Multiple suspected explosive devices have been found in the mail addressed to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and CNN’s New York newsroom.
Investigators are currently probing whether the ‘similar’ packages are the work of a serial bomber.
Secret Service agents revealed on Wednesday they had intercepted two suspicious packages en route to former President Obama’s Washington D.C. home and Hillary and Bill Clinton’s property in Chappaqua, New York.
A short time later, a police bomb squad was sent to CNN’s offices in New York City and the newsroom was evacuated because of a suspicious package.
The package containing a ‘functional explosive device’ that was addressed to Clinton was found late Tuesday, while another package addressed to Obama was found early Wednesday.
A law enforcement official told the Washington Post that investigators believe the devices are the work of the same person who sent a small bomb to liberal billionaire George Soros’ New York home on Monday.
Both packages were discovered during routine mail screenings for the Clintons and Obama.
The Secret Service said packages sent to Clinton and Obama were immediately identified as potential explosive devices and were handled as such.
They said the packages were intercepted prior to being delivered to Clinton and Obama.
‘(Obama and Clinton) did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them,’ a Secret Service statement said.
Meanwhile, CNN’s office in New York City was also evacuated on Wednesday following reports of a suspicious package. An alarm went off as CNN anchors were live on air reporting on the packages sent to Obama and Clinton.
The package was discovered in the mail room of the Time Warner Center and was reportedly constructed with a pipe and wires.
Earlier, a law enforcement source told Reuters and CNN that they believed a pipe bomb had also been sent to the White House but was intercepted at an off-site facility in D.C.
The Secret Service later denied this, saying there was no suspicious package addressed to the White House.
The White House issued a statement regarding the devices addressed to Obama and Clinton condemning the ‘violent attacks’.
“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, and other public figures,’ a statement from press secretary Sarah Sanders said.
‘These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
‘The United States Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies are investigating and will take all appropriate actions to protect anyone threatened by these cowards.’
The discovery of the packages came after a small bomb was found earlier this week at the home of billionaire liberal donor George Soros in the New York City suburb of Katonah – about 10 miles from where the Clintons live.
The package discovered at Soros’ home appeared to be a pipe bomb and was in a package placed in a mailbox outside the gates of the compound, a law enforcement official said.
A Soros employee opened it just inside the gates and not near the billionaire’s quarters.
Kaduna: PDP governorship candidate, Ashiru kick-start campaign
The governorship candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State, Alhaji Isa Ashiru, kick-started his campaign at the International Trade Fair Complex, today.
Party supporters trooped to the venue, literarily blocking the Kaduna-Zaria highway which resulted in stranded commuters.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashiru said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State has failed and urged the people to vote out Governor Nasir el-Rufai in the forth coming election.
He called on the people to ensure that they come out enmass to vote for the PDP at all levels to return the state and the country to the path of sanity and progress.
Ashiru also condemned the Kaduna State government for alleged indiscriminate sacking of civil servants and teachers and promised that if elected, he would set up a committee to review the cases of the sacked workers with the view of reinstating those whose appointments were unjustly terminated.
“I want all of you to ensure that you keep your voters cards safely. Your voter’s card is your power.
“Civil servants, teachers, where are you? We are assuring you, If we are voted into power, we will set up a committee to review the sacking of all teachers and civil servants by the APC government in Kaduna State.
“Those who were unjustly sacked would be reinstated. Therefore, I urged you not to bother.”
Also speaking, the National Chairman of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Alhaji Buba Galadima, declared that the APC government has brought hunger, poverty and insecurity on Nigerians.
He said: “Nigerians have been suffering from hunger, poverty and insecurity and by the grace of God, by February 16, the hardship would be over if you vote the PDP.
“You must make sure that you vote the PDP for president, governor and all other positions.
“You must protect your votes, come out enmass and ensure that you cast your vote no matter what!”
Also speaking at the rally, the immediate past governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ramalan Yero, chided the APC government in the state for non performance.
He said “Kaduna is for PDP and anyone who says Kaduna is not for PDP is deceiving himself.”
Osinbajo assures Lagosians of more Federal projects
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Lagos State more federal projects if President Muhammadu Buhari is re-elected in the February 16, 2019, presidential election. He also promised that the Buhari-led administration would provide more infrastructures in the nation’s economic hub.
Prof Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the palace of Oloworo of Oworoland, Oba Oloruntoyin Salau, in Kosofe Local Government Area, in continuation of his house-to-house campaign for the reelection of President Buhari.
Explaining why Lagosians should vote for the All Progressives Congress (APC), the vice president said: “We were in opposition for 16 years; we have just started enjoying federal presence; we should vote for the APC to retain power at the centre to attract more development projects from the federal government.
“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode cooperated with us at the federal level and that is why we are moving forward and doing some projects for Lagos. I believe Sanwo-Olu will do the same.
“I want to assure you that Lagos and Kosofe will enjoy more federal presence. We will attract more federal projects to Lagos State.”
Responding to the demand of Oba Oloruntoyin and the people of Kosofe that the Federal Government should release Oworonsoki Global Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) before general elections, Osinbajo said: “Lagos is very important to the Federal Government and we will work on reclaiming the land.”
The monarch also called on THE government to assist in sand filling the waterlogged and swampy areas in the local government area to boost access to land that can be used for a trailer park.
According to him, such would reduce the traffic challenges of the state and stop indiscriminate parking on the highway and bridges.
He assured the vice president that the people of Kosofe will vote for President Buhari, Lagos APC governorship candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and all other APC candidates contesting the state and National Assembly elections.
Osinbajo was ushered into the palace by a huge crowd of APC members, chanting “Sai Baba, Sai Buhari”; “4+4”; “PYO-Omoluabi”.
Addressing the party members, Osinbajo promised that that government would continue to empower traders, market women and farmers with none interest loan. The government, he said, would continue to provide jobs for the youths and physically challenged.
The vice president was accompanied by Sanwo-Olu, his running mate, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Special Adviser to President on Political Adviser, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, representing Lagos East Senatorial District; APC senatorial candidate for Lagos East Senatorial District Bayo Osinowo and Rotimi Agunsoye, representing Kosofe Federal Constituency, among others.
Ekweremadu denies reports of division in PDP
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has described as untrue, reports purporting division in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
Ekweremadu, who made this known in a statement by his Media Adviser, Mr Uche Anichukwu on Monday, described the reports as “fake news, cheap blackmail, smear campaign and extreme propaganda.”
He urged party faithful and supporters not to be distracted by “the lie mills” as the nation approached the critical stages of the 2019 elections, but to remain focused.
“My attention has been drawn to the orchestrated attempts by some characters to create the impression of a divided house in Peoples Democratic Party in the coming presidential election.
“Such characters dish out fake and divisive stories without a source on a daily basis and attribute same to me.
“I refuse to be distracted by such cheap blackmail, smear campaign, and extreme propaganda,” he said.
According to him, it is important to reassure PDP supporters that the party is united and focused.
“After the PDP lost the presidency and majority status at the National Assembly in 2015, I made it clear that I would stand by the party, no matter what.
“It took other party stakeholders and I a lot of efforts, sacrifices, soul-searching and painstaking negotiations to hold the party together and rebuild it.
“If I did not abandon the PDP at its darkest hour, it does not make the slightest sense to say that I abandoned it now that its sun is rising again.
“Meanwhile, I have held separate meetings with our Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi and the Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Dave Umahi, to work out strategies for the success of our party and candidates in the coming elections.
“We are also setting up a meeting of South East PDP stakeholders by the weekend to continue to strategise on the coming elections,” he said.
Ortom says he is being hounded by a cabal
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has raised an alarm over what he described as an attempt by a certain cabal within the presidency to pit him against President Muhammadu Buhari, who he alleged did not act on time when two Fulani socio-cultural groups threatened and carried out attacks and killings in Benue State.
Ortom made this known yesterday while campaigning in Konshisha Local Government Area of the state.
He stated that he has never attacked the personality of the president as insinuated by the spokesman of the president, Mallam Garba Shehu.
Shehu had alleged that Ortom, who is presently campaigning for his re-election, was alleged to have claimed that Buhari was trying to Islamise Benue State.
However, Ortom while fielding questions from journalists at Tse Agbaragba described Shehu’s statement as unfortunate, stressing, “I’m not sure it’s coming from Mr President but from the presidency.”
“In my campaigns, I have never insulted President Buhari, I have never made any hate speech against him at any given time. If I talk of Miyetti Allah claiming responsibility for the killings in Benue State, it came from them and it was before the media and everybody knew about it.
“If I talk about Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), which did a press conference in Kano and proclaimed that the killings in Benue State were a continuation of 1804 jihad, it didn’t come from me, it came from them.
“I called for the arrest of these people because they were making hate speeches and displaying impunity over this country and I reported them to security agencies. I expected that these people should have been arrested. And I was just repeating that.
“Garba Shehu cannot tell me where I’ll go and do my campaigns. If I am in the church I will also go to the mosque and respect the Muslims for who they are, and I respect the church, that is the background I come from, I am a Christian.
“Can Garba Shehu come and tell me where to campaign? He doesn’t have the right, he is from APC and I am of the PDP and I am campaigning to win the election for my party and my presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar because I believe he will not keep a cabal in the villa.
“I am a man, I am not a woman, that is why I respect the wife of the president who called all of us to come back that ‘where are the men in this country.
“Should we allow the cabal in the Villa to ruin this country? I am not a coward; it is a coward that will die 20 times before his actual death. Time has come for us to say the truth in this country. Whether it is going to be with our lives, we should say it in order to save the country and save our democracy.”
“All of us are stakeholders and we cannot fold our hands and see things being destroyed by individuals. I have no time for that, Garba Shehu should go and concentrate on his job and he should stop trying to create hatred between me and the president because I have no issues with the president.
“I talk about issues of the campaign. And if you talk about hate speech they should go and arrest FUNAM and Miyetti Allah members who made that statement and going around doing all sorts of illegal things, creating hate and confusion among Nigerians and nobody is out to say anything, rather you hear agents of government come out to give backing to Miyetti Allah.