Sahara Reporters Latest News Monday 4th February 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Monday 4th February 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 04/02/19

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target=_blank>Keyamo Rubbishes Atiku’s Endorsement By Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Others

Festus Keyamo, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Campaign Organisation, has rubbished the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by various groups on Sunday.
Earlier on Sunday, at a meeting held in Abuja, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta forum, the Middle Belt Forum, as well as a faction of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political group, endorsed Atiku’s candidature.

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JUST IN: Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum Endorse Atiku

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In a similar move, the Miyetti Allah group in the North-East also followed suit and pitched their tent with the former Vice-President.

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BREAKING: ‘He Cost Us Our Dignity’ — Northeast Miyetti Allah Disowns Buhari, Endorses Atiku

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However, Keyamo expressed displeasure with the endorsements, describing them as “fraudulent”.
A statement issued by the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on Sunday, read: “Firstly, as regards the endorsements by the above-named socio-cultural groups, there is no fraud bigger than that of known PDP members and/or hardened PDP sympathizers wearing the apparel of socio-cultural groups, purporting to represent entire regions and endorsing their own political party. The impression given through these endorsements that PDP is expanding its support base is also an attempt to deceive Nigerians because these are groups that supported PDP in 2015 and lost the election along with PDP. Therefore, their excuse that they are supporting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar because of the bogey called ‘restructuring’ is nothing but a subterfuge. In any case, Ohaneze had said in its earlier release that the first reason they are endorsing Atiku Abubakar is that his running mate is an Ibo man.
“In the past, it used to be that some of these individuals have used the names of these groups and platforms to purport to represent their people and as such enjoyed huge government patronage. The proceeds of this patronage have never trickled down to their people they purport to represent but ended up in their pockets and benefitted only their immediate families. This is in perfect tune with the campaign promise of Atiku Abubakar to enrich only his friends. Therefore, like bees and honey, these people and Atiku Abubakar are attracted to themselves.
“Unfortunately for them, President Muhammadu Buhari has managed to navigate his way directly to the masses who they purport to represent and is ensuring that the dividends of democracy reach the people directly. Their annoyance is that they have been eliminated as middlemen. That is why the bond between the masses and President Muhammadu Buhari continue to grow on a daily basis.
“The curious question we ask is that, where were these social-cultural groups all these years when the PDP squandered our resources and failed to develop critical infrastructure in their respective regions? Are they saying that they are satisfied with the level of developments of infrastructure in their respective regions during the 16 years of PDP rule? Where is the outrage of these socio-cultural groups as the Buhari administration has so far recovered from PDP members and their allies a total of nearly N800billion, 407 mansions, 259 automobiles, farmlands, filling stations, etc – all belonging to the Nigerian people? Where is their outrage? Instead they are endorsing these same set of people who perpetrated this evil against the Nigerian people.”
He also took a swipe at a seeming projection of Atiku’s victory according to reports by “some media houses”. It was not clear what “reports” Keyamo referred to, but The Economist Intelligence Agency had projected on Friday that Atiku would come to power, but with a “sweeping free market agenda”, which may be too “monumental to implement in full”.

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The Economist Backs Atiku To Win But Says His Agenda ‘Too Monumental To Implement In Full’

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Berating the report, Keyamo said: “Secondly, as to the voodoo percentages allocated to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in some voodoo projections by some media houses (which should have since changed their crests to the umbrella — the symbol of the PDP), it is laughable to see them project a tight race between President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. For instance, we note with amusement the clear lead given to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the South-East, just because his running mate is from the region, but fail to see that same clear advantage given to President Buhari in the South-West from where the Vice-President comes.
“It is also fraudulent to project the reduction in the advantage the President has always enjoyed in his traditional base, but fail to see the massive inroads the President has also made into the traditional bases of the PDP. These and many other funny and fraudulent projections are what we know the PDP is using to prepare the ground to rubbish the electoral process which its leaders know is an insurmountable mountain for them to climb. They are, therefore, going for broke.
“We want to alert Nigerians to be firm and unwavering in their resolve not to go back to the vomit which they spewed forth in the shape of PDP in 2015. Nigerians have seen through the PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (who has been described by his former employer in the most debasing language ever found on print) and Nigerians can no longer be deceived.
“We are confident that in a few days’ time, the PDP will be put where it rightly belongs by the good people of Nigeria – the dustbin of history.”

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target=_blank>SERAP Asks Court To Compel Fashola To Name Contractors Who Disappeared With Project Funds

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sued Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing over “failure to disclose specific names and details of contractors and companies that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 to 2018”.
In the suit marked FHC/L/CS/105/19 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, SERAP is seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling Mr Fashola to provide specific details on the names and whereabouts of the contractors who collected public funds meant for electricity projects but disappeared with the money without executing any projects”.
The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information request dated January 4, 2019, giving Fashola 14 days to publish “the names of all contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date, details of specific projects and the amounts that have been paid to the contractors and companies, details on the level of implementation of electricity projects and their specific locations across the country.”
A statement by Ms Bamisope Adeyanju, SERAP Senior Legal Adviser, issued on Sunday, noted that “publishing the names will make it hard for contractors and companies to get away with complicity in grand corruption. The citizens have the right to see that the Freedom of Information Act is enforced where there is an infraction of the right to information or a threat of its being violated, in matters of public interests.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “by compelling Mr Fashola to name the contractors and their registration details, if any, Nigerians will be better able to hold them to account for allegedly absconding with public funds meant for electricity projects, thereby throwing the country into perpetual darkness and socio-economic stagnation as well as denying people their human rights.
“Granting the order as prayed would ensure that allegations of complicity in grand corruption by contractors and companies in the power sector do not go unpunished. Unless the names of the contractors and companies are disclosed and widely published, alleged corrupt contractors and companies executing electricity projects will not be deterred and the victims of corruption that they committed will continue to be denied justice and effective remedies.
“To date no contractors or companies who allegedly collected money for electricity projects not executed or poorly executed have been investigated for corruption let alone prosecuted and fined. Senior public officials who apparently served as intermediaries for these contractors and companies continue to escape justice.
“The allegations of corruption involving many contractors and companies in the power sector have continued to impair, obstruct and undermine the ability of successive governments to provide Nigerians with access to regular and uninterrupted electricity supply. Contractors and companies that allegedly disappeared with public funds meant for electricity projects may also be liable for aiding and abetting the commission of acts of grand corruption.”
The suit is seeking the following reliefs:
“An order directing and/or compelling the Respondent to compile and make available to the Applicant documents containing the specific names and details of contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date, details, of specific projects and the amounts that have been paid to the contractors and companies, details on the level of implementation of electricity projects and their specific locations across the country and to publish widely including on a dedicated website, any such information;
“An order directing and/or compelling the Respondent to compile and make available to the Applicant documents and information containing the specific names and details of contractors and companies that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 to 2018 and to publish widely including on a dedicated website, any such information;
“An order directing and/or compelling the Respondent to disclose if there is any ongoing investigation or prosecution of allegedly corrupt contractors and companies in the electricity sector;
“A declaration that the failure of the Respondent to provide the Applicant with information containing the specific names and details of contractors and companies that have been engaged in the power sector since the return of democracy in 1999 to date, details, of specific projects and the amounts that have been paid to the contractors and companies, details on the level of implementation of electricity projects and their specific locations across the country, and failure to widely publish it on a dedicated website, any such information amounts to a fundamental breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2011;
“A declaration that the failure of the Respondent to provide the Applicant with specific documents and information containing the names and details of contractors and companies that allegedly collected money for electricity projects but failed to execute any of such projects, starting from the return of democracy in 1999 to 2018 and failure to widely publish it on a dedicated website, any of such information amounts to a breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2011;
“A declaration that the failure of the Respondent to disclose if there is any ongoing investigation or prosecution of allegedly corrupt contractors and companies in the electricity sector, amounts to a breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 and for such further order or orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”
SERAP also noted that “Publishing the names of contractors will contribute to ending a pattern of corruption in the power sector and improve access of Nigerians to regular and uninterrupted electricity supply. It will also allow citizens to track the level of execution of electricity projects by contractors and companies and reduce impunity for corrupt acts in the sector.”
The statement continued: “Granting the reliefs sought will ensure that punitive and dissuasive measures are taken against corrupt contractors and companies, shareholders and others that might have any ownership interests in companies responsible for failed execution of power projects in the country.
“Former Nigeria’s Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, blew the whistle on Channels TV when he said: ‘We collected money from local, state and federal governments and others. Contractors were given some contracts and were paid hundred percent upfront. Up till now, we are not holding the contractors responsible. People have collected money upfront one hundred percent and have disappeared; and have not even done any work.’”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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target=_blank>FMC Out Of Bed Space As Fresh Lassa Fever Outbreak Hits Ondo

The Federal Medical Centre in Owo, Ondo State, is said to have run out of bed spaces to accommodate victims of the Lassa fever outbreak in the state.
Investigation carried out by SaharaReporters showed that the disease which has been ravaging the state for almost two weeks, has found its way into Akure, the state capital.
Although the outbreak had been reported in border cities of the northern senatorial district of the state, such as Edo and Kogi, sources at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Owo area told our correspondent that many victims are hospitalised in the centre.
One of the sources, who preferred not to be named, revealed that the current situation at FMC was getting out of control, adding that isolation wards of the hospital could no longer contain the patients due to lack of bed spaces to quarantine them.
“There is no bed space again for us to quarantine these set of people in the FMC Owo. What we’re currently facing is quite beyond what anyone would ever imagine. Patients kept inside the isolation ward are those that have contracted Lassa fever, and most of the reported cases are from the border communities within Ose Local Government area of the state,” the source told SaharaReporters.
Another source at the state Ministry of Health also confirmed that the current situation in Ondo State was “very terrible”, and called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the state.
“Apart from declaring the state of emergency in the health sector, all the schools within these affected communities should be shut down. We also expect the government too to begin an awareness campaign by taking it to market places, streets, churches, mosques and other public places,” he said.
Dr. Stephen Fagbemi, the Ondo State Epidemiologist, had said at a fora that the state should prepare for war against Lassa fever.
He said about 27 states were affected with Lassa fever last year and Ondo and Edo topped the list as they accounted for about 80 per cent of those affected.
Meanwhile, as parts of efforts to curb the Lassa fever outbreak, the government on Sunday activated the Emergency Response Committee on Lassa fever. 
Sahara Reporters gathered that the Committee is chaired by Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, the Ondo State Commissioner for Health, and Mrs. Bola Akinyanmi as the secretary. The Committee has been charged with the mandate to ensure that Lassa fever is flushed out of the state within the shortest time. It is also saddled with the mission of embarking on campaigns, advocacy visits to royal fathers and religious leaders in order to identify an appropriate dump site for human wastes.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ondo State has raised the alarm over the sudden outbreak of the Lassa fever in the state.
Reverend Ayo Oladapo, the state CAN Chairman, said about 80 cases had been recorded and confirmed.
In a statement sent to all heads of churches in the state, Oladapo urged Christians to be on the alert.
“I have just been informed through representatives of the government that there is an outbreak of Lassa Fever in the state (Ondo).
“About 80 cases have been confirmed. All our churches should please sensitize their members to cover their foods properly and eradicate the existence of rats in their vicinities. Announcements should be made on pulpits and in all our services. May God deliver us all from all deadly diseases in Jesus’ name.”

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target=_blank>BREAKING: Tinubu Attends Peace Meeting With Ambode, Says ‘No Question of Impeachment’

Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), says there is no longer a question of impeaching Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State.
At the deliberations of the Lagos State House of Assembly on January 28, 2019, there had been talks of impeaching the Governor over allegations that the executive arm of government was already incurring expenditure on the 2019 budget before it was presented to the House.
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) had also threatened to shut down the House of Assembly if the lawmakers follow through on the impeachment process.
However, speaking after a peace meeting brokered by the APC leadership in the state to end the rift between the Governor and lawmakers, which was held at Lagos House, Marina, on Sunday, Tinubu said it was gratifying to note that the conflict between the Governor and the lawmakers had been amicably settled.    
Tinubu, who spoke on behalf of all APC leaders in the state, said the executive and the legislative arms of government in the state had resolved to work together in the interest of the state.
“We held a meeting on behalf of Lagos, the entire Lagosians, our party — APC leadership. In the last one week, there has been noise about the conflict between the executive and the State Assembly. It is of great concern to all of us and particularly what Lagos represents across the country,” he said.
“We have been able to look into the source of various conflicts, which is not uncommon in politics; what is the genesis of those problems? We are one big family and as a big family, you will have some rumples; you will have some disagreement. As leaders of the party, we have looked into that; we have looked into areas where we have to compromise, discuss and build the institutions, encourage the institutions to really do what is right.
“We have resolved there is no question of impeachment in Lagos State. Let the two arms of government communicate and continue to respect each other and build consensus and understanding. That is all about politics. Conflict and conflict resolution mechanism is inbuilt in any political system, unless leaders are lacking in their responsibilities.”
Tinubu thanked Ambode, his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, and the leadership of the House for agreeing to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, saying it was evident that consequences of allowing such conflict to fester would have been dire, not just for the state but the entire country.
He continued: “We thank the Speaker and the entire members of the House of Assembly leadership. We thank the Governor and the Deputy Governor who had demonstrated firm respect for the party leadership in Lagos State.
“You know when Lagos sneezes, the rest of the political equation catches cold and we are very happy that we are able to resolve amicably. The Deputy Speaker is also here and all of them put together, we are assured that things will start to run smoothly in Lagos both the House and the government.”
Also speaking, a party chieftain, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, corroborated Tinubu’s position, and expressed optimism that the House would soon meet to resolve other grey areas.
“The National Leader (Tinubu) has spoken and mine is just to confirm the decision,” Olusi said. “Conflict resolution is an essential ingredient of management. We have looked into the problem and the party has directed the two arms of government — the executive and the legislature — to work together and very soon, the House will meet and resolve all grey areas.”     
The meeting was attended by both the executive and legislative arms, represented by Ambode; Adebule; Right Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly; Wasiu Eshinlokun, Deputy Speaker; Sinai Agunbiade, Majority Leader; Rotimi Abiru, Chief Whip; among other principal officers of the Assembly.
Others in attendance were all the members of the Governors’ Advisory Council (GAC), the highest decision making organ of the party in the state; Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governorship candidate of the party in the state and his running mate, Dr. Femi Hamzat.

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target=_blank>Court Asked To Disqualify APC Candidate Convicted In Liberia In 2013

A suit has been filed against Prince Olaide Adewale Akinremi, the candidate for Ibadan-North Federal constituency contesting on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the grounds that he is an ex-convict who was imprisoned less than 10 years ago.
According to information made available to SaharaReporters, the suit was filed on November 27, 2018, at the Federal High Court Ibadan by Mr. Stephen Johnson, a member of the constiituency in which the APC candidate is vying for a political post.
The suit with the number: FHC/IB/OS/138/18 has Mr Stephen Johnson as plaintiff/applicant and Prince Olaide Adewale Akinremi, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants/respondents.
The suit claims that Prince Olaide Adewale Akinremi was convicted in 2013 at the criminal court of the Republic of Liberia for economic sabotage and theft of property.
The case involved former Inspector General of the Liberia National Police, Beatrice Munah Sieh-Brown, Harris Manneh Dunn, Prince O.A. Akinremi, Kamah N. Zeon and Nebo Garlo, who were accused of committing fraud to the tune of about $200,000, meant for police uniforms and related items.
The case was prosecuted by the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) and the accused persons were indicted.
The suit became necessary, according to the applicant, “for the honourable court to make an order preserving the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from being breached by the Respondents”.
The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, section 107(1d), states that “No person shall be qualified for the elections to a House Of Assembly if within a period of less than ten years before the date of an election to the House of Assembly, he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct.”
According to documents of the verdict obtained by the plaintiff from Liberia, the jury submitted that Akinremi and other accused persons were guilty of the offences.
According to the suit, Prince Olaide Adewale Akinremi was convicted in 2013, a period less than 10 years before his decision to run for office.
A court hearing was scheduled for January 29, 2019, but failed to hold as a result of the nationwide boycott ordered by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to protest the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Hearing has been adjourned till February 27, 2019, as the judge said she will be on national assignment in Abuja till February 25, 2019.
Attempts to reach Akinremi proved abortive, as after a few seconds of listening to our correspondent, the connection cut off. Further attempts to reach his line afterwards were unsuccessful.

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E2%80%99s-aac-urges-nigerians-stand-solidarity-six-arrested-members-go-court target=_blank>Sowore’s AAC Urges Nigerians To Stand In Solidarity As Six Arrested Members Go To Court

The African Action Congress (AAC) has urged Nigerians to “stand in solidarity” with the party as the six members arrested for pasting posters at night are scheduled for another court hearing on Monday.
They were arrested on December 9, 2018, and the Police accused them of breaching the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency laws by pasting posters at night and damaging campaign posters belonging to candidates of other political parties.

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Sowore’s Supporters Detained By Lagos CP For Pasting Posters

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They were charged to court and granted bail, while hearing on the case was adjourned till February 4, 2019.

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Court Grants Bail To Sowore’s Party Members Arrested For Pasting Posters

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A statement issued by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, Director, PR, Media and Communications, Sowore 2019 Campaign/African Action Congress, on Sunday, read: “On Sunday, 9th December, 2018, six members of the African Action Congress party were unlawfully arrested during the early hours for pasting posters in Lagos State. The arresting officers went through several charges before settling on the charge of defacing public property, accusing them of vandalising posters belonging to Jimi Agbaje, the PDP Lagos State gubernatorial candidate.
“Our supporters have been steadfast in their defence that they did no such thing; maintaining that they were arrested only with Sowore’s posters, brushes and adhesive paste. At the time, the arrest, which led to a three-day detention, including two days in Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison for pasting posters, was the latest in a long line of persistent attacks on the AAC. The party would later deal with exclusion from the national debate and a poorly orchestrated smear campaign.
“We have fought every semblance of injustice and oppression that has come our way since the beginning of this campaign, and will continue to do so, this court case included.
“It is unconscionable that the APC and PDP would rather sink to these depths than spend their time proving to Nigerians that they are worthy candidates to govern the land. That they would rather squander the freedom of six innocent young men than do the right thing – make plans for this nation and then keep their promises. We urge Nigerians not to fall for these cheap tactics and to instead focus on the prize: a Nigeria that works for us all, regardless of tribe, religion, income level or political alliance.
“On Monday, 4th February, 2019, the AAC will go to court and once again stare injustice in the face in the case of six young men arrested for pasting posters in Lagos state. Regardless of their political affiliations, it is our hope that every Nigerian will be rightfully outraged by this case.
“We specifically ask that ALL of our supporters use the picture of the AAC 6 as their profile picture in a united, worldwide show of solidarity. We must support our own and let the old cabals know that we are not for bowing or breaking. This is the only way that Nigeria can progress — calling out injustice wherever one finds it — and Nigeria MUST progress.”

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E2%80%94-northeast-miyetti-allah-disowns-buhari-endorses-atiku target=_blank>BREAKING: ‘He Cost Us Our Dignity’ — Northeast Miyetti Allah Disowns Buhari, Endorses Atiku

Mafindi Umaru Danburam, leader of the Miyetti Allah group in the North-East, has dissociated his colleagues from the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari credited to the national body.
The group also endorsed the candidature of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Danburam recently resigned his position as the North-East chairman of the group following the group’s endorsement of Buhari.
Speaking in Yola on Sunday, he said: “Miyetti Allah had, at no time, sat to decide which presidential candidate to support.
“I resigned my office as Mortheast leader of Miyetti Allah since news broke about the purported endorsement of President Buhari by our national body. So we’re here to tell the world that if someone is priding himself as a Fulani man, Atiku is more, because he occupies the revered stool of the second in command at Adamawa emirate as the Waziri.
“If someone prides himself as a Fulani herder, Atiku is more, because he owns more than 1,000 heads of cattle, compared to 150.”
Also speaking at the event, Mohammed Ango, a chieftain of the group, criticised the present administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying: “Fulani people have lost more dignity under the Buhari administration than any other in history.
“Today, our people are branded as killers, branded as kidnappers or robbers, just because some people are misrepresenting us. Before now, the relationship between herders and farmers was not this bad; we can all attest to this. Our people, for instance, could pass the night in the house of say, a Bachama man in Numan, but now all that has been eroded.”
Ahmed Umar Fintiri, Adamawa governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who received the group on behalf of Atiku, thanked the group for clearing the air.
He admonished them not to buy into the deceptive tendencies of the APC, stressing that “only the PDP government, led by Atiku, will reunite Nigeria”.
A traditional symbolic Fulani ritual of distribution of kolanuts, to signal irrevocable bonding into the Atiku project, was one of the highlights at the event.

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E2%80%99m-not-member-any-conveners%E2%80%99-council-or-third-force-says-soyinka target=_blank>I’m Not A Member Of Any Conveners’ Council Or Third Force, Says Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has “corrected” a report published by The Nation newspaper, that he is a member of the Alliance for the Defence of Democracy (ADD).
A statement made available to SaharaReporters on Sunday, noted that although he was invited to a meeting on discussions for a consensus candidate, he did not attend the said meeting.
He, however, stressed his decision to “fully endorse, and have encouraged the efforts of ADD and of other similarly motivated groups to identify a candidate to take the battle to the two parties currently monopolizing the political space and throw up a viable challenger for the occupancy of Aso Rock”.
The statement read: “I wish to correct the report in The Nation, Sunday, February 3 – that confers on me membership of The Alliance for the Defence of Democracy, dedicated – among other aims – to identifying a Consensus Candidate for the coming presidential election. Neither did I attend the meeting that took place at Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, January 31, 2019. I, therefore, could not have been part of whatever resolutions were agreed upon at that meeting.
“I was invited, but I did not attend. I must state however that I fully endorse, and have encouraged the efforts of ADD and of other similarly motivated groups to identify a candidate to take the battle to the two parties currently monopolizing the political space and throw up a viable challenger for the occupancy of Aso Rock.
“Indeed, at the meeting convened by Citizen Forum at Freedom Park, coincidentally on that very day and time – I took pains to inform my audience of the ongoing meeting of the ADD, and its commendable purpose. I also mentioned the meeting of yet another group in Abuja which had been holding for over two days.
“I am NOT a member of any Conveners’ Council or Third Force. There is cooperation among several groups and individuals on various levels, but it is essential to clarify that my interventionist role is clarified so as not to compromise my own objective preferences which will be made only after Citizen Forum has concluded its own line of inquiry and guided itself accordingly.
“We are all collaborating, monitoring and collating preferences, acting in the same cause, aspiring to a creative and effective convergence, but in full respect for the independence of action of the various groupings.”

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target=_blank>JUST IN: Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum Endorse Atiku

Leaders and elders from various geopolitical zones across the country have endorsed Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as their preferred candidate.
This formed part of the resolutions at a meeting tagged: ‘Summit of Nigerian Leaders and Elders’, held at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, on Sunday.
Present at the meeting were leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta forum, the Middle Belt Forum, as well as a faction of Afenifere, the Yoruba socio-political group.
Participants at the forum said they agreed on endorsing Atiku after meeting with various presidential candidates.
They said the decision not to support President Muhammadu Buhari, currently seeking reelection on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was based on the current President’s loss of control of government.
They also accused the President of dividing the country.
Among those who attended the meeting were: Ayo Fasanmi (Afenifere), Dr Pogu Bitrus (Middle Belt Forum), Ango Abdullahi (Northern Elders Forum), Edwin Clark (Pan Niger Delta Forum), John Nwodo (Ohanaeze Ndigbo) and Buba Galadima.

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Vote Healthy Leaders, Sowore Says As He Completes Lagos City Marathon

Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), has called on Nigerians to vote for people who will ensure that sports is developed to fit global best practices, rather than leaders who will spend the nation’s resources on medical trips abroad.
He made the statement after he participated at the 10km Access Bank Lagos City Marathon at Eko Atlantic City.
“These are the leaders Nigeria needs; those with stamina who are fit and can participate in sporting activities, so that they can understand how sports should be developed, and what a great opportunity it is for our young people to aspire for something bigger than themselves,” Sowore said.
On the need to elect healthy leaders, he said: “We do not need Nigeria’s next president to spend our resources on medical trips abroad. I challenge the two major parties filled with old people to present their candidates for a marathon. They can never do it; they celebrate 800km walks and old ideas. We must change this on February 16, 2019.” 
President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a medical vacation in United Kingdom between February 2016 and August 2016, which lasted 104 days.

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