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We need to have a museum in the remembrance of June 12— Ojudu

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The former Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, says he was always in tears whenever the remembrance of the annulled June 12 election comes to mind.

Ojudu made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the Serie-2 Colloquium in honour of a safety icon, Dr Bamisayo Oluwagbemi, held at De Rembrandt Hotel, Ikeja, on Thursday.

The theme of the posthumous colloquium is “Legacy of Service and People-Safety in Contemporary Nigeria”.

Ojudu said that June 12 was not about Abiola the presumed winner of the election alone, but a day that unites all Nigerians to form a common front for the democracy.

“For June 12, it is what Abiola died for, his wife, Gen. Sani Abacha and other heroes of democracy known and unknown.

“We should realise that those that died have relations and dependents, these people shed tears as well. June 12 is an important day for all Nigerians.

“Now that government has gone ahead to address the issues surrounding that day, people will now have relief for their loved ones that they did not die in vain.

“Just as the President Buhari has said in his speech that government has not forgotten the day, we need to make more sacrifice which will be beyond naming a stadium after him,” he said.

Ojudu said that the significance of June 12 was more of the fact that Nigerians during the elections were more united in purpose to achieve a free and fair election.

“The June 12 anniversary reminds us of the day Nigerians were united in purpose to vote in a free and fair election when they did not mind religion and cultural background.

“It is a day Nigerians believed that they were liberating themselves from the military dictatorships but was terminated by the then president, so, for me, we need to do more.

“We need to have a museum in the remembrance of June 12 which does not lie within the capacity of government alone but individuals as well; we should not be waiting on government.

“The museum will be in remembrance and memorabilia of the day, so that the next generation will have something as a reference point, something we have in advanced countries,” he said.

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POLITICS

Release political prisoners, Secondus tells Buhari

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to release “political prisoners”.

Addressing reporters yesterday on the side-line of a visit to Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri at the Government House in Yola, Secondus said there should be no room for political prisoners in a democracy.

He said: “We ask President Buhari to release political prisoners. It is not done in any political dispensation. What we are seeing today is as if we are in a military era. He should urgently release political prisoners and allow a political atmosphere and a country where there is freedom of speech.”

Urging the media to take the lead in the campaign for free speech, Secondus added: “I want to call on journalists and media managers not to sit on the fence. They can’t just sit and watch the country sliding. They played a major role in the past, removing the country from the hands of the military. They have tempered with some among them. It is time for them to join hands with the good people of Nigeria to stand on the path of truth, on the path of democracy.”

The PDP National Chairman stressed that freedom of conscience must be allowed in a political environment.

He alluded to the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress (AAC) in the last election and Convener of the #RevolutionNowMovement.

Secondus said: “The President must release political prisoners, particularly the presidential candidate of AAC, Sowore.”

The PDP chieftain, who said his party’s leadership was in Adamawa State to commiserate with Fintiri on the death of his father, enjoined the people to support the governor to record high performance.

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POLITICS

BMO to Atiku: you, not Buhari, impoverished Nigerians

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Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar is directly responsible for the pauperisation of millions of Nigerians as head of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said on Tuesday.

It said this contradicted his claims that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration ruined the country.

In a statement by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO noted that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election is again pushing a false narrative to fool undiscerning Nigerians.

“We are not surprised that the former Vice-President has jumped on a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report issued last month to take a swipe at a man he clearly considers as his nemesis.

“The UN body had noted that slightly over 98 million Nigerians were living in multi-dimensional poverty, but, as usual, the PDP presidential candidate did not fully grasp the details before launching an attack on President Buhari,” the statement said.

It added: “The report indicated that about 46 per cent of Nigerians were poor as at today, but Atiku Abubakar needs to be reminded that   60.9 per cent of Nigerians, or 100 million people, were living below the poverty threshold in 2010, and 120 million in 2012, according to the World Bank, which is the body that provides a global poverty headcount.

“Interestingly, the period the country had an exponential spike in the number of people living below $1 a day was during the 16 unbroken years that the former Vice-President’s party held sway in Nigeria.”

BMO also noted that the PDP stalwart created the pathway for Nigeria’s struggle with poverty alongside his then principal, Olusegun Obasanjo, with the less than transparent privatisation he presided over.

“It is not a secret that Alhaji Abubakar was the executor-in-chief of what has gone down in the annals of the nation as a major heist of the nation’s assets, an action that later pitched him against former President Obasanjo.

“He literally sold off several government-owned enterprises for less than their market values to his cronies to strip and cannibalise, and in the process, tens of thousands of workers were denied their livelihood and laid off without benefits. It is also on record that he kept one of the prized assets (Onne Port) to himself.

“Or, does he also have to be reminded of the period when the nation’s Education sector virtually collapsed but that was when he and former President Obasanjo established high profile private secondary and tertiary institutions?

“So, if Atiku is searching for the person who plunged Nigerians into multi-dimensional poverty, he should just look into the nearest mirror, or maybe he could tell us how many people he drove into penury and how many had their pensions paid, even after the terminal date of the Obasanjo administration.

“In case he missed the latest news, the Buhari administration, through its Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), has paid the outstanding severance package of over 1,500 verified eligible former workers and next-of-kin of deceased former workers of Savannah Sugar Company.

“The former Vice-President cannot say he has forgotten that these workers were not paid their benefits when they were disengaged in 2002, after the company was privatised.

“This is just one out of many examples of how President Buhari has been cleaning up the mess left by Atiku and his party’s leaders, who have not shown any form of remorse but are rather prepared to also insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.”

The BMO urged the former Vice-President to heed the advice of his former boss and seek proper forgiveness from Nigerians for the harm he did the country.

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President Buhari to inaugurate ministers August 21

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The 43 ministers-designate are to be inaugurated on Agust 21 by President Muhammadu Buhari, a statement by Babatunde Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Ahead of their inauguration, ministers-designate are scheduled to undergo a two-day induction retreat at the State House Conference Room, Presidential Villa beginning from August 19.

The statement reads: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, invites all ministers-designate, head of the civil service of the federation, federal permanent secretaries and top government functionaries (specifically invited) to a two-day induction retreat to be presided over by his excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the retreat earlier publicised has been rescheduled.”

The objectives of the retreat, he said, include:

  • build a strong platform for synergy and teamwork, sensitise appointees on the status of the implementation of policies, programmes and projects of government from 2015 till date
  • acquaint the appointees with the roadmap for delivery of government’s priorities and next level agenda (2019-2023).
  • deepen the understanding of participants on best practices in conducting government business.

The statement said attendance at both events is mandatory and strictly by invitation.

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