leadership of INEC to overhaul its office in Abia, in order to remove officials that had compromised their positions.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP, Chief Don Ubani, dismissed the allegations as blatant lies from the pit of hell.
Ubani said that PDP never contemplated such a heinous plot, pointing out that APGA had only exposed what it hatched to do to rig the polls.
Also, the Abia Commissioner of Police, Mr Ene Okon, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the command has not received such a report from APGA or any other party in the state. (NAN).

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Election Postponement, sacrifice for Nigeria’s democracy – APC

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National Auditor of the All Progressives Congress (APC), George Moghalu, has called on Nigerians to consider the shift in dates of 2019 general election as a sacrifice for entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
Moghalu told newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra state, that his party, the APC was not happy with the development but must live with it if the postponement will lead to a better and credible process.
He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was fully in charge of the election and wholly responsible for its action which the Chairman had owned up to.
“INEC enumerated their own challenges and took the decision; we, the APC are not also happy about it.
“The important thing is that instead of doing haphazardly, it is better at once at a later date and they have just postponed it for one week, I don’t think it should be an issue.
“For the sake of Nigeria, let us make sacrifice for stable democratic process, the important thing is that we want a free,fair and credible election; we are giving them benefit of doubt.
“INEC is in charge and if they think that the infrastructure is not right, they reserve the right to do the right thing,” he said.

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INEC Apologies For Election Postponement

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The Chairman of The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Mahmood Yakubu has apologised to all Nigerians and key players in Nigeria’s electoral system over the postponement of the 2019 general elections by the commission earlier scheduled to hold on February 16th, 2019.

While enumerating the commission’s challenges which led to the postponement of the elections, Mahmood said that the commission’s decision is not due to security challenges, lack of funds or political influence but logistic problems beyond the commission’s control.
Mahmood said the logistic problems were largely due to challenges in the distribution of election materials and the sabotage of its preparation process, including the fire incidents in some of its offices in the states.

While assuring that the decision is for the good of Nigeria’s democracy, the INEC chairman took responsibility for all inconveniences the postponement has caused as he also pledged the commission’s commitment to ensuring a free, fair and credible poll in the new scheduled date.

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Masari Says Election Postponement Regrettable

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As reactions continue to trail the postponement of the presidential and national assembly election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Katsina state governor Aminu Masari has added his voice saying, he is optimistic that Nigerians will still massively reelect president muhammadu Buhari and other APC candidates on February 23rd and March 9th, 2019.

Masari made this known while speaking to newsmen over the development at the general Muhammadu Buhari government house Katsina, Northwest Nigeria.
Governor Aminu Masari while describing the postponement as regrettable and unfortunate however cautioned INEC against developing a culture of postponing elections as done in 2011 and 2015.

He also used the medium to advise them to intensify efforts to conduct free, fair and credible elections as a step to forge ahead and regain public commission confidence.
On his part, former governor of Katsina state Ibrahim Shema expressed fear over rumours that elections may be staggered in some states to achieve some rigging plans, warning INEC not to play along.
Shema stressed that the postponement will not be a set back for his party, the PDP, saying the will of the people and that of God shall come to pass.

 

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Those expecting Igbo presidency through PDP building castles in air -Ngige

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Chris Ngige is the minister of Labour and Productivity. He is a former governor of Anambra State and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He speaks on how APC leaders will battle the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South East.
In 2015, President Buhari secured less than 200,000 votes in the South East and of recent, leaders from that region who are members of APC have been boasting that it would be different this time around. With Peter Obi coming from that region, how will your party achieve this feat?
Yes, the PDP has a vice presidential candidate from my zone and I can tell you that it won’t be easy for them. See, politics and winning of election is all about calculation and strategic positioning and measured steps towards a direction. Two things are happening; in 2015 election there was no voting in most of the South East and South South states. Votes were allocated. The card reader hadn’t become functional. It was just new and it can be tampered with and at the end of the day, most votes were allocated.
So, Muhammadu Buhari was allocated 18,000 votes in the entire Anambra State. Is it possible? When my Local Government Area alone has 80,000 registered voters and the one next to that has 200,000 registered voters. You are talking about 280,000 votes. So, they were allocated votes. Even if they want to allocate now, they can’t do it because they are not in charge of police and army as it were. They took police, army, navy everything and armoured tank and drove us away. In fact, they put a price on my head when I was going to the collation centre. I got a call and they said I shouldn’t go because the situation has been taken over from the centre, but I refused. I wanted to go because I am not afraid of death. So my boys insisted and I said they can go. So, they started chasing them about. It was my boys chasing them around that resulted in the writing of only 600,000 votes for Jonathan against the 1.2 million votes promised that they were to bring. This time, it won’t happen. They will go and cast votes and whatever is cast is what we will announce.
We are not interested in rigging or chasing people about with armoured tank. That is one thing. Secondly, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP is former governor, Peter Obi, my successor in Anambra State. I can tell you that those who are shouting that Obi is this and that are the elites who are looking for one thing or the other and people who don’t believe that Muhammadu Buhari has done something good in their lives because he is already building infrastructure for them. They want money. They want all the monies that have been trapped by the TSA to be pushed down again on the table for them to start taking. That one is no longer possible. Peter Obi hasn’t been a wonderful governor as people expected him to be because I am the one to tell you because I know what I handed over to him. He is making noise that he handed money over to Obiano. I was the first to leave money. I left N13.8 billion cash in the bank and I am not counting the bank shares we bought and dividends, but because of propagandists, they shouted that he left N80 billion for Obiano and I left a lot of infrastructure work done. So for people to say because he chose Obi this will happen is false. Nothing will happen. If anything, Peter Obi has no influence in South East apart from Anambra. Even in Anambra Central Senatorial district, we are going to battle him there. Presently I can tell you that in Anambra State Obi and I will struggle for the votes. We are not going to be pushed down like we were the last time.

What do you make of the recent endorsement of Atiku by the leadership of Ohanaeze?
Ohanaeze is a socio cultural organisation. In a bid to please their masters, they went overboard. First, they went overboard to do an endorsement in November 2018 and when the strategy committee of Ohanaeze confronted them in the executive, they denied. They said they endorsed them just like every other person whereas, the clips showed that they were in that meeting and 99.9 per cent of the people in attendance were from the PDP. Only very few came there without knowing that it was an induction and I am telling you we found it difficult to still conceal what they were doing. So, just two weeks ago, they put this meeting on a date that Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was visiting Anambra State to commission the conference centre. I personally spoke to the Ohanaeze President who is my personal friend of many years and I said to him we have a guest so he should do us that favour of moving this meeting. I told him that I had just received the invitation to another day so that we can all attend and so that the governors of the South East will also be involved. These were functions created for that day and he said no that he couldn’t do it because the meeting had been long fixed and so, finally he said we can move the hours from 11 am and I said fine. It was moved from 4 to 7pm. The governor of Ebonyi State, who is the chairman of governor’s forum, I called him.
So, by 6pm, we saw off the president at Enugu airport and we started heading to the meeting which we arrived around 6:30 pm and we were told that the meeting was concluded about 20 minutes past 5pm and that they had endorsed the candidate of the PDP. Two things are clear; Ohanaeze is a socio -cultural organisation not known for endorsement of any candidate. What you are supposed to be doing is to get the candidates here and get from them your demands and not going to endorse. It is there clear in our constitution that we are not aligning with any political party and some people have tried it before unfortunately they got their fingers burnt.
In 2015, the immediate predecessor of Nwodo, Prince Igali and the Secretary-General, went and endorsed President Jonathan and said it is Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan and that he is their brother. They failed because President Buhari beat Jonathan in 2015 election. The claim of marginalisation came because of that endorsement and even the award and allocation of votes that followed thereafter, some APC members used it against all of us in the APC. They said there was no vote from us and that the election was won without an input from the South East, and that gave rise to the famous 5 per cent.
In any case, we are all human beings. If someone looks you in the face and say ‘I will not vote for you’ and you eventually win the election and he didn’t vote for you and you saw that he didn’t vote for you, would you be very happy? You won’t be very happy. However, I am not trying to justify anything at. All I am saying is that, we can’t be adopting candidates.
But for our brothers who came to see Mr. President, it wasn’t an adoption. It was a case of coming to say thank you for the infrastructure development that has taken place in the South East. The second Niger Bridge we can see it. He (Buhari) has put out N3 billion. No other government has done it. He put it in the national budget and put it as a flagship project in Nigeria and we are funding it. It’s unlike the previous governments that say it should be done on an IPP basis.
Okonji Iweala told us when they came to the Senate caucus of the South East in 2011 that it was an IPP that they are doing on second Niger Bridge and investors are coming. I told them that they should clear away from here with the kind of proposal. We did a bridge to connect FCT which cost N80 billion. It was funded from federal budget and at that time they came the Niger Bridge was estimated at N110 billion and Madam Okonji and my friend Pius Anyim were saying that it would be built on IPP and I said no and that was what happened. Today, this man (Buhari) is building the second Niger Bridge. He is building Enugu to Okigwe, to Uhumaia, to Port Harcourt. These projects were abandoned in the last 16 years. He is building Enugu to Oji River, Awka to Onitsha also abandoned during PDP regime. So, I have no apologies to say that Buhari is doing well and that is what our people came to do by telling Mr. President thank you. The people who came are members of the Imobe who don’t believe in what Nwodo and his group have done.
A lot of us and the South East governors don’t believe in what they have done. Governor Obiano has voiced his own out. I have paid my dues. I was president of Aki ‘Ikenga for six years. So nobody can talk to me about Ohanaeze or Igbo politics and no one can tell me that he loves Igbo more than me. The Igbo of Anambra know that I love them more than any of these people that are parading themselves up and down. I put my life on the line for the people of Anambra State so that they would have good things and I am also ready to put it on the line again for the Igbo nation so that they can secure their future in the nation and the only way they can secure their freedom is for them to follow a man who has shown signs that he loves everybody, that he is working for everybody.
People say that Obi will be the vice president. What is Vice President? The position of a vice president is a standby generator. It is a spare tyre you can decide not to use your spare tyre for six years. I have a vehicle that is six years old and I have never used the spare tyre. So the shortest route for the president of Igbo extraction for the Igbo is for them to vote for APC and in 2023 by the rotation principle, it will come back to the South and when it comes back to the South on moral grounds it will be the turn of the people of the South East. So we must struggle for it and it starts now. We must show our party that we can deliver. We must show our party that if we are given the ticket in South East we can do something with it.

Is there any promise by the leadership of APC that the South East will get the presidency in 2023?
Well, decisions of this nature are not taken four years away from when it will happen. According to the late wordsmith of Nigerian politics, he said when ‘the come comes to become, the men would be separated from the boys.’ So when 2023 comes, the party will speak. We are being realistic. It is those that are saying the vice president in PDP is a step away from presidency that are building castle in the air and not us in APC.


SUN

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Elections: Anambra INEC takes delivery of sensitive materials

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Anambra says it has taken delivery of all sensitive materials needed for the smooth conduct of the Feb. 16 Presidential and National elections.
Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) made the disclosure while briefing journalists at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Awka on Thursday.
He said that the materials for the 21 Local Government Areas had been sorted out and would be escorted to the council areas by securities operatives deployed for INEC elections.
The REC said that all the 21 Divisional Police Officers in the state were on ground to collect the batch allocated to their various council areas.
Orji promised that all materials would be deposited in their council areas on or before 6pm.
He said that the commission had received full replacement of all election materials gutted by fire in their storage on Feb. 12, adding that it was ready to conduct smooth elections come Feb. 16 and March 2.
Mr Williams Odumu, Chief Superintendent of Police and Operations Officer in the police Command in Anambra, said that the command witnessed the delivery of the sensitive materials to the INEC personnel.
Odumu pledged the determination of the police to discharge their duties by ensuring that all the electoral sensitive materials got to their destination without hitches.
The state Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Norbert Obi expressed joy at the process being applied by the INEC in the collection and sorting of the sensitive materials.
Obi, who was represented by Mr Ogonna Obi, a member of the party, said that the process was very transparent and commendable.
Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu, State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also expressed satisfaction at the process of the delivery used by the commission and hoping it would continue throughout the election period.
Nwobu, who was represented by Mr Obi Nwokwu, said that the delivery of the materials to the INEC officers was commendable, urging the commission to maintain the tempo of its transparency .
Mr Kingsley Ezekwum, a party agent for the All Progressive Congress (APC) said that he witnessed the electoral process of delivery of sensitive materials to INEC and prayed that it would remain open in its operations during the elections.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC took delivery of the sensitive materials for the Feb. 16 general elections in the presence of about thirty political parties, security agents, media and some observers.

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If PDP Comes To Power, Our Economy Will Crash Again – Amaechi

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The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, says the nation’s economy will crash again if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is voted back into power.
He made the claim on Sunday while addressing a crowd of supporters at the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State.
Amaechi called on the residents of the state to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari who is seeking re-election in the coming polls.
“What is critical is that all of us must go out to vote and vote President Buhari because if PDP comes back to power, our economy will crash again,” he stated.
READ ALSO: Atiku Promises To ‘Accelerate Investment, Double Infrastructure’ If Elected President
The minister, who doubles as the Director-General of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, asked the PDP to stop spreading what he described as “lies”.
He accused the main opposition party of being responsible for the hunger in the land, alleging that the PDP looted the nation’s treasury.
“We are hungry because PDP stole all our money and the economy crashed under PDP. Naira began to rise rapidly or fall rather against the Dollar under the PDP government,” Amaechi claimed.
“(Former President Olusegun) Obasanjo leftover $58bn in the Excess Crude Account. By the time PDP was handing over, they were handing over only $2.5bn to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
On infrastructure, the Minister revealed that President Buhari had approved the construction of the railway connecting Katsina to Gusau, as well as Sokoto to Kebbi states.
According to him, the project would provide at least 300,000 jobs for the people.
Amaechi also informed the gathering that the current administration has succeeded in banning the importation of foodstuffs like rice and chicken among others, thereby saving billions of naira in the process.
He called on Nigerians to vote for the President in the coming elections, to enable him to continue the work he has started.

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Buhari in pitch for votes says corruption threatens Nigeria, its polls

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In a pitch to Nigeria’s 84 million voters in this week’s presidential and National Assembly election, President Muhammadu Buhari warned that fighting corruption remains the most important issue in the country and that it has to be the linchpin of other policies.
He asked voters to make a choice between returning to the past of treasury looting or the present path of waging war against corruption.
“Or do revert to the past, resigned to the falsehood that it is just the-way-things-are-done? Or that it is just too difficult – too pervasive – to fix? I know which one I would choose. It is why I am asking Nigerians for another four years to serve them”, Buhari said.
In a statement that punctures the position of his main rival, who has promised amnesty for looters and national assets to friends, President Buhari warned that any policy programme that does not have fighting corruption at its core is destined to fail.
“The battle against graft must be the base on which we secure the country, build our economy, provide decent infrastructure and educate the next generation”, he said
“As president, I have tried to judiciously exercise the trust vested in me to combat the problems of corruption, insecurity and an inequitable economy. All are important. But amongst them, one stands above the others as both a cause and aggravator of the rest. It is, of course, corruption”, President Buhari said in a statement on Sunday.
Read the full statement:
On February 16th, Nigeria will hold a general election. Four years ago, the country experienced its first democratic transfer of power to the opposition since 1999. The vote in a few days will be no less significant.
As president, I have tried to judiciously exercise the trust vested in me to combat the problems of corruption, insecurity and an inequitable economy. All are important. But amongst them, one stands above the others as both a cause and aggravator of the rest. It is, of course, corruption.
A policy programme that does not have fighting corruption at its core is destined to fail. The battle against graft must be the base on which we secure the country, build our economy, provide decent infrastructure and educate the next generation.
This is the challenge of our generation: the variable on which our success as a nation shall be determined. But the vested interests at play can make this fight difficult. By way of their looting, the corrupt have powerful resources at their disposal. And they will use them. For when you fight corruption, you can be sure it will fight back.
It even threatens to undermine February’s poll and – by extension – our democracy. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised concerns over laundered money being funnelled into vote buying. This is the problem of corruption writ large. It illustrates how it lurks in all and every crevice of public life, manipulating due process in pursuit of self-preservation and perpetuation; protecting personal political and economic interests at the expense of the common good.
Indeed, those who have criticised my administration’s anti-corruption drive are those who oppose its mission. And though their lawyers may craft expensive alibis, they cannot escape that which binds them together: a raft of documents and barely legal (some clearly illegal) mechanisms – whether that be the Panama Papers, US Congress reports, shell companies or offshore bank accounts.
Corruption corrodes the trust on which the idea of community is founded, because one rule for the few and another for everyone else is unacceptable to anyone working honestly.
But as we have intensified our war on corruption, so we have found that corruption innovates to resist the law. This is not the sole domain of those Nigerians, but the international corruption industry: the unsavoury fellow-traveller of globalisation.
Once the enablers are let in – as they have been in the past – the greed of those they collude with grows. We have closed the door on them, but unfortunately there still remain individuals who are willing to open windows.
Concrete progress has been made, but there is still much to do. We have repatriated hundreds of millions of dollars stowed away in foreign banks. These funds have been transparently deployed on infrastructural projects and used to directly empower the poorest in society. More is still to come from our international partners in France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Yet the hundreds of billions sifted out of the country for the best part of this century promise more.

More ghost workers must be removed from government payroll (almost $550 million has been saved from identifying phantom employees). More can be recovered through our whistle-blower policy ($370 million has been returned since its launch in 2016). More is still to come. But, together, we shall prevail over corruption.

We have secured high profile convictions, but greater cases remain. Lawyers table endless objections to obstruct court proceedings, whilst their clients hope it lasts until a ‘friendly’ president is voted into office. We must continue to tighten the legal framework and ensure the authorities have the investigative powers at their disposal to secure sentences. Only then will we begin to neutralise the advantages the corrupt have.
More ghost workers must be removed from government payroll (almost $550 million has been saved from identifying phantom employees). More can be recovered through our whistle-blower policy ($370 million has been returned since its launch in 2016). More is still to come. But, together, we shall prevail over corruption.
A Yoruba proverb states that only the patient one can milk a lion. Likewise, victory over corruption is difficult, but not impossible. We must not flounder in our resolve. I know many Nigerians would like to see faster action. So do I. But so too must we follow due process and exercise restraint, ensuring allegation never takes the place of evidence. For that is not the Nigeria we should wish to build.
There is no doubt that this Administration has changed the way we tackle corruption. The choice before voters is this: Do we continue forward on this testing path against corruption? Or do revert to the past, resigned to the falsehood that it is just the-way-things-are-done? Or that it is just too difficult – too pervasive – to fix? I know which one I would choose. It is why I am asking Nigerians for another four years to serve them.

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Tinubu Says No Impeachment Against Ambode

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The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu on Sunday put the impeachment saga which has dominated the polity in the last one week in Lagos state to rest.

Speaking after a peace meeting brokered by the APC leadership in the state to end the rift between the governor and lawmakers which was held at Lagos house, marina, Tinubu said it was gratifying to note that the conflict between the governor and members of the state assembly has been amicably settled.
Tinubu, who spoke on behalf of all the APC leaders in the state, said the executive and the legislative arms of government in the state have resolved to work together in the interest of the state.

Also speaking, a party chieftain, Prince Tajudeen Olusi corroborated Tinubu’s position and expressed optimism that the house would soon meet to resolve other grey areas.
The meeting was attended by both the executive and legislative arms represented by governor Ambode, deputy governor, Idiat Adebule; speaker of Lagos state house of assembly, Mudashiru Obasa among other principal officers of the assembly.

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