The endorsement of Abubakar took place at a program christened “Afenifere town hall meeting on moving Nigeria forward” held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
The program was organised by the faction of Afenifere led by Chief Reuben Fasoranti.
DAILY POST recalls that a faction of the group led by Chief Ayo Fasanmi had on Tuesday, 29th January this year, in the same Ibadan, endorsed the candidate of President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming that Buhari had performed well and deserved another term in the office.
But, the group led by Chief Fasoranti said that they had decided to endorse Abubakar because of his resolve to restructure Nigeria.
Eminent Yoruba leaders and elders present at the event held on Wednesday apart from Chief Fasoranti are; former Secretary to the Government of the federation, Chief Olu Falae, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and gubernatorial candidate of the PDP, Mr. Seyi Makinde who represented Abubakar at the event.
Fasoranti while declaring the support of the group for Abubakar said that the essence of the program was to tell the people of the South West region to vote for Abubakar because he had promised to implement restructuring proposal to the latter.
He said, “We are here to support the candidate that will implement to the latter, the restructuring of Nigeria as moved in the Ibadan declaration in 2017. Nigeria, we want someone that will restructure Nigeria. We want Nigeria that is restructured. The structure that we want is the one that will not be manipulated. That is not the kind of restructuring that we want. That is what Yoruba stands for. We are endorsing Atiku Abubakar of PDP.
Okunrounmu in his remarks said that the group had investigated the candidates contesting the presidential election and discovered that Atiku Abubakar is the best man to do the job.
He said, “This gathering is to let the Yoruba’s speak in one voice. This is to tell us that this is where Yoruba is going. We are going to support Atiku Abubakar. We have seen that there are two major contenders, out of the over 70 candidates, but, Atiku Abubakar is the one we will vote for. It is Atiku that can tackle the herdsmen and Boko Haram. Buhari cannot fight them.
Adebanjo while speaking said that the group which has members cut across major political parties in the state is not a PDP group but it decided to support the PDP candidate in the interest of the Yoruba race.
He said, “They cannot take us to the promised land. It is the PDP that can do that. We are not PDP. Our members are from different political parties, but we are endorsing the PDP candidate because of the resolve to implement restructuring agenda.
Buhari issues fresh order to military over banditry
President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in Katsina, Katsina State, charged the military to be more spontaneous in restoring peace to the country, particularly states troubled by bandits, ordering them “not to spare bandits’’ that have been killing, maiming and extorting innocent citizens.
Addressing 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, President Buhari, said:
“This group was formed by the military to secure the geo-political zone from the activities of bandits. Fundamentally, it is your responsibility to secure the country.
“As the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I believe you are capable of doing it. I don’t think you should spare any bandit. Identify and eliminate them. Pursue them anywhere you can find them and eliminate them,’’ he said.
“Nigeria deserves peace. The rainy season is good and we are already achieving food security, but we need peace. The money saved from food importation will be used to purchase arms for operations,’’ he said.
The President, flanked by Governor Aminu Bello Masari, assured the troops that the Federal Government will provide all the necessary support for restoration of peace in the country.
“We will give you all the right equipment so that you can deal with them with despatch. I appreciate all your efforts but you can do more. I don’t want any bandit spared,’’ he added.
President Buhari said the government and all officials were being sustained in office by the ordinary people, and they owe the people a duty to protect their lives and property.
“Please give my regards to your families. The earlier you finish with the bandits, the earlier you will return and stay with your families,’’ he said.
Ekweremadu speaks on attack on him by IPOB members in Germany
Ike Ekweremadu, the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate has confirmed a physical assault on him by some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, in Nuremberg, Germany, on Saturday.
Ekweremadu confirmed the attack in a statement released by his Media Assistant, Uche Anichukwu in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a 64-second video about the attack had gone viral on the social media earlier on Saturday.
NAN further reports that there were initial speculations on the veracity of the video where the senator was attacked with eggs by the irate IPOB members.
The Senator who also gave an account of the event on his social media handle, @iamekweremdu, however, assured that he was safe.
He condemned the attack and said he had immediately reported it to the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Yusuf Tuggar.
He said: “I attended the Second Annual Cultural Festival and Convention organized by Ndi-Igbo Germany in Nurnberg today where I was billed to give a keynote address along with the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who, however, could not make it eventually.
“I was given a resounding welcome by Ndigbo in Germany and everything went smoothly until some men, who identified themselves as IPOB members stormed the venue and began to complain about the killings in the South East, stressing that there would be no Igbo event at the venue.
“I tried to engage them, but when they became unruly, I had to leave the venue. The organizers also invited the police and I was accompanied out of the venue.
“Much as I am disappointed in their conduct, especially as I am one of the persons, who have spoken up on justice for Ndigbo, the Python Dance, judicial killings in Igbo land and elsewhere both on the floor of the Senate and in my written and personal engagements with the Presidency and the media as well as rallied the southeast Senate Caucus to secure Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s release with Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe taking him on bail to douse tension in the South East, I nevertheless do not hold this to the heart against them, for they know not what they do.
“I have received thousands of solidarity calls and messages from well-meaning Ndigbo. I want to assure them that I am hail and hearty. I have also spoken with the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar.”
Army vs Police: Military issues strong warning to Nigerians
The warning became necessary following the controversies and public criticism that greeted the killing of three policemen and a civilian last week by soldiers on the Ibi-Wukari Road in Taraba State.
Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Acting spokesman for the DHQ, Colonel gave the warning while reminding Nigerians that the police and the army are two very important services in the country.
He said that concern should be geared at ensuring the joint panel constituted undertakes an exhaustive investigation.
When asked by The Nation about the captain alleged to have been responsible for the unauthorised shootings and release of the suspected kidnapper, Nwachukwu said, “That information did not come from me. Our concern is to allow the panel do a thorough job and avoid comments that heat up the situation. We are trying to apply some restraint on this issue to avoid pitching the police against the army.
“These are two very important institutions in Nigeria and it will be most unfair to this nation to pit them against each other or the personnel of each service against the other.
“What is important is that lives have been lost and this is a difficult time for the families of the victims. We should be more concerned at looking into the human angles, the psychological traumas these families are going through.
“Our concern should be that the panel does exhaustive investigation and gets to the bottom of the matter. So, I would not like to begin to make comments that would pre-empt the investigation or its outcome.”
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