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We have chosen negotiation for rescue of abducted schoolgirls – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria prefers to have schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok and Dapchi back alive, and that is why it has chosen negotiation, rather than military option.

The President stated this when he received the American Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, in audience at State House, Abuja, on Monday.

He said Nigeria was working in concert with international organizations and negotiators, to ensure that the girls were released unharmed by their captors.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” the President said.

He thanked America for assistance rendered in the fight against insurgency, noting that “Nigerian forces are good, but need assistance in the areas of training and equipment.”

President Buhari promised that his administration would continue to do its best to secure the country, adding that he would go to Yobe, where Dapchi schoolgirls were abducted, later this week.

He said the visit would be part of his “condolence and sympathy visits to areas where we have had unfortunate events.’’

The President pledged free and fair polls in 2019, recalling that the then American Secretary of State, John Kerry, had visited before the 2015 polls, “and he told the party in government then, and those of us in opposition, to behave ourselves, and we did.”

In his remarks, the visiting U. S. top diplomat said Nigeria was a very important country to the U.S.

“You have our support in your challenges. We will also support opportunities to expand the economy, commercial investments, and peaceful polls in 2019,’’ he added.

Tillerson, who later briefed newsmen alongside the Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, , said the American government would assist Nigeria with latest security equipment and intelligence sharing in its efforts toward the safe return of the abducted schoolgirls in Yobe and Borno.

According to him, the U.S. government will also offer special training for security personnel to enable them engage in special operations towards the rescue of the girls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists.

He expressed the hope that both the Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls would return home safely.

“First we respect the responsibilities of the government of Nigeria. But the way we support is in providing them capability, capacity in handling equipment, training, and personnel for special operations and sharing of intelligence to ensure that they have all the information available for the rescue of the girls.

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PDP reject APC’s mulling of interim government

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Kola Ologbondiyan Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization

Kola Ologbondiyan
Director, Media & Publicity
PDP Presidential Campaign Organization


…Insists Atiku Will Win Presidential Poll

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rejects in its entirety the idea of an Interim Government, being mooted by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on behalf of the Buhari Presidency.

The PDP says it cannot accept any form of unconstitutional governance and a contraption like an interim government because it is confident of a landslide victory on February 16, given the overwhelming support, which it’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, enjoys among Nigerians across the board.

The party said a suggestion of an Interim Government, under any pretext, context or contemplation can only come from desperate and unpatriotic minds in a failed administration or political party that has lost hope of being re-elected in a free, fair and credible election due to its manifest incompetence and humongous corruption.

Every Nigerian knows the desperation of the APC and the Buhari Presidency ahead of the 2019 general election, leading to their resort to threats, intimidation and clamp down on dissenting voices, as well as, assault on institutions of democracy, in the face of incontrovertible indices pointing to their imminent crushing defeat at the polls.

The PDP has already alerted Nigerians that Alhaji Lai Mohammed had let out APC’s ignoble “plan B” of “if we can’t have it, then destroy it”, which is to cause violence, derail the electoral process and blame it on the opposition; not minding the damage such could cause the nation, including human and material losses.

We hope such cruel plot, as revealed by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is not the underlining reason behind the APC administration’s alleged neglect and undermining of our security forces fighting in the fronts.

The PDP demands that Alhaji Lai Mohammed comes clear on the source of his information, if it is not a plot being hatched by the APC.

He should tell Nigerians if his source was the Police, the military or the Directorate of State Services (DSS) so that they can appropriately channel their concerns.

The PDP therefore urges Nigerians to be at alert and keep an eye on the APC in their nefarious plans against our nation, now that they have made their strategy public.

On our own part, the PDP is prepared and ready for the elections. We have been going round the country peacefully, campaigning and presenting our candidate, policies and programmes to the electorate.

The PDP will therefore not accept any form of interim government, not when Nigerians have already attained a consensus to rally behind and vote in the peoples Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as their next President, come February 16, 2019.

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Saraki, Jonathan, Obasanjo, others attend council of state meeting

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The National Council of State meeting is underway in Abuja with President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding.

It is the third meeting to hold under his administration and the first this year.

Those in attendance are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former President, Goodluck Jonathan, Governors of Zamfara, Kebbi, Plateau, Lagos, Borno, Ebonyi and members of Cabinet.

Others present include former Heads of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ernest Shonekan, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Former Chief Justices of Nigeria.

The INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, is also present and there are fillers that the meeting would focus on the general elections.

Details later…

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Red alert as opposition plans to scuttle elections – Lai Mohammed

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The Federal Government has alerted Nigerians the plans by some unscrupulous opposition elements to scuttle the 2019 general elections by orchestrating widespread violence.

”Having realized that their fortunes have dwindled badly ahead of the polls, the desperate opposition is orchestrating widespread violence with a view to truncating the elections, thus triggering a constitutional crisis that could snowball into the establishment of an interim government,” the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, told a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

”Before you accuse the government of crying wolf, let me tell you, gentlemen, that we have credible intelligence that armed bandits and Boko Haram insurgents have been mobilized to engage in massive attacks and other acts of violence in several states across the country, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara,” the Minister said.

He said the Benue-based armed criminal group, led by Terwase AKWAZA, also known as Gana, has been commissioned to strike soft targets in Benue, Nasarawa, and Taraba States, while in Kano State, a group of notorious miscreants have been mobilized by some prominent opposition leaders to provoke massive chaos before, during and after the elections.

”There is also an international dimension to the evil plan. Some armed mercenaries from Niger Republic have been contracted to attack top government functionaries, including state governors, across the North-west between now and the elections,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He, however, assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to a credible, free, fair and peaceful elections, hence it is taking every possible measure to counter ”these evil plans by unpatriotic anarchists”.

The Minister appealed to all Nigerians to be vigilant in the days ahead., and urged the media to help in sensitizing members of the public on the observed threats, which are capable of disrupting the elections.

”The punchline of our long running campaign on security – if you see something, say something – remains relevant, perhaps even more, at this time,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said all the relevant agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture will work together to ensure that Nigerians are alerted to the dangers posed to the forthcoming elections by ”unscrupulous, unpatriotic and desperate characters who will not hesitate to destabilize the country if they cannot achieve their inordinate ambition”.

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