Connect with us

News

Tinubu returns to Nigeria after three-month UK medical trip

Published

on

The National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, returned to Nigeria on Friday after about three-month medical trip to the United Kingdom, where he underwent a knee surgery.

The former Lagos State governor arrived in Lagos barely 24 hours after the incumbent Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, inaugurated the South-West Agenda 2023 (SWAGA ‘23), a group rooting for Tinubu as the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 election.

Though Tinubu had yet to declare his intention to contest any office in 2023, there have been rumours and veiled indications that he might be interested in the exalted seat.

Members of the House of Representatives from the North who endorsed Tinubu’s candidacy when they visited him in the UK recently also lent credence to his purported interest.

While he was in London, he was visited by a number of politicians, including the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).

Others who visited Tinubu  included a former governor of Ogun State and incumbent Senator representing Ogun Central, Ibikunle Amosun; former governor of Borno State and Senator representing Borno Central, Kashim Shettima; and member representing Gubio, Kaga and Magumeri Federal Constituency of Borno State, Usman Zanna.

Also on the list are Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat; Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Tayo Ayinde; Deputy Chief of Staff to Lagos State Governor, Gboyega Soyannwo; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Education, Tokunbo Wahab; and a former APC National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire.

It was learnt that Tinubu arrived in Lagos on Friday evening unannounced, two days earlier than his reported plan to return to the country.

A statement from the Tinubu Media Office on Friday, titled, ‘Asiwaju is back’, said the ex-governor underwent surgery on his right knee as well as rigorous post-surgery physiotherapy, adding that he was now fully healed.

The statement read in part, “Contrary to unfounded rumour, he underwent no other surgical procedures and contemplates none in the future. His recuperation has been without complication and ahead of the schedule by the attending surgeon.

“He has returned fully healed from the knee surgery and fully committed to doing his modest part of advancing the cause of progressive democratic good governance throughout our beloved nation.

“Asiwaju, first and foremost, would like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the time to visit him in London to express his wishes for a speedy recovery from the knee operation.

“He is also not forgetting others who would have loved to visit him but couldn’t make it and his numerous friends, associates, supporters and well-wishers who have been with him in prayers and supplications to Allah.”

Meanwhile, SWAGA 23 has said Tinubu already has 12 million votes in the bag ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

The chairman of the pro-Tinubu group, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, made this known on Friday as a guest on Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ programme monitored by The PUNCH.

Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works and Housing, boasted that just like Buhari who raked in 12 million votes from the North before the 2015 elections, Tinubu also had at least 12 million votes from the South-West.

He said traditional rulers in the South-West were also in support of Tinubu’s 2023 presidential bid.

The SWAGA chairman, however, said his group was not launched by Tinubu but they were prodding the ex-Lagos governor to run for Presidency in 2023.

Adeyeye said, “When this movement started, we wanted our candidate who some people, particularly in Abuja and some circles, have been saying has no home base; he is no longer popular and all that. We wanted to prove to them that the man is very acceptable, not only in his home base but throughout the country.

“We want everybody in the South-West to rally around this man and support him and so far we have been very successful.

“We have moved round the palaces to see most of our top traditional rulers who have endorsed him.

“Charity begins at home; we wanted to solidify the home base. Once the home base is solidified, I believe other Nigerians, particular in our party, will feel more comfortable to field this candidate, knowing that he can win the election for them.”

Speaking on the chances of Tinubu in the 2023 elections, the APC chieftain said, “Don’t forget that one of the selling points for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 was that he already had 12 million votes in his pocket (in previous elections) particularly in the North-West and North-East. So, it was easy with support from a few other places for him to win the presidency.

“We are also saying that come 2023, the man we are projecting already has at least 12 to 13 million votes in his pocket and so it will be easy.”

Asked how sure he was about his statistics, Adeyeye said, “I am giving it (figure) based on what I have seen on the ground, having to transverse the length and breadth of the South-West and having seen people from political parties saying that when it comes to the issue of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, they will shed their partisan toga and embrace him and vote for him. I have seen that in the palaces of the Obas, amongst artisans and market women.

“When it comes to the issue of the Presidency in 2023, all of these people in unison, they will shed every difference and vote for this man.

“The votes in the South-West are more than 20 million votes. I am only saying 12 to 13 million votes are already assured and I say it with all sense of responsibility without fear of contradiction that those 12 to 13 votes are already in the bag.”

Punch

News

Seven killed, 140 injured in Sudan coup protest

Published

on

Seven people have reportedly died and about 140 others wounded after soldiers opened fire on crowds opposing a military takeover in Sudan.

Many people took to the streets after the armed forces dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders and called a state of emergency on Monday.

Troops are reported to have been going house to house in the capital Khartoum arresting local protest organisers.

The coup has been condemned around the world, and the US halted $700m in aid.

The leader of the coup, Gen Abdel Fattah Burhan, blamed political infighting for the military action.

Civilian leaders and their military counterparts have been at odds since long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown two years ago.

As night fell on Monday, large numbers of protesters were on the streets of Khartoum – and other cities – demanding the return of civilian rule, BBC Arabic’s Mohamed Osman reports from the capital.

One wounded protestor told reporters he was shot in the leg by the army outside the military headquarters, while another man described the military firing first stun grenades, then live ammunition.

“Two people died, I saw them with my own eyes,” said Al-Tayeb Mohamed Ahmed. Sudan’s doctor’s union and the information ministry also wrote on Facebook that the fatal shootings had happened outside the military compound.

Our correspondent says that despite the violence, the protests show few signs of easing.

Demonstrators have blocked roads with piles of bricks and burning tyres. Many women are also taking part, shouting “no to military rule”.

The city’s airport is closed and international flights are suspended. The internet and most phone lines are also down.

Central Bank staff have reportedly gone on strike and across the country, doctors are said to be refusing to work in military run hospitals except in emergencies.

BBC

Continue Reading

News

Sudan military declares state of emergency after coup, shuts down internet

Published

on

Sudan’s military leader has declared a state of emergency across the country and dissolved its transitional cabinet, which is seen as a huge blow to the country’s already fragile transition to democracy.

Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan made a televised announcement on Monday as thousands of pro-democracy protesters flooded the streets of the capital Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, after soldiers arrested several government officials.

Among those detained on Monday is Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. He was moved to an undisclosed location after refusing to issue a statement in support of the coup, said the information ministry, still apparently under the control of Hamdok’s supporters.

The military also raided the television and radio headquarters and shut down the internet. The capital’s airport has been also closed, together with some of the city’s roads and bridges.

At least 12 people have been wounded so far in the protests that have been called by the pro-democracy coalition born out of the uprising which put an end to the 30-year long rule of Omar al-Bashir.

In his announcement, Burhan said that the military will continue the process towards democracy, but dissolved the sovereign council, a joint military and civilian body created to run the country since al-Bashir’s removal.

“We have started our path towards the state of freedom and peace but some political powers are still trying to maintain everything in their hands, without giving attention to political, economic and social threats,” he said.

Al-Burhan said the military will appoint a technocratic government to lead the country to elections, set for July 2023.

But he made clear the military will remain in charge.

“The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country’s leadership to a civilian, elected government,” al-Burhan said.

The move came just before the military was supposed to hand leadership of the country’s joint military-civilian administration to civilians next month.

The information ministry called his speech an “announcement of a seizure of power by military coup”.

Tensions have been rising for weeks between Sudan’s civilian and military leadership over Sudan’s course and the pace of the transition to democracy.

Continue Reading

News

Sudan: UN condemns military takeover, PM detention

Published

on

The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres has condemned the military coup in Sudan, and called for the release of the prime minister and other officials.

He said this in a tweet Monday

In a military takeover on Monday morning, Sudan’s armed forces dissolved a governing council that included civilians and detained the prime minister and other civilian officials, endangering the country’s transition to democracy.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, his wife and members of Sudan’s cabinet were detained and taken to an undisclosed location.
In a security alert posted Monday, the US Embassy said it “has received reports that armed forces are blocking certain areas in and around Khartoum” and “internet in Khartoum is non-functional.”

Guterres said the UN would “continue to stand” with the people of the country.

“I condemn the ongoing military coup in Sudan. Prime Minister Hamdok & all other officials must be released immediately. There must be full respect for the constitutional charter to protect the hard-won political transition. The UN will continue to stand with the people of Sudan.”
An aide and office director of Sudan’s now-arrested Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok told CNN that the premier was aware of army plans and was under pressure to dissolve the government.

The adviser, Adam al-Hireika, said that he visited Hamdok on Sunday evening where he discussed the current state-of-affairs.

Hamdok had just met with army chief Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who declared the coup on state-TV on Monday.

“I say he was cautiously optimistic that there was an opening for agreement, but I think the military side wanted him to dissolve the government and he insisted on not unless there is a process and there is an agreement between political parties,” he told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
“This morning, when I heard about what happened I went to the PM’s residence, he is my boss and friend. I went to his residence unfortunately he wasn’t there. His wife and him were taken to an unknown destination by soldiers,” he added.

Burhan said in a statement that power-shared council and government were dissolved and declared a state of emergency after a balanced power-sharing agreement with the civilian component “became a conflict” over the past two years, “threatening peace and unity” in Sudan.

“What, General Burhan mentions in his address, actually what most of a lot of it was agreed between the two parties, but as the PM stood very strongly against dissolving the government without a process. I think that was the biggest issue of contention,” Hireika said.
Hireika warned of a civil war in Sudan if there was a return to military rule. “
“Well, I think the bigger picture, a return to military rule will mean more civil war in Sudan and instability in the region as a result,” he added.
Amnesty International calls on Sudan authorities “to respect human rights” following military takeover
From CNN’s Mohammed Tawfeeq
Amnesty International has urged the authorities in Sudan “to respect human rights” following the arrest of the country’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials in an apparent coup.
“We are concerned by the escalating tensions in Sudan following the reported arrest of the Prime Minister and other civilian leaders and the imposition of an internet shutdown,” Amnesty International said in a post to Twitter on Monday.
Amnesty International “calls on the authorities in Sudan to respect human rights—including the right to life, right to freedom of association, expression and assembly, both offline and on the internet. The right to peaceful protest must be respected, now more than ever.”
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s armed forces, dissolved the power-sharing Sovereign Council and transitional government, saying in a televised statement that an “independent and fair representative government” would assume power until one is elected in 2023. Burhan also announced a state of emergency across Sudan.
Several articles of the constitution were suspended and state governors were removed, Burhan said.
Those arrested by “joint military forces” include various civilian ministers of Sudan’s transitional government and members of Sudan’s sovereign council, the Information Ministry said. CNN could not independently verify the Information Ministry’s claims, however family members said the Minister of Information was one of several senior officials detained.
Protesters who opposed the coup have taken to the streets in the capital Khartoum and have faced gunfire near the military’s headquarters, according to the information ministry.

Continue Reading

Trending