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Senate Stands with Buhari, Tells Protesters to Leave Him Alone

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  • Senate Stands with Buhari, Tells Protesters to Leave Him Alone

The Senate Tuesday lashed out at civil society organisations (CSOs) protesting the prolonged medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari abroad, asking the protesters to leave the president alone as he had not violated any law.

It noted that Buhari, before his medical trip to the United Kingdom, fulfilled the constitutional requirement of informing the National Assembly of his vacation and transmitted power to the vice-president.

Some CSOs had in the past two days besieged Abuja, demanding that the president either resumes duty immediately or resigns his position.

The protest march, which was led by entertainment icon and activist, Mr. Charles Oputa (Charley Boy), however, took a new turn Tuesday as the police dispersed it, firing tear gas at the protesters that had gathered at their Unity Fountain, Abuja rendezvous.

The police explained later in the day that it disrupted the protest to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

The Senate in a reaction to the protest by its Chairman of Media and Publicity Committee, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, cautioned the protesters against overheating the polity with what it called their unreasonable demands, saying their actions were creating unnecessary tension in the country.

It said the protests could divert the attention of the federal government from its efforts at tackling the economic and security challenges facing the nation.

“The president has broken no law and therefore we do not see any justification for this diversion and noise making,” the Senate said, adding: “The sponsors are merely seeking cheap publicity at the expense of the peace of Nigeria.”

It denied the claim of the protesters that the president’s absence had created a vacuum and disrupted the workings of government. “We, in the National Assembly, are satisfied that there is no vacuum. The federal government is working. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is providing the required leadership. So, there is no reason for the protests.” it said firmly.

According to the upper legislative chamber, “All Nigerians now should focus on praying for the safe return of the president. We in the Senate are happy about the report by the governors and party leaders who recently visited President Buhari in London and we know he will soon return to continue to provide leadership to our people and the rest of Africa.

“We, therefore, call on the protesters to stop all these demonstrations and let their sense of patriotism overshadow the zeal for activism by joining other Nigerians to pray for the president, the acting president and Nigeria as a country at this critical period.”

But the protesters were swift in replying the Senate Tuesday, saying the position of the upper legislative chamber was an embarrassment to Nigerians, who were asking necessary questions on the whereabouts of their president.

The protesters under the aegis of #OurMumuDonDo said they would not back down from their request calling on the president to either resume or resign, despite the harassment by the police.

The leader of the group, Oputa, in a statement Tuesday said the Senate had failed in its constitutional responsibilities by not asking necessary questions on the health status of the president.

“I am disappointed in this country. But let it be known that no amount of intimidation on us by security agencies will deter us from demanding explanations from the government,” he said, adding: “They must be accountable to Nigerians because they were elected into power by us, and it is on this basis that they will account for their actions. We are tired of the back and forth stories from the Presidency on Buhari’s whereabouts.”

Oputa stated: “Also, to compound the mess Nigerians are in, it is disheartening for the Senate that ought to ask questions to be the very ones supporting such show of shame. Indeed, the feeling out here based on their position is that they are nothing but Buhari’s errand boys. I guess the Senate is desperate to please the president. They have failed Nigerians when most needed.”

He said the position of the Bukola Saraki-led Senate that the protesters should leave Buhari alone as he had violated no law was outright ridiculous.

“Saraki’s position,” he contended, “is a desperate attempt to patronise the president.”

Police Disperse Protesters

The second day of the protest by campaigners urging Buhari to resume work or resign had ended in pandemonium Tuesday after riot policemen fired tear gas canisters and water canon to disperse the crowd.
The first protest held on Monday by the group that called itself ‘Concerned Nigerians,’ was largely successful.

But they got more than they bargained for in their resolve to resume the sit-in and even extend the protest to the Presidential Villa when policemen disrupted the procession at the Millennium Park and Unity Fountain in the Central Area of the federal capital.

In the process, many of the protesters, including Oputa were injured.
Two journalists from the stable of Silver Bird Television, Uyi Amadim and Femi, were also brutalised along with Oputa.

He later fainted after inhaling teargas but was revived by sympathisers, who poured water on him.

Subsequently, policemen neutralised the protest by preventing the protesters from assembling at the Unity Fountain.

They also stopped the group from proceeding further to the National Assembly gate and the State House.

But the leader of Concerned Nigerians, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, accused the police of high-handedness and said no amount of police assault would deter the protesters from continuing on their call on the president to either resume or resign.

He insisted that nobody in the country had the right to stop the citizens from gathering.

Adeyanju said: “The president should resign if he is incapacitated. We are not interested in the lies the cabal is telling.

“The police told us that they have an order from above, claiming that our protest is embarrassing the government, and we queried them to know who gave the order.

“Buhari is a complete servant and Nigerians have the right to ask questions about the health of the person that is serving them.
“The cabal in Aso Rock cannot continue to take the president in and out of the country at will, and continue to tell us lies.”

The police, however, said it dispersed the protesters to prevent the breakdown of law and order.

According to the FCT Police Command spokesperson, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, “In the early hours of today, 8th August, 2017 the Police intervened and prevented breakdown of law and order, and disturbance of public peace in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja by dispersing some miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements that have infiltrated the protest being carried out by a group of concerned Nigerians under the auspices of Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement at Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja.

“It will be recalled that ‘Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement’ carried out their protest on Monday 7th August, 2017 at the same venue and were accorded necessary Police presence to safe guard public safety and public peace, and protect their rights to freedom of expression, rights to peaceful assembly and association, and right to freedom of movement as provided for in sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended.

“However, yesterday 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.”

Manzah explained that the police personnel intervened at the point the Concerned Nigerians group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.

He added: “It is pertinent to state here that the FCT Police Command is fully aware and recognises the constitutional rights of every citizen including ‘Our-Mumu-Don-Do Group’ to assemble and move freely in any part of the Federal Capital Territory, but the command will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardise the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT.

“The command wishes to assure all residents and visitors to the territory of adequate security and protection of lives and property of everyone including those who choose to express their constitutional rights of protest with decorum.

“Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups are advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and breakdown of law and order.”

Meanwhile, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said Buhari should be made the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he failed to resign.

Speaking at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) forum in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital Tuesday, Fayose criticised the Presidency for shrouding Buhari’s health in secrecy.

He said he was excluded from the delegation that visited the president in London because the organisers of the trip knew that he would “definitely reveal the truth”.

Two weeks ago, Buhari hosted seven governors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP at the Abuja House in London.

Fayose said if he had joined his counterparts on that trip, he would have observed Buhari closely and disclosed the outcome of his findings to Nigerians.

He asked: “Why did they not take me to London? Why didn’t they take me there?

He answered: “They obviously knew very well that I would listen to the man and know whether his voice is clear or not. Then, I would be able to tell Nigerians the truth.”

He added: “Leadership must come with a certain measure of strength. If you don’t have strength, how can you govern the country?
“So, we need a president that is hale and hearty. If our president doesn’t want to go, let him become the minister of foreign affairs in London. These are statements of fact.”

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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Rishi Sunak

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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