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BUHARI/ATIKU SET FOR 2019 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION… WHO BREASTS THE TAPE?

Having won the 2015 presidential election which was keenly contested with the then President Goodluck Jonathan and others, President Muhammudu Buhari is set again to vie for same election, this time, he will be literally locking horns with about 34 contenders but prominent among them is former Vice President Atiku Abubakar the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Atiku emerged recently as the PDP flagbearer at his party convention held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He received the highest number of votes in the exercise. Atiku scored 1,532 votes to defeat his closest rival, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who polled 693, Saraki came third with 317 votes

There were a total of 3,274 accredited delegates, with Datti Baba-Ahmed sitting uncomfortably at the bottom of the table with five votes while Kwankwaso 158 and Dankwambo 111 came fourth and fifth respectively. Others are Lamido who scored 96 votes, Markafi 74, Bafararwa 48, Turaki 65, Mark 35 and Jang 19 votes

Buhari on his part emerged the All Progressive Congress when he polled a total of 14, 842,072 across the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory during the party’s direct Presidential Primary. This was announced by the governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who served as returning officer during the National Convention of the party held at Eagle Square, Abuja.

Fayemi thereafter asked delegates to affirm President Buhari as the party’s candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections via voice vote.

He said, “Do you affirm Muhammadu Buhari as our candidate for 2019 presidential election? The delegates shouted “Yes”.

With the presidential primaries over the stage is now set for the presidential election which comes up on Saturday, February 16, 2019 as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

While President Buhari will rely on his achievements as rolled out by the Presidency which include economy, infrastructure and others, Atiku has commenced a surreptitious plot to unseat Buhari. He is currently in Dubai having series of meetings with PDP stakeholders and drawing up his campaign strategies.

For instance, in the economy sector, the presidency during the last Democracy Day held on May 29, 2018 stated that the Nigerian economy is back and is on the path of growth after the recession of 2016-17, it added that priority sectors of agriculture and solid minerals maintained consistent growth throughout the recession.

It said inflation has fallen for the fifteenth consecutive month while the nation’s external reserves are at their highest levels in five years, currently double the size of October 2016.

“The new FX Window introduced by the CBN in April 2017 now sees an average of $1 billion in weekly turnover, and has attracted about 45 billion dollars in inflows in its first year, signalling rising investor confidence in Nigeria

“Nigeria’s Stock Market ended 2017 as one of the best-performing in the world, with returns of about 40 percent,” it said.

It also said five million new taxpayers were added to the tax base since 2016, as part of efforts to diversify government revenue.

Also, tax revenue increased to N1.17 trillion in the first quarter 2018, a 51 per cent increase on the first quarter 2017 figure.

The government said N 12.7 trillion was spent on infrastructure in the 2016 and 2017 budgets, “an unprecedented allocation in Nigeria’s recent history. ”Other economic achievements, stated by the presidency, include the revitalisation of 14 moribund blending plants under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, and the tripling of revenue to the Federation Account from solid minerals.

It said the revenue tripled from N700 million in 2015 to N2 billion in 2016, and again rose to N3.5 billion in 2017.

The presidency also said its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which was launched by Mr Buhari in April 2017, has stabilised the macroeconomic environment; achieved agricultural and food  security and has also ensured energy efficiency especially in power and petroleum products.

It also said the ERGP has improved transportation infrastructure and industrialisation primarily through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

“To fast-track the implementation of the ERGP, the federal government launched the ERGP Focus Labs, as a targeted six-week intervention (March to April 2018) to unlock medium-scale and large-scale investment projects held back by bureaucratic bottlenecks.

“The just-concluded Phase 1 of the ERGP Focus Labs identified projects worth about $10 billion for fast-tracking, and the bottlenecks holding them back are now being resolved,” the government said.

In the area of monetary, fiscal and trade policies, the document stated that the APC administration created a new Foreign Exchange window for investors and exporters in April 2017 which has helped stabilise the market and increase appetite for Nigerian stocks by foreign portfolio investors.

“The new Window has attracted inflows of more than $45 billion in its first year of operation,” it said.

In the area of debt management, the document reveals that government adopted a strategy that seeks to achieve its goal by replacing Treasury Bills borrowing with lower-cost, longer-term external financing (via Eurobonds and Concessional Loans from China)

“The Buhari Administration inherited N12.1 trillion in debt, with N5.4 trillion annual servicing cost, and had reduced the debt service on this inherited debt to N3.9 trillion by 2016,” it said.

Under the Bond Issuance programme, the government said $7.3 billion was issued in Eurobond in 2017/18, to fund the 2017 Budget as well as to refinance maturing treasury bills and lower the cost of borrowing for the government.

“This debt refinancing strategy is paying off as treasury bill rates have dropped from 16-18% to 10-12% over the last year.

“The oversubscription of our recent Eurobond (the first issuance in 2017 saw orders in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$1bn) demonstrates strong market appetite for Nigeria, and shows confidence by the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda,” the government said.

Other debt related issues raised in the document include Nigeria’s first Sovereign Sukuk Bond which raised N100 billion used to fund 25 major road projects across the country.

Atiku on his part said that he would capitailised on the short comings of the Buhari administration to win the election. Atiku said he would not probe the activities of his predecessor once elected and sworn in as President instead he will waste no time to appoint his Ministers and ensure he revamps the economy. He also promised to reduce the price of fuel which is currently being sold for N145 per litre.

-Jimmy Enyeh

All you need to know about Muhammadu Buhari GCFR 

Muhammadu Buhari was born to a Fulani family on the 17th of December 1942, in Daura, Katsina State, to his father Hardo Adamu, a Fulani chief, and mother Zulaihat. He is the twenty-third child of his father. Buhari was raised by his mother, after his father died when he was about four years old. He is a retired major general in the Nigerian Army and previously served as the nation’s head of state from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

He contested for the office of president of Nigeria in the 20032007, and 2011 general elections but was defeated. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 general elections. Buhari won the election, defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan. This marked the first time in the history of Nigeria that an incumbent president lost to an opposition candidate in a general election. He was sworn in on 29 May 2015.

Buhari has stated that he takes responsibility for anything over which he presided during his military rule, and that he cannot change the past. He has described himself as a “converted democrat”.

For his military career, Buhari enrolled at age 19 in the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC) in 1962. In February 1964, the college was upgraded to an officer commissioning unit of the Nigerian Army and renamed the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) (prior to 1964, the Nigerian government sent cadets who had completed their NMTC preliminary training to mostly Commonwealth military academies for officer cadet training). From 1962 to 1963, Buhari underwent officer cadet training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England.

In January 1963, at age 20, Buhari was commissioned a second lieutenant and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria. From November 1963 to January 1964, Buhari attended the Platoon Commanders’ Course at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna. In 1964, he facilitated his military training by attending the Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom.

From 1965 to 1967, Buhari served as commander of the Second Infantry Battalion and appointed brigade major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, April 1967 to July 1967.

In July 1966 Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari was one of the participants in the “July Rematch” or so called “Counter-Coup”, led by Lt-Col Murtala Muhammed, that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria’s first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi, who had assumed leadership of the Nigerian government after a failed coup attempt on 15 January 1966, which overthrew the elected parliamentary government of Nigeria (also known as first republic). Other participants in the coup on 28 July 1966 included 2nd Lieutenant Sani Abacha, Lieutenant Ibrahim Babangida, Major Theophilus Danjuma, Lieutenant Ibrahim Bako among others. The coup was a reaction to the January coup where a group of mostly Igbo officers led by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Many Northern soldiers were aggrieved by the murder of senior politicians, Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, northern regional premier, Ahmadu Bello, and four senior officers from northern Nigeria: Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Kur Mohammed, Lt-Cols Abogo Largema and James Pam. The counter-coup was very bloody leading to the murder of mostly Igbo officers. Among the casualties were the first military head of state General Aguiyi Ironsi and Lt Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, the military governor of the Western Region.

Buhari was assigned to the 1st Division under the command of Lt. Col Mohammed Shuwa, the division had temporarily moved from Kaduna to Makurdi at the onset of the Nigerian Civil War. The 1st division was divided into sectors and then battalions with Shuwa assisted by sector commanders Martin Adamu and Sule Apollo who was later replaced by Theophilus Danjuma. Buhari’s initial assignment was as Adjutant and Company Commander 2 battalion unit, Second Sector Infantry of the 1st Division. The 2 battalion was one of the units that participated in the first actions of the war they started from Gakem near Afikpo and moved towards Ogoja with support from Gado Nasko’s artillery squad. They reached and captured Ogoja within a week with the intention of advancing through the flanks to Enugu, the rebel capital.

He was briefly the 2nd battalion’s Commander and led the battalion to Afikpo to link with the 3rd Marine Commando and advance towards Enugu through Nkalagu and Abakaliki. However, before the move to Enugu, he was posted to Nsukka as Brigade Major of the 3rd Infantry Brigade under Joshua Gin who would later become battle fatigued and replaced by Isa Bukar. Buhari stayed with the infantry for a few months as the Nigerian army began to adjust tactics learnt from early battle experiences. Instead of swift advances, the new tactics involved securing and holding on to the lines of communications and using captured towns as training ground to train new recruits brought in from the army depots in Abeokuta and Zaria. In 1968, he was posted to the 4 Sector also called the Awka sector which was charged to take over the capture of Onitsha from Division 2. The sector’s operations were within the Awka-Abagana-Onitsha region which was important to Biafran forces because it was a major source of food supply. It was in the sector that Buhari’s group suffered a lot of casualties trying to protect food supplies route of the rebels along Oji River and Abagana.

From 1970 to 1971, Buhari was Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade. He then served as the Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters, from 1971 to 1972. He also attended the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, in 1973. From 1974 to 1975 Buhari was Acting Director of Transport and Supply at the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters.

From 1978 to 1979, he was Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters and was a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1978 to 1979. From 1979 to 1980, at the rank of colonel, Buhari (class of 1980) attended the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in the United States, and gained a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies Upon completion of the on-campus full-time resident program lasting ten months and the two-year-long, distance learning program, the United States Army War College (USAWC) college awards its graduate officers a master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He was the General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division, August 1980 – January 1981,General Officer Commanding, 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division, January 1981 – October 1981, General Officer Commanding, 3rd Armed Division Nigerian Army, October 1981 – December 1983

Then Lieutenant Colonel Buhari was among a group of officers led] by Colonels Ibrahim Taiwo, Joseph Garba, Abdulahi Mohammed, Anthony Ochefu, Lieutenant Colonels Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Ibrahim Babangida and Alfred Aduloju who overthrew the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon.

From 1st of August, 1975 to 3rd February 1976, General Murtala Mohammed, appointed Buhari as Governor of the North-Eastern State, to oversee social, economic and political improvements in the state. Buhari also briefly served as Governor of Borno state from 3rd of February 1976 to 15th March 1976.

In March 1976, the Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed Buhari as the Federal Commissioner (position now called Minister) for Petroleum and Natural Resources. When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was created in 1977, Buhari was also appointed as its Chairman, a position he held until 1978. During his tenure as Commissioner, 2.8 billion dollars allegedly went missing from the accounts of the NNPC in Midlands Bank in the United Kingdom. Former President Ibrahim Babangida allegedly accused Buhari of being responsible for this fraud.

However, in the conclusion of the Crude Oil Sales Tribunal of Inquiry headed by Justice Ayo Irikefe to investigate allegations of 2.8 billion Dollars misappropriation from the NNPC account. The tribunal found no truth in the allegations even though it noticed some lapses in the NNPC accounts.

During Buhari’s tenure as the Federal Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources, the government invested in pipelines and petroleum storage infrastructures. The government built about 21 petroleum storage depots all over the country from Lagos to Maidugiuri and from Calabar to Gusau; the administration constructed a pipeline network that connected Bonny terminal and the Port Harcourt refinery to the depots. Also, the administration signed the contract for the construction of a refinery in Kaduna and an oil pipeline that will connect the Escravos oil terminal to Warri Refinery and the proposed Kaduna refinery.

In 1983, when Chadian forces invaded Nigeria in the Borno State, Buhari used the forces under his command to chase them out of the country, crossing into Chadian territory in spite of an order given by the then President Shagari to withdraw. This 1983 Chadian military affair led to more than 100 victims and “prisoners of war”.

Major-General Buhari was one of the leaders of the military coup of December 1983 that overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari. At the time of the coup plot, Buhari was the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Third Armored Division of Jos. With the successful execution of the coup by General Buhari, Tunde Idiagbon was appointed Chief of General Staff (the de facto No. 2 in the administration). The coup ended Nigeria’s short-lived Second Republic, a period of multi-party democracy started in 1979. According to The New York Times, the officers who took power argued that “a flawed democracy was worse than no democracy at all”. Buhari justified the military’s seizure of power by castigating the civilian government as hopelessly corrupt and promptly suspended Nigeria’s 1979 Constitution. Another rationale for the coup was to correct economic decline in Nigeria. Sani Abacha in the military’s first broadcast after the coup linked ‘ an inept and corrupt leadership’ with general economic decline. In Buhari’s New Year day speech, he too mentioned the corrupt class of the second republic but also as the cause of a general decline in morality in the society.

The structure of the new military leadership which was also the fifth in Nigeria since independence resembled the last military regime, the Obasanjo/Yaradua administration. The new regime established a Supreme Military Council, a Federal Executive Council and a Council of States. The number of ministries was trimmed to 18 while the administration carried out a retrenchment exercise among the senior ranks of the civil service and police. It retired 17 permanent secretaries and some senior police and naval officers. In addition, the new military administration promulgated new laws to achieve its aim. These laws included the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Decree for the prosecution of armed robbery cases, the State Security (Detention of Person) Decree which gave powers to the military to detain individuals suspected of jeopardizing state security or causing economic adversity. Other decrees included the Civil Service Commission and Public Offenders Decree which constituted the legal and administrative basis to conduct a purge in the civil service.

In order to reform the economy, as Head of State, Buhari started to rebuild the nation’s social-political and economic systems, along the realities of Nigeria’s austere economic conditions. The rebuilding included removing or cutting back the excesses in national expenditure, obliterating or removing completely, corruption from the nation’s social ethics, shifting from mainly public sector employment to self-employment. Buhari also encouraged import substitution industrialisation based to a great extent on the use of local materials. However, tightening of imports led to reduction in raw materials for industries causing many industries to operate below capacity.

However, Buhari’s bid to re-balance public finances by curbing imports led to many job losses and the closure of businesses. Buhari broke ties with the International Monetary Fund, when the fund asked the government to devalue the naira by 60%. However, the reforms that Buhari instigated on his own were as or more rigorous as those required by the IMF. On May 7 1984, Buhari announced the country’s 1984 National Budget. The budget came with a series of complementary measures: They include a temporary ban on recruiting federal public sector workers, Raising of Interest rates, Halting Capital Projects, Prohibition of borrowing by State governments,15 percent cut from Shagari’s 1983 Budget, Realignment of import duties, Reducing the balance of payment deficit by cutting imports,It also gave priority to the importation of raw materials and spare parts that were needed for agriculture and industry.

Other economic measures by Buhari took the form of counter trade, currency change, price reduction of goods and services.

Buhari’s economic policies did not earn him the legitimacy of the masses due to the rise in inflation and the use of military might to continue to push many policies blamed for the rise in food prices.

Buhari’s military government continued largely with the foreign policy it inherited from Shehu Shagari. In January 1984, in his new year broadcast speech, Buhari stated that he would maintain and enhance diplomatic relations with all countries and international organisations such as the OAU, UN, OPEC, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth of Nations. He also stated that he would honour all treaty obligations entered into by previous governments, which he did.

Buhari’s foreign policy also focused on Africa, mostly Nigeria’s neighbours due to financial commitments.

On corruption related issues, Buhari mounted an offensive against entrenched interests. In 20 months as Head of State, about 500 politicians, officials and businessmen were jailed for corruption during his stewardship. Detainees were released after releasing sums to the government and agreeing to meet certain conditions.

The Umaru Dikko Affair was another defining moment in Buhari’s military government. Umaru Dikko, a former Minister of Transportation under the previous civilian administration of President Shagari who fled the country shortly after the coup, was accused of embezzling $1 billion in oil profits. With the help of an alleged former Mossad agent, the NSO traced him to London, where operatives from Nigeria and Israel drugged and kidnapped him. They placed him in a plastic bag, which was subsequently hidden inside a crate labelled as “Diplomatic Baggage”. The purpose of this secret operation was to ship Dikko off to Nigeria on an empty Nigerian Airways Boeing 707, to stand trial for embezzlement. The plot was foiled by British airport officers. Buhari’s administration enacted three decrees to investigate corruption and control foreign exchange. The Banking (Freezing of Accounts) Decree of 1984, allotted to the Federal Military Government the power to freeze bank accounts of persons suspected to have committed fraud. The Recovery of Public Property (Special Military Tribunals) Decree permitted the government to investigate the assets of public officials linked with corruption and constitute a military tribunal to try such persons. The Exchange Control (Anti-Sabotage) Decree stated penalties for violators of foreign exchange laws.

He introduced the War Against Indiscipline (WAI), which later became one of his most enduring legacies. It was launched on March 20 1984, the policy tried to address the perceived lack of public morality and civic responsibility of Nigerian society. Unruly Nigerians were ordered to form neat queues at bus stops, under the eyes of whip-wielding soldiers. Civil servants] who failed to show up on time at work were humiliated and forced to do “frog jumps”. Minor offences carried long sentences. Any student over the age of 17 caught cheating on an exam would get 21 years in prison. Counterfeiting and arson could lead to the death penalty.

According to Decree Number 2 of 1984, the state security and the chief of staff were given the power to detain, without charges, individuals deemed to be a security risk to the state for up to three months. Strikes and popular demonstrations were banned and Nigeria’s security agency, the National Security Organization (NSO) was entrusted with unprecedented powers. The NSO played a wide role in the cracking down of public dissent by intimidating, harassing and jailing individuals who broke the interdiction on strikes. By October 1984, about 200,000 civil servants were retrenched. The regime also jailed its critics, as in the case of Nigeria’s most popular artist and one time presidential contender, afro-beat singer Fela Kuti. He was arrested on September 4. 1984 at the airport as he was about to embark on an American tour. Amnesty International described the charges brought against him for illegally exporting foreign currency as “spurious”. Using the wide powers bestowed upon it by Decree Number 2, the government sentenced Fela to five years in prison. He was released after 18 months, when the Buhari government was toppled in a coup d’état.

In 1984, Buhari passed Decree Number 4, the Protection Against False Accusations Decree, considered by scholars as the most repressive press law ever enacted in Nigeria.] Section 1 of the law provided that “Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message, rumour, report or statement which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offense under this Decree”. The law further stated that offending journalists and publishers will be tried by an open military tribunal, whose ruling would be final and unappealable in any court and those found guilty would be eligible for a fine not less than 10,000 naira and a jail sentence of up to two years. Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor of The Guardian were among the journalists who were tried under the decree. Decree 20 on illegal ship bunkering and drug trafficking was another example of Buhari’s tough approach to crime.] Section 3 (2) (K) provided that “any person who, without lawful authority deals in, sells, smokes or inhales the drug known as cocaine or other similar drugs, shall be guilty under section 6 (3) (K) of an offence and liable on conviction to suffer death sentence by firing squad.” In the case of Bernard Ogedengebe, the Decree was applied retroactively. He was executed even if at the time of his arrest the crime did not mandate the capital punishment, but had carried a sentence of six months imprisonment. In another prominent case of April 1985, six Nigerians were condemned to death under the same decree: Sidikatu Tairi, Sola Oguntayo, Oladele Omosebi, Lasunkanmi Awolola, Jimi Adebayo and Gladys Iyamah.  

In 1985, prompted by economic uncertainties and a rising crime rate, the government of Buhari opened the borders (closed since April 1984) with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon to speed up the expulsion of 700,000 illegal foreigners and illegal migrant workers. Buhari is today known for this crisis; there even is a famine in the east of Niger that have been named “El Buhari”.His regime drew criticism from many, including Nigeria’s first Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, who, in 2007, wrote a piece called “The Crimes of Buhari” which outlined many of the abuses conducted under his military rule.

Ahead of the 2015 general election, Buhari responded to his human rights criticism by saying that if elected, he would follow the rule of law, and that there would be access to justice for all Nigerians and respect for fundamental human rights of Nigerians.

In August 1985, Major General Buhari was overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC).]Babangida brought many of Buhari’s most vocal critics into his administration, including Fela Kuti’s brother Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a doctor who had led a strike against Buhari to protest declining health care services. Buhari was then detained in Benin City until 1988. Buhari’s admirers believe that he was overthrown by corrupt elements in his government who were afraid of being brought to justice as his policies were beginning to yield tangible dividends in terms of public discipline, curbing corruption, lowering inflation, enhancing workforce and improving productivity. Ibrahim Babangida justified his coup d’état by saying that Buhari failed to deal with the country’s economic problems and promised “to rejuvenate the economy ravaged by decades of government mismanagement and corruption”.Buhari spent three years of detention in a small guarded bungalow in Benin. He had access to television that showed two channels and members of his family were allowed to visit him on the authorization of Babangida.

After his mother’s death, he was released in December 1988 and went into farming. While in detention, his farm was managed by his relatives. He divorced his first wife in 1988 and married Aisha Halilu. In Katsina, he became the pioneer chairman of Katsina Foundation that was founded to encourage social and economic development in Katsina State.

Buhari served as the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), a body created by the government of General Sani Abacha, and funded from the revenue generated by the increase in price of petroleum products, to pursue developmental projects around the country. A 1998 report in New African praised the PTF under Buhari for its transparency, calling it a rare “success story”.However, the same report also noted that critics had questioned the PTF’s allocation of 20% of its resources to the military, which the critics feared would not be accountable for the revenue.

In 2003, Buhari contested the presidential election as the candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP). He was defeated by the People’s Democratic Party nominee, President Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ, by a margin of more than 11 million votes.

On December 18 2006, Gen. Buhari was nominated as the consensus candidate of the All Nigeria People’s Party. His main challenger in the April 2007 polls was the ruling PDP candidate, Umaru Yar’Adua, who hailed from the same home state of Katsina. In the election, Buhari officially took 18% of the vote against 70% for Yar’Adua, but Buhari rejected these results. After Yar’Adua took office, the ANPP agreed to join his government, but Buhari denounced this agreement

In March 2010, Buhari left the ANPP for the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party that he had helped to found. He said that he had supported foundation of the CPC “as a solution to the debilitating, ethical and ideological conflicts in my former party the ANPP”.

Buhari was the CPC Presidential candidate in 16 April 2011 general election, running against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP. They were the major contenders among 20 contestants. He was campaigning on an anti-corruption platform and pledged to remove immunity protections from government officials. He also gave support to enforcement of Sharia law in Nigeria’s northern states, which had previously caused him political difficulties among Christian voters in the country’s south. The elections were marred by widespread sectarian violence, which claimed the lives of 800 people across the country, as Buhari’s supporters attacked Christian settlements in the country’s centre regions. The three-day uprising was blamed in part on Buhari’s inflammatory comments. In spite of assurances from Human Rights Watch, who had judged the elections as “among the fairest in Nigeria’s history”, Buhari claimed that the poll was flawed and warned that “If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood”.

However, he remains a “folk hero” to some for his vocal opposition to corruption. Buhari scored 12,214,853 votes, coming in second to the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP, who polled 22,495,187 votes and was declared the winner.

In the run up to the 2015 Presidential elections, the campaign team of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan asked for the disqualification of General Buhari from the election, claiming that he is in breach of the Constitution. According to the fundamental document, in order to qualify for election to the office of the President, an individual must be “educated up to at least School certificate level or its equivalent”. Buhari has failed to submit any such evidence, claiming that he lost the original copies of his diplomas when his house was raided following his overthrow from power in 1985.

Buhari ran in the 2015 Presidential election as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress party. His platform was built around his image as a staunch anti-corruption fighter and his incorruptible and honest reputation. However, Buhari stated in an interview that he would not probe past corrupt leaders and that he would give officials who stole in the past amnesty, insofar as they repent.

 In January 2015, the insurgent group “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta” (MEND) endorsed Buhari in the Presidential race, saying he is the best candidate to lead the country.

 Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign was briefly advised by former Obama campaign manager, David Axelrod, and his AKPD consultancy.

In February 2015, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo quit the ruling PDP party and threw his support behind the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. On 31 March, incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan called Buhari to offer his concession and congratulations for his election as president. Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015 in a ceremony attended by at least 23 Heads of State and Government.

On 21 December 2016, the government’s Federal Ministry of Finance announced a whistle-blowing policy with a 2.5%-5% reward. The aim is to obtain relevant data or information regarding the violation of financial regulations, the mismanagement of public funds and assets, financial malpractice, fraud and theft.

In October 2016, the government negotiated a deal with the terrorist group, Boko Haram which secured the release of 21 Chibok girls. By December 2016, the government had recovered much of the territories previously held by Boko Haram and after the capture of Sambisa Forest, Buhari announced that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. The insurgency displaced about 2 million people from their homes and the recapture of the towns now present humanitarian challenges in health, education and nutrition. On May 6 2017, Buhari’s government secured a further release of 82 out of 276 girls kidnapped in 2014, in exchange of five Boko Haram leaders. On May 7 2017, President Buhari met with the 82 released Chibok girls, before departing to London, UK, for a follow up treatment for an undisclosed illness.

The president is blessed with a lovely family, In 1971, Buhari married his first wife, Safinatu (née Yusuf) Buhari (First lady of Nigeria December 1983 – August 1985). They had five children together, four girls and one boy. Their first daughter, Zulaihat (Zulai) was named after Buhari’s mother. Their other children are Fatima, Musa (deceased son), Hadiza, and Safinatu.

In 1988, Buhari and his first wife Safinatu divorced. In December 1989, Buhari married his second and current wife Aisha Buhari (née Halilu). They also had five children together, a boy and four girls: Aisha, Halima, Yusuf, Zahra and Amina.

On January 14 2006, Safinatu Buhari, the former first lady, died from complications of diabetes. She was buried at Unguwar Rimi cemetery in accordance with Islamic rites.

In November 2012, Buhari’s first daughter, Zulaihat (née Buhari) Junaid died from sickle cell anaemia, two days after having a baby at a hospital in Kaduna. He has received several awards and medals. In alphabetical order they include Congo Medal (CM), Defence Service Medal (DSM),General Service Medal (GSM), Global Seal of Integrity (GSOI), Gran Collar De La Orden De La Independencia translated as Grand Collar of the Order of the Independence was conferred on Buhari by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea at the Presidential Palace on 14th of March 2016, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (GCFR), Loyal Service and Good Conduct Medal (LSGCM) and National Service Medal (NSM) 

The Man Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar was  on the 25th of November 1946. He is one of the successful business icons in Nigeria. Many have described him as a political juggernaut. He was vice-president of Nigeria 1999-2007 under President Olusegun Obasanjo. The duo emerged under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Abubakar worked in the Nigeria Customs Service for twenty years, rising to become the Deputy Director, as the second highest position in the Service was then known. He retired in April 1989 and took up full-time business and politics. He ran for the office of governor in the Gongola State (now Adamawa and Taraba States) in 1991, and for the Presidency in 1993, placing third after MKO Abiola and Babagana Kingibe in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) primaries.

In 1998 he was elected Governor of Adamawa State. While still Governor-Elect he was selected by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate Olusegun Obasanjo as his running mate. The duo went on to win elections in February 1999, and Abubakar was sworn-in as Nigeria’s second democratically elected vice president on 29 May 1999.

Abubakar’s second term as Vice President was marked by a stormy relationship with President Obasanjo. His bid to succeed Obasanjo did not receive the latter’s support, and it took a judgment of the Supreme Court to allow Abubakar contest after he was initially disqualified by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the grounds that he had been indicted for financial misconduct by an investigating panel set up at Obasanjo’s behest. The Supreme Court ordered the electoral commission to restore Abubakar’s name onto the presidential ballot. Abubakar ran on the platform of the Action Congress, having quit the PDP on account of his issues with President Obasanjo. Abubakar lost the election, placing third after Umaru Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

Abubakar is a co-founder of Intels, an oil servicing business with extensive operations in Nigeria and abroad. He is also the founder of Adama Beverages Limited, and the American University of Nigeria (AUN), both in Yola, Adamawa.

The PDP presidential flagbearer was bornto a Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar, and his second wife, Aisha Kande, in Jada village of Adamawa State. Atiku Abubakar became the only child of his parents when his only sister died at infancy. Atiku’s father and mother divorced before his father died in 1957 and his mother remarried. Eventually, his mother died in 1984 of heart attack

Like many of his generation, Abubakar’s father was opposed to the idea of Western education, and tried to keep Abubakar out of the traditional school system. When the government discovered that Abubakar was not attending mandatory schooling, his father spent a few days in jail until Aisha Kande’s mother paid the fine At the age of eight Abubakar enrolled in the Jada Primary School. In 1960, he was admitted to Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola where he did well in English Language and Literature, struggled with Physics and Chemistry and Mathematics. He graduated with a Grade Three WASSCE/GCE Certificate in 1965.

Following secondary school, Abubakar studied a short while at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna . He left the College when he was unable to present an O-Level Mathematics result. He worked briefly as a Tax Officer in the regional Ministry of Finance, from where he gained admission to the school of Hygiene in Kano in 1966. He graduated with a Diploma in 1967, having served as Interim Student Union President at the school. In 1967 he enrolled for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration, on a scholarship from regional government. After graduation in 1969, during the Nigerian Civil War, he was employed by the Nigeria Customs Service.

Atiku Abubakar has four wives and is the father of 23 children.While at Idi-Iroko, Abubakar met nineteen-year-old Titilayo Albert, who he secretly married in December 1971, in Lagos, because her family was initially opposed to the union. On 26 October 1972, Titilayo delivered a baby girl they named Fatima. She later gave birth to Adamu, Halima and Aminu.

In January 1979 he married Ladi Yakubu as his second wife. “I wanted to expand the Abubakar family. I felt extremely lonely as a child. I had no brother and no sister. I did not want my children to be as lonely as I was. This is why I married more than one wife. My wives are my sisters, my friends, and my advisers and they complement one another,” Abubakar has said. He has six children with Ladi: Abba, Atiku, Zainab, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam and Rukayatu.

In 1983 he married his third wife, Princess Rukaiyatu, daughter of the late Lamido of Adamawa. She gave birth to Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu (named after her late father), Asmau, Mustafa, Laila and Abdulsalam. His fourth wife, Fatima Shettima, followed in 1986. Fatima gave birth to her first child Amina (Meena), Mohammed and two sets of twins Ahmed and Shehu, Zainab and Aisha then her last daughter Hafsat.

Abubakar later divorced Ladi, allowing him to marry, as his fourth wife (the maximum permitted him as a Muslim), Jennifer.

Abubakar started out in the real estate business during his early days as a Customs Officer. In 1974 he applied for and received a 31,000 naira loan to build his first house in Yola, which he put up for rent. From proceeds of the rent he purchased another plot, and built a second house. He continued this way, building a sizeable portfolio of property in Yola.

In 1981 he moved into agriculture, acquiring 2,500 hectares of land near Yola to start a maize and cotton farm. The business fell on hard times and closed in 1986. He then ventured into trading, buying and selling truckloads of rice, flour and sugar.

Abubakar’s most important business move came while he was a Customs Officer at the Apapa Ports. Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman in Nigeria, invited him to set up Nigeria Container Services (NICOTES), a logistics company operating within the Ports. NICOTES would go on to provide immense wealth to Abubakar. Conflict of interest accusations have since trailed him on account of his involvement in business while a civil servant, who exercised supervisory authority.

On his part, Abubakar has defended the decision, saying his involvement was limited to the ownership of shares (which government rules permitted), and that he was not involved in the day-to-day running of the business. NICOTES would later be rebranded INTELS.

Abubakar’s business empire also includes a beverage manufacturing plant in Yola, as well as an animal feed factory.

Abubakar’s first foray into politics was in the early 1980s, when he worked behind-the-scenes on the governorship campaign of Bamanga Tukur, who at that time was managing director of the Nigeria Ports Authority. He canvassed for votes on behalf of Tukur, and also donated to the campaign. Towards the end of his Customs career, he met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, who had been second-in-command of the military government that ruled Nigeria between 1976 and 1979. Abubakar was drawn by Yar’Adua into the political meetings that were now happening regularly in Yar’Adua’s Lagos home. In 1989 Abubakar was elected a National Vice-Chairman of the Peoples Front of Nigeria, the political association led by Yar’Adua, to participate in the transition programme initiated by Head of State Ibrahim Babangida. The Peoples Front of Nigeria included politicians such as Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Babalola Borishade, Bola Tinubu, Abdullahi Aliyu Sumaila, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Sabo Bakin Zuwo.

Abubakar won a seat to represent his constituency at the 1989 Constituent Assembly, set up to decide a new constitution for Nigeria. The People’s Front was eventually denied registration by the government (none of the groups that applied was registered), and found a place within the Social Democratic Party, one of the two parties decreed into existence by the regime.

On the 1st of September 1990, Abubakar announced his Gongola State gubernatorial bid. A year later, before the elections could hold, Gongola State was broken up into two – Adamawa and Taraba States – by the Federal Government. Abubakar fell into the new Adamawa State. After the contest he won the SDP Primaries in November 1991, but was soon disqualified by government from contesting the elections.

A similar fate – disqualification by the military – would befall Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Abubakar’s friend and political mentor, in his 1992 bid for the presidential primary of the SDP. With no chance of contesting for the presidency, Yar’Adua decided to push Abubakar forward as the focal point of SDP’s ambitions. Abubakar came third in the convention primary. But because MKO Abiola, the winner, had won by only about 400 votes a run-off was due. Abubakar stepped down for Abiola, asking his supporters to cast their votes for him, with an unwritten agreement that Abiola would announce Abubakar as his running mate. Abiola won the SDP ticket, and announced Babagana Kingibe, the runner-up, as his running mate.

In 1998 Abubakar launched a bid for the governorship of Adamawa State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He won the December 1998 elections, but before he could be sworn in he was tapped by the PDP’s presidential candidate, former Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo, as his vice-presidential candidate. The Obasanjo-Abubakar ticket won the 27 February 1999 presidential election with 62.78 percent of the vote.

 

Abubakar was sworn in as Vice-President of Nigeria on 29 May 1999. He presided over the National Council on Privatization, overseeing the sale of hundreds of loss-making and poorly managed public enterprises.

In 1999 he, alongside South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, launched the South Africa Nigeria Binational Commission. In 2006, Abubakar was involved in a bitter public battle with his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, ostensibly arising from the latter’s bid to amend certain provisions of the constitution to take another shot at the presidency (for the third consecutive time

The Abubakar-Obasanjo face-off damaged the personal relationship between both men. Atiku recently apologized to Obasanjo and latter reportedly forgave him.

Following the 2007 elections, Abubakar returned to the People’s Democratic Party. In October 2010 he announced his intention to contest for the Presidency. On 22 November, a Committee of Northern Elders selected him as the Northern Consensus Candidate, over former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State. In January 2011, Abubakar contested for the Presidential ticket of his party alongside President Jonathan and Sarah Jubril, and lost the primary, garnering 805 votes to President Jonathan’s 2736.

On the 2nd of February 2014, Abubakar left the Peoples Democratic Party to the join All Progressives Congress. with the intent of contesting the Nigerian presidency in 2015 on the party’s platform.

On Friday, 24 November 2017, Abubakar announced his exit from the All Progressives Congress (APC), a party he helped to form.

On December 3, 2017, via a Facebook Live broadcast, Abubakar announced his return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The announcement followed consultations the former Vice President had with party leaders and stakeholders from across the country. He said he decided to ‘return home’ to the PDP now that the issues which made him leave the party had been resolved.

Abubakar declared his candidacy for the presidential nomination of the PDP mid 2018 and won the nomination at its convention on October 7.

American University of Nigeria (AUN) is the first American-style university to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was founded in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State as ABTI American University of Nigeria (AAUN) by Abubakar in 2005. He has said that having benefited from the U.S. system of instruction as a young man, he was eager to make available in Nigeria an American trained faculty – emphasising critical thinking, small classes, student participation, problem-solving. AUN has received special recognition from Google.

In 2012 Abubakar donated $750,000 to the National Peace Corps Association in the United States, “to fund a new initiative featuring global leaders who will discuss Peace Corps’s impact.” It was the largest ever individual donation in the Association’s history. In his speeches and commentary Abubakar is a vocal advocate of the importance of Nigeria’s educational system. In August 2013 he sponsored a students’ essay contest to generate solutions to Nigeria’s most pressing institutional educational challenges. Entrants were asked to write between 2,000 and 5,000 words on the topic ‘More Learning to More People: How can Nigeria be more innovative in bridging its literacy and skills gap?’

A longlist was announced on 21 October 2013, and the winners a week later. The joint first prize went to Kenechukwu Nneka Lily Nwagbo and Emeka Chigozie Ezekwesiri.

In 1982 Abubakar was awarded the chieftaincy of the Turaki of Adamawa by Adamawa’s traditional ruler, Alhaji Aliyu Mustafa. The title had previously been reserved for the monarch’s favourite prince in the palace, as the holder is in charge of the monarch’s domestic affairs.

In 2011, while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the US Peace Corps in 2011, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) – an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organisation, separate from the Peace Corps, that serves as an alumni association for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers – honoured Abubakar with the Harris WoffordGlobal Citizen Award. 
At the presentation of the award, the National Peace Corps Association described Abubakar as one individual who contributed to the development of higher education on the continent of Africa. “No private businessman in Africa has worked harder for democracy or contributed more to the progress of higher education than Atiku Abubakar,” the NPCA said.

In June 2017, Abubakar was awarded the chieftaincy title of the Waziri of Adamawa, and his previous title of Turaki was transferred to his son Aliyu.

ATIKU WILL DEFEAT BUHARI IN 2019- FR. MBAKA DECLARES

The Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Ejike

Mbaka has said that while President Muhammadu Buhari is “change,” former
Vice President Atiku Abubakar is “bureau de change.”

Mbaka described Atiku as bureau de change, according to him, because of
the foreign currencies that allegedly exchanged hands at the National
Convention of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, before the ex-VP emerged
the party’s presidential candidate.

Mbaka however predicted that Atiku will defeat Buhari in 2019 but warned
him not to emulate Buhari if he is elected the president.
The fiery cleric said this while addressing his congregation at the
Adoration Ground.

“So let the will of God be done in Nigeria. It is like what I have been
saying Buhari change or you will be changed”

Mbaka said that Buhari had all the human and material resources at his
disposal to make the country better but rather chose to play ethnic,
despotic politics.

“What will it take you; change the Chief of Staff, change B, change C,
change this and change that; even if it will take 20 Igbo men or 20 Yoruba
men to change Nigeria; take all of them. Look at what (Chukwuma) Soludo
did in the Central Bank; he has assured Nigeria and the whole world that
there is nothing like bank collapse again.

“An Igbo man did this, why can’t Buhari take Soludo for the economic
revival and revamping of Nigeria’s economy? And you are busy talking about
corruption, playing game with the lives of Nigerians from the issue of
Fulani herdsmen to Boko Haram to Jos killings. You said somebody stole,
what did he steal?

“Someday, they said the government has spent trillions of naira on social
investment scheme and I want to know who are the people they were spending
the money on; the Vice President said they are giving N10,000 to small
scale businesses and I asked, is this how they will transform Nigeria? You
give somebody N10,000 for business, what type of business will N10,000
start?

“Somebody will have billions and want to take the one belonging to the
public while hunger will be killing his people. Look at the type of money
they shared during the primaries to the extent that they brought Bureau de
Change. They said Buhari is change, but Atiku is bureau de change. They
were sharing the money in dollars and it was going out in millions of
dollars in Nigeria where hunger is killing people; where you don’t have
food to eat.

“If they spend such monies to get ticket, how do you think that when they
get into power they will rule, of course, they will first recover the
money they have spent but the worst is that the money was not being shared
to the poor,” he lamented.

Speaking further, the prophet described the cost of APC Expression of
Interest and Nomination forms as outrageous.

According to him, if the leadership of the party had conscience, they
would not have collected N24 million from people to obtain the forms.

“There are some people that sold their land to pay for this form because
of the promise they were made. I don’t think these politicians were
thinking of heaven that is why they are ready to kill anybody that stands
on their way,” he said.

Mbaka said that Atiku may not be able to solve the problems of Nigeria if
he emerged victorious.

“If anybody is thinking that if Atiku becomes the President of Nigeria
things will get better, ‘who born you’ because for this country to be good
it is easier for a carmel to pass through the eye of a needle than this
country to be good,” he said, urging that Nigerians must do their part to
make Nigeria the nation of their dream.

The fiery preacher predicted defeat for the APC but said that there was
still opportunity for change.

“There are no people that will develop this country that are not in
Nigeria. We have people who will develop this nation; but our President
left the same type of people who don’t have the same type of vision around
him and everything they do is in your head.

“After you are removed, they will bring people that will flog you because
you messed up the opportunities because you didn’t listen to the word of
God. You didn’t listen to the man of God you have and you were disobeying
him.

“The price of disobedience is disgrace,” he declared

Buhari Will Win 2019 Election, Says Former Minister

Former Minister of State for Niger Delta and Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Benue State, Sam Ode has said President Muhammad Buhari will win the 2019 presidential election because of his achievements.

He stated this in Makurdi recently while welcoming three governorship aspirants that defected from the PDP to the APC.

He said the APC is happy that the former PDP flag bearer in the 2015 election, Prince Terhemen Tarzoor, along with Steven Hwande, and Professor Eugene Aliegba, have increased the rank of the APC.

He also frowned at those saying that Buhari was behind the killings by herdsmen in Benue State saying that the president is a patriotic person who would never do such a thing.

He said that the party after the defection of the state governor is consolidating and getting stronger and boasted that APC would win at the center and also in Benue State.

According to him, “Narrowing down election in Benue, the party is getting stronger, just two days ago we harvested three big fishes from PDP, two governorship aspirants. Hwande joined us few days ago also Tehemen Tarzoor who was candidate of the PDP in 2015 elections joined us too.

“We have opened talks with another big fish but because it has not been concluded i will not like to mention the name now. We are consolidating and we believe that we will win at the center and we will also win in Benue State here.

“The killings in the state is unfortunate, because lives of people cannot be quantified, we totally condemn the killings. We are happy that the situation is getting better and what is important now is to mobilise the people who have been displaced from their ancestral home as a result of the attack. We want to restore them back so that they can live their normal life.

 

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