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Presidential Poll: Jonathan, Kwankwaso Pick Forms

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National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu'Azu with President Goodluck Jonathan as he picks Expression of Interest to contest the 2015 Presidential election next year at the Party headquarters in Abuja

National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’Azu with President Goodluck Jonathan as he picks Expression of Interest to contest the 2015 Presidential election next year at the Party headquarters in Abuja

President Goodluck Jonathan visited the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to collect his expression of interest and nominations to enable him contest the February, 2015 Presidential election.
President Jonathan who promised to work with all Nigerians to move the country from its present level to where Nigeria should be, however boasted that he would have still picked the form if the party had refused him right of first refusal and did not give him the forms.
Speaking at the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC hall shortly after he received the two forms from the National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, the elated President said,
“First let me thank God for today, and thank Nigerians that were here today for this brief ceremony. Let me thank the leadership of our party and all member of our party for believing in me and for giving me the right of first refusal. I could have still picked the form if they did not give me. But giving me the right of first refusal has attracted more people that ordinarily it would have had.
Also, Governor  Rabiu Kwankwaso yesterday in Abuja picked the N27.5 million nomination and expression of interest forms to contest for the presidency on the platform of the APC in 2015 general elections.
He promised to regard his co-aspirants as a family and strive to play by the rules, to ensure a rancour-free primary.
’’Mr Chairman, at the convention yesterday (Wednesday) you said all the aspirants who have shown interest have ýpromised to work together. ‘’It is not a do-or-die affair. I assure you we will play the game according to the rules. Our participation is to add value to the party,’’ he said.
The governor said many of his friends were still willing to defect to the APC.
’’I assure you sir, that many more decampees are on the way after Tambuwal because they desire change and this party has all it takes to give Nigerians desired change,’’ Kwankwaso said.
He commended the National Working Committee of the APC for ‘’its determination to bring change and forming a formidable group for the success of the party’’, ‘’I also want to thank those who contributed to ýpurchase these forms. I have the capacity to buy the forms but they secretly paid and assured me there is enough money for the campaigns.’’
Responding, the APC Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, expressed happiness that more people planned to defect to the party.
’’Part of the amendment to our electoral constitution makes it possible for any eligible son to join the party today and contest tomorrow; so tell them they’re welcome, we have more forms for them. ‘’I am also glad to hear you’re ready to play politics without rancour; your words show your love for the country and personal commitment,’’ Odigie-Oyegun said.
The chairman further expressed delight that APC ‘’is the number one newsmaker today’’, adding that the party was popular both locally and internationally.
He prayed to God to give Nigeria a man ‘’that will give us tangible change we can see or touch’’.
Meanwhile,efforts by son of Nigeria’s late prime minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Dr Abdul Jelil to purchase his expression of interest and nomination forms to challenge the decision of the National Executive Committee, NEC to participate in the Presidential primary election was frustrated, just as the doors were closed behind him.
The PDP yesterday asked Jelil Tafawa Balewa who has dared the PDP’s decision by storming the National Secretariat with his supporters to pick the forms having paid the mandatory N2 million for expression of interest and N22 million for Nomination form totally, N22 million to come tomorrow, Thursday, the last day for the sale of forms to aspirants.
It would be recalled that NEC had at its 66th NEC meeting endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s sole Presidential candidate of the party whose candidature would be ratified at the December 6 National Convention.
The party had also said after the endorsement that all law abiding members of the party must adhere strictly to the decision of PDP by not picking presidential nomination forms to kick against the decision of the organs of the party.
Speaking with Journalists at the National Secretatiat after he was denied opportunity, Balewa, a medical doctor said that having consulted widely, he was convinced that Nigerians have been yearning for a new leadership capable of fulfilling the high expectations and aspirations of the majority in Nigeria.
According to Dr. Abdul Jahlil Tafawa Balewa, he paid the required N22m, displayed a Zenith Bank teller with account number 1012436478.
Balewa who noted that he went to see the National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha and the National Secretary, Prof. Wole Oladipo said, “I have paid for my forms, I was however told that they don’t have the forms ready. No matter, I am still here, I will send some of my people here on Thursday to come and pick the forms. People came from Bauchi and from different parts of the nation to support me. We have signature of over 40million Nigerians that want a change. I am in the PDP, I have always being in the PDP, I have no intention of leaving the PDP, but I have every intention of making my country a better country, a country that we will all be proud of.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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