A group under the platform of Nigeria Consolidation Ambassador Network (NCAN) yesterday obtained the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for President Muhammadu Buhari at a pricey N45million. Buhari became the first APC aspirant to pick the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms; hence, marking the formal commencement of activities ahead of the 2019 general elections. The president had in April this year declared his intention to seek re-election at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of his party. The forms were however picked on his behalf by NCAN at the national secretariat of the APC in Abuja. The group, which was received by the Comrade Adams Oshiomohle-led National Working Committee (NWC), came in hundreds to the national secretariat of the ruling party. Explaining why the group decided to purchase the forms for the president, NCAN’s national coordinator, Sunnsi Musa, said the president is not multi-millionaire cash wise, “but he has millions of supporters who are always ready to come together to pay for his nomination form.
“Mr Chairman, it is my singular honour and rare privilege to present to you a cheque of 45,000,000 (Forty Five Million Naira) as payment for the expression of interest and nomination forms for President Muhammadu Buhari”, Musa added. He noted that the group embarked on the project based on the recognition that, while the president has started laying a foundation for a better Nigeria, there is need to consolidate on the gains so far made. He continued: “We have no doubt that Mr President has, both in action an word, being working to lay a foundation for greater and prosperous nation that our generation and future generation will be proud of. “Under his administration, Nigeria has become a country sought after for investments in the world. Nigeria has assumed its leadership role in not just Africa but the world.
“Today, Mr Chairman, Nigeria‘s moribund infrastructure is being revived. There is no state In Nigeria that does not have several major Federal Government infrastructure project either completed or being executed under President Buhari. “We have a stable and steadily growing economy that is departing from the monotonic oil dependence. Agriculture is now an attractive venture, as farmers are becoming multi-millionaires. Nigeria is now an exporter of Agricultural products as Opposed to what it was three years ago”. Musa further stated that for the first time since the return of democracy, Nigerians have a president who can beat his chest and state that he has never stolen from the purse of government. He said, “We have a president who is not having meetings at night to strike shady personal deals but is rather ensuring that every agreement entered into by Nigeria is in the interest of the country and for its generations unborn. This has indeed boost the confidence of investors; hence, the increase in flow of Direct Foreign Investment into the country.
“Looted funds are being recovered and ploughed back to developing our country’s deficit infrastructure. Mr Chairman, almost a million farmers under the Anchor Borrowers Programme are benefiting from low interest loans that they access without ‘chua chua’. “500 000 previously unemployed graduates me now employed under the NPower Scheme; 400,000 extremely poor families are receiving N5,000 monthly and that is changing their lives. Over 8 million children are being fed daily in our public schools across the country. “Today, and for the first time in our history, we have a government that is honest and sincere in investing in the poor, the masses and the underprivileged.” The NCAN leader said the group cannot fold it hands while the foundation laid by President Buhari is left for another person to destroy. Musa said, “We cannot afford to destroy the future of our children. The foundation laid by President Muhammadu Buhari must be reinforced. It is for this reason, Mr Chairman, that we have decided to pull our meagre resources together and purchase the expression of interest and nomination form for President Buhari, as he presents himself to our party members to be chosen as its candidate for the 2019 general election. “Our members from the various villages, local governments and states have contributed to making this happen.”
6 APC Govs, 27 Lawmakers To Join Us Soon – PDP
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) declared yesterday that it has concluded discussions with six state governors and 27 members of the National Assembly elected on the platform of the APC to join its folds soon. In a statement signed by the national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the major opposition party said the expected defectors had also held consultations and secured the mandates of their constituents to move to the PDP ahead of the 2019 general election. The party spokesman added that discussions on the control of party structures in the affected states and senatorial zones had also reached an advanced stage and would be completed in a couple of weeks after which the governors and lawmakers would announce their defection to the PDP. Ologbondiyan stated: “However, in line with decisions reached at the discussions, the members of the National Assembly defecting to the PDP will cross-carpet at the reconvening of session in the two chambers, which will increase the PDP majority in both chambers.
“The party assures that all grey areas of the agreement, including issues of waivers and accommodation for participation in primaries, are being smoothened out by the former Governor Liyel Imoke-led PDP Contact and Integration Committee, which has been galvanising our alliances among stakeholders across other parties, including those from the APC”.
The PDP further commended the spirit of tolerance, dialogue, accommodation and oneness of purpose that has pervaded the alliance among members, just as it expressed its readiness to dethrone the ruling APC.
The party expressed its readiness to take back control of power at the centre, as well as in states like Plateau, Niger, Adamawa, Kano, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Jigawa, Zamfara, Imo and Edo, as well as Southwest states of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Lagos states.
Ologbondiyan continued: “The PDP also commends Nigerians across board for their overwhelming support and solidarity with the repositioned PDP as expressed in the unprecedented interest in our tickets for various elective positions, particularly the presidency, governorship and National Assembly positions, in addition to spirited public discourse at all levels of political engagements across our country.
“These interests and movements from the APC to the PDP are indicators of the consensus by Nigerians to rally on the platform of the PDP to end the economic hardship, bloodletting, violence and infrastructural decay that have become the hallmark of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, and return our nation to the path of unity, national cohesion and economic prosperity, which the PDP is known for,” the statement added.
…Extends Sale, Submission of Presidential, Guber, NASS Nomination Forms
Also, the PDP has extended the deadline for the sale and collection of presidential, governorship and National Assembly nomination forms from the earlier announced date of Thursday, September 6, 2018, to Monday, September 10, 2018. According to the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, aspirants for the aforementioned positions are to submit their duly completed forms at the designated offices not later than Tuesday, September 11, 2018. “This extension, however, does not apply to aspirants for State House of Assembly positions. Aspirants in this category are to submit their duly completed forms at officially designated chapters of the party on or before the close of work on Thursday, September 6, 2018,” he stated.
No Hiding Place For Defecting Politicians – EFCC
Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared that politicians defecting from one party to another would not be shielded from prosecution by the anti-graft agency. Speaking during a parley with editors in Lagos yesterday, the acting chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, said there is no hiding place for such politicians in the fight against corruption by the EFCC.“The fact that a politician jumps from one party to another will not stop EFCC investigation; we don’t stop investigation until it is concluded. It is only the courts that have the powers to decide whether to exonerate or convict any indicted politician,” the EFCC chairman stated. Responding to alleged interference by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Magu said that he had never received any instruction to stop any investigation. “I am not the type you’ll ask to stop any investigation”, Magu said.
The EFCC boss said it has become fashionable for anyone being investigated for corruption by the commission to claim political persecution. “With the general elections fast approaching, the resistance has assumed even frightening dimension with political motives imputed to most of our activities,” he said. Magu urged the country’s media not to allow corrupt politicians to use their platforms to corner the machinery of government, or to help the cause of the corrupt that want to shed crocodile tears. “We must all do what is right for our country, which is ensuring that those who steal our common patrimony are brought to justice,” he said, even as he urged all security agencies to prioritise the anti-graft fight.
The EFCC, he revealed, has so far exposed only about 10 per cent of the monumental corruption perpetrated in the past. “You have not seen anything yet; we have not even touched 10 per cent of corruption perpetrated in the past,” he said. The EFCC boss urged banks to strengthen their internal control mechanisms and for the Central Bank to re-appraise regulatory and ethical conduct of banks in order to enhance the fight against corruption. Magu further disclosed that the anti-graft agency had signed memorandums of understanding with the United Arab Emirates and Mauritius towards repatriating looted assets. On assets recovery, he said EFCC had recovered a total of N106.5 billion, $1.63 million, £629,000 and €25,575 this year alone, even as he expressed concern at the state of seized assets which were rotting away at various locations across the country. He expressed the hope that EFCC would surpass the record of 189 convictions achieved in 2017, going by the over 158 convictions it had secured between January and August this year.
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