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Boko Haram: Shettima recounts horrors of killings while in tears

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The Borno State Governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, broke down in tears over the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in his state for almost a decade.

This burst of emotion happened on Monday before President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja. The activities of Boko Haram insurgents in his state, recently regained momentum with the killings of soldiers inclusive.

The governor had gone to the Villa in company with Borno elders to meet with Buhari in order to seek further ways of addressing the resurgence in attacks by Boko Haram.

Others at the meeting were the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.); who is also from Borno State; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin; acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Director General of the Department for State Services, Mr Yussuf Bitchi.

At the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, he urged the President to do all he could to stop the insurgents, who now attack communities at will.

In his opening remarks, Shettima reminded Buhari of some resolutions reached at an extraordinary security meeting held in Borno State a week ago and the need to urgently implement them.

Suddenly, with tears, he said, “Between 2013 and 2014, we witnessed the most daring and most vicious evil of the Boko Haram, losing 20 local government areas.

“However, we rushed here because of the recent upsurge in the activities of the demented monster called Boko Haram, especially in Borno North Senatorial District. We are here because since 2015, Mr President, you have been able to restore our hope.

“Sir, you have demonstrated empathy for Borno and the overriding commitment to ending the Boko Haram. This is why we rushed here on witnessing some setbacks.

“We are here because we thought that Allah will use you to fully reclaim Borno traditional glory of being the home of peace. We are here as a people who worked, prayed and waited for your Presidency in the firm belief that with you as the Commander-in-Chief, Boko Haram will become history in Borno.

“Mr President, we have not, and Insha Allah, we will not lose hope in you because we have witnessed and survived worse moments before you came. We do not feel hopeless. Our hopes are very much alive and they are very high.

“We came with some observations and 10 requests for urgent presidential intervention. These observations and requests are products of discussion in the aftermath of our extraordinary security meeting held one week ago.

“We didn’t rush to come after the meeting. We felt the need to travel to northern Borno, interact with displaced persons and the military so as to strengthen public confidence.

“I will seek the understanding of journalists by not making public any of our observations and 10 requests.

“They are matters of security which we hope to discuss with Mr President behind closed-door.”

In response, the Presidency, in a statement after the meeting, said Buhari reassured Shettima that his administration would strengthen the Nigerian military to neutralise the insurgents in the North-East.

The statement, which was signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, added that Buhari told the visitors that the security and safety of all citizens remained his primary concern.

The statement added that Buhari thanked them for their support in the anti-insurgency war.

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Politics

There is no reason to dump PDP – Jimi Agbaje

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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Lagos state, Jimi Agbaje, has debunked reports that he has left the party.

Jimi Agbaje

According to the three-time governorhip candidate of the party, no one can force him to leave PDP.

His position was made known in a statement by Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity.

“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind…“There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for,” he said.

According to Agbaje, rumour mongers who want to tarnish his reputation, are responsible for the claims. He also made it clear that he wouldn’t leave the party, despite his disagreement with some party leaders.

“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” he added.

“Suffice to say that Chief Layi Ogunbambi’s claim of being denied funds as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos State amounted to attempting to build something on nothing. For starters, the position he lays claim gives him no locus standi as no such formal position existed in the entire campaign structure of PDP in Lagos or any of the other 35 states.

On campaign funds disbursement, and allegations of pilfering funds, Agbaje said:

“I, as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos, was Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Lagos. Mr. Leke Osikoya was the State Campaign Director. The national body recognised and related with us accordingly. The title of Director General was reserved for the national campaign council. If there was an Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign it would have, at best, been a Support Group.

“Dr. Ogunbanmbi also went to the extent of stating his contributions financially and policy wise to my campaign. This is news to me. May be he should tell the world his financial contributions to my campaigns. There is no time I have ever sat with Dr. Ogunbanmbi to discuss policy issues.”

“I was not given one kobo by the party or the PDP Presidential Candidate for the gubernatorial elections. We ran our campaign from beginning to end on a shoe-string budget. You cannot steal or divert what is not given.”

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Presidential Election: Atiku vows to reclaim mandate

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The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has vowed to reclaim his stolen mandate.

 

Atiku had approached the Electoral Tribunal, claiming he won the Presidential Election.

The PDP Presidential candidate, who spoke in Abuja during a visit to the leaders of the Southern and Middle Belt regions, said the struggle to reclaim the mandate would be achievable with support of the elders.

He was optimistic that justice will be done eventually.

He thanked the various leaders for their support before, during and after the election.

Meanwhile, the South-Sourh leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has assured Atiku of the support of the group in the struggle to reclaim his mandate.

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Gbenga Daniel resigns from politics, says he will “take on some new challenges”

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A former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party.

Daniel, in his letter to the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, dated March 14, 2019, also announced his resignation from partisan politics.

He said the decision to quit partisan politics was personal to him.

Daniel was the Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organization before the former Vice President emerged as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the election conducted a few weeks ago.

“This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.

“My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges,” he said in the letter.

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Obasanjo urges people of Oyo state to support Makinde

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the people of Oyo State to cooperate with Mr Seyi Makinde, the governor elect of the state.

Olusegun Obasanjo

A statement issued by Obasanjo’s Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, said that the former president made the call when the Oyo State governor-elect visited him in Abeokuta on Thursday.

According to Obasanjo, the love and votes of the people of Oyo State have ensured the emergence of Makinde, adding that their continued support was necessary to make him succeed as a governor.

“He cannot do it alone and since you have supported him before and during the elections, you need to continue to be together to make him successful,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying in the statement.

He urged Makinde to jettison the type of democracy that only targeted or benefited selfish interests of selected few.

“You have a onerous task ahead in improving the status of the capital of the old Western Region and you have to work to unite them all.

“You need to shun corruption, be transparent and embark on developmental projects which would be a delight to the people of Oyo State.

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