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Nigeria’s ruling party negotiating with breakaway faction but what does it matter?

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If the body language and utterances of the breakaway faction of Nigeria’s ruling party, the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC) is anything to go by, hopes of reconciling contending forces may be far from accomplishment.

In no unmistaken terms, the aggrieved faction has 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.

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.

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What impact these underground moves would hold for the fractured relationship remains a subject of permutations. Afegbua, spokesman of the R-APC appeared to have shot straight from the hips when he said,

“We members of the R-APC, find it very amusing that those who boasted that they won’t lose sleep over our altruistic action, have been hopping from door to door pleading with our members not to leave by dangling juicy carrots and promising them heaven and earth.

“Such level of double standard is the reason why the R-APC was birthed in the first place because the leadership is not one that keeps promises and it’s the reason why no one should take the APC seriously.”

On President’s meeting with Saraki and alleged promise of mouth-watering offers to the Senate President, R-APC wondered why Buhari finally is wooing “the same leader who was ridiculed, scandalised, demonised, criminalised and called all sorts of names by agents of the Presidency just to give the Senate President a bad name in order to hang him.”

It said, “As soon as the Supreme Court gave a resounding verdict on the trumped up and frivolous charges against the Senate President, Mr. President suddenly felt a need to praise the judiciary for standing on its own. Power as they truly say, must be a crazy aphrodisiac.”

It noted that never had any number three citizen of Nigeria been so dehumanised, criminalised and disgraced while those who just started reconciliation “kept conspiratorial silence, waiting for the sledge hammer to fall on the Senate President.”

R-APC further said, “They were short of calling him a promoter of armed robbery. They linked his name to the Offa Robbery and improvised all bile to rubbish the institution of the legislature.

“They stripped him naked in the marketplace and now desperately trying to bath him with ornaments in the inner fortress of Aso Rock.”

It said after the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment gave Saraki a clean bill of health, “All the political conspirators in the APC swooped into dubious reconciliation assignment, hopping from door to door at the thick of the night to strike deals of reconciliation. Those who said they won’t lose sleep over the R-APC have become sleepless in the last two weeks”.

On APC and its promises, R-APC said, “This government is never a promise keeper and some of the promises contained in the manifestos of the APC have been jettisoned.

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“The President, who has held himself in the inner sanctuary of the Presidential Villa is all of a sudden, opening his doors to one meeting or the other all in the name of re-election.

“Just to make the point that it is too late in the day; the train has left the station. Leopards cannot change their spots no matter how much one tries to tame them.

“This democracy must survive on ethical grounds and not on lawlessness and exclusion. It must provide a level playing field for all participants. Those who prevented some persons from visiting their states in the name of politics have suddenly realised that they need the services and support of those persons.

“They are now pleading; ready to submit to all demands. Who does not know that won’t work because examples have shown that political agreements are often observed in the breach.”

Political watchers doubt how far these moves of rapprochement will go, especially so because the major gladiators appear to nurse deep injuries that may be difficult to erase.

Politics

Tunisia-US relations develop cracks, no thanks to President Saied’s ‘one-man’ rule

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The once chummy relations between Tunisia and the United States is gradually developing serious cracks as a result of President Kais Saied drifting into a one-man authoritarian rule.

Before the rift, the US was Tunisia’s main donors but according to US Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, in a statement on Thursday, Saied’s power grab leaning on an authoritarian government and the “dream of self-government” for the country was in danger.

Austin’s comments is coming on the heels of previous US criticism of Saied in the wake of the adoption of a controversial constitution that further empowers the President and undermines the country’s post-2011 democratic gains.

“Across Africa, those who support democracy and freedom and the rule of law are battling the forces of autocracy, chaos and corruption,” Austin said at a US Africa Command ceremony.

“We can feel those headwinds in Tunisia, where people inspired the world with their demands for democracy,” he said.

The standoff has already seen the US cut back on aids to Tunisia following political instability in the North African country which is gradually sliding towards autocracy and analysts believe the situation could cast a shadow over Tunisia’s quest to obtain a lifeline from the IMF to avert the crumbling of its public finances.

Before the recent condemnation by Austin, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken had also decried Tumis8 drifting into a one-man under Saied.

“Tunisia has experienced an alarming erosion of democratic norms over the past year and reversed many of the Tunisian people’s hard-won gains since 2011,” Blinken had said following the constitution referendum held on July 25.

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Politics

DR Congo’s main opposition leader, Jean-Marc Kabund, arrested

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A main opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Marc Kabund, has been arrested by government forces after he made an alleged uncomplemetary remarks on President Felix Tshisekedi on Tuesday.

Kabund, a former right-hand man of Tshisekedi, fell out with the President and became a prominent opposition leader, was arrested after a controversy raged over a remark about his one-time boss.

Kabund who was a former vice president of parliament had a falling out with President Tshisekedi earlier this year, after which he launched his own political party.

Following the breakup with the incumbent president, Kabund has been under investigation in recent weeks on charges that authorities have not specified, but his lawyers say he is accused of contempt of the head of state after a speech whete he called the President “a danger” to the country.

“They did not respect the procedure. Today they came after the hearing and arrested him despite his parliamentary immunity,” Kabund’s lawyer, Henriette Bongwalanga said after he was arrested.

Kabund was a leading figure behind Tshisekedi’s rise to power but fell out with the President over difference which highlighted fault-lines in the country’s leadership.

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