Politics

Buhari, Gowon, Obasanjo, Mahama, others laud Jonathan

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•Ex-President: way out of vote-buying

Former President Goodluck Jonathan’s book presentation organised to mark his 61st birthday yesterday turned into a spectacular praise galore.

Eminent citizens, including President Muhammadu Buhari, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Abdusalam Abubakar (rtd), Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) and retired Justice Alfa Belgore described him as a great patriot and true democrat for conceding the 2015 presidential elections.

At the presentation of the book, “My Transition Hours” were  foreign leaders including former Ghanaian President Mr. John Mahama, former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to West Africa, Mr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas poured encomiums on Jonathan.

Others including Senegalese President Macky Sall, Muhammadou Issoufou (Niger Republic), Faure Gnassingbe (Togo) and Ibrahim Keita (Mali) expressed excellent attestations about Jonathan in a recorded video presentation.

Jonathan also advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on how to prevent vote buying in next year’s elections.

Buhari on Tuesday hailed Jonathan for voluntarily conceding defeat

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the president said Jonathan’s act of courage had made him a patriotic leader and earned popularity among Africans and other leaders.

“You are a leader of the past, of now and of the future; you will rise again; I wish you the best you wish yourself,” Buhari said, urging Nigeians

He said Nigerians should eschew bitterness, bigotry, hate speech and “promote Nigeria for us and generation yet unborn.”

Obasanjo who was Chairman of the occasion, also hailed Jonathan’s statesmanship disposition and urged him to remain committed to his residual responsibility of continuous service to his immediate community, Nigeria, Africa and beyond.

Gowon also thanked Jonathan for conceding defeat in 2015 to save Nigeria from impending war and consolidating democracy not only in the country but the entire African continent.

He applauded Jonathan for his role in fostering unity, peace, progress and strengthening democratic rule in Africa, saying “Goodluck Jonathan is a good man and when the history of democracy in Africa is written, his name will be etched in gold”.

Gen. Abdulsalami said Nigeria was not at war today because of the decision by Jonathan to concede defeat during the 2015 general elections.

” We cannot thank you enough for the peace we are having in the country today; for the peaceful transition we had when you freely and voluntarily conceded defeat.

” By your decision, you have shown that you love your country more than you love power,” he said.

Former President Mahama described Jonathan as more of an academic who found himself in politics.

Mahama said Jonathan approached leadership in a relaxed manner and that was why he left a good legacy worthy of emulation by all leaders in Africa.

Koroma said:“I will not stop thanking Nigeria and its former President for your support for the Mano River Unon, for your support to EOWAS but I will not stop challenging Nigeria that this country hs responsibility toprovide great leadership for all of us to follow.

Senate President Bukola Saraki,said the act of accepting defeat by Jonathan helped to stabilise the already charged political atmosphere during the elections.

He recalled how Jonathan used to vow that his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian and called on political leaders to toe the same path and should not look at elections as declaration of war as the 2019 polls approached.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said Nigeria was fortunate to have a selfless leader like the former President.

He said that the decision of Jonathan to concede defeat in 2015 had helped to consolidate democracy not only in Nigeria but on the African continent.

Abubakar also said that Nigerians and Africans would continue to remain grateful to Jonathan for upholding national interest at the expense of his personal interest.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described Jonathan as a pillar of contemporary Nigeria democracy.

A statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbodiyan said “In all, President Jonathan amply demonstrated that the true essence of leadership and statesmanship is the application of the virtues, opportunities and authority therein for the good of others rather than self, and for that our party and indeed Nigerians celebrate him.

“The PDP therefore joins family members, associates and well-wishers at large in celebrating Dr. Jonathan as he attains this milestone and prays that God will continue to keep him in good health and sound mind as he gives himself to the service of our dear fatherland”.

Jonathan said vote buying had become scandalous and placed the country in a bad light.

He said voter inducement through engraving of pictures of candidates and political party logos on gift items during elections was another rampant strategy of vote buying.

He advised INEC to borrow a leaf from other African countries and create polling centres in public places such as schools where classrooms were used for voting to make it difficult for vote buying.

Hundreds of prominent Nigerians including APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, former Sokoto State Governor Attahiru Bafara, former-Vice President Namadi Sambo, ex-PDP governors, ministers and many members of the political class, traditional rulers and members of the diplomatic corps graced the presentation

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Politics

Atiku’s Lawyer Not Licensed To Practise in Nigeria – INEC Tells Tribunal

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were not signed by a legal practitioner licensed to practise in Nigeria.

Atiku had filed a petition before the presidential election tribunal to challenge the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku’s legal team is led by Livy Uzoukwu with 31 other lawyers.

In its response as the first respondent in the case, INEC said the petition was not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The electoral body said the results Atiku claimed to have polled were “invented” solely for the petition, adding that it never transmitted results electronically.

“That the Petitioner’s Petition, List of Witnesses and List of Documents as filed are incompetent and ought to be struck out as same were not signed by a legal practitioner enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria and licensed to practise in Nigeria,” read INEC’s response to Atiku’s petition.

The electoral umpire, however, prayed that the petition be struck out for lack of competence.

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If my helicopter crash was fatal, Kogi State government would have been in trouble – VP Osinbajo says

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said if the February 2 helicopter crash that occurred in Kogi State was fatal, there would have been trouble, even for the Kogi State government.  

He spoke on Sunday during a special thanksgiving service to celebrate the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC), held at the old Banquet Hall of the State House. He said if those on board had died, there would have been too many assumptions on the circumstances surrounding the incident.  

He thanked God for his life and that of others who were also on board. In his words;

“On February 2nd, God gave me reason to know that but for His grace we would have been consumed, when our helicopter crashed. When the crash occurred, for a moment there was complete silence. For a second, it occurred to me that if we had died, that is what it would have been complete silence. But we all got out without a scratch. God delivered us.  

“God also delivered those in charge of our security; even the government of Kogi State would also have been in trouble. We give God all the glory. I pray God will also be kind to you all also, that you will never be lacking in support, care and genuine prayers. God is surely worthy to be praised. I have no special qualifications to be here but exaltation comes from God.”

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Five best friends who were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings are all now state senators

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Five longtime female friends who were bridesmaids in each other’s weddings have each won their state Senate races in this year’s midterm elections in the United States.

The women who are all Democratic candidates — Tammy Story, Faith Winter, Jessie Danielson, Brittany Pettersen and Kerry Donovan — all swept their state Senate in Colorado, People reported Wednesday.

The women, who call themselves “The Fab Five,” helped flip the state Senate to a Democratic majority for the first time in five years, the publication noted.

Danielson, who currently serves as member of the Colorado House of Representatives, told the magazine:

We were all in it together.

Each of the women said they helped the others face negative criticism and slander during their campaigns.

Winter said:

Through the campaign, the five of us were very supportive of each other. We had several text chains where we would check in with one another and see how we were doing.

If a particularly bad ad or piece of mail came out, we would reassure each other on the text chain, ‘Have you seen the mail? It’s so awful, how are you doing?’

The friends are among the more than 2,000 women who are gearing up to take office in state legislatures nationwide next year.


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