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Buhari’s hold on power slackens in Nigeria; How the ‘coup’ happened

True to prediction, the breakaway faction of Nigeria’s ruling party, the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) has formally dumped the mother party to join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)

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True to prediction, the breakaway faction of Nigeria’s ruling party, the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) has formally dumped the mother party to join the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In a dramatic move Tuesday, 52 lawmakers defected from APC to PDP. They were made up of 15 Senators and 37 members of the House of Representatives. The notes conveying the decision of the decampees were read by the respective heads of both houses of the National Assembly, Bukola Saraki of the Senate, and Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives.

The 52 lawmakers, in their collective letters, alleged irreconcilable differences within the APC as reason for pitching their tents with the opposition PDP.

SlamReportesAfrica had reported how, in the build up to the breakup, the ruling party had approached its aggrieved members with juicy offers to give up on their intentions to leave the party.

In no unmistaken terms, the aggrieved faction had said that the promise of juicy carrots to its members by the leadership of the APC was already too late to stop the R-APC from its planned defection.

The bombshell was dropped on Sunday in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kassim Afegbua.

The statement came on the heels of high powered meetings between the Presidency and perceived arrow head of the rebel group, Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Read Also: Unfolding story: What we know about siege on home of Nigeria’s Senate President

In one instance, the meeting with Saraki was led by President Muhammadu Buhari himself while Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, was caught in nocturnal consultations with Buba Galadima who has been the known figure behind R-APC.

Early attempts to abort a gathering of lawmakers occurred Tuesday as security operatives, allegedly from the Presidency, made futile efforts to prevent the Senate President and his deputy from accessing the National Assembly, venue of the defection exercise.

The development has radically altered the power configuration in the country’s legislative arm with the opposition PDP having majority of seats while shrinking APC’s control of the lower house.

Reacting to the political tremor, President Muhammadu Buhari said he wished the departing members best of luck in their future endeavours. The ruling party, however, would not concede that it had lost control at the National Assembly.

Bolaji Abdullahi, spokesman of the party, said in his reaction to the defection of 52 federal lawmakers that the party respects the right of people to move to another party.

“APC notes the development in the National Assembly with the defection of some of our members from the party,” Abdullahi said in a statement.

“APC remains in firm control of 25 states of the 36 states of the federation and maintains a clear majority in the Federal House of Representatives and state assemblies.

However, the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, branded the defecting lawmakers ‘mercenaries.’

Analysts argue that the developments would have far reaching implications for the polity as the realignment of forces is expected to trickle down to the States of the federation where at least three governors and their supporters are likely to join the PDP bandwagon and ultimately alter the support base of President Buhari ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Politics

Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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Congo DR rebel group, M23 wants direct talks with government. Will Kinshasa concede?

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The M23 rebel group, which has been at loggerheads with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked for a direct talk with the government.

The positions are days after the deadline for the declaration of a permanent truce between the worrying battles.

Leaders of Rwanda, Burundi, and Angola met this week in Luanda to find a solution to the conflict in eastern Congo, which has forced thousands to flee their homes.

But the M23 was not part of the discussions and found out about the statement on social media, its spokesperson said.

The spokesperson of the group, Lawrence Kanyuka, “thanked the regional leaders for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current conflict.”

“Give us direct negotiations with the government to resolve the root causes of conflict that are producing all these wars here,” he said. M23 leader Bertrand Bisimwa also issued a statement to the same effect.

Meanwhile, Congo DR’s foreign minister Christophe Lutundula said: “It won’t happen. I can reassure you on behalf of the government and the President of the Republic.”

The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

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