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Senate Overrules Ndume, Insists on Magu’s Rejection

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  • Senate Overrules Ndume, Insists on Magu’s Rejection

The Senate yesterday affirmed its rejection of the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) based on the damning security reports against him.

By the assertion, the Upper Legislative Chamber nullified the claim by its Majority Leader, Muhammed Ali Ndume at the Presidential Villa on Monday that the Senate had not rejected Magu’s nomination.

After five months of intrigues, wit games and serious political manipulations among the powers that be in the Presidency and the National Assembly, the nomination of Magu was rejected by the Senate last Thursday.

However, Ndume made a strange appearance at the Presidential Villa on Monday and declared that the Senate had not rejected Magu for the EFCC job. This prompted an emergency press conference yesterday by the Senate spokesman, and Chairman of the Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliu Sabi Abdullahi, who clearly stated that the position of the Senate was that the nomination of Magu had been rejected and returned to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Abdullahi stated that although Ndume is the Senate Majority Leader, he could not speak for the chamber as the two responsibilities are quite different.

“The call to national duty is crucial. So I am here based on a series of calls and text messages from you about what you thought are conflicting messages. It has become critical for the senate to clarify issues. The eighth Senate believes in its integrity; we uphold and promote the rule of law which is the basic thing about our democracy. We are committed to doing things differently to stabilise the polity in the collective interest of Nigerians.

“I would like to make the following clarifications: I’m holding the votes and proceeding of Thursday. We had two votes and proceeding because we had to go into a joint session to receive Buhari.

Our votes and proceedings are the official records of what transpired in the chamber. I briefed you on Thursday to the effect that the senate was announcing that in view of security reports, we were unable to confirm Magu. We then rejected and returned the nomination to Buhari for further action.

“Media reports emerging, especially from interviews granted by Senator Ndume meant that we have to clarify issues. For the records, I am the official spokesman of the Senate and I intend to discharge this with honour and integrity because the sanctity of the institution is crucial to the sustenance of democracy.

“I have only one point of reference, which is, the votes and proceedings. The Senate deliberated on the nomination of Magu for the position of EFCC chairman with regard to security report available, but referred the other nominees for screening since nothing much was found about them.

“This is the only official position of the Senate. What I say, I say on behalf of the senate. Nigerians should be guided. There is no ambiguity in what we said,” Abdullahi declared.

According to him, “ The Senate is an institution and we are working with the Constitution, and whatever rules we use are drawn from the constitution. We also want the media to be guided in the matter because of some misleading news in the public domain.”

The Senate spokesman said that “even with respect to the indictment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the genesis was the motion raised by Kaka and Ndume and the Senate decided to take a look at the abuses and the SGF was found to be part of the abuses.”

He said the Senate considered the only security report submitted to it and took its decision, pointing out that the Senate was not aware of any other report.

“Truth is sacrosanct. For every line of command, there is a line of communication. For the records, the leader that I know is Bukola Saraki and the administrative leader is the Clerk to the senate.

“As a routine, when you have a nominee, a security report should be given. The report we are talking about was sent to the Acting Clerk of the Senate.

If you talk about two reports which one is the second one? I heard a report was sent to Ita Enag (the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters) but I am not holding brief for him. He is a liaison officer and if there is any communication, Saraki or the clerk is in charge.

“It will be unfortunate for anyone to say that the Senate will be subjected to a report sent to the liaison office.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Kenya Sends 400 Officers to Haiti to Help Quell Gang Turmoil, Says Ruto

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Kenyan President William Ruto has announced the deployment of 400 police officers to Haiti, marking a significant step in international efforts to combat the escalating gang violence in the Caribbean nation.

The officers were sent off from the National Police College in Nairobi, where Ruto expressed his confidence in their mission to restore peace and stability in Haiti.

In a statement released on Monday, the Kenyan presidency detailed the mission, emphasizing its importance in the history of global solidarity.

“This mission is one of the most urgent, important, and historic in the history of global solidarity,” Ruto said. “It is a mission to affirm the universal values of the community of nations, a mission to take a stand for humanity.”

The deployment is part of a broader international effort supported by the United Nations Security Council to assist Haiti’s beleaguered security forces.

Haiti has been grappling with severe gang violence, particularly in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and across large parts of the countryside.

The gangs have paralyzed the local economy through kidnappings, extortion, and turf wars.

The United States has also shown support for the deployment, viewing it as a crucial reinforcement for Haiti’s security forces.

The U.S. hopes that the additional personnel will help restore stability without overshadowing existing police efforts.

Initially delayed by a Kenyan court decision, the deployment has now gained momentum. Ruto assured that the government remains committed to the welfare of the deployed officers, announcing an increase in police salaries and improved welfare measures starting next month.

“This is a pivotal moment for our police force, and I have full confidence in their ability to make a significant impact in Haiti,” Ruto stated. “Their dedication and professionalism will shine through in this critical mission.”

The deployment comes at a time of domestic unrest in Kenya, where police recently clashed with protesters opposing President Ruto’s proposed Finance Bill 2024.

The bill aims to raise $2.4 billion through new taxes on various goods, including sanitary pads and bread, sparking widespread opposition.

Despite the domestic challenges, Ruto emphasized the importance of the international mission. “Our commitment to global peace and security remains unwavering, even as we address pressing issues at home,” he said.

The Kenyan officers’ mission in Haiti is expected to provide much-needed support in restoring law and order, reflecting Kenya’s commitment to international peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts.

As they embark on this historic journey, the eyes of the world will be on them, hoping for a swift and lasting peace in Haiti.

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Russia and North Korea Revive Military Pact, Heightening Tensions with US

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have revived a Cold War-era military pact.

The agreement, signed on Wednesday during Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years, commits the two nations to provide immediate military assistance to each other if either is attacked.

This development is likely to exacerbate tensions with the United States and its allies.

The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty, as the pact is officially named, represents the most powerful treaty signed between the two countries, according to Kim.

“This treaty elevates our ties to an alliance,” he declared during the signing ceremony. The deal stipulates that if either nation is invaded by an armed force, the other will provide military and other assistance “with all the means at its disposal,” in line with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and the laws of both nations.

Putin’s visit to Pyongyang and the signing of the pact come on the heels of Kim’s trip to Russia in September, an event that has already resulted in a notable increase in arms transfers between the two countries, as confirmed by satellite imagery.

Despite the mounting evidence, both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any such exchanges.

The renewed military alliance marks a significant escalation in the strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea, which had been relatively dormant since the end of the Cold War.

Analysts suggest that this move is a clear message of defiance to Western powers, particularly the United States, which has been involved in ongoing disputes with both nations over various geopolitical issues.

“The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty is for defensive purposes,” Kim stated, but experts warn that the alliance increases the risks for the US and its partners in responding to provocations from Moscow and Pyongyang. The treaty not only includes mutual defense commitments but also outlines plans to enhance cooperation in trade and investment, further solidifying the bilateral relationship.

Russian officials emphasized that the pact is a natural progression of the countries’ shared interests.

“This treaty is a testament to the deepening strategic and military cooperation between Russia and North Korea,” said Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister. “It is essential for maintaining regional stability and countering external threats.”

The US and its allies have expressed grave concerns over the implications of this agreement. “This treaty significantly alters the security landscape in East Asia,” stated a senior US State Department official. “It underscores the need for vigilance and reinforces the importance of our alliances in the region.”

Military analysts are closely watching the developments, noting that the alliance could embolden both nations to take more aggressive stances on the international stage.

“With this treaty, North Korea gains a powerful ally, while Russia secures a foothold in East Asia,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “It is a strategic maneuver that complicates the geopolitical calculus for the US and its partners.”

The reactivation of the military pact also comes at a time when Russia is deeply involved in the conflict in Ukraine, where it faces significant opposition from Western nations.

North Korea’s unreserved support for Putin’s actions in Ukraine, as articulated by Kim, further aligns the two nations against common adversaries.

As the international community grapples with the potential ramifications of this treaty, it is clear that the renewed alliance between Russia and North Korea represents a formidable challenge to the current global order.

The coming months will likely see increased diplomatic activity as nations reassess their strategies in light of this development.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Begins New Term Under Coalition Government

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Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for another term as South Africa’s president on Wednesday, the beginning of a new era under a coalition government.

The ceremony held at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheater in the Union Buildings saw Ramaphosa take the oath of office before Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The event was attended by prominent dignitaries, including Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Democratic Republic of Congo leader Felix Tshisekedi, and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, and was marked by a 21-gun salute and an air force flyover.

Ramaphosa’s reappointment comes three weeks after elections saw his party, the African National Congress (ANC), lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since the end of apartheid.

The ANC secured just over 40% of the vote on May 29, with millions of former supporters either backing a splinter party led by ex-leader Jacob Zuma or abstaining due to dissatisfaction over high levels of poverty, unemployment, and crime.

In his inauguration address, Ramaphosa emphasized the resilience of South African democracy and the need for unity.

“The resilience of our democracy has once more been tested, and the people have spoken loudly that they choose peace and democracy over conflict,” he said. “The voters of South Africa did not give any single political party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realize their aspirations.”

The ANC’s unprecedented electoral outcome necessitated a power-sharing agreement with long-time rivals. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and four other parties have agreed to join a government of national unity, supporting Ramaphosa’s leadership in exchange for cabinet and parliamentary positions.

This coalition is expected to prioritize economic growth, investment attraction, structural reforms, and sustainable management of state finances.

The rand strengthened to a level stronger than 18 per dollar for the first time in over ten months, and Johannesburg’s benchmark equity index reached a record high on Wednesday.

Market optimism is driven by the inclusion of business-friendly parties in the government, anticipated to bolster Ramaphosa’s reform agenda aimed at addressing power shortages, logistical challenges, and other economic impediments.

Despite criticism in his previous term for his consultative approach, which opponents labeled as indecisive, Ramaphosa reaffirmed his commitment to inclusive governance.

“Those who would like a president that is dictatorial, who is adventurous, who is reckless, will not find that in me,” he stated last month. “In me they will find a president who wants to consult. All these processes have often been seen as, ‘he is weak, he is not decisive.’ I am decisive, but I want to take people along with.”

The new coalition government faces significant challenges, including negotiating policy differences and accommodating politically powerful figures within the ANC and its partners.

The DA has already expressed concerns over the ANC’s uncosted national health insurance plan and its foreign policy stance.

Susan Booysen, director of research at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, noted the complexities ahead. “South Africa is really moving into this with minimal on-the-ground preparation and justification,” she said. “The devil is going to be in the exact detail. Once cabinet is announced, some basic agreement will have to be reached on policy positions and on what the red-line issues will be.”

As Ramaphosa begins his new term, the nation watches closely, hopeful that this coalition government can navigate the intricate landscape of South African politics and bring about the much-needed reforms and stability.

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