The Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate in the February 23 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has denied the All Progressives Congress’ allegation that he is not eligible to contest because he was not born in Nigeria.
Atiku stated this in a response to the APC’s reply to the petition he and his party jointly filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal.
He said he was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa State, therefore he was a Nigerian.
The APC had alleged in its response that as of November 25, 1946, when Atiku was born, Jada, was part of Northern Cameroon.
But Atiku insisted that he was a Nigerian citizen, adding that his parents were also Nigerians by birth.
He said while his father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir, hailed from Wumo in the present-day Sokoto State, his mother, Aisha Kande, hailed from Dutse, now Jigawa State.
Atiku and the PDP said, “Contrary to the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the 3rd respondent’s (APC’s) reply, the petitioners state that the 1st petitioner (Atiku) is a citizen of Nigeria by birth and thus qualified to vote and be voted for and returned in the election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, held on Saturday February 23, 2019 going by the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“The 1st petitioner was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa State, by Nigerian parents and he is, therefore, a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
“The 1st petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir, was a Nigerian by birth who hailed from Wumo in the present-day Sokoto State, while the mother, Aisha Kande, was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in the present-day Jigawa State.
“The parents of the 1st Petitioner are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.
“The birth of the 1st petitioner in Jada, in the present-day Adamawa State of Nigeria, was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku, who was an itinerant trader, from Wumo in the present-day Sokoto State to Jada in company with his friend, Ardo Usman.
“That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st petitioner, gave birth to Garba who in tum gave birth to the 1st petitioner and named him after his father, Atiku.
“The 1st petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande, was the grand-daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in the present-day Jigawa State.
All averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons, League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st petitioner.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 27, 2019, declared that the All Progressives Congress alongside its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, won the February 23 election with 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, whom it said polled 11,262,978 votes.
But the petitioners stated that “from the data in the 1st respondent’s (INEC’s) server…the true, actual and correct results” from “state-to-state computation” showed that Atiku polled a total of 18,356,732 votes defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16,741,430 votes.
INEC had in its response to the petition distanced itself from the “server results.”
The commission, through its lead counsel, Yunus Usman (SAN), had said the results of the poll were never transmitted or collated electronically.
It added that it kept no such server where such electronically transmitted results could have been obtained.
In their reply to the APC’s reply, Atiku and the PDP insisted that they truly got authentic results of the February 23 election from the Independent National Electoral Commission’s server.
They said, “In reaction to paragraph 29 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the data and scores in the 1st respondent’s server were as transmitted by the 1st respondent’s officials and those scores are valid, and legitimate.
“The conduct of elections and declarations of results by the 1st respondent is the subject of the present petition.
“Contrary to paragraphs 31 and 34 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners contend that the figures and scores in paragraph 22 of the petition are neither false nor contrived or concocted by the petitioners.
“Indeed, the ad hoc staff and officials of the 1st respondent in obedience to the training/instruction by the 1st respondent (INEC) transmitted the scores they got from the polling units to the 1st respondent’s server.”
Napoli Consider Renaming Stadium after Diego Maradona
Napoli are considering renaming their stadium in memory of Diego Maradona after the club legend died aged 60.
Maradona, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, forged a strong bond with the Italian club and its supporters during his seven-year spell between 1984 and 1991.
The forward, who inspired Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986, joined Napoli from Barcelona and won their only two Serie A titles – in 1987 and 1990 – along with the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup.
Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed following Maradona’s death that the club will discuss renaming their stadium in his honour, combining its current title with his full iconic name, Sky reports.
“We can consider the idea of calling our stadium San Paolo-Diego Armando Maradona,” De Laurentiis told French sports channel RMC Sport.
Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris supported the proposal that the city’s San Paolo Stadium be renamed for Maradona, who scored 81 goals in 188 appearances for the club.
“We are already putting it together this morning, taking the first steps to dedicate Naples stadium to Maradona,” De Magistris said.
The Mayor added: “We’re hoping to make it coincide with the resumption of games with fans.”
Fans gathered outside the stadium, which was lit in memory of Maradona’s time at the club, in the southern Italian city on Wednesday evening.
Tributes have poured in from the world of football and beyond, with three days of national mourning underway in Argentina.
Implement People’s Demands Or Set Nigeria on Fire, Wike Tells Buhari
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prove to Nigerians that he is ready to do the people’s requests.
The governor said the President will set the country ‘on fire’ by not implementing some of the requests voiced out by leaders during the recent discussions with the presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
The PUNCH had reported that Gambari led ministers and federal lawmakers to meetings with leaders of the six geopolitical zones as a way of addressing concerns raised in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.
Gambari and the presidential delegation had met with governors and leaders of the South-South geopolitical zone in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday.
At the meeting, the South-South leaders including the Rivers State governor demanded the restructuring of the country in line with the principle of true federalism, saying it will guarantee peace, security and stability in the country.
Giving an update on the meeting on Thursday morning, Wike said the President still has time to implement the will of the people and etch a legacy for himself.
The governor spoke today on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme monitored by The PUNCH.
He said, “I am not a pessimist. I don’t believe that because you didn’t do what you agreed to do yesterday, therefore, you will not do what you agree to do today. Even if he (Buhari) has not done what he told Nigerians he would do, he can say, look, I promised Nigerians yesterday, I didn’t do that and that is affecting my integrity and so, for people who know me, I will implement what I have said.
“People have raised the issue that they don’t think anything will come out of the dialogues. I don’t agree with them. I believe that if the President does not do it, given the opportunity he has now, he will be putting Nigeria on fire.”
Continuing, Wike said political will to implement what the people want is key in governance.
According to him, the President has to show leadership by listening to Nigerians and by implementing the people’s requests.
“He may not necessarily implement everything the people may want but let the people see the concrete evidence that under President Buhari, he has been able to implement one, two, three, four demands by the people.
“If he (Buhari) doesn’t take this opportunity now to implement some of these requests, I don’t think it will be very good for Nigerians and for his legacy,” the governor added.
Legendary Football Star, Diego Amando Maradona Dies at 60
Diego Maradona, one of football’s greatest-ever players, has died. He was 60 years.
The 1986 World Cup winner had surgery to remove a blood clot on the brain earlier this month. The Argentine Football Association confirmed he had died this afternoon.
“The Argentine Football Association, through its president Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest sorrow for the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You will always be in our hearts,” they said.
Another of football’s greats, Pele, has led the tributes to: “Certainly, one day we’ll kick a ball together in the sky above.” Follow latest updates and reaction here.
Dr Leopoldo Luque, Maradona’s personal physician, said the former player had shown signs of improvement after a successful operation three weeks ago.
Dr Luque said Maradona “laughed” and “grabbed my hand” just a day after he had the procedure.
“Diego is without any type of neurological deficit, without any type of complication associated with surgery,” Luque said, addressing reporters at the clinic’s door.
“He has an excellent post-operative period, the laboratory parameters even improved.
“The first impression is it is favourable, but it is difficult to evaluate.”