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It’s Power Devolution or N’Delta Republic, Militants Tell FG

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  • It’s Power Devolution or N’Delta Republic, Militants Tell FG

A coalition of Niger Delta militant groups on Saturday expressed readiness to fight for a Niger Delta Republic if the Federal Government failed to embrace devolution of power and fiscal federalism.

The militants, who spoke under the aegis of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, stated that they were prepared to mobilise other agitating groups in the oil rich region to actualise a Niger Delta Republic.

A statement signed by nine militant leaders cautioned that the people of the Niger Delta were prepared to secede if the total devolution of power and fiscal federalism were not put in place.

The statement was signed by John Dudu (Niger Delta Watchdogs and convener of the coalition); Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers) Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters) and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters).

Others included Ibinabo Horsfall of the Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network), Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate) and Abiye Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network).

The statement read, “The least considerable action on the part of the Federal Government is the total devolution of power and fiscal federalism. Anything short of that, the people of the Niger Delta will go their separate ways. The coalition will work to convince other agitators in the Niger Delta for a collaborative action to ensure the least acceptable demand, which is total devolution of power and fiscal federalism.

“The people of the Niger Delta will fully support the call for a referendum by other agitators in the country. Finally, the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators firmly resolves to pursue its decision(s) and actualise them by any means necessary.”

Faulting the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum for what they termed poor handling of the agreement between it (PANDEF) and the Federal Government, the militants declared that they had withdrawn their support for the forum.

They maintained that the authority to represent the Niger Delta ethnic nationalities was no longer under the purview of the current leadership of PANDEF.

The coalition said, “The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators will rally round all other agitating groups in the Niger Delta for the actualisation of the Niger Delta Republic. This will give us the freedom to develop ourselves and at our own pace.”

It also described the last meeting of the forum in Bayelsa as dismal, adding that serious issues were not presented for deliberation.

Describing the PANDEF leadership as clueless, the coalition observed that the forum appeared not to be cohesive and united in thoughts and actions.

“While a meeting is called by Pa E. K. Clark in Bayelsa, the secretary of the central working committee is calling for a constitution review meeting in Abuja the following day. We have no doubt in our mind that there are contending interests and positions that have become overriding in the leadership of PANDEF and we can no longer sit by and allow them to fester,” the coalition said.

It added that PANDEF leadership appeared to have lost track of the political development and the trend of agitations in the country, especially from the South-East and South-West.

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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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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Rishi Sunak Announces Resignation Amid Labour’s Sweeping Victory

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced his resignation as the leader of the Conservative Party following a historic victory by Labour in the general election.

Addressing the nation from the steps of 10 Downing Street, Sunak expressed his deep regret and took full responsibility for the party’s defeat.

“I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all,” Sunak began, visibly moved.

“But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change. And yours is the only judgement that matters. I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.”

The Conservatives experienced a staggering loss, with more seats taken by Labour than in any previous election.

This shift marked a dramatic change in the political landscape, as large swathes of the country turned red. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, claimed victory early Friday morning, addressing a jubilant crowd of supporters.

“The UK has the opportunity after 14 years to get its future back,” Starmer proclaimed.

Sunak, who retained his seat in Richmond, North Yorkshire, described the night as “sobering.”

In his concession, he stated, “The Labour Party has won this general election, and I have called Sir Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. The British people have delivered a sobering verdict tonight; there is much to learn, and I take responsibility for the loss.”

Following his resignation speech, Sunak and his wife, Akshata, departed from Downing Street for Buckingham Palace to formally tender his resignation to King Charles III.

A spokesperson for the King confirmed, “His Majesty was graciously pleased to accept.”

Reflecting on his tenure, Sunak said, “I am honoured to have been your prime minister. This is the best country in the world.”

He also acknowledged the many Conservative MPs who lost their seats, stating, “It pains me to think how many good colleagues who contributed so much to their communities and our country will now no longer sit in the House of Commons. I thank them for their hard work and their service.”

As the Conservative Party faces a period of introspection and rebuilding, Sunak emphasized the importance of the party’s role in opposition.

“It is important that the Conservative Party now rebuilds and also takes up its crucial role in opposition, professionally and effectively,” he noted.

The leadership race within the Conservative Party is expected to commence shortly, as the party seeks to navigate its path forward after this significant electoral defeat.

For now, the UK braces for a new political era under Labour’s leadership, with the promise of significant changes on the horizon.

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