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20 Jan 2019

'They Cannot Answer The Questions' - Durotoye, Moghalu Come Hard For Buhari, Atiku

Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu, presidential candidates of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Young Progressives Party (YPP), respectively, have berated the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for their absence at the presidential debate held on Saturday.

While President Muhammadu Buhari of APC didn't turn up at all, Atiku Abubakar of PDP showed up but walked out when he realised Buhari wouldn't attend the event.

They stated their displeasure at the just-concluded presidential debate organised by the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

When the moderator, Mark Eddo, asked Durotoye on the matter, he said the absence of the two political parties means they do not have the interest of the people at heart, noting that the APC and PDP are the two sides of a bad coin.

“Pride always come before a fall and every time you believe you have no need to tell the people what it is you’re going to do, it means you are not there to serve them in the first place,” he said.

Moghalu agreed with Durotoye.

“There are two reasons they are not here. One is arrogance. They believe that the people of Nigeria have no voice and no choice. The second reason they are not here is because they cannot answer the questions," Moghalu said.

Don't Try Rubbish With Rivers, Wike Warns INEC

Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against "trying rubbish with the people of Rivers State" by postponing elections in the state.

He also accused INEC of working in the interest of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The governor said this on Saturday at a rally of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Okehi, Rivers State.

He alleged that there was a plot by INEC to illegally postpone the general election in the state.

WIke described the electoral body as a fraudulent institution that lacks credibility and claimed that INEC was working with APC in order to repeat the same situation that occurred in Ondo State two years ago.

“We know all the tricks of INEC. INEC is a fraudulent institution that lacks credibility. Because of Rivers State, INEC will sink," he said.

“As the election is approaching, INEC is trying to give hope to APC in Rivers State. Remember that INEC is a member of the APC. It is number three on the APC official register.

“Two years ago, PDP had a problem in Ondo State.  Three days to the election, the Court of Appeal gave judgement and PDP requested for postponement, but INEC bluntly refused to grant that request.

“Now APC has a problem and INEC is claiming they will postpone Rivers elections to give APC opportunity to prepare. I am warning INEC not to try that rubbish in Rivers State. Anybody plotting against Rivers State will not survive.”

The governor called on the electorate to cast their votes for Atiku Abubakar and other PDP candidates on during the elections.

Also present at the rally were Prince Uche Secondus National Chairman of PDP, who endorsed the reelection bid of Governor Wike. He also sent a note warning that any move to rig the general election will lead to catastrophe.

Akpabio Reveals First State Buhari Will Win, Says Election Will End Within 3 Hours

A former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the presidential election within three hours of voting.

The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State also claimed that the state would be first Buhari will win on February 16.

The lawmaker, who spoke in an interview with journalists in Uyo, was responding to a question on the possibility of violence in Akwa Ibom during the election following his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

According to him, the people of the state have already decided who they will vote, insisting that there is no battle ground in the state.

Akpabio said, “APC had taken over Akwa Ibom even before I joined the party. By the time I decided to join APC, by the time I landed at the airport, the whole airport was APC.

“The whole of the airport to the town was APC. The whole of the plaza in Uyo was APC, the jubilation was infectious.

“Women and men were bringing their brooms from under their bed, which means they had been hiding them because of me and they were sweeping the roads.

“A distance of 20 minutes took us over two hours to cover because of the jubilation. I was now saying that so all these people belong to APC.

“When I asked them, they said, “Sir, after you left office, the situation wasn’t the same again. We have moved to APC”. And I asked them when, and they said since 2015.

“If you ask the APC headquarters, they will tell you that we have over 300,000 card-carrying members who joined the party within six weeks.

“When I hear that Akwa Ibom is going to be a battle-ground, I laugh because there is no battle-ground in a state that has already shown direction.

“I can confidently confirm to you that the first state President Buhari will win within three hours of voting in Akwa Ibom.

“It is not because of me but because of the change that the Federal Government has started. The reason I am being attacked is just because I am a leader here and a lot of people came out boldly to associate with APC when I joined, but the people have rejected PDP before I declared for APC.”

Bank PHB Fund: FG Set To Interrogate Atiku Over Corruption Allegation

The Federal Government is preparing grounds to interrogate the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, over alleged corruption, SUNDAY PUNCH learnt on Saturday night.

However, top government sources said no decision had been taken on the security or anti-graft agency that would handle the matter.

It was gathered that the government had yet to make up its mind on whether the file be sent to the Department of State Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or the police.

A source close to the planned interrogation said the Federal Government was not bothered about political interpretation being read into the issue.

The source said, “The alleged crime was discovered by the government and though it could have happened earlier, there is no time limit to when a crime should he investigated.

“The government has the right to determine when a case is ripe for either investigation or even prosecution. That is the truth.

“In the coming week, a decisive action will be taken on the matter. Anybody can say whatever they like, but government is not bothered because we know we have a genuine case against the former vice president.”

Atiku’s interrogation is sequel to allegation made by the Federal Government on Friday that it was in possession of alleged fresh N156m evidence linking the former vice president to the collapse of Bank PHB.

To this end, it stated that Atiku had questions to answer in connection with the alleged ‘slush funds’, which he took from the bank through Claremont Management Services Account on January 13, 2009.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the allegation in Abuja while speaking with State House correspondents on Friday.

He also claimed that the government was not disturbed that the former vice president got a United States’ visa and actually travelled to the US on Thursday.

Rather, he said the presidential candidate must clear his name of corruption allegations, especially his alleged role in the collapse of Bank PHB.

But Atiku said in Abuja on Saturday, that the Federal Government was shocked about his trip to US.

He, nevertheless, said he was ready to make himself available for interrogation, saying he remained a law-abiding citizen.

Atiku, who spoke though his media aide, Mr Phrank Shaibu, said he had nothing to hide.

The ex-vice president added, “Nigerians are aware of the timing of this fresh allegation by the APC-led Federal Government. It is their shameless reaction to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s visit to the US.

“So, we don’t need the services of a clairvoyant to know that the allegation of corruption is nothing but a manifestation of solid and un-adulterated angst.

“It is simply an exhibition of a blind rage by a set of deprived suckling with a long-term pattern of abnormal behaviour that is characterised by incredible skills at lying.

“Atiku, as a law-abiding citizen, will, as always, subject himself to scrutiny because he has no skeletons in his cupboard but the case under review (if any) is an issue for our lawyers to determine as we are too busy with electioneering, a process to get Nigeria working again.”

Whatever We Promised, We Will Do - Osinbajo Tells Nigerians

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria's Vice President, has given reasons the forthcoming general election is important to the people of Nigeria and him.

He made this known on Friday during his house-to-house campaign which took him to the palace of the Olufon of Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State.

Osinbajo, who described President Muhammadu Buhari as an honest person, said it was important for Nigerians to reelect the Buhari.

He said: “Buhari is a truthful man and will do something if he says so. He built three of our refineries in four years. The development of Nigeria is a major concern to us. We all know what happened when we first got here. No country can develop when corruption is too much.

“This forthcoming election is particularly important to us because it is not all the time we have a representative in government, but when we have one, we should support that one to have more development.

“Our school feeding programme feeds 9.2 million children daily. Whatever we have promised, we will do one by one. The railway, roads, water and power promised in the South-West will be done.”

Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State, showed appreciation to the vice-president for his visit to Ifon. Akeredolu said although this was Osinbajo’s first visit to Ifon, it would have a great impact on the people of Ifon.

“As you are here today,  the people have seen you with us. It has a great impact and it is more than any rally we could have organised. We are the same family and we see ourselves as one. I am happy we started in Ifon. A lot of things started in Ifon. It is part of the three key areas of Ondo State,” Akeredolu said.

INEC Breaks Silence On Whether Elections Wil Hold In All 36 States

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it believes elections will be conducted in all 36 states of the country with the help of the military.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the chief press secretary to the INEC Chairman, said this in an interview with Punch newspaper.

The commission said the Nigerian Air Force helped during the continuous voter registration by flying some of its personnel to areas riddled with landmines in Borno State.

It also said that elections in the North-East, which in recent times have come under heavy attacks by Boko Haram, would not be postponed.


How words: “Postponement is not being considered. The commission maintains robust synergy with the security agencies under the aegis of the Inter Consultative Committee on Election Security, which is why we have been having peaceful elections in most of the constituencies where elections were conducted in the last three years.

“In fact, but for the Nigerian Air Force which graciously agreed to airlift the commission’s staff to difficult terrains containing landmines in Borno State during the continuous voter registration, it would have been impossible for INEC to register qualified voters in those areas at that time.

“We all agree that our armed forces are currently under pressure due to several security challenges across the country, especially in the North-East. But the commission believes that the military is equal to the task. Therefore, with their help, elections will be conducted in all states across the country.”

Australian Open: World's No 1 To Face Off Best In Tennis History As Simona Halep Battles Serena Williams

A fourth-round collision on Monday that will rip the 2019 Australian Open wide apart brings the official world No 1, Simona Halep, and the best player in the history of the game, Serena Williams, together for the ninth time.

The American has an 8-1 grip on that rivalry, but the Romanian comes into the match after beating her sister, Venus, fairly convincingly on day six, 6-2, 6-3 in a little more than an hour-and-a-quarter. However, the younger Williams sister has been in equally awesome form in the first week, taking just over an hour to beat the Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska for the loss of just three games.
Serena Williams consoles tearful Yastremska after sailing into last 16
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There was a touching moment at the net, when Williams comforted Yastremska, who could not hold back the tears. “I could tell she was quite upset,” said Williams. “I kind of liked that. It shows she wasn’t just there to play a good match, she was there to win. She wanted to win. That really broke my heart. I think she’s a good talent. It’s good to see that attitude. I remember one time in particular against Venus at Wimbledon, as I was walking to the net, I started bawling. I couldn’t help it.”

It will be back to business against Halep, though, and a step up in levels. The Romanian, lifted after breaking through at Roland Garros last summer after years of near-misses in the majors, dropped a tie-break set in the first round against Kaia Kanepi, and another when beating the American Sofia Kenin. But she found the right gears against Venus.

“She played pretty flawless tennis today – only 12 errors,” Williams said. “Unfortunately, I had almost three times as many.”

So a match worthy of a final awaits. Also on that side of the draw is Serena’s conqueror in the US Open final, Naomi Osaka, who had to come from a set and 2-4 down to get past the quirky genius of Hsieh Su-wei. Madison Keys is also through and in good enough touch to beat the sixth seed, Elina Svitolina, who needed three sets to beat the unseeded Shuai Zhang in two hours and 55 minutes, the longest match in the women’s championship so far.

For all that, Serena Williams seems scarily focused in pursuit of one more major to move alongside the all-time record of Margaret Court. In that mood, she can be unbeatable.

The former British No 1 Annabel Croft, working here for Eurosport, said of Williams: “She looks a lot more at ease with the situation, this looming 24th grand slam – which has rather shackled her in the finals of the last two grand slams. I get the feeling she is come to terms with it and is ready to play freely, enjoy the situation and take on the challenge.”

Buhari Finally Opens Up On Why He Missed Last Night's Presidential Debate

President Muhammadu Buhari could not attend the 2019 Debate organised for Presidential Candidates on Saturday night because the event clashed with his schedules.

The Spokesperson for the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress, Festus Keyamo, stated this in a statement on Sunday night.

The event was organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria.

Giving reasons for the president’s absence, the statement said, “Firstly, out of several opportunities afforded our candidate to interact with the Nigerian people directly by different organisations, our presidential candidate has taken full advantage of another town-hall meeting organised by another group which held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.


“He was also joined at that town-hall meeting by our Vice-Presidential candidate who is also the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

“Nigerians from all walks of life who were physically present and through on-line platforms asked uncensored questions which were adequately answered. It was also transmitted live by various broadcast networks in Nigeria.

“In addition, the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme. Today, Mr. President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both States, (as seen by Nigerians on live television) and only returned to Abuja late this evening.

The council, however, said the reason given by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, was untenable as it showed he had no programe for the country.

“We note the statement of the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who actually came for the event and left the venue when he did not see Mr. President, who is our candidate. According to him, he would not want to “attack” Mr. President in his absence.

“It should now be obvious to Nigerians that for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, this election is all about attacking the person and programmes of Mr. President and not about proffering their own solutions to the problems they created during their sixteen years of misrule, maladministration and looting of the nation’s resources.

“When they cannot see President Buhari to attack, the content of their campaign becomes hollow, empty and “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Now that Atiku Abubakar had a unique opportunity to explain to Nigerians his own vision and mission without a President Buhari in the picture, he ran away. Afterall, he has his own eight years of crass and grand corruption as Vice President to defend before the Nigerian people.

“On February 16, 2019 we urge Nigerians to demonstrate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, through their votes, how empty indeed their campaign has always been and to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who have started the rebuilding process of our great nation.”

The PCC thanked the organisers for the invitation, assuring Nigerians to continue to hold the debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem which Buhari has demonstrated during past election debates when he honoured similar invitations.

“Nigerians will also recall that a few weeks ago, our Vice-Presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also attended the debate organised by the same organisations,” the statement added.


19 Jan 2019

BREAKING NEWS: Arsenal defeat Chelsea 2-0 and London is red!

Arsenal are firmly back in the race for a top-four finish after beating rivals Chelsea.

The Gunners took the lead after 14 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette scored his 10th goal of the season, before fellow Frenchman Laurent Koscielny struck with a lucky effort that went in off his shoulder.

It was not all good news for Unai Emery's side though, with right back Hector Bellerin leaving the pitch on a stretcher after suffering a knee injury in the second half.

More to follow.







Premier League Table After Matchweek 22

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