“It is acknowledged that the security outfits are doing their very best in the current circumstance to make all of us safe,” the ex-Vice President said via a statement issued by his spokesperson, Paul Ibe.
“However, skirmishes like this and the pain accompanying it makes us feel as though enough is not being done.”
The former Nigerian leader also commiserated with the families of the deceased, regretting that the victims met their untimely deaths in a gruesome manner.
He prayed that the Almighty Allah would heal Nigeria and accept all the souls that had been lost to those cruel acts of killings.
Former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has lamented the state of the nation under the leadership of the All Progressives Congress.
According to him, insecurity and unemployment have never been “this bad” in Nigeria.
He made the comment while speaking to journalists at the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt.
“I have never seen it (insecurity) this bad,” he said. “I am 70 years plus, I have never seen it this bad in terms of security challenges, in terms of economy, in terms of unemployment. This is the worst.”
On Wednesday, Atiku had met with Governor Nyesom Wike.
A statement signed by Wike’s spokesperson, Kelvin Ebiri, said Atiku had travelled to Rivers state to discuss PDP affairs.
“Well, I came here to reconcile with the governor on party affairs and how we can ensure that there is unity and stability in the party,” Atiku said.
“So, that we can take over government in 2023. I believe that Nigerians can’t wait for 2023 to come, so that PDP will return.”
Atiku said the PDP “will come up with our policies” and “present them to Nigerians when the time comes.”
“We have done that before,” he added. “Under PDP, we recorded the highest economic growth, the best foreign reserves, we reduced unemployment. You know that we can do it.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has congratulated fellow Muslim faithful on the occasion of the 2021 EID celebrations.
The Wazirin Adamawa speaking on Tuesday in Yola, the state capital, after observing the two Ra’kat prayers at the eid ground, also stressed that Nigerians need to make sacrifices to live in unity and cooperate with each other to ensure peace and stability.
Speaking further, he used the opportunity to urge Nigerian and most especially voters in the state to get registered.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Friday urged Nigerians to stay united in fighting for the country’s burgeoning democracy.
Mr Atiku made the remark in a statement commemorating this year’s edition of June 12, a date set aside to celebrate the country’s democracy.
According to Mr Atiku, Nigerians must “resist the divide and rule tactics of the enemies of democracy.”
Read the full statement below:
June 12 was a dark chapter, but let’s not lose the lessons
It is undoubtable that the historic June 12 election of 1993 was a dark chapter in Nigeria’s chequered political history, but we shouldn’t lose the lessons as we build our democracy to greater heights.
On the occasion of 2021 Democracy Day, I’m proud to join Nigerians in the celebration of this important day in our recent political history not only because I was part of those challenging moments, but also because of my unshaken belief in democracy.
Although the annulment of MKO Abiola’s election was a major setback, my consolation is that it made Nigerians more united to resist dictatorship and entrench democracy.
The illegal cancellation of the results of the 1993 presidential election was not a personal loss to Abiola, but a loss to Nigeria and its democracy.
Abiola, whom I stepped down for in the 1993 primary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Jos, was a good man, and his only primary reason for joining the race was to offer selfless service to the ordinary Nigerians. I was deeply pained by the circumstances in which he was arrested and eventually died in government’s custody. Such gross injustice was unspeakably cruel.
Sadly, the opportunism of some Nigerian politicians had contributed to the destruction of democracy, most of those who aided and abetted General Abacha’s self-succession agenda were politicians.
The most important lesson on June 12 is that we should be united in the defence of democracy and resist the divide and rule tactics of the enemies of democracy.
Once again, I wish Nigerians a memorable celebration.
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has said that the case challenging the citizenship of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar started in 2019.
Malami in a statement issued on Wednesday by his spokesman, Dr. Umar Gwandu, said he did not institute the case, noting it was filed by a civil society organisation – the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa.
According to Malami, the matter was part of an election case that started in 2019.
“Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has not instituted legal action on the citizenship or otherwise of the former Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar,” the statement partly read.
“Malami has never filled any case before any court in the country challenging the citizenship of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
“The matter in contention was part of the 2019 pre-election matters instituted by a civil society organisation – the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 in respect of which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party Independent National Electoral Commission and the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was made a co-defendant.”
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
*I didn’t file suit against Atiku’s Citizenship – Malami*
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has not instituted legal action on the citizenship or otherwise of the former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday the 7th day of April 2021.
The Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has never filled any case before any court in the country challenging the citizenship of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
According to the statement, the matter in contention was part of the 2019 pre-election matters instituted by a Civil Society Organization – the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 in respect of which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was made a co-defendant.
The issue had already been widely reported by the media since April 2019. It is unfortunate that stale news stories capable of causing confusion are repackaged and presented to the general public as current news.
*Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu*
(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations
Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)
“The essence of Easter celebration is not merely for us to merry. It is a season to reflect on the purpose and meaning of love and sacrifice. Love, because God says we should love our neighbours as ourselves. And sacrifice because love is hardly practicable without an intention to make a sacrifice,” he said.
He also recalled how the coronavirus pandemic crippled many activities in most countries in the world last year. He hailed the health workers who, like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their lives in battling the virus.
See his full statement below…
This year’s Easter celebration is significant in the sense that it is the first major national festival we will be witnessing after the commencement of the administration of vaccines against the dreaded Corona Virus. I recall that during last year’s celebration there was a global lockdown as most countries of the world required that citizens stay indoors and, for the first time in many generations, we celebrated Easter in a low-key style.
But the story this year is slightly different. Now, there are several certified vaccines and Nigeria, having given nearly a million of our population their first doses of vaccination, has joined the league of countries that are pushing back the virus. But we are not anyway near the safety threshold. The deadly virus is still much potent as it was last year and the requirement for us to stay safe by adhering to all the Covid-19 safety protocols of washing our hands, wearing face-mask, avoiding crowded places and observing social distance, needs to be observed diligently.
However, we remain thankful. First, to the Almighty God for His benevolence in giving us the knowledge to overcome the virus. Secondly, we must thank our ever-courageous health workers, who like the example set by Jesus Christ, sacrificed their time and in many instances, their lives in order for us to get to where we are today in the fight against the deadly virus.
The essence of Easter celebration is not merely for us to merry. It is a season to reflect on the purpose and meaning of love and sacrifice. Love, because God says we should love our neighbours as ourselves. And sacrifice because love is hardly practicable without an intention to make a sacrifice.
Therefore, on this occasion of Easter celebration, I urge all Nigerians to take time to pray first of all for peace to return to the country and also for unity. Nigeria is at the precipice of insecurity, poverty and, most unfortunately, disunity. These are challenges, not impediments. The way to surmount these challenges is to learn from the world when super power countries who are rivals suspended politics to face a common threat in Covid-19.
I believe that when we approach our challenges with a heart of forgiveness and love, humanity will always triumph. This is the lesson that Jesus (Nabil Yisa) taught us.
As I join in wishing the Christian faithful in Nigeria and across the globe a happy Easter celebration, let us take a moment to pray for our military men and women who are keeping the vigil of daily sacrifice in order to keep us all safe.
May God bless our nation and its people.
Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999-2007
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to resist what he described as political manipulation.
Atiku’s call is in response to the acquittal of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Raymond Dokpesi, by the Federal Court of Appeal in Abuja.
Dokpesi was prosecuted by the EFCC in connection with the alleged ₦ 2.1 billion money laundering charges brought against him over the arms contracts under former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The court, however, quashed the charges on Thursday in a unanimous judgment of a three-man panel of judges led by Justice Williams-Daudu.
But Atiku in a statement he personally signed on Friday expressed his joy and solidarity over the incident, saying he was elated with the outcome of the trial.
The ex-Vice President said the court judgement “revealed the truth about the lopsided nature of the anti-corruption policy of the Buhari administration.”
According to him, “the entire anti-corruption trials appear to be focused on opposition politicians, thereby casting doubts on the credibility of the anti-graft agency.”
He recalled that during the 2019 presidential election, the EFCC focused its time and resources on harassing and arraigning aides of opposition politicians, lamenting that it was indifferent to how members of the ruling party were financing their campaigns.
The former PDP presidential candidate noted that even members of the international community are now coming to terms with the reality that the anti-corruption crusade is not impartial, and that the government is now using the anti-corruption policy to contrive charges against those they want to use to advance certain political objectives.
While noting that he was impressed with the appointment of Abdul Rasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman, Atiku asked him to learn from the mistakes of his predecessors.
“As a young man of great intellect and confidence, I’m confident that you are up to the task. You must be ready to restore the glory of the EFCC by changing its public perception as a political tool of the government in power,” he stated.
“Let your conscience and history judge you. But you can only do so if you resist external manipulation. May Allah guide you aright.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar is querying the plan by the federal government to spend 1.5 billion dollars for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
At the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday, the minister of state for petroleum announced the government’s plan, explaining that the repair work would be undertaken in phases for a total of 44 months.
But in a statement today the former vice president describes the proposal as a waste of resources, especially coming at a time that the nation’s economy is in dire straits.
According to him: “to therefore budget the sum of $1.5 billion to renovate or turn around the Port Harcourt refinery would appear to be an unwise use of scarce funds at this critical juncture for a multiplicity of reasons.”
Atiku suggests that the best course of action will be to privatize the refineries for more effective and efficient management.
In a comparative analysis, Mr. Atiku described the planned rehabilitation as too expensive, saying shell petroleum development company sold a refinery of similar size in the u.s. last year for $1.2 billion.
In the words of the former vice president, “we cannot as a nation expect to make economic progress if we continue to fund inefficiency, and we are going too deep into the debt trap for unnecessarily overpriced projects.”
He notes that the country’s debt which has spiked from ₦12 trillion in 2015 to ₦32.9 trillion today, is shocking enough to cause the nation to be more prudent in the way it borrows.
Below is a full statement as released by the former vice president.
That Nigeria’s economy is in dire straits is a fact well-known both to the nation and to our international partners. Unemployment has just reached an all-time high of 33%, while inflation has hit another record high of 17%.
At this critical period, we must as a nation be prudent with the use of whatever revenue we are able to generate, and even if we must borrow, we must do so with the utmost responsibility and discipline.
To therefore budget the sum of $1.5 billion to renovate or turn around the Port Harcourt Refinery would appear to be an unwise use of scarce funds at this critical juncture for a multiplicity of reasons.
First of all, our refineries have been loss-making for multiple years, and indeed, it is questionable wisdom to throw good money after bad. At other times, I have counselled that the best course of action would be to privatize our refineries, so they can be run more effectively and efficiently.
Moreover, the cost appears prohibitive. Too prohibitive, especially as Shell Petroleum Development Company last year sold its Martinez Refinery in California, USA, which is of a similar size as the Port Harcourt refinery, for $1.2 billion. We must bear in mind that the Shell Martinez Refinery is more profitable than the Port Harcourt Refinery.
Given this discrepancy, might we ask if there was a public tender before this cost was announced? Was due diligence performed? Because we are certainly not getting value for money. Not by a long stretch.
We cannot as a nation expect to make economic progress if we continue to fund inefficiency, and we are going too deep into the debt trap for unnecessarily overpriced projects.
Our national debt has grown from ₦12 trillion in 2015 to ₦32.9 trillion today. Surely that is shocking enough to cause us to be more prudent in the way we commit future generations into the bondage of bonds and debt.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the nation’s education following the abductions of schoolchildren in parts of the country.
Atiku, in a statement he personally signed and issued on Monday, said short-term solutions will result to destruction on long-term destruction, noting that the Nigerian government must stop paying a ransom to facilitate the release of schoolchildren.
“I repeat my call for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector, and to post 24-hour armed guards at every school in the affected and neighbouring states. No expense must be spared to keep our schools safe,” he said while reacting to the recent abduction of primary school pupils in the Rema area of Kaduna State.
“We must also stop paying ransom at random. It is a short-term solution that will cause much long-term destruction. We must as a nation impose law and order now, or we will bequeath lawlessness and disorder to the next generation. And may God forbid that.
“With 13.5 million children, Nigeria is already the world headquarters for out-of-school kids. This can only make things worse. It behooves on us as a nation to act decisively and excise this cancer of school abductions from our polity with clinically precise policies.”
Following the attack by bandits on the school, an unconfirmed number of pupils and teachers are feared to have been abducted.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in the state, Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed to Channels Television on Monday, noted that the primary school attacked by the bandits is located in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state.
According to the commissioner, the state government is currently obtaining details on the actual number of pupils and teachers reported to have been kidnapped.
The latest abduction of pupils is the second in the recent series of attacks by bandits in Kaduna State.
In the last five days, the gunmen attempted to attack at least four schools – at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels.
The other schools are Turkish International Secondary School, Government Science Secondary school, Ikara, as well as Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka.
While the military successfully thwarted two of the attacks, bandits abducted persons from the schools in Rema and Afaka.
The Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation came under attack very early on Friday, not long after bandits attempted to attack the Turkish school.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has decried the Friday abduction of over 300 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State.
According to a statement released by the former Presidential aspirant, the attack has now proven the necessity of states to have the powers to provide security of life and property in their domain.
“My heart is very heavy over the abduction of our young daughters from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State,” Atiku said.
“I have had a phone conversation with the Governor of Zamfara, H.E Bello Matawalle, and I am informed that his government is doing everything in its power to secure the release of the abducted students.
“I have previously made recommendations on how our beloved nation can defeat enemies of the state and win the war on terror, and I stand by those suggestions.
“However, right now, all hands must be on deck to support the Zamfara state government in securing the release of those abducted.
“The Federal Government cannot expect the states to provide security of life and property in their domain, without giving them control over internal security. This is now a necessity.”
He went on to call on the lawmakers across the country to commence the process of ceding policing powers to the States.
“Thus, I call on the National and State Assemblies to begin the process of constitutional and legal reforms that will make this a reality,” he said. “The Legislature must take the lead, as it seems the Executive may not be able to provide the needed leadership on this issue.
“My heart goes out to the families of the abducted children, and my right hand of fellowship is extended to Governor Matawalle, to help in any way possible.”
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday said Nigeria must stop rewarding criminality, warning that doing so will result in more crimes being perpetrated.
In a statement he personally signed, Abubakar lamented the deteriorating state of insecurity in the country, describing the menace as alarming.
While noting that a situation whereby children and minors were being kidnapped, the ex-vice president asked the Federal Government to tackle cases of abductions by ending what he calls the reign of impunity.
“Now is not the time for fingers to point in blame. Our nation needs solutions. And we have now seen that paying ransoms, and allowing criminals to profit from their criminality is not a solution,” he said.
“When you reward crimes, the end result is more crime. The only long-term solution to the insecurity challenge Nigeria is facing is to end the reign of impunity.
“The Federal Government must enforce the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against abductions and kidnappings, by apprehending the criminals, trying them, and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others.”
He also called for the protection of schoolchildren in the affected states, asking the Nigerian government to deploy all-around security personnel.
The ex-vice president said if it is “not feasible to have armed military guards in all schools, then each state in the should as a matter of urgency replicate the Civilian Joint Task Force idea, that has worked so well in Borno and deploy them to each school, along with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
His remarks come hours after gunmen stormed Government Science College Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of the state, killing one student ad abducting several others.
SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:
Kagara Abduction: We Must Stop Rewarding Criminality, Or It Will Increase
I condemn the abduction of students and staff of Government Science College, Kagara, Niger State. The reported death of one of the students in the process of escape, is heartbreaking. The thoughts of my family and I are with the parents and the authorities of the institution.
The spate of insecurity in Nigeria is now beyond alarming. It has gotten to crisis levels, especially when it involves children and other minors.
Now is not the time for fingers to point in blame. Our nation needs solutions. And we have now seen that paying ransoms, and allowing criminals to profit from their criminality is not a solution.
When you reward crimes, the end result is more crime.
The only long term solution to the insecurity challenge Nigeria is facing is to end the reign of impunity. The Federal Government must enforce the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against abductions and kidnappings, by apprehending the criminals, trying them and making an example of those convicted, to serve as a deterrent to others.
Also, we must be proactive. We cannot wait for these abductions to happen and then go into reactive mode.
I therefore call on the Federal Government to declare all secondary and primary schools in the affected states and zones, as Federal Protected Zones, and post armed military personnel at all schools for 24/7 protection. If it is not feasible to have armed military guards in all schools, then each state in the should as a matter of urgency replicate the Civilian Joint Task Force idea, that has worked so well in Borno, and deploy them to each school, along with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
What we must not do is do nothing. History may forgive us for making wrong decisions, but we will never be forgiven if we carry on business as usual.
As a nation, we must be willing to provide the same level of security that we provide for the schools that the children of the elite attend, for schools that the children of other classes of Nigerians attend.
I pray that the Kagara staff and students are rescued, and for peace to return to Nigeria.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has condemned the arrest of some protesters by the police in the Lekki area of Lagos State.
In a statement on Saturday following the arrest of the youths at the Lekki tollgate, he decried that the police abandoned their responsibility of protecting the protesters.
“The 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended (Section 40) guarantees the right of citizens to peaceful protest; the courts have also affirmed that right, anything contrary to that is not acceptable and stands condemned,” said Atiku who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He added, “It is the security agents’ responsibility to provide a secured conducive environment for citizens to protest peaceably, in line with constitutional provisions and the African Charter on Human rights.”
Atiku’s reaction is one of several others who insisted that the arrest of the youth by the police stands condemned.
The young Nigerians had occupied the tollgate a week after the Lagos State Judicial Panel granted the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) the approval to repossess the toll gate.
This informed the decision of the youths to stage a protest, which was met with stiff resistance by the security personnel on the ground.
Several of them were arrested at the protest venue by the police, including popular comedian Mr. Macaroni.