Saturday, 21 October 2017

PRESS STATEMENT: Foremost financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has launched GTPATRIOT, a unique Salary Account Package which offers Nigeria’s servicemen and servicewomen subsidized banking products and dedicated value added services. The GTPatriot Account allows serving members of the Military and Paramilitary institutions to open accounts with zero minimum balance whilst offering reduced Current Account maintenance fees and access to loans at reduced interest rates, amongst other value added services. 

GTBank has been at the forefront of providing innovative account packages designed for the unique needs of various segments of the society. Among these account packages are the GTCrea8 e-Savers account which offers young people, especially undergraduates, benefits beyond banking, such as scholarships and career master classes, and the GTBank Seniors Account which offers senior citizens aged 65 years and above free banking services. With the introduction of the GTPatriot Account, the bank will expand and deepen its relationship with another core segment of the society in line with its goal of enriching the lives of all customers and the communities in which it operates.

Commenting on the launch of the GTPatriot Account, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc said, “As an institution that deeply believes in service, we are excited to introduce this premium account that recognizes, applauds and appreciates the invaluable service that members of military and paramilitary institutions offer to the nation. The GTPatriot Account Package goes beyond providing best in-class banking products to servicemen and women, it includes a wide range of value added benefits that guarantees a superior banking experience and genuinely enriches their lives.”

He further stated that “We will continue to create innovative and specially targeted products and services in order to ensure long-term value adding relationships with several segments of our customers and the communities in which we operate.”

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has always been at the forefront of industry innovations within the Nigerian financial services sector and plays a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service, quality and innovation.

Published in Business and Economy
Tuesday, 06 June 2017 00:58

Two London attackers named by police

Two of the three men who carried out Saturday night's terror attack in London have been named by police.

They said Pakistan-born Khuram Butt, 27, of Barking, London, had been known to police and MI5 but there had not been any intelligence about an attack.

The other attacker was Rachid Redouane, 30, from Barking, who police said had claimed to be Moroccan-Libyan.

The attackers were shot dead by police. All 12 people arrested after the attack have now been released without charge.

The seven women and five men were arrested in Barking on Sunday following the attack in which seven people were killed and 48 injured.

The attackers drove a hired van into pedestrians on London Bridge before stabbing people in the area around Borough Market.

A vigil was held at Potters Field Park near London Bridge on Monday evening to remember the victims.

NHS England said 36 people remained in hospital, with 18 in a critical condition.

Redouane, who was a chef, also used the name Rachid Elkhdar. He had not been known to police.

Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said: "Inquiries are ongoing to confirm the identity of their accomplice."

He said the investigation into Butt had begun two years ago but "there was no intelligence to suggest that this attack was being planned and the investigation had been prioritised accordingly".

He added: "Work is ongoing to understand more about them, their connections and whether they were assisted or supported by anyone else."

Vigil in Potters Field ParkImage copyrightREUTERS
A vigil was held in Potters Field Park, close to London Bridge

Butt featured in a Channel 4 documentary last year about Islamist extremists with links to the jailed preacher Anjem Choudary.

The attacker, who had older siblings and was married with at least one child, could be seen in the programme arguing with police officers in the street.

An online CV seen by the BBC shows that Butt had achieved an NVQ Level 2 in business administration.

 
Khuram Butt was shown in a documentary about extremists

He went on to work in an administrative role for a company called Auriga Holdings, based in East Ham, which manages Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets.

He had also worked for London Underground for just under six months as a trainee customer services assistant, before leaving in October last year, Transport for London said.

And Butt was the sole director of a now-dissolved company called Kool Kosmetics.


At the vigil

Badeiyah Islam, 14, Hanyah Casam, 14 and Zahra Salamut, 15 from Eden Girls School in Walthamstow
(L to R) Badeiyah Islam, 14, Hanyah Casam, 14 and Zahra Salamut, 15 were among the crowd at Potters Field Park

By Jennifer Meierhans, BBC News

The vigil began as a sombre and quiet gathering under the trees in Potters Field Park, where people stood in quiet contemplation looking out over the Thames.

So many spoke of their desire to stand together with others and show love.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's speech roused the quiet crowd of thousands into hearty applause when he spoke of his disgust and defiance over the horror of Saturday's events.

After a minute's silence, many went forward to lay flowers beneath the flagpoles of City Hall.

It was a dignified show of solidarity and strength in the face of fear and hate.

 


BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani said two people in Barking had raised concerns about Butt.

One man called the anti-terrorism hotline in 2015, while a woman went to the local police station because she was scared Butt was trying to radicalise her children.

Security officials made him a lower priority than other targets because of a lack of information that he was involved in attack-planning, our correspondent said.

Sources in Dublin said Redouane was understood to have been carrying an identification card issued in the Republic of Ireland when he was shot dead, the Press Association reported.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said he was not a member of a "small group" being monitored by Irish police in respect of radicalisation.

Floral tributes have been building up at a number of locations around the scene of the attackImage copyrightPA

Canadian national Chrissy Archibald, 30, was the first victim to be named. Her family said she had died in her finance's arms after being struck by the attackers' speeding van.

The sister of 32-year-old James McMullan, from Hackney, east London, said he was believed to be among those who died, after his bank card was found on a body at the scene.

James McMullan and Chrissy ArchibaldImage copyrightFAMILY HANDOUT/REUTERS
Image captionJames McMullan is believed to have been killed in the attack, as well as Chrissy Archibald

A French national was also killed in the attack, according to foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Among other developments:

  • There will be a minute's silence on Tuesday at 11:00 BST in memory of those who lost their lives and all those affected by the attacks
  • Barriers have been installed on Westminster, Lambeth and Waterloo bridges following the attack to stop vehicles from mounting the pavement
  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission said 46 shots had been fired at the three attackers by eight police officers - three from the City of London force and five from the Met
  • The Met Police has set up a casualty bureau on 0800 096 1233 and 020 7158 0197 for people concerned about friends or relatives

It is the third terror attack in the UK in three months, following the car and knife attack on Westminster Bridge in March, in which five people were killed, and the Manchester bombing on 22 May, in which 22 people were killed.

Map of attack scene
Published in Headliners

• Nigeria now fourth ranked team in Africa

The Super Eagles yesterday gave a glimpse of what their fans should expect from them against South Africa in an African Nations Cup qualifier on June 10 when they bashed Togo 3-0 in an international friendly game played in Paris, France.

Yesterday’s match at the Stade Municipal de Saint Leu La Foret, Paris was the Eagles’ last test match before next week’s encounter with South Africa and the Nigerians did not waste time in sending a strong warning to the Bafana Bafana.

Leicester City of England forward, Ahmed Musa opened scores for Nigeria in the third minute when Togo’s goalkeeper, Allassani spilled Alex Iwobi’s fierce cross along his path.

Rohr gave an inkling of his desire to win the game when he lined up the midfielders and attackers likely to play against South Africa on June 10. In the starting line up were Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Shehu Abdullahi, Elderson Echiejile, who captained the team, Mikel Agu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Troost-Ekong, Ahmed Musa, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi and Oghenekaro Etebo.

Nigeria dominated the first half with Ndidi, Etebo, Iwobi and Iheanacho running rings around the Sparrow Hawks. Iheanacho missed what should have been the second goal when he shot an Iwobi pass straight at the goalkeeper, but the Eagles were not to be held back for too long as Musa grabbed his brace seven minutes later when he converted another pas from Iwobi.

Nigeria took the game beyond Togo in the 27th minute when Etebo robbed Allasani of the ball and squared for Iheanacho to tap in. Changes in the second half that saw the introduction of Victor Osimhen, Henry Onyekuru, Uche Agbo, Ebuehi, Alampasu, Stephen Odey, Sikiru Olatunbosun and Alhassan tempered the flow of the game, but the Eagles held on to record yet another victory over Togo.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s unbeaten run since Gernot Rohr took over the Super Eagles has seen the country climbing two places in the latest FIFA ranking released yesterday.

The Super Eagles are now the world’s 38th best team and Africa’s number four. Nigeria are on 730 points, four more than the previous month and yesterday’s win against Togo and the expected defeat of South Africa on June 10 could take them further up the ladder.

Egypt, Senegal and Cameroun are the current best teams in Africa in that order, while Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Chile and Colombia make up the top five teams in the world.

Published in Sports

The 36 governors have resolved to offset workers’ outstanding salaries and pensions in their states as soon as the next tranche of payment from the Paris-London Club loan refunds were made.

Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Zamfara, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

The statement by Mr Abulrazque Barkindo, Head of Media and Public Affairs, NGF Secretariat, said that the decision was reached by the governors after their meeting in Abuja on Thursday night.

The governors met in anticipation of the release of the money, which had been approved for payment by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Out of the N522.74 billion owed, N388.304 was paid to states in December, 2016.

Yari said that the governors were not oblivious of the hue and cry over non-payment of backlog of salaries and pensions, and the precarious predicament of the Nigerian workers.

He said that the governors deliberated on the matter and concluded that something immediate must be done to ameliorate workers’ plight by offsetting the outstanding pay and emoluments.

This, according to him, made the governors to resolve as a matter of urgency, to pay workers their due as soon as the half of the Paris Club refunds is made.

“We all agreed that a substantial amount from the next tranche of the Paris-London refunds be used in the settlement of workers salary and pension arrears,” Yari disclosed.

He added that the governors were also committed to the verification of the input of all the consultants, who claimed to have worked towards the harmonization of the refunds.

The claim, the governor said, was in regards of what was due to each state since 2005 when the demand for the refunds commenced.

“At the moment, there are litigations from more than 10 different consultants still agitating for settlement for their roles in the quest to have the refunds made to states. ‘’

He said a committee headed by Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State had been set up to provide solution to the demands by consultants on the refunds to states.

Members of the committee are governors of Bauchi, Sokoto, Plateau, Bayelsa, Rivers and Gombe.

He disclosed that another committee made up of the governors of Imo, Bayelsa, Abia, Ekiti, Kano, Nasarawa and Bauchi was also constituted to work for the “reconciliation’’ of the forum members.

This, according to Yari, is to enable the governors to work harmoniously in a manner that will transcend all political affiliations so that all governors will speak with one voice on issues of national importance.

“There is no how you will mention any political development in Nigeria without mentioning governors. Governors are a bloc and a key component of this democracy.

“Therefore, we have set up a seven-member committee to look into the development surrounding the unity of the forum and the development of the country.

“The idea is for governors to be speaking with one voice,” he said.

 
 
Published in Business and Economy

Nigerian singer Dammy Krane (Oyindamola Emmanuel), has been allegedly arrested in Miami, U.S for credit card fraud.

According to online reports, the singer who is currently based in the U.S, was booked on Friday.

He is currently behind bars pending when he meets up with the bail requirements.

According to details on his mugshot from online reports, the singer was arrested for card fraud, identity fraud (named as Johnson Hunga) and theft (armed and conspiracy)

Krane signed under Hypertek music has a number of hits to his credit and has enjoyed fame in the industry.

There has been no official statement from his music label

Published in Entertainment

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM: Vanguard’s market survey revealed that the parallel market exchange rate which closed N385 per dollar last week rose to N391 per dollar yesterday. Market operators however expressed optimism that the Naira will appreciate today once the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) delivers the $20,000 bi-weekly sale to bureaux de change today.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has urged Nigerians to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its activities to diversify the economy, just as it commended efforts of the bank towards resuscitating the nation’s ailing economy. Rising from its 2017 biennial convention in Lagos attended by over 350 editors of media outlets in the country, the guild said efforts of the Federal Government at diversifying the economy are commendable.

The guild commended the CBN for its intervention in the forex market, which it noted not only moderated the exchange rate but also halted the rising inflation in the country. The editors, in a seven-point communique signed by the re-elected President, Funke Egbemode and Secretary-General, Victoria Ibanga, also expressed their support for the CBN’s leading role in advancing patronage for made-in-Nigeria goods. The guild therefore urged all Nigerians to support government the bid to exit the economic recession, which they said has affected all, including the media industry. In spite of current challenges, the guild admonished the media to intensify efforts in promoting government’s policies on economic diversification.


Published in Headliners

Cristiano Ronaldo proved Atletico Madrid’s Champions League dream destroyer once more with a hat-trick as Real Madrid took a commanding 3-0 semi-final, first leg lead on Tuesday.

Ronaldo extended his lead as the all-time top scorer in Madrid derby matches by taking his tally to 21 and put Real firmly on course to defend their title in the final in Cardiff on June 3.

The Portuguese rewarded a bright Real start by heading home Casemiro’s deflected cross after just 10 minutes.

Ronaldo then smashed home from just inside the area and turned home Lucas Vazquez’s cross in the final 20 minutes as Real continued their domination of Atletico having eliminated them in the Champions League for the past three seasons.

Real needed a stoppage time equaliser en route to winning the 2014 final, scored a late winner in the quarter-finals a year later and edged last season’s final on a penalty shootout.

However, there was far more a gulf between the sides this time round.

The home fans made sure to put Atletico in their place before kick-off with chants of “kings of Europe” and a “how does it feel” banner alongside a display of their 11 European Cups.

Real piled on the pain in the opening stages for the 4,000 visiting away fans and could have killed the tie in the opening half hour.

Atletico were handed a lucky escape on seven minutes when Jan Oblak parried Dani Carvajal’s effort at the end of a careering run and the Slovenian recovered to also turn behind Karim Benzema’s follow-up effort.

– No let off –

There was no let off three minutes later, though, as Atletico failed to clear a corner and Casemiro’s bouncing cross looped up for Ronaldo to power home a header.

Oblak kept Atletico alive in the moments that followed with a brilliant save from Raphael Varane’s header and more comfortable stop from Isco.

However, at the other end, Keylor Navas rescued Real from conceding a vital away goal when he got a touch on the ball as Kevin Gameiro tried to round him when clean through on goal.

The majority of the efforts continued to rain down on Oblak’s goal as Luka Modric drilled a shot from the edge of the box inches wide.

And Benzema then acrobatically turned a Ronaldo cross just over the bar.

Atletico enjoyed a better spell just before half-time, but all they had to show for it was Diego Godin’s wayward volley after being picked out by Antoine Griezmann’s free-kick.

Real suffered an injury blow right on half-time when Dani Carvajal pulled up with a muscle problem that looks set to keep him out of the second leg.

Clear-cut chances were far harder to come by after half-time as Atletico toiled to create, whilst Real sat on their lead waiting for the chance to counter-attack.

However, once again in ties between these two, Real got the slice of luck to go with their extra quality.

The ball rebounded up perfectly off the heels of Filipe Luis for Ronaldo to blast high past Oblak.

And Ronaldo completed his second hat-trick against Atletico this season four minutes from time when Lucas Vazquez’s cutback picked out the four-time World Player of the Year to slot home from close range.

Published in Sports

•Fed Govt to invite boxer

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: The euphoria that greeted the victory of Anthony Olufemi Olaseni Joshua over Wladimir Klitschko in the world heavyweight title fight at Wembley Stadium, England continued yesterday in Sagamu, his Ogun State ancestral home. Large banners adorned the house of his great-grandfather, Prince Daniel Adebambo Joshua, at Ijoku in the heart of the city. There is a big picture of the boxer. Beside it are the British flag and the green-white-green Nigerian flag.

There were banners also at the Ita Oba  Park where a viewing centre, which had over 2000 fans, was put up for the Saturday night fight. Some residents, who saw one of our reporters taking photographs of the banner, were excited. They shouted: “World champion!”.

Anthony’s uncle, Adebambo Joshua, who spoke on behalf of the family at the Baba Josh Memorial Hall, said he was a bit nervous before the fight started because victory could have gone either way.
He said: “My heart was in my mouth throughout the fight, especially when he suffered a knock down in the sixth round. I was afraid he would not recover and we all prayed for his victory and when he eventually won, we were all excited.”

Adebambo recalled how the family and the fans at the viewing centre went wild in jubilation and partied all-night because a “son of the soil” had achieved a great feat.
“It was celebration galore after Anthony’s victory. We were in front of the king’s palace and celebrated the hard-earned victory over a worthy opponent, who had been a famous face in the world of boxing,” he said.
Victory, as they say, has many fathers, which may account for many trying to identify with the pugilist. However, Adebambo noted that they were not just identifying with the champion but have been backing him since he started his career as an amateur rank.

Adebambo said: “We have been supporting him and we will continue to do that. We have prepared for the fight and that is why the youth in conjunction with Yinka Mafe, a member of the Ogun State House Assembly put up the viewing centre.

To the Elepe of Epe, Oba Adewale Osiberu, who is superintending over Sagamu since the demise of the Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Michael Sonariwo, the victory is for all. He called on youths to emulate the feat.
“He is young and we pray that he will stay on top for a long time,” he said.
Oba Osiberu, who is related to Anthony’s mum, Yeta (Yetunde), promised that a facility would be converted into a gym where youths could practise the sport.

The Federal Government plans to invite Joshua to Nigeria

Information, Culture and Tourism Minister Lai Mohammed in a statement, said the government had congratulated the British professional boxer of Nigerian descent, for defeating Ukranian Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified World Heavyweight Champion.

Mohammed said Nigeria was proud to be associated with the champion. “My heart is in Nigeria, my heart is in Britain. I am a Nigerian man by blood, yes,” the minister quoted Joshua as saying in a recent interview.

He added that the boxer, in the interview, also listed the secret of his success as pounded yam, eba and egusi – all Nigerian cuisines.
The minister hailed Joshua for his humility, despite his success.

He also extolled his “undying spirit, coming off the canvas after he was knocked down by Klitschko in the sixth round to win by a technical knockout in the 11th round of their pulsating fight”.
Joshua, who made his professional debut in 2013, was born in Watford to a Nigerian mother and a British father of Nigerian and Irish descent.

Some of the early years of the 27-year-old champion were spent in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, before he returned to the UK halfway through year seven to join Kings Langley Secondary School.
Growing up on the Meriden Estate in Garston, Hertfordshire, Anthony was called ‘Femi’ by his friends and former teachers.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM: Abuja – Prof Babalola Borishade, 71, former Nigerian minister of education is dead. He died in London on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was initially rushed to Reddington Hospital in Lagos, last week from where he was taken to London. The cause of death was lung and heart –related. Borishade was born in Usi- Ekiti on March 7, 1946 into the Ebi Ilotin family.

He served as a minister for four times, between 1999-2011. The electrical engineer was also a teacher and a political strategist. Between February 2001 and May 2003, he served as the Minister of Education. In recognition of his contributions to Education in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large, Borishade was elected the Vice- Chairman of the E9 Group of the United Nations, President of the UNESCO International Conference on Education, as well as Chairman Education for All (EFA) Forum of African Ministers of Education.

In 2004, Borishade was appointed as Minister of State, Power and Steel. He initiated the ‘Gas to Power Project (G2P), a World Bank sponsored project designed to ensure sustained gas development and availability for power production to meet Nigerian electricity demands. Between July 2005 and November 2006, Borishade was Minister of Aviation, during which a Civil Aviation Bill was passed to replace the 1964 Act and the direct flight between Nigeria and the United States of America was restored. His initiation of various reforms and development in the aviation sector resulted in Nigeria scoring 93 per cent in the ICAO Universal Audit which made Nigeria a benchmark to African Aviation Industry.


Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: ABUJA — Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan from his first days as President showed he  was too small for the office, saying he, Obasanjo, acted more as an opponent of Jonathan than a supporter of Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2015 presidential poll. Ex President Jonathan and Gen. Obasanjo (Rtd) Obasanjo, who said Jonathan deceived him that he would not give Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke the petroleum portfolio in his cabinet was deceived into believing that he could use money to buy the 2015 presidential election.

Obasanjo in the book, Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria, written by former presidential spokesman, Segun Adeniyi, also revealed that Jonathan was gripped by the fear that Buhari, as president, would jail him or lead him to an early grave. In the 204-page book, former President Jonathan is himself quoted as saying he could not be held accountable for provocative remarks made by some of his supporters, even as former Senate President, David Mark, is also quoted in the book as alleging that he forewarned the former president about the alleged conspiracy against him in the north but to no avail.

Problems of  minority agitation

Obasanjo in the book is quoted as saying that following Umaru Yar’Adua’s death in 2010, he endorsed Jonathan for the 2011 presidential election principally to solve the problems of minority agitation in Nigeria. The former President said: “I saw the emergence of Jonathan as an opportunity to solve the problem of minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups in Nigeria can always sort themselves out but not so for the minority. A good example is my state here in Ogun. “Despite the best of intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become governor because of this minority issue and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. So, it was in the context of that I had to plead with prominent people in the North to allow Jonathan run for a term.”

I warned him not to make Diezani petroleum minister

But in a tone laden with regrets, Obasanjo pointed out that there were certain things Jonathan did that fell below his expectations as a former president. “There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him and one of them was the appointment of a petroleum minister,” he said.

According to Obasanjo, he cautioned Jonathan not to appoint Diezani Alison-Madueke to such a sensitive sector but the president ignored his counsel. “Jonathan gave me the impression that he was not going to give her the portfolio but at the end he did and we can see the consequence. He, of course, knew what he was doing,” Obasanjo stated.

Why I opposed Jonathan

The former president also hinted at what riled him against Jonathan and why he parted ways with him in the run up to the 2015 election, a development which has given the impression that he was actively working in support of Buhari’s candidature. But Obasanjo denied any direct support to Buhari. He said: “I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan since my position was AOBJ: meaning Any Option But Jonathan.”, Obasanjo explained that Jonathan and his handlers believed that they could buy the last election and that they were so arrogant about it that the PDP would print only one nomination form for him and him alone. He said: “If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”

Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari

The former president, who also criticised the role played by the military in the last election, said he suspected that Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari, his successor. “I believe the President’s concern or fear is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this both seriously and jovially. I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari. I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail if not in the grave,” Obasanjo narrated in the book. The book also placed the defeat of Jonathan at the 2015 poll on the utterances of those close to the former president, chief among them being his wife, Patience.

The book recalls the allegation by former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, accusing the former first lady of insulting the North with incendiary language, thereby alienating them from Jonathan during the election. It quoted Mrs. Jonathan as making a denigrating remark against Almajiri in the north, by saying “Our people no dey born children wey dem no dey count. Our men no dey born throw way for street; we no dey like people from the other side”, an apparent reference to the concept of Almajiri common in the north.

Reminded in the book that some persons close to him, especially Chief Edwin Clark and Asari Dokubo, were rather vocal and provocative in their utterances, Jonathan wondered why he should be held accountable for their personal opinions. The former president retorted: “Okay,  let us agree for the sake of argument that Chief Clark and the others were offensive, what about those from other ethnic groups who were also making incendiary statement about my person with insinuations about people who wear bowler hats? “I am not defending whoever may have crossed the line among Ijaw people but let us  be fair, why should I be held accountable for that and you would not hold other leaders accountable for what politicians from their own ethnic groups also said? he queried.

On why Jonathan lost the election, former Senate President, David Mark, said that he saw the defeat coming and had pointed out the unrealistic voting projections made by the party about the North to the former president and the conspiracy against him but he was not taken seriously. He said Jonathan should have seen the handwriting on the wall and done something about what was pointed out to him but no action was taken.

Mark lamented, “I saw it and at difference times, I pointed out to him and the party that the projections being made by some people around the president about what the voting pattern in the north would were wrong. “I could see the conspiracy and the gang-up building up in the north against the aspiration of Jonathan but my  voice was drowned out by those who took it for granted that a sitting president, and one from PDP, could not lose,” Mark said.

The former Senate President also mentioned that the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, was also aware that Jonathan was not strong in the North but apparently had little to say in the campaign to re-elect Jonathan. “Some people were deceiving the president with the kind of false scenarios they were painting for him. The VP could see the conspiracy but I don’t know how much influence he had on the campaign. Why Jonathan couldn’t see it until it was too late is what I find difficult to understand,” Mark pointed out.

Published in Headliners
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