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Nigeria’s ruling party seizes party machinery from recalcitrant Senate President

The leadership of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), has dissolved the Kwara State executive of the party, citing electoral malfeasance in the last ward, local and state congresses

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The leadership of Nigeria’s ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), has dissolved the Kwara State executive of the party, citing electoral malfeasance in the last ward, local and state congresses.

The country’s Senate President, Bukola Saraki, hails from the North-central State of Kwara and has had a running battle with APC, the party that brought him to power.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had at the weekend reportedly asked party officials loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki to resign their appointments and announced Bashir Bolarinwa as the new state chairman of the party.

Perhaps, acting out a written script, APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) led by its chairman, Adams Oshiomhole on Monday “reviewed the actions of some leaders of the party that emerged from the congresses who participated in an open rally calling on the Senate President to decamp to the PDP”.

Read Also: Mugabe won’t vote for the party he helped form. Why it may not count

The party said after a careful and exhaustive deliberation on this and other developments in the state chapter of the party that it
resolved “to dissolve all party organs from Ward, Local Government and State Executive of the Party in Kwara state; and to constitute caretaker committee at all levels of the party of the party organ at Ward, Local Government and State Executive Committees.

“That Hon. Bashir Bolarinwa shall and is hereby appointed as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the State Executive Committee of APC in Kwara State”.

With the party structure clearly taken away from him, the development tactically calls out Senator Saraki to play his next card of further disrupting the party in order to create a stalemate or grab the structures by force.

Saraki has, in recent public appearances, given hint that he might dump APC for the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Senate President’s next move, analysts believe, may quicken his departure for PDP.

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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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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