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Why I don’t visit U.S., by Atiku

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that he has not visited the United States since 2007 on personal grounds.

He said his not travelling to the US had nothing to do with either alleged laundering of $40million  or the $100,000 bribe allegation over which a Congressman, William Jefferson, was convicted.

Atiku said the $40million was his legitimate cash which he transferred to the United States.
He said since his wife, Jennifer, was no longer living in the US, he had no reason to go there.
Atiku is said to own a mansion in Potomac which he has not been to in the last nine years.
He cleared the air also on the rumour that former President Olusegun Obasanjo knelt down for him to get the second term ticket  of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003.
Atiku, who opened up on the allegations against him, said he was not corrupt, contrary to some perception created around him.
He bared his mind in an interview with Zero Tolerance, the in-house magazine of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
He reacted to a 2010 United States Senate report which accused him of laundering over $40million in suspicious funds into the U.S. between 2000 and 2008 with his wife, Jennifer.
Atiku said: “It(the $40m) was an allegation which wasn’t proved. It was my legitimate money which I transferred to the U.S.; there was nothing about it.
“More so, I was not indicted in that report. They only said suspicious funds but I proved before the Senate committee that they were not suspect.”
On the alleged $100,000 bribe in which he was implicated with  Jefferson, he denied any relationship  with the jailed ex-lawmaker.
The encounter is as follows:
Your friend, the Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson…?
He was not my friend
He was said to be close to you?
Never! He was not close to me.
Okay, what was the relationship between you and William Jefferson?
There was no relationship whatsoever.
Then tell us why he was linked to you?
“The man wrote a letter to my office on a communications project, and for God’s sake, I was not the minister of Communications; so I endorsed the letter to the minister of Communication to address as his purview.
“After that, I travelled to the United States and he came to see me to bring the same copy of the letter. I told him, ‘well, I got a copy of this letter and have forwarded it to the ministry of Communication to get in touch with you’, and he left.
“That was all we discussed. Apparently, I didn’t know he had duped a lady and collected “marked money” from her in my name; unknown to him the FBI was on his trail.
“But, of course, there was no way he could give me money because, what was $100,000 to me? Eventually, my wife’s residence was searched and nothing was found there, but when his residence was searched, of course the money was found there; and he was convicted. I was not even called as a witness.”
The former VP said he was never under any travel restriction to the U.S..
He said: “There is no travel restriction on me to the United States. After leaving office, I’ve been to the U.S. several times to visit my family, which has eventually relocated.
Asked of the last time he visited  the U.S., and why he doesn’t go, he simply replied: “The reason why I always visited the U.S. was because of my wife. She is no more in the U.S. So, I don’t have compelling reason to visit the U.S. now.”
Atiku dismissed the insinuations that he is  corrupt.
He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.
“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight, including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court.
“The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”
Atiku debunked insinuations that Obasanjo knelt down for him in 2003.
He added: “It is not true that he knelt for me. Of course, he came to my house and I refused to see him. He started it. How can you go and declare your candidacyand refuse to declare that you will run with your running mate?
“So I had to fight back to remain on the ticket. Eventually he declared that he was running with me and then came to my house and we made up.”
On whether he suggested the “Mandela option”, to succeed Obasanjo, the ex-Vice President said there was nothing like that..
He said: “Absolutely not true. Rather, he accused one of my aides of promoting the ‘Mandela option’.
Atiku spoke of his respect for Obasanjo, irrespective of the disagreement he had with the ex-President in office.
He said: “I still thank God and him for nominating me as his Vice President which gave me the opportunity to experience governance at the highest level. We had political disagreement quite rightly so. I never shied away from political disagreement; we quarrelled and where we couldn’t make up, it became public knowledge.
“But still, I respect him as my former boss. The fact that we disagreed politically is no reason why we should be at loggerheads all our lifetime. In any case, as far as politics is concerned I don’t have any enemy; I could have an opponent. Enmity is too strong a word to use in a relationship that is purely political.”
On whether or not it was morally appropriate of him to have established a university as a  vice president, Atiku said: “You need to have studied the structure of the university.
“ More than 20 years ago, I started with a nursery school, then a primary school before I established the university. The whole institution is a trust and non-profit foundation.
“Till date, I still don’t make any profit, and I have continued to subsidise the education being offered in that place. It is a complete educational community from kindergarten to the university based on the American system in one place which doesn’t belong to me or the family.”

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2019: We’re out to end PDP’s oppressive rule in Delta, says Ogboru

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Great Ogboru

Great Ogboru


Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta state, Great Ogboru has said that the APC was ready to put an end to what he described as 19 years of oppressive governance by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state with a clear victory that will return power to the people.

Ogboru who spoke with reporters at the APC national secretariat in Abuja is confident that ongoing reconciliation efforts within the party will position it as a winning party on the state.

“I have heard people saying Delta State is a PDP State, that is highly untrue because majority and a very significant number of our people are not PDP complaint. Most of the people in Delta State, the electorate have been oppressed by the PDP government for the past sixteen years, maybe for the past nineteen years.

“But as you all know, the PDP has been able to sustain itself in many parts of our country, Delta State inclusive by means other than true or proper votes of the electorate. That is history now because times have changed, circumstances have changed, power has changed, the leadership of our country has changed and the thinking of our people across the country generally has also changed.

“So, I believe that those limiting factors that militated against us in the past are not quite there anymore to make it impossible for us to achieve what we need to do which is to make sure the votes of Delta people will count, translate those votes into victory and to put the government in place for Delta people which is government for the people, by the people and for the people. That is why I am a candidate.

“The crises are in two folds. One was the crisis that started during congresses, and those skirmishes that followed the primaries. We have done a lot as a party in the State to reconcile factions and aggrieved persons and the National leaders have sent a reconciliation committee.

“At the governmental level, I know that the Vice President called aggrieved members and some warring factions to come and sit on the table of brotherhood to find a way forward. Largely put, I think progress is being made. A few grievances are still lying unresolved, but now the party has put better input and resources in place to put its house in order as much as it can to make sure that Delta State APC emerges victorious in the next election.”

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2019: APC speaks on Tinubu’s ‘refusal’ to lead its campaign council

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Tinubu

Tinubu

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has reacted to claims that a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bolaji Tinubu, has refused to chair the campaign council of the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.

But the APC, speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, allayed fears over Tinubu’s position.

Onilu said, “I have not seen the report you are talking about, but in the first place, that could be a bit hypothetical as members of the campaign council have not been announced.

“What you should be certain of, is that whatever position Asiwaju Bola Tinubu takes, as someone who has demonstrated uncommon leadership for this party, it must be in the best interest of the party.

“As l said, l have not seen that report and l don’t know the reasons he gave and in any case appointments have not been announced as far as the council is concerned.

“That is why l said it is hypothetical, but l am at peace and nobody in the party will lose sleep because they are certain that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is working 24/7 in the best interest of the party.”

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2019: PRP about to crash in Bauchi – Chiroma

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Peoples Redemption Party

Peoples Redemption Party

Alhaji Ahmadu Chiroma, the embattled chairman of the Bauchi State chapter of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, said the party was fast heading for a crash.

Chiroma disclosed this in a chat with journalists Saturday in Bauchi.

“I assure you that Pate will not win governorship election under PRP in Bauchi for dissolving the existing party structures across the state and lately replaced them with APC supporters,” Chiroma alleged

Chiroma further stressed that he had personally warned the former national chairman of PRP Balarabe Musa former Kaduna state governor not to mortgage the party to Pate who then lost APC guber ticket for the best interest democracy, but all to no avail

“There is no justice in uprooting the party’s existing structures, especially those that suffered to sustain the party for years just because you want to become Governor by all means without regard to the owners of the party,” added Chiroma.

He, therefore, urged Pate and his team to declare their exit from APC through the media and rescind the dissolution of PRP LGAs executives

Meanwhile, when DAILY POST contacted Barau Ningi, the PRP factional chairman on phone, he said he can only react when he comes back to Bauchi.

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