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Nigeria’s President Buhari fights ‘gang-up’. Is Nigeria headed for a two-party state?

The table was shaken hard enough on Monday by Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when it formed a coalition of 38 other parties against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), simply to oust the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019

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The table was shaken hard enough on Monday by Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when it formed a coalition of 38 other parties against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), simply to oust the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The group led by PDP is called Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).

In return, the APC on Tuesday said that it had joined forces with 20 other political parties to form a Coalition of Progressives Political Parties (CPPP) to neutralize any moves by CUPP to overthrow its administration.
Parties that make up CPPP are the All Progressives Congress (APC), Accord Party, Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), United Progressive Party (UPP), Advanced People’s Democratic Alliance (APDA), Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).
The rest are Freedom Justice Party (FJP), Fresh Party (FP), New Nigeria’s Peoples Party (NNPP), Nigeria’s Peoples Congress (NPC), Nigeria Peoples Movement (NPM), Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), National Action Congress (NAC) and NDLP.

The coalition chairman, who is also the national chairman of PDM, Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, said that the coalition was made up of like-minded political parties who believe in Nigeria’s unity and stability.

Read Also: A grand alliance is born in Nigeria; Why President Buhari should be worried

“Yesterday (Monday) we woke up to a new development where PDP outside power has now managed to create another coalition. As facts continue to emerge, they listed 36 political parties. Our analysis of that coalition reveals that a number of political parties were included in that coalition fraudulently.

“Part of the political parties they listed is Accord Party and the chairman of the party is here with us. If you are creating a coalition, you need to be honest about it as to who and who are members of the coalition.

“As of today, the membership of that coalition is in doubt. Two members also listed at that coalition are here. We are not part of that coalition because we represent a political type of politics which is in total contradiction of what they are doing.

“We do not believe that our country should be governed by people whose only objective is to capture power. For what purpose is that coalition built? Is it for the purpose of taking Nigeria back to 1999 and 2015 or is it for the purpose of building a new Nigeria?

“That purpose has not been stated, even their in their memorandum. The only thing in their MoU is to agree to capture power in 2019. Their programme has not been made known to the Nigerian public. We will not be part of a coalition that does not have a programme for Nigeria,” he said.

The rapid developments within Nigeria’s political space have been seen by analysts as essentially desperate moves by members of the ruling elites, as spread across different political divides, to align or realign ahead of the general polls billed for early 2019.

Questions have also been asked as to whether the realignment of forces is a signal of coalition of interests under two distinct umbrellas which once was forced on Nigeria by the then ruling junta led by Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.

The two parties engineered by Babangida were the NRC and the SDP.

Nigeria’s political parties are rarely driven by ideologies.

Politics

Burkina Faso’s junta leader, Ibrahim Traore, assures France of relations amidst recent tension

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Amidst recent diplomatic tension between Burkina Faso and France, the military leader of the West African country, Ibrahim Traoré has claimed that recent incidences do not suggest the end of relations with France.

Burkina Faso had expelled French ambassadors and expelled French troops earlier in the year. French President, Emmanuel Macron had sought clarifications from military President Ibrahim Traore about reported demands for the departure of French troops from the country.

He said: “We’ve heard everywhere in the press that Wagner is in Ouagadougou. That’s also how we heard about it. I’ve asked some people who say, ‘Oh really? Where are they?’

“We’ve since heard that they’re even in a hotel somewhere, we’re surprised to hear about that.”

“There’s a general state of mind whereby if you deal with Wagner, everyone runs away from you, so it’s something which has been created in order that everyone shuns us – well congratulations, good job.”

The wave of anti-French agitations in the West African sub-region has continued in recent times. Notably French relations with Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali who is also caught up in a serious security crisis.

“The French embassy is here,” He said. “French nationals are here, just as ours is there, so diplomatically nothing has changed.

“This is about an agreement over military presence, and as they have said, our sovereignty is up to us, so that’s what we are expressing through our denunciation of this agreement. So there is no breaking off of diplomatic relations, or hatred of any particular country.”

France’s position in Africa has been a subject of discussion lately amidst recent anti-French agitations across the continent.

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Politics

Tunisian union, UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi accuses President Saied of intimidation

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As part of the fallouts of the recently conducted parliamentary elections in Tunisia, its trade union, UGTT accused President Kais Saied of targeting it as a distraction from record-low election turnout.

The powerful union also accused president Saied of overseeing a “total failure” of economic policies.

The UGTT chief, Noureddine Taboubi at a meeting held at Gammarth to discuss the arrest of the union’s senior official Anis Kaabi earlier in the week said “the president is trying to divert attention from the record low election turnout in the first and second round of legislative elections and the utter failure of his economic and social decisions.”

Mr. Taboubi added: “Why is the UGTT a target?  Because [the authorities] want to pass the painful reforms they are always discussing.

“In order to pass these painful reforms, they need to distract the public with trivia by saying that the reason for this situation is the UGTT.”

The election, which was a second round of the Tunisian parliamentary polls held last Sunday with reports that nearly 90% of the electorate did not vote, making it the highest level of abstention since the 2011 revolution that toppled dictator Ben Ali and marked the advent of democracy in the country.

Voter turnout for the first round of the parliamentary elections in December was only 11%, prompting widespread ridicule among Saied’s opponents and new demands by the powerful labour union that he changes tack.

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