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Obasanjo Forgives Atiku, Endorses Him For President

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday said he has reviewed his stance on not backing his former deputy for the presidency of Nigeria.

Mr. Obasanjo spoke when Atiku Abubakar and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party visited him at his Abeokuta home.

He said he believed Atiku has ‘re-discovered and re-positioned himself’ and is now good enough to enjoy his support in the next election.

Mr. Obasanjo said, “Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.

“Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo.  In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku.  And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself.  As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.

“I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself.  I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.

“From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.

“Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you. Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party.  That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party.  In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.

“There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends.  You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition.  But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared.  And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.

“I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate –  all at the national level.  With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.

“For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.

“You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs.  You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways.  As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President said, “You are a wazobia man.”  And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.

“As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard.  On your behalf, I thank them all.  May their coast continue to be expanded.  And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin.  Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.

“Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency.  The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.

“Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.
“The fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure.  Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.

“All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
“Once again, congratulations and I wish you well.  My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen.  I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.”

BACKGROUND

Atiku had on Sunday emerged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr. Obasanjo had on August 3 exclusively told PREMIUM TIMES the former vice president should not count on him for support in his  bid to actualise his life-long ambition of being elected president of Nigeria.

“How can I be on the same side with Atiku?” he asked. “To do what?”
“If I support Atiku for anything, God will not forgive me. If I do not know, yes. But once I know, Atiku can never enjoy my support,” he added.

Mr Obasanjo said his remarks should not be interpreted to mean a personal battle with Atiku, coming as 2019 presidential campaign gathers steam with Mr Abubakar amongst the front-runners.

“I do not have personal grudges with anyone,” Mr Obasanjo said. “If you do not do well for Nigeria, you do not do well for all of us.”

“It is not a question of working with or not working with an individual,” he said. “If you are working for the good of Nigeria, I am working with you. If you are not working for the good of Nigeria it does not matter who you are I am not working with you.

“Most of you do not understand the way I operate. And I thought your own paper (PREMIUM TIMES) will understand better.”

“I know Atiku very well. And I have mentioned my position with Atiku. My position has not changed.

“If my children are getting married, he has sent representatives. If his children are getting married, I have sent representatives. That is social. That is not political.

“But on political ground, my position has not changed. If I support Atiku for a political office other than the one I supported him in the past when I did not know him, maybe, but not now that I know him, God will not forgive me.”

That comment created the impression that Mr Obasanjo was not ready to soften his borderline disposition to his former vice president of eight years.

After the former president said he would not support President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term, there was widespread speculation that he would back anyone presented as the major challenger, even if this turned out to be Atiku.

The Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, had visited Mr. Obasanjo earlier this week to plead with him to meet with Atiku and possibly back him for president in the coming election.

 

Sourced from: Premium Times

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This Day

Again, Non-service of Corruption Charges Stalls Stella Odua’s Arraignment

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By Alex Enumah

The failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to serve corruption charges on two defendants, on Monday stalled the arraignment of a former Minister of Aviation, Senator Stella Oduah, on fraud and corruption allegations.

Senator Oduah’s arraignment was first stalled on February 9, 2021, following her absence in court which prosecution lawyer, Hassan Liman (SAN) tied to non service of court processes.

Trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, then rescheduled her arraignment for Monday, February 22, 2021.

However, when the case was called on Monday, although Oduah this time was present in court and was represented by Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), but her arraignment again failed due to non service of suit on two other defendants.

The EFCC’s lawyer had told the court that the commission was yet to serve the fifth and sixth defendants specifically with the court processes.

Lima then sought a short adjournment to enable the prosecution serve the defendants, which are corporate bodies, at their respective addresses.

In a short ruling, Justice Ekwo granted the request and directed that the defendants be served within 14 days.

The judge subsequently fixed April 19 for the arraignment of the defendants.

Oduah, now a senator representing Anambra North Senatorial District, is to stand trial alongside eight others on a 26-count criminal charge bordering on corruption, misappropriation and money laundering running into billions of naira.

The senator was said to have committed the alleged offences when she served as Minister of Aviation under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/316/20, the defendants were in count one charged with money laundering, while in count two, Oduah in connivance with one Gloria Odita, Company Secretary of Sea Petroleum & Gas Conthat, Ltd (SPGC), was accused to have “used your position to transfer the sum of N839,780,738.00 (Eight Hundred and Thirty Nine Million, Seven Hundred and Eighty, thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Eight Naira only) from 1-Sec Security Nig. Ltd account No. 2021756955 with First Muds Plc to Broadwaters Resources Company Ltd account No. 2023201064 with First Bank Plc which money you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act to wit: Fraud and thereby, committed an offence contra, to Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.

She was also accused of illegally transferring another sum of N838,000,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Thirty Eight Million Naira only) in count three.

In count four, both Oduah and Odita were accused of laundering another sum of NI,629,250,000.00 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) in February 2014 and another N1.629,250,000.00 (One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Nine Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) in count five.

Sourced From: THISDAYLIVE

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Tribune

Nigeria records 240 new COVID-19 infections, total now 155,657

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Tribune Online
Nigeria records 240 new COVID-19 infections, total now 155,657

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 240 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 155,657. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Sunday. “On the 28th of February 2021, 240 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria. “Till date, […]

Nigeria records 240 new COVID-19 infections, total now 155,657
Tribune Online

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The Nation

Harvest of tributes as former COAS Eduok is interred

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By Bassey Anthony, Uyo

It was a harvest of tributes for the late Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Nsikak Eduok, as his remains were interred in his hometown in Ibesikpo Asutan, Akwa Ibom State yesterday.

Chief of Air Staff, Oladayo Amao, who spoke at the Ibom Hall grounds Uyo, during the funeral service conducted by United Evangelical Church, Founded as Qua Iboe Church, described late AM Eduok as a man of valour, integrity and a great achiever with unprecedented strive for success.

Based on these sterling attributes, the Force has decided to immortalize him by naming Ultrafit Gymnasium Centre at the Nigerian Air Force Base, Yola, after him.

In his condolence message to the family of the late Air Force officer, the former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, described late Eduok as an officer who had distinguished himself while serving the country, adding that Akwa Ibom state and Nigerian has lost a rare gem.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo described late Eduok as one who played a significant role during the Nigerian civil war, noting that he worked tirelessly to build an efficient and effective Air Force.

Earlier, Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, noted that the country, the Nigeria Airforce, the Church and the people of Akwa Ibom State have lost a rare gem, stressing that he was filled with a big sense of loss and grief.

Dignitaries present at the funeral service included, former Military Administrator of Akwa Ibom State, John Ebiye, former governor of the state, and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta, Senator Ita Enang, immediate past Chief of Naval Staff, Ibokette Ibas, former minister and chieftain of the All-Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, among others.

Sourced From: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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Premium Times

VIDEO: My experience shows youth need not waste time looking for jobs – Farmer

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Nike Kikiowo started a poultry farm in 2017 in Osun State with 100 birds, but has now grown significantly.

The post VIDEO: My experience shows youth need not waste time looking for jobs – Farmer appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

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