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Rwanda to host 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

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For the first time in over a decade, Africa will be hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), this time in Kigali, Rwanda.

Leaders of the Commonwealth countries meet every two years at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Each CHOGM is held in a different member country, with the respective Prime Minister or President as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office. Since 1971, a total of 25 meetings have been held, with the most recent held in London in 2018.

It is the fifth time that Africa will be hosting the CHOGM. First in Zimbabwe in 1991, in SouthAfrica in 1999, Nigeria in 2003, and Uganda in 2007.

The 26th CHOGM will be held in Kigali between June 20 and 26, under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming.’

While announcing the new date for the meeting, Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame, said the East African country is pleased to welcome all delegates and participants to Kigali for a safe and productive CHOGM Rwanda 2022.

“The last two years have made it clear to us that we are more connected than ever before and we must work together to achieve the tangible and sustainable results we want,” he said.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. The Commonwealth is home to 2.5 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations. Our shared values and principles are inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter.

A statement by the Commonwealth secretariat said the Prince of Wales, who has attended CHOGM on five previous occasions – Edinburgh in 1997, Uganda in 2007, Sri Lanka in 2013 (representing the Queen), Malta in 2015, and in the U.K in 2018, will attend the meeting in Kigali.

“As the world works to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, and in this Jubilee year, it is more important than ever that the countries of the Commonwealth come together,” the prince was quoted as saying in the statement.

“As a family of some 2.6 billion people from fifty-four nations across six continents, the Commonwealth represents a rich diversity of traditions, experience, and talents that can help to build a more equal, sustainable, and prosperous future.

Politics

2023: Nigeria’s ruling party presidential candidates, Tinubu, Masari, can’t find certificates. What we know so far

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Kabiru Masari, the running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Nigerian presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the coming 2023 general elections, has declared that his school certificates and other vital documents including the certificate to landed properties, are missing.

Masari’s declaration of missing certificates, is coming barely a week after his principal, Tinubu, also declared that he could not explain the whereabouts of his primary and secondary schools certificates after soldiers invaded his house while he was in self-exile during the fight against military regime in Nigeria shortly after the June 12, 1993, presidential election, which was annulled by the General Ibrahim Babangida-led military regime.

While explaining how he lost his certificates, Tinubu had said the documents were among his personal effect destroyed when his property at the Balarabe Musa Crescent in Victoria Island, Lagos, was set ablaze by agents of former Head of State, late General Sani Abacha, in 1997.

Tinubu’s Form EC9, which was published on Friday by the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, revealed that the former Lagos State governor did not fill the columns for his primary and secondary school education, which generated a lot of controversies, leading to some opposition political parties and civil society groups threatening court actions.

But while Nigerians were still grappling with the idea of a presidential candidate without the basic primary and secondary school certifications, Masari, who was named as a ‘placeholder’, effectively meaning he is a temporary vice presidential candidate while the party looks for a suitable replacement, also announced that he is in the same boat as Tinubu.

In a sworn affidavit he deposed to on July 17, 2021, and submitted to the INEC, Masari claimed that the Grade II certificate he allegedly obtained from the Katsina State Teachers’ College and his primary school certificate were missing.

He also said told the electoral umpire that the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for a plot of land in Katsina State were also missing.

“Sometimes in January 2021, while on transit within Wuse Area, FCT-Abuja, I discovered that my original Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of Plot, No KT 17522, GRA Katsina, Katsina State; Certificate of Kaduna State Development Centre from 1994 – 1995 were missing,” the affidavit reads.

“Also missing were Grade II Certificate from Katsina Teachers’ College (KTC) from 1978 –1983 and First Leaving School Certificate issued by Masari Primary School in Katsina State from 1972 – 1978.

“Efforts made to trace the documents proved abortive hence this affidavit,” he added in the sworn affidavit.

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Politics

Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui meets political parties to mitigate tension

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In the bid to address tension that has bedeviled its political space, Guinean Prime Minister, Mohamed Béavogui has met with political parties.

The meeting comes after the National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) suspended its call for a demonstration which would have been the first major protest rally under the now ruling junta.

In his opening remarks, the Prime Minister stressed that “it is essential that each of us here understand once and for all that the only agenda that counts is that of the people.”

Guinea’s pressure group, The National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) had called for a nationwide demonstration against the West African country’s military junta earlier this month. The group also led protests against former President Alpha Conde, calling against the ban imposed by the junta on public protest.

Mohamed Béavogui, told the political parties, civil society organizations and trade unions that “only an inclusive approach, adapted to the Guinean reality, will enable us to lay the foundations for the good life together that we all aspire.

“We have already set up an inter-ministerial council, a group of colleagues. We are going to refine the group as we go along… You also have to get organised. The government is counting on the good faith of all the participants in this consultation.”

Mr. Béavogui concluded by asking participants to “send their contributions” by July 1. He did not set any new meeting dates.

Guinea is one of the West African countries that have recently experienced a military takeover of government. Mali and Burkina Faso are part of the negative trend. There has been pressure on the countries from the regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for transition into civil government.

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