Remarks By Chief Olusegun Obasanjo On The Visit of PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to Abeokuta on Thursday October 11, 2018

1

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar with former President Olusegun Obasanjo exchanging pleasantries in Abeokuta on Thursday after the meeting

October 11, 2018

I am happy to welcome the distinguished leaders of goodwill who have led the PDP Presidential Candidate and my former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, to my humble abode and I welcome the Presidential Candidate himself.

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.

3

Pastor David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) after the meeting of PDP’s presidential flagbearer Atiku Abubakar with former President Obasanjo on Thursday

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.

2

Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Rev. Fr. Matthew Kuka, the host, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, PDP presidential flagbearer, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and Islamic Cleric, Ahmed Gumi (L-R)

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.

God bless you all and God bless Nigeria.

News Bytes – @newsbytesnow

Advertisements

Flash: President Jonathan and Former CBN Gov, Now Emir of Kano Reconcile

SANUSI-AND-GOODLUCK

President Goodluck Jonathan and the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has after several months of strained relationship, mended broken fences…see full story>>>http://newsbytesnow.com/flash-president-jonathan-and-former-cbn-gov-now-emir-of-kano-reconciles/

A Must-Read: Your Excellencies! Prof Wale Omole, His OAU Antecedents & LAUTECH Pro-chancellor Appointment

Prof. Wale Omole

Professor Wale Omole, former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife recently appointed Pro-Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho.

“LET US TARRY A WHILE FOR SOBRE REFLECTIONS, YOUR EXCELLENCIES”

A Petition to The Governors Of The State of Osun and Oyo State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and Gov. Abiola Ajimobi respectively, on the recent appointment of Prof Wale Omole as the Chairman Governing Council of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

Your Excellencies,

I am Adeleke Olanrewaju, a former Public Relations Officer and later President of the Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union. I write to protest your decision appointing the erstwhile Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Prof. Wale Omole as the Chairman Governing Council of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.

Your appointee, Prof. Wale Omole was the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University from the year 1991 until his inglorious removal on the 13th July 1999, over the killing of five students’ leaders of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife. The  students are the then Secretary General of the Student’s Union, George Yemi Iwilade, Ekede Efe, Tunde Oke, Yemi Ajiteru and Eviano Ekelemu. I was the primary target of the attack, but escaped by the whiskers!

It was during the tenure of Prof. Wale Omole that I had the opportunity to serve the students, and by extension the university community, for a period of two and a half years in the above stated capacities.

My protest to your Excellencies, is not unconnected with the performance of your appointee while he was Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, particularly the murder of the five students mentioned above, which till today remained unresolved despite overwhelming evidence pointing to the culprits.

As a first hand witness of all the……..(Read the rest at http://www.newsbytesnow.com or click http://wp.me/p3Cxdt-1Vz )

Note: Kindly subscribe to receive news via email at http://www.newsbytesnow.com We are migrating!

A Must-Read: Truths, Lies And My EFCC Days By Nuhu Ribadu

I read Mahmud Jega’s Daily Trust column a fortnight ago, with the title “Gra-gra versus softly-softly”.  It was composed in his characteristic meticulousness which also touched a nerve that concerns all.  It also involved me, personally. It involved me because the piece was not only about anti-corruption struggle, something I came to be more identified with in the course of my career, but also because I was mentioned, or referenced to, many times in the piece. In the piece, Jega repeated several erroneous notions about my work at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). But to be fair to him, those insinuations were far from being his concoctions.

They have been held for a long time by a section of Nigerians who were largely misinformed about the modus operandi of the EFCC I headed, or about me as a person. I therefore thought it a duty to correct some of the wrong impressions people have about what we did, for the sake of futurity and the reading public.

I must, however, appreciate many of the positive things about our operations and modest achievements at the EFCC highlighted by Jega. Those were things we achieved largely because of our resolve to form a strong and professional agency, from the outset. Strong institutions are at the base of whatever things to come out of a system. This was a major focus for us. There were deliberate steps at capacity building that would prove extremely advantageous for the work we did in the five years I was there. I use “we” because the work was never a one man job. EFCC was beyond Nuhu Ribadu, or any individual for that matter. It was a team work. The patriotism, esprit de corp and professionalism exhibited by the team were the secrets for our successes.

But as I always insist, success of anti-graft efforts is hinged largely at the leadership level, especially the political leadership. We were lucky to have the cooperation of the leadership at the time. To the credit of President Olusegun Obasanjo, he let us do the work even at a time we were going against some elements that were extremely close to him. It is therefore amusing when I hear people these days charge me of “selective justice”.

Well, perhaps those charges could be passed as the example of what Wole Soyinka called ” our collective amnesia”. Take a comprehensive list of high profile people EFCC brought to justice, majority of them were people that could be correctly tagged “Obasanjo  boys”. Even though some of them suddenly turn around the moment they found themselves in trouble with the law, as a way of buying public sympathy.

Unfortunately, many people don’t strive to stretch the facts to reveal this truth. One largely neglected pillar of our work was the Judiciary and the criminal justice system generally. We had the support of other people in the justice administration chain. Without the will of incorruptible judges and other law enforcement officials, all our modest effort would have come to nought.

However, the main thesis of Jega’s essay, which was also made clear from the title, was that the EFCC I headed was something of a gra-gra agency – a body that is peopled with exuberant officers eager to arrest suspects in order to hit the headlines. This is a flawed assessment of it. It is also something that people come to believe, largely on account of the agency’s portrayal in the media. EFCC was, and is, never about arrests. In fact, arrest was just a fraction of the entire work. But because arrest is what makes the news, the myriad of steps and processes we follow before and after arrest are mostly overlooked.

Every step in administration of a corruption case is carefully outlined and has its rigours and identified procedures. A lot of work would have to be put in from the point of accepting a petition or starting a case, analysing it, identifying the key issues and persons, investigation, sourcing documents, obtaining arrest and search warrants, preparing charges and then arrest. We tried to work on each of the steps in a very meticulous manner. It is a little surprise therefore, that throughout my period there was only one person who took me to court challenging his detention by the EFCC. He also lost the suit. The reason was simple: we followed the law and therefore  had to do our homework before we pick anybody. Similarly, to point to the meticulous nature of what we did, it is in record that the EFCC recorded a world record of over 90 percent convictions on all the cases we prosecuted. I don’t think gra-gra would yield these results.

It is also incorrect to say that EFCC didn’t pursue preventive measures as regards corruption. We fully appreciated the fact that the twin strategy of prevention and sanctioning must always go together in law enforcement in general and fighting corruption in particular. The preventive measures of the EFCC were often overshadowed by the news selling headlines  about arrests but EFCC took a lot of preventive measures. Major ones include the establishment of the Training and Research Institute that has been carrying out studies on corruption prevention in both public and private sectors. The institute is in the lead in training of detectives, public servants, bankers and so many others in Nigeria today. The establishment of Financial Intelligence Unit is one of the most important steps in preventive measures of controlling corruption globally, EFCC has done it for Nigeria.

EFCC also worked to establish international networks and linkages, notably with the United Nations, FBI, Metropolitan Police, German BKA, and West African anti-money-laundering group, GIABA, among others.

We also worked closely with many departments of governments, civil society groups, religious organisations and schools, on public enlightenment to stem corruption in the society. EFCC also engaged the National Assembly to amend laws, the judiciary on corruption prevention and justice delivery, the customs, the FIRS, NPA and many states and local governments. In fact, many of the arrests made by EFCC arose out of whistle-blowing efforts through these mechanisms. By the way, arrests and prosecutions are also very powerful tools of preventive measures, because they do send a strong message that one cannot get away with corrupt practice, no matter how highly placed.

The article also mentioned the impeachment of three governors allegedly influenced by the EFCC. I try as much as possible not to be personal by commenting on such cases but the fact that it is suddenly gaining currency, makes it only sensible to clear the misconceptions.

The  EFCC did not and could not have impeached any governor or force legislators to do so. It will be unfair to deny the legislators the credit of doing their constitutional responsibilities. The EFCC did its part of the responsibility of investigation and submission of findings to the various State Assemblies all over the nation. Some state assemblies had cause to act on such reports, others did not. But we certainly did not force anyone to take any action. My understanding of events then was that two out of the three former governors got  arrested in London with millions of Pounds. They absconded from justice there and that triggered chain of events that culminated in their lost of political control of their states and thereby resulted in their impeachments. The former governor of Ekiti state had his own local issues. He lost out with the elite of the state, his political party, and other stakeholders. His ordeals had nothing to do with the EFCC. In all the cases, it was obvious that the governors lost out with their political parties and therefore the assembly members were more than willing to act on the thorough investigation reports of the EFCC. The reports were the extent of EFCC’s involvement in those impeachments.

As a proviso, I want to state that all the actions we took while at the EFCC were taken with the purest of intentions and based on available facts before us at the time. But it is understandable that in everything we do as humans, we are bound to be misunderstood. However, fear of being misunderstood should not be an excuse for not moving to salvage our country. As citizens, we all have the civic responsibility of playing our part in healing the country of its myriad of maladies and guiding it to the coast of prosperity.

– Nuhu Ribadu (Twitter – @NuhuRibadu) is the former EFCC chairman

A Must-Read: Now That Patience Jonathan Is ‘Jesus Christ’ By Wale Odunsi

The lingering political crisis in oil-rich Rivers State, South-Southern Nigeria, is indeed a source of apprehension to every lover of democracy. Aside the fact that the electorates are the ones suffering the consequence of the standoff, parties involved in the tussle have by their actions, further adulterated whatever is left of decorum and decency. At the moment, Rivers is a place where only the fittest can survive; chicken-hearted fellows have relocated either to Abuja or neighboring states, even as some others have taken two or three steps backward to avoid getting hit in the crossfire.

Globally, disagreement between those saddled with the responsibility of leading the people is a norm, nonetheless, there’s always a convincing motive for such.  In this clime, the case is mostly the reverse. Taking a critical look at it, why is ours different? Why do officials become worst enemies from best of friends, albeit on issues that wouldn’t positively add to us as an entity? Is there an end in sight to the much-talked about conflict in the land? Time, like they say will tell, but the same time has before now opened our eyes to a few things. I mean, certain events hitherto, gave us inklings to what we are witnessing these days in Rivers. Likening the entanglement to the proverbial instance, three prominent individuals constitute the hands of Esau, they point the way, during which their foot soldiers do the job of speaking in Jacob’s voice.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan:

Fondly called GEJ, he has been the topmost Oga at the Top for more than three years, two of which are a fraction of his elected tenure. His grouse with Rivers helmsman, Rotimi Amaechi, came to the fore about a year ago. The governor as chair of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, fervently disagreed with the Federal Government on issues including delay in disbursement of statutory monthly allocation, management of Sovereign Wealth Fund, creation of State Police among others.

Also, the President feels that the purported ambition of Amaechi is a threat to his, bearing in mind that the entry of another Southerner into a presidential (or vice presidential) contest may affect his chances. Come 2015, the doctorate degree holder in Zoology would not want split votes, either at the primaries or election proper.

Ezenbunwo Nyesom Wike:

He is the Minister of State for Education, a post he attained by the man he now perceives as an enemy.  Wike hails from Ikwerre ethnic group, same as the incumbent Governor, who appointed him Chief of Staff. Wike desires to be called ‘His Excellency’, and though he has a right to run, his erstwhile boss had stated that after eight years on throne (two years from now), having another Ikwerre man replace him was unfair to other groups. The statement, which dealt a severe blow to Wike’s aspiration, is today deemed one of the reasons behind the ongoing skirmish. Not only did the Minister ensure that a duly constituted state People’s Democratic Party executive committee was ejected, he supervised the installation of his loyalists, apparently to position himself in the driver’s seat of PDP activities in the state.

Patience Faka Jonathan:

The fact that she was born in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers capital naturally suggests that she is interested in what goes on there. A permanent secretary in her native Bayelsa state, analysts view her grip in the political affairs of her state of origin, as a factor that makes it difficult to reach a truce that, in truth, is improbable.

However, the power she wields has grown skyscraping that she is now regarded as the liberator of Homo sapiens. Initially, many, including myself regarded her as an emperor; in fact, as far back as last year May, I referred to Mrs. Jonathan as “Her Imperial Majesty” in an article. That obviously was an understatement when compared to the recent re-baptismal by a legislator.

Honorable Evans Bipi, representing Ogu/Bolo constituency is the coordinator of the anti-Amaechi lawmakers in Rivers State House of Assembly. On the day he tried to lead a small band to overthrow a Speaker supported by over two dozen majority, he admitted that he is spearheading the removal of the governor for his audacity to “insult” the President’s wife. While being held by the state’s Deputy Governor, Engr. Tele Ikuru, Bipi said:

“I want to sacrifice myself for Rivers people; I am fighting for justice. Why must governor came (come) and supervise (the) beating on my colleagues? Why must he be insulting the President, why must he be insulting my mother, my Jesus Christ on earth? I can’t take this!” he declared.

In the light of the above, the gait of the Madam First Lady is now fully understood. Who wouldn’t lock down federating states for days, when some people regard him/her as Jesus Christ?
Who wouldn’t breach protocol and alight from an airplane ahead of a President of 170 million people, when some people openly equate him/her with Jesus Christ?

Who wouldn’t request an amount that could solve the demands by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to construct a building, when Jesus Christ is his/her mate? Who wouldn’t be accorded the reverence conferred on Jesus Christ, when the spouse watches helplessly while unwarranted prerogative is brandished? Or does Mrs. hit Mr. behind closed doors? Even if my wife made 1000 sacrifices for me to attain a great position whatsoever, that doesn’t permit her to bully those I swore to serve.

To my media friends and others, the next time you people typeset Mrs. Jonathan’s name without prefixing ‘Jesus Christ’, I will sue…for billions of Naira!

– Wale Odunsi (Twitter – @WaleOdunsi) writes from Abuja, Nigeria.

Flash: Mandela Not In A Vegetative State, South African Government Maintains

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela is in critical but stable condition, the South African government reiterated on Friday, reacting swiftly to reports and court documents that suggests that the ailing leader and global peace icon is in a vegetative state.

Graca Machel, Mandela’s wife had reportedly maintained to a close friend, Denis Goldberg who visited the Pretoria hospital that “there is no sign of a general organ collapse and therefore they do not recommend switching off the machine because there’s every chance that his health will improve”

Below is the statement according to the Presidency:

———————————————————————————————————-

The Presidency has noted media reports about the condition of former President Nelson Mandela and would like to make a clarification.

Former President Mandela has been and remains under the care of a multi-disciplinary panel of South African medical experts drawn from the South Africa Military Health Services, the public sector, the universities and the private sector. Under this panel a team of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health professionals attend to Madiba on a 24 hour basis.

We confirm our earlier statement released this afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical, but stable condition. The doctors deny that the former President is in a vegetative state.
———————————————————————————————————-
Leave your comment here

Flash: Egypt Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Ousts President Morsi

Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted president Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday and declared the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court caretaker leader.

Sisi, the defence minister in Morsi’s government, also announced a freezing of the Islamist-drafted constitution and early presidential elections.

He said a “strong and capable” government would be formed and would have “full capacities”.

The army chief said a panel would be formed to look into amendments to the constitution and a law would be drafted to regulate parliamentary elections.

After the announcement, delivered by Sisi in a televised address, Morsi denounced the move as an “illegal” and urged Egyptians to “peacefully resist the coup as he himself will do”, a senior aide said.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said the roadmap announced by Sisi “meets the the people’s demands for early presidential elections”.

The army’s dramatic move comes after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to call for his ouster, accusing him of betraying the 2011 revolution that brought him to power.

Courtesy AFP