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‘Africa, learn to fend for yourselves’

African leaders must learn to fix the challenges confronting them

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African leaders must learn to fix the challenges confronting them.

These were the exhortations of President Emmanuel Macron of France Tuesday when he paid a scheduled visit to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria. He told his host that Africa should not expect France to fix her problems but that his country would only strive to create enabling security and good economic environments for the African leaders to solve their problems.

“First of all I think the main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations. So what we want to do is that we will intervene and make our presence in Africa and Sahel to fight against terrorism especially in Mali and in the region,” he said.

While acknowledging the challenges facing his hosts, he said that France was committed to having a strong bilateral relations with Nigeria in the areas of fighting terrorism, improving the economy, sports and cultural development.

This bilateral talks held at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja during which agreements for French assistance totalling $475 million for some projects in Lagos, Kano and Ogun states were sihned.

The Lagos deal is a letter of intent for the financing of urban mobility improvement project via a loan of $200 million.

In Ogun State, a French firm in conjunction with the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority is to mobilise from investors about $200 million for land reclamation to correct the massive degradation of arable land being witnessed in the state.

The project aims to reforest 108,000 hectares of depleting forest in Ogun, which the State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, hailed as very vital to not only addressing climate change challenges.

France, through its foreign development agency, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), will also extend a credit facility of $75 million towards improving water supply in Kano city.

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Weeks after justice protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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