The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the President was fighting the opposition, not corruption.

Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said it was shocking that Buhari had not condemned the action of the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, for allegedly taking a bribe from a contractor.

The President, at a town hall meeting anchored by a journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, on the Nigerian Television Authority, on Wednesday, spoke on the allegations against Ganduje and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

When asked to comment on the allegation against Ganduje, Buhari had said, “The state assembly is investigating and they have the mandate to deal with it and they have also gone to court, so I decided not to talk about it.

The President, who admitted he had seen the videos, asked, “Does Ganduje have to take the money himself? The system has given me some relief, it is in the court and the Assembly.”

On Lawal, the President challenged anybody with evidence against the ex-SGF to provide it.

But the Senate had indicted Lawal in May last year.

On Lawal, Buhari had stated, “I don’t think that anybody that is being booted out is corrupt. I told you why I have to be careful. If there are strong allegations, people should come out with strong evidence like names of companies looted, contracts awarded, then, we take them before the court and the ICPC and we have to trust the system and allow them to complete investigations.”

Oshiomhole: Once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven

But on Thursday, Atiku said he found the excuse on Ganduje untenable because the President had not shown that level of restraint when condemning the alleged corruption of others who were not members of the APC.

According to him, such cases are too numerous to mention but include Buhari’s utterances on an ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose.

Atiku said, “This partiality of the President is most disturbing, as it is proved positive that he is fighting the opposition and not corruption. Perhaps this is why Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index has established that Nigeria is more corrupt today, under President Buhari, than before he was sworn in on May 29, 2015 (and not May 19, 2015, as he claimed in Kogi).

“Quite strangely, President Buhari, however, did not allow Ganduje’s pending court case stop him from praising his crony, the Kano governor when he went to Paris in November of last year.

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“Even further damaging was the President’s defence of another of his cronies, Babachir Lawal, whom he said could not be charged because of a lack of evidence. We are embarrassed by the President that he could make such a public

A former Osun State Governor, Chief Bisi Akande, on Thursday said he never thought he would live to see his 80th birthday.

Akande said he had thought that he would die before 50th birthday, adding that in order not to be caught unawares, he rushed to achieve all his ambitions before clocking the golden age.

Akande was elected Osun State governor in 1999 with Chief Iyiola Omisore as the deputy governor.

But the relationship between the duo ended on an acrimonious note with the impeachment of Omisore in 2002.

Since then, the two had never associated openly.

However, the venue of a civic reception organised for Akande to mark his 80th birthday in his Ila country home, erupted in applause on Thursday when Omisore arrived with his entourage and greeted Chief Akande and others seated with him.

Also in attendance at the event were the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole; Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, represented by his deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi; Osun State Governor, Mr Gboyega Oyetola; his deputy, Benedict Alabi; a former Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, and the Nigerian ambassador to Togo, Sola Iji, among others.

Akande, who could not hold back tears, as a birthday song was rendered for him, said his fear of early death was based on how his parents died.

Akande said, “My father died when he clocked 50 years, while my mother died at the age of 45. This made me to conclude that early death runs in my family.

“In order to achieve all my ambitions, I did everything in haste. When I eventually clocked 50 years, I started slowing down.

“I thank God that I live to see this age. I never expected it, but I consider it a grace to see 80 despite all the challenges.”

In his remarks, Oyetola described Akande as incorruptible man of integrity, who never used his position in the All Progressives Congress to influence government.

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Aregbesola said he was able to fulfil his electoral promises as Osun governor because of the support he received from within.

The Buhari Media Organisation says it has uncoverd alleged plans by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to rig the February 16 presidential election.

The group said a part of the plan “to subvert the will of the people”, was PDP’s recent recruitment of a former Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman known to have presided over the worse election in Nigeria’s recent political history.

BMO also said President Muhammadu Buhari had no reason to rig next month’s election.

It stated that any fear by the opposition that Buhari was preparing the ground to rig the election was a mere conjecture and completely false.

According to the BMO, the All Progressives Congress had all it takes to win the coming election fairly and creditably, with a landslide.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, the BMO said the PDP rigging plot also involved spending huge amount of money on police personnel and election officials in many parts of the country.

It said, “With their campaign daily losing steam, the PDP has also resorted to accusing everyone directly or remotely connected to President Muhammadu Buhari of corruption; after realising that Nigerians are not buying any of their Dubai Strategy of lies.

“Their leaders had been working on this plan for a while and had consciously been raising all sorts of allegations and attacking national institutions involved in the electoral process in order to divert attention from their devious agenda.

“Part of the plot is to discredit INEC’s new election guidelines which included simultaneous accreditation and voting, and which also barred collation officers from making or receiving calls on election day.

“This same style was successfully test run in all bye-elections in recent months including those won by the PDP candidates, but the party did not see anything wrong with it until the commission insisted that it would be used during the next elections.”

The group alleged that the PDP was also working on infiltrating INEC by embedding its supporters among ad-hoc electoral officials as part of its rigging plan.

It consequently advised the commission to be cautious in its recruitment plan for the general elections.

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“We want to place Nigerians on notice that they should be at alert and not allow PDP elements at all levels to subvert the will of the electorate.

“There is also a need for the election management body to properly scrutinise ad-hoc staff to be recruited for election duty as well as pay more than a passing attention to its officials.

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