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I Will Name, Prosecute Oil Thieves – Atiku

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has said there will no longer be a hiding place for oil thieves and their accomplices, no matter how highly placed in the country, if he takes power in 2023.

This was Atiku’s pledge on Saturday in Lagos when he interacted with a broad spectrum of corporate Nigeria under the aegis of Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko hotel.

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Doyens of industry at the session include: Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Femi Otedola, Tony Elumelu, Herbert Wigwe and Muhammad Hayatudeen among others.

Atiku also said he would, in the interest of national development, confiscate all oil bloc allocated to some Nigerians who had failed to make them operational.

READ ALSO: 2023: Tell Atiku To Stop Running, Tinubu Begs Gbaramatu Monarch In Delta

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The former Vice President, who promised to sustain frequent interactive sessions between government and the country’s business class when voted to power, equally outlined the ways he would tackle what he described as an ailing economy.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it. We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

On his plans to boost the oil and gas sector, Atiku noted that under the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, the quota of oil production was earmarked for increase to four million barrels per day.

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That plan, he explained, would be resuscitated and sustained beyond the projected figure, when he is voted into office next year, pointing out that in order to do this successfully, the Petroleum Industry Act and any other enabling law would be invoked.

“When we were in government, we started this process. However, there were hiccups. We were unable to pass the legislation to encourage IOCs to partake in the sector. We will go back to where we started,” he said.

He added that the Brass and Olokola LNG projects, started under the Obasanjo administration would be given more attention under him. “We will continue if we have the opportunity. As you know, joint ventures are good because they are investor-driven,” he said.

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He reiterated his commitment to privatising the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri, saying, “I swear to God, I’ll privatise them,” he told the entrepreneurs.

Turning to fiscal challenges of FOREX, monetary policy and the N20 trillion way and means balance facing the country, Atiku said, “I believe that we should have a FOREX policy that allows a convergence. I don’t believe in a multiple FOREX policy that currently applies.”

He said in order to stabilise the FOREX regime loopholes in oil, production would be blocked, emphasising that he would encourage local production and “not control of public expenditure.”

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“Dollarisation or otherwise of the Nigerian economy depends on the strength or weakness of our economy. If we strengthen our economy, you don’t need the dollar. The naira can be strengthened by the number of jobs created and exports,” he said.

According to him, the monetary policy would be such that the Central Bank of Nigeria would be independent. “Monetary policy and other related items would be liberalised. Without prize stability, the economy does not work for anyone; and job creation and poverty eradication cannot be attained.”

READ ALSO: Ayu: Wike Alleges Threat To Life

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“The CBN will take responsibility to deliver price stability despite the fact that inflation is a global phenomenon and a product of strong demand and limited supply.

“But none of these stops the CBN from carrying out its duty of price stability and single window fiscal regime,” the PDP presidential candidate said, pointing out that “some of these economic and financial challenges existed in 1999.”

In his remarks, the PDP vice-presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who listed some problems facing the Niger Delta region as community agitations, high powered illegal bunkering and breaching of oil pipelines by vandals, said the Atiku administration would embark on technology-driven surveillance and other solutions to tackle the problems.

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The national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, expressed appreciation to corporate Nigeria for gracing the occasion, assuring them that they were engaging with the right party. “There is going to be continuing dialogue. When we take over power next year, not if, we will continue to engage you,” he said.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director-General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

 

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Elections: Cultists Masking As Party Support Groups In Rivers, Says Wike

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The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Monday said some party support groups in the state are a vehicle for thuggery and cult activities sponsored by disgruntled politicians ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Wike’s remarks follow reports that about 30 members of the Atiku Support Organisation were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in the state capital.

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The governor, in a state broadcast, called on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the state, which he said are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores,” he said.

“Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.”

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The governor also called attention to the presence of “desperate politicians” whom he said are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

“I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State,” Wike added.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Gunmen Attack APC Campaign Venue In Rivers

See the full transcript below:

STATE BROADCAST BY
HIS EXCELLENCY NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON, GSSRS, POS
ON THE RISING CULTISM AND RELATED
ACTIVITIES ACROSS RIVERS STATE

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My dear people of Rivers State

The 2023 general elections are less than three weeks away. Political activities are in top gear, with political parties and candidates intensifying campaigns across the State.

2. We are happy with the generally peaceful campaigns except for the few isolated reported incidents of violence by sponsored rival cults, gangs and support groups in one or two political rallies.

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3. We commend the security agencies for providing adequate security cover for all the political parties to carry on with their electioneering activities, including crowded rallies and meetings.

4. The State Government will continue to support the security agencies to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of peace and security for voters to exercise their voting rights without fear or intimidation before, during and after the elections.

5. I assure you that there is nothing to fear as the State government and the security agencies will spare no effort to keep Rivers State peaceful, safe and secure for citizens to go about their normal daily activities.

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6. However, we, again, call on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the State, which are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

7. We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores.

READ ALSO: Atiku: Rivers PDP Takes Swipe On Wike

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8. Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.

9. We are also aware that desperate politicians are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

10. I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

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11. Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State.

12. Anyone with useful information about the camps, gatherings, plans and activities of these criminal elements and their sponsors should forward it to the security agencies for action.

13. I wish to restate that no amount of syndicated misinformation, campaigns of calumny, and diatribes by a section of the media and the political elites will deter the State Government from enforcing the laws of the State against those who vainly claim to be above them.

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14. Unlike other States, we have refrained from using the State’s Neighbourhood Corps to enforce law and order by allowing the regular security agencies to do their constitutional work.

READ ALSO: I’ll Hit PDP National Leadership Tuesday – Wike

15. We pray we may not be forced to reconsider this position if the security agencies continue to encourage and offer protection to some politicians and party leaders to wantonly breach our laws.

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16. Thank you, and may God bless Rivers State.

 

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Tinubu’s Men Attack PDP Over N22.5bn Vote-buying Claim

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The ruling All Progressives Congress has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party to provide Nigerians with evidence of the N22.5 billion stashed old notes that it alleged the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is desperately seeking to convert into new ones in Kano State.

This is even as the Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign council wrote off the claim as a silly figment of the imagination of the opposition party.

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The PDP had claimed in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday that it received intelligence that Tinubu and some party leaders are striving to swap the alleged money to facilitate its vote-buying plans ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, further disclosed that the PDP was convinced about the earlier notion that the APC in conjunction with some APC governors is responsible for the biting cash scarcity currently rocking the country.

READ ALSO: Tinubu: APC Announces Indefinite Postponement Of Campaign Rally In Oyo

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Ologunagba said, “The party is aware that the N22.5 billion in old N1000 notes was allegedly kept in a Kano State Government facility before being moved to a particular old generation and a certain new generation bank where the regional heads were contacted by the APC presidential campaign to swap the old notes with new ones.

“Further information revealed that the cash is being warehoused by the Tinubu campaign for alleged vote buying in Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Jigawa, and Sokoto States. A particular APC state governor is reported to have taken delivery of N500 million new Naira notes to actualize the vote buying plot.”

When contacted, the Chief Spokesman of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, stated that it would be a waste of time to reply to the allegation.

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“I have only one sentence for that. It is an irresponsible statement that does not deserve a response,” he said.

The PCC Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga, debunked the report, saying the PDP is living up to its fame of coming up with frivolous claims.

He challenged the leadership of the opposition party to cut to the chase by providing concrete evidence to back up its claim.

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He stated, “Let them provide the evidence if they uncovered such. It is not enough to dish out cock and bull stories in the name of press Releases. Making senseless allegations every passing day which has become the hallmark of the PDP campaign is not how to win the election.

“Nigerians can’t forget a party of people that looted over $ 2 billion dollars meant for arms procurement when Boko Haram was killing our citizens and almost took over three states in the northeast.

“We challenge PDP to bring out any evidence of their latest allegation otherwise the party of looters should hide its ugly face in perpetual shame.”

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READ ALSO: Who Told El-Rufai North Behind Tinubu, Bafarawa Asks

Meanwhile, the Publicity Director of APC, Bala Ibrahim, urged the PDP to head to the court, security agencies and regulatory bodies like the Independent National Electoral Commission instead of its usual media trial.

Why issue a statement when you can prove your case in a competent court of law or a regulatory agent like INEC? There are statutory ways of dealing with it.

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“I don’t know why people avoid using the court or investigative agencies to make their point. If they have proof, let them tender it. That’s why the courts, security agencies, and national financial units like EFCC and ICPC are there.

“It is obvious the PDP is seeing the sign of defeat and merely trying to rock the boat by coming up with all sorts of allegations to get public sympathy,” he stated.

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Tinubu: APC Announces Indefinite Postponement Of Campaign Rally In Oyo

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed its presidential rally in Oyo State following the protests rocking the state.

The party made this announcement on Monday.

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DAILY POST reports that the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been billed to visit Ibadan on Tuesday in continuation of his presidential campaign.

The party, however, said it will no longer be holding the campaign rally as earlier planned.

The Publicity Secretary of the APC in Oyo State, Wasiu Olawale Sadare, confirmed the postponement.

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Sadare in a short statement made available to journalists on Monday noted that the postponement became necessary in view of the crisis caused by the scarcity of new naira notes and petroleum.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Gunmen Attack APC Campaign Venue In Rivers

Sadare in the statement sent to DAILY POST in Ibadan said, “We regret to announce the indefinite postponement of our presidential rally earlier slated for tomorrow (Tuesday).

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“The decision was taken, apparently, in consideration to the prevailing challenges facing the people and the need to allow President Muhammadu Buhari work around the situation and ensure that normalcy return particularly as it concerns fuel and currency notes crisis”.

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