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Saraki: APC failed in impeaching me as Senate President becasue…


Former President of the Senate, Sen. Bukola Saraki, has opened up on why the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC government failed in it’s attempt to remove him from office.

Saraki who spoke in Calabar on Tuesday during a consultative forum with the People’s Democratic party,PDP, delegates as well as other party faithfuls said he has capacity to hold people together and this made it impossible for the APC to remove him from office because to him, everyone mattered.

He also explained that there was no office he held that he didn’t leave better than he met it adding that Nigeria needs a seasoned Nigerian who has capacity, experience who can look above sentiment in solving the challenges bedeviling the country.

The ex governor of Kwara state who came to canvas support from PDP delegates ahead of the presidential primaries scheduled for May 2022 assured Nigerian that he was prepared and capable to lead the country into a better future if given the opportunity to lead.

His words:” I will lead Nigeria into a better future if given the opportunity to serve, never in the history of our great country have we seen the level of Insecurity, disunity like this.

“We are inching into a failing state, cost of living has skyrocketed, unemployment is high, we don’t have the luxury to let emotion define who leads us today. We don’t have the luxury of saying I will vote for him because we speak thesame language or we practice thesame religion, Nigeria needs a president who is a team player.

“I have all round experience having served in the executive as governor and in the legislature bas a Senator and rise to become the Senate President leading over 100 Senators , I have also succeed in the private sector , economically I am sound and I have what it takes to lead the country .

“I will leave Nigeria a better country than I met it, if given the opportunity to serve. As we speak, Nigeria spends 80 percent of its revenue to service debt , there is no way we can develop as a country with this kind of indices.

“Nigeria has a bright future , Nigerians must go for the best , we must set aside all sentiment, our challenge are biting us hard without minding our religion or ethnicity I will lead from the front.

I have held people together before in the Senate ,the reason their ploy to remove failed I related very well with my colleagues, people I worked with even in such a hostile environment, I stood my ground they wanted to borrow, we need a president who can afford to hold everyone together as well as stand his ground on the right policies that will move us forward.

“Also, I will increase gas production in Nigeria and bring my wealth of experience in business and private sector to bear especially in agriculture and other sectors of the economy, to create wealth, you must have the knowledge, certificate for skill acquisition and entrepreneurship .I can assure you that we must include young people as ministers in our government,” he said,” he said.

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Politics

2023 Presidency: Tambuwal rejects choice of Saraki as PDP consensus candidate


Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and a Presidential aspirant has rejected claims that Bukola Saraki and Bala Mohammed emerged as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Northern consensus candidates of the party.

Tambuwal explained that reports of Saraki and Mohammed’s emergence were not the true reflection of their recent meeting held in Abuja.

He said the Abuja meeting was a review, and they agreed that the issue of a consensus arrangement was not working.

Speaking through the Tambuwal Campaign Organization, TCO, Director of Mobilization, Nicholas Msheliza, the Governor said they canvassed for a consensus candidate, not candidates, during the Abuja meeting.

He also explained how Saraki circulated messages on the emergence of Northern consensus candidates.

The statement reads: “The attention of Tambuwal Campaign Organisation (TCO) has been drawn to a news item that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Bala Muhammad of Bauchi state have emerged as consensus candidates from amongst the four of us announced at a meeting in Minna, Niger state.

“This is, to be candid and forthright, not correct. The correct situation is that the team met on Wednesday, 20th April, 2022, at Bauchi Governor’s lodge in Abuja and had a review meeting; and, unanimously agreed that the consensus arrangement was not working.

“The team further agreed that Saraki should come up with a draft statement on how to communicate this decision to the Nigerian public. This was the last time that members of the team sat and mutually agreed on anything. The proposed meeting to review and vet the statement scheduled for 10 pm of the same day was aborted unilaterally by Saraki via a WhatsApp message.

“However, on Thursday, April 21st, 2022, same Saraki circulated yet another WhatsApp message suggesting that members of the team should head to Minna for a meeting on Friday. Tambuwal reached other members of the team and informed them that he stands by the decision of the team that the initiative is not working.”

The Governor stressed that the outcome of the meeting with former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida in Minna had no implication on his Presidential ambition.

Insisting that the issue of consensus candidate had collapsed following their meeting in Abuja, Tambuwal vowed to face the party’s Presidential screening committee and participate in the party’s Presidential primaries.

“This is the reason Tambuwal was absent at Friday’s meeting in Minna. As a result, therefore, the outcome of the Minna meeting has no consequence or any implication on the aspiration of Tambuwal, who had earlier on informed his colleagues of maintaining their agreed position that the initiative has collapsed.

“Members of the public should be reminded that what was canvassed for was a consensus candidate and not consensus candidates. For the avoidance of doubt, Tambuwal has submitted his presidential nomination forms and now that the quest for a consensus candidate out of the four has clearly collapsed, will go ahead and face screening and indeed contest the PDP presidential primary,” he said.

PDP Northern Elders had endorsed Saraki and Mohammed as the Northern consensus candidates of the party.

The decision was taken at a meeting held between the elders with General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida at his Country home in Minna.

Addressing journalists shortly after, Professor Ango Abdullahi explained that about four aspirants from the North presented themselves for the consensus.

They include Tambuwal, Mohammed, Saraki, as well as Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.

From the North, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has also declared his aspiration to emerge as the PDP’s flag bearer for the 2023 presidential election.

Recently, the former Senate President in the 8th National Assembly had said the PDP’s consensus move is not a Northern agenda.

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Politics

2023: Saraki, other PDP presidential aspirants settle for consensus arrangement


At least four presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party say they will accept a consensus arrangement to position the party for victory in 2023.

The aspirants made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on the outcome of their visit to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia in his Umuobiakwa country home in Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA) on Tuesday.

Speaking on behalf of other aspirants, the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the decision was informed by their determination to make Nigeria better.

He said that the lives and welfare of Nigerians were more important than the individual ambition of every aspirant.
He said said: “Nigerians are going through hardship and insecurity.

“These are the events that are happening in the country that make some of us to see that we are doing the right thing.

“Let me reassure Nigerians that we are very determined and driven by the determination to make this country work.
“If this is the sacrifice that we will make to turn things around in Nigeria, we want to let Nigerians know that we are willing to make it.”

Saraki said that they were in Abia to seek the governor’s support to ensure that the consensus arrangement would work so that PDP would win the general elections.

He further said that Ikpeazu’s encouraging words had inspired and further motivated them to move forward.
Saraki said that this was the first time aspirants would come together on their own to adopt a consensus arrangement.

He said that although the initiative was a tough challenge, they were convinced it would make Nigeria work.

“We are heading for Enugu to see the governor of the state and by the time we have visited Enugu we would have completed the tour of the 19 PDP states and the governors have shown their support,” he said.

Responding, Ikpeazu expressed delight over the development, saying that it had rekindled his hope in the emergence of a new Nigeria.

He described the consensus arrangement as “a commendable and altruistic initiative”.

He said it was borne out of the desire to forge an alliance to transform the nation.

“I want to say that you have my commitment and cooperation to move on and I will do my bit to ensure that all of us come together.

“The survival of our country, interest of the poor masses of the country should come before whatever personal agenda we have.

“I am happy that Nigeria has patriots and leaders, who are capable of putting Nigeria first,” the governor said.
He promised to support efforts aimed at uniting the party and helping it to present a common front during the upcoming elections.

FELLOW PRESS reports that the aspirants included Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State and Alhaji Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.

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Politics

2023: We are ready for consensus candidate — Bukola Saraki


Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, says that all the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential hopefuls from the North are ready for a consensus candidate during the party’s primaries without acrimony.

He gave the assurance in Bauchi on Sunday when Saraki and Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, also a PDP presidential hopeful, paid a consultative visit to Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.

Saraki, who addressed the media on behalf of the three presidential hopefuls, said they found it necessary as stakeholders of the party to meet, brainstorm and see how things could best work out among them.

He said: “In doing so, we met and discussed that for 2023 ahead of us, the unity and stability of the country and the growth of the country is more important than individual ambitions.

“We also met to strive for the need for us to work together. We believe that the three of us are working together harmoniously, committed and with a lot of energy, there will be great hope for this country going ahead.

“We appreciate that the three of us have shown aspiration to lead this country, but we also come to realise that we are all capable, competent and fit to lead this country.

“At the end of the day, it is only one person that will lead this country in 2023; and we also resolved that we are going to work closely to ensure that we come out with a way that consensus arrangement would come among the three of us on how to go forward into leading this country.

He added that they also believed that their role was to make things easier for them to have stability in the party, saying if there is stability in PDP, there would be stability in Nigeria.

The former governor of Kwara, however, urged all the PDP supporters to remain focussed and united in order to uplift the party to a greater heights.

Saraki explained that the three of them would also meet with former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to brief him about the discussions they had during the meeting in Bauchi.

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Politics

Saraki makes case against zoning in 2023


Bukola Saraki has said though zoning is necessary, it should not be sacrificed for “character, competence, and quality of leadership” to ensure equity in the allocation of political offices ahead of the 2023 general election.

Saraki made the revelation on Saturday night, February 5, during a Twitter Spaces discussion hosted by one of the organisers of the #EndSARS protest, Rinu Oduala.

According to the former Senate president, the country needs modern progressive leaders who understand current issues and can unite the people.

He reiterated his position that Nigerian youths want competent leaders, stressing that the PDP instituted zoning to ensure justice and equity in governance among all parts of the country.

The former Kwara state governor said: “When we talk about zoning, we need to look at it from a historical perspective. Our party (the Peoples Democratic Party), after 1999, instituted zoning to ensure that there was equity.

“Now, we have seen that zoning is a factor, but it is not the only factor. We must look at the character, competence, and quality of leadership.”

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headline Politics

PDP North-Central Zone touts Bukola Saraki as 2023 presidential candidate


Chieftains and stakeholders in the North-Central zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have resolved to produce sole candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Prof. Yorwuese Hagher, a stakeholder and leader of the Movement for North Central Presidency, hinted that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki would be the zones’s sole candidate.

He told newsmen in Lafia that the zone was working towards the objective.

Prof. Hagher, former Nigeria’s ambassador to Canada who described North- Central zone as the bleeding wound on the conscience of Nigeria, said it was time for the zone to lead the country.

According to Hagher, the zone has been a cord which holds the country together in difficult times since independence, and has been supporting other zones to produce presidents.

“Out of the country’s six geo-political zones, three have produced presidents – the Northwest, the Southwest and the South-South, the North-Central, the Northeast and the Southeast are yet to produce presidents.

“Today we are happy that North-Central PDP resolved to produce one presidential candidate and that candidate will become eventually the president of this country,’’ he said.

Prof. Hagher said Sen. Saraki would be the candidate and described him as a young man with wealth of experience at every cadre of governance.

He said Saraki would bring his experience to bear by restoring Nigeria to where it belongs.

In his remarks, Mr Theophilus Dakarshan, North-Central PDP Chairman, also noted that the zone had been instrumental to the emergence of presidents since the First Republic.

“The North-Central zone has in the past given its unflinching support to other zones; we appeal to other zones to reciprocate the gesture,’’ he said.

Mr Abubakar Baraje, former PDP Chairman, called on the party to support Sen. Saraki as the sole presidential candidate for 2023 to salvage the country.

“I have not come to sell Bukola Sarki. I have come to sell the idea of one candidate for the North-Central; and the only candidate is Bukola Sarki.

“Saraki will no doubt make a good president because he has demonstrated that clearly when he was governor of Kwara and as Senate president.

“Saraki will turn the economy of this country around,’’ Baraje said.

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headline Politics

2023: Saraki’s presidential campaign posters flood Abuja

Saraki’s presidential campaign posters flood Abuja

The presidential campaign poster of former Senate President Bukola Saraki has emerged.

Saraki’s presidential campaign posters was sighted at Berger roundabout in Abuja on Tuesday.

The poster was tagged: “Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki for president 2023, Saraki is coming 2023- Door to Door.”

Carrying the logo of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the poster was sponsored by Umar Farin Gado Kazaure, the Director General of Saraki is coming 2023.

The posters emerged a few days after the PDP concluded their national convention in Abuja.

Iyorchia Ayu was elected as the National Chairman of the PDP.

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headline Politics

2023: We are expecting defection from APC– Saraki

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki has hinted that some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC, will defect to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, soon.

Featuring on Arise News on Tuesday, Saraki suggested that some top APC chieftains would defect towards the 2023 general elections, saying bigwigs do not defect at an early stage.

“We are expecting defections from the ruling party. If you follow politics, you will understand that some of the big players don’t defect early; they defect very late in the game; so just keep watching,” Saraki said.

The PDP had itself witnessed the defection of some chieftains to the ruling APC.

State governors like Ben Ayade of Cross River, Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, have defected to the ruling party.

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Politics

PDP will recapture Kwara in 2023 – Bukola Saraki

Former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has charged the new state executive council of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kwara State to begin work immediately towards recapturing political power in the State in 2023.

Speaking after the inauguration of the new executive council of the party in Ilorin on Saturday, he said “the struggle for Kwara begins now, let commitment be your watchword.

“Let campaign begin with your election today at wards, local governments and state levels as you begin your tenure in office.”

“The task ahead is a serious one,” he stated.

Saraki commended the peaceful conduct of the exercise, asserting that it was a strong signal that the party is waxing stronger with a common bond for success take over of government in 2023.

“The peaceful conduct of this congress has confirmed to me that we are indeed ready to take back power in Kwara.

“I charge all the new state officers of our party to begin work in earnest to return PDP to power in 2023 and reposition Kwara state again,” he stated.

In attendance at the congress were former Governor, Abdulfatai Ahmed, former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, former National chairman of PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Razaq Atunwa, Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, Abubakar Kanike and Ambassador Gana Yisa and a host of others.

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Metro

GirlChild: Women can lead at hightest levels when given opportunity –Saraki

Former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki says #girlchild is a blessing to families and communities with their underlying strength which knows no bound.

Saraki, who joined the global community to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child day while sharing a photo with his daughters, added that when women are given the opportunity, they can drive great ideas at any levels.

“Today, across the nation and the world, individuals, families, communities, and organizations are lending their voices to acknowledge and celebrate the significance of the #GirlChild,” he wrote on Facebook.

“As a #GirlDad, who has been blessed with beautiful daughters; as a husband to an extraordinary wife; and a son to a remarkable mother, I have witnessed first-hand the strength that women have to drive great ideas and lead at the highest levels — when they are given the opportunity.

“This is why, as we observe the 2021 #DayOfTheGirl, it is my prayer that across Nigeria more leaders and institutions will join in the global efforts to support our young girls — so that they too can have equal access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts.”

International Day of the Girl Child or Day of Girls, declared by the United Nations to support more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender.

Meanwhile, the loving dad and Kwara ex-governor had earlier said one of his daughters was studying to become a medical doctor like him, just as he followed his father Olusola Saraki’s footstep, resonating his believe that women can dream big and follow their passion just as men do.

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Metro

My daughter following my footsteps to become a doctor just as I followed my father’s– Saraki

Former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has revealed his daughter is in the medical school, taking his footsteps just as he followed his father Olusola Saraki’s footsteps.
Saraki revealed this in Abuja during the health summit organized by the Nigerian Medical Students Association, adding that he discovered his direction to become a medical doctor while he was 12-year old because of the family’s passion to lend helping hands to the needy.
He said, “In my family, being a medical doctor has always been about lending a helping hand to those who are in need. When I was 12-years old, I discovered that I wanted to be a medical doctor — because, Oloye, my late father, was one.
“Many years later, when she was about the same age, one of my daughter’s, who is now in her fourth year of medical school, declared that she too wanted to be a medical doctor someday.
“This is why, earlier today, as I spoke to the members of the Nigerian Medical Students Association at their 2021 Health Summit, which was held at Baze University in Abuja, I was proud to witness the brilliance of the next generation of medical professionals — young and inspiring student-leaders who have shown the capacity to organize each other around the urgent healthcare-related issues that affect us all as Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, both the former Senate President and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, have opposed the candidacy of David Mark in becoming the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), despite his endorsement by the governors and the board of trustees
David Mark, who was also a former Senate President, might disrupt their political calculations when it comes to zoning as because of their presidential ambition. They are all from Northern zone and Mark might be too strong willed and uncompromising when he becomes chairman.
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headline Politics

Saraki discourages youths from contesting in 2023 election, gives reason


Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, a former President of the Nigerian Senate, has told youths nursing the ambition to run in the 2023 presidential election to shelve the idea.

Saraki said it was already too late for such persons to stand any chance of winning an election in this country, adding that the system is too rigid.

The former Senate President said he would not even want any youth with a sound mind to contest for political offices at this point because they still possess some good values which would be corrupted before they win any election.

“You have to give up some good values that you have to be able to be competitive,” the former Kwara State Governor said at the weekend during an Independence lunch with diverse Nigerian youths in Abuja.

“It is too late to win election. I will be very honest with you. The System is too rigid against you. You are a young guy, you don’t have money or network where are you going to start from?

“I don’t even want you to [contest] because you still have some good values. I don’t want you to be corrupted because for you to win you have to give up some good values that you have to be able to be competitive.

“We don’t want that because it means your generation will be as bad as ours. Let’s keep you where you are for now for those who are not yet corrupted.

“Where I believe you can make a difference which no one can stop you is your a rights to vote. That’s the only role you can play now in reality.

“We should be asking if that is guaranteed. That is what we have been advocating for in the electoral bill and it has worked.

“I think what needs to be done now is that we must participate. Let me explain further, on the day of election, if you look at the line of people that go out to vote… if the people coming out to vote are people we can give 100 naira, the election will not stand. This means we can manipulate. But if the 500 people lining up are people like you election will hold.

“If we say we won’t come out because nothing will change …if we take that attitude, then they will win. Look at all over the world where there is big change, people that made the change are people like you. If you are not registered to vote, nothing will change. It will be who we want to be Governor, Senator that will be.

“If you make up majority of the electorate even if they try to change the result, I know you will not agree because you know your right and the world will stand with you.

“I think the target now should be how to mobilize similar mind to hold their voters card and vote. If that is the kind of voters, then the result will hold. I promise, if those are not the kind of voters, then everyone will try to manipulate the result.

“Until those of you that matter take it upon yourself and ask what kind of Governor, president, Senator you want, nothing can change.

“When you get the right kind of Governor and he knows you have the power to vote him out, you will have the chance to come into government because you would have built a pact.

“The point now is, politician don’t believe you can vote them out. If they believe you can vote them out, they will do the right things.

“Their own view is 9 months to election they will share the money and win election. If they know the vote is not about sharing money they will perform well.

“End SARS did not fail, it showed that the youth can participate and the best form of participation is through voting.

“I think the world is tired of the problem and dangers Nigeria could create. There are six million Nigerians that have the right to be in the UK.

“If Afghanistan was a problem then Nigeria is a bigger problem for the UK. Even for self interest, it is in the best interest for UK to work because of the exodus that will go into those places if it doesn’t.

“The world is with us but we must put in place good governance and the right kind of voters that can do that are people like yourself. Not those who want N5000. If the guy that wants N5000 is more than you, then Nigeria is not going to change and we won’t have the right kind of leaders.”

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News

APC invites Atiku, Saraki, Tambuwal, others after Gemade, Dogara returned to party

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said it was now ready to receive back into its fold prominent politicians who left the party for one reason or another.

The ruling party invited the politicians such as former vice president Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, former senate president Bukola Saraki and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state who joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other parties ahead of the 2019 election.

This was after Senator Barnabas Gemade of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, again decamped to the APC at the weekend.

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, had earlier returned to the ruling party.

APC, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, said it was ready to welcome members who wished to return to its fold.

“We assure all true progressives who left the party over whatever grievance to return and join ongoing efforts to reposition the APC and further achieve our pro-people plans for the country,” the party said.

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Politics

Court orders EFCC to return houses seized from Saraki

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) move to seek the final forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin belonging to former Senate President, Bukola Saraki to the federal government, was struck out by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday July 16.

Recall that the EFCC had obtained a court order for the interim forfeiture of the houses – Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State in December 2019. The anti-graft agency alleged that the properties were acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities allegedly perpetrated by Saraki while he was Kwara State Governor between 2003 and 2011.

Ruling on the case, Justice Rilwan Aikawa who stated that the evidence presented before the court was to the effect that the property was substantially financed with money paid to Saraki as a former governor, in line with the Kwara State Governor and Deputy Governor Payment of Pension Law, said EFCC’s claim of properties being acquired with illegal funds was based on mere suspicion.

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headline

Bukola Saraki celebrates father-in-law, Otunba Ojora on 88th birthday

The former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, wishes his father-in-law, Otunba Adekunle Ojora, good days aheads on his 88th birthday.

Saraki wrote, “I celebrate my father-in-law, Otunba Adekunle Ojora OFR, CON, on the occasion of his 88th birthday.

Further speaking the father of Toyin Saraki, the former Kwara Governor said, “Baba, over the years you have been a man from whose wealth of experience, wisdom and humanity I have often drank.

“I am continually inspired by your determination to positively impact the lives of everyone around you. I am indeed privileged to call you father.

“May the Almighty continue to keep you in good health for many years to come.
Happy birthday, Dad.”

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News

Adeleke defeats Atiku, Saraki, PDP in court, awarded N5m

A Federal High Court in Lagos State has ruled against the 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Bukola Saraki, his campaign director in the 2019 general election over unauthorised use of the photograph of Mrs. Amuda Adeleke, Lagos-based trader, on their campaign billboard.

Late last year that Mrs Adeleke, a Lagos-based trader, had dragged Saraki who was the Director-General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation during the 2019 General Election, before the court for using her picture on campaign billboards without her consent.

Also joined in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/./19, were the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party’s presidential flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi, his running mate.

Justice Ayokunle Faji, who has been in charge of matter, made a monetary award of N5m to Mrs. Adeleke, yesterday, explaining that the money would be jointly and severally paid by Atiku, Saraki, the PDP, and Peter Obi, Atiku’s running mate during the election.

Atiku and Obi lost the election to the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidates, Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The trader had told the court that the unauthorised use of her photograph for the party’s campaign caused her embarrassment.

“All my friends who saw the campaign billboard said it portrayed me as a woman stricken with poverty who had lost all hope and was prepared to commit suicide,” she said.

She asked the court to award N45m against Atiku, Saraki, the PDP and Obi for infringing on her fundamental right to privacy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

However, after ruling in her favour, the judge, instead, awarded N5m against the defendants.

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News

Demolished house: Ile Arugbo beyond physical structure– Saraki breaks silence

The former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has warned that the demolished house of his late father for the aged women, popularly refers to as Ile Arugbo, is beyond physical structure.

FELLOW PRESS reported that Kwara State government on Thursday morning demolished the home where Bukola Saraki’s father, Olusola Saraki, takes care of aged women (arugbo), which was the property of Saraki family.

The government had revoked the land on basis of illegal acquisition, adding that Saraki family should produce documents backing the ownership if truly it was purchased.

Reacting to the government move, Bukola Saraki had challenged the State government for dishonouring his late father and going beyond its boundary.

Now that the Ile Arugbo structure has been demolished, Saraki has assured that justice would prevail, while he appreciated sympathizers who gave full expression.

Saraki’s statement reads:

“Following the development this morning in Ile Arugbo, I want to commend the women and men, old and young, who displayed their affection, love and staunch support for my late father and the family. I appreciate the genuine support of the women and youths who stood firmly in the face of aggression and naked show of force.

“Your action throughout the night gave full expression to my belief that what Ile Arugbo represents to all of us is etched in our hearts. It goes beyond the physical structure. I am happy that you were not intimidated as you stood your ground. This day will go down as the day you reciprocated the love and affection my father and family have for you. You have displayed a gesture of goodwill and passionate love. We assure you that justice shall prevail in a not too distant future. May God bless us all.”

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News

Enough is enough, you have crossed the line – Saraki dares Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq

Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has claimed that Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, is out for vengeance against his family.

Saraki stated this on Saturday, while reacting to the governor’s decision to revoke a land occupied by his family in Ilorin, the state capital.

In a statement on Friday, Abdulrazaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaiye, claimed the land was originally meant for government secretariat and parking space of a clinic.

But in a statement he personally signed, Saraki who once governed the state, insisted the land was duly allocated and a Right of Occupancy title issued on it.

“It should be noted that the excuse given by Abdulrazaq in his revocation order holds no water since it is clear that this is the height of his vengeance against my father, Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki and I.

“This action is clearly a manifestation of vengeance … in his narrow-mindedness, he believes his victory at the polls is an empowerment, entitlement and enablement to settle scores, provoke and pursue inter-family rivalry. They expected development and fulfillment of promises.

“Seven months down the line, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has shown that its cardinal Programme is to wage war against my late father and I. He has demonstrated that his only competence and astuteness is in the area of viciously assailing the late Oloye Saraki and I. Definitely, he is a man with no sense of history. Enough is enough. Now, he has crossed the line.

“Perhaps, I should let it be known that if Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq thinks he is taking all these actions to get at me, he is only deceiving himself. There is no basis for competition between us. Our paths cannot cross because the status that he is struggling to attain, Almighty Allah has given it to me many years before now.

“With all his subterranean and open moves against my family, person and property, I remain unmoved.

“However, his open antagonism against my late father and his legacies is unwarranted and will not be tolerated. He has definitely gone beyond bounds as he cannot be allowed to ride roughshod on the deceased. In this war against my late father, he will not win,” the statement read.

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News

Okowa sends message to Saraki

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has congratulated former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, as he turns 57 years on Thursday, Dec. 19.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Asaba, the governor commended the former Senate helmsman for his remarkable contributions to the development of Nigeria and the legislature when he served as Chairman of the 8th National Assembly.

He said that Saraki’s role as Director-General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council for the 2019 general elections was very remarkable in spite of the party losing the presidential election.

“In this era where obeying the rule of law has become an essential commodity, the National Assembly you headed was known for obeying the rule of law and court orders.

“It is also on record that you fought to ensure the independence of the legislature under your watch.

“In spite of several distractions, you achieved significant milestones in the execution of your Legislative Agenda which was aimed at improving governance, ease of doing business and the quality of life of Nigerians.

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I join your family, political associates, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for your life which has been marked with outstanding accomplishments and enduring fulfilment.

“It is my prayer that Almighty God continues to strengthen, guide and prosper you with robust health and many more years of happiness.”

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Court orders Saraki’s Ilorin houses forfeited to FG

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday secured an order of the Federal High Court in Lagos for the forfeiture of two houses in Ilorin, Kwara State belonging to a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The EFCC told the court it uncovered monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011, when Saraki was the governor of the state.

Based on an ex parte application filed by the EFCC pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006, Justice Rilwan Aikawa ordered the temporary forfeiture of Saraki’s two properties designated as Plots No. 10 and No. 11 Abdulkadir Road, GRA, Ilorin, Kwara State.

An operative of the EFCC, Olamide Sadiq, said in an affidavit filed in support of the ex parte application that the move for the forfeiture of the houses followed the findings of the EFCC after investigation and “the report of a committee set up to review sales of Kwara State Government during the reign of the Governor of Kwara State in the year 2003 and 2011.”

He said the EFCC also received “a damning intelligence report, showing monumental fraud perpetrated in the treasury of the Kwara State Government between 2003 and 2011.”

Sadiq said, “Whilst the investigation was ongoing several fraudulent transactions were discovered.

“I know for a fact and verily believe that our investigation has revealed the following mind-boggling findings, among others:

“That between 2003 and 2011, Dr Olubukola Abubakar Saraki was the Executive Governor of Kwara State.

“That whilst he held the aforementioned position, the common pattern was that after payment of monthly allocation by the Federal Government to the Kwara State Government, a cumulative sum of not less than N100m will be deposited into the Kwara Government House account.

“That upon the payment of the said N100m, same will, in turn, be withdrawn in cash by one Mr Afeez Yusuf from the Kwara State Government House, Ilorin’s account in bits and brought to the Government House.”

The EFCC said it believed that Saraki developed the two properties with proceeds of unlawful activities.

Counsel for the commission, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Aikawa to order their temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government.

After granting the order as prayed, Justice Aikawa directed the EFCC to publish the temporary forfeiture order in a national newspaper and adjourned till December 17 for anyone interested in the properties to appear before him to show cause why the properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

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Buhari’s attack on National Assembly confirms his incompetencies– PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tuesday, alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent media interview confirmed that his administration was incompetent and failed to deliver good governance in the last four years across the country.

It also alleged that in the said interview, Buhari allegedly resorted to blame game and false performance claims.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara planned to hurt me but hurting Nigerians instead– Buhari

PDP, therefore, blamed Buhari for not using his alleged orchestrated interview to account for the trillions allegedly stolen under his watch in the last four years.

The party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement in Abuja.

He added, “The PDP notes that it was an internationally accepted position that all critical sectors in our country performed abysmally in the last four years because of the incompetence of President Buhari’s administration, adding that it was unfortunate that instead of accepting responsibility for the failures of his administration, Mr. President is looking for scapegoats where there are none”.

“It is for this reason that the PDP presented a presidential candidate and deputy with strong knowledge of the economy and social order in order to rescue our nation from the dire straits into which she had been thrown due to poor leadership in the last four years.

“The PDP also observes that President Buhari’s diatribe against the National Assembly and its elected leadership further confirms his disdain for constitutional democracy, rule of law and the Principle of Separation of powers as entrenched in our constitution.

“Mr President’s personal attacks on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were totally uncalled for and speak volumes on his disposition about democracy”.

Also, the opposition party called on Buhari to end his alleged showboating on the war against corruption.

PDP said Buhari must admit that he failed in his administration which it claimed swimmed in ocean of corruption without the will to fight corruption.

Further, the party accused Buhari’s administration of thriving in concealment under which over N14 trillion belonging to Nigerians have been frittered by officials, who have not been investigated or prosecuted.

The party also alleged Buhari of failure as a Commander-in-Chief and lamented the escalation of insurgency, bloodletting, kidnapping and other forms of violent acts in various parts of the country under his administration.

PDP said it was even disappointing that Buhari has no soothing words for millions of compatriots who have been subjected to the worst form of economic and social misery under his incompetent and corrupt administration.

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Saraki, Dogara planned to hurt me but hurting Nigerians instead– Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said he rated the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara very low in terms of patriotism.

Buhari, who said he passed a vote of no confidence on the leadership of the National Assembly, said they hurt Nigerians by delaying the enactment of 2019 budget.

He stated this during an interview broadcast on Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, and monitored by FELLOW PRESS on Monday night.

The President disclosed that he had conveyed his reservation directly to the legislative leaders, while assenting the bill on Monday morning.

According to Buhari: “I think a culture was developed in the National Assembly that they should dictate the terms, which was wrong. It is the executive that dictates the terms and takes it before the legislature. It (the legislature) will examine it and agree or disagree with it.

“But when they go around posing that they are the government and not the executive, then that’s the problem. I felt and I spoke personally to the Senate President, Saraki, and the leader of the House, Dogara. They could not deny it.

“I asked them how they felt to hold the country at ransom for seven months without passing a budget. Unfortunately, they were not hurting me; they were hurting the country. So, really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very low indeed.

“But to hold a budget for seven months cannot be justified if you really bother about the country.”

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Court restricts EFCC, others from probing Saraki

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other agencies involved in the probe of Senate President Bukola Saraki over corruption allegations.

Saraki on Friday filed two separate fundamental rights enforcement suits before the court to confront the decision of the EFCC to seize his houses.

Ruling on an ex parte application filed along with the substantive suit by Saraki, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on Tuesday ordered the anti-corruption body and the other five respondents to the suit to stay action on the probe pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicant.

The judge made the order after hearing Saraki’s lawyer Sunday Onubi, who moved the application.

The six respondents to the suit affected by the restraining order are the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), Department of State Services, Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission and Code of Conduct Tribunal.

In a ruling delivered by the judge on returning to the courtroom after taking about 45 minutes to prepare it in his chambers, the court likened the restraining order issued on Tuesday to an order directing the parties to the suit to maintain the status quo in respect of the probe.

Ordering them to suspend the probe, Justice Taiwo said he granted Saraki’s prayers to avert a situation where the court would be faced with a situation of fait accompli.

He added that granting the order was in line with a settled principled of law that once a suit was filed; all parties to it must refrain from taking any action capable of rendering the suit nugatory.

According to him, the order amounts to an order directing the parties to maintain the status quo.

He added that the law allows such an application to be granted in a situation where the applicant would likely face “hardship” between the time of serving processes in the suit on the respondents and hearing and determination of the suit.

He ruled, “There is no doubt that the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 is a special proceeding with its stated rules and procedure.

“By the provision of Order 4(3) of the Fundamental Rights Civil Procedure Rules, 2009, the court may, if satisfied that the applicant may be caused hardship before the service of an application where liberty or life of the applicant is involved hear the application ex parte upon such interim reliefs as the justice of the application may demand.

“There is no doubt that in making the interim reliefs or orders, the court is guided even in its exercise of its discretion judicially and judiciously applied by the law and statues.

“Here comes in the rules and of course Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He mentioned, “I am of the view, after due consideration of the aforesaid averment, that this court ought to make the order being sought by the applicant pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion on notice.

“To do otherwise and not to restrain the respondents by asking them not to stay; action will result in the court being faced with a fait accompli.”

The judge made the same set of orders in the two separate suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/507/2019 and FHC/ABJ/CS/508/2019, filed by Saraki, which were separately argued and ruled upon on Tuesday.

Justice Taiwo then directed the applicant to serve the court processes on the six respondents who he also directed to file their response within five days of being served.

He adjourned further hearing till May 23, 2019 when the respondents will have an opportunity to challenge the ex parte order by arguing their objection to Saraki’s motion on notice.

Photo Credit: Google Images.

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EFCC siezes Saraki’s houses

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized some houses belonging to Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The houses, which are located at 15a, 15b and 17 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, are said to belong to Saraki.

However, the EFCC was said to be unsure of which of the properties that actually belong to the Senate President and decided to place inscriptions and stickers on all of them.

While 15a and 15b were declared by Saraki in his asset declaration form, it is believed that some other houses on the street were bought by the Senate President from the Presidential Implementation Committee for the Sales of Government Property through shell companies.

His relative, who did not want to be named, told our correspondent that the houses were seized on Friday.

He said, “The EFCC had been making inquiries into the finances and assets of Saraki for quite some time. They came to inscribe ‘EFCC, Under Investigation’ in red on the walls and the fences. The irony is that even houses that don’t belong to Saraki were marked.

“From what we were told, they are keeping him under strict surveillance ahead of May 29, 2019 when they may invite him.”

The EFCC had, while presenting evidence against Saraki before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in 2016, alleged that he owned houses on MacDonald Road but there were discrepancies in the addresses.

The EFCC witness, Michael Wetkas, had said investigation revealed that House No. 15 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, and Block 15 Flat 1 to 4 on the same street belonged to Saraki.

According to him, the Senate President bought the properties from the Presidential Committee on Sale of Federal Government Landed Properties in Lagos through his companies.

He added that the defendant made a bank draft in the name of TYNITY Company Limited, which he declared in the asset declaration form.

Wetkas noted that when the EFCC investigation team wrote to the presidential committee seeking clarification, the committee said from their records, the only property sold to the company was No. 15 Macdonald Street, Ikoyi.

Wetkas said 75 per cent, which amounted to N123.7m was paid for House No. 15 MacDonald Road, Ikoyi, through a bank draft from the account of one of Saraki’s company called Skyview Properties Limited in Access Bank.

He also said investigation revealed that Saraki made a bank draft through his company TYNITY and paid for House No. 17 MacDonald Road in Ikoyi, Lagos, in the sum of N256.3m.

The witness had said, “My lord, there was a draft of N12.8m and another draft of N20m from Zenith Bank as well as a draft of N4m from GTBank as part of payment for the purchase of House No. 17 MacDonald Street.

“The N20m draft came from Carlys properties and Investment Limited and a draft of 136.1m was made on January 13, 2007 for the purchase of same property.

“Another draft of N180.6m was made through Saraki’s personal bank account in GTB.’’

The EFCC last week announced a probe into the activities of the Senate President dating back to 2003 when he became the governor of Kwara State.

The commission had written a letter to the Kwara State Government House, asking for the details of all of Saraki’s earnings including salaries, allowances and estacode during his eight years as governor.

Meanwhile, Saraki’s case is said to be a tricky one because apart from owning a Nigerian passport, he also holds a British passport, which means he can travel out of the country easily.

A relation of the Senate President added, “The EFCC is building its case from the CCT trial which Saraki won in 2017. Even though he doesn’t have immunity now, they don’t want to detain him because of his position. They are waiting for his tenure to end before pouncing on him.

“They know that when he is no longer a senator, his colleagues in the upper chamber will not be able to come to his defence and accompany him to the EFCC or to the court.”

But the former governor said he had been tried, discharged and acquitted.

He said the properties were the subject of his arraignment before the CCT by the Federal Government.

Saraki, who spoke through his media aide, Mr Yusuph Olaniyonu, told one of our correspondents that he had never seen a place where someone, who had been declared innocent over a particular issue by the highest court in a country, would still be persecuted over the same issue.

He said, “If you look and check at the addresses of the properties they have marked, they are the same properties that formed the basis of his arraignment before the Code of Conduct Tribunal and the case dragged on to the Supreme Court.

“So, if the highest court in the land had adjudicated and made a pronouncement on an issue, can it be reopened?

“It is still a reinforcement of the statement we issued during the week.”

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What Saraki said about Tony Anenih as he passed on at 85


THe Senate President, Bukola Saraki has reacted to the death of the elder statesman, Chief Tony Anenih, saying he “played several defining roles throughout Nigeria’s democracy.

Saraki also said the PDP chieftain “will be remembered for his great patriotism and his insight into national issues. He will be dearly missed.”‬

The death of Anenih, a former Minister of Works, was confirmed by multiple sources including his son who said the family would release a statement later tonight.

The 85-year-old died on Sunday evening at Cedarcrest Hospital, Abuja, where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment, a family source said.

Born in Edo State, Mr Anenih was one of the most influential politicians of his era. He was nicknamed ‘Mr Fix It’ for his ability to manipulate the electoral process.

Anenih was a state chairman of Nigeria’s then ruling party, NPN, between 1981 and 1983. He is believed to have played a major role in the controversial 1983 general elections including in his home state of Bendel (now Edo State) where he helped Samuel Ogbemudia to victory.

Mr Anenih was also the national chairman of the Social Democratic Party in 1993 under whose platform Moshood Abiola won the June 12, 1993 presidential election. Mr Abiola was later imprisoned by the Sani Abacha dictatorship with many of his supporters accusing Mr Anenih of betraying the June 12 cause.

Upon return to democracy in 1999, Mr Anenih was also a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party and was appointed works minister by then President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was accused of masterminding the mismanagement of tens of billions of naira while he held sway as works minister.

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Saraki reacts to police invitation of Senators over PDP protest

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has reacted to a press release issued by the Nigeria Police over the protest staged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Saraki’s reaction was contained in a statement by Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser on Media.

He said police made various forms of spurious, unfounded and false claims about the protest in which they singled out three senators, Saraki, Senators Dino Melaye and Ben Murray-Bruce, of the many leaders of the PDP, including three Governors, a former Governor, presidential aspirants and members of the national working committees, and accused them of involvement “in the disturbance of public safety, unlawful blockade of Shehu Shagari Way.”

He said: “After carefully reading the Police statement, one cannot but describe the claims made in it as laughable, crude and and another low point in the posture of the police against the opposition in the country.

“In exercise of their constitutional rights of assembly, expression and movement, leaders of the PDP decided to stage a peaceful procession from the party’s campaign office on Ibrahim Babangida Way to INEC and Police Headquarters. The procession consisted of the Senate President, the party national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, presidential aspirants, members of the National Assembly, Governors of Ekiti and Sokoto States. Later, the Governors of Taraba and Gombe States joined the procession,

“The purpose was to express the opposition of the PDP to the manner in which the electoral body and the security agencies had been colluding with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate election results and subvert the will of the people, as evidenced by the conduct of the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun State. We wanted to send a clear signal that such official subversion of the will of the people in favour of the APC should not be repeated in the 2019 elections.

“At the INEC secretariat, the procession spent over 40 minutes where the various leaders addressed the crowd in the presence of two national commissioners of INEC, including the one in charge of legal matters, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu. The two INEC commissioners equally responded to the complaints raised by the PDP leaders. It was a civilised, frank and enlightened exchange, devoid of any rancour.

“The procession then headed towards the Police Headquarters while being hailed on the streets by ordinary Nigerians who came out to cheer the leaders standing in an open van. From the Eagles Square end, the procession was on the other side of the road going to Police Headquarters. The procession did not even get to the point where it will turn to the side where the Police Force Headquarters is located when the police rained tear gas on the people. They deliberately targettted the open vans in which the Senate President and other VIPs were standing.

“The procession quickly diverted to the Area 11 Junction leading to FCDA. The diversion was done to avoid a repeat of the 2003 event in which a similar tear gassing event led to the death of a former Senate President, Senator Chuba Okadigbo.

“Let it be known that the hostile, brutal, needlesss, tactless and uncivil response of the Police under the present leadership of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotum Idris to the peaceful, lawful and justified procession was in contrast to how the same police responded to a similar protest by the opposition in 2014.

“In 2014, the protesters then led by the Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), the candidate of the opposition party, were not attacked. They were tolerated and their grievances listened to by the police leadership. In 2014, it was the same Nigeria Police as we have today. The difference is the temperament and democratic credentials of the then administration, in general, and that of the Police leadership, in particular.

“The fabrications by the Police as contained in their press statement only show the new police leadership as mere jesters trying to hone their skills in comic script-writing. Every move of the PDP procession today was recorded by the media – Television, print, radio and online -, citizens, members of the civil society and the international community. These independent observers know that nothing is far from the truth than the claims made by the Police in their statement.

“It should be noted that the Police under Idris are simply setting the stage for another onslaught on members of the Nigerian Senate and that is why they singled out the Senate President and two other Senators as the people being invited and accused of all these false charges.

“It is clear that the Idris-led Police are intent on turning Nigeria into a police state and destroying members of the opposition at all cost and that that is why they specialize in framing up leaders of the opposition and other outspoken legislators on false charges.

“This fresh attempt will fail. The invited Senators and their party will exercise their right at all times and in all cases. We know that Nigeria has not turned to Banana Republic and we will not allow the Police under the present leadership to turn it to one, no matter the expertise for evil being displayed by its top personnel.”

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Kwara PDP: Saraki reacts as thugs interupt guber primaries

The President of the Senate and former governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has narrated how the governorship primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party was disrupted by thugs and cancelled on Sunday.

PDP cancelled Kwara guber primary, following a confrontation between supporters of two leading aspirants.

The exercise had been going on smoothly in Ilorin, until some loyalists of Bolaji Abdullahi and Razak Atunwa, allegedly clashed over an alleged attempt to manipulate the primary.

Some supporters of Abdullahi alleged that most of the ballot papers had Atunwa’s name on them.

Atunwa is believed to have the backing of Saraki and Abdulafatai Ahmed, governor of the state.

But, reacting in a statement which Yusuph Olaniyonu, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, issued on his behalf, Saraki said he had no preferred candidate in the contest.

“Dr. Saraki believes that competence, popularity and acceptability, must be the deciding factors in the selection of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, as such, due to the fact that many of the aspirants in question meet all three criteria, Dr. Saraki has stated that a level-playing field must be provided for all the aspirants to vie for the gubernatorial ticket of the PDP in Kwara.

“Going back to today’s incident, accreditation had already taken place, and delegates from two Local Government Areas had already voted. The third Local Government had started to vote, when a few people from that LGA raised certain observations about the process.

“The organisers of the primaries then suggested that the LGA in question should either conclude voting while the observations were addressed, or allow another LGA to vote pending the resolution of the observations that were raised.

“It was at this point that hired thugs then forced their way into the venue of the primaries to disrupt the process.

“It is important to note that despite his influence in the politics of the state, Dr. Saraki has always worked to ensure that the democratic process is followed to the letter.

“Additionally, as many of his political associates are aspiring to become the next Governor of the state, he has maintained that he will allow the people to decide and worked to ensure that the party primaries in the state remain credible.

“That was why he stayed back in Abuja while the primary election in Ilorin was ongoing. He just left Abuja for Ilorin at 9.10pm following the news of the disruption,” the statement read.

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Saraki visits Adeleke, encourages him


The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Monday visited in Ede, Senator Ademole Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party of the Saturday 22 September election which was declared inconclusive.

Saraki lauded Adeleke for his resilence, saying, “I visited the Governorship candidate of our party, Senator Ademola Adeleke, in Ede today to commend him and his supporters for their resilience and to let him know that we remain undeterred and determined to ensure that he becomes the next Governor of Osun State.”

The Osun election conducted over the weekend ended up inconclusive as the Independent National Electoral Commission said there were cases of ballot boxes snatching that occurred in some polling units during the election.

Senator Ademola Adeleke, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 254,698 votes, while Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scored 254,345 votes.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) mentioned the affected polling units to include Ife north, one polling unit, Ife south, two polling units, Orolu, three polling units and osogbo, one polling unit. He said a total of 3498 votes were cancelled in the seven affected polling units.

Meanwhile, Saraki also visited the SDP governorship candidate of the Osun election, Senator Iyiola Omisore, saying he had a warm reception and both parties have agreed to work together.

Saraki visits Omisore

Saraki said, “I thank Sen. Iyiola Omisore for the warm reception he and his people gave me and members of my entourage in Ile Ife today.

“We have agreed to work together because our goals are the same. We all want good governance in Osun State. Over the next 24 hours, we will work out the details.

“Our discussion will definitely be useful for the growth of democracy in our country; the development of Osun State and its people; as well as for future engagements among political players.

“From now on, it will be a win-win situation for the State of the Land of Virtue, Osun, and Nigeria, in general.”

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Osun Decides: What election will prove to Nigerians – Saraki warns INEC

Senate President Bukola Saraki, has said that Osun State election was a test to Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and other security agencies.

Saraki made the statement on his Twitter page while urging INEC to monitor collation of results as the election is a test of democracy in Nigeria.

The Senate President also applauded Nigerians vigilantly following collation of election results and defending the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Saraki wrote: “As we await the result from Osun State, let us remember that collation is just a simple addition of results.

“This election is a test of our democracy. INEC and security agencies are under test. All well meaning Nigerians are awake monitoring the results closely.

“Just spoke to some of our volunteers on ground in Osun State. I’m delighted to hear that even at 2:50am, Nigerians are vigilant and defending PDP’s comfortable lead.”

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Buhari does not understand governance – Saraki insists

Senate President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Bukola Saraki, on Tuesday insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari does not understand governance and was not prepared to govern the country when he was elected in 2015.

Saraki stated this while addressing Oyo State delegates and members of the party ahead of the national convention of the PDP at the state secretariat of the party located at Molete, Ibadan.

The former governor of Kwara State, who said that Nigerians made a mistake by voting Buhari in 2015, added that Nigeria needed a “digital President”.

Saraki, who was accompanied to Ibadan by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, Senator Abiodun Olujinmi, Captain Idris Wada, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Hon. Muhammed Wakil, declared that incumbent President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) “does not understand governance”.

He noted that the mistake Nigerians have made over the years was electing people into positions of authority based on sentiment.

He specifically maintained that Nigeria needed a digital President who can relate well with Presidents of other counties.

Saraki, while speaking further, declared that he is the most capable for the job among the PDP Presidential aspirants, urging the Oyo State delegates to support his aspiration.

He said, “The major mistake we are making is that we vote people who cannot do it. All other countries, they look for the best candidates. If you look at other aspirants, you will see that I can do it better than all of them.

“The mistake we made is that the person who is there does not know anything. The person that is there does not understand governance.

“If you have observed, you will discover that Presidents of other counties who have visited Nigeria in recent time did not sleep in the country. They will just come for two or few hours and go back”.

The Senate President maintained further that what the country needs in 2019 is a capable President, as Buhari has shown that he is not capable for the task.

Saraki insisted that having worked with the President for over three years; he has discovered that the Buhari does not understand governance.

Among Oyo PDP leaders that received the Senate President were, State Chairman of the party, Alhaji Kunmi Mystapha; Elder Wole Oyelese; Alhaji Hazeem Gbalarumi; Mr. Wasiu Adeleke; Dr. Saka Balogun and Chief Jacob Adetoro.

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I’ll not step down — Saraki tackles APC


The senate president, Bukola Saraki, has said he will not step down from the senate presidency until he runs his term out.

He also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) would not remove him as senate president as it does not possess the number to force him out of office, ThisDay Newspaper reports.

He made this statement while speaking to journalists in Minna, Niger State, after a visit to former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida.

Mr Saraki’s latest visit to the former president is the second in the last one month. He had in August paid him a visit at his home town.

Prior to that, he also visited another former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Although Mr Saraki did not state the reason for his visit to Mr Babangida, it is, however, believed it has to do with his presidential ambition.

The national chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, has repeatedly asked Mr Saraki to step down as senate president following his defection to the PDP.

A suit on the issue was also filed in the Federal High Court Abuja – a suit which the federal government asked the court to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

The senate president had told leaders of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at its secretariat in the state capital that the party was in the majority in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

“They know that we are in the majority, and whatever they want to do, they know that they don’t have the number.

“One thing is clear, I will not sacrifice the interest of the country for my personal interest, and in the last three years as a senate president, I have demonstrated that my interest is second to that of national interest, I will not step down from the Senate presidency,” he said.

Mr Saraki also dismissed the call by the APC for the National Assembly to reconvene for the purpose of removing him, describing it as unnecessary and explained that since the senate was properly adjourned, it would reconvene as scheduled after its annual break.

“We did not adjourn the Senate in the dark, there was a procedure, where at the end of the session there was a vote and it was seconded that we should go on annual recess.

“So it wasn’t anything done in the secret, everybody was there. It is not that some few people met somewhere and took the decision. Everybody participated and everybody took the decision that we should adjourn for a normal annual recess.

“The date that we agreed to resume is the same date that we resumed last year and the year before, so there is nothing abnormal about the Senate adjournment,” he explained.

The lawmaker further stated that his plan was for Nigeria to be a country rooted in the rule of law and democratic process. He said the most important for him is to ensure the autonomy of the three arms of government, to allow rule of law, to ensure that we respect the democratic process.

Speaking on his political prowess in Kwara State, Mr Saraki described those opposing him as visiting politicians to the state.

“They are not with the people, after the election they will go away and then they will come back six months to election and immediately after election they will go away, that has always been their pattern of politics and the people of Kwara are not stupid, they know those who are with them, they know those who care for them.”

His host, Mr Babangida, on the other hand declared his support for Mr Saraki’s 2019 presidential bid.

The former military president said his decision to support the senate president was because his (Mr Saraki’s) late father, Olusola Saraki, was supportive of him and his administration.

“It is my turn to do what your father did to me,” he said, adding that he would treat the PDP presidential hopeful as his son. I will rightly observe that you are my son, for coming to pay a courtesy visit.

“I remember when I was still in office, I spoke with your father, Oloye Saraki, who was always providing advises on a number of things about this country.

“He always made himself available to me, to give advises and encouragement, which will move the country forward. Your visit today is historical, now it is your time and turn to come to me and I will do just that,” he said.

The former president commended Mr Saraki for his resilience as the leader of the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

“You have been able to hold the Senate together for these years. I commend you, you have my support for these three reasons you have itemised and I hope the people will listen to you,” he said.

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I will support you as your father supported me– Babangida to Saraki

Former Nigeria Military Head of State, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, has told Senate President, Bukola Saraki that he will support him in his bid to become president just the way his late father supported him during his failed presidential ambition.

“It is my turn to do what your father did to me”, Babangida said.

He said this when Saraki visited him in Minna, Niger State, as part of his nationwide campaign tour for the forthcoming Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, convention.

The former Head of State said he would treat the presidential aspirant as his own son and ensure that he succeed in his ambition

He pointed out that “I will rightly observe that you are my son, for coming to pay a courtesy visit.

“I remember when I was still in office, I spoke with your father, Oloye Saraki who was always providing advises on a number of things attached to this country.

“He always made himself available to me, to give advises and encouragement which will move the country forward.

“Your visit today is historical, now it is your time and turn to come to me and I will do just that.”

“You mentioned three things that are very dear to us as military, and we fought to get them to preserve them.

“They are unity of the country, the security of lives and the economic development.

“The security of the people and their well being of the ordinary man are the right objectives for campaign and leadership for this country.

“I commend you, you have my support for these three reasons you have itemised and I hope the people will listen to you.”

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Politics

2019 Presidency: Saraki defeats Buhari on Twitter

In an opinon poll conducted by one Josh @sire_liljosh, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki defeated President Muhammadu Buhari for the best person for 2019 president.

The poll totalled 25206 votes.

According to the poll, Saraki scored 52 per cent of the total vote, leaving 48 per cent to Buhari, with a sentence question: If Buhari and Saraki were the only presidential aspirants left standing, who would you vote for?


Both Saraki and Buhari had obtained the nomination and expression of interest forms under the Peoples Democratic Party and All Progressives Congress respectively.

Meanwhile, Saraki has as contenders the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido, former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dankwambo, former governor of Kano, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso among others.

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headline News

Saraki appoints Doyin Okupe chairman of his presidential media campaign

Senate President, Bukola Saraki has announced the appointment of Doyin Okupe his Presidential campaign’s Media Council.

According to Saraki, ‘I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Doyin Okupe as the Chairman of my Presidential campaign’s Media Council. Dr. Okupe has served as the National Publicity Secretary of the National Republican Convention (NRC)’.

He added that, ‘Dr. Doyin Okupe brings many years of strategic insight to my campaign team, having worked as the Director of Communications for the Presidential campaigns of two former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’.

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headline News

Vote out Buhari for national unity, Saraki to Nigerians

Saraki and Buhari

It is imperative to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari for Nigerians to enjoy national unity and security, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, said.

Saraki explained the need for Nigeria to have a president who will unite all parts of the country, respect national character, grow local businesses and support entrepreneurial skills.

Speaking in Owerri, the Imo State capital, while meeting with the stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the October 6 presidential primaries of the PDP, Saraki said Nigeria had never been so divided in ethnicity, politics and religion.

Describing himself as the right person to lead Nigeria in the next political dispensation, the former governor of Kwara State said that poverty, loss of job opportunities and hardship were currently on the increase in the country.

Saraki said, “By the grace of God, I will emerge the PDP presidential candidate. My desire is not just an ambition. Nigeria has never been this divided. People are afraid to be called Nigerians. Ethnicity and religion have taken over. There is no inclusion anymore, no fairness, no federal character, no job and businesses are dying. Survival of businesses is survival of the country. Poverty is everywhere.”

He said that if not for God and the masses, Buhari would have ensured his removal as the president of the senate three years ago.

Saraki said, “I will continue to fight for the masses. We have to change the leadership. We need a leadership that would ensure justice and fair distribution of national appointments. As a president, I will ensure everybody has food on the table. I will restore global reputation. Countries are built by hard work and vision.”

“The South-East people are hardworking and their entrepreneurial spirit is wonderful. As a president, I will partner South-East to emerge the next tiger of business in Africa. You don’t build what you don’t have. I therefore appeal to the delegates to vote wisely.

“We must change Buhari with a man that has capacity, integrity and vision in order to realise our potential. I believe in restructuring that would give states opportunities to realise their potentials. I promoted made-in-Aba products. As a President, I will support local businesses. We need to have a president that will ensure prosperity; nobody wants a handout.”

He, however, called on the people of the state to support Senator Samuel Anyanwu to emerge as the governor of the state, in order to ensure infrastructure development in the state.

“I’m committed to the development of the South-East because it is in the best interest of Nigeria. You need the president that has the youthfulness, the energy to deliver.”

A political associate of Saraki and member of the Senate, Senator Dino Melaye, urged the crowd to replace Buhari with Saraki, saying, “APC is dead in Imo State and in Nigeria.”

The Chairman of the PDP in Imo State, Charles Ezekwem, said the Igbo were interested in a presidential candidate that would restructure the country and create an additional state in the South-East.

Ezekwem said, “I have seen everything positive in Saraki. His defection gave the PDP the chances of clinching the position of the president in the next election.

“Igbo want restructuring and fairness. Saraki has the capacity, strength, pedigree and academic background to move Nigeria forward.”

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Nigeria very divided, at crossroads – Saraki


Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Thursday in Enugu declared that Nigeria is at crossroads and very divided.

Saraki, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirant, spoke while addressing delegates at the party’s secretariat, expressing sadness
over the level of youth unemployment in the country.

The Senate president assured that his decision to contest for the President was not a personnel ambition, adding that Nigeria needed a president that will be
youth-friendly.

He declared that if he becomes the president of the country, he would make many Asian Tigers, particularity in Enugu State.

He expressed happiness that despite what he and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu had been passing through in their efforts to ensure that the right thing was
done, the present Senate had continued to work for the interest of the nation.

Saraki further told the PDP delegates that Nigeria needed a
president that when he speaks, the people will be proud and a president that will see the whole Nigeria as as his constituency.

“You cannot give what you do not have, what you don’t have, you cannot give. Nigeria is at a crossroad, it is very divided,” he stated.

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Junaid Mohammed backs Saraki, says it’s not crime to be ambitious

Junaid Mohammed

Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a delegate to the 2014 National Conference has said there is no crime in what President of the Senate did by desiring to be Nigeira’s next president in 2019.

 

He stated he would not quarrel with politically-ambitious people so long as the process of actuating their ambition would not lead to collateral damage that could ruin the country.

Mohammed made his view known in an interview with Punch on Tuesday.

APC reacts to Saraki’s talk on Tinubu’s 2023 Presidency ambition

The medical doctor-turned politician said, “Unlike Bukola Saraki, I do not blame anybody for being ambitious as long as the process of achieving the ambition doesn’t create so must collateral damage that will be harmful to the country. I don’t have any problem with it.

Speaking about Tinubu’s statement which led to Saraki’s response, Mohammed said, “I don’t know if the information he has as regards either Buhari himself, Tambuwal or Bukola Saraki for that matter is necessarily 100 per cent reliable.

“Let me state for the records, Tinubu is my friend and I would not take issue with people I consider my friends publicly.

“Having said so, I must admit that some of his criticisms in defence of Buhari, the APC and even Adams Oshiomhole, who was until recently a persona non grata to him, is something I find rather amusing and somewhat a little surprising.

“And I don’t know whatever calculations he might have had in his defence right or wrong of Buhari contrary to what he tells people in private; no matter how he goes about his defence of Buhari and people like Oshiomhole and others, I don’t think that will pay him off eventually in his own political ambition.”

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Saraki, Tinubu are only pursuing personal interests– Afenifere

The Yoruba social cultural association under the auspices of Afenifere has described the word wars between the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has a desire to meet their personal interests, but not to bear benefit for Nigerians.

Expressing its dismay, Afenifere said the politicians in Nigeria has elevated personal interests and ambition beyond national good, progress and development.

Herdsmen association threatens to force Saraki to resign

It also emphasized that the verbal exchanges between the APC leader, Tinubu, and Senate President Saraki were all about their personal interests, rather than national good and progress.

Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, expressed disappointment that the two men were more interested in personal ambitions than in national good and progress.

“You cannot see anything in these exchanges that talk about national good or higher values. The only thing that was substantial was when Saraki said he was against Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2014. If that was true, it would have been unthinkable in a Nigeria so badly divided as it is today. Clearly, the arguments were about personal interests and ambitions,” Afenifere noted.

APC reacts to Saraki’s talk on Tinubu’s 2023 Presidency ambition

Gov Ortom reacts to report he is hiring thugs for 2019 election

Why rich men prefer smaller breasts and poor men want big breasts– Study

 

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APC reacts to Saraki’s talk on Tinubu’s 2023 Presidency ambition

Tinubu and Saraki

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has receive adverse reactions following his comment where he criticised the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaji Bola Tinubu.

Saraki had said in his response to Tinubu, titled “The Tinubu Rhetoric: My Response” that the national leader was only supporting President Muhammadu Buhari for re-election because he (Tinubu) also needed the President’s support for his presidency ambition in 2023.

Reacting to the development, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Yekini Nabena, said that the Senate President’s insinuation is not premature, and that Tinubu had never made such communication to the party that he was nursing 2023 presidency race.

“This (Tinubu’s ambition) has not been communicated to the party, so I cannot comment on it. Besides, why should anybody be talking about 2023 when we are in 2018? Is anybody God?,” Nabena said.

 

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Herdsmen association threatens to force Saraki to resign

An Association of herdsmen under the under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association has asked President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, to resign or be force to do so, saying he has created several problems for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led regime.

The association further said Saraki is to be held responsible for negative effect Nigerian economy in suffering, as well as social growth of the country owing to the fact that he is unsupportive of the Buhari government.

Speaking on Tuesday in Markudi, the Meyetti’s national coordinator, Alhaji Garus Gololo, issued the warning while speaking journalists, saying,  “It is on this note that we are saying that Saraki ought not to be in office again as Senate President, more so, Saraki has failed to coordinate and organise the National Assembly to offer quality legislation that Nigerians need.

“Nigerians are in dire need of people that have the interest of the masses. Miyetti Allah is looking for a leader that would preside over the affairs of the Senate with ultimate respect for the executive and the judiciary, not someone like Senator Saraki that would always scheme to outdo the Presidency.

“We are now tired of Saraki’s style of leadership at the National Assembly. Therefore, we are now warning him to honourably resign his position as president of the Senate or we will force him out”, Gololo said, refusing, however, to explain how the association would remove the Senate president.

Reacting to the comment by Governor Ortom accusing a former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, of being an agent of the Miyetti Allah, Gololo said Tsav was not a member of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association or a Fulani man by tribe and couldn’t have been an agent of the Miyetti Allah.

He urged governor Ortom to face his problem with the EFCC and leave Miyetti Allah alone.

“Ortom should forget about anything called Miyetti Allah and grazing law and fight for his re-election because Benue people and his new party (PDP) have rejected him,” adding that the PDP would not give him the ticket to run in the 2019 governorship election in the state.