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Former Nigerian Bar Association President Olumide Akpata Bids Farewell to Law, Ventures into Politics for Nation Building

Exits Prominent Law Firm to Pursue Political Career with the Labour Party



Olumide Akpata

Mr. Olumide Akpata, the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has made a resolute decision to disengage from his esteemed position as Senior Partner at Templars, one of Nigeria’s most prominent law firms.

Akpata’s announcement, conveyed through the company on August 24, 2023, states his intent to enter the arena of active politics and make a tangible contribution to the nation’s development.

According to the official statement released by Templars, Akpata formally informed the firm’s management and fellow partners about his political aspirations.

As part of a mutually agreed decision in alignment with the firm’s governance protocols, Akpata will officially step down from his position within the law firm on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

The statement issued by Templars read, “The Partners and management of TEMPLARS wish to announce that a Senior Partner at the Firm and the immediate past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Olumide Akpata, has formally informed the Firm of his decision to participate in active politics. On account of this, and in line with the Firm’s governance protocols, Olumide Akpata and the Partners of the Firm have agreed that he disengages from the Firm with effect from 31st August 2023. This will enable him to fully focus on his project of contributing towards nation building.”

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Olumide Akpata’s foray into politics comes as a surprise to many, considering his illustrious legal career and the respect he commands in legal circles.

However, recent developments in his life have pointed toward this new direction. The former NBA President recently declared his membership in the Labour Party, expressing a strong desire to play an active role in shaping the nation’s future rather than merely critiquing from the sidelines.

Akpata has been actively participating in Labour Party activities within his home state of Edo, leading to widespread speculation that he may be gearing up for a gubernatorial bid to succeed Governor Obaseki.

While this development has created a buzz in Nigerian politics, it remains uncertain whether Akpata will officially run in the upcoming Edo state election, scheduled to be held around September next year.

The legal luminary’s decision to transition from the courtroom to the political arena underscores the evolving landscape of Nigerian politics, where individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise are increasingly participating to drive positive change in the country.

As Olumide Akpata embarks on this new chapter of his life, all eyes will be on his political journey and the potential impact he may have on the nation’s governance and development.

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Burkina Faso’s Military Junta Foils Attempted Coup Amid Ongoing Instability



Burkina Faso’s military junta announced its successful thwarting of an attempted coup this week, once again highlighting the nation’s precarious stability in the face of an ongoing Islamist insurgency.

The fragile transitional government, led by Colonel Ibrahim Traore, found itself targeted by a group of military officers and their cohorts seeking to plunge the country into chaos.

Government spokesman Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo released a statement late Wednesday, confirming the arrest of the individuals behind the plot, while asserting that those still at large were actively being pursued.

Traore, who took power a year ago after overthrowing Interim President Henri Paul Sandaogo Damiba, has been on edge due to the persistent specter of coups.

To address security concerns, Traore recently appointed new heads of the security services, including the National Intelligence Agency, following the arrest of several army officers accused of plotting against the state.

Ouedraogo reassured the public that a thorough investigation would be conducted to shed light on this latest attempted coup.

This incident in Burkina Faso underscores the troubling trend of military leaders seizing power in African nations, with Niger and Gabon experiencing similar developments in the past two years.

The West African nation remains at a critical juncture, teetering between democracy and instability as it grapples with internal and external threats.

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French Ambassador Departs Niger Amid Escalating Tensions: Macron’s Pledge to Withdraw Troops Looms



Emmanuel Macron

Ambassador Sylvain Itte, along with six colleagues, left Niger’s capital, Niamey, on a flight bound for Paris via Chad.

This departure comes three days after French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed the withdrawal of the French envoy and pledged to withdraw approximately 1,500 French troops stationed in Niger by the end of 2023.

The abrupt exit of Ambassador Itte, as reported by Agence France-Presse, occurred at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday and followed the deterioration of relations between Niger’s military leaders and their former colonial power, France.

The strained relations were primarily triggered by the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26, a coup that led to the severance of military ties between the two nations.

Macron’s initial refusal to adhere to the August 28 deadline set by the junta for Ambassador Itte’s departure only served to heighten the diplomatic standoff.

The junta had cited alleged French “actions contrary to Niger’s interests” as the reason for the ambassador’s expulsion.

In the latest development, the coup leaders formally requested a timeline for the withdrawal of French troops from Niger. Macron had previously confirmed his commitment to completing the withdrawal by the end of 2023, further emphasizing the changing dynamics of the Franco-Nigerien relationship.

On Wednesday, President Macron engaged in talks with Nigerien Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massaoudou, during which he reaffirmed France’s support for President Bazoum and expressed his country’s eagerness to see a return to constitutional order in Niger.

This statement from the Elysee underscores France’s continued involvement in Niger’s internal affairs despite the recent diplomatic tensions.

As both nations navigate these turbulent waters, the future of their diplomatic and military relations remains uncertain.

The departure of Ambassador Itte is just the latest chapter in this evolving saga, and it raises questions about the implications for France’s historical ties to its former colony and its broader strategic interests in the West African region.

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G-20 Grants African Union Equal Membership Status to EU




The Group of 20 nations has reached a consensus to confer permanent membership status upon the African Union.

This significant move is aimed at empowering the African continent with a stronger voice in addressing pressing global issues, including climate change and emerging-market debt.

The announcement was made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who served as the host of the G-20 summit held in New Delhi over a two-day period.

During this historic event, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, who currently holds the presidency of the African Union, was warmly embraced by Prime Minister Modi and offered a seat at the summit table.

This strategic decision, which has been previously reported by Bloomberg News, grants the 55-member African Union the same prestigious status enjoyed by the European Union within the Group of 20.

European Council President Charles Michel expressed his delight regarding this development in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

He expressed eagerness for close cooperation between the African Union and the European Union within the framework of the G-20, solidifying the commitment to address global challenges collectively.

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