Farther than subside, the controversy over whether former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential poll is a Nigerian by birth, is still raging.
A man, who claims to be a close friend of Garba Abubakar, Atiku’s late father, alleged that neither of his parents was a Nigerian.
The unnamed family friend, in fresh documents filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, also gave details of Atiku’s early years and how his father died.
But, Atiku declined to comment last night, saying he had earlier responded to the issue.
The deponent’s claim varies from that of Atiku, who insists that his parents were Nigerians.
It all started when the APC, in its response to Atiku’s petition at the tribunal, argued that he was not a Nigerian by birth.
Claiming that it possessed evidence to support its claim, the party alleged that because Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth, he was not qualified, under Section 131(a) of the Constitution to contest for the office of President.
Responding, Atiku said he was a Nigerian by birth because his parents were Nigerians.
“The parents of the 1st petitioner (Atiku) are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.
“The 1st petitioner was born on 25th November, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian parents and he is therefore a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
“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 present day Jigawa State.
“The 1st petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abubakar was a Nigerian by birth who hailed from Wumo in present day Sokoto State while the mother, Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.
But, in a statement filed by an APC witness, simply identified with the initials – ADM – the party repudiate Atiku’s claim.
The witness said: “l, ADM, adult, Nigerian citizen of Adamawa State do hereby make oath and say as follows:
“That I was a close family friend to the 1st petitioner’s late father. I know the family and I am familiar with the 1st petitioner’s background: who was born on the 25th day of November, 1946 to a Fulani trader and farmer by name Garba Abubakar, from his second wife, Aisha Kande, in Jada village of Northern Cameroon.
“I know the 1st petitioner was named after his paternal grandfather, Atiku Abdulkadir and became the only child of his parents after his only sister died at infancy.
“I also know about the unfortunate incidence of the death of the 1st petitioner’s father in 1957, who drowned while crossing a river to Toungo. a neighbouring village to Jada in Northern Cameroon.
“I do know that the 1st petitioner has, in all his documentations that are made public in national dailies or official gazettes, stated that he hails from Jada town in Adamawa State, from Ganye Local Government Area, regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba ethnic group (Chamba tribe).
“I know as a fact that, as at the time the 1st petitioner was born on the 25th day of November, 1946 to a FulanI trader and farmer, Garba Abubakar, Jada village and other parts of Chamba land in the then Northern Cameroon, were still part of the British Cameroons and not Nigeria.
“None of the 1st petitioner’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria.
“The 1st petitioner‘s father died as a citizen of Northern Cameroon in 1957 prior to the referendum of 1st June, 1961 which made Northern Cameroon to become part of Nigeria.
“The 1st petitioner’s ancestral origin is deeply rooted in the then Northern Cameroon, not Nigeria and I know as a fact that the 1st petitioner is not a Nigerian citizen by birth
“I know that Ganye which incorporates the 1st petitioner’s birth place of Jada, was the headquarters of British Cameroons, but it joined Nigeria after the plebiscite.
“I know that Ganye was not part of Nigeria as at the time of the birth of the 1st petitioner; on 25th November 1946.
“I am familiar with the historical antecedents of the birth place of the 1st petitioner.
“Ganye area had been entrusted to Britain by a League of Nations Mandate in 1919 and later as Trust Territory by the United Nations in 1946.
“With the defeat of Germany in World War I. Kamerun (as it was known at the time) became a League of Nations Mandate Territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919
“While France integrated the economy of its part of the Cameroons with that of the mother colonial France, the British on the other hand, administered its part (British Cameroons) from neighbouring Nigeria, making Jada, the 1st petitioner’s place of birth, a British franchise.
“I know that a plebiscite was held in British Cameroons to determine whether the people in that territory preferred to stay in Cameroon or unite with Nigeria.
“While Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, the Southern Cameroon chose to align with the mother country.
“I know that on the 1st of June 1961, Northern Cameroon became a part of Nigeria and on the 1st of October 1961 the Southern Cameroonian territory dissolved and merged into the Republic of Cameroon.”
An aide to Atiku told The Nation last night that his principal would not respond to the issue.
According to the aide, the PDP president candidate had responded to the controversies stirred by the APC on his nationality.
Faulting the APC claim that he is not a Nigerian by birth and, therefore, not fit to be President, the former vice president, said he is a Nigerian by birth and was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian parents.
He made the assertion in a joint reply he filed with his party to the APC’s response against their petition before the tribunal.
Atiku, who gave details of his early life, also spoke about his working life and political career to support his claim that he is a Nigerian by birth.
Atiku and the PDP argued that it was late in the day for the APC to query his qualification for the election, having not done so at the pre-election stage.
Rivers, Imo Teachers Shine As Promasidor Marks World Teachers Day With Special Cowbellpedia Teacher’s Mathematics TV Quiz Show
It was a reversal of roles for teachers last weekend as Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of “Cowbell, Our Milk”, marked the 2019 World Teachers Day with special (Teacher’s edition) of Cowbellpedia Mathematics Quiz Show to celebrate the teachers.
The twelve teachers, who produced the finalists in the Junior and Senior categories of the 2018 edition of the competition, contested for honours and prizes.
In the Junior category, Mr Paul Fase of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, outclassed others with 105 points, to win the star prize. Fase was the teacher of Favour Okarike who emerged as second runner-up in 2018 finals.
On the heels of Fase was Kayode Adebayo, a teacher from The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State who garnered 95 points to emerge as first runner-up, while Godwin Udom, his counterpart from the same school, scored 75 point to become the second runner-up.
Adebayo’s student, Master Akinleye Akinfoluhan was the junior category champion in the 2018 edition while Udom’s pupil, Loluwa Abiodun was a finalist.
Other teachers who also participated in the contest but fell by the way side include Beckley Daniel of Welkin International School, Ota, Ogun State; Hamzat Dankanawa a teacher from Nigerian Tulip International College (Boys) Abuja and David Akuru from Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Fase with a five years’ experience in the teaching profession, expressed gratitude to God for winning, maintaining that he now appreciates what the students are going through. “It is very easy to blame the students for lack of speed and for errors, but I now know it is not that easy,” he admitted.
In the Senior category, Ebock Inah-Ngulu, a teacher from Federal Government College, Owerri, Imo State, got the crown with 75 points. His student, Jessica Austine, was a finalist last year.
Christopher Olasupo of Graceland International College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Anfani Egbeyemi of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State came second and third respectively. Olasupo’s student, Chinedu Mgbemena was the 2018 senior category champion, while Egbeyemi taught Enoch Adenekan, a 2018 finalist.
The trio successfully shrugged off the challenge from Oladipo Olatunde of The Ambassador College; Olalekan Olowe from Reality High School, Ilesha, Osun State and Samson Otunubi, a teacher from Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State.
All the teachers commended Promasidor for the initiative which they described as a big morale booster for teachers across the country, adding that teaching requires passion, but teaching Mathematics demands a ‘special anointing’ because of the nature of the subject and the misconception by students and parents.
The students will come back to ‘battle’ this weekend as the semi-finals of the Cowbellpedia Quiz Show continues with 36 students jostling for 12 final slots. The airing also continues on DSTV Africa Magic Family Channel, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.
Aside the N2 million grand prize, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Anders Einarsson disclosed that the winner in each category, (Junior and Senior) will enjoy an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country at the end of the initiative.
In addition, the first and second runners-up in each category will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize winners will be awarded N500, 000. Those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.
Sultan of Sokoto reveals how to end security challenges in Nigeria
President-General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has called for the development and adoption of homegrown solutions to the security challenges facing the country.
Abubakar made the call in Sokoto on Monday, during a Town Hall Meeting on Security Matters organised by the Sultanate Council in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State council, NAN reports.
Abubakar decried the rising security threats in the northern region.
He emphasized the need for a strong partnership between political leaders and traditional rulers towards finding lasting solutions to the challenges.
The Sultan expressed disappointment over the alleged involvement of some traditional rulers in the activities of armed bandits in parts of Zamfara.
He advocated prosecution of any traditional ruler involved in the supporting banditry and other criminal activities.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto called for the strengthening of all law enforcement agencies and other institutions that promote peace in the country.
Tambuwal lamented the shortage of manpower in some of the security agencies, stressing the need for a total review of the nation’s security architecture.
He also called for more funding and proper intelligence gathering as well as collaboration with the traditional institution for better results.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three key speakers; Gen. Ishola Williams (rtd), Emir of Zamfara, Alhaji Muhammad Attahiru-Ahmad and Prof. Tukur Baba of Federal University Birnin Kebbi presented papers at the meeting.
The lecturers dwelled on the need for drastic approaches to security matters, overhauling of security structures, community involvement in tracking security breaches, increased professional training and viable economic empowerment at all strata of the society.
Buhari govt insists on VAT increment, gives reason
Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has insisted that Value Added Tax (VAT) has to increase.
She said this while noting that the nation will not be able to reach 80 per cent revenue performance for 2019.
Ahmed at the public presentation of the 2020 budget proposals, said that as at half year, the actual aggregate revenue for 2019 was N2.04 trillion, which was 58 per cent of the prorate target.
Ahmed said of the figure, oil revenue accounted for N900 billion, Company Income Tax (CIT) N349.11 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) N81.36 billion and Customs Collections N184.10 billion.
“As to whether we will reach the N8.33 trillion at the end of 2019 is very unlikely and that is why we have to make special efforts to boost revenue performance”, NAN quoted her as saying.
“It is clear that we can not reach even 80 per cent and that is why we have to do several things to make sure that revenue performance is enhanced.
“Releases did not start until late July and as at last week we had scheduled and releases are now up to N650 billion.”
According to her, N294.63 billion was released for capital expenditure as at the end of September, but the target is to be able to reach N900 billion by the end of December 2019.
Ahmed said that of the total appropriation of N8.92 trillion, N3.39 trillion had been spent by June 30, as against the prorated expenditure budget of N4.58 trillion, representing 76 per cent performance.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 Appropriation Bill was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec. 19, 2018, but was signed into law on May 27, 2019.
The N8.92 trillion budget had a revenue projection of N6.97 trillion, consisting of oil revenue projected at N3.73 trillion while non-oil revenue was estimated at N1.39 trillion.
Estimates for non-oil revenue consisted of N799.52 billion from CIT, N229.34 billion from VAT and Customs Duties of N302.55 billion.
The 2019 budget was predicated on oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day at 60 dollars per barrel and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar.
On the issue of border closure, she said only the main borders that were manned by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other security operatives were closed.
She added that the nation had seen the benefits of the closure and that though there were some challenges, the NCS and the committee working on the borders closure was looking at how to ease some of the difficulties.
“It has to be Nigeria first and we have to protect our own industries because some of our neighbours have been flagrantly abusing commitments that we jointly signed to and the President has said this is no longer acceptable.
“The border closure is not forever, there will be an end date, the Federal Government is currently in discussion with governments of our neighbouring countries Niger and Benin Republic.
“We are negotiating to make sure that the challenges that led to the closure of the borders are addressed on both sides but, especially that our neighbors meet the commitments that we signed unto several years ago.
“Once those discussions are concluded, the borders will be opened again,” she said.
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