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Nigeria’s ruling party, APC National Convention in disarray as thugs besiege venue

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The much anticipated National Convention of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), held at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital on March 26, was thrown into disarray and choas as political thugs loyal to different politicians, threw caution to the wind and besieged the venue.

They were ably aided by hoodlums of all shapes who took advantage of the slack security and unleashed mayhem on the party delegates and journalists, snatching phones, laptops, tablets, jewellery, handbags, wallets and whatever valuables they could lay their hands on.

Reminiscent of the choas that also characterized the party’s convention in 2018, eyewitnesses say the delegates who were attacked by the thugs, could not gain access into the venue through the main entrance as it was marked ‘out-of-bounds’ for non-VIP delegates, which forced some accredited but non-statutory delegates and journalists, as well as staff of the APC Convention Electoral Committee, to use other alternative entrances which made it possible for the thugs to have a field day.

The confusion, according to a journalist who witnessed the chaotic situation first hand, led to the metal barriers surrounding the alternative gate being brought down as the delegates tried to force their way into the venue.

“The tumultuous situation led to chaos and disorder which opened the door for the thugs and hoodlums, leading to many being robbed of their personal effects.

“It took some reinforcement from security operatives to regain control of the situation or it could have degenerated into something much worse,” the journalist said.

The police and other security operatives, however, worsened the already charged atmosphere when they dispensed canisters of teargas at the crowd in a bid to disperse them.

Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s party, ANC meets as impeachment heat intensifies over ‘Farmgate’

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As the heat keeps piling on the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders of his party, the African National Congress (ANC) met on Friday to take a position on the current crisis bedeviling the country’s top man.

The ANC leaders are meeting after an inquiry found evidence President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct, but they delayed a decision over whether he should stay in his post.

The party’s Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile after the meeting said the group would reconvene before Dec. 6 to discuss the report, which will be debated in parliament on that day.

“We want to deal with it properly, we don’t want to miss any step,” Mashatile told reporters, adding that party officials needed to scrutinise the report further.

“The mood was that there is a sense of urgency, that we should resolve these issues so that we can go on with the responsibilities of running the country.”

In reaction to the panel’s report, President Ramaphosa through a statement asked for space to “carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken”, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson acceded to the request for a delay.

The ANC is the dominant party in the country’s parliament, with 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, which makes the possibility of an impeachment low as most votes would be towards votes along party lines.

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