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Atiku, Buhari: The Looming Post-election Political Battles

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Atiku, Buhari: The Looming Post-election Political Battles
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The political relationship between former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar and incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari is getting messier each passing day, as Atiku who failed the 2019 general election is in the tribunal to contest the election.

The two top Nigerian politicians, who are Fulani indigenes, are now running cat and dog as a result of some disagreements in the political arena.

Recently, the Presidency cried out that there was a call for the Nigerian military to overthrow the present government led by All Progressives Congress (APC), with President Buhari at the helm of affairs.

But the military dissociated itself from the allegation saying, the document in circulation advocated the setting up of an interim government.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), yesterday described as “unacceptable, irritating, preposterous and ludicrous for anybody or group of people to call for military coup d’état in the country.

Although the allegation was only gathering momentum in the social media, MURIC said: “It is an invitation to anarchy. We warn that any attempt at a coup will be resisted by the Nigerian people. We refuse to be led into economic slavery once again. We will rather live as free men and women in our graves than live as paupers and slaves in our own land,” the group explained.

Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has described as unacceptable, irritating, preposterous and ludicrous for anybody or group of people to call for military coup d’état in the country.

The Nigerian military recently dissociated itself from a document calling for dissolution of the current administration. According to the report, the document is currently being circulated within the country, the document also advocated for the setting up of an interim government.

Founder and Director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, described the alleged document as “illegal and provocative.

“This is unacceptable. It is irritating, preposterous and ludicrous. How can any sane individual or group be calling for a military coup d’etat in 21 century Nigeria? It is anachronistic. We have no doubt that it is the handiwork of unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements.

‘They will fail. They will fail because the Nigerian people are solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari who has inspired Nigerians and the latter have taken the cue. Nigerians have seen transparency, probity and accountability under Buhari. Modern trains are all over the place. Our roads are taking shape again. Public office holders no longer act with impunity. There is no financial recklessness in governance. There is no going back to corruption. It is dead. The corpse of corruption is in the mortuary. What remains is its burial and that will come very soon.”

MURIC commended the military for speaking out against the move, saying, “We charge the Nigerian people to reject hypocrites and parasites who are aiming to dismantle our nascent democracy. It is an invitation to anarchy”.

In what appears as strained relationship, Atiku, who contested the election under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 general election, alleged plan by the Federal Government led by Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to replay the phantom coup plot of late General Sani Abacha where he falsely accused and jailed former President Olusegun Obasanjo for treason.

Reports said Atiku reacted to a statement by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, where he accused him (Atiku) and the PDP of plot to destabilize the Federal Government.

Sequel to this, Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, in a statement, said in his desperation to remain in office, “President Buhari wants to rope him in a phantom coup plot.

“We want to know why the desperation on the part of the Muhammadu Buhari government to rope in the PDP and its Presidential candidate in phantom plots? Obviously, President Buhari wants to replay the phantom coup plot saga of his now deceased mentor, who threw former President Olusegun Obasanjo in jail after falsely accusing him of treason in order to perpetuate himself in power.

“Could it be that they are now aware that the electoral fraud they perpetrated during the last presidential election is about to be exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt?” The former vice president wondered. He noted that if there is anybody beating the drums of war, it is the APC leaders, whom he said issued statements threatening Nigerians and foreigners alike with ‘body bags’.

Atiku described himself as a “thorough bred democrat,” noting that he joined forces with the likes of Chief Moshood Abiola and Dr. Alex Ekwueme to resist Abacha’s dictatorship and fought for the democracy Buhari and APC were allegedly trampling on.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar resisted the Abacha dictatorship, of which President Muhammadu Buhari was a prominent member, and it is his resistance and the sacrifice of his co-travellers, like Chief MKO Abiola and Alex Ekwueme, amongst others, that gave rise to the democracy that the current government is now trampling on.

 “It is preposterous that those who threatened to ‘soak the dog and the baboon in blood’ are now aukardacious enough to point the finger at lifelong democrats.

“Truly, if the farmer does not raise the alarm on time, the thief will accuse him of being a thief,” he said. Atiku further wondered how President Buhari, who “wined and dined with Nigeria’s most brutal dictator,” and “overthrew a democratically elected president and held a grudge against him even in death (as evidenced by the empty condolence register he left in Sokoto, last year) accuse a man who has never been as much as associated with such tendencies, of being an anti-democrat?”

He said the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was clever by half. Atiku said Nigerians should not take the minister serious, adding, “when we have a situation where even those who employed him know that Lai Mohammed is a liar, who will even lie during the holy month of Ramadan, then why should Nigerians be surprised at this latest lie?”

He advised the minister to face “the cesspool of corruption that has been exposed in his ministry by the investigative website which revealed that Mr. Mohammed’s fingers may be stickier than sticky glue.”

POLITICS

Tinubu Tasks APC Stakeholders in North-Central on Unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged the stakeholders and members of  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North-Central Zone to remain united in order to take the party to the next level of development.

Tinubu made the call on Saturday at  the Zonal stakeholders meeting of the party in Lafia.

Tinubu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Sen.

George Akume.

The president said:” I want to appeal to all of you to maintain unity. We need to maintain unity of purpose, unity of brothers and sisters for the progress of our party and the country at large “

He also commended Governors of the zone for initiating projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Tinubu solicited continued support and prayers from the stakeholders, APC members and other Nigerians to enable him succeed.

The president assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to provide infrastructure and other good policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians.

On his part, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, said the party has introduced a lot of reforms,  including e- registration for party members.

” We have introduced e-registration for party members as e-registration will give us accurate numbers of our party members,” he said.

Ganduje appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and the North Central APC leaders for inviting him to the meeting.

He also called on the stakeholders and other members of the party to embrace unity for the overall development of the party and Nigeria at large.

The APC national chairman urged  Nigerians to support Tinubu’s administration to succeed.

Also Speaking, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara , who is the North-Central APC Coordinator, said the meeting was to discuss issues that would move the party forward.

” It is also to thank our party stakeholders for the success of our party and to interact with ourselves for the overall development of our party,” he said.

The governor urged stakeholders and other members of the party to build a formidable North-Central zone, urging,

” Let’s all make North-Central formidable.”

On their parts,  the Nasarawa governor, Gov.  Usman Ododo of Kogi and Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, also called for  unity among APC members.

Sule said: ” Dear members of APC, let’s have the party in our hearts for the progress of the party and for the overall development of the country.

 Also, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Rep. Idris Wase, Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, Minister of Police Affairs ( State), Hajiya  Hajarat Danyaro, member representing Nasarawa Central at the State House of Assembly, among other stakeholders ,  urged for focus and unity.

They appealed to party members to remain focused and united for the progress of the party.

They appealed that all hands must be on the deck to take the party to the next level of development.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Niger Assembly Halts Ongoing Construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Over Substandard Quality

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From  Dan Amasingha, Minna. 

Niger State House of Assembly joint committees on works, health and Nutrition have directed the immediate suspension of the ongoing construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Minna due to lack of compliance with the contract specifications.

Chairman of the House Committees Arch.

Suleiman Abubakar Gomna and his counterpart, Pharm.
Umar Nasir gave the order during an oversight visit to the project site in Minna.

The Lawmakers described the project as below standard and a deliberate plan by the contractors to shortchange the state government. 

Abubakar Gomna expressed sadness over the substandard nature of the ongoing project noting that, Poor quality work has repercussions that extend to safety and communication in addition to wasted time, resources and materials.

The lawmaker explained that lack of adequate quality control procedures and improve construction project efficiency can have a ripple effect of high expectation.

“There is  urgent  need for material testing towards  ensuring  quality and standard.”      

Chairman house standing committee on health and Nutrition, Pharmacist Umar Nasir said durability, strength, and quality of materials play a pivotal role in the safety and longevity of structures in construction and can significantly impact the overall performance of a construction project.

The Head Project Management of Think Lab Group Limited, Mohammed Lawal Aliyu disclosed that the project consist of three phases which includes; renovation of old structures and building new one.

He said infrastructure such as road, electrification and water as well as supply of medical equipment is also embedded in the contract.

Daily Asset gathered that the contractor, Think Lab Group is  handing the project have already access an advance payment of N9 billion from the state government .

The House committee are insisting that, to  ensure that sharp practices was not recorded, the company must abide by the directives from the lawmakers in order to have an edifice that will stand the test of time

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POLITICS

Reps Query Abandonment of Skills Acquisition Centre Project in Akwa Ibom

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Ministry has queried the contractors for abandoning the skills acquisition center project at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep.

Eugene Dibiagwu, issued the query at an investigative hearing on the abandoned Skills Acquisition Center.

He said that the lack of commitment by the contractors had made them part of the problem Nigeria is facing over abandoned projects.

He added that it was ridiculous that the project was yet to be completed after being paid 85 percent of the contract sum.

“As a contractor that has been paid up to 85 percent, you were supposed to have completed that project; you know the reason why you have not; we will not allow the project to die that way.

“We understand the situation we found ourselves in in the country economically regarding the cost of materials.

“We will engage the ministry of Niger Delta so that they will know whether to consider further valuation for your request for additional money.”

He expressed shock that part of the fence built by the contractors had broken, saying the committee would unravel whether the fence the contractor built that fell was their fault or of a natural cause.

He, however, charged the contractor to do everything possible to complete the project, adding that the committee would not join issues with the contractor until the project was completed.

The committee said that if the skill acquisition center must work with all the necessary facilities to make it functional, it would require an additional N2 billion from the N4.2 billion earlier quoted for the project.

“We are looking at an additional 2 billion naira, which will bring the total project to 6.2 billion naira, having committed 4 2 billion naira initially.

“And even if we commit 6.2 billion naira, the center will not still work considering what is left to be done. That center cannot train one person even with 6.2 billion naira.

The committee added that this is because the center would accommodate training workshops, train personnel to man the center, and also equip the training center to work.

It would be recalled that the House, on Nov. 23, 2023, deliberated on a motion titled “Need to Complete the Construction of the Skill Acquisition Center at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State”.

The House had urged the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure completion of the project within the 2024 fiscal year and mandated the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

However, the Chairman stated that the contract for the center was awarded on March 15, 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to three companies.

He stated that the project had reached about 85 percent completion 12 years ago but was abandoned due to an unexpected increase in the price of goods.

This, he said, left the property vandalised and in deplorable condition.

The contractors who appeared before the committee include Stegis International Agency Nigeria Ltd., a civil construction building, and Enarosol Nigeria Ltd., a landscaping and perimeter fencing company.

Others include Y. S. Associates, Electrical and Mechanical Works.

The contractor who tried albeit unsuccessful to defend their actions, were requested to appear with copies of the contract agreement, interim performance certificates, and any other relevant documents relating to the project.

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