Budget Padding: Tinubu’s Statement Was Filled With Untruth, Fallacies And Misrepresentations – Saraki

Minimum Wage Assent ‘Good Step In The Right Direction’ – Saraki
A file photo of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

 

Senate President Bukola Saraki has described as fallacious, a claim by Bola Ahmed Tinubu suggesting that he and the leadership of the National Assembly, hijacked the 2018 budget and by extension stifled progress in Nigeria within the last four years. 

The Senate President in a riposte on Sunday, argued that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) should know more about the inner working of the Nation Assembly in that he has been a legislator himself.

Tinubu had on Sunday, accused him and the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, of highjacking the 2018 national budget process.

In his statement titled, ‘Tinubu Focusing on the Issues of Today: ‘Tomorrow is the Master of Itself’, the APC CHIEFTAIN said “National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person.

“After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly”.

In reaction to Tinubu’s claim, the Senate President wrote, “Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts”.

Below is the full statement by Saraki in which he enunciated the working of the National Assembly, giving Tinubu a detailed break down on the budget issue.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

“Saraki to Tinubu: Despite Your Smear Campaign and Hatred for Me, You Should, At Least, Dwell on Facts

Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate. In the statement, one could see the master of media spins getting ensnared in his own game as he struggled to extricate himself from the narratives about the contest for leadership positions in the Ninth National Assembly.

2. Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership.

3. First, he alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should have a better understanding of how the legislature works. The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done in the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.

4. It is also a known fact that any so-called delay in the passage of budgets under the Eighth National Assembly is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time. Last year, the President himself had to direct the Secretary to Federal Government to compel heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly committees following the report made to him by Dr. Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is. “jockeying and manoeuvring for influence”, as he puts it.

5. To further make the points here clear, we invite. Tinubu to look at the records of the time of submission of budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that with the exception of the 2013 budget which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets have been passed between March and May of the same fiscal year. This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriations Bill is submitted to parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors in when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.

6. In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as. he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he should withdraw it.

7. However, there is need to let him know that it is the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to review the proposals sent by the executive and where it deems necessary, it is within the power of the legislature to make changes. A good example, is the decision by the National Assembly to include in the 2018 budget the one percent of the total budget, amounting to N33 billion, as allocation for Universal Health Coverage as provided by an extant law, which had been hitherto observed in the breach. Is this what Tinubu considers as budget padding? And this was a decision which was praised across the world as a real benefit to ordinary people across the country.

8. Tinubu also claimed that the Senate leadership “stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation”. We wonder what these “legislative initiatives” are because in the four years of the Buhari administration, it has only forwarded 11 bills to the Senate, apart form the routine annual appropriations and supplementary budget proposals. Two of these bills, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the National Minimum Wage Bill, have been passed. One of the bills, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act (amendment) Bill was withdrawn by the executive following the disagreement between the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also, another one, the National Water Resources Bill was rejected because it infringed on the rights of states to develop their water resources. The remaining seven which are the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Establishment Bill, Federal Institute of Industrial Research for the Development of Micro, Small and Large Industries Bills, the Suppression of Piracy Bill, Communications Service Tax Bill, 2015; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Bill, 2017; Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2018; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Establishment etc) Bill, 2018 — are at various stages of passage.

9. As a leader of the Eighth National Assembly, Dr. Saraki is proud that under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous Senates in the number of bills passed, the significance of these bills to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery. to the generality of the people. The bills passed, motions moved, interventions made and frequent engagement with the people were all directed towards addressing the day to day issues that affect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. This Senate has passed 282 bills (the highest any Senate had passed is 129 bills recorded by the 5th Senate), among which is the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Public Procurement Act (amendment) Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, Police Reform Bill, Police Trust Fund Bill, Nigeria Railways Authority Bill, Company and Allied Matters Act (amendment) Bill, Secured Credit Transactions Act, Whistleblowers Protection Bill, constitution amendment bills, Discrimination Against Persons With Disability Bill, Electronic Transaction Bill, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act, Witness Protection Programme Bill, Credit Bureau Reporting Bill, Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill and Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, National Financial Intelligence Agency Act, Federal Audit Services Commission Bill, among others. It will be good to know which of these Bills Tinubu believes is “self interested” and not in the interest of Nigerians.

10. We will like to point the attention of Mr. Tinubu to the fact that most of the bills listed above got international and national endorsement from stakeholders who lauded the Senate for the move. For example, the Financial Intelligence Database Agency (Ultrascan) commended the Senate for passing the NFIU Act which enabled the country to be re-admitted into the Egmont Group. Also, the Nigerian Police leadership have praised the Senate for passing the Police Reforms Bill and the Police Trust Fund Bill. Again, when the National Assembly in the 2018 budget gave effect to the law allowing one percent of the budget to be devoted to Primary Health Care Delivery, it got kudos from Bill Gates, Bono, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO, and various national groups who believe the move would bring health care delivery to the poor people across the country. The passage of the UBEC Act (amendment) Bill was praised by Pakistani child education campaigner and youngest Nobel Laureate, Yousafzai Malala. When the PIGB was passed, APC led by Tinubu, National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), among others, hailed the Senate for a good job. Even, the World Bank commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Company and Allied Matters Act and Secured Transactions in Movable Assets and Credit Bureau Reporting Act. Of course, all these initiatives will be ignored by a man who is still sulking because his vow in 2015 that Saraki and Dogara will never lead the National Assembly did not materialize.

11. Tinubu and his mob have been sponsoring the narratives in the media that the emergence of the present leadership of the National Assembly was a mistake. We hereby submit that Dr. Saraki and other leaders of the National Assembly were democratically elected by their colleagues. And it is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months, despite all the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives’. In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, it was the miscalculation by himself and his small cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect. When they failed after their grand-standing that they could always get whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature by waging a campaign of calumny against the law making body. It is now clear that those who took Senators away from the chambers contrary to the directive contained in the proclamation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9, 2015 are ‘mistake personified’. It is obvious that if they repeat that arrogance during the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, they will fail again because Nigeria is greater than them. The institution of the legislature is bigger than the over-bloated egos of these power mongers and dirty schemers.

12. Let us repeat again that we know that a Machiavellian politician like Tinubu will forever agonize over his erroneous belief that Dr. Saraki frustrated his ambition from becoming running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari through a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. In his usual cavalier manner, he will stop at nothing to punish Saraki for that. We know that this attack is not about the interest of the nation or that of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is about his 2023 ambition and it is obvious in the statement as he struggled to explain this away.

13. However, Tinubu should leave Dr. Saraki out of his schemes and manipulations towards 2023. It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process for the emergence of the leadership of the Ninth Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts. Our only advice for him is that if he is interested in the stability of the National Assembly, he should allow the members to elect their leadership in consultations with the party leadership. He should stop treating the legislators like hapless pupils receiving orders from a cane-wielding headmaster. A situation where he, Tinubu, is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only a leadership that truly enjoys the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives. It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realized that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his steps and in his usual devious manner, he is looking for scapegoats. We advise him to leave Dr. Saraki out of his manipulations and “jockeying and maneuvering for influence and power”, as he termed it.

14. The Eighth Senate has done very well and will leave a good legacy. Despite all the underhanded tactics to undermine the legislature by outsiders and the public posturing, members have always worked as a team on critical issues that benefit our nation. That is why hitherto unachievable legislations like the PIGB, Police Reform Act and other bills or amendments to existing laws were passed with ease because the members and the leadership know that they are elected as Senators of the Federal Republic not as party representives.

15. Tinubu should know that while we await his attack for the next quarter, we can only advise him to stay on facts.

Signed

Yusuph Olaniyonu

Special Adviser (Media and Publicity to Senate President)”

Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, speaks at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquim in Abuja on March 28, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has accused the leadership of the 8th National Assembly of hijacking the national budget in the last fours and by extension, constitute a brake on progress and good governance.

In a statement from his media office on Sunday, the former governor while noting that the National Assembly’s positions are important to the fulfillment of the President’s agenda, lamented that a painful lesson was learned in this respect in the last four years.

Tinubu said, “With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. “The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.”

Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, hijacked the budget process these past four years.

“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly,” he added.

He pointed out that in 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. “He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.

“Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty”.

He said: “Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence to get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.

“In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the president’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it”.

READ ALSO: NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu

The full statement titled “TINUBU FOCUSING ON THE ISSUES OF TODAY: TOMORROW IS THE MASTER OF ITSELF,” is as follows:

“We have monitored, with rising incredulity, the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulating the APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to position himself for a presidential run during the 2023 election cycle. Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled, they are injurious to President Buhari’s historic quest to reform Nigeria. It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise we would have continued to watch on in silent amusement.

“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhari and the APC’s resounding victory in the last election. The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda and what it promises in terms of economic and social growth & development, these people want to skip ahead to the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.

“However, the Nigerian people do not elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people elect those who they believe will be the best public servants, committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they reelected in President Buhari while rejecting the horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.

“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023 appears before we even reach the midway point of 2019. If these people would only enlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead of in the service of political intrigue and gossip mongering our country would be much the better.

“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts the plain truth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has he tried to insinuate himself into any major government office.

“If you were asked to name another political figure who has exercised such forbearance, you would be hard pressed to identify another person with a comparable record when it comes to restraint in seeking office. Where others, upon leaving one office, tend to set their eyes immediately upon another, Asiwaju, uniquely in Nigerian politics, has foregone his personal ambitions as his political ideas and policies have flourished in the hands of his allies and mentees.

“This track record does not evince a man obsessed with power and office. While the intrigue-mongers seek to depict Asiwaju as a man hungering for position, his deeds speak of something else. These peddlers of tales do not know the measure of the man nor can they understand what motivates him. Thus, they project their own petty ambitions and designs on to him. The rumors reveal more about the mongers than they say about Asiwaju. They merely reveal what these people would do if they were Asiwaju. But they are not him and thankfully he is not motivated by the same selfish designs that fuel such people. Perhaps because these people have nothing to contribute regarding statecraft or providing actual solutions to actual problems, their minds remain forever mired in political machinations.

“What afflicts them does not affect Asiwaju. Since he last held public office, Asiwaju has, with unprecedented success, dedicated himself toward building a political party that would furnish a progressive alternative to the regressive policies of the PDP. Joining forces with President Buhari and others who shared his progressive ideology, he helped form the APC. Since the inception of the APC, Asiwaju’s focus has been to assist President Buhari develop, refine and implement a progressive agenda that would give every Nigerian a fair chance to prosper and provide for his loved ones.

“As he enters his second term, President Buhari has stated that he will give the economy special priority. His goal is to defeat poverty and joblessness while spurring the type of growth and development that will make Nigeria’s a durable and flourishing economy. These goals are laudable and necessary to move Nigeria forward. However, the obstacles before us are vast and complex.

“Asiwaju’s mind, heart and efforts are focused on supporting the President in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people. He is committed to doing what he can to help President Buhari surmount the challenges in order to achieve the economic reform the nation sorely needs. Given that the imperatives of today are sufficiently daunting in and of themselves, Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naïve, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.

“It is against this backdrop that Asiwaju’s support of the party position regarding the National Assembly leadership must be interpreted. There is no surprise in him supporting the party and the president’s position regarding the National Assembly positions. Nor is it wrong that he do so. As a loyal party member and progressive leader, he would have committed a terrible wrong by navigating against the president and party in these matters.

“That Asiwaju has actively and publicly supported the party and president should not result in such public backbiting. We all know how important these positions are to the fulfillment of the president’s agenda. One need only look to the last four years to see how painfully this lesson has been learned. With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk highjacked the budget process these past four years.National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them. Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.

“If we are truly committed to optimal governance, then we also must be equally committed to ensuring that the National Assembly leadership be competent and experienced as well as imbued with a progressive mindset and a desire to work in close cooperation with executive. This is all Asiwaju has hoped to achieve. There are no ulterior motives. Everything he has done is in concert with and in furtherance of the wishes of President Buhari and the party.

“Thus, those who cast aspersions at Asiwaju, in reality are bucking against the stated position of the President. This is a democracy and people have the right to oppose whomever they wish to oppose. However, if these mongers oppose the president let them be of sufficient courage to plainly say so. They should not disparage Asiwaju as an indirect way to contend against the President.

“What everyone who cares about Nigeria should now do is rally around the president to give him all possible support in driving to reality his economic policies and objectives. This is how we progress as a nation.

“In the end, the rumor-mongers should court greater discipline and wisdom. As Asiwaju recently said there is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four years from now.Moreover, that having allies in the national assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions is a spurious claim.

“In 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position. Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.

“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influenceto get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians. In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it.

“Elections are over. Now is the time for governance to take primacy. Those who have taken to intrigue about 2023 reveal themselves to be lacking in essential concern for the people and the substantive issues that confront us. Our challenges are steep and multiple. Resolving them will occupy all of our time and energy. We do not have the luxury to embark on fantasies about the future. Let the future stay where it is for now. In due time, it shall come and shall decide the shape it is to take regardless of the plans we mortals hold for it.

“As for Asiwaju, he lives in the here and now. His words and deeds are geared toward perfecting progressive governance and resolving the substantive issues of today. Nothing more, nothing less. Those so enamored with gossiping about him, would do themselves and the nation well if they would follow his more productive example”.

Tinubu Media Office,

Tunde Rahman,

April 21, 2019.

Ends.

VAT Increment: Jagaban Has Spoken His Truth And They Are Quiet – Sani Shades FG

 

Senator Shehu Sani Sani on Friday took a mild jab at the Federal Government over the recent report of a move to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central seconded a call by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in which the APC chieftain urged the FG to halt every move to increase VAT in Nigeria.

Addressing a gathering at the Bola Tinubu Colloquium on Thursday in Abuja, the national leader of the APC advised the Nigerian Government against the move and warned that such a decision was capable of worsening the nation’s economic challenges.

“Consumers’ spending is slipping, and this is where I will stop and appeal to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President, and his team to put a huge question mark on any increase of VAT, please,” the former governor pleaded.

He added, “If we reduce the purchasing power of the people, we can further slow down the economy.”

READ ALSO:  INEC Was Grossly Biased Against APC, Oshiomhole Claims

Following Tinubu’s call, Senator Sani took to Twitter taking a swipe at the government saying, “Jagaban has spoken his truth and they are quiet, but if it’s another person they would have a counter or ask why are you embarrassing the President publicly ‘when you have private channels of advising him”.

Still speaking about truth, the lawmaker noted that truth must be told to power, arguing that it is only those who do these that get a place in the annals of history.

“History has no record of those who whisper the truth to power,but only of those who told the truth to power,” Sani said.

Meanwhile, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has asked the Federal Government to tread with caution in the drive for improved revenue.

The Director-General of MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said this in a statement on Wednesday while reacting to the plan by the government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT).

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance had defended the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) that VAT be increased by 50 per cent during a presentation in the Senate.

Ajayi-Kadir, however, said such policy was not ‘manufacturing friendly’, adding that implementing it would have a negative effect as a result of the planned increase in minimum wage.

“As plausible as the recommendation to increase VAT may look, implementing it at this time would boomerang because the timing is inappropriate, especially at a time when the minimum wage of N30,000 was just agreed upon,” he stated.

The MAN DG added, “This could send a wrong signal that the government is not sensitive to the plight of the low- and middle-income earners, who are clearly in the majority. The Nigerian economy will be in a more vulnerable state if VAT is increased.

“No controversy, the burden of the tax would be shifted to the Nigerian consumers that are already struggling, the economy would certainly experience demand crunch, inventory of unsold items would soar, pthe rofitability of manufacturing concerns would be negatively impacted, many factories will witness serious downturn or wind down operations.”

Ajayi-Kadiri, therefore, advised the government to widen the tax net rather than increase the rate in order to meet the growing need for more revenue to address the development objective of the country.

He also appealed to the government not to increase the VAT at this time but consider the implementation of the afore-mentioned tax specific recommendations.

Asiwaju At 67: Buhari Describes Tinubu As A Strong Pillar Of Nigerian Democracy

2019 Elections: The Buhari I Know Will Want A Normal Process – Tinubu
File photo

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent warm felicitations to the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his 67th birthday, March 29th, 2019, describing him as one of the strong pillars of Nigeria’s democracy.

President Buhari joined the APC family in celebrating the Asiwaju of Lagos, who is also the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom in Niger State, for his “selflessness in serving his country, and making life better for many”.

The President in a statement by his aide, Femi Adesina, on Wednesday recalled some of the sacrifices of the party chieftain to include “standing up against injustice in 1993 when the June 12 elections were annulled, which led to his going on political exile for many years, and a protracted legal battle with the Federal Government when funds for Lagos were withheld”.

READ ALSO: APC Clarifies Position On Lawan As Ninth Senate President

President Buhari noted that Asiwaju’s uncompromising posture in the face of injustice and refusal to follow the path of least resistance for personal gains stand him out today as a rare breed and one of the cornerstones of Nigeria’s democracy, “especially with his track record of persistence, consistency and effective leadership”.

President Buhari commended Tinubu for what he termed “a visionary and inclusive leadership style that the Asiwaju provided for the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria for eight years, laying the foundation for a modern and technologically driven city, and ensuring that every successive leader in the state sticks with the masterplan of a greater Lagos”.

The President rejoiced with family members, friends, political and business associates of the Jagaban on his “auspicious milestone”, which the president noted is further brightened with the many successes recorded at the recently concluded polls “by his strong leadership”.

President Buhari says he believes the best years of the APC National Leader are still ahead, and prayed that thAlmightyty God will grant him longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the country “he loves so much”.

Lagos Building Collapse: Tinubu Calls For Blood Donation For Victims

Persevere Just A Bit Longer, Tinubu Begs Nigerians As INEC Postpones Elections

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu, has called for blood donations for the victims of the Ita Faaji Lagos Building collapse.

He stated this while commiserating with the families of the victims.

He said the government must now ensure adequate treatment for rescued victims.

In a condolence message on Thursday to the families of the victims, the APC leader said the school children lost to the building collapse did not deserve to die the way they did. He prayed for the repose of the souls of the innocent kids.

READ ALSOLagos Building Collapse: Rescue Operations Concluded – State Govt

He said the government must fast-track demolition arrangement once a building is discovered to be weak and deserving of demolition to save lives.

In the statement signed by his Media Adviser Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “The building collapse in Ita-Faji, Lagos Island on Wednesday is a tragic occurrence. I commiserate with the families of those kids who lost their precious lives.

“They do not deserve to die the way they did. May God comfort their families and grant repose of the souls of those young ones. The government must now ensure adequate medical treatment for the rescued victims.

“I appeal to Lagosians to voluntarily donate blood not only to victims who urgently require blood but also to improve our blood bank in the state.

“While we await the inquiry into the circumstances that led to the incident, we must all support the government’s intervention efforts.

“The Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory for buildings must be strengthened and the officers must do their work.

“The government’s laid down regulations on building construction and maintenance must be faithfully respected and enforced. To mobilize support for these regulations, Community Development Associations need to come to government’s aid.

“If after the collapsed building had been found to be weak and marked for demolition, everybody had done what was required of them, perhaps this terrible incident would have been averted”.

Tinubu emphasised on the need for the government must fast-track demolition arrangements once a building is discovered to be weak and deserving of being pulled down to save lives.

“Above all, we must all take appropriate lessons and learn from this sad incident”, he added.

APC Is The Only Party In Lagos, Says Tinubu

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu is confident that his party will win the governorship election in Lagos.

Insisting that the APC is the only party in Lagos State, Tinubu said, “We are going to win, we are the only party in Lagos.

“The other ones are just repeated stations; they come every four years and they go back in again.“For Lagos, it has seen tremendous development since I was the governor.

“Before then, the highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was N600m per month, now it is over N30b,” he said after casting his vote at a polling unit in Alausa.

The former governor boasted that no other state had achieved as much financial independence as Lagos State has achieved, as other states depend on allocation from the Federal Government.

“Lagos State today will not depend on any allocation before we take care of capital needs.

“We build roads and bridges everywhere, from Oregun to many parts of the state.“The real estate value of Lagos State has exponentially increased than any other state in the federation.

“We are the fifth largest economy in Africa; let me see that governor who will do better than that.”

READ ALSO‘We’ve Gotten The Victory’ – Wike

The APC national leader said that his party was not threatened by the opposition parties.

He commended the electoral process but called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the voting hours for areas that commenced voting late.

“The information reaching me is that they started late in some places and I don’t know why, but right now everything is going smoothly.

“I believe INEC should extend time since so many of their locations had started late; they should extend the time”.

Asked if he was concerned about the “O to ge” phenomenon spreading to Lagos, Tinubu dismissed the idea, saying it was a movement that was limited to Kwara State.

He further noted that the violence which occurred in the Okota area of the state during the Presidential and National Assembly elections was not enough to give the impression that the state was prone to violence.

I Am Supporting, Not Moving Against Ajimobi, Says Tinubu

Persevere Just A Bit Longer, Tinubu Begs Nigerians As INEC Postpones Elections

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is his partner, not a rival and that his intervention in Oyo APC is to engender genuine reconciliation.

Reacting to a report that he was moving to ban Governor Ajimobil from leading APC campaigns in Oyo and bringing back to the party’s fold, former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Tinubu

Tinubu said Governor Ajimobi as an excellent governor and a faithful member of the APC who has brought progress to the state and in serving two consecutive terms, made history in Oyo.

According to a statement on Monday by Tinubu’s Media Adviser, Tunde Rahman said the APC National Leader said he was only lending his support to the governor and APC’s efforts in the state.

The statement read: The report titled “Tinubu Bans Ajimobi from Appearing at APC Governorship Rallies” is another of SaharaReporters’ excursions into falsehood. The report claims that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu somehow has banned Governor Abiola Ajimobi from attending APC campaigns for Saturday’s governorship election in Oyo State.

READ ALSO: APC Welcomes New Members From Opposition In Edo

“This report goes beyond a lie. It is a vindictive attempt to sow discord because the writer is angered by the APC’s success in the presidential election. Thus, the writer has cast truth aside in his angry desire to inflict some kind of electoral wound on the APC. However, the writer should refrain from this path of falsehood. It would be better for the writer to come to grips with reality and to accept the fact of the APC presidential victory and the likelihood of APC victories in most governorship elections, including that of Oyo.

“The mischief that SaharaReporters cites is not between Tinubu and Ajimobi. It is solely in the mind of SaharaReporters. By its unsubstantiated report, the medium seeks to set brother against brother. Asiwaju and Governor Ajimobi have been political brothers and allies for a long time. Their friendship existed long before SaharaReporters came to the scene and will endure long after this self-diminishing online site is no more.

“Moreover, Governor Ajimobi has been an excellent governor and a faithful member of the APC. He has brought progress to the state and is serving two consecutive terms, Ajimobi made history in Oyo. He is instrumental to anything the APC can achieve in Oyo. The truth is that Asiwaju is not trying to supplant or hide the governor. Instead, Asiwaju is lending his support to the governor’s and APC’s efforts in the state. They are partners, not rivals.

“As such, he has held strategic meetings with some notable groups and important individuals. The heart of the discussions was the need for all to come together to achieve victory for APC in the March 9 governorship poll. At no time did the issue of banning anybody, talk less of Governor Ajimobi, enter into the discussions. We want and need Governor Ajimobi to be a visible figure at the forefront of this campaign during these final decisive days. He will prove pivotal to our hope for victory in the state.

“SaharaReporters betrayed its abject bias with this report. It makes absolutely no sense to even try to stop a sitting governor from campaigning in that governor’s state. Such a move would only create enmity and hinder, not help a campaign. For SaharaReporters to claim this is to claim that Asiwaju is a political novice. Asiwaju has never barred anyone from participating in a campaign. Why would he now start with Ajimobi in Ajimobi’s own state?

“In addition to not having such a negative inclination, Asiwaju wields no such power and has no desire to have such power. Ajimobi is a sitting governor who can travel his state as he pleases. Who can dare stop him? We want him in and at the rallies. Asiwaju’s intervention in Oyo was to engender genuine reconciliation. To exclude this good and the able governor would have aborted this mission before it started.

“Asiwaju views Governor Ajimobi as highly disciplined and a committed and respected party leader, unlike some others who have no respect for party supremacy. The relationship between them remains solid and loyal. And one hundred false reports by one hundred SaharaReporters cannot change that reality”.

Police Stop Purported Anti-Tinubu Rally in Lagos

 

The police in Lagos on Thursday stopped a group which met at the Ikeja Airport Hotel allegedly to launch a campaign to stop a national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, from influencing the outcome of the governorship election in the state on March 9, 2019.

Policemen were said to have mounted strategic positions around the hotel earlier to forestall the planned rally organized by the group, under the aegis of Orange Movement.

The group is believed to have been inspired by a similar action in Kwara State which led to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, being denied the chance to return to the upper legislative chamber in last Saturday’s National Assembly election.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Have Given Buhari Their Mandate To Serve A Second Term – Tinubu

Those who were opposed to the Senate President’s re-election in Kwara State had launched a campaign, adopting the tag of “O to ge” which means “enough is enough” in Yoruba, implying that it was time to end the domination of the state’s politics by the Saraki political structure.

Speaking to Channels Television on the incident in Lagos, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Police command, Chike Oti, said the command did not receive any notification before the rally.

He added that at some point another group emerged at the scene, raising the tension around the area.

“We had no option than to disperse them to avoid the situation degenerating into violence,” said the police spokesperson.

Nigerians Have Given Buhari Their Mandate To Serve A Second Term – Tinubu

Persevere Just A Bit Longer, Tinubu Begs Nigerians As INEC Postpones Elections

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has hailed the President on his victory saying, Nigerians have given President Muhmmadu Buhari their mandate to serve them for a second term.

He stated this in his congratulatory message to the President and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo, for winning the 2019 Presidential Elections.

“In a decisive manner, the electorate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to serve a second term.

“You the Nigerian people have given him a clear, indisputable mandate to lead us for another four years”.

 

READ FULL STATEMENT BELOW: 

On Saturday, February 23 the Presidential Election was held. It was a fair and honest exercise that permitted the full expression of the sovereign will of the Nigerian people. In a decisive manner, the electorate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to serve a second term. You the Nigerian people have given him a clear, indisputable mandate to lead us for another four years.

In re-electing President Buhari, you have shown that you believe Nigeria should move forward to its better future instead of returning to the mistaken ways of our past. You have chosen victory over defeat, hope over despair, prosperity over poverty. You have selected the path toward a greater Nigerian instead of that toward our lesser selves.

READ ALSOAtiku Rejects Outcome Of Presidential Election, Heads To Court

For this collective act of courage and enlightened optimism, we can do nothing but express our most profound gratitude and thanks to the millions of APC members and to all Nigerians for their patience, and their commitment to our democratic electoral process.

This election represents a historic step forward. When history is being made, often its authors do not realize the larger dimensions and consequences of their actions because they tend to be somewhat blinded by the press of daily events. Yet, I believe as the years unfold and the history of Nigeria is later written, future generations will look fondly on this moment as the time when Nigerians, in strong and clear accord, affirmed their belief in our nation’s greatness and in the path that President Buhari and the APC have taken to reach that greatness.

With this election, Nigeria signals to the world our unalloyed embrace of democracy and our unflinching determination to perfect this democracy. While this election was free and fair, we also must acknowledge the isolated incidents of violence. Nigerians were killed and injured during what otherwise was an exemplary democratic procession. Such things should never happen and do us no good.

We must dedicate ourselves to the principle that elections are meant to better all of our lives and thus there is no reason why elections should result in the impairment of even a single life. Let us work even harder to ensure that the March governorship and state assembly elections be devoid of such unfortunate incidents.

No doubt Nigeria has its challenges, but it stands undaunted as a nation. Nigeria is stronger today under the leadership of President Buhari who continues to lay the critical reforms that constitute the foundation for durable, broadly-shared economic development.

President Buhari has marked progress against the terror of Boko Haram. In his second term, he will continue to install peace where there are unrest and violence and he will not cease in this task until Boko Haram and its evil brethren are no more.

He will continue to battle corruption head-on. Given the president’s fortitude and determination, I know corruption will lose this battle and receded from being a major factor in our public arena.

This current leadership owes our youth and all Nigerians to build a political culture of civility, tolerance, and equality.

The tasks before us are hard. We dare not underestimate the challenges that await, but the rewards that beckon are profound. The people of Nigeria are industrious and brave. The ground beneath us is fecund and it is ours. Our plans are visionary and bold. Our goals are just. And the president you have re-elected is honest and true.

The confidence I have in this positive confluence of leadership, people, resources and ideas is an unwavering but also a glad and comforting thing. If we put ourselves to it, there is nothing that another nation has done for itself that we cannot achieve for ourselves.

There is no aspect of national greatness and achievement that lies beyond our reach. Thus, we should look forward to the next four years with hearts filled with hope and hands ready to work.
Only God can create the Promised Land. Yet, with God’s help, we endeavour to make of Nigeria a land of greater promise and prosperity for all her children.

With President Buhari at the helm for four more years, I know we can achieve this. Congratulations to President Buhari on your re-election.

Congratulations to the APC for the fine showing across all the February 23 elections. More importantly, congratulations to the Nigerian people for the wisdom and courage shown in deciding that the best of Nigeria still resides in our future and that President Buhari is the man you best trust to lead us into that future. Posterity shall reward you for what you established on Election Day.

Today the sun shines brighter on Nigeria. If we work hard, tomorrow we shall be able to say the same thing.

Those Watching My House Are Mischief Makers, Tinubu Reacts To Bullion Van Allegation

 

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has said that those who are monitoring his house and have been raising alarms over an alleged Bullion van sighted in his premises are nothing but mere mischief makers. 

Tinubu made this statement after casting his vote in Lagos on Saturday, February 23.

“Who are those watching my house and looking at bullion vans, they must be mischief makers,” Tinubu said.

He said the claims that bullion vans coming out of his premises, does not in any way signify that his party is plotting to rig the elections as some have speculated.

The APC Chieftain said bullion vans are not ballot papers, adding that if they carry money, it is his legally earned funds and he can do with it as he wishes.

READ ALSO: ‘INEC Is Not Prepared’, Moghalu Says After Failure Of Card Reader

The former governor of Lagos state noted that he does not work for the government nor work for any agency of government so he has the right to his funds.

“I don’t work for the government, I am not in an agency of the government, and let anybody come out to say I have taken any contract from the government of President Buhari and the APC in the last five years.

“If I don’t represent any agency of government and I have money to spend if I like I give it to the people for free of charge as long as it is not to buy votes”.

Speaking about the electoral process and the ongoing exercise, he said it has been good so fine, noting that the democratic process is not easy to operate.

“The nation has chosen one of the best ways of choosing leaders, but it is not the easiest way.”

“Nigeria is getting there with resilience and strong determinations”.

If You Snatch Ballot Boxes, You Risk Your Life – Tinubu Defends Buhari

Tinubu A Shining Star In Nigeria's Political Firmament - Ajimobi
file photo: APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu

 

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has said President Muhammadu Buhari was ‘misinterpreted’ over his comments on what awaits those who intend to snatch ballot boxes in the forthcoming elections. 

President Buhari at the party’s caucus meeting on Monday, said all those planning to snatch ballot boxes may be doing so at the expense of their lives.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Tinubu said the President’s statement which garnered a lot of reactions, might have been taken out of context.

Tinubu said “The president was just reinforcing the fact that if you are out there snatching ballot boxes, and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life.”

“It’s okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual, including myself, can be misinterpreted,” Tinubu added.

READ ALSO: Dogara Criticizes Buhari, Oshiomhole Over Comments On Postponed Elections

“These (interpretation) are not his words. He is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, that he is in that office to protect.”

He said no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot extra-judicially.

The Co-Chair of the APC’s Presidential Campaign Council, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, spoke with journalists at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, here are some other major topics he spoke about

On Election Postponement…

“By law we should continue to energise our people. It depends on our resources. Because the Electoral Act allows us to continue to campaign and ask us to stop campaigning only 24 hours before the actual election. And once INEC changed the election date to Feb. 23, they have given us the opening to campaign and energise our people. If you have a garden and you don’t nourish it with water, the grass will remain dormant. We don’t want our party to remain dormant.
“This is ability of leadership to convert adversity to opportunity and prosperity and that’s it; that’s what we must do.

On Whether Poll Postponement Will Affect Credibility Of INEC…

“It depends on how it is handled and the new process. How the process is managed? You can convert what appears a crisis, a situation of adversity to an opportunity and progress
The INEC, under the law, is empowered to postpone, cancel and do whatever is necessary to ensure free and fair election.No party other INEC has this power. We can express our anger and disappointment, but no party can reverse what has been done. So, we are ready for Feb. 23.

On President Buhari’s Statement That Those Planning To Rig…

 

“I was in that meeting; the president was just reinforcing the fact that if you you are out there snatching ballot boxes, and causing destruction, you are at risk of your own life.

“Whatever happens to you, no president will give an order that his own citizens be shot summarily, No! No, its okay, emotions are running high these days. Any individual including myself can be misinterpreted.

“Shoot on sight are not his words; he is a law-abiding person and he understands categorically and clearly what the rule of law is and the lives of individual citizens, he knows that he is in that office to protect.

“Now, let me say this: he has been fighting Boko Haram, kidnappers and all that before this election, did you hear him asking them to be shot and executed summarily?

“If he has gone through that in the last five years, please give him the benefit of the doubt”.

President Buhari’s comments at the APC caucus meeting stirred heated arguments across the country, with many raising concerns that it might encourage violence and jungle justice in the coming polls.

According to Nigeria’s electoral act, the snatching of ballot boxes and destruction of electoral materials leads to a 24-months jail term, not a death sentence.

I Am Not Leaving APC, I Remain Solid In The Governing Party — Tinubu

Oyetola Will Take Osun To The Next Level, Says Tinubu

 

The All Progressives Congress National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he has no plans to leave the party for any other as being insinuated by some and that he remains gidigba (solid) in the governing party.

Reacting to a video of the APC Presidential Campaign rally in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he was seen throwing the party’s flag, Tinubu said he was throwing the flag to National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole to give to the party’s governorship candidate in the state, Prince Dapo Abiodun.

In a statement on Tuesday night by his Special Adviser, Media, Tunde Rahman, the APC leader denied throwing away the party’s flag as being insinuated by PDP.

“If you want to fault Asiwaju for anything in this matter, your critique can only be limited to the accuracy of his toss. Any attempt to enlarge the episode beyond this is fiction and mischief writ large,” he clarified in the statement.

READ ALSO: PDP Plans To Orchestrate Crisis, Trigger Panic Ahead Of Polls – FG

Agreeing that an incident did actually occur at the Ogun State APC rally, he said it was not the one PDP concocted. “The true incident that should be reported and condemned is that people who furtively oppose the party and the president tried to infiltrate and disrupt this rally. The attack by these operatives was disrespectful of the office of the president and could have potentially harmed the person of the president”.

The statement reads in full: “With but a few precious days until the election and with its chance of victory running out even faster than the time, the Peoples Democratic Party now grasps at the most nonsensical and desperate tactics to salvage its falling enterprise. However, a drowning man cannot toss himself a lifeline. Nor can the PDP succeed in turning the innocuous attempted exchange of a flag between the National Leader and National Chairman into a rift in the APC’s successful campaign.

“An incident did actually occur at the Ogun State APC rally but it is not the one PDP has concocted. The true incident that should be reported and condemned is that people who furtively oppose the party and the president tried to infiltrate and disrupt this rally. The attack by these operatives was disrespectful of the office of the president and could have potentially harmed the person of the president.

“Such antics have no place in our political discourse. The author of these misdeeds should desist before real harm is done. Now to the crux of the opposition’s latest antics. If the issue of the flag has become the hotspot of the PDP campaign, then they are in serious trouble.

“During that portion of the Ogun rally, the National Chairman and others were looking for a party flag. Asiwaju Tinubu spotted one within his reach. He picked it up and attempted to toss it to Chairman Oshiomhole so that the Chairman could present it to the party’s gubernatorial candidate Prince Dapo Abiodun. If you want to fault Asiwaju for anything in this matter, your critique can only be limited to the accuracy of his toss. Any attempt to enlarge the episode beyond this is fiction and mischief writ large.

“As the National Leader, Asiwaju Tinubu is thoroughly faithful and committed to the APC. It is unthinkable that he would leave the party. Moreover, there is no reason for him to do so. He has been hard at work for the victory of the APC and all of its candidates in the upcoming election.

“Asiwaju understands the bigger picture. He knows what is at stake in this election. Either the nation moves forward along the progressive path of the APC or it will be forced to retreat into the ills of the past created by the PDP. With the nation’s future hanging in the balance, Asiwaju will not allow himself to be deterred by petty mischief.

“Those spinning this matter should make better use of their imaginations. Asiwaju is not going anywhere. He remains gidigba (solid) in APC. And after the election, he will be there celebrating the APC’s and this nation’s victory over those who would prevent us our rightful future”.