Thursday, 27 December 2018

Presidential Candidate, Atiku seeks probe of allegation linking Buhari’s family to Keystone, 9mobile ownership

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party , Atiku Abubakar , has called on the appropriate authorities to urgently institute a probe to unravel those he said may be hidden faces behind the new ownership structure of multi billion naira telecoms giant, Etisalat ( now 9 mobile ) Nigeria as well as Keystone Bank .

In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday and signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communication , Mr . Phrank Shaibu , the former vice president said such a probe was necessary in view of reports that members of President Muhammadu Buhari ’ s family now own substantial shares in Etisalat ( 9 mobile ) Nigeria which has an estimated $ 2 b ( about N727 b at 360 per dollar ) of its estimated $ 20 b global net worth .

Atiku also expressed shock at reports from what he described as unimpeachable sources that the first family now plays big in the nation ’ s financial sector after acquiring mouthwatering shares in Keystone Bank with total assets of $ 1 . 916 b ( equivalent to N307 . 5 b) as well as purchasing about N3 b worth of shares in the new Pakistani Islamic Bank .

He said , “ I know that last week was turbulent for President Buhari and I apologise for adding to his woes , but as he is insistent on the myth that he is spotless and anti -corrupt, if this is found to be true , this scandal would break every rule of corporate and public governance , since this will be the first time members of the first family will be openly involved in a once -in -a - lifetime deal that would make them all richer beyond their wildest dreams . ”

Atiku added that the accusation was coming amidst reported allegations in the media that the All Progressives Congress- led Federal Government plans to use billions of naira from the Anchor Borrowers Programme allocated by the Central Bank of Nigeria for farmers , using imaginary donations from 12 million farmers as a façade.
The presidential candidate of the PDP advised President Buhari to shun the use of state resources and machinery for the upcoming 2019 presidential poll .

Specifically, Atiku said no farmer contributed any N1 . 7 b for Buhari ’ s re -election campaign, warning that the APC ’ s decision to use monies meant for farmers “ to run his campaign is not tidy at all . ”

He added , “ The other day , a man who scored 15 , 424 , 921 votes to win the 2015 general election was reported to have been nominated by 14 million APC members at the presidential primaries for 2019 .
“ Now, over 12 million farmers have donated to his campaign. Are they indirectly spewing out outrageous figures of people they intend to claim voted for them in the coming elections ?
“ Does it mean that the President has jettisoned the idea of a free and fair election and telling Nigerians that no matter how they vote , he will return for a second term of four years ?
“ In any case, if the farmers who just took a loan through the Borrowers Anchor programme and have not liquidated the facility can donate this huge sum or any sum for that matter , it means the ‘ Association of widows ’ and children of all those slain by Boko Haram and herdsmen will donate N5 b to the Buhari campaign .
“ In fact , the 23 . 1 million youths who lost their jobs between 2016 till date will donate about N12 b to the Buhari campaign.
“ Assuming but not even conceding that such a huge sum of money was donated to President Buhari by Nigerian farmers as his handlers would want Nigerians to believe , wouldn’ t such donation be in contravention of Section 91 ( 9 ) of the Electoral Act 2010 ( as amended ) which says no individual or other entity shall donate more than N1 m to an aspirant or a candidate . ”

He said if President Buhari wants to run for office next year, he should take only from monies sourced from donations by his campaign groups that are independent of government .
“ Anything short of that – as is currently the case with the use of funds from the CBN meant for farmers - will mean there will be no level playing field for all the candidates billed to contest the presidency during next year’ s presidential elections , ’’ Atiku said.
But reacting , the APC National Publicity Secretary , Mallam Lanre Issa -Onilu , said Atiku had started exhibiting early signs of depression, resulting from obvious frustration .
In a statement made available on Wednesday , Issa -Onilu challenged Atiku to tell Nigerians why a discredited person like him should be elected as President instead of raising puerile allegations on a daily basis .

“ President Buhari and APC, not his programmes for the country, appear to be his main campaign issues . Nigerians are desirous of campaign that focuses on issues that matter to them . For Atiku and his PDP co-travellers , the only interest is to grab power and continue where they stopped in their avarice .
“ The APC administration is eager to showcase the impressive achievements we have recorded in the last three and a half years. This is the campaign that matters to us and this is what Nigerians are interested in . The trajectory is exciting as we see a brighter future shaping up .
The statement added, “ We won ’ t yield to the PDP ’ s shenanigans . We will not play the PDP ’ s game . PDP is acting an anti- people’ s script . President Buhari remains unshaken by the desperate efforts being made by Atiku and the PDP to blackmail the APC government . Everyone who was involved in corrupt practices would be brought to justice.

“ PDP is not offering any alternative to the progressive course this government is pursuing . It is actually apparent that the party is not contesting the 2019 elections to redeem itself , least of doing any good for the country , but simply to seize power to escape justice for the grevious crimes committed against the people of this country .
Nigerians won’ t be fooled by the rapacious PDP gang . Never . ”

Via Punchng

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