The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has called on the people of the North East geopolitical zone not to vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress in the 2019 general elections.
The former Vice President made the call last Saturday during a reunion with his supporters upon return to his home state.
During the union, Umaru Fintiri, the PDP governorship candidate for Adamawa was presented to the electorate.
He called on the people of North East to uproot the APC out of the region.
He said the people of the North East had a chance to regain political prominence in the country by voting his party, the PDP in the 2019 general elections from bottom to the top.
Abubakar said, “We thank God for this homecoming which has afforded me the opportunity to make this reunion since my emergence as the Presidential candidate of the PDP. It is no longer news that I emerged the Presidential candidate of our party – the PDP at the Port Harcourt convention.
“It is not just my desire that the people of North East gain prominence again but it’s a sacred duty that the people must root out the APC completely from the bottom to the top.
“We have that chance to choose the PDP and be in front. I am a son of the North East, I have returned to thank the people of Adamawa and the entire North East, for our feat in Port Harcourt.
“I want to appeal that you vote out the APC from the region by ensuring that from the Presidency down to the states you elect only the PDP. From bottom to the top l want the PDP to be in control as far as this zone is concerned.”
Similarly, Hajiya Titi Abubakar, wife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, said she married her husband because of his honesty, sincerity and integrity.
Mrs Atiku made the remarks when a group, Women for Atiku, paid her a courtesy visit at her Maitama residence in Abuja.
“I get confused whenever I read the false allegations of corruption being peddled by mischief makers against my husband in the media.
“I ask myself if they are referring to my husband whom I have been married to for 47 years or a different person.
“No one knows my husband like I do and their descriptions of him are totally that of a different person and not that of the man I love and adore because of his uprightness.
She said they were brought together by destiny and had been endeared to him because of his sterling qualities and patriotism to his fatherland.
“I was on my way back to Nigeria from Benin Republic where I visited my aunt and was accosted by custom officials at the Idi-Iroko Boarder who demanded for payment of a duty for the pair of brocade material which was a gift from my aunt.
“An argument ensued between us and I told them to keep the material because I would not pay duty for a pair of brocade, and a gift at that.
“The officer, who was Head of the Command at that time intervened, paid for the duty charge and gave me the receipt.
“One thing led to the other, we hooked up later and the rest is now history.
“As the head, he could have chosen to order that I be allowed to go, but he paid for the duty and that act from that time impressed me and I fell deeply in love with the man Atiku,’’ she said.
The National Coordinator of Women for Atiku, Mrs Blessing Ebera, thanked Mrs Abubakar for the warm reception accorded her group and pledged that it would continue to mobilise women across every ward to vote for Atiku Abubakar come 2019.
She said that the National leadership and the 36 state coordinators of the group visited to inform her that with the commencement of campaign, the group was set to penetrate every corner of Nigeria to mobilise support towards an Atiku victory in 2019.
Ebera said that the group would also embark on voters’ mobilisation and education.
She said that the acquisition of Permanent voters Card (PVC) would be mandatory for every female of voting age in Nigeria.
She urged those that registered but were yet to collect their PVCs to visit the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for collection.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 115 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who failed in the state House of Assembly primaries of the party are threatening to withdraw support for the party and Governor Jibrilla Bindow in the 2019 general elections.
One of the unsuccessful aspirants who spoke to our correspondent in confidence said they were considering the step following, ‘’the unprecedented injustice and impunity that prevailed before and after the choice of the party’s state assembly flag bearers across the state.”
The source, who hails from the same local government area with the governor, alleged the governor colluded with serving members of the Assembly and party officials to ensure the serving members got automatic tickets, a development he described as antithetical to democratic norms.
He said the party sold to them nomination forms “at a whopping cost of N950,000” only to refuse to hold party primaries.
According to the politician, “135 of us including serving members were sold forms at a whopping N950,000 per head. We went through the rigorous processes of party primaries, including screenings, mobilising our supporters and delegates but one week to the primaries, we were summoned by party officials at Mubi where they told us point black that they were directed to endorse only sitting members, otherwise they stand the risk of losing their seats.
“That was how we were all rigged out of the election. Some of us invested more than N15million in the process only to be rigged out of the contest,” he said.
Another aggrieved aspirant, Yohanna Mayo, said the worst travesty meted to them was the failure of the party hierarchy to make any move to pacify and involve them in party affairs as directed by the national secretariat of the party.
“After the unilateral endorsement of the serving members, we thought the party hierarchy will become contrite and appeal to us to sheathe our swords even for the sake of winning elections, but that has not been done, leading to protests within the party.
“It was on the altar of such indignant protests that Governor Bindow convened a meeting with us at Government House Yola about three weeks ago.
“About 84 of us attended the meeting under the aegis of the United Aspirants Awareness Forum led by Hon Dayyabu Jada. The governor told us to exercise restraint and not defect out of the party and thereafter gave us a token of N5million.
“I find it extremely difficult to assimilate how people that spent hundreds of millions to buy nomination forms alone could be compensated with just N5million as if we are paupers. It is for these considerations that we unanimously consider withdrawing our support for Bindow and APC come 2019,” he said.
He said had proper election been conducted, they would have no qualms supporting the party with all their might, noting that “since APC is not my religion, I don’t think I’m under any compulsion to worship it.”
Contacted on the matter, the state commissioner of information, Ahmad Sajo, simply said, ‘’It was a party matter, the governor has no hand in conducting party primaries.’’
The organising secretary of the party, Ahmad Lawal said measures were being put in place to reconcile with the aggrieved aspirants.
‘’Already, a committee was set up on the matter, so I don’t want to add salt to injury,’’ he said.
She assured Mrs Abubakar that members of the group had strategized to mobilise at least 50 women in every ward across the country through synergy with other women support groups.
North Can Live Without VAT Accruals, NEF Boasts …Backs Wike, Southern Govs On Fiscal Federalism, Restructuring
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has boasted that the North was a rich region, and can survive on its resources without the “billions” accruing to Southern states.
The NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made this known, yesterday, when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme.
He was reacting to the tussle between states and the Federal Government on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).
VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered, and charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.
Although Rivers and Lagos states have started the process of collecting VAT within their territories, the Court of Appeal, in a ruling on September 10, ordered that status quo be maintained pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Apart from Lagos and Rivers states, Ogun State has also started the process of passing a bill on VAT in its House of Assembly.
At the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in Enugu, last Thursday, the 17 governors insisted that they have the constitutional mandate to collect VAT, and vowed to ensure that the rule of law prevails in the matter.
While some northern governors like Aminu Masari (Katsina), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), amongst others, had kicked against the move, the 17 Southern Governors led by Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) had unanimously supported the position that “the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states.”
Speaking, yesterday, during the television programme, Baba-Ahmed said, “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.
“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.
“If we don’t do that now, then, we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the North, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate (it).
“The thing is: the North wants restructuring; the North wants fiscal federalism. We are a rich region, and we can live on what we have, even if we don’t have the billions that accrue to others states. Our poverty is not a kind of problem that we would break this country over.”
According to him, the VAT war is a wake-up call to northern governors who need to recognise the fact that VAT or no VAT, they need to develop their resources and develop the human capital of the North.
The NEF spokesman added, “North, you said you have many people but you are under-developing your own people – the biggest liability of the North is that we have a huge population that is under-developed. You need to develop the human capital that you have.
“We need leaders; the current governors don’t recognise this. Otherwise, they won’t be involved in this argument; allow the court to decide.
“But for goodness sake, (they should) begin to think — what else can we do if the court decides now that Rivers State is right, Lagos State is right, and the Southern states are right, and they won’t be getting all these billions coming in from VAT? What happens?”
Baba-Ahmed said the Northern governors at this stage should not be sleeping, noting that the North is “sitting on wealth, we have massive resources in this country, we have to fight insecurity first, and the Federal Government has to help us, we need to clear the bushes, the forests and all the criminals that are there, and we need to go back to farming.
“Agriculture is a major asset; we have land, we have water, we have livestock, we have minerals that are literally begging to be picked from the ground but our governors are too focused on the pittance that they are getting. This is wrong”, he argued.
Boxing: Joshua Facing Toughest Test In Usyk?
Boxing champion, Anthony Joshua could face his toughest test yet when he fights Oleksandr Usyk in London on Saturday, says ex-world champion George Groves.
Joshua, 31, puts his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles on the line against Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight world champion.
The 34-year-old Ukrainian has won all 18 professional fights, beating Tony Bellew and Derek Chisora on that run.
“Technically, Usyk is brilliant,” said Groves . “He showed that in unifying the cruiserweight division in great fights and I believe he could be Joshua’s toughest test to date. This is the first fight when I wouldn’t be surprised if Joshua got beaten.
“Joshua has fought [Wladimir] Klitschko and been in with Joseph Parker and also been beaten [by Andy Ruiz] and the only question mark for Usyk Is he big enough to compete with AJ?
“If Usyk keeps a high pace and makes Joshua miss with a lot of shots, that will work to Usyk’s advantage as he has probably got a better engine.
“Joshua is a phenomenal athlete with tremendous punching power and strength but has a tendency to tire out if the pace is uncomfortable for him.”
A crowd of more than 60,000 is expected and it will be the largest attendance Joshua has fought in front of since his win over Alexander Povetkin with 80,000 at Wembley Stadium in September, 2018.
Since then, Joshua has lost to Ruiz in New York before winning the rematch in Saudi Arabia and gained a ninth-round victory over Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Wembley Arena last December, with only 1,000 fans attending because of Coronavirus restrictions.
Both Joshua and Usyk won gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics, at super-heavyweight and heavyweight respectively, with the Briton going on to win 24 of his 25 professional fights, including 22 inside the distance.
Meanwhile, Dillian Whyte, who lost to Joshua in 2015 and is pushing for a rematch with him or a shot at WBC champion, Tyson Fury, believes the key to beating Usyk on Saturday is to adopt an attacking strategy.
“I think it’s a great fight and Joshua will stop him in the first six or seven rounds,” Whyte told Tidesports source.
“Usyk will start fast and Joshua should be cagey as Usyk is a bit lighter. Joshua can sometimes lack confidence but hopefully he goes back to the old him, starts pressing, being the bigger, stronger guy and gets the job done early.
“If Joshua sets the pace, he can get an early knockout and if he is strong, confident and walks him down, then I don’t see Usyk’s punches troubling Joshua.”
Groves, who held the WBA Super-Middleweight belt in 2017 and 2018, added: “If I was Joshua, I would take control of the ring and try to dominate and bully off the front foot.
“Usyk will want to be off the back foot for the first couple of rounds, then try to pepper Joshua.
“If I was in the Joshua camp, I would say: You want to keep this guy in his box. You don’t want Usyk having any confidence, so hit him hard and early.
“In the first three rounds, you want to land something big on him.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also suggested Joshua could get an early victory.
Hearn said: “I’m always nervous for an Anthony Joshua fight, especially when you’re fighting someone that really believes he is going to win”.
2022 AFCON: ‘Cameroon On Track’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, has said that Cameroon is “on track” to successfully host the Africa Cup of Nations early next year after visiting Olembe Stadium in Yaounde last weekend.
The venue will host the opening match and final of the AFCON in January and February of 2022.
A CAF delegation, including President Motsepe and General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba, were joined by Cameroon’s Sports Minister, Professor Narcisse Mouelle Kombi in inspecting progress made at the Olembe Stadium and various other facilities in the capital city.
“I’m very satisfied with the briefing I got and what I saw. I saw the Olembe Stadium and it is world class; we should all be proud as people of Cameroon and as Africans,” said Motsepe, as quoted by CAF’s website.
“We must applaud Cameroon [for] building such infrastructure. In partnership with the Government, the Minister of Sports, LOC, FECAFOOT President and CAF administration under Veron [Mosengo-Omba], I’m certain that in January next year, the rest of the world will be impressed. I’m very satisfied with what I have seen. We are on track.”
Motsepe continued: “The quality of football that will be played here will once again show the world that Africa has the quality to one day win the FIFA World Cup, that is the ultimate goal. The AFCON is special and I think it is important for us to set the tone in Cameroon.”
Mosengo-Omba also heaped praises on Olembe Stadium: “The infrastructure and architecture of the stadium is world class and can be compared to many other famous stadiums globally. In Cameroon, we have six beautiful match venues. Our job now is to ensure that we are ready with everything else.”
- Arts/Literary5 days ago
Development Of Art Education In Nigeria
- News2 days ago
Shell Recommits To Research, Dev In Nigeria
- News5 days ago
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
- News5 days ago
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
- News5 days ago
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
- Sports2 days ago
Championship: Muaythai Federation Appeals For Support
- Sports2 days ago
Ogunsakin, Mubarak Hit Finals At Sapetro Futures Tennis
- Sports2 days ago
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe