Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

A drama almost played out on Friday in the Senate over the recitation of Nigeria’s national anthem.

While the lawmakers were holding a special session to screen ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi) stood up to asked a couple of questions.

The lawmaker directed his questions to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, who stood on the floor of the Senate as one of the nominees.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

Senator Melaye’s inquiries bordered on Mr Keyamo’s qualification to hold the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He said, “I start by congratulating my ‘paddy’ and friend, Festus Keyamo, and our relationship actually dates some years back, not recent. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual.

“I want to quote Section 174 of the Constitution and then ask my question in that regard, section 150 talks about who is qualified to be Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

After asking about two questions relating to his qualification for the office, Senator Melaye asked Keyamo to recite the nation’s anthem.

“I just want to say that as a versatile minster, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.

However, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, interjected and asked the legal practitioner to ignore the recitation of the national anthem.

“That is not a question,” Senator Lawan told Senator Melaye, adding, “You have asked very direct questions.”

It is believed that a number of Nigerians cannot recite the national anthem fluently.

The nation’s anthem is mostly sung to mark the commencement of activities in primary and secondary schools, as well as government events among others.

‘Busiest In The World’, Keyamo Plans To Unbundle Supreme Court

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN), Festus Keyamo, has said that Nigeria’s Supreme Court is the busiest in the world and as such requires unbundling.

“Our Supreme Court is the busiest in the world and it is not just acceptable,” Festus Keyamo said while responding to a question by Senator Omo Agege during a ministerial screening exercise which held in Abuja on Friday.

Senator Omo Agege had asked Keyamo what reforms he would like to see in the justice sector if the President gives him the position of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

Responding to the Deputy Senate President’s question, Keyamo said if he is AGF, his first duty will be to unbundle the Supreme Court, as well as bring new reforms to the judicial system.

“If I am AGF, I have the idea I call the three ‘Ds’ that would be at the heart of judicial reforms.

“The first D is the decongestion of the Supreme Court, the Second will be the decongestion of the prisons and the third one will be the decongestion of court lists,” Keyamo said.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

The rights activist said he will not be the AGF without unbundling the Supreme Court, arguing that the kind of cases that are brought before the Apex Court are “scandalous, interlocutory appeals”.

Keyamo further stressed that the Supreme Court is burdened with appeals dealing with frivolous matters.

He also opined that Nigeria has become big enough to have six regional Supreme Courts where appeals from the regions can be handled appropriately.

The Senior Advocate said: “Land matters, contract matters, marriage and all of that” will end there.

Keyamo stated that these ‘frivolous’ matters in the Supreme Court are the reasons why many cases are still pending for years at the Apex Court, adding that ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’.

Speaking further on unbundling the Supreme Court, Keyamo said if he is made the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), he will ensure that the courts in Abuja will only tend to constitutional issues, political matters, and election disputes that have to do with the interpretation of the constitution because, at that point, the nation will need the guidance of a central Supreme Court.

Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Festus Keyamo, says the chapter of the party in Delta State was formed at his house in Effurun.

He stated this while he was being screened as a ministerial nominee by members of the Senate on Friday in Abuja.

“I was a foundation member of the APC in Delta State,” Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) told the lawmakers.

He added, “The first major meeting held in Delta State, involving the national leaders that came, because we didn’t have a government, it is a PDP state and we didn’t have a government; that meeting was held in my house in Effurun, in my parlour.

“So, I can say APC was formed in my house in Delta State. It is not a surprise that I’m standing here today as a nominee of the APC for Delta State.”

READ ALSO: Show Commitment, Set Leah, Grace And Others Free – CAN Pleads With Buhari

Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Keyamo said that he joined politics because of the need to be part of the group that would fix the numerous challenges facing the nation.

He was of the opinion that getting results for recommendations aimed at addressing the major issues in the country was hasty than being on the other side.

For the senior lawyer, “It is a natural inclination of governments all over the world to see critics on the outside as enemies, so they take your views with a pinch of salt.”

He explained, “It was then I took a conscious decision some years ago to be part of a political process that could get us into power.

“That conscious decision I took was because I discovered that what you can be screaming on the outside for 10 years to achieve because you are breaming with all kinds of solution to our problems on the outside…, you can achieve that in 10 minutes when you are part of government and part of a political process.”

Keyamo is one of the 43 ministerial nominees whose names were forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for confirmation.

Amaechi, Akpabio Settle ‘Political Differences’

Amaechi, Akpabio Settle 'Political Differences'

 

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, and former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, have settled the perceived political differences between them.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, disclosed this in a statement sent to Channels Television on Monday.

According to him, both leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ironed out their differences when they met on April 14.

READ ALSOEdo Election Tribunal Receives 14 Petitions

“The meeting, which was at the instance of Senator Godwill Akpabio, was brokered by two chieftains of the party, Alhaji Nasiru Danu, (the Dan Amarna of Dutse) and Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN,” the spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council said.

He added, “Alhaji Danu, was one of the Directors of Logistics of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and a long-time ally of President Muhammadu Buhari while Mr Keyamo was the Director of Strategic Communications of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.”

 

The SAN explained that the meeting which lasted several hours took place at the private residence of Mr Danu in the Asokoro region of Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He disclosed that the former governors “frankly and honestly” talked about their disagreements from their days as governors while they were both in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Keyamo added that Amaechi and Akpabio discussed and analysed the performance of the APC in the South-South region in the just-concluded elections and identified areas where things went wrong and how to improve those areas in future.

“At the end, both leaders agreed to close ranks and work in unison for the overall interest of the party in the country,” he said.

“They promised to put behind them all previously perceived misgivings between them and to give a positive direction to the teeming supporters of the party across the country.”

Electronic Transmission Is Neither Contained In Electoral Act, Nor INEC’s Guidelines – Keyamo

Mr Festus Keyamo

 

Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, has said that the videos circulating all over social media showing how February 23, 2019, presidential election was allegedly rigged are of consequence because they do not align with the provisions of the law. 

Keyamo in a series of tweets on Thursday warned that whatever video or electronic evidence that some may claim to have,  do not align with the electoral act nor do they align with guidelines as stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Keyamo tweeted:

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Cabinet Remains Intact Until May 22, Says Lai Mohammed

INEC had declared Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, winner of the presidential election with 15,191,847 votes, as against PDP’s Atiku Abubakar’s 11,262,978 votes.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party and Atiku claimed that some results purportedly obtained from the INEC server showed that Atiku actually scored a total of 18,356,732 votes, and Buhari 16,741,430 votes.

Both PDP and Atiku claim to be in possession of certain documents proving that he won the presidential election overwhelmingly with 1.6m votes.

The PDP and Atiku have since filed a petition, precisely on March 20, to challenge President Buhari’s reelection, with APC and INEC as co-respondent.

You Do Not Need A WAEC Certificate To Become President Or Governor – Festus Keyamo

 

 

Festus Keyamo has argued that one does not need to have a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria. 

Keyamo made this assertion while featuring as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He said “There are other levels of qualifications to run for the office of President. In fact, if you have occupied the public office for a reasonable length of time, by the provisions of the constitution, you do not even need a WAEC certificate to become President of Nigeria”.

Keyamo who is director strategic communications of President Muhammadu Buhari, 2019 presidential campaign, also argued that Buhari’s certificate is not in question because WAEC itself confirmed that the President passed his examination and was issued a certificate.

READ ALSO: Citizenship: Sowunmi, Keyamo Disagree Over Atiku’s Eligibility To Contest Election

“It becomes extremely foolish for anybody who is not statutorily empowered to issue WAEC certificates to come and challenge the body that has the statutory power to issue certificates,” he said.

In differentiating between President Buhari’s case and the situation with Senator Ademola Adeleke, Keyamo noted via Twitter that the case in Osun state borders upon a forgery.

Keyamo also spoke about the motion filed by the APC claiming that Atiku Abubakar, is a Cameroonian.

He said the matter was already in court and as a senior member of the bar, he cannot go into details about it.

He, however, advised “those who are informed” to go and read thoroughly Section 131 in conjunction with Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Citizenship: Sowunmi, Keyamo Disagree Over Atiku’s Eligibility To Contest Election

INEC Denying Atiku Access To Election Materials Despite Court Order, Says PDP
A file photo of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

 

The spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Segun Sowunmi, and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Festus Keyamo, have disagreed on the citizenship of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Both men, who appeared as guests on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, made different remarks about the eligibility of the PDP candidate to contest the presidential election.

They, however, exercised restraint on how they addressed the issue as the matter was already in court.

Sowunmi believes the claims by the APC that Atiku is not a Nigerian are just part of the purported acts of the ruling party to distract the former vice president from reclaiming his mandate.


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Mr Segun Sowunmi

 

He insisted that the PDP candidate was one of the citizens of the country, stressing that Nigeria has 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, and Adamawa was one of them.

“Atiku Abubakar has been the former vice president of this country and I think that when this kind of issues come up, you begin to query who exactly and what exactly is the geographical expression of Nigeria,” the PDP member said.

He wondered how such an allegation could emerge when Atiku is the Waziri of Adamawa, adding that he was a top Customs officer for more than 20 years before he retired.

Sowunmi stressed that most Nigerians know a lot about Atiku’s background and affirmed that everything about the former vice president was that of Nigeria.

“I actual fact, Atiku’s grandfather is from Sokoto,” he said.

The PDP campaign spokesman stated explained, “Atiku’s grandfather followed his friend to Adamawa then was Gongola, and Atiku’s grandfather gave birth to Atiku’s father there. But it has never been under guesswork that Atiku is a full-fledged bona fide Nigerian.”

In his response, Keyamo who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that the matter was already in court and as a senior member of the bar, he cannot go into details about it.

He, however, advised “those who are informed” to go and read thoroughly Section 131 in conjunction with Section 25 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Mr Festus Keyamo

 

The APC member disclosed that the decision to test the matter in court was a collective decision reach by more than 18 senior advocates representing the President and the APC at the Election Petition Tribunal.

He stressed that the fact that Atiku served as a vice president for eight years does not make him a Nigerian, saying, “That is irrelevant.”

“Did you have access to security reports then; did the court look at that issue at that time? We are talking of qualifications to be President of Nigeria, not qualifications to be a Customs officer,” Keyamo stated.

He said that the matter has never been tested in court before does not provide a platform for someone to keep doing “something that is wrong”.

The senior advocate noted that the issue of citizenship was just one of the six grounds raised to challenge the petition filed by the PDP at the Tribunal.

He said, “I can tell you for free that since 1960, this is the most useless petition that has been presented before any court of law, or any Tribunal to adjudicate.”

Chidoka, Keyamo Disagree Over Results From The North

 

 

The spokespersons for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Osita Chidoka and the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo have disagreed over the presidential results from the north as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Both men were at the Collation Centre, today,  in Abuja, where figures from all states regarding the presidential elections are being collated.

While expressing worries at the figures released by the commission from some northern states, Chidoka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the INEC boss, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, to provide details of the accreditation of voters captured by card readers in the general elections.

READ ALSO: PDP Demands Stoppage Of Collation Of Results By INEC

“The issue before us Mr. Chairman is that we will appreciate, and we feel very strongly about this and the PDP Chairman (Mr. Uche Secondus) has written you a letter. We are worried that the promise you made and the commitment INEC made that as we are carrying out this collation of results, that you will project the details of the accreditations captured by your card readers in the country.

“Yesterday (Monday), our colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come in this morning as we were listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by states and by your card readers.

“Please Mr Chairman, we will like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation by the card readers for Bauchi, Borno, Yobe in particular and then of course for the rest of the country because the numbers we are seeing seems to be like we live in two countries,” he stated.

In reaction to Chidoka’s comments, Keyamo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said the PDP spokesman’s request goes contrary to Clauses 32 and 35 of INEC’s regulations.

READ ALSO: Akpabio Loses Senatorial Seat In Akwa Ibom

“I just want to react to what my colleague of the PDP said. My simple reaction is that what we are doing here is guided by law and the regulations of INEC.

“In the regulations of INEC, if one looks at Clauses 32 to 35, it clearly states the powers of the Chairman of INEC sitting at this Collation Centre and those powers of INEC Chairman does not involve the inquisition, the type of inquisition that my friend is asking for.

“The details that my friend is asking for amounts to an inquisition into the results submitted to the Chairman of INEC. There is a proper avenue into how many people were captured by the card readers and all of that and compared into the results.

“That is not the duties of the Chairman sitting at this Collation Centre and those procedures are clearly spelt out there. So for us as a party, for my candidate, we are totally objecting to that procedure here,” he stated.

In his response, Professor Yakubu said the request made by the PDP’s spokesperson should be channeled to the Commission’s headquarters.

Chidoka, Keyamo Disagree Over Collation Process

 

The spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr Osita Chidoka and that of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Mr Festus Keyamo on Tuesday disagreed over the presidential results from the North as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Both men were at the Collation Centre in Abuja, the nation’s capital, where INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu addressed the stakeholders three days after the Presidential and the National Assembly elections were conducted across the country.

While expressing worries at the figures released by the commission from some northern states, Chidoka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the INEC boss to provide details of the accreditation of voters captured by card readers in the general elections.

“Yesterday (Monday), our colleague raised the issue and we thought that when we come in this morning as we are listening to the states, we will be seeing the accreditation by the states by your card readers.

“Please Mr. Chairman, we will like it to be on record that we want to see the accreditation by the card readers for Bauchi, Borno, Yobe in particular and then of course for the rest of the country because the numbers we are seeing seem to be like we live in two countries,” he stated.

But in response, Keyamo said Chidoka’s request was contrary to Clauses 32 and 35 of INEC’s regulations.

“I just want to react to what my colleague of the PDP said. My simple reaction is that what we are doing here is guided by law and the regulations of INEC.

“In the regulations of INEC, if one looks at Clauses 32 to 35, it clearly states the powers of the Chairman of INEC sitting at this Collation Centre and those powers of INEC Chairman do not involve the inquisition, the type of inquisition that my friend is asking for.

“The details that my friend is asking for amounts to an inquisition into the results submitted to the Chairman of INEC. There is a proper avenue into how many people were captured by the card readers and all of that and compared with the results.

“That is not the duties of the Chairman sitting at this Collation Centre and those procedures are clearly spelt out there. So for us as a party, for my candidate, we are totally objecting to that procedure here,” he stated.

In his response, the INEC boss said the request made by the PDP’s spokesperson should be channeled to the Commission’s headquarters.

Melaye, Keyamo In Heated Argument Over Buhari’s Directive On Ballot Box Snatchers

 

The senator representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye and the spokesperson of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo (SAN), on Tuesday, had a heated argument over President Buhari’s directive on ballot box snatchers.

While Keyamo defended that the President’s directive is aimed at curbing the menace of electoral fraud, Melaye argued that the President had failed to speak with utmost decorum and respect to the rule of law.

They were both guests on Channels TV’s special election programme, The Verdict.


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Senator Melaye said he was “utterly disappointed” in the President, adding that he was even more surprised that he had not tendered an apology to Nigerians.

“I am utterly disappointed in my president. I am completely in shock that in a democratic setting, a president will speak with the anointing if Idi Amin of Uganda, the president will use the word “ruthless”, the president will order killings of Nigerians without going through Legal procedures. That is totally unacceptable.

“I expected that by now the President should have apologised to Nigerians and withdraw that statement but instead there has been a lot of efforts, boxing the wind by Chieftains of the APC, trying to defend what is not defendable,” he said.

On his part, Keyamo said the President was 100% correct constitutionally, by making the comments and he would even encourage him to repeat it.

“I think I have listened to so many uninformed comments.

“What the president said is 100% correct, defensible and I will urge him to repeat it over and over again.

“The President said that whoever leads a band of thugs to go and snatch ballot boxes will pay dearly for it with his life. That is a correct statement of the law,” he stressed.

The President on Monday ordered security agencies to “deal ruthlessly” with anyone who attempts to snatch ballot boxes during the rescheduled general elections on Saturday (February 23, 2019).

“Anybody who decides to snatch ballot boxes or lead thugs to disturb it, maybe this is the last unlawful action you will take,” he said.

“I really gave the military and the police (order) to be ruthless. We are not going to be blamed that we want to rig election. I want Nigerians to be respected. Let them vote whoever they want across the parties”.

APC Accuses US Of Bias Against Buhari’s Administration, Double Standards

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the United States of bias against the Buhari-led Government.

According to a statement by APC spokesman, Festus Keyamo, the party accused the US of double standards.  

In its communique on Monday, the Party said it was concerned about recent statements by the United States’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington and other Western Diplomats which have been directed towards Nigeria’s upcoming elections.

The APC said while the US and other nation’s interests in the elections are welcome, the recent expressions by Ambassador W. Stuart Symington were notably off- key.

Speaking about recent warnings by the US and other nations regarding electoral malpractice and possible violence that might mar the polls, the APC said, “The continued warnings about ‘flawed elections’ is capable of casting an unwarranted cloud over the process.

“Instead of encouraging our country toward credible elections, such statements undermine public confidence. It would appear that these envoys seem to have discredited the election before it has even taken place

“We truly hope some of the statements attributed to these diplomats are inaccurate.

The APC said that in a recent report, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington threatened to “hold to account” anyone whose speech, no matter the motivation of that speech, engendered hatred.

READ ALSO: Buhari Takes Re-Election Campaign To Ogun

While the Party agreed that any speech willfully intended to trigger violence is condemnable. It, however, noted that in condemning other forms of political speech, the American envoy overstepped his ambassadorial brief.

“For instance, the American Ambassador was reported to have condemned a situation where a candidate says that his opponent’s political and economic policies are abhorrent and dangerous to the greater welfare of the people and calls on the citizens to hate and reject such policies. In our view, this is a correct statement because it is the duty of the candidate to tell the people these truths to protect the nation from subsequent calamity. But Ambassador Symington says his country would punish such necessary political speeches.

“For us, it is significant to note that such strong political speeches are not unlawful in the United States, but Ambassador Symington is seeking to penalize such speeches by Nigerians. He seeks to shrink our ambit of free speech so that we may behave in accordance with their vision of well-behaved Africans, rather than in consonance with our vision of our own democracy, no matter how tumultuous and dramatic we may be. It would appear that his position seeks to prohibit forms of expression integral to our political discourse. These forms of expression have time and time again been adjudged to be constitutionally-protected speeches by the United States Supreme Court.

“However, Ambassador Symington intentionally issued his threats to place a chilling effect on speeches in Nigeria that, if uttered in America, would be constitutionally protected. Unfounded allegations and threats to penalize people for constitutionally-protected free speech is improper interference in our internal affairs. Sadly, what Ambassador Symington and some other western diplomats are doing border on the improper.

“We take the view that the constant statements by Ambassador Symington and the other diplomats are implicit attacks against the government of Nigeria. These statements imply the Nigerian government is inclined to rig the election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is unfair and unacceptable to us. President Muhammadu Buhari has never been accused of electoral malpractice all his life. However, in contrast, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar publicly boasted a few months ago that he rigged the 2003 election in the Southwest States. Here, we have an open confession of blatant electoral malfeasance by the PDP candidate. But in all of these, there seem to be no concern by Ambassador Symington and other diplomats about this well-acknowledged proclivity of the main opposition.

“We expected that such open confession to rigging in the past would have drawn condemnation from the United States. Rather what we witnessed recently was the ignoble act of giving such a self-confessed rigger with a decade-old indictment in America for corruption hanging over his head a special status to enter the U.S for a few days. Such is the double standard that America now displays for the whole world to see”.

“The continued reference and praise of the 2015 election by Ambassador Symington clearly shows he needs further briefing about the Nigerian situation. For his information, the 2015 presidential election, at the end of the day, produced the correct outcome, but with flawed figures in many areas. Though they lost, the figures attributed to the PDP were inflated in many places, especially in the South-South, to save the face of the past President and to reduce the margin of his defeat. President Buhari is determined to improve on the 2015 elections and so it cannot even be our benchmark.

“An American ambassador has a great responsibility in representing the strongest economic and military power in the world. His comments carry weight because of the status of his nation. This means his comments should reflect a deep knowledge of the subject. Sadly, Ambassador Symington has not shown the deep knowledge of the Nigerian situation. The impression he creates by constantly harping on suspected government interference with the electoral process is that President Buhari cannot win without tipping the results. He seems to be saying that only a PDP victory will be evidence of a fair election.

“Again, he is in great error. From all of the information at our disposal, President Buhari can and should win a free and fair election. However, it appears to us that Ambassador Symington is substituting his subjective conclusions for the sovereign will of the Nigerian people. In doing so, he has abandoned the impartiality of a true envoy and has trespassed into interfering in our electoral process.

“Instead of encouraging free and fair elections, these judgmental statements and threats only cast an unnecessary pall over the elections and the nation. This is an international disservice and not international diplomacy. The days of unquestioned condescension to Western powers are long gone and we are not prepared at this time in Nigeria to recede to that era.

“Nigerians will define Nigeria’s democracy. We shall hold fair and just elections, not because of scolding by diplomats, but because we have sufficient intelligence and morality to do what is right for ourselves. If Ambassador Symington has familiarized himself with Nigeria’s history from 1999 till date, he would have realized that those in the main opposition are being haunted by their past: they think President Buhari would behave exactly like they did all these years when they consistently rigged elections and denied Nigerians the right to choose their leaders

“If Ambassador Symington truly intends to be impartial, his statements should acknowledge that both Government and Opposition (particularly in States where the opposition have Governors in place) must respect the process and refrain from the rigging. We expect him to counsel both governing party and the Opposition from any form of electoral malpractice. After all, it is not only Governments at the center that rig elections. Elections can also be rigged in opposition-controlled areas.

“It is not too late for Ambassador Symington to repair the damage of his uninformed statements. He needs to speak as an impartial envoy instead of a person who appears to have prejudged the quality of the process and the outcome. Until he attains that level of informed impartiality, whatever good he seeks is better achieved by his silence than by tendentious utterances”.

The APC said it is unfortunate that most of the countries that sermonize about free and fair elections have ugly histories of denial of the voting right to people because of their colour and are still facing many challenges with their electoral systems till date.

PDP Will Be Put In ‘Dustbin Of History’, Says APC

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted Atiku Abubakar’s endorsement by leaders of the Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta forum, the Middle Belt Forum, and a faction of Afenifere.

According to a statement by the APC’s official spokesman and director, strategic communications, Festus Keyamo, the party expressed confidence that the PDP will be put in the ‘Dustbin of History’ by Nigerians after the general elections are over.

“We are confident that in a few days’ time, the PDP will be put where it rightly belongs by the good people of Nigeria – the dustbin of history”.

Read Full Statement:

PRESS RELEASE BY APC PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL

ON

PDP: ITS VOODOO ENDORSEMENTS AND VOODOO PROJECTIONS

We read, with amusement, two developments in the Press today which underscore the desperate situation Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) finds itself right now. These developments are:

(1) The so-called PDP-induced ‘endorsement’ of its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar by a few individuals claiming, albeit falsely, to represent their respective regions. These are PANDEF, Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Ohaneze Ndigbo, a tiny fraction of Afenifere and Middle Belt Forum.

(2) Certain projections by a section of the Press that give the impression that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is in some kind of a tight race with President Muhammadu Buhari in respect of the 2019 Presidential election.

Firstly, as regards the endorsements by the above-named socio-cultural groups, there is no fraud bigger than that of known PDP members and/or hardened PDP sympathizers wearing the apparel of socio-cultural groups, purporting to represent entire regions and endorsing their own political party.

READ ALSOOhaneze Ndi Igbo, Northern Elders Forum, Others Endorse Atiku For President

The impression given through these endorsements that PDP is expanding its support base is also an attempt to deceive Nigerians because these are groups that supported PDP in 2015 and lost the election along with PDP.

Therefore, their excuse that they are supporting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar because of the bogey called ‘restructuring’ is nothing but a subterfuge. In any case, Ohaneze had said in its earlier release that the first reason they are endorsing Atiku Abubakar is that his running mate is an Ibo man.

In the past, it used to be that some of these individuals have used the names of these groups and platforms to purport to represent their people and as such enjoyed huge government patronage. The proceeds of this patronage have never trickled down to their people they purport to represent but ended up in their pockets and benefitted only their immediate families.

This is in perfect tune with the campaign promise of Atiku Abubakar to enrich only his friends. Therefore, like bees and honey, these people and Atiku Abubakar are attracted to themselves.

Unfortunately for them, President Muhammadu Buhari has managed to navigate his way directly to the masses who they purport to represent and is ensuring that the dividends of democracy reach the people directly. Their annoyance is that they have been eliminated as middlemen. That is why the bond between the masses and President Muhammadu Buhari continue to grow on a daily basis.

The curious question we ask is that, where were these social-cultural groups all these years when the PDP squandered our resources and failed to develop critical infrastructure in their respective regions?

Are they saying that they are satisfied with the level of developments of infrastructure in their respective regions during the 16 years of PDP rule? Where is the outrage of these socio-cultural groups as the Buhari administration has so far recovered from PDP members and their allies a total of nearly N800billion, 407 mansions, 259 automobiles, farmlands, filling stations, etc – all belonging to the Nigerian people? Where is their outrage?

Instead, they are endorsing these same set of people who perpetrated this evil against the Nigerian people.

Secondly, as to the voodoo percentages allocated to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in some voodoo projections by some media houses (which should have since changed their crests to the umbrella – the symbol of the PDP), it is laughable to see them project a tight race between President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. For instance, we note with amusement the clear lead given to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the South-East, just because his running mate is from the region, but fail to see that same clear advantage given to President Buhari in the South-West from where the Vice-President comes.

It is also fraudulent to project the reduction in the advantage the President has always enjoyed in his traditional base, but fail to see the massive inroads the President has also made into the traditional bases of the PDP.

These and many other funny and fraudulent projections are what we know the PDP is using to prepare the ground to rubbish the electoral process which its leaders know is an insurmountable mountain for them to climb. They are, therefore, going for broke.

We want to alert Nigerians to be firm and unwavering in their resolve not to go back to the vomit which they spewed forth in the shape of PDP in 2015. Nigerians have seen through the PDP and its Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (who has been described by his former employer in the most debasing language ever found on print) and Nigerians can no longer be deceived.

We are confident that in a few days’ time, the PDP will be put where it rightly belongs by the good people of Nigeria – the dustbin of history.

Thank you.

FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)

Director, Strategic Communications,

APC Presidential Campaign Council,

(Official Spokesperson)