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Afenifere, NEF, PANDEF Endorse Atiku …‘My Endorsement, Hope For Nigeria’ …Atiku’ll Beat Buhari 60-45 In Katsina -Galadima

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Regional socio-cultural organisations, including Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and the Middle Belt Forum have endorsed the candidature of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The groups, which met at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday, said Atiku possessed the intelligence, capability and knowledge to lead the nation.
Leaders of the associations such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Malam Ango Abdullahi, Chief Edwin Clark and Dr. Bitrus Pogu, therefore, asked Nigerians to vote for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential flagbearer on February 16.
Meanwhile, the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, pledged to ensure autonomy for local governments, if elected in the February 16 presidential election.
Abubakar made the pledge in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital, during his presidential campaign rally.
“If elected on February 16, I will make sure the local governments in our country have autonomy and joint accounts between states and local governments will be scrapped.
“I will not allow any governor to take a penny from local governments’ coffers as the money is meant for LGAs and their development,” he said.
He also promised to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and empower women to start up businesses in order to make the economy more stronger.
“I will also make sure that poverty is chased away and hunger decimated in the country.
“When we do this we are, at the same time strengthening the security of our country and fighting insecurity,” Atiku said.
The Director General, PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Sen. Bukola Saraki, accused the ruling APC government of failing to deliver on its promises to Nigerians.
“They promised security, employment, and to fight poverty but we still have no security, unemployment is on the increase and hunger is at its highest ebb,” Saraki claimed.
Earlier, PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said that the party was committed to preserving the unity of Nigeria.
Secondus urged the people of Kebbi to vote massively for PDP candidates at all levels of the elections.
He also advised the electorates to take measures to protect their vote and resist any form of malpractice.
He called on the relevant agencies to put necessary strategies in place to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of the party, Alhaji Haruna Saidu, said the mammoth crowd witnessed at the rally was an indication that the PDP would take over the state.
“We have no doubt that with what we have witnessed today, come February16 and March 2, we will sweep all the polls,” he said.
Saidu commended the party followers for coming out en masse to welcome the PDP presidential candidate and his campaign team.
Meanwhile, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to his adoption by regional leaders and socio-cultural groups from the six regional zones of the country saying such adoption is an indication that there is hope for the nation.
Atiku, who was a former Vice President, said in a statement which he personally signed that he was moved to tears when he heard about the news of his adoption.
The groups are Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and Middle Belt Forum.
The groups, after their meeting in Abuja on Sunday, asked Nigerians to vote for Atiku instead of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Muhammadu Buhari.
Atiku described his adoption as “ a loud statement that there is hope for our country as we go to the polls in a few days.”
He said, “I am moved to tears that in the midst of deep divisions and deliberate use of instrumentalities of state to set our people against themselves in the last three and a half years, responsible and respected leaders across Nigeria have agreed to come together for the purpose of endorsing my candidature for the February 16th, 2019 Presidential elections.
“The endorsement by the leading lights of our nationalities – Afenifere, OhanaezeNdigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and Middle Belt Forum is a loud statement that there is hope for our country as we go to the polls in a few days.
“Today we put aside all our prejudices to elect a President with religion and ethnicity playing no role in our elections.
“I profusely thank our Leaders across the country who have created this wonderful moment for
us to come to the table of brotherhood.
“Once again, and in the words of our old National Anthem, we can proudly sing: ‘Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand’.
“This has buoyed me to lead a Pan-Nigerian team that will give practical interpretation to what has been done by the time I take leadership of our country, by the grace of Allah, on May 29, 2019.
“Many countries of the world have been led into disintegration by strongmen (one in each country) and we have seen how individuals who understand the management of diversities have rallied their people for unity.
In another development, Buba Galadima, a spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign organisation, has said that the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, AtikuAbubakar will beat President Buhari with a margin of 60 to 45 percent in the north.
Galadima also said that Atiku will didvide the votes 50 to 50 with Buhari even in Buhari’s home state, Katsina.
Galadima made the statement while appearing on Channels TV programme, Politics Today,yesterday.
According to him, “Atiku will defeat Buhari 60 to 45 on the minimum. The only place it would be 50-50 is Katsina.
“In the south west, i want to say with certainty, the Yoruba people respect their leaders, they will not vote from sentiments. He said President Buhari refused to sign the electoral act because he is afraid of defeat.

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Rivers’ll Be Known For Peace, Not Crisis -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has said that peace has prevailed because he draws strength from God to resist insults and tantrums thrown at him while frustrating attempts by some disgruntled persons who wanted to plunge the State into unending crisis.
The Governor also said that because he has anchored his Government on promoting peace, the enabling atmosphere has been provided for investments and sustainable development to flourish.
Governor Fubara made the assertion when he received a delegation of members of the Bishops and Gospel Ministers’ Association International Incorporated, Rivers State Chapter, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, Dr George Nwaeke, Governor Fubara said while most people took his meekness for weakness, his stance on peace has unarguably enhanced harmonious atmosphere of concord as residents sleep with their two eyes closed, and investors and shareholders are happy with the returns on investment.
He said, “Before, what they hear of Rivers State is that they are fighting, and some genuine investors will not come. Some people even ask you: How are you coping in Rivers State?
“But now”, he asserted: “The Governor has brought about a lot of changes in the State. One of the most important things is that he has changed the negative narrative. It is no longer Rivers of blood. It is now Rivers of peace.
“We are enjoying our lives here. Why? Because there is a change in the narrative. We have peace. The Governor is, as much as possible, absorbing any level of insult at him only for one purpose: that Rivers State may have peace; that we may grow; that this state will experience genuine development.”
Governor Fubara urged them, as members of the Christian family in the State, to continue to pray for the State and the Government so that the enemies of the State will be put to greater shame.
“This peace is what I want you to embrace. Go and continue to pray, because when the sower of the seed went and sowed, the enemy went in the night and sowed tares inside there. But the Governor is sowing peace.
“When I listened to the leader of the team, His Grace Eddy Ogbonda, he said you came all the way from Eleme Junction, and stopped at major junctions, and you uttered prayers for the peace of Rivers State.”
He also said: “I, hereby want to thank you for identifying with the Governor at a time like this. At a time when it looks as if someone wants the Governor’s peace posture misunderstood as weakness.
“When someone has the strength to fight back, but refuses to fight back. That is a bigger strength; that power of restrain does not just come, it can only come from God.
“You cannot give peace, if you do not have peace within you. The Governor is not interested in any form of trouble or violence. What he is interested in is known, and it is: let there be peace in Rivers State,” he said.
In his address, leader of the group, Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda, said they had observed a week-long intensive prayers that culminated into a peace rally, which brought them to Government House, and assured the Governor that God will continue to give him victory over his adversaries while preserving Rivers State.
“It is Rivers State Prophetic Prayer Convocation and Rally 2024 with the theme: ‘Peace be still’. Of a truth, everyone of us understands that we live in a time when we need peace much more than any other thing.
“Rivers State needs peace. Everyone as individuals need peace. The country needs peace, and the world at large needs peace. So, we are here to do a peace march. We pray that God will command His peace to reign in Rivers State,” he said.

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Hoteliers, School Owners Charging In Dollars Risk Arrest -EFCC

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has stated that hotels, schools, and other establishments that accept payments in dollars from their customers are at risk of facing arrest.
The Chairman of EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said this in the agency’s publication called EFCC Alert on Monday, adding that action would be taken against individuals involved in the dollarisation of the economy.
According to him, the exception is if foreigners come in to transact business and the only means of transacting is their credit card and dollar but to charge local customers in dollars or other foreign currencies would no longer be allowed.
He said charging local activities and customers in dollars is against Nigeria’s constitution.
The EFCC chairman said, “Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area.
“Yes, if foreigners are coming in and the only means of transacting is their credit card, and dollar, why not? You will get that.
“But document it properly as against selling things within the system, local economy and you will be using dollar as the medium of exchange, it is illegal.
“Our law does not allow for that. And we have also affected some arrests.”

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Eid-El-Fitr: Fubara Felicitates Muslims, Calls For Unity, Tolerance

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has enjoined Muslim faithful to remain steadfast to the lessons learnt during the holy month of Ramadan.
Governor Fubara stated this in his message of felicitations to Muslims as they celebrate the 2024 Eid-el-Fitr Sallah, which marks the end of the one-month Ramadan fasting.
The Governor emphasised the importance for Muslims to also uphold the tenets of Islam by exhibiting the fear of God and showing piety in their daily work.
Governor Fubara said, “We must all continue in the good attributes imbibed during the holy month of Ramadan as directed by God through His Prophet, so as to ensure peace, unity and harmony in the society for a better future.”
While praying that the essence of the festival offers them happiness, peace and prosperity in all aspects of life, Governor Fubara said he recognises and appreciates the critical role that the Muslim community continues to play in the development of Rivers State, and indeed, Nigeria at large.
Governor Fubara charged them to remain unwavering and steadfast in their commitment and positive contributions to advance the development of the State and the country.
“I enjoin you all in the State to remain calm, be patient and continue to do what is right,” the Governor added.
He wished the Muslim faithful in the State and across the country a happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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