#EndSARS: I Strongly Condemn Use Of Force On Protesters Across Nigeria – Atiku

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the use of force on #EndSARS protesters across Nigeria. 

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Atiku also called on relevant authorities to ensure the youths are heard.

The former vice president asked that all incidents of excessive use of force by security agencies against protesters are investigated.

His comments come on the heels of several reports of violence wrought against the protesters and other citizens, the latest being the killing of a young man in Ogbomoso.

The victim named Jimoh Isiaq was shot during a protest in Ogbomoso, though he was not a part of the protest.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Trey Songz, Big Sean Join Nigerians In Protest Against Police Brutality

While many say the bullet which killed Isiaq was from the police, the force claim they only used canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Several videos making the rounds, however, show security operatives firing live arms at those calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

In reaction to the use of force against those protesting, Atiku was of the opinion that the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression must be protected at all costs.

“Nigerians should be provided with a non-toxic environment for #EndSARSProtests.

“It is their constitutional right and an ingredient of democracy.

“They deserve to be heard and not killed or maimed,” Atiku tweeted.

Atiku who had in a previous tweet noted that SARS has morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses said he stands with all those who are peacefully protesting to end police brutality in a bid to enthrone a new policing order that underscores the interest of the citizens.

The elder statesman commended the tenacity of protesters who he described as brave youths who have stayed out on the streets all day and night to make their voices heard.

Nigeria’s Future Depends On Our Commitment To A Common Destiny – Atiku

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, says Nigeria’s future depends on the nation’s commitment to a common destiny. 

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr. Atiku said the nation is in dire need of healing.

“We must foster unity and douse the tense atmosphere which is breeding feelings of alienation. We must promote freedom of speech and freedom after the speech,” the elder statesman said.

Atiku also said that force alone is not enough to defeat separatist agitations in Nigeria. He advised the government to do everything to address issues that have given rise to various agitations.

He appealed to separatist groups to lay down their arms in the interest of the nation, arguing that taking up arms against the nation will further harm the country’s growth.

READ ALSO: It Makes No Sense For Oil To Be Cheaper In Nigeria Than Saudi Arabia – Buhari

Further appealing to the dissidents, the former vice president was of the opinion that “If Nelson Mandela could reconcile with those who imprisoned him for twenty-seven years, we can reconcile with those who have disagreed with us.

“I call on those who have taken up arms against Nigeria to have a rethink. Whatever differences they may have with the rest of Nigeria, whether religious, ethnic, or political terror, violence and separatism are not the way. Let us learn from history.

“In Ireland, Israel, and the Balkans, such groups have seen the wisdom in giving up the armed struggle for participation in the political process. There is much wisdom in the saying that to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. We must accept the reality that we are all brothers and sisters sired by our fatherland.

“We cannot defeat separatist groups by force of arms alone; we can only defeat separatism by making all Nigerians feel they belong. This is only possible when we live up to the words of our national motto: Unity and Faith, Peace, and Progress.”

In the spirit of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, Atiku called on the federal and state governments, to release all political prisoners and detainees, and to discontinue the prosecution of such individuals.

‘The End Of Godfatherism’: PDP Chieftains Hail Obaseki’s Re-Election As Edo Governor

File photo of Godwin Obaseki. Photo: [email protected] Akwa Ibom.

 

Congratulatory messages have been pouring from chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after Godwin Obaseki was re-elected as the Governor of Edo State. 

Governor Obaseki, returned elected on Sunday after polling the highest votes in the keenly-contested poll conducted on Saturday, defeated his main rival and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

And for a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Obaseki’s win is an “end to godfatherism” and a “new dawn” in Edo State.

“There is a new dawn in Edo State, and the hard-won victory of Governor Obaseki is not just a victory, but a Declaration of Independence from the anti-democratic forces of godfatherism and militarism,” Atiku who contested the presidential seat under the PDP in 2019 tweeted Sunday.

“No victory could be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the Governor and the good people of Edo state for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.”

Although they were fears in many quarters that the election might turn violent, Atiku said the poll was largely peaceful, describing Obaseki’s re-election as “new record” in Nigeria’s democracy.

“I also seize this opportunity to thank His Royal Highness, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Ewuare II, for the fatherly role he played as a neutral catalyst for peace,” Atiku added.

He equally lauded members of the PDP for supporting Obaseki who had defected from the APC after he was disqualified from the party’s primary, urging him to deliver good governance to the people of Edo State.

“In good times, we will walk beside you. In bad times, we will be your loyal ‘comrade’,” he assured while calling on him to extend a hand of friendship to Ize-Iyamu. “We will never be a turncoat.”

 ‘Historic Victory’

The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, equally sent his congratulatory message to the re-elected Edo leader and believes that another term for Obaseki is an indication that the people’s choice will always prevail.

“With their loud and irrefutable votes in #EdoDecides, the people of Edo State have sent a strong message that they choose to continue under Governor Godwin Obaseki’s development agenda to Make Edo Great Again!”Okowa tweeted, Sunday.

‘Power Belongs To The People’

“I congratulate my colleague and brother, Governor Obaseki on his victory at the just-concluded Edo State gubernatorial elections,”  the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, also said in his message to the Edo Governor.

“Your win is a victory for Edo State and our great party, PDP.  It also validates that truly, power belongs to the people.”

‘The Beauty Of Democracy’ 

While hailing Obaseki for his victory, the former Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, said the development captures the “beauty of democracy.”

“And if there is a moral lesson to be learnt, it is also that no man can successfully play God, for God will always put men in their place,” the PDP Chieftain said on Sunday, expressing hopes that “we can get our elections right.”

Ekweremadu called on Obaseki to see his popular mandate as both an approval of his stewardship in the last four years and a call to lead Edo land on the path of greater peace, prosperity, and all-round development.

A Deserved Victory

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu was not left out in the streams of messages pouring in since Obaseki’s election.

Elumelu, who described Obaseki’s re-election as well-deserving, attributed the governor’s success to his sterling performance in developing the state and empowering the people during his first tenure.

A Job Well-Done

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State equally commended the Edo Governor for a “well deserved victory,” and hailed the PDP for the win.

If We Truly Deregulated, Then Fuel Prices Should Have Dropped – Atiku

 

Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has frowned at the sudden increment of the pump price of petrol by the Nigerian government.

Atiku in a tweet on Tuesday said the hike in fuel price does not in any way support certain claims regarding deregulation in Nigeria.

According to Atiku, his view on the matter stems from his experience as a businessman who is seeing things from an economic perspective.

The elder statesman argued that in the US and Europe, fuel prices are far lower than they were in 2019, adding that if Nigeria truly deregulated, then fuel prices should have dropped.

Petrol stations across the country increased the price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, on Thursday, September 3.

The prices ranged from N155 and N162 per litre, Channels Television correspondents across the country observed.

The increase was triggered after the product’s depot price was increased on Wednesday from N138.62 to N151.56, according to an internal memo from the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC).

In its Memo, the PPMC which is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), stated that the new product price adjustment will take effect from September 2.

However, it did not state the Expected Open Market Price of the commodity.

The fuel price hike stirred various reactions in different quarters across the country.

In his reaction to the increment, President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the hike.

He explained that the outbreak led to a downturn in Nigeria’s finances, making it difficult for the Federal Government to pay for fuel subsidy at this time.

For President Buhari, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected economies globally, has compelled the government to make some adjustments which he described as far-reaching.

Although he admitted that such reviews would cause some initial pain for the people, he insisted that they were necessary for the long-term gains.

In a similar vein, the Minister of Petroleum Resources (State), Mr Timipre Sylva has explained the deregulation of the petroleum subsector will be difficult for a while but pay off on the long run.

Mr Sylva said this on Thursday, September 3, during a briefing in Abuja and noted that the government no longer controls the price of the product.

According to him, the Nigerian government spends over a trillion naira yearly as a subsidy payment, explaining that the high cost forced the government to allow market forces to determine the prices of the product.

The former Bayelsa Governor noted that the current price of petrol is a reflection of the global crude oil price, adding that the Federal Government is not working on any kind of policy to cushion the effect of the deregulation. Instead, it is introducing alternatives to petrol.

Mr Sylva revealed that the alternatives include Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and it will be rolled out by the end of the month.

Stating further, Mr Sylva said that the Department of Petroleum Resources will engage marketers to upgrade their facilities to be able to dispense the alternatives.

Opposition rejects hike in fuel price

The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has rejected the reported increase in the pump price of fuel from N148 to N151.56.

Minority Leader of the House, Ndidu Elumelu, made the position of the lawmakers known in a statement on Wednesday.

He described the announced price as unacceptable, saying it would result in an increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services, as well as worsen the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.

“The minority caucus in the House of Representatives rejects the announced increase in the pump price of fuel,” the lawmaker stated.

He added, “This is because such increase will directly result in more hardship on our citizens, particularly at this critical time when a majority of Nigerians across the country are struggling to survive under the burden of the high cost of living and low purchasing power occasioned by the prevailing economic challenges.

“Any increase in the cost of an essential commodity like fuel will, therefore, bring more hardship to the people and as such should not be contemplated.”

A file photo of the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Ndudim Elumelu.

According to the minority leader, the opposition lawmakers are challenging the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government to rather come up with strategies that will lead to decrease and not increase in the cost of domestic fuel.

He stressed that it was important for the government to revamp the nation’s refineries, instead of resorting to fuel price increase at the detriment of Nigerians.

Elumelu, therefore, directed the PPMC to immediately rescind the purported announcement and revert to the former price, with a view to further reviewing it downward.

‘This Increase Is Ill-Timed’: Atiku Condemns Hike In Electricity Tariff

 

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has faulted the recent increase in electricity tariff in the country, saying it is “ill-timed and ill-advised.”

According to Atiku who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Nigerians are just coming out of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and should be given stimulus, not an increase in electricity tariff.

“I reject the increased electricity tariffs. Coming out of the lockdown, Nigerians need a stimulus, not an impetuous disregard for the challenges they face,” he tweeted on his handle on Thursday.

“Many Nigerians have not earned an income for months, due to no fault of theirs. This increase is ill-timed and ill-advised.”

 


On Tuesday, September 1st, 2020, the new electricity tariff approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) came into force.

This followed the approval of the implementation of the proposed cost-reflective energy tariff by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

According to the new tariff, some residential areas tagged as “poor”  and customers on estimated billing, will not be affected as President Buhari has ordered mass metering of consumers nationwide.

“Under these service-based principles DISCOs will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service,” the commission noted.

 

 

The new tariff, the NERC said, will be reviewed every quarter and the body had told electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to maintain the life-line tariff of N4 for customers consuming less than 50kWh of energy monthly.

‘I Shall Continue To Offer My Shoulders For You To Climb,’ Atiku Tells Nigerian Youths

Supreme Court To Hear Atiku's Appeal August 20
A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

 

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has assured Nigerian youths of his commitment to supporting them at all times. 

Atiku gave the assurance on Wednesday in a message to mark the 21st anniversary of the International Youth Day (IYD).

“I shall stay the course and continue to offer my shoulders for you all to climb because as youths, you are Leaders of Today,” he said.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests 32 ‘Yahoo Boys,’ Seize 12 Cars In Oyo

The former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hailed Nigerian youths for their doggedness and drive towards a better nation, saying this year’s theme, “Youth Engagement for Global Action,” captures how important young people are in the scheme of things.

“I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria,” Atiku added.

“This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation.”

 

A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

He explained that with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, youths have a huge responsibility in fighting the disease as the future of humanity rests on their shoulders.

“Indeed, the survival of humanity rests largely on the shoulders of the youths, as vigour is required to wear out this plague,” the former vice president explained.

“The vigour and spirit that you embody as youth will play a crucial role in the socio-economic survival of the world, and its rejuvenation, post-COVID19.”

 

As future leaders, Atiku called on young people to preach and embrace peace, show patriotism, shun nepotism and promote competence.

“Only then can we truly have the Nigeria of our dream,” he said.

According to the United Nations (UN), the 2020 International Youth Day theme is to buttress the “ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.”

Rid Yourselves Of Nepotism, Promote Competence – Atiku Tells Youths

Supreme Court To Hear Atiku's Appeal August 20
A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has asked Nigerian youths to rid themselves of nepotism and promote competence in all levels.

He stated this in a statement on Tuesday while felicitating with youths across the globe on the 20th Anniversary of the International Youth Day celebration.

He said, “I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria.

The theme of this year’s celebration “Youth Engagement for Global Action” gives a critical picture of what the world perceives about the stake of young people globally.

“This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation”.

Read Full Statement Below:

I wish to felicitate with the youth across the globe on the 20th Anniversary of the International Youth Day celebration.

I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria.

The theme of this year’s celebration “Youth Engagement for Global Action” gives a critical picture of what the world perceives about the stake of young people globally.

This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation.

In this era of Covid-19 when the entire world is faced with this plague, the youth have a responsibility to guard against being infected, as well as help to stem the rate of infection by observing the NCDC protocols of washing/sanitizing hands, wearing of face mask, avoiding crowded areas and observing social distancing.

Indeed, the survival of humanity rests largely on the shoulders of the youths, as vigour is required to wear out this plague.

The vigour and spirit that you embody as youth will play a crucial role in the socio-economic survival of the world, and its rejuvenation, post-covid-19.

As leaders of today, and tomorrow, I enjoin you all to preach and practice peace; demonstrate patriotism at all levels; rid yourselves of nepotism and promote competence above all forms of sentiments.

Only then can we truly have the Nigeria of our dream.

I shall stay the course and continue to offer my shoulders for you all to climb because as youths, you are “Leaders of Today”.

‘Current Goings-On Portend Grave Danger For Edo Elections’ – Atiku

A file photo of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar says the current happenings in Edo portend grave danger for the forthcoming governorship elections in the state.

Atiku also said, in a series of tweets on his official handle, that recent developments in the South South state is a threat to constitutional order in the country.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election said without the rule of law, there will be lawlessness and called on the concerned parties to follow the laws of the land.

“Nigeria has been on edge due to the brinkmanship of those charged with democratic leadership,” he said.

“We must, as a nation, not escalate the already tense atmosphere in our polity. The current goings-on portends grave danger, not only to law and order in that state but to the coming Edo elections.”

While restating that Edo residents should be allowed to pick their choice candidate in the September 19th poll, he said “pending then, everything legally possible must be done to preserve the status quo.”

Impeachment? 

On Thursday, seventeen lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly, including 14 members whose seats have been previously declared vacant, claim that they have impeached the Speaker of the House, Francis Okiye, and his deputy, Roland Asoro.

The decision was taken at a private location in Benin City, the state capital, hours after security officials took over the State Assembly Complex.

Drama in Assembly Complex

Drama played out on earlier at the Edo State House of Assembly when dozens of heavily armed security operatives stormed the complex, leading to the eventual renovation of the complex.

As early as 8 am, police officers comprising operatives attached to the Police Mobile Force and Operation Thunderstorm occupied the complex in Benin City, the state capital.

They were later joined by personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), preventing entry into the Assembly premises.

Oshiomhole Kicked Against Removal Of Fuel Subsidy Under Obasanjo – Atiku

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has recalled how the decision to remove fuel subsidy and increase fuel price was opposed by former governor of Edo State, Comrade Oshiomhole when he was President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Atiku said Obasanjo, during his tenure, had begun a phased subsidy withdrawal, stressing that despite the opposition from the NLC, two phases of subsidy removal of fuel were achieved by the Obasanjo government before leaving office in 2007.

The Peoples Democratic Party chieftain stated via Twitter that he was assigned the task of negotiating with Oshiomhole who is now chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said it is sad that the current removal of subsidy for which some are being praised is the same one which ‘patriots’ like himself have been calling for and for which they were demonized.

The PDP’s presidential candidate in the last election noted that the stoppage of subsidy and price-fixing is the right move, stressing that it should have come earlier when the economy was stronger.

Below are tweets by Mr. Atiku Abubakar.

 

 

 

Atiku, Yahaya Bello Congratulate Buhari’s New CoS

Gambari attends the first FEC meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari presiding on May 13, 2020.

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, have congratulated Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as Chief of Staff (CoS) to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gambari, a renowned diplomat and former Minister of External Affairs was appointed on Wednesday by President Buhari as the CoS. He is replacing Abba Kyari who died of COVID-19 complications in April.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation Mr. Boss Mustapha made the announcement of Gambari’s appointment before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Seven Things You Should Know About Buhari’s New Chief Of Staff Ibrahim Gambari

Atiku in his congratulatory message posted on his official Twitter handle said he hopes that Gambari will deploy his varied skills in service to the nation.

“Congratulations Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR on your appointment as Chief of Staff to @MBuhari.

“It is my hope and expectation and those of millions of Nigerians that you will deploy your varied skills garnered over the years in the service of our nation. -AA”

Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello has also congratulated Gambari describing him as Gambari as a man of many parts whose vast wealth of knowledge and experience remain unrivaled.

He said as a thoroughbred scholar and seasoned career diplomat who had served in various capacities both at home and on the international scene particularly at the United Nations, Gambari’s appointment was no doubt a round peg in a round hole.

“Just as the Late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari played a prominent role in the success of the Buhari’s administration, your coming in to fill the vacuum will further add more colour to the administration’s achievements,” Bello said.

According to the Governor, Gambari would bring his wealth of knowledge to bare in the discharge of his new responsibility as the Chief of Staff to the President and ‘engine house’ of the Presidency

Nigeria Will Never Become Industrialized By Selling Oil, Says Atiku

 

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called for the diversification of Nigeria’s economy, warning that the country will never be industrialized via dependence on crude oil.

Atiku who was the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, said this in an article he published on his Medium account.

In the post captioned “How to Pull Nigeria from the Brink,” Atiku called on the Nigerian government to look into the agricultural sector as a way of shoring up revenue in the face of dwindling oil fortunes.

“We must face the fact that reliance on crude oil is failing Nigeria and other mono-product economies, crude oil exporters,” he said.

READ ALSO: I’m Personally Not In Favour Of Drafting A Bill In The Middle Of A Crisis – NCDC DG

Recalling how agriculture used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy in the 50s and 60s, Atiku admitted that diversification might not be easy but said it is possible.

While citing the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia as examples of oil-producing nations who have diversified their economies, he called on Nigeria to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AFCTA) to make the country “become an agricultural powerhouse in Africa.”

According to him, Nigeria must learn from “Venezuela’s predicaments,” stressing that “what is abundantly clear is that Nigeria is never going to become an industrialized nation by selling more oil, even if the oil market recovers.”

Also, he called for cost-saving measures including letting go of the Presidential Air Fleet, the cancellation of the planned renovation of the National Assembly and reduction of budgets for the legislature among others.

“We cannot be funding non-necessities with debt and not expect our economy to collapse,” he warned, adding that “The same cost-saving measures must be adopted by the states and councils government.”

Easter Message: Nigeria Will Rise And Defeat This Scourge – Atiku

 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is positive that Nigeria will rise and defeat the novel Coronavirus. 

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stated this on Sunday in his message to Christians on the celebration of Easter.

Atiku in a series of tweets stated that he has strong faith in God that the nation in togetherness will bid farewell to COVID-19.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Atiku Donates N50m Relief Fund

He also urged Nigerians to learn the relevant lessons that should be obtained in this period and profit from their experiences.