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Buhari Has Returned Nigeria Back To Abacha Era — Obasanjo

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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria is back to the Abacha era when state institutions were used to fight perceived enemies of the head of state.

He was speaking on Sunday in his state of the nation address which he tagged “Points for Concern and Action”.

Sani Abacha, a general, was the military head of state from November 1993 till his death in June 1998 and was accused of using dictatorial powers to rule the country.

According to TheCable, Obasanjo decided to address the nation following recent developments in the polity, including the trial of the chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, over an alleged false declaration of assets.

Obasanjo said: “Today, another Abacha Era is here. The security institutions are being misused to fight all critics and opponents of Buhari and to derail our fledgling democracy. EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trade mark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow.

“Today, as in the day of Abacha, Nigerians must rise up and do what they did in the time of Abacha. Churches and Mosques prayed. International community stood by us Nigerians. I was a beneficiary and my life was saved. Well-meaning Nigerians took appropriate actions and made sacrifices, some supreme, some less than supreme but God had the final say and He took the ultimate action.”

Obasanjo was jailed for life by Abacha on 1995 over an alleged coup plot, but he was released in 1998 after the death of the military ruler.

He was then twice elected president of Nigeria, from 1999 to 2007, having been a military head of state himself from 1976 to 1979.

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Ramaphosa re-elected as South Africa’s president after coalition deal

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South Africa’s parliament has re-elected Cyril Ramaphosa as the country’s president following a historic coalition deal between the governing African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties.

The new government comprises Ramaphosa’s ANC, the Democratic Alliance (DA), which is the main opposition, and smaller parties.

The ANC lost its controlling majority in last month’s election after ruling for 30 years since the end of apartheid.

Out of 400 seats in the national assembly, the ruling party was only able to secure 159, the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said.

The DA had 87 seats, while the uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) party, backed by former President Jacob Zuma, won 58.

After the election, Ramaphosa said it was clear that citizens expect their leaders to “work together” to meet their needs.

Following two weeks of intensive talks with opposition parties, the decision to re-elect Ramaphosa was reached on Friday.

In his victory speech, the president hailed the new coalition and urged the party members to prioritise South Africans.

John Steenhuisen, leader of the DA, said he was looking forward to working on “serving the people of the country and building a better future”.

“I think we get an opportunity today to write a new chapter for South Africa and that chapter I think we can make the best chapter ever. No party has got a majority. We are required to work together and we are re going to do it,” he added.

Ramaphosa is expected to include members of the other parties in his cabinet.

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‘My membership has been rendered useless’, says Salihu Lukman as he resigns from APC

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Salihu Lukman, a former vice-chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the north-west, has resigned as a member of the ruling party.

Last year, Lukman resigned from his position as a member of the national working committee (NWC) of the APC.

He said, “the party is completely at variance with the founding vision of forming a progressive party”.

Before this, he had also resigned as the director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) in 2022.

In a statement on Wednesday, Lukman said his membership in the APC has been rendered useless.

He noted that his decision was based on the lack of internal democracy and the inability of the leadership of the APC to allow reforms within the party.

“Given all this, it is possible to remain in APC if, at all, President Tinubu will allow internal reform in the party to return it to its founding vision, which, as it is, is very remote. But my reality now in the party is that my membership has been rendered useless, and there is no need for me to continue to impose myself,” the statement reads.

“I have therefore gone back to the trenches and will try to work with all committed Nigerians who agree and subscribe to the goal of actively campaigning for the survival and development of democracy in Nigeria.

“We must grow our democracy to the point whereby elected representatives at all levels are accountable to the party, and it is possible for Nigerians represented by various interests to develop strong relationships with political parties and elected governments based on which policies of governments can be made to reflect the wider interests of Nigerians.

“I am confident that a strong democracy with functional political parties is possible in Nigeria. I am also confident that, in our lifetime, we can produce governments that are truly capable of making the lives of Nigerians better. I don’t expect party leaders will agree with my decision. I believe that eventually, we will be united will all party leaders and other Nigerians who are committed to developing Nigerian democracy.”

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35 reps propose six-year single term for president, zonal rotation

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A group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives are seeking alterations to the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for the rotation of the Presidency among the six geo-political zones of the country.

They also want an amendment to the Constitution to provide for “A single tenure of six years for the President and Governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the group on Monday in Abuja, the member representing Ideato South/Ideato North Federal Constituency, Imo State, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said, “The reduction in government spending and wastage, efficiency in governance, and national stability by providing a single term of six years for the President and Governors,” will go a long way in cost-cutting measures.”

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