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  1. Specially customised phones in support for the two main contestants in the 2019 presidential election are set to flood the market. The phones were designed separately to drum support from the citizens for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The phones were also designed with the party’s logos and motto as Nigerians ponder on who to vote for in the forthcoming election next year. Atiku beat 11 other contestants after polling 1, 532 to emerge as the winner of the PDP primary at the National Convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. President Muhammadu Buhari polled a total of 14, 842, 072 across the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory during APC’s direct Presidential Primary to emerge as it’s 2019 candidate. Watch the videos below;
  2. Peter Obi – It was a merry moment earlier today after the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate in the February 14, 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, picked former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, as his running mate. The former vice president on Sunday became the presidential candidate of PDP, Nigeria’s main opposition. Peter Obi was seen in an elated mood with Champagne popping as he celebrated the selection with Chief Gbenga Daniels, a former two-term Governor of Ogun State and the Director General of the Atiku Campaign Organization, along with others.
  3. Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Ben Murray-Bruce have sued the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the FCT Commissioner of Police over “humiliation, intimidation, harassment” The lawmakers said they suffered harassment in the hands of police officers during their Friday protest against the outcome of Osun governorship election where the candidate of the APC Gboyega Oyetola emerged winner. According to Punch, they are demanding N500m as damages. The senators are therefore praying the court to among others, direct the defendants to “jointly and severally pay the applicants the sum of N500m, being the pecuniary and exemplary damages arising from the humiliation, intimidation, harassment and unlawful attempt to arrest the applicants by the agents of the second respondent (Commissioner of Police).” Court papers obtained by Daily Post’s correspondent on Monday showed that the suit, with Number FHC/ABJ/03/095/2018, was filed by Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, on behalf of the senators.
  4. FORMER AVIATION MINISTER, CHIEF FEMI FANI-KAYODE HAS WARNED PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP), ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR, AGAINST RESTING ON HIS OARS. Fani-Kayode made this known in a tweet via his verified Twitter handle on Monday. Atiku won the presidential ticket with 1,532 votes to defeat 11 other candidates that included Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal. But Fani-Kayode believes the Waziri of Adamawa’s battle has just begun. According to him, the former Vice President must prepare for a “mother of all battles” with the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to office in 2015 after defeating the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan. The PDP chieftain said that the party must also “rally its forces” against a “desperate” president, who is “relentless” in his bid for a second term in office. He said, “It is one thing to win a presidential primary and quite another to win a presidential election. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) must gird its loins, rally its forces and prepare for the mother of all battles because we are up against a dangerous, desperate, relentless and callous President.” See tweet:
  5. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has paid a Thank You Visit to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike at the Government House Port-Harcourt on Sunday evening. It was earlier reported that Nyesom Wike, left the venue of the Peoples Democratic Party convention before the convention ended. He reportedly left shortly after congratulating the winner of the party’s presidential primary, Atiku Abubakar. He was promptly followed out of the Port-Harcourt venue by many of his supporters. The Rivers governor was one of the major backers of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who came second in the presidential primary. Meanwhile, Wike has declared that all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation must rise up to sack the most inefficient Federal Government since the country gained independence. He said though different party leaders supported different aspirants, with the emergence of Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s Presidential Candidate, all hands must be on deck for the good of the country. He said that the successful hosting of the National Convention in Port Harcourt has once again shown that Port Harcourt is a peaceful location for national events. In his remarks, PDP Presidential Candidate and Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said that the entire country must work towards ending the failed APC Federal Government in 2019. He said the country has gone through challenges ranging from recession, unemployment, insecurity and lack of unity. He said the country needs to chart a new direction in the interest of the people.
  6. Club owner and politician, Shina Peller, took to his twitter handle to state the difference between the major contenders of the presidential seat in the 2019 election, President Buhari and Atiku Abubakar. See his tweets below.
  7. The Chief Agent of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has confirmed that his candidate has won the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said even before the count of the votes that , “I have not doubt that Atiku Abubakar has worn the primary”. Also Senator Ben Bruce, another agent of Atiku, emerged from the vote sorting platform to say that “Atiku has won”. Other aspirants were Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo; a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; a former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa. Atiku Others are the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki; a former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark; a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Alhaji Tanimu Turaki (SAN) and a former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jona Jang. Also in the race are, a former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; a former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido and Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed. 72-year-old Atiku Abubakar, a businessman, who served as the second elected vice-president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), with President Olusegun Obasanjo. Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director before he retired in April 1989 to go into politics. He ran for the office of governor in the Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries. In 1998 he was elected Governor of Adamawa State. While still Governor-Elect he was selected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate. The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected vice president on 29 May 1999. Abubakar’s second term as Vice President was marked by a stormy relationship with President Obasanjo. Abubakar ran for presidency on the platform of the Action Congress, having quit the PDP on account of his issues with President Obasanjo. Abubakar lost the election, placing third after Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He joined the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and sought the party’s ticket in 2014 but lost to President Muhammadu Buhari at the primary held in Lagos. Abubaker defected again in May to PDP where he on Sunday clinched the ticket to tackle incumbent President Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. Abubakar is a co-founder of Intels, an oil servicing business with extensive operations in Nigeria and abroad and founder of the American University of Nigeria Source:Vanguard
  8. The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has emerged as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election. Atiku beat 11 other contestants after polling 1, 532 at the crucial National Convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal came second with 693 votes, Senate President Bukola Saraki polled 317 votes, while the immediate past Senate President, Senator David Mark 35 votes. Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo 111 votes, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal 693 votes, former governors of Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Jigawa and Plateau states- Ahmed Makarfi 74 votes, Rabiu Kwankwaso 158 votes, Attahiru Bafarawa 48 votes, Sule Lamido 96 votes, Jonah Jang 19 votes, former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki 65 votes, Datti Baba-Ahmed 5 votes. Atiku will go up against incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress for the nation’s top job next February.
  9. FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, HAS REACTED AFTER EMERGING THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS. Following his victory at the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has thanked the party for choosing him to be its flag-bearer for the 2019 presidential election. The national convention of the party, which began on Saturday,in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and continued well into Sunday, saw Atiku eventually emerge winner, polling a total of 1,532 votes. Atiku beat Aminu Tambuwal and Senate President Bukola Saraki, who scored 693 and 317 votes, respectively. He thereafter thanked the party via a tweet that read: “@OfficialPDPNig, thank you for choosing me. This is a victory for all of us. The task to get Nigeria working again starts now.” See his tweet below:
  10. A melee broke out at the entrance of Adokie Amiesiekema stadium in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is holding its convention to elect its presidential candidate for the 2019 general election. The drama started when celebrated music star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido was teargassed by security operatives, albeit unwittingly. The security agents, in a bid to control the rowdy crowd at the gate, mistakenly fired teargas, not knowing that the multiple-award-winning artist was in the crowd. Some party chieftains and security agents later went to appeal to him and usher him to the stadium with the crowd hailing him. Davido whose uncle, Ademola Adeleke narrowly lost the Osun governorship election was among the entertainers that performed at the event. The PDP primaries is still ongoing as Nigeria’s main opposition party looks to elect a candidate that will challenge President Muhammadu Buhari for the nation’s top job in 2019.
  11. FETISH SACRIFICE FOUND AT T-JUNCTION IN DELTA AFTER PDP PRIMARIES Fetish Sacrifice Found At T-junction In Delta After PDP Primaries – A fetish sacrifice was found the other day at a Three junction in Delta state, therefore causing panic amongst residents. The sacrifice consisting of plantain and other items in a calabash were seen at the junction by Market road in Sapele location of the state as no one understood the person responsible for dropping them there. This is coming hours after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election conducted yesterday in Sapele area. House of Representatives member representing Okpe/Uvwie and Sapele Constituency, Hon (Mrs.) Evelyn Oboro, caused a major upset at the PDP Senatorial Primary in Delta Central Senatorial district, defeating Senator Ighoyota Amori and Chief Charles Obule. Returning Officer for Delta Central election in Sapele, Barrister Nusa Amagbor, said Oboro polled 586 votes, Amori- 486 votes and Obule –six votes to emerge winner and the party’s senatorial flag bearer for the 2019 general election.
  12. RENO OMOKRI HAS ADVISED THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP TO MAKE DAVIDO MEMBER OF THEIR CAMPAIGN CAMPAIGN COUNCIL. Reno Omokri has just issued a ‘sincere’ advise to his party, PDP about making pop star, Davido, a member of the Presidential Campaign Council. He said;
  13. LAST THURSDAY, THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECT0RAL COMMISSION, INEC, DECLARED GBOYEGA OYETOLA OF THE APC AS THE WINNER OF THE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN OSUN STATE. Oyetola polled a total of 255,505 votes after the collation of the results of the supplementary election in seven polling units across four local governments, while PDP’s Ademola Adeleke polled a total of 255,023 votes to come second. But at the initial election which held last Saturday, Davido’s uncle scored the highest number of votes, beating Oyetola with 353 votes but INEC declared the election inconclusive and ordered a rerun because the number of canceled votes in the seven polling units was far higher than the margin by which Adeleke beat Oyetola. Following this supplementary votes on Thursday, Oyetola overtook and beat Adeleke with a total margin of 482 votes. Reacting to the outcome of the supplementary election, Davido wrote: ‘God knows best! Best believe he will come thru soon,’ while replying to a Twitter user.
  14. A MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES REPRESENTING IREPODUN ISIN/ EKITI /OKE ERO FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY OF KWARA STATE, MS. FUNKE ADEDOYIN, IS DEAD. It was gathered that she died in a hospital in Abuja on Friday. A source close to the family said that the deceased had a cancer operation about two years ago, while she had been in and out of the country for medical attention since then. It was further learnt that she had undergone further treatment abroad for cancer. A sister to the late lawmaker, Mrs. Omolola Olobayo confirmed the death of her sister to Punch in a telephone interview. Olobayo who is a former Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Kwara and Kogi chapter said her sister died in an Abuja hospital after returning from treatment abroad. Ms Adedoyin was a daughter of Nigerian industrialist Samuel Adedoyin. She was appointed as health minister by former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his first term between 1999-2003. The deceased was among All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers who defected to the PDP .
  15. The Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki today met the PDP candidate in OsunDecides2018, Senator Ademola Adeleke, in Ede, Osun State.
  16. Popular musician, David Adeleke, popularly known with his stage name Davido, has called on supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to fight against ‘injustice’ over alleged plans by the Independent National Elect0ral Commission (INEC) to declare yesterday’s governorship election in Osun state inconclusive. Daivido, who is a nephew to Senator Ademola Adeleke, the PDP governorship candidate in the election, in a tweet on Sunday said Nigerians must come out fight the ”daylight robbery.”
  17. ADEMOLA ADELEKE, THE CANDIDATE OF THE ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS IN THE ONGOING OSUN GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION, HAS WON HIS EDE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA WITH A WIDE MARGIN OF VOTES. Mr Adeleke won with well over double the votes garnered by his closest rival, Gboyega Oyetola of the APC. The collation officer, Taiwo Mafimisebi, announced the result at about 1.50 a.m. At the end of collation at the INEC headquarters in Ede, Mr. Adeleke polled 18,745 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr Oyetola who had 7,025 votes. Following Mr Oyetola is the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Iyiola Omisore, who had 1380 votes. In fourth and fifth positions were candidates of ADP, Moshood Adeoti and ADC, Fatai Akinbade with 758 and 89 votes respectively. Ede North has 11 wards. A total of 28,672 valid votes were recorded in the local government while 1631 was rejected, both making 30,303 total votes cast. See full results including ward breakdown below: Collation started at the INEC headquarters, Ede North by 9.50p.m. The local government has 11 wards. Result from ward 9 Apaso, Ede North (10 poling units) Total number of registered voters – 3608 Accredited – 2037 ADC – 2 ADP – 73 APC – 508 PDP – 1276 SDP – 67 Total valid votes – 1956 Rejected – 81 Total votes cast – 2038 Result from ward 8, Ede North (13 poling units) Total number of registered voters – 5453 Accredited – 2682 ADC – 5 ADP – 54 APC – 626 PDP – 1791 SDP – 34 Total valid votes – 2575 Rejected – 101 Total votes cast – 2676 Result from ward 11, Ede North (7 poling units) Total number of registered voters – 2420 Accredited – 1324 ADC – 0 ADP – 64 APC – 273 PDP – 858 SDP – 30 Total valid votes – 1247 Rejected – 51 Total votes cast – 1298 Result from ward 1, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 3934 Accredited – 2091 ADC – 8 ADP – 40 APC – 523 PDP – 1313 SDP – 40 Total valid votes – 1983 Rejected – 106 Total votes cast – 2089 Result from ward 2, Ede North (22 poling units) Total number of registered voters – 8606 Accredited – 4119 ADC – 4 ADP – 74 APC – 716 PDP – 3015 SDP – 89 Total valid votes – 3983 Rejected – 136 Total votes cast – 4119 Result from ward 5, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 7358 Accredited – 4222 ADC – 9 ADP – 52 APC – 708 PDP – 2321 SDP – 626 Total valid votes – 3832 Rejected – 383 Total votes cast – 4215 Result from ward 4, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 6757 Accredited – 3436 ADC – 13 ADP – 91 APC – 787 PDP – 2010 SDP – 227 Total valid votes – 3194 Rejected – 235 Total votes cast – 3429 Result from ward 6, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 5345 Accredited – 2616 ADC – 7 ADP – 47 APC – 646 PDP – 1687 SDP – 55 Total valid votes – 2503 Rejected – 109 Total votes cast – 2612 Result from ward 7, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 7331 Accredited – 3127 ADC – 19 ADP – 54 APC – 640 PDP – 2014 SDP – 157 Total valid votes – 2954 Rejected – 138 Total votes cast – 3092 Result from ward 10, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 3571 Accredited – 1744 ADC – 11 ADP – 105 APC – 399 PDP – 1012 SDP – 26 Total valid votes – 1581 Rejected – 158 Total votes cast – 1739 Result from ward 3, Ede North Total number of registered voters – 5293 Accredited – 2997 ADC – 11 ADP – 104 APC – 1199 PDP – 1448 SDP – 29 Total valid votes – 2863 Rejected – 134 Total votes cast – 2997
  18. The leadership of the ruling APC has devised a new pattern of political campaign using beautiful ladies, and this is working well, at least on social media. To sway voters and ensure the return of President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo in 2019, the APC has recruited beautiful ladies to engaged in door to door campaigns. According to rumours, a WhatsApp group has been created for the beautiful, curvy and busty ladies rocking APC-crested shirts and caps to hold meetings and mobilize others. The ladies who are mostly attractive appear as volunteers while they are actually paid for the jobs they do for the ruling APC according to a Twitter influencer, Demola Olarewaju. The alluring pictures of these ladies referred to as ‘Slay Queens’ have been creating the needed buzz on social media as Nigerians have been rapidly sharing them on their pages. See more images:
  19. FELLOW NIGERIANS, THESE ARE INTERESTING TIMES IN OUR DEAR BELOVED COUNTRY. HIGH-WIRED POLITICS IS HERE AGAIN AND THERE ARE MANY GLADIATORS ALREADY QUEUEING UP FOR THE BIGGEST PRIZE OF ALL, THE PRESIDENCY. The latest political figure to throw his hat into the ring is the President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who declared his interest in dramatic fashion, two days ago, whilst addressing a gathering of some selected Nigerian youths. As always, I have continued to follow developments on this latest declaration on social media. While many were jolted by Saraki’s decision, I was not surprised at all. I had written about his decision a few months ago. At that time, I was scorned at, as usual, by those who have no access to news or newsmakers but come online just to attack and disparage everyone. Anyone who understands the game of politics would have realised that the main reason Saraki has been under ceaseless attack and near annihilation is because of his long suspected Presidential ambition. I will explain further, very shortly. But before I do, let me say something for free. I know, many are likely to dismiss Saraki as a smaller fry to President Muhammadu Buhari. Let me plead with anyone who cares to listen that I don’t see Saraki as someone joking, or testing waters, as some people are suggesting. I have studied the man like a book and have come to discover some of the things that make him tick. Saraki’s biggest strength and threat to his adversaries is his calm mien. He is a man of few words. He is deep and calculating. He loves to be underrated. Then he strikes. I was one of those who used to dismiss his rumoured Presidential ambition as totally impossible. Several times, I had omitted his name when writing about possible Presidential aspirants and he would ask why I thought he was not qualified to govern Nigeria. And my stock answer was usually that the geographical location of Kwara and his own cultural roots naturally and automatically disqualified him. I used to ask, almost rhetorically, where would he pick his running mate from since many Northerners may want to see him as a Yorubaman and thus a Southerner. He finally made his pitch on this vexed issue to me at great length and with strong conviction, when we met, last week in Ilorin. Let me now take you through the mind-set of this enigmatic politician who may yet spring another surprise on you and I, and cause an unexpected revolution in the political landscape and socio-cultural configuration of Nigeria. I was privileged to sit with Dr Saraki as his guest during the Eid El Kabir festival, in Ilorin. My mission was to penetrate his mind and unravel his mythical essence. I have already met a few other formidable Presidential aspirants such as former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, and former Cross River State Governor Mr Donald Duke. I have had brief telephone conversations with the Governor of Sokoto State, Waziri Aminu Tambuwal, the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Comrade Omoyele Sowore, international motivational speaker Mr Fela Durotoye, BEN Television UK Chairman Mr Alistair Soyode, Finance expert, Mr Tope Fasua but have not had the opportunity of sitting down with them. My encounter with Saraki was extraordinary. He opened up like never before. I have known him a bit since our collaborative work on the Buhari project, but I have never seen him in this form or mood. He was turbocharged and seemed to speak from the heart. Saraki’s roadmap to victory is simple. Buhari is going to play the usual ethnic card that only a candidate from North West can win a Presidential election in Nigeria. Saraki feels otherwise. He believes that the pro-restructuring crusaders now have an opportunity to make the Presidency available to other Nigerians. He concedes that it may be difficult for any candidate from North West and North East to compete or beat Buhari hands down, despite the fact that PDP parades more experienced politicians and competent aspirants. What is then needed is to keep North Central on lockdown with a popular candidate from that zone. With the support of PDP stalwarts from the other two Northern zones, Buhari’s votes would be whittled down to make up the requisite percentages in terms of spread but no more. He believes that it may be a waste of time and resources trying to compete in the President’s traditional enclave other than to strive to get up to 25%. PDP should instead focus on mobilising the forces from the opposite direction and lockdown four out of the six geo-political zones. Saraki says he is well-positioned to make this happen. With one leg in the North and another in the South, especially the South West, the people would have a higher stake in the Presidency and this will galvanise more passionate voters. If the PDP presents just anyone, there may be voter apathy and Buhari would coast home to victory. As to where his deputy will come from, it would have to be from the South-East/South-south axis, since he has already covered the South West, technically. Theoretically, this would ignite enthusiasm in that region. He believes the APC has played into his hands somehow by this calculation. According to Saraki, the only reason Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been fighting him is because he wants to take over from Buhari in 2023. “Where does that then leave the Igbo people who have not been able to produce any Vice President or President since Dr Alex Ekwueme in 1979-1983?” In simple Arithmetic “PDP needs a candidate who can block the South West and the South East simultaneously since Buhari will still run with Osinbajo…” This race is getting mathematically interesting and the Saraki option is looking feasible, I thought. However, Saraki said he was only just starting. He said those days are gone when an individual can instruct people to go out and vote as if they have no minds of their own. He plans to challenge and tackle Buhari strictly on issues and not pettiness, which he sees to be the current order of the day. He said the world is driven today by knowledge and not by crude force. He said he is better informed on how to resurrect the comatose economy which collapsed because of the over-simplistic and myopic handling of affairs since Buhari took over. “Any student of elementary economics would know that a country can never develop in an atmosphere of obsession for scaremongering, instability, uncertainty, Stone Age policies… Nigeria urgently needs a unifier in deed and not in words… I’m one of the most cosmopolitan leaders around today with every sense of modesty…” Saraki is looking forward to a serious debate between him, Buhari and other candidates on every aspect of daily life in Nigeria. “If Buhari likes, he can stay at home and do the debate by Skype or whatever, but moving forward, we must discuss Nigeria publicly…Anyone wanting to lead a country as important as Nigeria in this century must be someone who can ably represent us in the comity of nations and has a grasp of modern ways of life.” Saraki says he has matured with time in various offices and his cumulative executive and legislative experiences are almost second to none in the country… “You can see this in the way I have conducted the affairs of the Senate, and we are easily the best, but for the occasional and unfortunate distractions from people who see me as serious threat to their personal ambition. They had to feed the President with lies and destroy our relationship. I did all I could to support the government, but I was constantly harassed and treated like a pariah by those desperate to keep a firm grip on Nigeria…” But he continues to see the positive side of his travails. “Perhaps, I would not have declared interest in this race, but they kept pushing me away, demonising me for no reason, but ,inadvertently, they made me very popular by their action and some of those who never liked me started pitying me as a victim of oppression. They made it possible for me to clear my name and reputation at the highest level of justice, the Supreme Court… That is how God works… Today they’ve pushed me up to the level I never envisaged because the ways of God are very mysterious… Most people, including members of the international community, now see me as the authentic leader of opposition in Nigeria. I’m grateful to all those who have stood by us against dictatorship and tyranny… The more they attacked me, the higher God lifted me up. It was not a crime to aspire. We were co-joiners in the party, but some felt they were overlords, the owners of heaven and earth, and now God has humbled them…” On how he hopes to tackle the youths many of who feel dead set against him, he replied: “That is my biggest task because they are my catchment group. I know many have been brainwashed and I don’t blame them. You know when you tell some lies repeatedly, it becomes the truth to some people. For example, they say I’m the most corrupt man on earth. I have looted Kwara State dry. All cheap but dangerous lies. What’s the worth of Kwara State that anyone would have billions to steal. I was born into business. I have been investing as a kid. In fact, as Governor, many contractors never saw me once. They said I was arrogant, but I empowered my cabinet and gave them the opportunity to use their initiatives in handling matters of State. There was no way I would have demeaned myself asking contractors for bribe. Insult, insult upon insults… What else did I want God to do for me?” How come the perception of corruption against him every time? Saraki said: “You should understand their strategy, Buhari and his people have nothing else to market than to label opponents as looters and Buhari as the last saint standing. As petty as they are, they wrote letters to some foreign security agencies to probe me, and the worst of all to invade my home because they are sure they will find millions of raw cash in foreign currency… Just imagine how they’ve been dragging the office of the number three citizen of Nigeria in the mud because of power… Yet they know all their friends who came into power with nothing, those who never managed any business in their lives, but are billionaires today. That is why nobody outside Nigeria treats their so-called wars seriously. The shame of it is they’ve never rejected any of those they called looters before, whenever they decide to cross over to APC…” On the issue of the collapse of a bank, Societe Generale, under his watch, he expressed great regret and remorse but acknowledges no human being is infallible. He said, at the opportune time, he would lay the details bare for Nigerians to see the incredible effort he and others have put into seeking atonement and forgiveness. He said the war against corruption would improve and succeed only when it is not subject to the whims of one man sitting on the throne in judgment against sinners and we must strengthen the relevant institutions and put in place genuine checks and balances that knows no sacred cows and treats all Nigerians equally in matters of crime and punishment. “The present style of grabbing and prosecuting Nigerians and convicting them on the pages of newspapers and social media is, to say least, cruel and unfortunate, in modern times.” Saraki said he has a major blueprint for moving Nigeria forward in the 21st century and this would be offered to Nigerians for proper scrutiny. “They are concrete and cardinal steps towards our redemption not the empty rhetorics of APC that has yielded little in almost four years,” he said, with a tinge of regret and lamentation. He has promised to work with like minds at home and abroad. He is grateful to the members of PDP for the way him and his group were welcomed back so warmly. He said he would never take it for granted that the golden ticket of PDP would be easy to get, but he believes that if it is God’s wish, then he will get the it with gratitude. However, he also said that he is willing to cooperate fully with whosoever is chosen, if that is not his destiny. “Nigerians cannot afford another four years of this sluggish, directionless and vindictive government. It is our duty to work hard by the grace of God and rescue our great nation…” Saraki said with great faith and palpable confidence. Now, to the clincher and grand finale. Why is APC seeking his impeachment by fire by force? Saraki was ready with a response: “APC knows the Constitution of Nigeria even if they pretend otherwise. They know there is no way they can remove me legally. That is why they were driven to the limit of desperation and feverishness by the invasion of the National Assembly, which is the only reason they are a bit sober right now, out of shame that the brazen invasion by DSS at their behest and instruction failed. The threat by their Chairman to remove me was nothing but empty noise. That aside, the main reason they want me out is they are not willing to take the risk whereby the number three citizen will tackle the number one in a Presidential election. When that happens, they know I will have substantial access to State apparatus like the President. They would rather face candidates who are like orphans and not mandatorily protected, or provided for by State power. But as President of the Senate, that is guaranteed…” At the end of the interaction, I reviewed Saraki’s probabilities and came to the conclusion that although his chances may appear slim, for now, a PDP ticket may all be what he needs to break sound barriers, and underrating this cat with nine lives may well be the biggest mistake that his opponents can make. Time will tell.
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