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Supplementary elections: ‘I believe in people’s will’ –Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he believes in the will of the people and cannot put pressure on voters to elect leaders they do not like.

Buhari’s statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, dismissed insinuations that he is forcing voters to elect candidates other than those they prefer during the supplementary elections scheduled for 17 states on March 23.

The President said at no time did he give instructions that the electorate should vote particular candidates.

The President assured Nigerians that he was ready to work with elected representatives of the people, regardless of party platforms on which they were elected.

President Buhari said he would work in the best interest of the country and democracy.

President Buhari, who thanked voters for re-electing him for a second term in office, said he would never forget their sacrifices in defying harsh weather conditions to vote for him.

He said: ‘‘I was deeply overwhelmed by your show of incredible confidence in me, and I will never let you down. Thank you for your sincere show of support for me.’’

President Buhari, however, appealed to voters not to get tired of coming out to vote in the supplementary elections, adding, ‘‘these elections are no less important than others before them.’’

He appealed to voters to vote for the candidates they believe would deliver on promises because, “it is your constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights.”

President Buhari also called on INEC and security agencies to ensure that the supplementary elections are conducted peacefully and in accordance with the law and constitution.

He, therefore, called on the electorate to come out en masse and participate in the supplementary elections.

(NAN)

PDP threatens to stop Buhari’s inauguration

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the court order stopping the collation of pending results of the Bauchi governorship election.

The party described the order as unconstitutional, and threatened to obtain similar ones stopping the swearing in of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “particularly President Muhammadu Buhari”.

A federal high court in Abuja had given an ex parte order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.

The court gave the order while ruling on a suit filed by Mohammed Abubakar, governor of the state who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Reacting via a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, accused the APC of arm-twisting the judiciary over the election which he claims his party has won.

“Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar ex parte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” Ologbondiyan said.

“The party alerts that such development, which is akin to the infamous order that derailed the 1993 democratic process, is part of the plot by the APC and certain compromised elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to escalate crisis and derail our electoral process.

“The power to collate, suspend collation and or to reverse such decision based on obvious circumstances as the case in Bauchi is clearly within the domain of INEC.”

The party added that until collation is completed and results declared, “no one can question the constitutional powers of INEC.”

“Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar exparte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” it said.

“It is clear that collation of result is part of the electoral process and that INEC cannot act on a purported exparte order to jettison its independence and halt the collation of results, which is a key component of its statutory electoral duty.

“Our party therefore charges INEC to be properly guided by the law in this regard.”

JUST IN: Buhari rejects five more National Assembly bills

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected five bills transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

The bills are Nigerian Film Commission bill, Immigration Amendment bill 2018, Climate change bill 2018, Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners bill 2018 and Digital Rights and Freedom bill.

The president’s decision to withhold assent to the bills was conveyed via a letter read during plenary on Wednesday.

The president’s reasons for not assenting to the bills, as contained in the letter, range from conflicting and duplication of duties of existing government agencies, their destructive nature as well as lack of clarity.

This comes a day after he rejected two bills passed by the legislative chamber . The development brings to 13, the number of bills Buhari has rejected in 2019.

PHOTOS: Lagos Gov-elect Sanwo-Olu, deputy Hamzat visit Buhari

The Governor-Elect of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; and his deputy-elect, Obafemi Hamzat, have visited President Muhammadu Buhari.

The duo visited the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.

See the photographs, courtesy, Presidential aide on New Media, Bashir Ahmad:

L-R: Sanwo-Olu, Buhari and Hamzat

Buhari runs a govt with no direction – Financial Times

The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.

The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.

The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.

It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.

“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”

FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.

The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.

FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.

“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.”

PDP to Buhari: Atiku will soon reclaim his stolen mandate

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)  has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop “gloating” as Atiku Abubakar, its candidate in the presidential election, will soon reclaim his “stolen mandate” at the tribunal.

The party was reacting to Buhari’s statement that the PDP still had questions to answer on how it spent the huge resources that accrued to the country from oil sales between 1999 and 2015.

In a statement on Friday, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said it is Buhari that has some explanations to give concerning how some monies were spent under him.

According to the statement, Buhari’s “renewed attack” on the PDP is a ploy by the president to “divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections.”

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges President Muhammadu Buhari to stop gloating and showboating on Nigerians with the stolen 2019 Presidential mandate, as the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar would soon retrieve it from him at the tribunal,” the opposition party said.

“The party further describes President Buhari’s renewed attack and blame game on PDP administrations as a lame attempt to divert public attention from the overwhelming evidence that he rigged the elections, as well as from the plots by his Presidency to obstruct the clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, from going to the tribunal to reclaim the mandate freely given to him by Nigerians.

“It indeed speaks volumes that President Buhari, in his claimed integrity and anti-corruption stance, is grandstanding over the violent rigging of the elections and his attempt to foist himself into a second term in office on the pedestal of stolen votes.

“President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) should know that the PDP and Nigerians are focused and will not be distracted by any sort of blackmail in the pursuit of the mandate and we are confident that our justices will never allow an illegitimate government to sit over the affairs of our dear nation.

“Moreover, if anybody has a question to answer on the administration of the nation’s resources, it is President Buhari, who has not been able to offer any explanation on the looting of over N14 trillion from revenue generating agencies in a space of three years under his direct supervision.

“We ask; was it the PDP that siphoned over N9 trillion, through underhand contracts, as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, in the same sector President Buhari directly supervises as Minister of Petroleum Resources?

“President Buhari must note that Nigerians are no longer interested in his incompetence and blame game and this is the very reason they voted massively against him on February 23. He should therefore end his diversionary tactics and get ready to meet the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in court.”

Atiku had challenged the outcome of the election which he said was rigged to favour Buhari in court.

On Thursday, a court of appeal ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow him access to all the electoral materials used during the process.

PDP still has to explain irresponsible expenditure, Buhari insists

President Muhammadu Buhari has told the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it still owes Nigerians explanation on how it spent the huge resources that accrued to the country from oil sales between 1999 and 2014.

The president spoke while addressing the leadership of organised labour which came to felicitate with him on his electoral victory at state house, Abuja on Thursday.

Buhari said his government met a country with dilapidated infrastructure all round in 2015.

He also wondered what the previous ruling party did with the country’s earnings from oil, which reached a peak while in power for 16 years.

“PDP has not successfully explained to the country what they did with the money,” President Buhari said.

“There were no roads, no rail, no power. They said they spent $16 billion on power, but where is the power? The irresponsible expenditure of that period has not been explained, and Nigerians deserve an answer on that terrible mismanagement of the country.”

Buhari thanked the organised labour “for the support and patriotism you have shown during the presidential election, especially after the unexpected postponement.”

“You and your members stepped in to support willing Nigerians to exercise their civic and patriotic rights to vote. You intervened as patriots, and not for political, religious or tribal purposes. You simply did the right thing during a difficult period for many of us,” he added.

On the way forward for Nigeria, the president said his administration would continue pushing the “change agenda” and remain focused on our core pillars of security, economy, and fight against corruption.”

Buhari also called on the organised labour to work with his government to make the country peaceful, prosperous, and corruption free.

Victory dinner: Buhari hosts officials of APC Campaign Council

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday night hosted members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) to a victory dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Those in attendance at the dinner included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, some ministers and presidential aides.

The president had on February 27 hosted members of the PCC Situation Room to a similar victory dinner at the State House.

Members of PCC  headed by the president and co-chaired by APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who were inaugurated in January,  formulated and took charge of the 2019 APC Presidential Campaign Policy.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on February 27 declared the president winner of the 2019 presidential election  held on February 23.

Buhari was declared re-elected having polled 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 states, to defeat 72 other candidates,  including Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 11, 255,978 votes.

Atiku won in 17 states and the FCT  to occupy the second position.

Buhari vows to reclaim ‘stolen mandate’ in Akwa Ibom

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, said that the votes of the Akwa Ibom people allegedly stolen during the Presidential and National Assembly elections of February 23,  would be reclaimed.

Buhari said this during a town hall meeting held in Uyo to thank the people of the state for casting their votes for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the elections.

Buhari, who was represented by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, encouraged the people to defend their votes during the coming Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

He decried the circumstances, under which Senator Godswill Akpabio lost his re-election into the senate in spite of his popularity across the state.

He alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) robbed him and the party of victory.

He assured Akwa Ibom people that all the wrongdoings during the Presidential and National Assembly elections would be addressed.

“What happened on the 23rd of February was robbery. The votes of the people were stolen, but we are not deterred.

“The president sent me to thank you today. We are going to make sure that everything that was stolen on the February 23 would be restored.
“It is not possible that Sen. Godwill Akpabio lost. We are in no doubt that Senator Akpabio is the elected senator of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.

“I and Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the party have been in the opposition for long and we cannot be defeated anymore.

“Everyone of you should go out to vote on Saturday and defend your votes, we cannot be cheated; not only you but tell your neighbours to vote for Obong Nsima Ekere and all APC candidates.

“Wait for your votes to be counted. It is the duty of the Federal Government to provide security and we will do that. We will recover every one of our votes, ” he said.

The National Chairman of APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said the party was not in the state to lament but to appreciate the people of the state for doing their jobs and voting President Buhari and Prof. Osinbajo.

He alleged that INEC colluded with some of the electoral officers to deny the state of its electoral victory on Feb 23, even though the people voted for APC.

“We have not come here to lament that our mandate was on February 23. We have come to thank you that you voted for President Buhari, and all members of the party. You did your job but some armed robbers in INEC stole your votes.
“You think that those who stole your votes will have peace? We have come to reaffirm our commitment with democracy.

“We have come to affirm that no robber will go unpunished, but when an electoral umpire is corrupt and collude with the opposition, we have the witnesses and we have lawyers to deal with that.

“On Saturday we are not going to wait for them to steal out votes. We call on Akwa Ibom people to protect their votes. We must maintain our sanity even in this hour of provocation.

“Those who committed democratic abortion would be brought to book,” Oshiomhole said.

The APC governorship candidate in the state, Mr Nsima Ekere, encouraged the people not to be deterred by the Feb. 23 elections, but to go out and vote during the March 9 elections, saying the party was sure of victory.

He said that the people of the state were in need of change, as demonstrated by him during his  campaign across the 31 local government areas of the state.
He assured the president that after March 9 elections, Akwa Ibom would not be in the opposition but would be reunited with the centre

“Thank you for what you are doing for APC. The people voted for you, that vote is a re-validation of what the people want. You put Nigeria’s economy back on track.

“We are here because we have faith in you and Mr President, the opposition and INEC have no choice than to give us back our mandate.

“Whosoever shall attempt to work against the collective will of Akwa Ibom people, we shall collectively resist.
“We send a message to the electoral umpire and the other parties that they must respect the votes of the people, every vote must count. Akwa Ibom people love APC, ” Ekere said.

Atiku didn’t make any demands from Buhari, says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate in the recently concluded poll, is not making any demands from President Muhammadu Buhari.

Abubakar had rejected the outcome of the election, saying he would challenge it in court.

Subsequently, the National Peace Committee chaired by Abdulsalami Abubakar, after meeting with him, said he made some demands from the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government.

He was reported to have demanded: unfreezing of bank accounts belonging to opposition politicians; demilitarisation of subsequent elections; accreditation of voters before voting in subsequent elections; access to the backend server of INEC by all parties who partook in the election.

However, the PDP, in a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, its spokesman, said Abubakar never made such demands, nor will he accept any conditions over the election “he clearly won”.

“The PDP states categorically, without mincing words, that Atiku Abubakar had not, and will never, make or accept any condition from President Buhari regarding the rigged February 23, 2019 Presidential election, which he (Atiku) clearly won,” the opposition party said.

“The Buhari Presidency and the APC know that their electoral robbery cannot stand before any noble justices and are now attempting to use all sorts of blackmail and shenanigans to derail the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the stolen mandate at the tribunal.

“However, let it be known to President Buhari and the APC that Atiku Abubakar and the PDP are standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in this collective determination to take back the stolen mandate and we are not ready for any form of negotiation with anybody on this matter.

“Our party and candidate remain committed to the huge sacrifices made by Nigerians in ensuring our collective victory as delivered at the polling units across the country; we are mindful of the pains that Nigerians are passing through since the subversion of their will at the polls; we are sensitive to the expectations that millions of compatriots place on our shoulders in this struggle and we will never let Nigerians down.”

The party maintained its stance to seek redress in court.

It added that it remains undaunted in its resolve to pursue its mandate till Abubakar is declared president.

“We have all the authentic results from all the polling units as well as forensic evidence of manipulations by the APC and INEC. We will bare them all at the tribunal and the court will give justice to Nigerians,” it said.

“On that note, the PDP states unequivocally that nothing will change its resolve to pursue this despicable electoral fraud, unknown in our political history, to its end.

“We shall devote every energy necessary to reclaim our mandate and have Atiku Abubakar declared President, in line with the will of the people as delivered at the polling units on February 23, 2019.

“Anything short of this is not acceptable and no amount of false reports, connivance, contrivance, intimidation, harassment and fresh attacks on our leaders, including the Director General of our Presidential Campaign, Senate President Bukola Saraki, whose residence was besieged by security agents last night, can alter this resolve.”

IBB congratulates Buhari, asks Atiku to work with him

Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the polls, appealing to Atiku Abubakar to work with him for the development of the country.

In a congratulatory message to Buhari on Saturday, IBB asked Buhari and Atiku to “close ranks and move the country forward”.

“I call on the former Vice–President Atiku Abubakar to close ranks and work with the winner of the election in an objective and constructive manner so that democracy will continue to thrive in our country at this crucial period of renaissance,” he said.

“I urge him also to endeavour and prevail on his admirers to eschew bitterness and violence. They must be prevailed upon to understand that politics is a game in which there must be only one winner.”

The former military president charged Buhari to “heal the wounds of the heated campaign exchanges by embracing those who contested alongside with him.

“The President must resist the temptation to see them as enemies; not even opponents, but fellow compatriots who merely disagreed with him on how best to move our country forward,” he said.

“Now that the President has won his reelection bid, he should confront with renewed vigour the most urgent problem confronting Nigeria.

“The Boko Haram insurgency remains a threat to many Nigerians particularly in the North East sub region, while the twin evils of kidnapping and armed robbery/armed banditry also remains a major national menace.

“The president must pay priority attention to these security issues.”

Babangida congratulated Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the election and asked that same should be replicated in state elections next Saturday.

The next four years will be tough, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says that the next four years will be tough.

Buhari was speaking on Friday when he had audience with members of the federal executive council (FEC) who came to congratulate him on his victory during the last election.

The president also said he proved two points when he embarked on extensive campaigns across the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

He said he proved his medical fitness to skeptics by ensuring that no state was left out during the campaigns.

The president said his ability to campaign sometimes in two states per day during the period, showed that he is sound and ready to continue in leading Nigeria for the next four years.

He said he would continues with his three point agenda of fighting insecurity, corruption and fixing the economy.

Buhari while expressing his gratitude to God that the agriculture sector had helped a lot in strengthening the economy with the help of soft loans to farmers, noting that agricultural output has been rewarding because of the steady rainy seasons.

According to him, the investment in agriculture would have been a futile effort if there had been no good steady rainy seasons.

“First, I am pleased that members of the federal executive council (FEC) are collectively meeting here today where we play our weekly role to congratulate me. I think if I have lost the election, I don’t know how many of them will be here,” he said.

“Secondly, during the campaigns, I tried to visit the 36 states and Abuja, firstly, to prove to the other side that I’m fit. I tried to cover two states per day and secondly, not to make anybody feel that any state had been left out.

So, I thank God that He gave me the strength and health to see through my plan and I think it is appreciated.

“My last lap of four years , I think it is going to be tough because people are being forgetful. That was why wherever I went, I reminded them of the campaign promise of our party, particularly security, as I kept on saying that you have to secure the country well and institutions. If you don’t secure the country, you can’t achieve anything no matter how many programmes you put in place.

“Secondly, on the economy, unemployment is a problem of this country as a whole. More than 60 per cent of the youths, they need to be kept busy. I realised that God heard our prayers. It had been two good rainy seasons and we had the foresight to get the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Central Bank to try and give soft loans to farmers so that everybody that is educated and looking for white collar jobs and cannot get it, can go back to the land. We are lucky the rainy season had been good.”

He praised the governors of Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, and Ebonyi, whom he said had played notable roles in stopping rice importation through large scale rice cultivation.

“I think we are also lucky that through the governors in some states like Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi, Jigawa, Ebonyi, in particular, we don’t import rice but we have savings from rice in terms of foreign exchange which we put in the budget and use for infrastructure,” he said.

“That is a very good thing because the oil sector is becoming very difficult to predict. It is becoming unpredictable and depending on it makes us materially insecure but thank goodness, agriculture has come to save it and people are appreciating it.”

Saudi King, Emir of Qatar congratulate Buhari…Russia hails transparent elections

 

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election for a new presidential term.

In a telephone conversation with President Buhari on Thursday, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques wished the Nigerian President success and good health in his second term in office.

The Saudi King extended good wishes of steady progress and prosperity to the government and people of Nigeria.

President Buhari expressed appreciation to the King, affirming his readiness to enhance aspects of cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Also, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable of congratulations to President Buhari on his re-election, wishing the Nigerian President success and the Nigerian people further development and progress.

Russian Ambassador to Nigeria, Alexey Shebarshin, also sent a congratulatory message, saying:

”I am honoured to extend my congratulations to you personally, Mr President, and the people of Nigeria on the successful conduct of free, transparent and credible Presidential and National Assembly elections on February 23, 2019, that will shape the destiny of this nation for the upcoming four years and beyond.”

While describing the elections as yet another substantial step towards further strengthening of Nigerian democracy, the Russian Ambassador wrote: ” It is my conviction that your decisive victory will pave the way for yet stronger and more prosperous Nigeria that you will be able to deliver on the people’s mandate. ”

The Russian Ambassador expressed the hope that the Nigerian President’s second term in office will be associated with further enhancements of bilateral cooperation and closer contacts between the two countries.

UK Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, said: ”I offer my congratulations to President Buhari on securing a second term as the Nigerian President. The UK is a long-standing friend and partner of Nigeria and the Nigerian people, and a stable and prosperous Nigeria benefits Africa and the world. ”

French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in its congratulatory message said:

”France congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election on February 23. It will continue to stand by Nigeria and to provide its full support for the implementation of the country’s priorities, especially economic diversification, job creation, counter terrorism and the fight against corruption.”

President Buhari has also received congratulatory messages from Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

 

Buhari likely to dissolve cabinet before May 29 – Adesina

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, says President Muhammadu Buhari will likely dissolve his cabinet before May 29.

After assuming office in 2015, it took Buhari six months to unveil his cabinet and this attracted widespread criticisms.

But speaking on Arise Television on Thursday, Adesina said the president will not spend a long time before choosing his cabinet members.

He said the president had already promised to do so as soon as possible.

When asked if the president would reshuffle his cabinet, Adesina said: “One thing about governance is that the first mandate was for four years.

“That mandate lapses on May 29, and shortly before May 29, the president is likely going to officially dissolve his government. That is the way it is usually done.

“He says thank you to everybody that he has called to work with him and then he dissolves that government officially.

“Then when he is inaugurated for a second time, he now reconstitute a government; he appoints his personal aides, he forms his cabinet, he appoints other people to fill other positions.”

Buhari was declared winner of the presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday.

The president, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), won a second term bid after polling over 15 million votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured over 12 million votes in the election.

Buhari hosts presidential campaign council to victory dinner

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hosted members of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council Situation Room to a victory dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the affected staff, who are mostly volunteers, were led by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola.

Those in attendance at the dinner included the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and other presidential aides.

The President had on Feb. 25 during the collation of results of the Feb. 23 presidential and national assembly elections paid a surprise visit to the Situation Room to show appreciation for the work being done by the staff.

President Buhari also visited the Situation Room earlier today (Wednesday), where he delivered his acceptance speech shortly after he was declared winner of the presidential election by INEC.

He thanked the over 15 million Nigerians who voted to re-elect him for another four years in office.

He said: “I also thank the millions of volunteers, self-appointed overseers, canvassers, agents, escorts and sentries who sacrificed so much of their time and resources to ensure the success of these elections.

“I do not have the words adequate to thank them.’’

(NAN)

One shot dead during Buhari’s victory celebration in Lagos

Unknown gunman on Wednesday shot into a crowd celebrating President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in Sabo, Yaba, killing one person, while a police officer was seriously injured by some protesting youths in Okokomaiko, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeri gathered that the unidentified gunman opened fire on the celebrating crowd at Iwaya area, killing one person on the spot.

Lagos police Spokesman, CSP Chike Oti, who confirmed the incidents, told NANthat the police officer was attacked by some protesting youths on the Lagos–Badagry expressway.

Oti said that policemen, led by the DCO, SP Sunday Oyekanmi, were appealing to the youths as they were causing heavy traffic on the highway.

He said that while the policemen were appealing to the youths to leave the road, the youths attacked them with machetes and sticks during which the DCO was seriously injured and collapsed.

“Many thought the DCO was dead, but the DPO of the station took him to the hospital where he was revived. He is responding to treatment now. He is not dead. The area is calm now as

“The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Zubairu Muazu, has warned that the command will not tolerate any attack of his men who are working to protect lives and property in Lagos,” Oti said.

Oti said the 37 youths arrested for allegedly attacking the policemen at Okokomako were taken to the State CID, Panti for investigation, while detectives were on the trail of the suspect who shot dead one person in Yaba.

On the alleged skirmish on Lagos Island, Oti said there was no crisis between Yoruba and Ibos traders as being spread in the social media.

According to him, some areas boys were having misunderstanding amongst themselves and the police went there to stop them before it degenerates into a full-scale crisis.

“The area is calm, there is patrol everywhere. Members of the public should disregard any rumour of crisis in Lagos Island,” Oti said.

(NAN)

UK statement on re-election of President Buhari in Nigeria

Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, congratulates President Buhari on securing a second term as the Nigerian President

Last night the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria declared President Buhari the winner of the 2019 Presidential elections.

Minister of State for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, said:

I offer my congratulations to President Buhari on securing a second term as the Nigerian President. The UK is a long-standing friend and partner of Nigeria and the Nigerian people, and a stable and prosperous Nigeria benefits Africa and the world.

The Nigerian people have demonstrated resilience and a commitment to democracy. The result declared by the Nigerian election commission is consistent with the result obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process. Along with our international partners, the UK believes the Nigerian people can have confidence in the result.

However, we also recognise that independent Nigerian voices have expressed concerns about the conduct of the electoral process, in particular logistics and results collation, and reports of intimidation of election officials. We urge any party or individual who wishes to challenge the process to do so peacefully and through the appropriate legal channel and we encourage Nigerian authorities to examine all allegations of wrongdoing carefully, and take the necessary action against individuals found responsible.

My thoughts are also with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in election-related violence. No one should die in the exercise of their democratic rights. We will continue to support Nigeria and its civil society in drawing lessons from these elections and strengthening its democracy.

Saraki loses, Dogara wins … Buhari, Atiku in tight race

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, on Sunday became one of the major casualties of the 2019 general elections as he lost his bid to return to the Senate. Apart from Saraki, the other two senatorial candidates of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, lost to the All Progressives Congress.

Saraki lost to the Kwara Central Senatorial District candidate of the APC, Dr Ibrahim Oloriegbe, in what election observers described as a major upset.

Oloriegbe polled 123, 808 votes to defeat the Senate President who scored 68, 994 votes in the four local government areas of the Kwara Central Senatorial District.

The result of the election was announced by the Senatorial District Returning Officer, Prof. Olatunbosun Owoyomi, from the University of Ilorin

In Asa Local Government Area, Oloriegbe polled 15, 932 votes to defeat Saraki who scored 11, 252 votes.

The APC candidate also got 30, 014 votes in Ilorin East Local Government Area to 14, 654 polled by his PDP rival.

In Ilorin West, which is considered Saraki’s stronghold, Oloriegbe polled 51, 531 votes to defeat the Senate President with 30, 075 votes.

The situation was the same in Ilorin South where the APC senatorial candidate floored the Senate President with 26, 331 votes as against 13, 031 votes garnered by Saraki.

The APC’s candidates won the House of Representatives seats in Asa/Ilorin West and Ilorin South/Ilorin East Federal Constituencies.

In the presidential election, the APC maintained the lead in 14 out of the 15 local government areas already announced.

NAN reports that the PDP only led in Oke Ero Local Government with 6,242 votes to 6,079 votes polled by APC.

Balewa/Bogoro Constituency by the Prof. Mahmoud Abdulhamid.

The result was declared at the Zwall Collation Centre, in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

Dogara, who contested on the platform of the PDP polled a total of 73,609 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abubabakar Kantana of the APC who got 50,075 votes.

INEC opens collation centre, adjourns proceedings till today

Meanwhile, INEC on Sunday performed the last step in the conduct of the 2019 presidential election by opening the National Collation Centre for the collation and announcement of results.

The Chairman of INEC and Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who performed the brief ceremony held at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, however, adjourned sitting for the collation and announcement of the presidential results till 11am today (Monday) after setting the ground rules.

Earlier during an updated press briefing, Yakubu said Ekiti State was the first state to have completed the collation of the results of presidential election and is expected to present it in Abuja.

According to him, the commission was doing everything possible to ensure the speedy collation of results and the declaration of winners of the elections conducted on Saturday.

He announced that one of its personnel in Rivers State, Mrs Ibisaki Amachree, was the first casualty of the elections.

The victim was reportedly hit by a bullet while returning from election duty from Degema, Rivers State.

While praying for the repose of her soul, the INEC chairman condemned the attacks, adding that INEC would submit a comprehensive report.

Yakubu urged security agencies to expedite investigations and prosecution of the culprits.

Buhari wins in Ekiti

Though the INEC chair did not announce the result of the election in Ekiti State, the commission’s Returning Officer, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, did.

Olayinka said the standard bearer of the APC in the presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari, scored 219,231 votes in Ekiti State while the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who came second in the state, scored 154,032.

The total valid votes in the poll, he said, were 381,132, rejected votes 12,577, while total votes were 393, 709.

Atiku leads in Ondo, wins 12 LGs, APC 6

However, Atiku is leading in Ondo State after winning 12 out of the 23 local government areas released by INEC as of the time of filing this report.

The INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, on Sunday said the PDP candidate won in nine out of 15 local government areas of the state while Buhari won in six.

According to INEC, the local government areas won by the PDP included Idanre, Ondo East, Ose, Ifedore , Akure North and Ile Oluji /Oke Igbo, Irele and Okitipupa Local Government Areas.

However, the APC candidate won in Akoko South-East, Akoko South-West, Akoko North-East, Akoko North-West, Owo and Odigbo Local Government Areas.

Similarly, the senator representing the Ondo North Senatorial District, Ajayi Boroffice, was declared winner of the senatorial election in the district by INEC.

The two-term senator of the APC won the election by polling 53,199, defeating the candidates of the PDP and the Action Alliance, who scored, 34, 490 and 43,100 votes respectively.

INEC declared the Ondo South Senatorial District poll inconclusive. The PDP won the Ondo Central senatorial seat.

Buhari, Atiku share 2 LGAs in Benue

In Benue State, Buhari scored 12,197 votes in Tarka Local Government Area to floor Atiku who had 4,875 votes.

Announcing the results on Sunday in Makurdi, the INEC Collation Officer for the election in Tarka Local Government Area, Prof. Simon Ejembi, said the local government area had 10 registration areas with 50,180 registered voters.

Also announcing the result of the presidential poll for Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, the collation officer, Prof. Idugba Echi, said the PDP candidate polled 8,614 to defeat Buhari, who polled 5,373 votes.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the results of the presidential poll in 21 other local government areas were being awaited.

Buhari in early lead in Katsina

Expectedly in Katsina State where Buhari hails from, the APC presidential candidate cleared all the three local governments declared so far by INEC.

The local councils are Daura, Matazu and Ingawa.

In Daura LG, Dr Abdu Yau of the Federal University, Dutsinma, who is the collation officer, said the APC polled 37,648 to defeat the PDP candidate who had 4,650 votes.

None of the remaining political parties that participated in the election scored up to 10 votes.

The Collation Officer for Matazu council, Dr Christopher Ndabula, also of FUDMA, said the APC scored 27,625 votes, while the PDP polled 9,151 votes.

He put the total votes cast in the council at 37,297 while 567 votes were rejected.

In Ingawa Local Government Area, Buhari won with 29,230 votes, while Atiku who came second polled 7,625 votes.

The collation officer for the council, Dr Suleiman Hassan, who announced the results, put the total votes cast in the council at 39,025.

INEC Chief Returning Officer for Katsina State, Prof. Fatimah Mukhtar, was still supervising the announcement of the presidential election result as of the time of filing this report.

Buhari wins seven of nine Borno LGs

Buhari has also won seven of the 27 Local Government Areas in Borno State, as election result collation is progressing in the state.

The exercise, presided over by the state’s Presidential Returning Officer, Prof. Saminu Abdulrahaman, said Buhari scored the highest votes cast in seven of the 27 local government areas as indicated in the results so far submitted for collation by the returning officers of the councils.

The councils were Nganzai, Mobbar, Dikwa, Abadam, Guzamala, Gubio and Magumeri.

The presidential election results so far collated indicated that Buhari was taking the lead against Atiku, his closest opponent.

The results as announced by the Returning Officer in charge of Nganzai, Dr A. Fusami, showed that the APC candidate scored 6, 804 as against the 975 votes scored by the PDP’s candidate.

In Mobbar, Baba Shehu, the Returning Officer, declared that Buhari polled 13, 122 votes while Atiku scored 280 votes.

For Dikwa; the Returning Officer, Dr. J. Ibrahim, disclosed that the APC candidate scored 17, 805 against the 100 votes scored by the PDP candidate.

Dr Ahmed Musa, the Returning Officer in charge of Abadam, said the APC candidate polled 5, 907 while the PDP candidate got 270 votes.

The Returning Officer in charge of Guzamala, Dr Zarma Alhaji, announced that Buhari polled 5, 370 votes against the 521 votes scored by Atiku.

Also, Dr Kachalla Mohammed, the Returning Officer in charge of Gubio, declared that the APC candidate polled 10, 207 votes while the PDP standard bearer got 510 votes.

Dr Babagana Gambo, the Returning Officer in charge of Magumeri, announced that Buhari polled 12, 739 against the 694 votes scored by Atiku.

Buhari leads in 7 out of 9 announced LGAs results in Gombe

Buhari is leading Atiku in Gombe State, according to the results of nine Local Government Areas announced on Sunday.

Gombe is a PDP state being governed by Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, who is running for the Senate on the PDP platform.

The results of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections received in Gombe, show that the APC is ahead of the PDP in seven of the nine LGAs in results announced.

NAN reported that the collation was being presided over by Prof. Kyari Mohammed, Vice Chancellor, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola.

The presidential election results from Gombe LGA showed that the APC polled 86, 162 votes, while PDP scored 7,634 votes.

In Nafada LGA, the APC scored 15, 417 votes while the PDP scored 5, 792 votes.

In Yamaltu-Deba LGA, the APC scored 56, 157 votes to defeat the PDP which scored 13, 248 votes.

In Dukku LGA, the APC scored 36, 010 votes against PDP’s 7,435 while in Kwami LGA, the APC polled 36, 317 to beat the PDP which had 6,614 votes.

In Balanga LGA, the APC scored 29, 647 to defeat PDP which had 14, 614 while in Kaltungo LGA, the APC scored 20, 944 against PDP’s 20, 733.

However, the PDP defeated the APC in Shongom and Billiri LGAs.

In Shongom LGA, the PDP scored 12, 871 votes against APC’s 9, 642 while in Billiri LGA, the APC scored 15, 331 votes while the PDP scored 21, 328 votes.

Buhari leads in 13 Kano LGs

Buhari is leading in 13 local government areas released so far in Kano.

Buhari secured an early lead in the number of votes collated and announced by INEC.

Buhari swept all 13 local government areas announced as of 8pm on Sunday.

Even though Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso who is one of the Directors of the PDP Presidential Campaign secured his polling unit by ensuring that Atiku won with 278 votes to Buhari’s 215, he could not prevent Atiku’s loss to Buhari, in Madobi, his local government area.

The APC won the area by polling 26,110 votes almost double the 13,113 votes the PDP candidate got after the final tally.

The INEC collation officer for the presidential election in charge of the local government, Dr Sani Umar, while presenting the results at the Kano State INEC collation centre, gave the total number of registered voters as 84,067 out of which 40,764 were accredited to vote.

The total number of votes cast was 40,286 out of which 39,524 were valid and 762 were rejected.

Governor Umar Ganduje was able to secure victory for Buhari in his ward and his Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area.

While giving a breakdown of the results in the area, the INEC collation officer for the local government, Dr Musa Muhammad, announced that Buhari polled 19,984 as against Atiku’s 7,732 votes.

He said, “The total number of registered voters is 101,254, those accredited to vote were: 61,144. The APC received 37,417 and the PDP got 6,507; valid votes were 45,056 while rejected votes were 2, 306. The total votes cast, 47,362.”

The collation officer for Garun-Malam Local Government Area, Dr Umar Abdulkadir, announced that the APC presidential candidate received 23,810 votes while the PDP got 4,861 votes.

Number of accredited voters stood at 31,641. There were 29,004 valid votes and 1,982 votes were cancelled. The total number of votes cast was 30,986.

In Rimin Gado Local Government Area, the collation officer, Prof. Ibrahim Sa’ad, announced that 63,347 persons registered to vote out of which 32,878 were accredited. Of this number, APC got 20,589 votes while PDP received 10,035. The total of votes cast stood at 32,343 while 31,472 votes were valid, 871 were rejected

In Tofa Local Government Area, the INEC collation officer, Dr Murtala Badamasi, gave the number of registered voters as 71,348 out of which 30,227 were accredited to vote. Of this number, the APC got 19,984 votes while the PDP got 7,732. Total number of votes cast, 29,753, valid votes cast was 28,101, rejected votes 1,652

The collation officer for Kunchi Local Government, Prof. Saminu Bala, said 58,334 registered to vote, 27,281 were accredited to vote. Of this number, the APC got 20,375 while the PDP got 4,983. The total number of votes cast stood at 26,895 of which 25,753, were valid while 1,142 were rejected.

For Bagwai Local Government, the collation officer, Prof. Abdulrasheed Jibya, said the number of registered voters was 89,134 out of which 36,929 were accredited to vote. At the end of voting, the APC got 23,375 while the PDP got 10,584. Total number of votes cast stood at 35,697, valid votes 34,697, rejected votes, 1,096.

In Gabasawa Local Government Area, the INEC collation officer, Prof. Mustapha Muktar, said 78,627 people registered to vote; those accredited were 32,847 out of this number, the APC secured 24,420 while the PDP went away with 6,130. Total number of votes cast, 32,440, valid votes 31,106, rejected 1,334.

The collation officer for Bunkure Local Government, Prof. Hafiz Yakasai, said 89,616 persons registered to vote, 39,803 were accredited. The APC got 27, 232 while the PDP got 9,528. Total votes cast, 38,970, valid votes, 37,318 while 1,652 were rejected.

In Karaye Local Government, the INEC collation officer, Mohammed Isa, said 33,243 were accredited to vote; APC got 23,023, PDP got 8,265, valid votes, 31,923, rejected votes 962.

PDP wins Osun East senatorial seat, two Rep seats

PDP’s Prince Francis Fadahunsi has been declared the winner of Osun East Senatorial election, defeating Hon Ajibola Famurewa of the APC.

According to the result of the poll as announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Adegbehingbe Oladiran, Fadahunsi polled 115,893 votes to defeat Famurewa, who got 105,720 votes.

The PDP candidate Mr. Ajilesoro Abimbola, has been declared the winner of Ife Central/Ife North/Ife South and Ife East Federal Constituency election.

Ajilesoro was returned elected after garnering 52,801 votes to beat the APC candidate, Oladoyin Folorunsho, who got 46,373 votes.

The INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof. Suraju Ajadi, announced the results at Oluorogbo Government Middle Schools, Road 7, Ile-Ife on Sunday evening.

Similarly, Mr Bamidele Salam of the PDP was declared the winner of the Ede Federal Constituency poll.

The Returning Officer, Prof Adeniyi Adewusi, said Salam got 46,994 votes to defeat APC’s Adejare Bello, who got 44,866 votes.

Buhari leads Atiku in Oyo, Ajimobi loses four councils to PDP

Meanwhile, Buhari, is leading Atiku based on the total number of votes from 17 local government areas of the state released so far by INEC.

While the APC polled 190,940, the PDP scored 176,101. But the PDP is leading in 11 local governments, while the APC leads in six local government areas.

The PDP candidate won in Afijio, Saki East, Kajola, Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Ibadan Northwest, Olorunsogo, Ona Ara and Ibadan North while the APC won in Irepo, Egbeda, Oluyole, Saki West, Iseyin and Atisbo local government areas as of 10pm when this report was filed.

The Collation Officer for Egbeda Local Government Area, Prof. Olajide Fashola, said some thugs came with guns and hijacked a lot of election materials, card readers and ballot boxes around 5.30pm on Saturday.

Fashola said there was no victim among the INEC officials in the area. He said quick intervention of security officials put the situation under control.

Meanwhile, the candidate of the APC in the Oyo South Senatorial District, Abiola Ajimobi, has lost in four of the six local government areas declared so far by INEC.

The state governor lost to his rival, Dr Kola Balogun of the PDP.

As of the time of filing this report, results announced by the Collation Officer for the poll, Prof Kolawole Akinsola, the PDP floored the APC in four local governments.

In the Ibadan North-West LGA, PDP polled 12,144 votes, beating APC and African Democratic Party which recorded 8,916 votes and 5,819 respectively. PDP also won in Ibadan North with 18,690 ahead of the APC which scored 17,947 while ADC came third with 10,202 votes.

In Ibarapa North, the PDP recorded 8,083 votes to edge out the APC which polled 5,837 while ADC gathered 2,536 votes. The PDP equally emerged winner in Ibarapa East with 9,982 votes, beating APC to second position with 6,951 votes while ADC secured 3,670.

However, APC won in the Ido and Ibarapa Central LGAs. In Ido, APC polled 8,108 votes to beat PDP, which recorded 8,108 votes to come second. ADC came third with 5,265 votes. The APC got 7,147 votes in Ibarapa Central, winning PDP and ADC which polled 6,577 and 1,475 respectively.

The results of the three remaining local government areas that constitute the senatorial districts were being awaited as of the time of filing this report.

The PUNCH

Buhari pressuring INEC to cancel Abuja results after losing all wards in FCT, says CUPP

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) says President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are mounting pressure on the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) to declare FCT results inconclusive.

The parties claim that Buhari lost all the wards in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and is seeking to manipulate the results.

CUPP also claimed that the APC is attempting to inflate figures from the northwest and northeast to counter the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) victory in the southern region of the country.

“The CUPP is in possession of irrefutable evidence that APC Governors of the northwest and some of North East geo-political zones are working assiduously to inflate the number of votes scored by President Muhammadu Buhari in those regions so as to neutralize the landslide lead of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the other four geo-political zones,” a statement by Ikenga Ugochinyere, read.

“They have most shockingly secured the ignoble collaboration of the Nigerian Army which has begun to give cover to APC Chieftains and compromised electoral officers to hold back the results from the areas and to later attempt to smuggle in the inflated results.

“Also having confirmed from their situation room that the numbers do not add up and that President Buhari also failed to secure the constitutional 25% of the votes cast in each of two thirds of the states of the Federation, the President and his Party are mounting pressure on the Enugu State Governor and the State Resident Electoral Commissioner including other South East States to alter some results so as to award at least 25% of the Votes to the President.”

CUPP also claimed that the incumbent President did not secure the necessary 25 percent in the southeastern part of the country.

“It is instructive that President Buhari did not secure the 25% votes in any of the States of the South East. It is also in this same light that the outgoing administration is plotting to frantically to declare the results of the FCT as inconclusive so as to order a rerun where they will use security and thugs to intimidate the people,” CUPP said.

“We hereby call on the Electoral Commission not to cancel any results already declared where no incidents were recorded but only for the President to have the opportunity to have an unmerited second chance.

“The opposition Presidential Situation Room has completed compilation of Polling Unit result sheets and tabulation of all results and we have called the election for the incoming President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. We may, however, be compelled to release these results to the public to forestall INEC from playing the games the APC is prodding them to play.

“Our candidate won in a vast majority of the almost 120, 000 Polling Units across the country. We wonder how INEC would now cancel results of elections where even agents of the ruling party signed and where they lost.

“The credibility of this election must be maintained and not tarnished because of the undeserved extended ambition of a man who failed woefully in office.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has won the elections. President Buhari and the APC know this hence their desperation to attempt to overturn the will of the people. But we sound this note of warning to them; we shall successfully resist any human force that wants to tamper with the victory of our candidate and the will of the majority of Nigerians.

“The attempt to foist on Nigerians an illegitimate President through inflation of electoral figures have failed. The People have elected a legitimate President in the Person of Atiku Abubakar going by the Polling Units results in our firm custody and we have no fear or doubt about our ability to defend the sacred mandate Nigerian people have given to Atiku Abubakar.”

Again, Buhari to address Nigerians Friday morning

President Muhammadu Buhari will make a broadcast to the nation on Friday, at 7 am, according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

There will be with a repeat at 9 pm.

“All television, radio stations and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority and Radio Nigeria for the broadcast, the statement added.