Tag Archives: Muhammadu Buhari

President of Nigeria

Boyloaf Endorses Buhari; Tompolo, Dagogo Deny Involvement”:

A group of ex-armed militants led by Victor Ebikabowei, alias Boyloaf, on Wednesday, endorsed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, for re-election.

Mr Ebikabowei, once notorious for the long-run militancy in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta, made the endorsement ahead of the polls on Saturday.

A source close to Boyloaf had told PREMIUM TIMES four other ex-militant leaders were part of the endorsement move.

The source mentioned Government Ekpemupolo, or Tompolo as he is more widely known; Ateke Tom, now traditional ruler; Bibrope Ajube, also known as General Shoot-at-Sight; and Farah Dagogo.

However, none of the four men mentioned by the source was present at the press conference addressed by Boyloaf in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. And at least two of them – Tompolo and Mr Dagogo – have denied their involvement.

PREMIUM TIMES have not been able to verify if the other two – Mr Ateke and General Shoot-at-Sight – consented to the endorsement yet.

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In a statement to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, Mr Dagogo, who is the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate for the Bonny/ Degema Federal Constituency election, reaffirmed his support for his party’s candidate and Mr Buhari’s main challenger, Atiku Abubakar.

“As an astute and grounded politician, my support and dedication are geared towards ensuring the total victory of all PDP candidates including our presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, Rivers State Governor, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Wike, among others,” said Mr Dagogo

He added that his name was included to attract public sympathy for Mr Buhari, “owing to my popularity and the unfailing love the people of the Niger Delta have for me as a shining light among the youths.”

Similarly, Tompolo, through a spokesperson, Paul Benimibo, said he was not aware of the endorsement and that he had not been in touch with Boyloaf since 2015.

“Tompolo is presently troubled with the way and manner his kinsmen in Gbaramatu Kingdom are being harassed and intimidated by President Buhari military on daily basis,” said the spokesperson, quoted by a local newspaper, Gbaramatu Voice, on Wednesday.

He wondered why his principal would back Mr Buhari: “To further kill his kinsmen?”

Tompolo is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over money laundering allegations.

Why we endorsed Buhari

In his address on Wednesday, Boyloaf said the “crux of our resolution”, following consultations, was to prioritise the interest of the Niger Delta.

“Our interest is presently being served by the present administration which has shown more resolve to engage with the critical issues of the Niger Delta beyond the surface dressing of the past,” said Boyloaf.

He added that: “In the past, politicians would always throw money at the Niger Delta problem but this has not taken us anywhere. The Niger Delta in spite of its wealth has continued to remain the poorest region of the country in spite of the dominance of a single party.”

He identified the sustenance and reform of the amnesty programme, first initiated by late President Umaru Yar’Adua, the Ogoni cleanup programme, improvement of the local through a commitment to the development of modular refineries, and Infrastructural projects, such as the East-West Road, as the motivational variables for the endorsement.

He said the amnesty programme in the focused on palliatives using stipends to pacify the youth of the region, once involved in militancy.

“(Under Mr Buhari), We have seen a resolve to reform the programme in such a way that focuses more on the human capital side over the routine welfare and palliative payments,” said Boyloaf.

“This is what progress means to us and this is the type of programme we would align with and encourage.”

He added: “All of these achievements find expression in a 20-point plan for the Niger Delta which has been presented to us by the Petroleum Minister, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu. The plan also covers the need for government and Oil companies working in our region to create at least a 100,000 jobs yearly. The plan for the Niger Delta is what we need now for a more sustainable future.

“As witnesses to the commitment of this government to these issues that we have presented over the years through various fora and the tangible achievements we have seen as it concerns our region over the last four years, we have decided to endorse the government to continue beyond 2019.”

The Niger Delta is a region where Mr Buhari’s main challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, is expected to record a clear win.

Apart from being traditionally a “PDP home,” Mr Abubakar’s core campaign vow to restructure the country to allow states have greater responsibilities and control of resources appeals to the region, long drawn in agitations for resource control and more development.

However, the endorsement of Mr Buhari by the ex-warriors who wield some influence in the region may swing some votes across the states in the region to APC.

But, for a professor of Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Osisioma Nwolise, the endorsement may not count much to anything.

“I don’t believe in politics of endorsement or adoption,” said Mr Nwolise, speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

“That some people adopt a candidate or you see crowds may not translate to results. Many are paid. You only know what people have chosen to do by checking the results after the election.”

Nigeria stampede: Deaths at Buhari rally in Port Harcourt”:

Tens of thousands of people attended the rally at Port Harcourt’s stadium

At least 15 people have been killed in a stampede at a campaign rally for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a hospital spokesman says.

The incident happened at a stadium in the southern city of Port Harcourt when the crowd surged towards a gate after President Buhari’s speech.

Mr Buhari is running for a second term in tightly contested elections due to be held on Saturday.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is seen as his main contender.

The two leaders have signed an agreement in the capital, Abuja, pledging to promote peace and follow the legal process if there is a dispute after the vote.

What happened at the rally?

The incident happened after President Buhari delivered his speech shortly after 15:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Tuesday at the Adokiye Amiesimaka stadium.

Most of the victims are reported to have fallen and been trampled as the crowd tried to force its way through a partially locked gate to follow Mr Buhari as he left the arena.

The bodies of 12 women and three men were taken to the mortuary at the University of Port of Harcourt Teaching Hospital, spokesman Ken Daniel Elebiga said.

Twelve people were admitted for treatment but three have since been discharged, he added.

Mr Buhari’s office said the president had been informed about “the tragic deaths of several members of his All Progressives Congress [APC] party in a stampede”.

Main presidential candidates

MUHAMMADU BUHARI (APC)Embattled and determined leader

Born in 1942 to a Muslim family in northern Katsina state
Former soldier, led military regime in 1980s, remembered for strictness
Tardy civil servants had to perform frog jumps in public
Won 2015 presidential election, the first opposition candidate to defeat an incumbent, with promise to beat corruption and Boko Haram insurgents
Told wife she belonged in kitchen after she complained in a BBC interview about his government
After long absence from illness, had to deny rumours that he had been replaced in public by a lookalike

ATIKU ABUBAKAR (PDP)Tycoon and veteran power-broker

Born in 1946 in northern state of Adamawa
Co-owner of multinational oil services company that started life in a Lagos shipping container
Oversaw privatisations during two terms as vice-president.
Fought against corruption charges, describing them as politically motivated
Founded American University which gave scholarships to some of the “Chibok girls” that survived Boko Haram kidnapping
His father, a devout Muslim, was briefly jailed for trying to stop him from attending a Western-style school

Buhari Mourns Ejoor, Describes Ex-Army Chief as Man of Positive Character”: in Abuja:

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday said he was saddened by the death of the first military governor of Mid-western Region and a former Chief of Army Staff, Major General David Ejoor (rtd.)

The president, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, commiserated with the Ejoor family, the Urhobo nation, and the government and people of Delta State on behalf of the Federal Executive Council on the demise of the elder statesman whom he also described as a “courageous officer, who had a distinguished career in the military and remarkable service to the nation.”

According to the statement, Buhari recalled that as the first military Governor of the Mid-Western Region, “during one of the darkest years in the nation’s history, and first indigenous Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, who also held many other national leadership positions, the President regards Gen. Ejoor, as a hardworking military officer whose loyalty, commitment and dedication to the unity of the country were never in doubt.”

It added that Buhari affirmed that the former army chief, who was once the President-General of the Urhobo Progress Union, would be long remembered and honoured as a man of positive character and vision, whom he said provided profound inspiration to countless number of military officers and Nigerians that came in close contact with him.

The statement added that the president prayed the Almighty God to repose the soul of the departed senior citizen and comfort all who mourn the much respected octogenarian.

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Atiku’s Kano Rally Throws Open Buhari’s Northern Strongholds”:

  • Massive crowds at Bauchi, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna show PDP candidate has altered equation

By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

The mammoth crowd of supporters that attended yesterday’s rally of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano has further strengthened the growing forecast that the main opposition party’s flag bearer is in strong contention in areas hitherto believed to be strongholds of President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari had won convincingly the massive voting North-west states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa and Kano in the 2015 general election that saw him squaring up with the incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, making bookmakers to declare them his strongholds.

But with the advent of Atiku and his campaign, the large numbers of enthusiastic supporters that subscribed to his rallies have got analysts rethinking their permutations and giving the PDP standard bearer a winning chance in some of the states.

Atiku’s rallies in Jigawa, Kaduna and Katsina, the home state of the president, drew such an unprecedented crowd that some leading lights of the APC, THISDAY learnt, have expressed fears privately that Buhari might have shed a heavy weight.The situation is not markedly different in the North-east states of Bauchi and Bornu that were thought to be Buhari’s impregnable fortresses. If anyone had any doubt that that was no longer the case, said one analyst, Atiku’s last week’s rallies in those states must have cleared such doubt.

Perhaps encouraged by the massive crowd, Atiku spoke glowingly of the failure of Buhari’s government, saying that it has brought the nation’s economy to its knees and must be punished for it.

The punishment, he said, should come in form of votes that would send its President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration out of office.

With all available spaces occupied by PDP’s followers at the stadium, 28 persons were said to have slumped at the event, while the huge crowd that flooded the stadium made it difficult for movement within the Kano metropolis, especially around the stadium.

People were seen lined up the streets, as early as 9am to welcome Atiku to the ancient town. As soon as he arrived in the city, the presidential candidate headed to the palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi.

For a journey of less than 20 minutes, it took Atiku-led campaign team over four hours to get to the palace and another three hours to get to the stadium because of the human/vehicular traffic created by Atiku’s visit.

He was accompanied by the Director-General of the presidential campaign, Senate President Bukola Saraki; the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus; and former governor of Kano, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; among other key party’s leaders.

Until recently, Kano was a Buhari stronghold, securing his highest number of votes, nearly two million, in 2015. Kwankwaso, who was the governor of the state when this happened, is now in PDP.

Speaking to PDP supporters, Atiku disclosed that if given the mandate on Saturday, he would support the renewal of agriculture and the economy, which according to him, are in shambles.

He said: “Are you going to vote for PDP? If you vote for PDP, the government will revitalize business and the moribund industries in Kano. We will also boost agriculture.

“I will ensure that among my priorities would be the revitalization of agriculture, industries and commercial activities so as to boost the economy, which has been killed by the APC government.”

Atiku noted that Kano, which used to be the centre of commercial activities in the North, is experiencing backwardness in business and commerce.

Also speaking at the rally, the PDP national chairman told the overwhelmed crowd that the Kano rally represents a revolution and a pointer that Kano people have reembraced PDP.

Saraki said there is hunger in Nigeria, accusing the APC government of bringing hardship on the people, saying there is need for Nigerians to vote out the government.

Atiku’s Kano Rally Throws Open Buhari’s Northern Strongholds":
Atiku Abubakar

“Today, Kano people have spoken; and what we have seen in this unprecedented crowd today is that PDP has taken over Kano. People have agreed to vote for PDP. A vote for PDP and a vote for Atiku will put food on our table,” the Senate president added.

In his address, former governor of the state, Kwankwaso said the mammoth crowd had sent a message to Aso Rock that PDP has already taken over Kano.

’Today, Kano people and particularly, the youths have shown that Kano is for PDP and Kwankwasiyya,” he said.

Atiku, who was visibly overjoyed over the mammoth crowd, was clad on Kwankwasiyya red cap and white Babarriga to match.

Meanwhile, with six days to the presidential election, PDP has called on its members and supporters to use every legitimate means available to them in a democracy to defend themselves and resist all acts of intimidation by the ruling APC.

The main opposition party said it has resolved to use, in full measure, all defence machinery legitimately available, including its numerical strength, in marching with millions of Nigerians across the nation to defend its votes, with the stiffest resistance, ever, against any infraction by the APC and the Buhari presidency.

The Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, made the call yesterday while addressing a press conference in Abuja.

He said: “You will particularly recall that on February 4, 2019, the PDP handed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) a 48-hour ultimatum to make public the list of all officials and ad-hoc staff that will play any form of role in the February 16 Presidential election at all levels, for verification by stakeholders.

“That demand was predicated on our findings that the INEC leadership in deferring to directives by Buhari Presidency and the APC had collected lists of APC loyalists from APC state governors and candidates, across the federation to serve as electoral officials, including ad-hoc staff and returning officers at the polling units.

“You will recall that upon our demand the APC openly directed INEC to ignore the PDP and go ahead with its compromised list. Shockingly INEC leadership appeared to have obeyed the APC, ostensibly because of threats by the party to give its leadership the Onnoghen treatment if it fails to comply.”

Ologbondiyan noted that this was in addition to how the presidency has been importing mercenaries from Chad and Niger Republic to vote for Buhari and to unleash violence in the country upon his eventual defeat.

He said the party had also alerted of plots to manipulate the smart card readers so as to substitute biometric accreditation with manual verification and pave way for mass rigging and allocation of fictitious votes for Buhari.

Ologbondiyan stated: “From the foregoing, it is clear to all that the Buhari presidency and the APC are out to rig the election and that INEC is in clear deficit of the required will to conduct a credible, free and fair election.

“In this regard, the PDP charges all its members and supporters, in their millions, to politically occupy and become extra vigilant by closely monitoring all electoral activities around their polling centres.

“In this determination, the PDP is ready to confront the Buhari-controlled security forces and APC thugs, head to head, at all levels. For this, we charge our members and supporters to use every means available to them legitimately in a democracy to defend themselves and resist all acts of intimidation by the APC.”

Contact Email, (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (adekunlebest@post.com)

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Nigeria election 2019: Mapping a nation in nine charts”:

The BBC maps the challenges facing Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous nation and largest economy, as it approaches a presidential election 20 years since the return of democracy:

Map showing state governors by party

Four years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) dominated the north and south-west of the country whereas the party’s main rival, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was more popular in the south and south-east.

However, unlike in the 2015 election, when a northerner, Mr Buhari, faced a southerner, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, this time the main challenger is the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, who is also from the north.

Analysts say the election is too difficult to call and the result is likely to be close.

The APC could suffer in the country’s Middle Belt, Benue and Nasarawa states, as there is dissatisfaction with the failure to deal with communal violence there, the BBC’s Abuja editor Aliyu Tanko says.

The APC is popular in the two states with the largest number of voters – Lagos and Kano – but there is the danger of voter apathy and a low turnout could become a problem.

The income map reveals a clear regional divide in how wealthy Nigerians are, with the north being much poorer than the south of the country.

President Buhari’s home state, Katsina in northern Nigeria, is the poorest area, where the average annual income per person is less than $400 (£309) – just over $1 a day.

Excluding the capital, Abuja, Lagos is the richest state and country’s commercial hub with the average annual income per person at nearly $8,000.

The relative wealth of the southern states, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom is a result of the oil industry.

The figures represent the mean average income and are not a reflection on how equally that money is distributed across the population.

Every year many thousands of young Nigerians start looking for jobs but there are few opportunities for formal work.

Sustainable job creation was one of the challenges for Nigeria that accountancy firm PwC identified last year.

In general, despite some downturns, the economy has grown strongly since 2000, but unemployment remains stubbornly high. Nationally, it stands at just over 23%.

Ironically, some of the states, in the oil-rich south, with high average income also have high unemployment. As well as pointing to income inequalities, this suggests that the oil industry is not producing enough jobs for the population.

Opec crude oil price 1960 – 2018Source:Opec

Map showing the oil pipelines in the country

The oil and gas industry accounts for 9% of Nigeria’s GDP, but the money the country gets for oil and gas makes up nearly half of all government revenue.

The global oil price, therefore, plays a big role in determining whether the government can pay its bills.

The first half of President Buhari’s term was hit by a falling oil price, which led to a sharp rise in government debt.

Security is a key election issue with inter-communal and Islamist-inspired violence accounting for nearly 10,000 deaths over the last four years.

Despite some military successes since 2015, especially in retaking territory from Islamist Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east, there has been a recent upsurge in attacks by the militants.

In the north-west, especially in Zamfara state, things appear to be worsening with armed bandits attacking villages and killing and abducting civilians for ransom, as well as stealing cattle.

The age-old conflict between settled farmers and nomadic herders has worsened in the last few years especially in central Nigeria. Mr Buhari’s government has been criticised for its poor handling of the situation, but the conflict appears to have subsided ahead of the elections.

Nigeria’s 196 million population is divided among numerous ethno-linguistic groups.

The Hausa-Fulani people, based in the north are mostly Muslims.

The Yorubas of the south-west are split between Muslims and Christians and the Igbos of the south-east and neighbouring groups are mostly Christian or follow traditional religions.

Both main presidential candidates – Mr Buhari and Mr Abubakar – are Fulanis, with running mates from the south. President Buhari’s deputy is Yemi Osinbajo, a Yoruba pastor and former law professor; Mr Abubakar has chosen Peter Obi, an Igbo politician.

According to the UN children’s agency (Unicef), one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria– though the percentage of school-age children actually in education varies widely across the country. There is a sharp regional divide, with the proportion of children going to school generally lower in the north.

It is estimated that 10.5 million children between five and 14 are out of school. Last October, a Unicef official said that 69% of those were in northern Nigeria, with the highest figure in Bauchi state, followed by Mr Buhari’s home state of Katsina.

The government’s National Economic Council recommended in October 2018 that a state of emergency be declared in the education sector to address, among other things, the number of out-of-school children.

Literacy rates are generally lower in the north, especially for women and girls.

Nigeria election: Election office burnt down six days before polls

An office for Nigeria’s election commission has been burned down just six days before the country is due to vote in a general election.

The fire in Plateau State has destroyed everything needed to vote, including ballot boxes and voting slips.

A spokesperson called it a setback for the preparations for the election but is quoted in This Day as saying that it is too early to suspect sabotage.

The general election is due to be held on Saturday.

On Sunday President Muhammadu Buhari warned of potential electoral fraud.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised concerns over laundered money being funnelled into vote buying,” he said an editorial published in the Pulse newspaper.

He is running for re-election in Saturday’s poll where more than 84 million people are registered to vote.

Although there are many presidential candidates, analysts say Mr Buhari’s main contender is former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.

Does Nigeria’s ‘generation democracy’ want to vote?

Nigeria’s first presidential election with a generation of voters who have only known democracy takes place next weekend.

Up until 20 years ago, the country was led by a succession of military rulers or short-lived civilian administrations.

But has a democratic era delivered for young people? Some 18 to 20-year-olds in Lagos and Abeokuta spoke to the BBC:

‘Nigerian politics is messed up’

Artist in front of his picture

Emmanuel Odumade, artist, 19

When it comes to the elections, I did register to vote. But I won’t lie, the registration process was so stressful, and we had to wait for two days to get the card.

If it was up to me, I wouldn’t have gone through the process, but people said that I needed to get the card to use it as an ID card.

It’s not that I’m not interested in politics but I would just say Nigerian politics is messed up. To me, I just feel like it’s not sincere. At the end of the day we all know who’s going to win, so what’s the use of voting? It’s not that your vote really counts.

Main presidential contenders:

Everything is just in a mess, we just need God’s intervention.

I am an artist – I discovered that I could draw because I fell in love with a girl at school.

I was trying to impress her and every day I would go to school with a new portrait of her. At the end of the day, she didn’t fall in love with me but I still had the talent.

As I get older, I want to be someone who speaks for my people through my art.

‘Are we practising democracy?’

Street seller with a tray of groundnuts on her head

Monday Victory, hawker and designer, 19

I didn’t register to take part in the election as I’m worried about violence. No-one is talking about it, but there is tension. I don’t want to vote because I hate something that might cause a fight.

Are we really practising democracy in Nigeria? I don’t know what to say, but I don’t think so. If we were practising democracy then there should be rules and regulations that people abide by.

But I don’t want military rule. I just want betterment for this country, not all this grab, grab, grab. It should be about showing your talents.

And there are many things that need fixing. For example, for a long time there are places where the roads are bad. And also electricity, like in the place where I’m staying – they should bring light there.

I am a fashion designer but I also help my aunt to sell groundnuts. I’ve finished school and I hope to study mass communication, but I’m struggling to get into university with the little money that I have.

I am an orphan – my mum died in 2013 of a terrible illness and my dad died in 2005 – so they can’t support me.

‘We have to make our nation proud’

Man in a market

Nasir Muhammad, gold trader, 19

It’s important for me to take part in the election, to help get a good leader for the nation. To know the kind of person we are voting for, that will help us and give us a caring nation.

By not voting you’re not helping the nation. We have to come together and make our nation proud and strong.

In this life, education is the key and I would like the government to pay our lecturers more and provide better equipment. There should also be better transportation and roads, good enough for vehicles and for people to walk along.

More on Nigeria’s vote:

I prefer democracy to military rule as we have the right to speak our mind and talk about what’s bothering us.

If I was the president, I would make sure that corruption is finished in Nigeria, because people are always shouting “corruption, corruption, corruption”.

I help my dad in the gold trading business. It’s a good business, which has paid for school fees and food for me and my eight siblings.

I’m now done with my secondary school, and I’d like to go to university to study zoology.

‘I want everything to cost less’

Man with straw hat on his head

Andrew Ogunnorin, furniture maker, 20

I wanted to register to vote to get the ID card but I didn’t have the time. We start work at 07.30 and we close at 21:00 and I couldn’t say to the boss that I wanted to go.

But even if I had registered I wouldn’t vote. There might be a fight afterwards and I don’t want a fight. They’d be shooting guns, taking out cutlasses and I don’t like that.

I don’t know anything about the people in charge, but I don’t think the president does any work. Look at how much things cost.

At one time if I wanted to buy a cup of rice it was 40 naira ($0.11; £0.09) – now it’s 80 naira. The money that used to buy two cups, now buys one cup. What has the president been doing?

I want everything to cost less like before. As an apprentice furniture maker I get 1,100 naira ($3; £2.30) a week.

Also, there is no regular electricity. Since morning we haven’t had power and nothing is working.

I’d like to continue my schooling and learn technical engineering, but I don’t have the money. My dad is a fisherman and my mum is a trader and they can’t pay to support me.

‘The leaders don’t listen’

Woman in church

Favour Ifadah, student, 20

I actually wanted to vote at first and went to register. But at the registration centre we had to spend hours waiting, waiting, waiting, and then we heard that the person responsible had not turned up.

We were told to come another day and I got annoyed as I have a lot of things to do. I ended up abandoning efforts to get a voter’s card.

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When I think about our leaders, I’m not saying they’re bad, but one thing I’ve noticed is that they don’t really listen to what the people have to say.

These are the people that they are leading and they should be concerned about our affairs. There’s been no water in my house for months, but who are we going to tell?

The most popular definition of democracy is “the government of the people, for the people and by the people”. But when we give this definition, it’s obvious that even the government doesn’t follow it.

It is supposed to be “the government of the people”, but who are the people? The people are suffering.

I love democracy since it has to do with the people. It’s about “we”, it’s not about the military imposing things on people saying: “You do this, you do this”.

‘Corruption is very, very bad’

Woman looking into the camera and smiling

Adijat Balogun, laundry worker, 19

I didn’t register to vote. I wanted to but I was so busy with work that I couldn’t make the time. I want to join the air force and at the moment I’m just focusing on that application.

All I want is for this country to be better. I’m a bit scared of the election and in the past I have heard that there have been killings.

I don’t really know about politics. I do think it’s important to be involved but I’m just not ready yet. There are a lot of things to change. Corruption is very, very bad and there’s poverty and hunger, and we want better jobs. But I don’t know how to solve these things.

I started as a laundry girl last year after finishing secondary school. I don’t do the washing, my job is to collect the dirty clothes and deliver the clean ones.

I make 15,000 naira ($41; £32) a month. It’s not enough, but I have to keep on going.

I’d like to join the air force because I want to be proud of myself. I love the uniform and there is respect. I pray to God that it works out.

‘We need more and better jobs’

Man looking into camera with cloth in the background

Caleb Obiefunwa, 18, cloth seller

I didn’t go and register to vote. I’m not interested in politics. For me it’s all about the business and making money. Now I need money to build my business, that’s it.

I hear about the election and I hear about the voting but at the end of the day it has already been decided who will win.

This country needs more and better jobs. There are so many graduates without work and something should be done for them.

I don’t know anything about the time of military rule. I don’t believe in history, I believe in tomorrow.

At the moment, I’m an apprentice, but after six years my boss will set me up with my own shop. What I earn is enough for me.

I hope that in 10 years’ time, by God’s grace, I will have what I need. I would like to be able to help the younger ones, if there is any way I can help I will do it.

‘No country is without problems’

Man with a dyed shirt on

Aribide Abiodun, cloth dyer, 19

I registered to vote and the process was good, everything went smoothly, and I’m going to vote.

People talk about the problems but I think the economy of Nigeria is good. There is no country that hasn’t had problems. I went to Cotonou in Benin last week and I saw over there that they have issues. And I can see on my phone that there is a problem in Togo.

So all we need is to be praying for the economy to be better and everything’s going to be good.

I think the president has been trying to get rid of the bad things in Nigeria. For example, the anti-corruption people are getting back stolen money.

My cloth dyeing business is going fine and I make about 10,000 naira ($28; £21) a week. I was born into this and have been working here since primary school.

When someone is working they are not going to suffer. In Nigeria, some of the youths don’t want to work, and because they don’t want to work, they get involved in things like internet fraud.

The only thing is to work and move closer to God.

Contact Email, (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (adekunlebest@post.com)

PDP flays Buhari’s assault on Atiku’s Campaign”:

…Describes FG’s action as last kicks of a dying horse

By Dirisu Yakubu

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described the last minute denial of the use of the Old Parade Ground, Abuja for its Presidential mega rally allegedly by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as the last kicks of a dying horse, saying regardless of the position of government, the rally would take place before Saturday February 16 election.

PDP flays Buhari’s assault on Atiku’s Campaign":
President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

The party said having paid for the venue; it was shocking that government could resort to play petty by prevailing on the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA to grant the use of the same facility to the All Progressives Congress, APC, Federal Capital Territory chapter on the same day.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan described government’s action as a sign of what he called the growing frustration in the camp of President Buhari ahead of the election.

He said, “For us in the PDP Presidential campaign organization, this is part of the last kicks of a dying horse, which the Buhari Presidency now represents. It is part of the plot by the frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC to drag the PDP and the people’s candidate to their low level of frustration in order to enmesh the coming election into crisis so as to achieve their self-succession bid.”

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It also called on the global community to note that “this latest assault against the people’s candidate is also borne out of direct ill-will and hatred against him by President Muhammadu Buhari as well as his handlers, who have sought all ways to drag him down, since they realized that Nigerians have reached a consensus on Atiku Abubakar, as the next President of our country.

“Atiku Abubakar, being a true democrat and statesman has decided to go with the people in their collective quest to rescue our nation from the vengeful, divisive, violent prone, insensitive, completely incompetent and inherently corrupt Buhari administration.”

The party however vowed to resist moves to clamp down on its activities, saying “any further attack on our campaign will therefore attract very dire response from Nigerians who look up to Atiku Abubakar to salvage our dear nation from the social, economic and political despondency, which President Buhari has plunged her into.”

The statement continued: “From reports reaching us, it is not also out of place for the Presidency and the APC to use this measure to test the will of Nigerians as precursor to their rigging plots.

“We want to place on record, once again that any attempt to rig the February 16 election will be vehemently resisted by Nigerians, across board, who have reached a consensus to rescue their nation from the stranglehold of the Buhari Presidency.

“In any case, let it be known to President Buhari and the APC that the PDP and the people’s candidate will definitely hold our Presidential mega rally in Abuja irrespective of any further encumbrance they may attempt to foist.”

Fielding questions on the sideline of the press conference, the publicity scribe said the erection of a broom statue at the entrance into the Abuja city centre is an indication of how low incumbent administration thinks.

“That broom statue is all the Buhari government has been able to achieve in the past three and a half years,” he noted, adding however that the PDP government would have to spend money again to bring down the structure upon its assumption in power.

Contact Email, (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (adekunlebest@post.com)

APC Lagos rally: What Oshiomhole, Amaechi, others said,”

APC Lagos rally: What Oshiomhole, Amaechi, others said,"

National chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole, on Saturday urged Nigerians not to believe the promise of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to create massive jobs.

Oshiomhole gave the advice in Lagos while addressing the crowd at the party’s presidential campaign rally.

PDP flays Buhari’s assault on Atiku’s Campaign”:

He said the promise was a calculated ploy by the opposition party to deceive Nigerians and get their votes.

The party chairman said the PDP had no good record of job creation in all its 16 years in power.

He said that the era of PDP marked the death of many industries in the country, especially in Lagos.

Oshiomhole said that it was a big irony that the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who supervised the economy at the time as Vice-President when many factories died was promising jobs.

The party chairman said the opposition party was clueless about job creation.

According to him, the APC had created many jobs in the last three years and would create more when re-elected.

“When you go to Oshodi and Isolo, remember the industries in Oshodi and Ikeja? Where are they now?

“Who supervised the obituaries of these industries? It is the PDP, and who was the Vice-President at that time, Atiku.

“How can you supervise the liquidation of industries and make promise to create new jobs?

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“Jobs are not created by miracles; by investing in infrastructure, the present government has generated many jobs through construction and multiplier effects.

“The Next level means more jobs are coming for the people,” he said.

Oshiomhole said that the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi, did not have the moral authority to speak on jobs.

He alleged that Obi deals in Made-in-China goods, exporting jobs, saying that was the reason he always quoted figures from China at any gathering.

Oshiomhole said the country did not fare well under the 16 years of PDP, which he described as an era characterised by looting and poor leadership.

He said the Buhari administration had done well to put the country on the right course in the last three and half years.

Oshiomhole said Buhari was a man of integrity, adding the anti-corruption fight and love for the masses had improved under him.

“President Buhari is a man of integrity. He is the only president that no British Prime Minister has called a thief.

“He is the only president that is widely acknowledged to be fighting corruption.

“This is the only president that the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury in London has described as an African leader who stands out to be counted on the side of the people.

“That is why I am proud and you are proud to be associated with what Buhari is doing and what he stands for, and why the Next level is about you,” he said.

He said the difference between the APC and PDP was that while the former was about the people the latter was about themselves.

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Oshiomhole said while APC was spending N500billion on the poor, the PDP was complaining the money was too much, as they were used to looting.

He said the promise by Atiku to give amnesty to treasury looters while leaving petty thieves who steal N10 or N20 should tell anyone that PDP was about class.

The party chairman said the APC was sure of victory on Feb. 16 and March 2, as it would defeat the PDP “mercilessly”.

He assured the international community that the party would not be involved in rigging or violence, as it had no record of doing that.

Oshiomhole said the APC had no reason to rig as people believed in the party for progress.

He said Lagos was an example of a working state, which was so because it was under APC.

The Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation and Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said a vote for APC was a vote for infrastructure.

He said the delivery of Lagos -Abeokuta rail project and others in the country by the APC meant the party was for development.

The APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu, urged residents to vote right and for the APC.

He urged residents to come out en masse and vote for the party for the progress of the state.

The APC chairman in the state, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, praised the administration of Buhari, saying the state had benefited immensely in terms of projects in the last three and half years.

NAN reports that APC state governors, ministers, among others were part of the mammoth crowd of party faithful and residents at the rally.

Myths, realities of Buhari, Atiku clash in Bauchi, 2019:

the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium in Bauchi witnessed an unprecedented crowd of supporters who thronged the overstretched stadium in support of the candidature of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Bauchi State was, before now, what many would call a ‘Buhari territory’. But that perception seems to have waned in the last three and half years of the Buhari presidency. Many have attributed the decline of Buhari’s popularity in Bauchi to a number of issues bothering on the increased level of poverty, high level of unemployment, insecurity amongst others.

Also, there are concerns in some quarters about the health of the President, especially his mental capacity to effectively lead the nation for the next four years. Obviously, part of what have exacerbated these concerns are his slurred speeches in and out of campaign arenas and his inability to recognize people sometimes, especially those in his own party.

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Unlike in 2015 when Buhari, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ran against Jonathan, a Southerner, he will now be running against an opposition candidate with the same ethnoreligious background as him – and that counts for much for an average Bauchi voter.

Corruption, which President Buhari is perceived to be fighting, seems to be an albatross on the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar. The perception of some voters is that he is corrupt and would ‘steal’ the country’s resources if voted into office. But there are also those who say they are tired of hunger and joblessness and would care less about corruption as long as they are able to feed and cater for their family needs.

Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of PDP, during the campaign for his party’s presidential candidate said “We are convinced that with this crowd, Bauchi state is for PDP. They can not rig elections in Bauchi state, if they try it, whatever they see, they will have to take it. We have the best presidential candidate in the country today because he is competent and has the capacity to lead the nation.

“Buhari is tired, weak and can not go further anymore. But Atiku has been tested and proved. He will provide food, security and employment. He will not cede his power to cabal because he will be the Commander-in-Chief that will work for the people”.

Atiku on his part, said “Three years have passed, what has APC done for you; except hunger, poverty and lies? When I was Vice president in 2003, a memo was brought to me by Hon. Shira for the restoration of Steyr company and I approved 500 hundred million naira. But APC has driven the company into comatose. If you vote me, I bring back your Steyr company to create jobs for our teeming youths.

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“We even commissioned rail lines running from Bauchi across Gombe to Maiduguri but APC has spoilt it. Also, we commissioned dry port to boost businesses in Bauchi, but it is closed today because of the nonchalance of the APC. But I will revive it if you vote for me”

Atiku and Secondus may have spoken from their perspective as leaders of the opposition, but much of what they said is being discussed daily by ordinary people at ‘Mai shai’ (tea shops) joints and elsewhere around the state.

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But a week, they say, is enough for things to change in politics. However, many pundits say the presidential election will be 60/40 in Bauchi, in favour of Buhari.

Contact Email, (BBCNEWS.CO.UK@bbcnewslight.co.uk) or (adekunlebest@post.com)

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