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OBIARUKU – STALWART of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta State, Mr. Chidi Nwabuofu, Wednesday, said the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for the 2019 general election was not a threat to the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He however, urged the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomole to call on all aggrieved parties and stakeholders to a negotiation table to “forestall the negative consequences arising from the just concluded primaries, before the 2019 general elections. Nwabuofu, in a statement, said "Atiku cannot contend with the overwhelming support that Nigerians have pledged for our President, Muhammad Buhari. Perhaps when the scales fall off the eyes of our detractors, they will realize the futility of their struggles.”

The statement further noted that “The divisive reflexes that struck our great party, APC, before and in the aftermath of the recent primaries is a development that must be arrested in good time. As a progressive party we need to set standards for other political parties to emulate in our attempt to write off the bad legacies of PDP. This is so for Nigerians to consider the APC as its viable choice. That of course will be negated if the different tendencies are allowed to fester. We need to eschew personal interests, greed, and unite in the party because service in itself is sacrificial and not a do or die affair". “However, in doing this I strongly recommend that those who purchased the party’s expensive forms and were not successful in the primaries across the nation should be compensated. This I believe, might help mitigate the grievances that the process entrenched. I’m confident in the capacity of our National Chairman to be able to weather the storms from across the states.”


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The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, yesterday held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Abeokuta private residence.

Those in the team were Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Prof. Banjo Akintoye, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Dr. Amos Akingba, Hon. Oladipo Olaitan, Ayo Adebanjo and Modupe Adelaja.

There was no clue about what was discussed at the meeting but it might not be unconnected with the current political development in the country, particularly the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the leading presidential candidates in the 2019 elections.

The Afenifere’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, who spoke with journalists, said the group would soon announce to the public which of the presidential candidates they would support.

Even though Odumakin was evasive on who they would likely support between Buhari and Atiku, from what he said, it was certain that they would throw their weight behind Atiku.

He said: “The 2019 election is going to be interesting, the most important thing for us is restructuring and clearly you should know that Afenifere will always support a candidate that is ready to restructure the country because without restructuring, we are going nowhere.

“So, the choice is clear. We will make the announcement soon.

“Restructuring of the country is Atiku’s major campaign message while Buhari has often times stated that restructuring is not the major problem confronting Nigeria.

“Some few months ago, former President Obasanjo came to Lagos to visit Pa Ayo Adebanjo and we discussed some issues and today we are here too as well to visit him and appreciate his visit to Lagos the other time.

“We are trying to further the friendship so that there can be harmony in Yorubaland so that our people can know that leaders across divide are coming together to discuss the way forward.”

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The electoral committee set up by the  National Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to conduct primaries in Kaduna State has issued Certificates of Return to the elected senatorial candidates from the three zones.

The certificates were issued on Monday by the Chairman of the electoral committee in the state, Mathew Idouriyekemwen, despite the controversy surrounding the senatorial primary for Kaduna central district, where the incumbent senator, Shehu Sani, insisted that he was given an automatic ticket by the party’s NWC.

The senatorial candidates are Uba Sani for Kaduna central, Suleiman Abdu-Kwari for Kaduna North and Bala Bantex for Kaduna south.

The committee also presented certificates to winners for the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections.

In his remarks, the electoral committee chairman said the primary was free and fair and has the backing of the party’s national leadership.

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, that the Presidency is not for sale.

The APC Acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, said this in a statement on Monday, in reaction to allegations of vote buying in the just concluded presidential primary of the PDP.

“Atiku is known as a super-rich Nigerian who entrenched the undemocratic practice of buying votes of delegates".

“During the APC National Convention in 2014, he spent several millions of dollars to buy delegates’ votes and emerged third, after Buhari and Rabiu Kwankwaso".

He continued by stating, “On Sunday, he reportedly bought over virtually all the PDP delegates and was declared the winner of the PDP presidential primaries".

“With these huge expenses incurred to secure the PDP ticket, how will Atiku recoup his “investment” if not from the public treasury should he win the Presidency?" the APC questioned.

The APC further scored the PDP presidential candidate ‘abysmally low’ in terms of character, citing his relationship with his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo.

According to the party, he has proven to be ‘untrustworthy and unreliable’.

The APC accused Atiku of defecting from one party to another, adding that if he loses the presidential election in 2019, he will again defect from the PDP to another political platform.

At the end of the political banter, the ruling party, however, congratulated Atiku on his victory.

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Senate president and presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Bukola Saraki has assured Atiku Abubakar of his support in the 2019 presidential election.

Saraki made this known in a series of tweets on Sunday, after Atiku was announced as winner of the PDP presidential primaries.

Today is a great day for our party, , because it has shown what men and women of our party can do. Today has shown that the interest of our party and the Nigerian people is more important than our individual interests. 

I want to thank Governor Okowa for planning and organizing this transparent, free and fair Presidential Primary and Convention.

I congratulate our Presidential Candidate, Your Excellency, Alhaji Abubakar, for your victory. You have stayed on course over the years and truly, you deserve this victory.

We always knew from Day 1 that only one candidate would emerge. On behalf of all the aspirants, I want to assure Alhaji  Abubakar that we will work with you to ensure that come 2019, you emerge as Nigeria’s next President. 

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari would have arrested him if he had found him wanting and that he is the most investigated politician in Nigeria.

Atiku made this known in a statement on Monday by his campaign organization in Abuja saying ‘ vindictiveness of President Buhari would have arrested Abubakar if he had been found wanting. He said: “We are not surprised that there is confusion in the President’s camp. We expected that they would be thrown into a catatonic state knowing that Atiku Abubabakr’s emergence automatically means the coming end of their ignominious reign". That much was admitted by the President’s former running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare when he praised the emergence of Atiku as an ‘Eagle’ and ‘a cosmopolitan wazobia’ politician. Obviously, Pastor Tunde Bakare has foreseen that the era of 97% versus 5% has come to an end with the emergence of the pan Nigerian Atiku Abubakar.

“We ask how can the Buhari Campaign Organisation disparage the PDP Primary that produced His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar,even when the President’s own wife, Aisha Buhari, has condemned the APC’s primary? Not only did Mrs Buhari condemn APC’s primaries, but she also described them as ‘unfair’ and lacking in integrity. Who can know President Buhari better than his wife? “Eleven aspirants contested against His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, during the Presidential primary of the PDP. Every single one of them accepted his victory. President Buhari was the only candidate cleared by the APC to contest its primary, yet, a coalition of 5 aspirants are challenging his victory, that alone tells Nigerians his emergence is fraudulent".

“Nigerians know that Atiku Abubakar is the most investigated politician in Nigeria and any smear by the Buhari administration remains just that. With the vindictiveness of President Buhari, he would have arrested Abubakar if he had been found wanting. However, to set the record straight, we want to remind Nigerians that PDP’s primaries were genuine, free and fair. Atiku Abubakar got 1,532 votes in a contest televised live to millions of Nigerians. The All Progressives Congress’ primary, on the other hand, was a study in dictatorship and corruption. The sole candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, scored almost 15 million votes. How could that occur without rigging or manufacturing of faceless voters?” “No wonder Transparency International rated Nigeria as more corrupt today under Buhari than just three years ago when the PDP was in power. The scandals are too numerous, including the $25 billion NNPC contracts awarded without due process, the several padded budgets, the $41 million Ikoyi Apartment scandal, the recall, reinstatement and double promotion of pension thief and Buhari financier, Abdulrasheed Maina, the N200 million grass cutter scandal, and many others too numerous to mention.” “The choice before Nigerians in 2019 is a simple one. Nigerians have a choice of electing a lively candidate with a record of providing 50,000 jobs to Nigerians in his private capacity versus the lifelessness (apologies to President Donald Trump) of a candidate under whom Nigeria lost 11 million jobs and became the world headquarters for extreme poverty". “Nigerians have a choice of a man who will provide an efficient and business-friendly solution to the herdsmen crisis and a man whose government said ‘giving land for cattle ranching is better than death.” “It is very obvious that faced with such a choice that Nigerians would definitely vote for the man who will Get Nigeria Working Again, hence we are not surprised by this desperate statement from the Buhari administration that is so shameless that they made a man implicated in framing a man of God on spurious charges as their spokesman. If he can lie against a man of God, should Nigerians believe anything he says about the PDP and its candidate?” 

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Former Plateau governor, Sen. Jonah Jang, has congratulated Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for picking the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 general elections.

Jang, who also contested alongside Atiku and 10 others, said in a statement issued on Monday in Jos that the victory was well-deserved and he would support the party’s candidate to win in 2019. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Atiku polled 1,532 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Aminu Tambuwal, who had 693 votes at the party’s elective convention held in Port- Harcourt. “On behalf of my campaign team and teeming supporters, I hereby congratulate Atiku Abubakar for a deserved victory and accept in totality the outcome of the Primary Elections.

“As a loyal member and responsible stakeholder of our party, I hereby pledge to support and work for the actualisation of the anticipated Atiku Abubakar presidency; a presidency which I strongly believe will have answers to the multifaceted problems confounding the current occupant of Aso Rock, ” Jang said.

The former governor urged Atiku to pay special attention to the challenges confronting the people of Middle Belt, particularly the countless killing of innocent citizens by ” faceless” gunmen, when he becomes president. He advised the candidate to make the security and welfare of the middle belters his top priority. Jang commended the Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee and the Dr Ifeanyi Okowa-led Convention committee for organising a hitch-free and transparent convention.


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 A source from the area, who identified himself as Benson, explained that some members of the party had allegedly come with some thugs to the venue.

The source disclosed that some of the thugs tied objects suspected to be  charms during the shooting, which was ostensibly targeted at scaring people away.

It was gathered that the shooting, which lasted for about 15 minutes, caused confusion during the primary, where the incumbent member of the House of Representatives, Jerome Eke, was to slug it out with another PDP chieftain, Ephraim Uzi.

“The incident happened at the council secretariat in Okehi, the venue of Etche PDP House of Representatives’ primary. The incident started at about 6 pm; some members of the party were said to have come in with thugs.”

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned what it called a fresh plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units in compromised areas” to boost the chances of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections.


The party said part of the plot is to create the additional polling units in remote areas to facilitate the exercise.

In a statement issued yesterday by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said Nigerians know what to do at the appropriate time.


“We are aware of series of clandestine meetings between compromised officials of the commission and certain agents of the Presidency and APC, where the plot to sneak in the 30, 000 illegal polling units in some remote areas and through which they plan to allocate votes to President Buhari and the APC were perfected.


“Our investigation shows that this is part of the grand design by the commission under Professor Mahmood Yakubu to rig the 2019 general elections in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari.


“Having realized that Nigerians have completely rejected them because of their manifold failures in governance, the Presidency and the APC are now employing all manners of dirty antics to create ways to rig the polls and foist President Buhari back on Nigerians.


“The PDP cautions INEC not to set the nation on fire by its overt conspiratory tendencies. Professor Yakubu should heed wise counsel and immediately perish the thoughts of using such polling units or dividing the nation along ethnic lines in the 2019 general elections, as such would be stiffly resisted.


“We invite INEC to note that every Nigerian has seen the handwriting on the wall regarding the general rejection of President Buhari and the APC well ahead of the elections. We all know where the tide is flowing and Nigerians are not ready to, and will never accept any results that do not reflect that reality.


“We urge Nigerians to remain vigilant and monitor all processes to ensure that INEC and the APC do not, at any point in the process, manipulate the 2019 general election and subvert the will of the people,” the statement read in part.

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Former President Jacob Zuma is seen in the dock at the High Court in Durban on today


Durban, South Africa (CNN)South Africa's ex-President Jacob Zuma appeared in a Durban court today to face multiple corruption charges relating to a billion-dollar arms deal in the late 1990s.

It's a dramatic U-turn for Zuma, who just weeks ago held the highest office in the land. He resigned on February 14, forced out by the leadership of the ruling African National Congress, his own party.

Thousands of people turned out to support Zuma as he arrived at the high court for his first hearing. They had been asked not to wear ANC colors, but many wore wraps and T-shirts with the former president's image.


After a brief preliminary hearing, the judge adjourned court proceedings to June 8.

Despite its brevity, the hearing was notable in a continent where leaders -- former or current -- don't generally face the law.

Andrew Feinstein, a former ANC member of parliament, has long accused Zuma of corruption. "But the question is, can Zuma keep himself out of court using legal machinations?" he asked.

Up until his Durban court appearance, Zuma's legal team had been successful in doing just that with a series of mostly procedural maneuvers.

In court Friday, his defense team said it would challenge the decision to prosecute. 

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