Tag Archives: Politics

South Africa’s elections is more of between ANC members than other parties

South Africans are about to vote in the most competitive election they’ve had since democracy began in 1994. But, despite this, the poll will have far more impact on the factional battle within the governing African National Congress (ANC) than on the contest between it and other parties for control of government.

The election follows a decline in the ANC vote from just under 70% in 2004 to around 54% in 2016’s local elections. This seemed to signal that the ANC was no longer guaranteed re-election nationally and in most provinces. There has been much talk of the ANC vote sinking below 50%, forcing it to seek coalition partners if it wants to govern.

In Gauteng, the country’s economic heartland, the ANC won only 46% in the 2016 municipal elections and was forced into opposition in two metropolitan areas – Tshwane and Johannesburg. This happened because the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a breakaway from the ANC which espouses a more militant brand of African nationalism, agreed to support the country’s second biggest party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), even though they differ on just about everything. This raised the possibility that a similar arrangement this time will mean the ANC will no longer govern in Gauteng or nationally.

So, is South Africa about to see its first election in which national power changes hands? No. The ANC is almost certain to remain in government in all the eight provinces it controls, including Gauteng. This will leave the Western Cape, which the DA holds and is likely to retain despite claims that it is in trouble, as the only province in which the ANC is not in government.

This prediction is not based on opinion polls which, in this election, have continued their tradition of doing more to confuse than inform. One poll has the ANC at 61%. Another says it is on the cusp of losing its majority . The DA’s projected vote veers just as wildly. The only constant is claims that the EFF will improve although this is not what is happening in municipal by-elections, where its support remains largely unchanged.

So, the polls tell us little and there is a good argument for ignoring them. But they do have one use. They largely agree on what won’t happen: the ANC won’t lose power.

Why the ANC is sitting pretty

Predicting that the ANC will remain in government outside the Western Cape is based on political common sense.

Talk of the ANC dropping below 50% often ignores the reality that, just about everywhere, the opposition is far behind it. The nearest an opposition party comes to challenging it outside the Western Cape is in Gauteng where the DA won 37% in 2016. Elsewhere, the nearest opposition party trails by 30 percentage points or more. The only way the ANC could be removed from government is by another deal between the DA and EFF.

But EFF leader Julius Malema has said that it will not make a deal with the DA and is more likely to look to a coalition with the ANC. What politicians say about coalitions cannot always be taken seriously and later Malema said the EFF would consider a coalition with the DA or ANC if they agreed to improve conditions in the townships where black poor people live.

But a DA-EFF coalition seems impossible, whatever Malema says now. For one thing their positions on land, a core EFF concern, are diametrically opposed. This does not matter in local government, which does not decide on land policy. It would matter hugely in national government and to a degree in the provinces.

If there is no DA-EFF deal, the only way the ANC can lose its hold on government anywhere is if either party wins a majority or at least enough to allow them to govern with small parties. But in Gauteng, no poll puts the DA above 38% – its numbers elsewhere are much weaker. In North West province, the ANC’s weakest outside Gauteng and Western Cape, the EFF is the second biggest party and it won only 16% in 2016. No poll has the EFF vote improving by more than eight percentage points.

ANC factions

Nationally and outside the Western Cape, then, two results are possible: the ANC wins a majority or is by far the biggest party and the only one able to form a coalition.

The reality which predictions of a change in government ignore -– the absence of another party which could defeat the ANC – means that, even if the ANC does as badly as one poll says it will, it will still be the party of government just about everywhere.

But, while the election will not change the government, it may change the balance between the two factions which compete for power within the ANC. One supports President Cyril Ramaphosa; the other backed former president Jacob Zuma.

The Zuma faction is still strongly represented in ANC decision-making forums. The battle between the two factions continues and the difference between them is often greater than that between the ANC and parts of the opposition. It is impossible to make sense of anything the ANC does without knowing which faction was behind it.

Ramaphosa was elected in 2017 because key ANC figures, most notably current deputy president David Mabuza, believed the ANC could not win this election if it was led by the Zuma faction. Ramaphosa’s credibility with some ANC power brokers depends, therefore, on showing that he can stem the ANC’s decline at the polls.

If the ANC improves on its 2016 vote, Ramaphosa will have presided over the first increase in its vote for 15 years. This will greatly improve his chances of winning re-election as ANC president at its next conference in 2022 because it will signal to ANC politicians that he can deliver more seats.

Because many South Africans are excluded from the benefits of the market, seats in municipal councils and legislatures are often the only ticket into the middle-class. So, an ANC gain in this election is certain to strengthen Ramaphosa now and in 2022 by showing that his leadership offers more opportunities to ANC politicians.

Even if it matches the last result or comes close, ANC power brokers could decide that Ramaphosa saved them from the opposition benches.

If the ANC drops to near 50%, whether Ramaphosa would be at risk of losing in 2022 would depend on whether ANC delegates could be persuaded to blame Zuma and his supporters. That is hardly assured. What is clear is that, the worse the ANC does, the better the Zuma group’s chances are of removing Ramaphosa at the national conference in 2022.

The two factions have very different approaches to governing and so the battle between them affects the country’s future. It is this battle, not that between the parties, which will be shaped by the election result.


This article was updated to reflect the correct date for when the ANC could remove Ramaphosa, if they chose to do so.

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Race still overshadow South African politics 25 years after end of apartheid

It would be surprising if race played no part in South African elections.

The country’s colonial and apartheid past ranked alongside the America’s Deep South as among the most racist social orders in the world. If religious polarisation is also considered, South Africa often compared with Northern Ireland and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The slogan “rainbow nation” seems to have retired along with Anglican archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu. Personal racist incidents still make the headlines and class remains hued by colour at the structural level. Although slightly over half of the country’s middle class is now black, deep poverty is an almost exclusively a black experience.

Race continues to divide. Take just the best-known parties among the four dozen contesting the country’s general election this month. They all represent radically different perspectives on the race issue. And – at the extremes – there is no crossing the colour line.

For example, almost no black Africans will vote for the minority Freedom Front Plus. Almost no whites will vote for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the third-largest party. Strident racial rhetoric from some EFF leaders. And its election manifesto envisages for massive tax rises, a proviso that’s alienated white voters. For its part, the Freedom Front Plus’s campaign to defend minorities against affirmative action and black economic empowerment doesn’t attract many black voters.

But, when moving towards the leading parties of the centre, the governing African National Congress (ANC), and the official opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), are making serious efforts to reign in racial rhetoric among their leaders and members. They also have manifestos that promote non-racialism.

Non-racialism

The ANC and DA documents and speeches have repeated their long-held goals of non-racialism. Both try to ensure that people of all colours are represented in their executive structures.

Recently, ANC veterans condemned a statement by their powerful secretary-general urging a vote against “whites” and for “blacks”. And the party’s election campaign, particularly in Gauteng and the Western Cape, chooses issues and rhetoric which include white voters.

The DA too has more than once disciplined leaders, or got members to resign, because of racial comments on twitter or elsewhere

At a deeper level, the DA is attempting a strategy so difficult that it has only been accomplished twice before in South Africa’s history. The party seeks to change from an overwhelmingly white party to a predominantly black party. The South African Communist Party achieved this during the 1920s. The Liberal Party followed a similar path during the 1960s.

Historically, the ANC’s Freedom Charter affirmed that

South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.

The ANC’s alliances from the 1950s included organisations centred on coloured – people of both European (white) and African (black) ancestry – , Indian, and white members. It incrementally opened its own membership to supporters of all colours before 1990.

At times, a few commentators have criticised the ANC as being dominated by either isiXhosa speakers or Nguni language speakers, but these complaints found little traction. The ANC’s membership embraced a nation-wide representivity among black Africans, and included activists from all of the race-based definitions entrenched during apartheid.

Strategically, the ANC is the only African nationalist party that has had to accommodate – in policy and rhetoric – a significant white minority.

More than nine-tenths of white settlers fled Algeria after independence in 1962; the same in Angola and Mozambique following independence in 1974. This also happened in Zimbabwe between the 1980s-1990s. White Algerians had the right to French citizenship; white Angolans and Mozambicans had the right to Portuguese citizenship. Over half White Zimbabweans had the right to either South African or British citizenship.

By contrast, the overwhelming majority of white South Africans have no rights to other citizenships.

The people

White South Africans are only make up 7,8% of the population. But they remain strategically important. They still own most capital and most companies. They constitute a significant proportion of management and in most of the professions.

The western powers, investors, and media remain sensitive to their concerns and anxieties.

Interestingly, statistics show that white living standards have risen higher than anyone else’s since 1994. That is not exactly the “genocide” proclaimed by the global alt-right.

There is a wide range of black views on colour and race relations. Some activists in the Rhodes-must-fall and Fees-must-fall movements expressed total alienation from whites and “whiteness”. Simultaneously, there are many interracial friendships and some interracial marriages.

Tensions bound to remain

The world’s oldest democracy, the US, and the world’s largest democracy, India, also have to grapple with the contradictions between nonracial or non-caste ideals in their constitutions, and affirmative action and preferential procurement laws and regulations.

In South Africa, the issue has the subject of a host of by a range of institutions in the country. These range from the Human Rights Commission, to the Equality Court and similar quasi-judicial entities, in addition to test cases decided by the Constitutional Court..

Given that the country has the world’s largest white minority living under black rule, colour line tensions will remain a fairly permanent feature of the country’s political landscape. The same can be said of the US, where the world’s largest black minority lives under white rule.

Algeria’s president Abdelaziz Bouteflika finally resigns after 20 years

Algerian protesters have vowed to continue their uprising after the president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, bowed to weeks of mass demonstrations and resigned, abruptly ending two decades in power.

The 82-year-old leader announced his resignation on Tuesday night in a brief message that said he had “notified the president of the constitutional council of his decision to end his mandate”.

His resignation triggered a 90-day caretaker presidency by the chairman of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, until elections are held. But Bensalah assuming the leadership is unlikely to satisfy protesters, and further demonstrations are expected on Friday.

“People don’t like him. The president of the senate won’t be accepted by the Algerian people,” said one protester, Zellag Lamine, in Algiers, adding: “I don’t feel good about how these elections will unfold.”

Algerians took to the streets of the capital on Tuesday night, waving flags and chanting in celebration at Bouteflika’s departure.

“This feels new. Personally, this will be the first new president I’ve experienced,” said Nourhane Atmani, a 20-year-old student from Algiers, who took part in the protests calling for Bouteflika’s overthrow. “I’m happy, I’m excited and I’m scared. But most importantly, I’m determined. This is just a first step. We’ll keep going until we have fair, transparent elections and a new government.”

The end of Bouteflika’s 20-year reign marked a new victory for popular protest in the region. But what will happen next is unclear in a country that has rarely seen political changes at the top since gaining independence from France in 1962.

Peaceful demonstrators had taken to the streets every Friday since 22 February, their numbers sometimes in the hundreds of thousands. In just under six weeks, they had forced Bouteflika to cancel his bid for a fifth term in office and relinquish power.

Pressure had also mounted on the leader from within his own regime, and the head of Algeria’s military, Ahmed Gaïd Salah, had called for Bouteflika’s immediate departure on Tuesday. “There is no more room to waste time … We decided clearly … to stand with the people so all their demands get fulfilled,” declared Salah.

Other powerful figures, including the former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia, had also joined the calls for Bouteflika to go.

Salah argued that a statement issued by Bouteflika’s office on Monday declaring he would step down before his mandate officially ended on 28 April was written by “unconstitutional and unauthorised parties”, pitting him against the opaque clique around Bouteflika, believed to be ruling in his place.

The departing president suffered a stroke in 2013 and has rarely been seen in public since. His brother Saïd was widely believed to have been running the country from behind the scenes, aided by a cabal of sympathisers known as Le Pouvoir.

But as the growing protests emboldened demonstrators, they began to demand more than just the overthrow of Bouteflika. “It’s very clear that the ambitions of the protesters have grown over the past weeks. While this is definitely a significant victory, it’s not going to be enough,” said Chloe Teevan, a Maghreb specialist at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Hamza Zait, a journalist and political scientist in Algiers, agreed that protesters would only be temporarily satisfied with Bouteflika’s departure.

“At the start people were just saying no to his fifth term, but then they demanded more,” he said. “There are people saying this is victory, but there are others saying it’s not sufficient. The system can’t change in a week, we need years for a real change.”

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Yasmine Bouchene of the collective Les Jeunes Engagés (Activist Youth). “The demands didn’t change. We want them all gone. People are in downtown Algiers, celebrating this miniature victory, while also chanting that it’s just the beginning.

How Nigeria 2019 election is an improvement to the previous elections

The close-run election contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar was largely peaceful. But it was not a perfect performance given that there were some pockets of violence that led to the death of at least 16 people. Olayinka Ajala gives his views on the poll.

How well did the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission’s manage the vote?

Although the election can’t be described as a perfect performance, it was a noticeable improvement on previous elections conducted since the country returned to democracy in 1999.

The commission understandably received a lot of stick for pushing back the election by a week. But it has acquitted itself well by resisting intimidation from the political parties to conduct a fairly credible election.

Although there were pockets of violence – in one incident in River State 16 people died – the process was peaceful in most of the states. There was delayed voting in some polling units but the commission was able to douse the tension by extending the voting hours in the affected areas.

Faulty voter card readers were a key source of complaints by several political parties during the 2015 elections. This time around, issues relating to malfunctioning of electronic card readers were promptly addressed by the electoral commission’s mobile team.

The postponement of the elections by a week also allowed the electoral commission to replace the card readers destroyed in arson attacks on three of its state offices.

The electoral commission’s work has been commended by a number of organisation’s. Two notable ones were the All Progressives Congress whose chairman Adams Oshiomhole commended it’s work as did the Centre for Transparency Advocacy.

Despite the challenges faced by the electoral commission in the run-up to the poll, the commission was able to conduct a credible election in a very challenging atmosphere.

What other factors affected the election?

One of the key threats prior to the elections was insecurity in the already volatile regions of the country as well as in several electoral hotspots. Frequent attacks by Boko Haram and a cycle of clashes between farmers and herdsmen north of the country had created apprehensions before the elections.

True to these fears, there were multiple blasts and gun shots around the North-Eastern region of the country on the morning of the elections. Boko Haram factions fired rockets in Borno State capital Maiduguri to dissuade residents from participating in the elections. The military, however, was able to take charge of the situation and allow the residents to vote in the elections.

Although the Boko Haram ambush was quickly foiled, there were pockets of violence around the country that could affect on the outcome of the elections. This is especially at the national assembly levels in the regions affected.

In a repeat of the 2015 elections, Rivers State – which is the largest oil producing state – experienced the highest number of election related fatalities. This resulted in the cancellation of some local government elections.

At least six people were killed in Rivers State including an army officer in clashes between political party hirelings and security operatives. Rivers State is considered a major hotspot in the country during elections not only because of its position as the largest oil producing state but also because it is home to several militant groups agitating for the control of oil resources in the Niger Delta region.

There were also clashes in areas that include Lagos, Ibadan and Bayelsa.

Although these pockets of violence would affect the regions where the violence took place, it’s unlikely to affect the overall outcome of the elections as electoral commission insisted it would cancel elections where there are outbreaks of violence. Elections in the affected areas in Rivers have already been cancelled.

Can the elections be described as free and fair?

To a large extent the conduct of the elections can be described as free and fair. The electoral commission, security forces and most candidates have conducted themselves reasonably well.

As for the electorate, there is evidence that Nigerians were more willing to play their part. The electorate monitored political parties very closely, an indication in my view that democracy in Nigeria is maturing

It also seems that people were prepared to take action (sometimes by taking the law in their hands) to ensure that there wasn’t any interference in the election process. For example, in Lagos irate voters attacked and killed a one member of a vigilante group who attempted to destroy ballot papers. Although the police force has warned the electorates from engaging in “jungle justice” the willingness of voters to confront political thugs is a new development in Nigeria’s democracy.


SPURCE: The Conversation

Obasanjo vs Tinubu: 2019 is beyond Buhari and Atiku

By Mike Ikenwa

Many are expecting the 2019 general election to be, if not for anything else, the most closely contested presidential election in the history of Nigeria, but no, this is beyond Atiku Abubakar, the former Nigerian vice president, and President Muhammadu Buhari, a former Nigerian military general who defeated former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 General Elections to emerge as Nigerian president.

Just like President Buhari Mr. Atiku has contested in three elections to become Nigeria president but failed, and this time, winning the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential ticket to emerge as the 2019 presidential election candidate is what seems to be his final push to Aso Rock, while President Buhari is gunning for his second term.

So many things are going to decide the outcome of the presidential elections, and yes, who is behind who is going to play a big role.

Prior to the 2015 PDP primaries which saw Atiku emerge as the flag bearer, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has criticized Atiku, who was his vice as president, calling him a corrupt politician and a ‘thief’, but what has changed, why has he changed his mind to support Atiku? This is where the politics comes in, and it’s bigger than Atiku and Buhari, it’s the issue of who should be the boss of Nigerian politics.

On the side of the President Muhammadu Buhari is Former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, a key player in the 2015 politics that saw the dethroning of a seating President and emergence of President Buhari as Nigeria’s president. Many have given Tinubu credit for the emergence of Buhari as president, but that’s not enough for Tinubu, who from all indications was not very satisfied with how he was treated by the president after the elections. The re-election of President Buhari as president will not just seal Tinubu’s place as a key figure when it comes to Nigerian politics, but will further make him the man to decide who wins and who loses Nigeria’s elections.

Tinubu has been accused of dominating South West politics and ruling the region by proxy, as seen in emergence of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode as Lagos state governor and emergence of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as 2019 governorship candidate of the APC in the state.

By staying back to support President Muhammadu Buhari to continue for another four years after such poor performance and run of government widely accused of corruption, tribalism and so much clamp down and destruction of the country’s democracy, it’s obvious that Tinubu want to expand his coast to other parts of Nigeria to become a leading political figure who no politician gunning for national post will neglect.

On the other hand, Obasanjo has a lot to lose if he continues to support president Buhari. After the 2015 presidential elections, one would expect Obasanjo to take credit for his support to APC and Buhari after he went to the extent of destroying his PDP membership card publicly and declaring his resignation from the party, but no, who want to talk about that? Not while Tinubu, who didn’t just form the coalition that brought Buhari in, but also put resources and man power to ensure Buhari’s victory is still alive.

Obasanjo being a smart Politian knows very well that continue support for re-election of Buhari would see him walking in Tinubu’s shadows and would quicken his death as a key political figure in Nigeria, going further to make him lose his place as one of the men that decides the outcome of elections in Nigeria, hence he declared support for his former number two and someone that did everything possible to make sure he doesn’t go for second term.

Let’s look at it this way. If Buhari wins, it’s the end of Obasanjo’s reign, and it’d go to the length of losing his respect and fame in Nigerian politics. Like they say, politics is a game of number, and a game of who commands who and who has the most loyal followership and support. Buhari’s victory will destroy Obasanjo’s fame and popularity and would install Buhari’s man, Tinubu as the next big thing in Nigeria politics, the man who decides not just what happens in the West of the country, but as far as what goes in and out when it comes to the national politics and its key players.

What if Atiku wins, that’s the biggest play for Obasanjo, and the death of Tinubu’s dream of expanding his territory to the national level. Buhari’s failure to win the presidential elections will force Tinubu to remain as the king of the West who doesn’t have much to say when it comes to the national level, and would even go to the extent of shrinking his popularity in the west, most especially Lagos state where he seem to be the hand that enthrones and dethrones whoever he wants at any given time – the end of a big dream.

Mike Ikenwa is a Nigerian digital media strategist, writer, Digital publisher and currently the host of The stream on Bloomgist Podcast. He is a contributor to Chichi-Nwa Africa and a former contributor to Afrivibes.

Federal government may shutdown internet: here are ways to still stay online

For digital rights activists, an important milestone came in 2016 with the adoption of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on promoting and protecting the freedom of users online. Yet, 51 intentional disruptions of the internet and electronic communications took place in the first 10 months of 2016 in countries across the world. For Africans, 2016 shaped up to be “the year of internet shutdowns,” as at least 11 governments interfered with the internet during elections or protests.

In 2017, the threat of internet blackouts, besides surveillance and monitoring of online activities, still looms large. Deji Olukotun, the senior global advocacy manager with Access Now says that there are significant challenges facing internet freedom. These include, he says, “the increasing sophistication of internet shutdowns to target smaller groups of people and locations” besides the deployment of technologies “that don’t truly provide new users with access to the full, open internet.”

Governments usually direct telecommunication companies to block certain websites or completely shut down the telephone and internet network. The next time that happens, here are a few things you can do to avoid the blackouts.

Ahead of the 2019 presidential elections, The Federal Government may be planning to shutdown the internet for 24 hours. Here are ways you can still remain online.

1. Learn which circumvention tools or proxies to use

There are numerous circumvention tools that can be used to evade censorship and to access the internet anonymously. These include Psiphon, an open source web proxy that helps users skirt content-filtering systems. There is also Tor, which essentially prevents people from tracing your location or spying on your browsing habits. Tor is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

The Guardian Project also has a number of apps like Orbot that can help you browse the internet anonymously, send messages and encrypt your internet traffic. Tails is an operating system that enables you to start on any computer, allowing you to bypass censorship, and uses cryptographic tools to encrypt files and email messages.

Lantern uses peer-to-peer networks to get people in uncensored areas to share their Internet connection and servers with those without the same unfiltered level of access. Peer networking is also used with FireChat, an off-the-grid messaging app that allowed users to chat using Bluetooth or wireless during blackouts in Iraq, Iran, and Hong Kong.

But beware: governments can sometimes use sophisticated technology to block these same sites or introduce jail terms for using them. A 2016 Amnesty International report showed that the Ethiopian government blocked both Tor and Psiphon during anti-government protests there last year.

2. Ensure the safety of your VPN

Many people use virtual private networks, or VPNs, to get secure access to a remote computer over the internet. For instance, VPNs constituted the top 12 apps downloaded during Uganda’s elections last February. VPNs can, however, differ from region to region, and it is important to know the safety and security of each specific networks before use. Access Now recommends That One Privacy Site as a source that compares different virtual networks.

Amama Mbabazi, a presidential candidate in Uganda’s 2016 elections referred his followers to the Tunnelbear VPN.

3. Remember to protect yourself

Trying to circumvent an official shutdown to get online is weighty task—but it all starts with the simple stuff. For instance, ensure that all the sites you are using are delivered over HTTPS. This allows you to access the original site and not an altered version of it. Quartz recently switched to HTTPS to make it secure for readers to browse our journalism. You can install the HTTPS Everywhere extension in your browser courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project.

Another important thing to have is anti-virus software, so as to detect and remove malicious software from your laptop. “Something as simple and as basic as having an anti-virus is a key thing. People don’t know much about this,” Ephraim Muchemi, who conducts training in digital security with the US-based non-profit International Research and Exchange Board.

4. Seek help from the experts

For journalists and writers who are engaged in reporting sensitive information, it is important to know where to seek help before blackouts. Access Now, for example, runs a 24-Hour Digital Security Helpline, which can advise users even during emergencies. Reading their Digital Security Booklet can be a key place to start.


This story was first published in Quartz Africa. All rights reserved.

Revealed: Why Lagos lawmakers want to impeach Ambode

By Barrister Bolanle Cole/By Akinola Richard.

Late last night, l spoke with someone close to Ambode on what was going on and he told me that the main veiled allegation was that Ambode was funding Agbaje, though this was not mentioned on d floor of the House, yesterday. He described the allegation as ludicrous, his accusers having previously failed to establish that he sponsored thugs to disrupt the party rally weaks ago.

Akinwunmi Ambode
Akinwunmi Ambode

He wondered if it was possible for Ambode to fund the opposition without Abuja knowing, when he knew that all eyes were on him and was being closely monitored. He stated that Ambode had substantially supported the Sanwo -Olu campaign.

“All these campaign publicity materials all over Lagos, where do you think they are coming from? Do you know that there are hundreds of campaign staff working for Sanwo-olu and they are being paid? Who do you think is picking the bills? The Governor of course.
The problem is that some party leaders, claiming to be acting for the Sanwo-olu campaign council, are asking for the Governor to give them N3.5 billion for the campaign but the governor refused.

Don’t forget he is an accountant. He deals directly with the party’s governorship candidate. Coupled with this is the crazy campaign financial demands of members of the House of Assembly. They want the governor to finance their campaign, making unreasonable demands, telling the governor that that was the tradition. But Ambode refused.

This is one of the reason they first refused to allow him present the 2019 budget until he settled their campaign expenses. When that blackmail did not work, they started their last night’s impeachment moves, accusing the governor of spending money without House’s authorization.

It’s just a smokescreen. That is the truth. If there is anyone working for the opposition, they are members of the House, otherwise why this move barely two weeks to the presidential election? Is it not to sabotage the president’s election?

They would be shocked that everyone would go down in this exercise, including them. Orun nyabo kii soro enikan (meaning, if the heaven falls, it falls on everybody, not on one person).

Lagos lawmakers move to impeach Gov. Akinwunmi ambode

The Lagos State House of Assembly has given Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, the opportunity to defend the allegations of illegal expenditure regarding the 2019 appropriation bill, before the house decides on the proposed impeachment moves against him.

Right Honourable Mudashiru Obasa stated this during the plenary session held on Monday.

“Within a week, we can come back here and do whatever we want to do regarding those who are clamouring or who have asked for impeachment. And if by the end of the day, there is need to consider whatever response from them, then we can as well move forward,” Obasa said.

The lawmakers are alleging that Ambode has started incurring expenditure on the 2019 budget, which has not yet been presented to the house.

In his remarks on the matter, Obasa said: “There have been violations of the constitutional procedure regarding the budget. You know the consequences of this offence. I must also agree with you that the Attorney General, the Finance Commissioner, who are in the better position to inform the Governor adequately or advise in such manner to have saved him from all these.”

He noted that the budget should have been presented last Monday, but wasn’t, noting that it was out of place for expenses to be incurred on a budget that had not been presented.

“Amidst all that has been said in the media, I would use this medium to clarify this: Lagos State House of Assembly cannot sit and scrutinize a budget which is already incurring expenditure,” Obasa added.

According to the House, a committee was set up and it was discovered that the 2019 budget is already being implemented by the Executive without being laid on the floor of the House. The Committee also noted in its findings that for the 2018 budget, the third quarter had not performed beyond 50 per cent.

The Speaker, however, urged the lawmakers to allow the executive arm of government led by the Governor to defend the “infractions”, before they take action on the matter.

The House has adjourned its sitting till February 4, 2019.

VIDEO: Kabila leaves DR Congo’s state house

A journalist in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, has shared a video of former President Joseph Kabila leaving the official residence of the president.

The new resident of state house – Félix Tshisekedi – was sworn-in on Thursday and in the video below bids farewell to Mr Kabila, who then drives himself away: