Nigeria’s ruling party negotiating with breakaway faction but what does it matter?
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.
“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.
South Africa: Opposition, DA want findings on alleged arms supply to Russia public
South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance has vowed to challenge the decision by the presidency to keep from the public, findings from recent arm supply allegations.
The follows allegations by United States Ambassador, Reuben Brigety that South Africa provided ammunition to Russia by ship. Brigety said the US was sure that contrary to its public claim of being non-aligned in the Russia/Ukraine crisis, South Africa supplied arms to Vladimir Putin’s army in December.
Following the allegation, President Ramaphosa launched an investigation to be conducted by an independent body which will be led by retired Deputy Justice Phineas Mojapelo, advocate Leah Gcabashe, and former justice minister Enver Surty. Meanwhile, his spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya said the government would withhold the panel’s findings.
Magwenya said the terms of reference for the inquiry would not be gazetted or published.
“The investigation covers issues of national security and classified information, which is protected from disclosure,” he said.
“This inquiry has been instituted in a similar manner to the inquiry that investigated the July 2021 riots in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng and the value of its report remains unchallenged.
“The panel will be supported in gathering the information that is necessary to fulfil its mandate by letters from the president instructing all relevant government entities as identified by the panel to cooperate fully with the panel or face disciplinary sanction,” he said.
“The work of the panel will not be public, nor will its report be made public. The president will speak to any actions that may result with respect to national security. This is provided for within our secrecy laws as per the nature of this matter,” he added.
In a statement, the DA said it would not ” leave this secrecy unchallenged. We have already submitted an application under the Promotion of Access to Information Act to obtain a copy of the panel’s terms of reference. And we are obtaining legal advice to challenge Ramaphosa’s plan to hide the report once it is complete.”
The party leader, John Steenhuisen argued that keeping the report private “undermines the ability of prosecutors and the public to hold guilty parties accountable for any such violations of the law”.
“Hiding this report from public view will rob the people of South Africa – and of the world – of the opportunity to see the full facts of this matter.
“Refusing to disclose the complete picture of how the ANC-led government allegedly smuggled weapons to arm Russia’s war in Ukraine and various parts of Africa will also undermine the very purpose of the investigation.”
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission, ZEC promises to publicise voters’ register
The electoral commission in Zimbabwe said it would soon publish the voters’ register for the forthcoming general elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) also assured the public of a fair election and promised to rectify anomalies that were observed during the voters’ inspection exercise.
The head of ZEC, Utloile Silaigwana made the position known when he announced the end of the mop-up voter registration exercise on Friday.
Silaigwana further revealed that the Nomination court would sit on 21 June and thereafter the voters’ roll would be accessible to candidates.
There are contentions about the neutrality of the electoral commission. In March, a member of the opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), Allan Markham filed a court application challenging ZEC for access to the electronic voters’ roll but had his request rejected because “it was too risky” and in the interest of data protection.
Meanwhile, the ruling party, Zanu PF sent text messages to registered voters during the period urging them to vote for President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This move further fuelled the allegation that Zanu PF had access to the voters’ roll which is why it was able to send the messages.
President Mnangagwa is running for re-election to a second term after coming to power following a military coup that dislodged Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s president in 2017.
The country is struggling with deep poverty, recurring power outages, and crippling unemployment, all of which have fuelled widespread resentment.
The President of Zimbabwe is elected using a two-round system. The Zimbabwean legislature is made up of 270 members of the National Assembly, 210 members elected in single-member constituencies, and 60 women elected by proportional representation in ten six-seat constituencies based on the country’s provinces.
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