The presidency has dissed former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for describing President Muhammadu Buhari and his government as unworthy of credible consideration, and an evidence that the former president was confused.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, presidential spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, said whoever Obasanjo chose to support in the 2019 elections was irrelevant, as the former president had publicly changed his mind on the matter several times over the past few months.
He said, “Former President Obasanjo denounces one person today and supports that same person the next day. When it pleases him, he brings God into the matter and uses that as his excuse for whatever position he has chosen.”
Shehu added that he was not surprised that newspapers reported Obasanjo expressing neutrality at a weekend forum, only for the former president to take a completely different position after a day or two.
“We have learnt not to take his utterances seriously anymore. We know that the slightest wind can make him change his mind again. After all, this is the same man who publicly tore his party registration card barely four years ago, and he now claims to be backing the same party,” Shehu said.
Obasanjo had last week rapped Buhari, saying the president was heading an incompetent and corrupt government that must be changed in 2019.
The former had since declared support for the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, contending that he was the best choice in the circumstances that the nation had found itself.
In a related development, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), yesterday expressed concern over Obasanjo’s “indecorous” and “undignified” criticisms of Buhari, saying while the former president was entitled to criticise and campaign against the re-election bid of the president, he shouldn’t be pedestrian in doing that.
Obasanjo was reported to have denied being neutral in the choice of who emerges as president of Nigeria in the impending 2019 presidential election, stating that he would not sit on the fence when he needs to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of the country.
According to a statement by his media aide, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo had said, “Only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious.”
However, reacting to the statement in a chat with newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Adamu stated, “Chief Obasanjo is pushing his luck too far by using indecorous language in criticising the president.
He wondered what Obasanjo’s record in Office was when he ran the country first from February 1976 to October 1979, and subsequently from May 1999 to May 2007.
The lawmaker claimed that under Obasanjo’s watch, most of Nigeria’s strategic investments were sold without much to show as returns to the nation.
He asked, “What happened to all our steel rolling mills and other strategic investments that were sold by (former vice president) Atiku (Abubakar) under Obasanjo’s supervision? What about the $16 billion spent under his watch supposedly for electricity? Where is the electricity today?
‘’He also acquired stupendous wealth during his second coming as president. How did he acquire that? Could that have come from his salaries as president from 1999 to 2007?
Going down memory lane, the former Nasarawa State governor said no Nigerian of repute who knows Obasanjo’s antecedents would be surprised at his current criticism of Buhari.
He added, “He had done it to Alhaji Shehu Shagari shortly after he handed over to him. Obasanjo citicised Babangida when he was in power; he did same to Abacha. And so, nothing is surprising.”
Adamu, who is a frontline campaigner for Buhari said, “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have bothered about Obasanjo’s criticisms given what is already out in the public space about the morally questionable happenings within his household.
‘’But he is going off the tangent of fair comment in this circumstance, and I believe eminent citizens of this country need to call him to order before some of the young people he thinks he can fool start casting slur on him.”
He said Obasanjo needs to learn some lessons in decorum from past leaders like Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Shagari, as well as Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), stating that it was an abuse of rights for someone who was regarded as a statesman to be indecorous in his use of language.
President Buhari appointments new DG for NESREA
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Prof. Aliyu Jauro as the new Director General/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).
NESREA’s Deputy Director (Information), Oyofo Sule, in a statement on Monday, said that Jauro takes over from Dr. Lawrence Chidi Anukam whose tenure expired on the 17th of February 2019.
According to the statement, Jauro, before the appointment, was Deputy Director at the National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, (A.T.B.U) Bauchi.
He holds a Bachelor of Tech. Degree in Industrial Chemistry from A.T.B.U Bauchi and MSc and PhD Degrees in Industrial Chemistry from the same University.
He joined the university as a Graduate Assistant in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become a Prof in Industrial Chemistry in 2014.
Addressing the Management and Staff on assumption of office, the new Director General declared, “I am here to move the Agency to the next level.
“I expect high standard of professionalism, integrity and dedication to duty.”
He promised to operate an open-door policy, stressing that he will bring his wealth of experience to bear in ensuring that NESREA lives up to its mandate.
He commended the acting Director General, Mrs. Miranda Amachree for the achievements recorded in her short period in that capacity.
Prof. Jauro won the German Academic Exchange Scholarship (DAAD) and the European Association of Organic Geochemists (EAOG) Travel Grant in 2005.
He is a fellow of the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN), as well as a member of the Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, (MICCON) and of Polymer Institute of Nigeria (MPIN).
Kano Governorship election: PDP rejects APC’s Ganduje as the winner
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the declaration of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as winner of the Kano governorship election, insisting that its candidate Abba K. Yusuf, is the rightful winner.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said that any declaration that does not show Abba Yusuf as winner cannot stand.
Furthermore, the party claimed that its candidate won the Kano state governorship election since March 9, 2019, having fulfilled the constitutional requirement of securing the highest number of votes and the statutory 25% in two-thirds of the state.
However, the supplementary governorship election in Kano overturned what would have been for them a victory.
The PDP has therefore described the supplementary polls as “a national disgrace” and a mere figure allocating exercise by compromised INEC officials, who collaborated with power drunk politicians in the All Progressives Congress (APC) to award results to the APC candidate”.
The party cautioned INEC against any attempt to alter figures, noting that that will be a clear recipe for anarchy and a serious crisis in the state.
PDP said that the people of Kano state have a long history of firm resistance against corrupt and oppressive forces, adding that the will of the Kano people must not be stretched in this election.
The party stressed that no amount of machination can “cow or force the Kano people to abandon their resolve for a new governor in Abba Yusuf”.
I don’t rig elections, I influence them – Tinubu
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said that he does not says he does not rig elections rather, he uses his moral authority, skills as a veteran politician to mobilise supporters to influence elections.
Tinubu was reacting to an allegation by a political group that he was planning to influence the governorship rerun election in Sokoto State.
The Sokoto State Coalition of PDP Supporters had accused Tinubu, Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the APC, and Abdulaziz Yari, Zamfara state governor, of meeting with Yakubu Mahmood, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of plans to rig the election in the state in favour of the APC.
But in a statement issued on his behalf by Tunde Rahman, his spokesman, the APC national leader said he has been a champion of electoral reform and would do nothing to subvert democracy in the country.
“These allegations by a contrived PDP organ are desperate untruths without a basis in fact. But they are entirely in line with the delusional reactions of PDP to their loss in the presidential elections,” Tinubu said.
“A prominent member of that panel, Prof Attahiru Jega later became the INEC Chairman and was able to implement the far-reaching reforms that have enabled us to have the free and fair elections that we witnessed in 2015 and now in 2019.
“If I were such a prominent supporter of electoral reforms, why will I now be among those trying to subvert democracy?
“My only tools for influencing elections are my moral authority, my skills as a veteran politician, and dedication to campaigning and mobilising my own party members.”
Kano: Why PDP rejects ongoing supplementary governorship election
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kano State has rejected the ongoing supplementary governorship election holding in 28 local government areas.
Chairman of PDP in the state, Rabiu Bichi, who addressed journalists Saturday in Kano said the party rejects the election because it was characterised by violence and intimidation of voters.
Mr Bichi said he had on Friday drawn attention of the Police command in the state accusing the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), of ferrying in armed thugs from neighbouring states.
“ What is happening today is not election. Thugs have taken over most polling units and have been attacking our members and voters.
“Many have been injured, in fact, a member of the state Assembly representing Gwale, Yusuf Babangida on election duty was attacked and seriously injured.
“ We also have reports of attack on our members in Doguwa, Gwale and Dala, we are collecting the whole list of those attacked,” he said.
The PDP chairman said the party would seek legal redress.
“We are going to pursue our right through legal means. Today is a sad day for Nigerian democracy, especially in Kano
“Recall that governorship elections were held on March 9 not just in Kano but Nigeria as a whole
“ After the election, results from 43 out of 44 local governments were announced and we were leading, it was only the results from Nasarawa local government were pending and that was because the state deputy governor, the commissioner for local government and chairman of Nasarawa local government led some thugs to attack the collation centre and disrupt the process by tearing the result sheet
“ That is why INEC called for this supplementary election. As you all know, the Nigerian constitution doesn’t know anything supplementary election; all I know is that we have won our election. What is happening in Kano today is simply foolishness,” he said.
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