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It’s fake news, Jonathan never spoke on Biafra – Aide

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A former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has dismissed as untrue reports that he spoke on the position of Niger Delta over agitations for Biafra.

Describing the publication as fabricated, the former president said it was the second time in three years that Jonathan would be issuing a disclaimer on the purported speech, and blamed the development on the effort of some “unscrupulous people” to tarnish Jonathan’s image.

The report was said to have also claimed that Jonathan spoke on the position of Niger Delta over agitations for Biafra in a speech he was said to have presented recently in Texas, United States.

Jonathan’s Media Adviser, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, described the report as false, adding that the former President couldn’t have presented the purported speech because he neither travelled to the United States nor sent anybody to represent him at the unnamed event.

Eze said it was the second time in three years that Jonathan would be issuing a disclaimer on the purported speech, and blamed the development on the effort of some “unscrupulous people” to tarnish Jonathan’s image.

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He said,

“Our attention has been drawn to a fake story with the title ‘Why Niger Deltans don’t want to be part of Biafra’ currently circulating online and purported to have been taken from a speech allegedly presented by former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan at an unnamed event in Texas, United States.

“The story which is being recycled in some online platforms claimed that the former President allegedly spoke on the relationship between the people of the Niger Delta and South-East states while addressing the broader issue of agitation for Biafra.

“We thought we had finally dealt with the issue of this falsehood with our timely and well-publicised disclaimer, soon after the supposed speech first surfaced online in 2017. However, it beggars belief that the same jejune and disastrous effort at speech writing, hatched by some yet-to-be-identified shady character, is again being served to the social media public as a fresh dish.

He added,

“We want to clearly state, as we did in 2017, that there was no such event involving the former President and that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will never present such a sloppy and hate-filled speech.

“We note that the false report is the same old statement that was first put out about three years ago by some unscrupulous elements. Now and as then, it began this way: “Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebere Jonathan yesterday delivered a lecture at Texas, United States…”.

“We recall that when the purported speech was first published in 2017, we dismissed it as pure fiction because, unknown to the authors, they made the claim at a time when the former President had neither been to Texas since leaving office in 2015, nor been invited to any speaking engagement in the US State. Our disclaimer which was issued on October 13, 2017 was published then in many newspapers.”

The statement further said,

“That this odious concoction has not only resurfaced as a new document but continues to spread in May 2020 shows to what a sad extent the fake news and bizarre hoaxes industry is gaining ground in our public space.

“It makes it even more distressing that such a poorly conceived dithyramb and the obvious falsehood around it, could receive any attention from discerning Nigerians. For instance, this is a speech that was purportedly presented in Texas, United States, but nothing was said about the actual date, venue, organisers and purpose of the event. Does it also make any sense that the former President would be assumed to have travelled to the United States to present a speech, at a time when airports are shut and public gathering banned across the world on account of Covid-19 pandemic?

“We can only reiterate as we did in 2017 that this falsehood serves no purpose other than probably massage the ego of the faceless writer. At a time like this, Nigerians have more important things competing for their attention than waste their data on the hackwork of a fraudulent wannabe speech writer who thinks nothing of the criminal implication of attributing his duplicitous diatribe against a people to former President Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”

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Ondo poll: You can’t dictate mode of primary, APC tells aspirants

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State says no governorship aspirant can dictate the mode of primary to be used for the party’s July 20 governorship primary in the state.

The party said this in a statement by Mr. Alex Kalejaiye, the state’s Publicity Secretary,  on Sunday in Akure.

The statement said in part: ” The attention of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to an aggressive agitation for a mode of primary ahead of the governorship election in October this year.

“We wish to place it on record that it is inconceivable that aspirants would dictate to the party on which mode to adopt.

“The chapter is duty-bound to underscore a salient point; that it is the prerogative of the national secretariat to decide which of the modes, pelt out in the party constitution should be adopted for each state at any point in time.

“For the sake of emphasis, the party’s constitution approves three modes of primaries to select its candidates for an election: direct, indirect, and consensus.

” Any of these could be chosen at random, depending on the discretion of the supervising authority.

” The supervising authority in this regard is Gov. Mai- Mala Bunni-led Caretaker Committee, and saddled with the responsibility to decide the option for Ondo State 2020.”

Kalejaiye added that the state was disturbed by the inflammatory statements credited to some of the governorship aspirants,  “especially those laden with threats to ensure that the state chapter is brought down where their wish is not granted.”

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According to him, a committed party member would not embark on actions or utterances that would cast aspersions on its leadership at all levels.

“He would rather prefer to work assiduously towards the victory of his party at any election.

“It is imperative for aspirants, like students preparing for the examination, to abide by the rules and guidelines from the national secretariat, so long these rules are not at variance with the contents of the party constitution.

“The efforts to set a terrible precedent for the party by allowing aspirants to dictate what mode to adopt for an election should be invested in quality and decent campaigns to sell their candidacy to party elders, leaders, and members.

“These groups will definitely speak, directly or through the party structures,” he stated.

The spokesman noted that the state secretariat’s concern was to promote all genuine efforts geared  toward a rancour-free primary election and produce a candidate who would retain the state for the party on Oct. 10.

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Sack Buratai now, Bamgbose tells Buhari

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Olusegun Bamgbose, Esq., National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has called for the immediate sack of Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

According to him, no manner of excuses and arguments will suffice or be acceptable any longer, adding that the insecurity of the nation is worrisome.

In a statement he made available to newsmen on Sunday, the senior lawyer noted that there is every indication that

“the time is very ripe for President Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to retire Buratai. No manner of excuses and arguments will suffice or be acceptable any longer.”

He said there seems to be no respite at sight, noting that soldiers are being killed, while civilians are losing their lives on daily basis, as a result of the activities of bandits, Boko Haram, and other forms of criminalities.

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Bamgbose said that even though the army had denied the news that 386 soldiers tendered their resignation to Buratai, citing loss of interest, as their reason of disengagement, “this may not be far from the truth.”

“Ordinarily, one would have expected the Chief of Army Staff to honorably resign, but if he fails to resign, the Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces and the Executive President of Nigeria, in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, should as a matter of urgency, do Nigerians a favor by removing him as soon as possible.

“He is no doubt overwhelmed and exhausted, he has to go. Just last month, Katsina and Borno States were under heavy attacks by Boko Haram and bandits. 81 killed in Borno State, 40 killed in Katsina State.

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“Houses were burnt, dozens of women raped. No arrests were made. More than 200 bandits operated more than hour and they left without counter attack. This is unbelievable.

“No intelligence gathering whatsoever to nip in bud the attack. This is a sad development. Only yesterday, unidentified gunmen killed at least 20 villagers in Kauru Local Government in Kaduna State.

“These killings are no longer acceptable. I’m sincerely and seriously concerned about loss of lives. Most of these people voted for Buhari to protect them from Bandits and Boko Haram but it’s quite unfortunate, they are gone for ever.

“I believe it’s time for Buhari to remove Buratai as Chief of Army of Staff before Nigeria is consumed. The President should know as a matter of fact, that Nigerians voted for him, not Buratai.

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I believe it’s time for Buhari to choose between Nigerians, who voted for him, and Buratai whom he appointed as Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria.

“Buhari should show him the way out or Nigerians will have cause to think and believe that, Buratai is higher than him or that he as President is scared of removing him.

“The time to act is now. No better time than now to show Nigerians, that he is truly in control of the affairs of this nation. It’s as serious as that. If truly Buhari loves Nigeria and Nigerians, Buratai has to be removed.

“The Government has given him enough time to showcase his military prowess but very unfortunately, he has failed woefully to deliver. I believe it’s time for him to be excused.”

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Group wants 2023 presidency zoned to South East  

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 A pro-democracy group, All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidency Project 2023 on Sunday said that the 2023 presidency should be ceded to the South East in the interest of equity and fairness.

 

A statement issued in Abuja by Dr. Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu, the Convener and National Coordinator of southeast APC Presidency Project 2023, said that the time was ripe for the zone to produce the president for the country

 

“Whatever or whoever will cause the South-East not to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023 is an enemy of Nigeria.

 

“President of Nigeria from South-East extraction from May 29, 2023, would be the only guarantee of equity, justice, peace, unity, continued existence, and proper progress and development of Nigeria.

 

“Presidency of Nigeria wouldn’t be a favor to the South-East; it is now the only hope of Nigeria’s survival.

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“It would be a noble sacrifice on the part of the South-East of Nigeria.

 

“We want APC to be the party platform on which a South-Easterner will become president of Nigeria.

 

“This is simply because we are currently APC members and in the reasonable expectation that APC will offer its 2023 presidential ticket to a South-Easterner,’’ Jideofor-Ogbuagu said.

 

According to him, members of South East APC Presidency Project have insisted that for equity sake, the presidency should be zoned to the South East after President Muhammadu Buhari must have completed his second term in office.

 

He added that other geopolitical zones in the country should extend hands of cooperation to the zone by supporting a Nigerian president of South East extraction.

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He emphasised that the South East had contributed immensely to the growth of the nation and the APC as a party.

 

“We as South Easterners are in all the 774 local government areas across the country, contributing our quota through legitimate services for the good of our fatherland.

 

“As committed citizens with the same rights and privileges like other Nigerians, it is only fit and proper that the Presidency should shift to the South East having been tasted by the South West in Olusegun Obasanjo and South South in Goodluck Jonathan.

 

“APC as the biggest political party in Africa should as a matter of equity zone the 2023 presidency to the SouthEast.

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“We are mobilizing over 40 million South Easterners, friends, and fellow Nigerians to queue behind this project,” Jideofor-Ogbuagu said.

 

Meanwhile, an 18-member National Executive Committee (NEC), and a 92-member National Working Committee (NWC), have been constituted for the South-East APC Presidency Project 2023.

 

Members of the committees cut across all states of Nigeria and Abuja.

 

Some are Dr. Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu; National Coordinator, Chief Amaechi Nnolim; Deputy National Coordinator,  Chief Chooks Oko; Secretary, and Mr. Onyekachi Ibekwe, Assistant Secretary.

 

Some others are Mr. Eze Adiuku, Publicity and Press Officer, Mr. Chidi Ozoemena, Public Relations Officer, Dr. Emeka Ukaegbu, Contact and Protocol Officer, and Mr. Uzowuike Emeka, Mobilization Officer.

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