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Saraki, Tambuwal, Others Congratulate Atiku Over Victory …I’ll Listen, Take Advice, Atiku Assures

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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu have formally congratulated former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, for emerging as the Presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the just concluded national convention of the party held in Port Harcourt.
Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu also commended the delegates to the convention and members of the organising committee, led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State,for holding a convention in which a candidate was elected in a free, fair, transparent and rancour-free atmosphere.
“Our just concluded convention was a partisan event which the country can showcase as an example that democracy has a future in Nigeria and that when we are determined we can elect our leaders without any manipulation, intimidation and violation of the law and democratic norms.
“The credit goes to the leadership of our party led by Prince Uche Secondus, the organizing committee led by Governor Okowa, the numerous delegates who came from across the country and conducted themselves in a civil, mature and democratic manner. I give kudos to them. Ekweremadu also congratulated the other aspirants and the PDP on what he described as “crucial and rancor-free”, noting that the process was more important than everything else as all the aspirants were eminently qualified to lead the nation. Reacting to the outcome of the convention, which produced the former Vice President as the winner with 1,532 votes, Ekweremadu said: “I join our teeming party faithful and supporters to congratulate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the incoming President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, by God’s grace, on his nomination as the standard-bearer of the PDP in the 2019 presidential election.
This is a watershed and momentous occasion for the PDP and indeed the nation. “More important in the race was the transparent, free, fair, credible, and peaceful process. “I commend the party leadership and the Convention Planning Committee for giving us one of the best primary elections in Nigeria’s history.
“Our party has, by this, demonstrated the full revival of internal democracy and total rebranding for the best democratic ethos. “I commend the aspirants for the maturity, decorum, friendship, and mutual respect that characterised the jostle for the presidential ticket. I urge them and the party faithful to continue to work together for the party’s victory in the 2019 general elections. “The mission to rescue Nigeria towers above individual interest and it is one that we cannot afford to fail Nigerians”.
Also Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, one of the contestants, who lost the nomination ticket to Atiku, congratulated the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In is twitter handle, @HEDankwambo, he said: “Congratulations to Former Vice President of Nigeria, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his emergence as the flag bearer of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party.
We are united under one Umbrella and we will work assiduously for our party’s victory in 2019.’’
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesome Wike also congratulated the four-time presidential candidate, for the winning the party’s ticket to stand for the fifth time in 2019.
Wike, in his Twitter handle, @GovWike said: Governor Wike Congratulates former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on his emergence As PDP Presidential Candidate.’’
The PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, also tweeted @officialKola “Congratulations to His Excellency, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, GCON, Wazirin Adamawa, the former Vice President of our great country Nigeria as you emerge as the official Presidential flag bearer of our great party @OfficialPDPNig.
Caustic critic of APC, Reno Omokri also tweeted @renoomokri “HE @atiku Abubakar is the next President of Nigeria by God’s Grace. If you believe, all I ask is just for you to comment by saying Amen!’’
At the end of the count of the votes at the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar polled 1,532 to clinch the ticket.
The Fulani-born Waziri of Adamawa, businessman and politician beat 11 other contestants to face another tribesman, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 2019 presidential election.
His closet rival, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state, scored 693 votes.
Atiku, a native of a Fulani village of Jada in Adamawa State, was earlier at the end of votes sorting declared the winner of the primary by his agents, Messrs Gbenga Daniel and Ben Murray-Bruce.
With the win, Atiku Abubakar would have to face incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of APC and Mr Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and some others in the February 2019 presidential election.
About 3,274 delegates were at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt and took part in the primary.
The 72-year-old Abubakar, a businessman, who served as the second elected vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director before he retired in April 1989 to go into politics.
He ran for the office of governor in the Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries.
Responding,“today, we are witnessing a landmark event because the rebranding of the PDP and the return of democratic governance in this country, we are witnessing the most credible, transparent and fairest primaries.
“I am prepared to listen to you, to take your advice so that together we can be part of the success.
“I believe we have learnt our lessons and we shall continue to improve on this,” he said even as he thanked Governor Nyesom Wike and the government and people of Rivers for playing a good host to Nigerians while the convention lasted.
Atiku said the PDP “cannot afford to fail Nigerians who having seen the failure of the All Progressives Congress, APC, are now prepared to return the PDP back to power.
“It is not just enough to say APC has failed but the PDP must be able to offer solutions to the challenges affecting this nation. That is the only way to take over power from this clueless government.
“Let us not get intoxicated by power but we should build on the achievements recorded in the past few days,” he added.
On a personal note, Atiku thanked his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, whom he said provided him the political tutelage which has provided him with the requisite knowledge to deliver on the biggest stage.
Speaking on behalf of other aspirants, Senator Saraki thanked and congratulated members of the convention planning committee for coming out with what he called “the most credible primary election in the history of the nation.”
He pledged the readiness of all the contestants to work with Atiku to bring victory to the PDP.
“We are you and we are confident that come May 29, 2019, the green, white, red colours of the party will be hoisted as we take over power in our country,” he added.
Atiku told party member that it was time to find solutions to challenges facing the nation.
The 72-year-old Fulani-born business tycoon and politician said PDP had been able to articulate the problems facing Nigeria and it was time to come back to power in order to address the problems.
The party, he said, had never conducted a much better primary since the enthronement of democracy in 1999.
Atiku, who was Vice President to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 – 2007, said: “We have witnessed the most critical and transparent primary in the history of the party.’’
He said it was time for members of the party to come together to support his ticket as he could not do it alone.
The PDP candidate said that he was prepared to consult with all players in the party to ensure the success in the 2019 elections.
He appealed to co-contestants to support him in the fight to win back power from APC.
It would be recalled that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar dramatically swung back into reckoning, in the line up of Peoples Democratic Party aspirants vying for the presidential ticket of the party.
The seemingly unbelievable turn around in fortunes for the Waziri Adamawa was propelled by Northern Generals led by General Aliyu Gusau, who had invaded Port Harcourt and were heavily canvassing his candidacy.
This development, it was gathered, came on the heels of the successful prevailing of the Northern Generals on General Olusegun Obasanjo to back down from his avowed threat never to support Atiku Abubakar for the presidency.
It was also gathered that Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and TY Danjuma having gotten Obasanjo’s nod, dispatched the Aliyu Gusau led northern Generals and leaders to go and persuade the leaders and delegates of the PDP to vote for Atiku Abubakar.
The quest to have the Waziri Adamawa as the candidate of the main opposition party came against the back drop of Western countries, who are said to have given a tacit nod to back moves to compel President Buhari to vacate office, should he lose the presidential elections, next February.
The fear in political circles has been that unlike President Goodluck Jonathan, President Buhari might not be magnanimous in defeat to concede and vacate office.
Leaders of the opposition are worried that Buhari, who is popular with the militant Muslim youths, who are his die hard loyalists, could propel them to foment trouble of unimaginable proportions should he lose.
That, it was discovered, was the major reason most of the leaders backing a Rabiu Kwankwaso candidacy wanted him as a counterpoise to the perceived militancy of the hardcore Buhari supporters.
Kwankwaso, it was believed, also has a large following among the militant Muslim youths.
Gusau and his group were scouring the Rivers State capital meeting governors and leaders and asking for their backing for Atiku.
They are also met with the aspirants and pleading with them to back down and support the initiative to have what they call the best candidate to confront President Buhari at the poll.
It is understood that their meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike was fruitful and his tacit agreement was reached to soft pedal on his backing for Governor Aminu Tambuwal who has also being approached by the northern Generals and leaders to bid his time and wait.
They were said to have also promised to back his candidacy in future.
It was understood that Generals Obasanjo, IBB, Abdulsalami, Danjuma, Gusau and a host of other leaders, who control the system in Nigeria, want President Buhari out at all cost.

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FG Alerts On Massive Flooding In Rivers, FCT, Others

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The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, has predicted more devastating floods from the end of August to early October in some states of the federation, including Rivers and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Already, the agency said in line with its earlier predictions, Lagos, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Kwara, Kaduna, Rivers, Enugu, Borno and Ondo states had witnessed severe flooding as a result of heavy local rainfalls compounded by poor drainage system.
The Director-General of the agency, Engr. Nze Clement Onyeaso, in an interaction with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said all areas earlier identified as flood prone this year as well as those along the Rivers Niger and Benue might likely begin to experience more devastating flooding from the end of August.
“Nigeria is located within the River Niger Basin which is occupied by nine countries namely Benin, Burkina- Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivore, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria. Nigeria is located at the lowest position of the Basin and this means that once the upper catchment of the Basin gets flooded, Nigeria should be prepared to experience flooding. The period of flooding in these upstream countries is August and September of every year,’’ he said.
The DG said his agency was monitoring the development as we approach these critical months, adding that it will also continue to monitor Cameroonian authorities with regards to flood scenarios in the upper catchment of the sub-basin.
Nze warned Lagosians against the practice of dredging and sound filling the Atlantic Ocean, to build what they usually call model cities like those in Lekki and Banana Island, saying such may, in the future, pose serious threats.
As part of the preparation for the expected floods, the DG called on Nigerians, especially the state governments to be fully prepared by ensuring cleaning of blocked drainage system and canals remove refuse, weeds, water hyacinths and floats on water channels.
The agency had earlier predicted that 121 LGAs in 27 states and FCT might experience severe flooding this year.

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Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of Disbanded OSPAC Leader In EMOLGA

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The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of one Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, the leader of disbanded OSPAC in Umudioga community in Emohua local Government Area of the state, last Tuesday.
The spokesperson of Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, who confirmed this in a telephone interview with The Tide, said the dismembered body of the victim has also been recovered and deposited in the mortuary for preservation.
The police spokesperson further stated that the police has restored normalcy in the community while the Commissioner of Police, Eboka Friday, has ordered for full investigation into the incident.
It would be recalled that gunmen suspected to be cultists, last Tuesday, invaded Umudioga community, and killed Alex Uwazuruike Isaac, who was said to be the leader of the disbanded OSPAC, a local vigilante group in the area.
A native of the community, who pleaded anonymity for fear of the unknown, disclosed that the gunmen, who were armed with sophisticated assault rifles, stormed the community in the afternoon and went for their target.
The source further revealed that the gunmen shot Isaac dead before beheading and dismembering his body, and later paraded the head of their victim in the community while urging natives not to panic as they came for the deceased and not for the community.
The Tide gathered that some other members of the disbanded OSPAC have already fled the community as a result of the killing of their former leader and fear of being attacked by the cultists who are hunting members of the defunct OSPAC in the area.
It was learnt that many suspected cultists were arrested and killed in the community while others fled during the reign of the deceased OSPAC commander in the community in 2019.
The Tide further learnt that the killing comes barely three weeks after the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Council, Dr Chidi Lloyd pronounced the dissolution of all vigilante groups in the LGA, and asked communities that make up the council area to submit five names of natives who would be screened and admitted into a new security outfit to be established and funded by the council in no distant time.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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JAMB Fixes Mop-Up UTME For 18,000 Candidates, Aug 6

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has rescheduled examination for more than 18,000 candidates who experienced biometric verification challenges and those who genuinely missed the just-concluded Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) as a result of a clash with this year’s National Business and Technical Examinations Board examination.
The mop-up UTME is scheduled for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB Spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, made this known in a statement, yesterday, titled, ‘Mop-Up UTME Holds Friday, 6th August, 2021…JAMB’.
The statement read, “Following detailed investigation and careful analysis of the highly-successful 2021 UTME, and with due consultation (resulting in gracious concession) with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s on-going SSCE, JAMB has scheduled a Mop-up UTME for Friday, August 6, 2021, in some selected locations across the nation.
“About 18,000 candidates slated for the examination are being notified through both text messages on their designated phone numbers and their JAMB profiles. In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number on http://www.jamb.gov.ng/2021mopup.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
“Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts (as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
“Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problem, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date (and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination. (Adequate screening arrangements have been made to re-verify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution).
“Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then on-going NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB.
“Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
“The rescheduled candidates are to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination. The slips are to be printed from the JAMB website https://www.jamb.gov.ng using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, August 1, 2021.
“The board strongly advises candidates to avoid supplying their vital information, including registration number to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafe(s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates. CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secured for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own.”

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