President Goodluck Jonathan and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Wednesday suffered another round of attacks from the All Progressives Congress (APC) as leading members of the opposition party took a swipe at his administration, asking him to prepare his handover note as the end of administration is imminent.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, described the head of the federal government as a “complete failure and a disappointment to Nigerians.”
Tambuwal, who recently defected from the ruling PDP to the APC, while speaking in Benin City, the Edo State capital, at the sixth anniversary of the Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration, said he accepted the invitation to join the opposition party because the PDP had failed Nigerians.
He said what Nigerians were currently experiencing was not a government but a cabal that hijacked the resources of the people for their selfish interest.
The speaker admonished Nigerians not to be deceived again by the antics of the PDP in the 2015 general election, as it had been proven that the ruling party will not provide good governance.
He described the APC as a movement for change with the objective of ensuring better living condition for the people, advising those campaigning for the re-election of Jonathan to go and settle debts they owed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), before soliciting for votes for him to avoid prosecution.
Tambuwal urged Jonathan to stop covering his lack of performance with the excuse that he was being intimidated because he comes from the minority, because what Nigerians need is good governance and not where the person comes from.
His words: “I accepted to join the movement for change in Nigeria being championed by the APC because the government at the centre has failed, and the objective of the change movement is to provide Nigerians with uninterrupted power supply and improved infrastructure.
“What we have at the moment is not a government but a cabal that has hijacked the resources of the people for its selfish interest. Nigerians should not be deceived again. It has been proven that the PDP will not provide good governance. What Nigerians need is good governance no matter where the person who would provide it comes from.
Also speaking, former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, charged Nigerians to use their votes to liberate the country from the PDP’s imposed poverty in 2015.
He reiterated the party’s call for President Jonathan to resign, or the APC would sweep him out of office in the forthcoming polls, as insurgents are gradually taking over Nigeria under his leadership.
Tinubu wondered why the president would still go ahead with his declaration for the presidential election on Tuesday when he should have been mourning the death of over 47 students who were bombed in Potiskum, Yobe State, a day before his declaration.
He contended that the insensitivity displayed by Jonathan showed how he governs the country.
“Jonathan danced on the blood of the Yobe school children when he went ahead with his declaration for the 2015 presidential election yesterday (Tuesday) in Abuja.
Insurgents are taking over parts of Nigeria; who is responsible? How can soldiers who stake their lives fighting the insurgents be rounded up and sentenced to death? Jonathan must resign. If he fails to resign, we will sweep him away,” Tinubu said.
Urging Nigerians to be ready to vote out the PDP in the 2015 elections, the APC leader said: “We have done it before and we are ready to do it again. We will show them that the power of the people is greater than the power of tyranny.”
He warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against collaborating with the PDP, saying that the APC will resist such plot, adding that the opposition will support the electoral body to create additional polling units, but “not the ones with zero registered voters that would be used to rig elections.”
On his part, Oshiomhole, who also warned against the rigging in the next elections, said any attempt by the PDP-led federal government to use the military to rig the polls would be resisted.
He said: “Nobody born by a woman will govern Nigeria in 2015 with a stolen mandate. So, let them stop using the language ‘fall’ because we are ready to defend our land. And any attempt to use the armed forces to rig the elections, it will be fire for fire.
We will stand and defend our democracy because only a coward dies a million times before his death.”
Reacting to the recent declaration by President Jonathan that “Edo State will fall to the PDP” 2015, Oshiomhole advised the president to look elsewhere for support in his re-election bid, as Edo people will this time not vote on the basis of tribalism. He also said that the state “is not an enemy territory,” but one that has come to stay.
“In 2015, Edo people will not vote on the basis of tribalism but on the basis of who will provide power. For as long as the PDP is in power, Nigerians will be out of power; for as long as the PDP has power, Nigerians will never have power. So, Edo State will never fall to the PDP and we cannot be intimidated.
Former Head of State, General Muhmmadu Buhari and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, who also addressed the crowd, urged Nigerians to sustain the momentum that brought the APC to power in Edo State and extend same to the rest of the country including the centre.
In his speech, the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the party promises a new Nigeria, boasting that the party will sweep the 2015 elections in the South-south geo-political zone seen as the stronghold of President Jonathan as well as form the government at the centre.
At a different forum yesterday, the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, blamed President Goodluck Jonathan for the growing activities of Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east.
Consequently, the governor said a federal government under the president lacked the capacity to defend the country’s territorial integrity, citing the growing loss of the country’s territory.
He said this at the ninth raffle of Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (LagosHOMs) draw at LTV 8 compound in Agidingbi, Ikeja, calling his countrymen to cease the 2015 elections to vote out leaders that underperformed.
The governor said the federal government’s failure “to ensure the security of lives and properties was responsible for the insurgent’s takeover of some parts of the country.”
Fashola explained that the people of Nigeria handed the country over to Jonathan’s administration intact, lamenting the extent to which the country “has degenerated, so much so that some parts of the country have fallen into the hands of the insurgents.”
The governor said the powers that be “enjoy making promises, they cannot keep. We have heard promises about security, not so? Promises made four years ago. But we handed them the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with all its components parts intact.
“We are back four years after with some parts of Nigeria already taken away from them and they are saying the next four years will be better,” Fashola explained.
He urged his countrymen “to be wary of politicians who come to them during this electoral period to make superficial promises, noting that the electorate should assess the track records of political office-holders and their political parties before deciding for them.
Declare Buhari’s Seat Vacant, Owuru Urges Court
The candidate of the Hope Democratic Party (HDP) in the last presidential election, Chief Ambrose Owuru, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to declare the seat of President Muhammadu Buhari vacant.
Owuru, who was among the four petitioners that went to tribunal to challenge Buhari’s re-election, in his fresh suit, sought for an order to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), from “undertaking or planning any other election into the office of the President”, in 2023.
The Plaintiff, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/480/2021, maintained that Buhari is “an unlawful President that is illegally occupying the Presidential seat”.
It would be recalled that Owuru and his party, HDP, had in an earlier appeal they litigated up to the Supreme Court, insisted that the Justice Mohammed Garba-led Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, erroneously dismissed a petition they lodged against the return of Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the presidential election that held on February 23, 2019.
They specifically prayed the apex court to sack Buhari on the premise that he emerged through an illegal process.
According to the Appellants, INEC, failed to follow condition precedents stipulated in the Electoral Act, when it unduly postponed the presidential election that was originally fixed for February 16.
The HDP claimed that its candidate, Owuru, secured over 50million votes in a referendum that was conducted by both electorates and observer networks that were dissatisfied with the unilateral postponement of the presidential election by INEC.
However, in a unanimous decision, a five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, struck out the appeal for constituting “a gross abuse of the judicial process”.
Meantime, in the fresh suit, Owuru and his party argued that their suit against Buhari at the Supreme Court was inconclusive.
The Plaintiffs argued that the case was fixed outside the 60 days period that was allowed by the law.
Owuru asked the court to declare him the authentic winner of the last presidential poll, as well as, to issue an order for his immediate inauguration to take over from Buhari.
He prayed the court to declare that he is entitled to serve out a tenure of 4 years after his formal inauguration.
More so, the HDP presidential candidate, aside from asking for Buhari’s immediate removal from office, equally prayed the court to compel him to refund all salaries, allowances and emoluments he collected while he unlawfully stayed in office as President.
Owuru also asked the court to give an order that salaries, allowances and emoluments be paid to him from May 29, 2019, when he ought to have been sworn in, till date.
The Plaintiff further applied for, “An order of interlocutory injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves and acting through their agents, servants, privies and or proxies howsoever from any further organizing, undertaking or planning of any other election into the office of the President of Nigeria or any such other Presidential Election interfering, harassing and or disturbing the Applicant adjudged acquired right as unopposed and unchallenged winner of the original scheduled and held the February 16 Presidential Election thereof until the 1st Applicant unserved constitutional four years term of office is served pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit by this honourable court”.
Cited as 1st to 3rd Respondents in the matter were Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, and INEC.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the matter to be heard.
World Bank Report Exposes Buhari’s Lies, PDP Affirms
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the report by World Bank that 7 million Nigerians have been pushed into poverty in the last year, has clinically belied the integrity posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The opposition party said the World Bank report came in the face of the recent claims by President Buhari that his administration has lifted over 10 million Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years.
The PDP asserted that the report by the World Bank has further vindicated its position that President Buhari runs an uncoordinated and clueless administration that thrives on lies, false performance claims, deceit, and perfidious propaganda.
The statement added that, “Nigerians can now clearly see why the APC and President Buhari’s handlers are always in a frenzy to attack our party and other well-meaning Nigerians whenever we point to the poor handling of the economy and on the need for President Buhari to always be factual on pertinent issues of governance in our country.
“Unfortunately, it indeed appears that Mr. President enjoys living in denial while watching millions of Nigerians go down in abject poverty, excruciating hunger, and starvation as our country now ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index under his watch.
“Otherwise, why would Mr. President claim that his administration has lifted over 10.5 million Nigerians out of poverty while official figures even from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show worsening poverty rate with 142.2% growth in food inflation and over 82.9 million Nigerians being unable to afford their daily meals due to the failure of the administration to take practical steps to grow and protect the food sector?
“Under President Buhari, Nigerians are now subjected to the worst form of poverty and hardship, with collapsed purchasing power, occasioned by a voodoo economy management that has wrecked our productive sectors and pummeled our naira from the about N167 to a US dollar in 2015 to the current over N500 per dollar.
“It is unfortunate that Mr. President will choose to always bandy fictitious figures and false performance claims, when he has, in a space of six years, destroyed our national productivity and reduced our country to a beggarly nation, a laughing stock and object of pity among the comity of nations.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note President Buhari and APC’s similar false performance claims in other critical sectors, including power, transportation, road infrastructure, health, education, agriculture, security, aviation among others, where the Buhari administration has been bandying fictitious figures with no tangible project to point at.
“Our party counsels President Buhari, his handlers as well as their party, the APC, to note that Nigerians have seen through their deceitful clams.
“The PDP, once again, urges Mr. President to end his false performance claims and get more competent hands to manage the economy before every Nigerian is turned into a street beggar.”
Amnesty Kicks As FG Pushes Social Media Regulation
Amnesty International has strongly opposed the call by the Nigerian Government to regulate the use of social media and online broadcasters.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had urged the House of Representatives to include regulation of Twitter in the National Broadcasting Commission Act.
The minister made the call at the public hearing on a bill to amend the NBC Act organised by the House Committee on Information.
“I will want to add, that specifically, internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have responsibility to monitor content— including Twitter,” he said.
Reacting, Amnesty International, in a tweet via its Twitter account, yesterday, kicked against the motion.
It noted that when social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the internet and limit access to social media.
It further noted that criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“When social media is regulated, authorities can arbitrarily have powers to shut down the Internet and limit access to social media.
“Criticizing the government will be made punishable with penalties of up to three years in prison.
“Regulating social media in Nigeria could be easily abused to punish critics of government policies and actions, and anyone who asks difficult questions could find themselves liable for ‘diminishing public confidence in the government.’
“Seeking a law to prohibit abusive, threatening and insulting behaviour is open to very wide interpretation. This section would pose a threat to critical opinion, satire, public dialogue and political commentary,” the statement added.
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