US: Buhari, Obasanjo, Jonathan join world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden – Newstrends
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US: Buhari, Obasanjo, Jonathan join world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden

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  • Kamala Harris makes history  as first female vice president-elect in US
  • Trump vows to contest results in court Monday

President Muhammadu Buhari, former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan and many world leaders have rushed to congratulate Joe Biden on winning a nail-biting US presidential election, even as President Donald Trump who has refused to concede has vowed to challenge the results of the election in court from Monday November 09, 2020.

President Buhari in his message said Biden was elected as new President of the United States “at a time of uncertainty and challenges in world affairs.”

He, however, noted, “Your election is a significant reminder that democracy is the best form of government because it offers the people the opportunity to change their government by peaceful means.”

According to him, the most powerful people are not the politicians, but voters who can decide the fate of candidates for elective office at the polling booth, adding, “The main benefit of democracy is the freedom of choice and the supremacy of the will of the people.”

Obasanjo, in a congratulatory letter made available to The PUNCH by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, hailed Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, over their ‘victory’ in the US election and described the ‘feat’ achieved by the two Democrats as “victory of good over evil”.

The former Nigerian leader wrote, “It is the victory of good over evil and it is not a victory for you and the people of America alone, but a victory for most people of the world, majority of whom watch helplessly as the world that had been steadily and painstakingly built since the end of the Second World War was being pulled down.

“Not that the world was perfect and equitable, but it was reasonably predictable with some measure of the rule of law and respect for international agreements and treaties.

“President-elect Joe Biden must restore confidence in the role of America as the largest economy in the world which has very significant responsibility for the peace, security, stability and progress of the world.

“I felicitate with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris as the first female Vice-President of the U.S. We in Africa are proud of her success.”

Jonathan, in his message titled: ‘Goodwill message to United States President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’, appealed to the incoming government to partner with African nations to help the continent overcome the vicissitudes of the pandemic, by building on existing trade and expanding on new frontiers for cooperation.

He said, “I congratulate President-elect, Joe Biden, and Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, on their victory at the November 3, 2020 US Presidential election.

“Their election is not just historic, it is also futuristic in the sense that it gives us a glimpse of what the future will be-a world where race, gender and religion do not matter as much as competence and capacity.

“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and based on his tenure as Vice President of the United States of America, between 2008 and 2016, I am fully persuaded that as President, Mr Biden will provide national and global leadership that will set the post COVID19 world on a path of peace and prosperity.”

 

What other world leaders say

Amid a flurry of congratulatory messages there were some noticeable silences from among both Mr Trump’s closest global allies and Washington’s staunchest enemies. After the news was called by the US’s biggest television networks on Saturday afternoon, there were no initial official statements issued by Russia, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Hungary Saudi Arabia and China.

The first world leader to break the silence, however, was Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who made no mention of Mr Trump, with whom he had an often-troubled relationship.

Instead the Canadian leader said he would work with the United States to “advance peace and inclusion, economic prosperity, and climate action around the world” and congratulated both Mr Biden and  Kamala Harris, his running mate, who will become the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as vice president, the country’s No. 2 office.

Several major television networks finally declared Mr Biden’s win on Saturday after a gruelling five-day ballot count saw him push ahead in key swing states.

“I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect (Kamala) Harris,” Mr Biden said on Twitter.

Mr Trump, who has made repeated claims of electoral fraud and insists he has in fact won, accused Mr Biden of “rushing to falsely pose as the winner”.

“This election is far from over,” he said in a statement issued while he was playing golf in Virginia.

But this did not stop many leaders of western nations including those considered long-time allies of the U.S. celebrating Mr Biden’s win. Many had clashed with Mr Trump on security, trade, and numerous multilateral matters, including Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords. During Nato and G7 summits, Mr Trump has repeatedly insulted fellow leaders, hectored officials behind closed doors, and occasionally stormed out of meetings.

In quick succession, statements were released by France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and New Zealand.

“The Americans have chosen their President. Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris! We have a lot to do to overcome today’s challenges. Let’s work together!”  French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter. While Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, tweeted “Welcome back America!”

“Good that there’s finally a clear result,” wrote German foreign minister Heiko Maas, “We look forward to working with the next US administration.”

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also congratulated Mr Biden calling him a “true friend of Greece”.

Most of the world’s authoritarian or populist leaders who were considered Mr Trump’s ideological fellow travellers were, however, quiet about the impending fall of a man who had empowered and legitimised their brand of right-wing populism.

Turkey, which enjoyed exceptionally warm ties to the White House under Mr Trump, was among those who stayed mum.

Iranian officials — including the outspoken foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif – also issued no statement about Mr Biden’s victory which could mean a return to the nuclear deal negotiated by President Barack Obama while he served as vice president.

Instead Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei called the vote “a spectacle” and “the definitive political, civil & moral decline of the US regime” on Twitter.

Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s ambassador to Azerbaijan and former spokesman of the Foreign Ministry, on Twitter said “Joe Biden would possibly be just the same as his predecessors.”

In Russia, the Kremlin was also quiet.  In a sign of what might be to come, however Konstantin Kosachyov, Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs released a dismissive post on Facebook declaring Mr Biden’s victory premature as there was “clearly no official result yet”.

“There is no clear, unconditional and convincing winner. What has instead emerged victorious is schism, and mutually exclusive social views on the future of America,” he said.

Saudi Arabia which is close to the Trump administration have also yet to release a statement.

Ali Shihabi, a Saudi analyst who is on the advisory board of one of the mega-projects of the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, said the Gulf generally favoured a Trump win but added “we can live with it”.

“He was unreliable and that scared thoughtful people in the Gulf,” Shihabi added.

In Israel, there was noticeable silence from one of Mr Trump’s closest allies Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been criticised back home for getting too close to Mr Trump and the Republican Party at the detriment of the bipartisan relationship between the two countries. The banner photo of Mr Netanyahu’s official Twitter account remained a picture of himself with Mr Trump.

However Israeli opposition figures and the Palestinian leadership were quick to chime in. Yair Lapid, who had run against Mr Netanyahu across three extraordinary elections in Israel, described Mr Biden as a “friend” in a statement where he made a point of referencing both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Harris makes history as first female, Black, South Asian American VP-elect

Sen. Kamala Harris has solidified her place in history Saturday by becoming the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American elected vice president in U.S. history.

Harris’ political career has included many barrier-breaking moments, such as serving as California’s first Black female attorney general and being the second Black woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

Harris, 56, the only Black woman currently in the Senate, was elected in 2016 after serving as California’s attorney general and, before that, as the San Francisco district attorney.

Trump says election ‘far from over’ as he vows to fight results

President Donald Trump vowed Saturday to press forward with a legal fight, pushing unfounded claims of voter fraud in response to the news that President-elect Joe Biden had won the election.

Trump was at his Virginia golf club when NBC News and other networks projected Biden as the winner.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated,” Trump said. “The American People are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots.”

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Power tussle as Kano APC nullifies Ganduje’s suspension by his ward 

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Power tussle as Kano APC nullifies Ganduje’s suspension by his ward 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State has nullified the suspension of Abdullahi Ganduje, national chairman of the party, by the ward leadership of the party.

The APC executives in the Dawakin Ward under the Tofa Local Government Area of Kano earlier on Monday suspended Ganduje over allegations of corruption levelled against him.

Halliru Gwanzo, legal adviser of the ward, said the suspension would subsist until Ganduje, a former Kano governor, is cleared of the allegations.

But some hours later, the state working committee of the party upturned the suspension order.

Abdullahi Abbas, chairman of the APC in Kano, claimed the ward executives who suspended Ganduje were working with the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Abbas also announced the suspension of the ward executives for six months.

“We have evidence of meetings between the state government officials and those that suspended the national chairman, and the state working committee has agreed to sanction them for six months and they stand suspended,” the chairman told journalists.

Last week, a Kano High Court ruled that Ganduje should appear before it on April 17 on charges of bribery, diversion and misappropriation of public funds.

He will be arraigned alongside his wife and son.

In 2018, Daily Nigerian, an online newspaper, published a video of Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollars from contractors, which he stuffed into his “babanriga”, a traditional outfit.

The newspaper said Ganduje demanded $5 million as bribe from the contractors who recorded the video.

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BREAKING: Kano ward exco suspends APC national chairman, Ganduje

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National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje

BREAKING: Kano ward exco suspends APC national chairman, Ganduje

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, has been suspended by members of his ward, the Ganduje Ward in the Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of Kano State.

The Executive Council of Ganduje Ward led by Haruna Gwanjo disclosed this during a press briefing in Kano on Monday.

Gwanjo said that the former governor has to clear his name of corruption allegations regarding his long-standing dollar case.

A viral video had captured Ganduje allegedly receiving bundles of dollar notes as a bribe from a man said to be a contractor and stuffing them in the pockets of his flowing gown.

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The video, which garnered widespread attention in 2017, has been the subject of intense scrutiny.

Ganduje had denied the content of the video when it first surfaced and maintained his innocence but years after, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)’s administration of Governor Abba Yusuf revisited the case, vowing the prosecute the ex-governor.

The Kano High Court would arraign Ganduje on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 on charges bordering on allegations of bribery, diversion, and misappropriation of funds, including the purported acceptance of $413,000 and N1.38bn in bribes.

The Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Haruna Dederi, had said Ganduje would be arraigned alongside his wife and six others.

The Yusuf administration, which initiated the criminal suit against the eight respondents, had declared its readiness to present 15 witnesses to testify before Justice Usman Na’aba of State High Court.

BREAKING: Kano ward exco suspends APC national chairman, Ganduje

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Soldiers could have fired at Yoruba Nation agitators – Bode George

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Soldiers could have fired at Yoruba Nation agitators – Bode George

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bode George, has said the invasion of the Oyo State House of Assembly complex by the Yoruba Nation agitators is an act of treason.

Indeed, he said if soldiers were the first set of security operatives invited to quel thé situation, they could fire at them for taking up arms against the government.

George stated this on Monday during an interview on Arise Television.

He said what the agitators did amounted to taking up arms against the government.

He said, “You don’t just go and take up arms against your government, it’s treason. That they called Amotekun and the police is something; if it were people from my old profession, they would have seen them as enemies and fired at them.

“I was completely very angry because that is not the way you talk to your government. What could have driven them into that? My conclusion is that they might not be educated. You don’t take up arms against your nation.

“It’s unimaginable; you brought guns and charms. Were they dreaming? It’s unacceptable, it’s the highest breaking of the law of the land. You have your freedom of speech which is the most sensible way to approach this problem. The problem is that this thing never leaked to the intelligence of this nation.

“Agitators carried their weapons in military uniforms, and nobody stopped them on the road.

“You now see the urgent need for state police because they could not have been meeting somewhere if we are well organized like the state police.”

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