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Biafra ‘Cabinet’: DSS Puts Soludo, Utomi, Gana, Others Under Watch

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Chukwuma Soludo
  • Biafra ‘cabinet’: DSS Puts Soludo, Utomi, Gana, Others Under Watch

There were strong indications last night that the Department of State Services (DSS) was planning to invite three ex-ministers and some prominent Nigerians for questioning, following their announcement by a secessionist organisation, Biafra Zionist Federation (BZF) as cabinet members.

The Federal Government was shocked that none of the people the pro-Biafra group appointed as ministers had reacted more than 72 hours after their names were announced.

The BZF had on Monday announced the formation of an interim government for the Republic of Biafra, with one Barrister Benjamin Onwuka as the President.

Some of the people listed as ministers at a press conference the group held in Enugu include former Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji; former Minister of Information Prof Jerry Gana and another former Information Minister, Labaran Maku.

The pro-Biafra organisation also named other key cabinet members to include Prof. Pat Utomi as Foreign Affairs Minister; Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as governor of the Central Bank of Biafra (CBB); Mrs. Aruma Oteh as Minister of Finance and a former Personal Secretary to the late former Biafran leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu as Minister of Petroleum.

Other appointees are ace broadcaster, Amarachi Ubani as Minister of Information; Ohanaeze President, Chief Nnia Nwodo as Ambassador to the US; Gana as Minister of Transport; Maku as Aviation Minister; a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Mrs. Mary Okafor as Minister of Trade and Industry; Benny Lar as Secretary to the Government of the Republic; Gabriel Oluwole Osagie as Minister of Education; Nnaji as Minister of Energy and Philip Effiong Jnr. As Minister of Health.

Investigation revealed that the Federal Government was disturbed that none of those named as cabinet members has disowned the secessionist movement more than 72 hours after.

A top intelligence source, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent in Abuja, said: “Respected citizens such as these should not in any way be associated with acts of treason. Assuming that it was inadvertently or mischievously done, they have a duty to themselves and the nation to renounce such association.

“In this particular instance, we are worried about the deafening silence on the part of these respected citizens. What do they lose by renouncing their listing by the secessionists?”

He, however, said the DSS would wait for a “respectable period” before moving against any of them.

The source said: “If the silence persists, we reserve the right to read meaning into it, and that could lead to the law taking its course.”

Findings made at press time revealed that the activities of BZF had been placed under surveillance.

“We will not condone any act of treason anymore in this country. We have had enough of secessionist agitations under any guise.

“The BZF is under investigation and surveillance by the DSS and other intelligence agencies,” another source added.

Some of the affected people contacted last night reacted in different ways.

Maku said: “Somebody called that I have been appointed a minister of Biafra. How can somebody associate me with a micro in Nigeria? What does that tell you?

“It means there is confusion and desperation among the youths. You need to bring the youths together and reassure them that they have a future.”

A media adviser, Mr. Ike Abonyi, who spoke on behalf of the President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said: “The President of Ohanaeze is presently engrossed in tackling challenges facing Ndigbo. He will not be involved in every issue. He will not give credence to any group.

Disowning the BZF, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Beni Lar, said: “It has come to my notice that several media outlets published my name as being part of a Biafran declaration, to include me as a cabinet member. I dissociate myself with any such move or movement.

“As a true democrat, I have repeatedly granted interviews on the need for Nigeria to remain one, indivisible country. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Asked to react to his inclusion in the cabinet of the Republic of Biafra, Prof. Gana, who said he was in transit, said: “I am on my way back, I will talk to you later. I will call you back.”

Efforts to speak with Utomi was unsuccessful as calls and text message to his mobile number were neither answered nor replied.

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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Government

President Declines Nomination, Endorses Harris for 2024

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In a significant political announcement on his X.com account, President Joe Biden has decided to forgo the opportunity to seek re-election in 2024, instead throwing his full support behind Vice President Kamala Harris.

The surprise move, shared with the public this morning, represents a pivotal moment in the Democratic Party’s journey toward the upcoming presidential election.

In his statement, Biden said that his choice to step aside is driven by a desire to concentrate on his remaining duties as President.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve alongside Harris, calling her selection as his Vice President in 2020 “the best decision” he has made. “My fellow Democrats,” Biden began, “I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term.”

The President’s announcement signifies a strategic shift in the 2024 election landscape. By endorsing Kamala Harris, Biden not only aims to consolidate support within the party but also to set the stage for a unified front against former President Donald Trump.

“Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year,” Biden declared. “Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this.”

This endorsement comes as a surprise to many, given Biden’s earlier commitment to seeking re-election.

However, it reflects a broader strategic maneuver to ensure party unity and strengthen the Democratic position in the face of a formidable opponent. By focusing on Harris, Biden aims to leverage her growing popularity and political acumen to fortify the party’s chances in the upcoming election.

Kamala Harris, who has served as Vice President since January 2021, will now be thrust into the spotlight as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Her campaign is expected to build on the legacy of the current administration while addressing key issues facing the nation.

The move also raises the stakes for the Republicans, who will need to prepare for a robust campaign from a seasoned political leader in Harris.

As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, Biden’s endorsement is likely to reshape the dynamics of the race, influencing both Democratic strategies and Republican responses.

The coming months will be critical as Harris and her team work to solidify their platform and rally support from voters across the nation.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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Kenya Prepares for More Protests Over Unresolved Political Crisis

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Kenya is on the brink of another wave of anti-government protests as efforts to resolve the nation’s escalating political crisis appear to have stalled.

President William Ruto’s proposal for a national dialogue has yet to take off, leaving the nation in a state of heightened tension.

Activists have called for demonstrations across the East African nation on Tuesday, protesting the government’s failure to hold security forces accountable for the deaths of at least 41 people.

These casualties occurred during protests against Ruto’s contentious plan to raise taxes over the past month.

Despite the president’s announcement last week that national dialogue would commence on Monday to defuse the situation, progress has been elusive.

The main opposition party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), expressed uncertainty regarding the proposed talks.

“We haven’t received any invitation,” ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna stated. “When called, we’ll go because we are keen on getting broad-based reforms.”

A spokesperson for the presidency indicated that parliamentary leaders were managing the planned talks, but National Assembly majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah did not respond to requests for comment.

Protests initially erupted in mid-June over Ruto’s plans to increase taxes on essential goods, including bread and diapers, aiming to raise over $2 billion to reduce the government’s budget shortfall.

The public outcry forced Ruto to abandon the proposal, but dissatisfaction remains high.

Last week, in a dramatic move to quell public anger, Ruto fired almost all his cabinet members, underscoring the severity of the discontent.

The scrapping of the tax measures is expected to widen the government’s budget deficit to 3.6% of GDP in the current fiscal year, up from a previous projection of 3.3%.

This financial strain has not gone unnoticed; Moody’s Ratings downgraded Kenya’s rating by a step to Caa1, plunging it deeper into junk status, highlighting the country’s deteriorating fiscal condition.

On Saturday, Ruto vowed to hold accountable those responsible for the recent killings. However, his efforts to address public concerns seem insufficient to stem the tide of unrest.

On Monday, he called on the Ford Foundation, an organization promoting civic engagement, to clarify its role in the protests, though the foundation did not respond to requests for comment.

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