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BREAKING: Obasanjo endorses Atiku for president

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubaklar for the 2019 presidential election.

Mr. Obasanjo spoke when Atiku Abubakar and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party visited him at his Abeokuta home on Thursday.

Abubakar, who served as Obasanjo’s deputy between 1999 and 2007, is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said he believed Atiku has ‘re-discovered and re-positioned himself’ and is now good enough to enjoy his support in the next election.

Mr. Obasanjo said, “Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.

“Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo.  In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku.  And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself.  As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.

“I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself.  I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.

“From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.

“Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you.  Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party.  That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party.  In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.

“There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends.  You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition.  But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared.  And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.

“I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate –  all at the national level.  With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.

“For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.

“You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs.  You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways.  As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President said, “You are a wazobia man.”  And that should help you in confronting the confrontable and shunning nepotism.

“As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard.  On your behalf, I thank them all.  May their coast continue to be expanded.  And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin.  Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.

“Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency.  The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.

“Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.

“The fundamentals for our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure.  Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.

“All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.

“Once again, congratulations and I wish you well.  My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen.  I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.”

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I’ll recover my stolen mandate, says Atiku

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Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he is confident in getting his “stolen mandate” from the court.

He spoke on Wednesday during a courtesy call on the southern and middle belt leaders at the Abuja residence of Edwin Clark, a leader of the group.

Atiku, who lost to President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), had rejected the result of the presidential poll and is currently challenging the validity of the election at the tribunal.

“This is a mandate that has been stolen from Nigerians. We believe justice would be done at the end of the day,” he said.

“As I had announced earlier, I have rejected the result of the election. As announced earlier, we have filed our petition before the tribunal or the courts because we believe this is a mandate that has been stolen from the Nigerian people. And I believe that the courts will do justice in this case.

“We still have confidence in our courts and we believe justice will be done. But the most important thing here is that between ourselves, we have been able to galvanize the people of this country to think alike and in unity.

“Of course, we have also come to realize and accept that the basis of our unity, our coexistence lies fundamentally on restructuring this country so that every part of this country can have a sense of belonging and also have opportunity to exploit their human and materiel resources for the development of the citizens while remaining in the same country.”

Thanking the leaders, Atiku said he believes this is a struggle that is achievable, and Nigeria has nothing to fear about restructuring.

In his remarks, Clark commended Atiku for heading to court, and assured him that the elders were behind him.

“We are happy that you are in court, you have already filed your papers, it’s not a question of saying am going to court. We are behind you. And by the grace of God, we will achieve what we are struggling for,” he said.

The group of elders comprising Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) had adopted Atiku two weeks to the election.

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NNPC confident of meeting 2019 oil production target – Baru

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has expressed confidence that it would meet the target of 2.3 million barrels of oil per day (MBOPD) benchmark used in the 2019 Midterm Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

This was according to the Group managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who stated this while appearing before the Senate committee on Finance on Tuesday.

Baru, who was represented by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Strategy, Mr Bala Wunti, disclosed that the corporation has installed oil production capacity of over 2.5 Mbopd to support the yardstick used in 2019 MTEF.

Baru identified the major obstacle to achieving the planned production volume as the security situation in the Niger Delta region, which according to him, has seen considerable improvement.

The NNPC GMD noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s strong focus on “collaboration and effective community engagement for sustainable partnership” has significantly helped to douse the security challenge in the region.

Baru said the improved security situation in the Niger Delta has led to a corresponding improvement in crude oil production under the current administration. The GMD expressed optimism that the security situation will only further improve, adding that the “NNPC remains confident that Nigeria can achieve the 2019 budget production target of 2.3 Mbopd.”

Responding to questions on the impact of OPEC quota on the country’s oil production level, the GMD invited the Committee to note that the National production of 2.3 Mbopd is the national liquid hydrocarbon production which is not only crude oil but also includes condensate. The OPEC quota is an allocation for only for crude oil and not condensate. He explained that Nigeria’s condensate production oscillates between 0.4Mbpd 0.6Mbld out of the 2.3 Mbopd.

The GMD further disclosed that the NNPC mandates on the 2019 MTEF are premised on the 3 thematic assumptions of Production volume, Crude oil price and Unit Cost of Crude Oil Production. “The Corporation is glad to report that NNPC in collaboration with other relevant agencies have emplaced measures to ensure the attainment of these assumptions used in developing the 2019 MTEF,” he said.

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Stop the rumour! Dangote not part of ‘Kano Elders Committee’ on election postponement

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The social media had been awashed with information purporting the creation of a “Committee of Elders of Kano” to address the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Kano elections, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared as inconclusive

Investigations conducted by First-Weekly Magazine revealed that the news is fake as some of the alleged committee members such as Alhaji Aliko Dangote is currently out of the country on a business trip.

Moreover, we reliably gathered that Alhaji Aliko Dangote is apolitical and he has never been involved in politics in any form.

It was reported in the story that Alhaji Aliko Dangote was to be received by other eminent Kano elders on Tuesday, March 12, 2019  at the Kano International Airport and thereafter proceed to the Emir’s palace to discuss current political situation in Kano State.

Sources revealed that the Nigerian Industrialist, though an indigene of Kano State is primarily committed to developing African economies through his business footprints across 17 African countries and positively touching the lives of people across the continent and beyond.

“It is necessary to properly inform members of the public on this sensitive issue to counter the fake news and set the records straight.

“As a citizen of the country, Alhaji Aliko Dangote is interested in the development and progress of Nigeria and Kano State, but that does not mean that he would dabble into politics.

“He loves his fatherland and his homeland, but he is not the type that would dabble into a terrain that he is not familiar with as he is committed to establishing businesses and enterprises that would promote the economy of the country and provide employment for the teeming Nigerians, some of whom are gainfully employed in his companies and organizations,” said a source.

The source then urged members of the public to disregard the news and treat it as fake, saying that there was no way Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is out of the country on a business trip, would be having meetings with some people in the country at the same time.

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