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News Update?Crisis-hit Iraq makes latest bid to elect president

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Lawmakers in crisis-hit Iraq meet Thursday for their fourth attempt this year to elect a state president and break a year-long gridlock marred by deadly violence that has deepened economic woes.

Oil-rich Iraq has yet to form a new government after general elections more than a year ago that were brought forward by a wave of mass protests against endemic corruption, rampant unemployment and decaying infrastructure.

This week, the United Nations mission said that “the protracted crisis is breeding further instability” in the war-scarred country, warning of “divisive politics, generating bitter public disillusion”.

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Parliament is due to convene from 11:00 am (0800 GMT) in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the capital’s fortified government and diplomatic district that was recently the site of large protest camps set up by rival factions.

Lawmakers in the past three failed attempts to elect a new head of state, in February and March, did not even reach the required two-thirds threshold — 220 out of 329 — for a quorum.

Democratic institutions built since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein remain fragile, and neighbouring Iran wields major influence.

For the past year, Iraq has not only been without a new government but also without a state budget, locking up billions in oil revenues and obstructing much-needed reforms and infrastructure projects.

– 30 candidates, three front runners –

Iraq’s rival Shiite Muslim political factions have been vying for influence and the right to select a new premier and form a government, with Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi left in charge in a caretaker capacity.

On one hand is the fiery cleric Moqtada Sadr, who wants parliament dissolved and new elections.

On the other sits the Coordination Framework, an alliance of pro-Iran Shiite factions — including former paramilitaries — that wants a new government before fresh elections are held.

The standoff has seen both sides set up protest camps, and at times has sparked deadly street clashes in Baghdad.

Tensions boiled over on August 29 when more than 30 Sadr supporters were killed in battles between Iran-backed factions and the army.

The largely honorific post of Iraqi president is traditionally reserved for a Kurd.

It generally goes to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), while the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) keeps control over the affairs of autonomous Kurdistan in northern Iraq.

However, the KDP is also eyeing the presidency and could present its own candidate.

“It is still not clear that the Kurdish parties have come to an agreement on a president,” said Hamzeh Hadad, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank.

Among the 30 candidates, top contenders include the incumbent, President Barham Saleh of the PUK, aged 61, and current Kurdistan Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed of the KDP, aged 54.

Abdel Latif Rashid, aged 78, a former water resources minister and ex-PUK leader running as an independent, has been suggested as a potential consensus candidate.

But the race remains open.

“Any president, that is not the strongest candidate of either the two main Kurdish parties will struggle to make a mark in Baghdad,” said analyst Lahib Higel from the International Crisis Group.

– Next step, new PM –

Once elected, the president will appoint a prime minister -– chosen by the largest coalition in parliament –- who will then begin arduous negotiations to choose their cabinet.

“What is expected is that whoever is chosen, will designate a prime minister right away to form a government,” said Hadad.

Key runners for prime minister are the Coordination Framework’s candidate, former minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, 52.

Hadad believes Sudani is the most likely to be premier but noted that “anything can change in Iraqi politics till the last minute”.

The pro-Iran Coordination Framework draws together the Fatah alliance and lawmakers from the party of Sadr’s longtime foe, former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki.

When Sudani was proposed in July, it sparked mass protests that outraged Sadr supporters, who breached the Green Zone and stormed parliament.

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News Update?Osun Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Sitting Begins October 26

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Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal will on October 26 begin a full hearing of the petition filed by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the declaration of Senator Ademola Adeleke as governor-elect.

Lifestyle Nigeria reports that the tribunal made this pronouncement after concluding the pre-hearing session on Thursday.

The tribunal was asked to dismiss the applications of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking the discontinuation of the petition brought to it by Governor Oyetola.

Counsel for Oyetola and the APC, Lasun Sanusi, SAN, at the sitting of the tribunal argued that Adeleke’s, PDP’s and INEC’s reliance on a Federal Court High judgment was nothing but an abuse of court process.

Sanusi argued this while replying to separate applications of the trio, seeking the dismissal of the petition based on the already appealed Federal High Court judgment disqualifying Oyetola from contesting the election.

Citing Supreme Court decisions in the case of Jegede Vs INEC, 2021, 14NWLR, Pt 1797, page 409, the counsel said the court had ruled that the signatories to the letter conveying the nomination of a candidate were not the nominators; rather, the nomination was done by party members at the congress, hence, the judgment could not stand.

Meanwhile, the counsel for INEC, Prof. Paul Ananaba, SAN; counsel for Adeleke, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN and counsel for the PDP, Dr. Alex Izinyon, SAN, agreed that any decision the tribunal would take on the matter would have to wait until the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court decided on it.

They noted that they just decided to argue the applications to have it on record, a position which the tribunal agreed with and put on record.

Also, in other applications totalling nine by the three respondents, they asked the tribunal to strike out some paragraphs of the petition on the grounds that they were either lumped together or not related to the 2022 election.

In response to each of the applications, Sanusi said all the cases cited by the respondents were misconceived, adding that they were not applicable in the instance case.

He cited the case of INEC Vs Otti, 2016, 8NWLR, where the Supreme Court hinted that INEC was supposed to be neutral, arguing that all the processes filed before the panel have not portrayed the commission’s neutrality.

Sanusi further argued that the applications filed by the respondents were only meant to prevent the tribunal from focusing on hearing the petition on merit, asking the panel to dismiss the applications.

Subsequently, counsel for all parties in the matter agreed to begin the full hearing starting with the calling of witnesses on October 26.

In his ruling, the tribunal declared the pre-hearing session concluded and announced that the pre-hearing conference report would be presented on October 17.

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Politics?Why Nigerian Author, Chimamanda Adichie Rejected National Honour From President Buhari – Aide

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Lifestyle Nigeria gathered that award-winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was recently decorated with Harvard University’s iconic W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, has broken her silence over her non-appearance at Tuesday’s conferment of national honours by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Putting the records straight, a member of Chimamanda’s communications team, Omawumi Ogbe, told newsmen that the author declined the honour.

Ogbe said in a statement: “Following the recent conferment of national awards by the President, there have been conflicting reports about one of the announced recipients, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Some social media users say the award-winning writer rejected the award, while others say she accepted it.

“The author did not accept the award and, as such, did not attend the ceremony. She, however, did not want to create undue publicity around it, so her non-acceptance was conveyed privately,” Ogbe said.

While conferring the award on 450 Nigerians and foreigners, President Buhari had justified the honours, saying the awardees had distinguished themselves in the service of the nation and humanity.

“We have among the recipients today, Amb. Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who are doing our country proud on the international scene,” Buhari said. “Our dear sisters are a source of inspiration to our young women that through the dint of hard work and dedication, they can achieve greatness.”

This is not the first time an honouree will turn down a national honour from a Nigerian president.

Late Prof. Chinua Achebe, the world-acclaimed Nigerian literary giant and author of Things Fall Apart, rejected the national honours award in 2004 and 2011, leading to an uproar at that time.

Achebe said he rejected the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) award because he was dissatisfied with the handling of the country’s affairs by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration. In 2011, Achebe rejected the same award from the Goodluck Jonathan administration, saying the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made in 2004 had not been addressed.

Also, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, foremost human rights activist and lawyer, also rejected the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) conferred on him in 2008 by the Umaru Yar’Adua administration.

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Politics?Buhari approves 12,000 metric tons of grains for flood victims

Latest Politics updatein nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 12,000 metric tons of grains for victims of flood across the country. Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the 2022 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction. DSS DG’s son body shames Teni for ‘disrespecting’ Buhari Buhari seeks collective action against threats […]
The post Buhari approves 12,000 metric tons of grains for flood victims appeared first on Daily Trust.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 12,000 metric tons of grains for victims of flood across the country.

Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during the 2022 International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

DSS DG’s son body shames Teni for ‘disrespecting’ Buhari

Buhari seeks collective action against threats in the Gulf of Guinea

He said NEMA was also sending out relief materials.

He said though the flood in Lokoja, Kogi State, was affecting the transportation of the materials, security agencies had been alerted to ensure the materials were successfully conveyed.

Ahmed said the heavy impact of the flood disaster across the country this year was because communities ignored early warnings.

He said the Federal Government alerted states and local government areas about the dangers ahead of the flood and used risk mapping to identify vulnerable areas that would be affected, but the warnings were not heeded to.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouk, represented by Director, Humanitarian Department, Ali Grema, said the scale of devastation caused by this year’s floods could only be compared to the 2012’s. 

“More than 500 lives have been lost, more than 1.4m persons affected, about 90,000 homes both partially or completely destroyed and still counting. 

“And also destroyed are thousands of hectares of farmland; thus worsening fears of a disruption of food supply in Africa’s most populous country These widespread cases are in 27 out of 36 States and the FCT.”

She urged communities to take climate predictions and flood outlooks warnings seriously, noting that all disasters as local.

“As we reflect on the present flood situation in nigeria, let’s consider the focus of the 2022 IDDRR. Did we not have enough warnings or was our predictions and flood outlook wrong? Did we not act enough to prevent or mitigate what we’re confronted with today? While we shall not apportion blames, we need to acknowledge the fact that we all had enough warning and our advocacy was timely. We can’t outright eliminate flood but we can keep people safe. That responsibility is collectively ours.”

She recalled that in September, the Federal Executive Council had approved the National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan developed by an inter-ministerial committee.

 

The post Buhari approves 12,000 metric tons of grains for flood victims appeared first on Daily Trust.

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