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

A detachment of security operatives on Tuesday laid siege to the homes of President of the Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu in Abuja

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A detachment of security operatives on Tuesday laid siege to the homes of President of the Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu in Abuja.

There are very strong speculations that the move is intended to prevent the senior lawmakers from making it to the National Assembly today because of an alleged plan by many lawmakers to decamp en masse from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

SlamReportsAfrica had reported how the Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, had made underground moves to persuade members of the breakaway faction, R-APC, not to carry out their threat. There had been strong indications that the initiative would meet a brick wall.

The planned cross carpeting, if allowed to take place, would render the APC a minority party, a fact attested to by the Peoples Democratic Party leader in the House of Representatives on Monday.

Saraki’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, confirming the siege to PREMIUM TIMES said:
“As I am talking to you, I cannot access the street. They have barricaded the road and I cannot say his whereabouts now.

“I hear they are doing the same thing at the Deputy Senate President’s house.”

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

Reacting to the developments, Kola Ologbondiyan, a spokesperson for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said Nigeria’s democracy was under assault.

“Democracy has been placed under a jackboot. We are now in a totalitarian government. You can not stop the National Assembly, which is a key element of a constitutional republic.

“We will resist this,” he said.

Saraki’s travails are legion. First, he has been accused of betraying the ruling party by conniving with the opposition PDP to install himself Senate President. He was also charged with falsifying his asset declaration papers, an allegation nullified by Nigeria’s Supreme Court.

The police are yet to provide reasons for the apparent siege. However, Saraki was summoned by the police and asked to report Tuesday at its office in the nation’s capital, Abuja, in connection to the Offa robbery incident in Kwara State for which the police said some suspects mentioned Saraki as a sponsor.

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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