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Buhari vs Atiku: PDP tells supporters what to do on Saturday

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has directed its members and supporters across the country to cast their votes in the Feb. 16 presidential election and protect their votes against any form of rigging.

According to NAN, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, gave the directive at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan said the party was ready for the election and had fully mobilised over 40 million of its members and directed them to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in all the polling centers across the country.

He said the directive was in the overall determination to vehemently unleash full-scale resistance against rigging plans in the presidential and national assembly election.

“Our members are hereby directed to get ready to arrive at their polling centers very early ready to vote and to use every legitimate means to protect themselves from any aggression, resist all rigging plans, all through the way, to the very end.

“The PDP is in full knowledge of all the illegal polling centers and we will unleash our strength against plans to use such places to award fictitious votes for President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he said.

Ologbondiyan urged the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to note that in the 21st century “Nigerians will effectively monitor all the ballots,’’ real results from all the polling centers to the national collation.

“Our members, supporters and indeed all Nigerians are therefore directed to arrive their polling centers with their lunch packs, mats, water bottles, mobile phones, phone power banks and other necessary items for a long stay at the polling centers.

“All our supporters should vote and remain at the polling centers to monitor the process until the declaration of results,’’ he said.

Ologbondiyan added that the PDP, its agents, members and millions of Nigerians rallying behind Atiku were set for the poll to defeat Buhari.

“By all manifest indices from the six geo-political zones, 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, the peoples candidate, Atiku, is already coasting to victory and not even the machinations by the APC can change this reality,’’ he said.

Ologbondiyan said the party acknowledged the fact that election is not about politics but about building the nation.

“For Nigerians, the election is a choice between democracy and dictatorship; between justice and injustice, between prosperity and poverty; unity and polarity; peace and bloodletting. `

“It is between freedom and enslavement; progress and stagnation; creation of jobs and job losses, respect for territorial integrity and invasion; a choice between an in-charge president and a president by proxy.

“It is also between a candidate that will accept responsibility and a candidate that always engage in blame game.

“It is a choice between a candidate that will turn our nation into a pariah state and a candidate that will make our nation a huge foreign investment destination for the benefit of the people.

“This is the reason Nigerians are willing to make any sacrifice in this election,’’ he said.

Ologbondiyan commended patriotic Nigerians who had resisted inducements as well as intimidation to allow for any manipulation of the process.

He said the party also noted the support of some well-meaning Nigerians who were stuck in the APC, but have been in touch with the PDP in the all-important quest to rescue the nation.

“Finally, the PDP charges Nigerians to continue to be on alert and await further directives, particularly regarding the relaying of real time information on the electoral process,’’ he said.

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Arewa

What I find annoying in Obasanjo’s letters to Buhari – Junaid Mohammed

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Elder statesman and northern politician, Dr Junaid Mohammed, has faulted the controversial letters published by former President Olusegun Obasanjo regarding the state of the nation.

Chief Obasanjo wrote some open letters to the current President Muhammadu Buhari listing concerns, worries about security situations in Nigeria. https://dailypost.ng/2019/07/15/breaking-obasanjo-raises-alarm-another-open-letter-buhari-full-text/

However, Dr. Mohammed has said he does not really think the letters were altruistic in their motives.

Dr Mohammed, who was a guest on Channels Television’s NewsNight on Monday, insisted that Obasanjo should have given his advise to Buhari in whispers, because of his place in the society.

The Second Republic lawmaker said, “Fundamentally, I believe in a democracy everybody must have his say that includes those who are perverse of majority view or those who are perverse in minority view.

“What Obasanjo says is as important as what somebody who is walking the land, the fields in his farm and certainly what he says is as important as somebody who works in a factory or works in a government office.

“Why I take issues with Obasanjo and we have been friends for a very long time since 1976, I could go to him, see him anytime when he was in the cabinet office, we have a number of friends in common.

“What I find difficult is this obsession with making public matters that ought not to be made public because by making them public, you are in fact going into a contradiction and what you say may in fact be counter protective.

“Secondly, even though Buhari was his junior in the military, and they fought the civil war together even though Buhari did not work directly under him, and it is not my headache, it is not my business to defend Buhari and I’ve never defended him because I believe if you are in public life, you are fair game whether you are president, whatever public office you are holding in a democracy, and I always underline ‘in a democracy’.

“Now if you may want letter public, it creates whatever it was it wanted to create, you make a second one, again it hasn’t had much of an impact, you also have seen him in between the first and the second one and you also have seen him in between the second and the third one. That shows that you are not giving him advice in public because you don’t have access.

“People like me who are commoners or like you may not be able to go in and see the president but he (Obasanjo) can see him anytime, he can talk to him anytime, the only thing he cannot do perhaps for security considerations might be to simply ask him to come and see him but if it were the reverse, he could actually ask Buhari to go to Ota or Abeokuta to go and see him.

“And if you want to advise somebody and you are really truly sincere about it and you are not out for cheap publicity, you do it in whispers, you go and whisper at him so and so cannot be right, my experience is that so so is also not right but if you decide to go the pompous way, write a big letter and quote A, B, and C, tell how much history you know, how many geographies you know, how much connections you have with the heads of state and heads of government it becomes counterproductive and what you say may be very important, so you can see that the man you are advising will not be able to benefit, the country will also not benefit from some of these things and that is why I thought enough is enough of this public letters.

“And if you write somebody a public letter, by definition you are not advising him, you are making cheap publicity for the country to organize and your own relevance either in the scheme of things or in what happened or you are trying also to cultivate your own place in history come what happens in the future, you may also be trying to say, after all, I got it right everybody else got it wrong and that is unfortunate especially when you are talking about the destiny of 200 million people.”

Though Dr Mohammed agreed that Obasanjo made some highly valid point in his letters to Buhari, he, however, notes that the messenger and the manner in which the message is passed is as important as the message itself.

He said, “In the words of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, no man is entirely evil and you cannot dismiss a man who has been a president twice, no. but the manner of conveying a message is as important as the messenger himself and the topic which he tries to address.

“So I will be the last person that has known him intimately in terms of very serious discussions about the future of this country. But the way and the manner and the style of presentation is as important as the message itself and that is what we learn in public life, I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of what he has been saying is important but it is important only if it is going to be utilized for improvement and for good of the country.

“If it’s going to be used like in the market place, then at the end of the day, we are going to get ourselves into unnecessary skirmishes and vulgar language and people taking positions on primordial sentiments and not necessarily on what is ought to be rationally advisable for the good of the country.”

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My Views About Obasanjo And Buhari -Junaid Mohammed

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Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a Second Republic lawmaker, has expressed reservations about former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s public letters to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking as a guest on ChannelsTV’s ‘News Night’, the politician said, “I am very cautious in reading or defining meanings into what people say or try and treat their own motives. Fundamentally, I believe in a democracy everybody must have his say that includes those who are perverse of majority view or those who are perverse in minority view. They say the minority will have their say, the majority will have their way but that is not to say that one part is important the other one is not important, everybody is important.

“What Obasanjo says is as important as what somebody who is walking the land, the fields in his farm and certainly what he says is as important as somebody who works in a factory or works in a government office. Why I take issues with Obasanjo and we have been friends for a very long time since 1976, I could go to him, see him anytime when he was in the cabinet office, we have a number of friends in common.”

He said further: “What I find difficult is this obsession with making public matters that ought not to be made public because by making them public, you are in fact going into a contradiction and what you say may in fact be counter-productive.

“Secondly, even though Buhari was his junior in the military, and they fought the civil war together even though Buhari did not work directly under him, and it is not my headache, it is not my business to defend Buhari and I’ve never defended him because I believe if you are in public life, you are fair game whether you are president, whatever public office you are holding in a democracy, and I always underline ‘in a democracy’.”

Continuing, the northern politician noted, “Now if you may want letter public, it creates whatever it was it wanted to create, you make a second one, again it hasn’t had much of an impact, you also have seen him between the first and the second one and you also have seen him in between the second and the third one. That shows that you are not giving him advice in public because you don’t have access.

“People like me who are commoners or like you may not be able to go in and see the president but he (Obasanjo) can see him anytime, he can talk to him anytime, the only thing he cannot do perhaps for security considerations might be to simply ask him to come and see him but if it were the reverse before Buhari became head of state first time he is the president and now the second time, he could actually ask Buhari to go to Otta or Abeokuta to go and see him.”

Condemning Obasanjo’s mode of letter-writing, Mohammed stated, “And if you want to advise somebody and you are really truly sincere about it and you are not out for cheap publicity, you do it in whispers, you go and whisper to him so and so cannot be right, my experience is that so so is also not right but if you decide to go the pompous way, write a big letter and quote A, B, and C, tell how much history you know, how many geographies you know, how much connections you have with the heads of state and heads of government it becomes counter-productive and what you say may be very important, so you can see that the man you are advising will not be able to benefit, the country will also not benefit from some of these things and that is why I thought enough is enough of this public letters.

“And if you write somebody a public letter, by definition you are not advising him, you are making cheap publicity for the country to organize and your own relevance either in the scheme of things or in what happened or you are trying also to cultivate your own place in history come what happens in the future, you may also be trying to say, after all, I got it right everybody else got it wrong and that is unfortunate especially when you are talking about the destiny of 200 million people.”

According to the former legislator, the former president should have been more circumspect in his letters.

Mohammed said, “In the words of late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, no man is entirely evil and you cannot dismiss a man who has been a president twice, no. but the manner of conveying a message is as important as the messenger himself and the topic which he tries to address.

“So I will be the last person that has known him intimately in terms of very serious discussions about the future of this country. But the way and the manner and the style of presentation is as important as the message itself and that is what we learn in public life, I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of what he has been said is important but it is important only if it is going to be utilized for improvement and for good of the country.

“If it’s going to be used like in the market place, then at the end of the day, we are going to get ourselves into unnecessary skirmishes and vulgar language and people taking positions on primordial sentiments and not necessarily on what ought to be rationally advisable for the good of the country.”

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Presidential tribunal: Real reasons Atiku wasn’t declared winner of election – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed why Atiku Abubakar, the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was not declared winner of the February 23 election.

INEC told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja that it was satisfied that Atiku did not secure majority of lawful votes cast during the election.

The country’s electoral umpire stated this in a final written address it filed before the Justice Mohammed Garba-led five-member panel tribunal, INEC, through its lawyers led by Mr. Yunus Usman SAN, seeking the dismissal of Atiku’s petition on the outcome of the 2019 presidential election.

Denying the allegation that votes were illegally awarded to the All Progressives Congress, APC, to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected for a second term, INEC insisted that the petitioners failed to justify why a fresh election should be conducted.

It said: “We refer to the relevant paragraphs of the petition where the petitioners made the sundry allegations of deliberate wrong entry/falsification of election results by the 1st Respondent.

“Clearly, it can be gleaned that nothing concrete or specific has been offered by the Petitioners in this regard.

“For example, the petitioners pleaded wrong and deliberate entry of wrong results by the 1st Respondent in 11 states of the country, namely: Borno, Yobe, Bahchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger and Zamfara States.

“Thereafter, the petitioners proceeded to break down this allegation State by State.

“However, a cursory appraisal of paragraph 155(4) of the petition dealing with this allegation of ‘posting wrong results’ to the non-existent 1st Respondent’s server and not the wrongful entry of the results in the physical /manual Form EC8 series.

“The most astonishing part is that the petitioners failed to call witnesses who were at the various Units to observe these various alleged anomalies.

“We submit that allegations bordering on alleged wrong entry/falsification of election result are criminal in nature and must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“Furthermore, by virtue of section 150(1) of the Evidence Act, the results declared by the 1st Respondent enjoy a presumption of regularity. Accordingly, the petitioners herein are duty bound to rebut this presumption with credible evidence”.

The electoral commission said Atiku failed to show how the number of votes cancelled affected the votes he got.

It added: “We submit that it is trite law that not only is the petitioner duty-bound to prove each and every allegation on non-compliance; he is also expected to prove that such non-compliance substantially affected the result of the election. See BUHARI V OBASANJO (supra), NYESOM WIKE V DAKUKU &ORS (supra).

“We humbly submit from the foregoing that the petitioners have failed to prove the allegation of non-compliance with the Electoral Act, and indeed every other allegation contained in the petition. The petition, therefore, lacks merit and should be thrown out on this point and this honourable court is urged so to do.

“In the instant petition, the petitioners called 62 witnesses in proof of their petition. Only 5 were polling agents, while 5 were Assistant Presiding Officers, who incidentally had no problem with the conduct of the election but only came to assert that they transmitted the election result to a fictitious and non-existent server.

“The rest of the witnesses called are Ward, Local Government, State or National Collation Agents. And the aim of the petitioner is to use them to prove allegations of non-compliance with the Electoral Act during the Presidential Elections in 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja. What a mission impossible!

“The eyes of the parties and candidates in an election at the Polling Unit are their respective agents and voters who were present to cast their votes. Consequently, in calling witnesses in proof of these allegations, these class of individuals are indispensable.

“Taking a rational, reasonable and critical examination and assessment of the evidence placed before this honorable court, one cannot but submit most humbly that the elements of the allegations of corrupt practices against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Respondents have not been proved at all talk less of proof beyond reasonable doubt”.

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