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Jonathan pledges more projects, Buhari, others berate president on graft, security

By Wole Oyebade, Ijeoma Opara(Lagos), Ali Garba (Bauchi) and Isah Ibrahim (Gasau)   |   22 January 2015   |   11:40 pm

buhari-jonathan-NL

PDP faults ex-military leader’s certificate 

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised that if re-elected into power, he would embark on developmental projects that would transform Nigeria into a developed nation. 

  Again, the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Maj-Gen. Muhammad Buhari, has vowed to sanction any public officer who indulged in corruption if elected president, saying that administration would have zero tolerance for graft.

  Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the certificate released by Buhari’s school, alleging that it was forged, while the  Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday said that Nigerians would  still remain one indivisible entity if President Goodluck Jonathan loses the forthcoming election.

  Jonathan who made the promise yesterday in Bauchi during the campaign in the State, added that his vision  in the next four years was to create more jobs for youths and women. 

  On his part, Vice President Namadi Sambo said that the purpose of their visit to Bauchi was to canvass for votes and support for Jonathan in next month’s election.

  He said that politics of bitterness was not good for the country’s nascent democracy and people should desist from such campaigns of calumny for the sake of peace in the country.

  According to him, God had made us in Nigeria both Christians and Muslims and people should stop playing politics with religion, because the country is for all of us.

  He further stressed: “It is not all about shouting but about registration, most of the people shouting they have not registered and without registration, you cannot vote so people should register so that they can vote.

  Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State also disclosed that it was God that gave power to whom He wished and not by men’s wish.

  “It is God that gives power and God has given it to President Jonathan, we the people of  the Northeast, we are loyal to our leaders and we will give all our support to Jonathan, then we can tell him some of our problems,” Yuguda said.

  He assured the President that the people of the state would vote him beyond his expectations in the February 14 polls.

  Also, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed said that he was sure the people of the state would vote Jonathan for the second term because of the good things he had done for the people of the state.

  According to him, the President had done well by appointing sons and daughters of the state into juicy positions in the federal government.

  National Chairman of the PDP, Ahmed Adamu Muazu said that it was time for the PDP in all the states to work hard to ensure that PDP won elections at all levels.

  Buhari who stated this at a campaign rally  in Gasau, Zamfara State also pledged to ensure that the Nigeria Army, Police, and other para-military security agencies were dedicated and productive in their duties.

  Addressing a mammoth crowd at the rally, Buhari however,  asserted  that if elected as president, he would not investigate past corrupt practices, but would draw a line and looters of the treasury would not go unpunished.

  He added: “I want assure all that all past corrupt practices will not be investigated by the APC led administration. However, we must stop and eliminate all forms of corruption in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and security agencies. Let me said it categorically that if I am elected as your next president, any person who loots the treasury under my administration will not be spared. I am assuring you he or she will go to jail.”

  Buhari who arrived the venue of the event at around 10:48pm and spoke in Hausa, remarked that the stealing of public funds had become a tradition, saying that if you don’t steal you would be regarded as old fashioned.

  According to him, if elected, l will in  the next two years,  clear all the mess and put the nation’s on the path of economic and political progress.

  The APC presidential candidate reiterated his determination to educate the youths by resuscitating the nation’s ailing educational system, stressing, ‘’when you give education to the youths they would be able to sustain themselves.”

  He charged the youths to join in this crusade of changing the existing status quo if they want a secured nation where the rule of law and true federalism would prevail.

  The ex-military leader also promised to re-organise and re-structure the army and police, maintaining that the present state of the military was a disgrace to a country like Nigeria.

  Director of Media for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, who addressed a news conference on the matter in Abuja yesterday called on the police to find the authors of the alleged forged document and prosecute them for forgery.

  He stated: “It is quite unfortunate that a few hours after Buhari’s press conference, some documents appeared on various media platforms purporting to be the APC candidate’s results released by his old school.”

   Fani- Kayode alleged: “The results sheet which was attributed to the Cambridge examination body is clearly a super imposition of one document on another.

The column lines on the part where names are printed do not align with the blank columns while there is an introduction of extraneous lines on some other columns.

   He continued: “The document contains an obvious alteration on the Mathematics column of the candidate, Mohamed Buhari, who was assumed to have scored an “F” in the subject. This raises a very fundamental issue of validity in view of the fact that the accompanying result sheet states,  “any alteration or erasure renders this statement of results invalid. This is the standard practice in all interpretation of documents especially academic records.

  The PDP campaigns spokesman further said:

“The question we put to Buhari and his party is whether this alteration was done by the University of Cambridge.

   One of the footnotes on the document purportedly issued by the University of Cambridge says, “the results of this candidate in all subjects except English Language have been carried forward from the 1960 examination.”

  The question arising from this is: When exactly did Buhari sit for all the other subjects claimed to have been passed in the Secondary School Examination?

   Our conclusion from all these is that the documents purportedly released by Government College (Pilot) Katsina, upon which the APC presidential candidates hopes to bury the doubt about his eligibility for next month’s election are forged, manipulated and fraudulently procured. They are therefore untenable in fact and in law.

   “We do not know who the authors and masterminds of this forgery are but whoever they are, we urge them to come forward and be identified. If they fail to come forward voluntarily, we hereby call on the police and other security agencies to seek them out, find them, arrest them, interrogate them and prosecute them in accordance with the laws of the land.

  “We reiterate our call on Buhari to submit himself to the police to answer charges of perjury, having lied on oath about his academic qualifications. This is what a man who claims to represent integrity and due process ought to do in this situation.”  

  But, a former Managing Editor of The Guardian Newspapers, Tunde Thompson has said all the charades to Buhari from contesting the forth coming elections should stop now.

Thompson was a Diplomatic Correspondent at The Guardian when he was arrested and jailed along with his colleague, former member of the House of Representatives, Nduka Irabor, by the then Buhari-led military administration   

  Thompson said: “Buhari has humbled himself; people say he has been running for this position since 1999, that he keeps persevering and remains consistent means there must be something he believes he has to offer. I have chosen to look at the positive side of what he presents, which is commitment on progress, attack on corruption, building and restoration of Nigeria’s integrity because we have lost it.”

  Fashola also accused the president of dividing Nigerians along religious and ethnic lines rather than fulfilling his electoral promises.

   The governor, who also said that he was yet to get his Permanent Voters Card (PVC), said it was unfortunate that many eligible voters in the country were yet to collect their PVCs less than one month to the general election.




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