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BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump Finally Concedes Defeat, Appeals For Peace, Reconciliation|The Republican News

Donald Trump’s concession speech

By Ike A. Offor

President Donald Trump has finally conceded and announced to cooperate with the transition of power to the President-elect, Joseph Robin Biden. Trump in his live broadcast called for peace and reconciliation though he still maintained that he was calling for protection of democracy. He wants the election processes to sanitise eligibility of voters, via checking the process of voting, those who are allowed to vote.

Trump has since the election maintained that he will not concede because he believed he won the election by a landslide, something that is clear is only in his own head and not reflected in any facts and figures from the election so far.

The link below leads to the live broadcast by President Trump during his concession speech where he called for peace and reconciliation. Many now want him to pay for creating the scenario that led to desecration of the seat of democracy in the United States.

Donald Trump’s concession speech

Following the backlash from the rioters who invaded the Capitol building and the House of Representatives Chamber and offices, especially that of the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, many have called for impeachment and resignation of the President.

House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi office invaded

The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has called on Vice President, Mike Pence to invoke 45th Amendment, which will lead to impeachment of Trump. Though Mike Pence has maintained that he will not invoke 25th Amendment. Many have also said that there is no need for such process since there is only 13 days left for the inauguration of the President-elect, Joe Biden.

Though, the president claimed in his speech that he called on national guards but evidence points to vice-president for making such call that helped to restore order at the Capitol building.

One Congressman said that every day that Trump remains a president is a grave danger to democracy of the United States. Some have called for his resignation, something many would consider mission impossible judging from the character of a man who refused to accept the election and the outcome irrespective of his unsuccessful legal tussles.

Donald Trump’s concession speech

The good news is that the man has finally conceded and the process of handover will now commence and the fear of any escalation has now subsided. The institutions of the democracy have finally won.

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How Abacha, Abiola Died: Susan Rice Gives Account, Says Many In Nigeria Think She Killed Abiola |RN

MKO Abiola, Gen. Sani Abacha

‘To this day, many people in Nigeria think I killed him.’

That was the opening line in the riveting account of the last hour of the late Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola as told by Ambassador Susan Rice. She was one of the visiting American diplomats in whose presence the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election died on 7th July 1998. More significantly, Rice was the one who served Abiola the famous last tea. For the past 22 years, the former National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama has refrained from speaking on what exactly happened that day. But in her memoir, “TOUGH LOVE: My story of the things worth fighting for”, Rice recounts not only how Abiola died but also confirmed the street gossip about the last hour of the late General Sani Abacha.

In the memoir, Rice also recounts how she was conceived in Lagos during the two years her parents spent in Nigeria at a time her father was helping in the establishment of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) after independence. As the American diplomat with Africa as her brief, Rice also recalls many of the crises on the continent, especially the one that eventually led to the death of Col Muammar Ghadafi in Libya and the encounters she had at different times with African leaders, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo who on one occasion was “nonchalantly hurling well-picked chicken bones—much to our amusement—backward over his shoulders across the presidential suite.” Now, let’s begin with the story of one of the most momentous periods in Nigeria’s political history from Rice, a former US Ambassador to the United Nations: The death of Abacha and Abiola.

In early July 1998, I traveled to Nigeria with Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Pickering, who was then among the most senior career Foreign Service Officers. As assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, I had gotten to know Pickering, my immediate boss, as a wise, fast-talking, and deeply knowledgeable diplomat. Having served as ambassador to six major countries and the United Nations, Pickering had seen and heard almost everything. The purpose of our trip to Nigeria was to encourage a responsible political transition. The nasty former dictator, Sani Abacha, had died a month earlier in the company of prostitutes. Viagra was reportedly involved. His interim successor was a moderate leader, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who hoped to shepherd Nigeria through a democratic election to select its new leader.

A primary objective of our visit was to meet the wrongfully imprisoned opposition leader, Moshood Abiola. He was the presumed winner of Nigeria’s 1993 election, but the results were annulled, and he was later arrested. We hoped to negotiate his freedom so that he could participate in the upcoming election.

Along with Pickering and U.S ambassador to Nigeria Bill Twadell, I met Mr. Abiola in an austere government guesthouse on the vast presidential complex in the capital, Abuja. A large and imposing man, Abiola came with his minder shortly after we arrived. Pickering, a former ambassador to Nigeria, knew Abiola from years past and greeted him warmly. Abiola, robust and happy to see us, sat on the couch and began to tell us how poorly he had been treated during his four years in prison. He was wearing sandals and multilayered traditional Nigerian dress. I noted that his ankles were swollen.

About five minutes into the conversation, Abiola started to cough, at first mildly and intermittently, and then wrackingly with consistency. He said he was hot, so I asked his dutiful minder, “Please turn up the air-conditioning.” Noticing a tea service on the table between us, I offered Abiola, “Would you like some tea to help calm your cough?”

“Yes,” he said, with appreciation, and I poured him a cup. He sipped it, but continued coughing. Increasingly uncomfortable, Abiola removed his outer layer, leaving one layer on top. I shot Pickering a worried glance.

The coughing became dramatic. I told the assembled men, “I think we better call for a doctor.” No one argued. The minder immediately placed the call. Abiola asked to be excused and went into the bathroom of our meeting room. When he emerged, he was bare-chested and sweating profusely, barely able to talk. He lay down on the couch writhing and then rolled facedown onto the floor. The doctor arrived promptly, took a quick look at him, and declared that Abiola was having a heart attack and must be transported to the hospital immediately. The men labored to lift the heavy Abiola into a small car, and we rushed to the nearby, rudimentary presidential hospital. I grabbed his eye-glasses off of a side table where he left them, his only belonging, thinking of his daughter Hafsat in the U.S whom I’d met before we left. The doctors worked on him, furiously, but within an hour they pronounced him dead.

We braced for violence. Abiola’s sudden and mysterious death would hit like a bombshell in Nigeria’s political tinderbox. Conspiracy theories would spread like metastatic cancer. Serious unrest throughout Nigeria was possible. Washington would hyperventilate, since it’s not every day a major figure drops dead with senior U.S officials. His family would need to be told. And, urgently, Nigeria’s acting president would have to hear directly from us, even though his minister was present at the hospital and knew how it went down.

Ambassador Twadell panicked and urged me and Pickering to rush to the airport and leave the country immediately. “Hell no,” we said. This delicate situation required deft management, not a hurried exit in a cloud of suspicion.

Right away, I called National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, my former boss, briefed him, and dictated a White House press release. Then we went to the Nigerian presidential palace to relay the entire drama to the acting president. We urged him to issue a careful statement to announce the establishment of an autopsy by international experts, in order to quell rife speculation and limit the potential violence. The acting president did both.

Next, Pickering, Twadell, and I went with former Nigerian Foreign Minister Baba Kingibe to see Abiola’s wives and daughters. All of us walked in together, but soon I realized that I was effectively alone in the room with these distraught women. The men had hung far back and left the job to me—just like the pouring of the tea. I proceeded to explain that their husband/father was dead. He had died of an apparent heart attack that began in our meeting. The doctors did all they could to save him but could not. The ladies’ wailing was so intense, it haunts me to this day.

We briefed the press, and I returned to the U.S embassy to write the official cable to report what had happened. As a senior official, I almost never wrote up cables summarizing meetings but in this case there was no more efficient way to ensure we got this very important history straight.

As I was typing, I heard in the distance on the CNN a familiar voice of indignation. It was none other than the Reverend Jesse Jackson, then serving as President Clinton’s special envoy for the promotion of democracy in Africa. Reverend Jackson served capably in this role, and with good intentions, but on this occasion, I could have throttled him. He was riffling about how Abiola died under suspicious circumstances in a meeting with U.S. officials. I could not believe my ears—our own guy implying we were killers! Immediately, I placed a call to his longtime aide Yuri and asked them to shut the Reverend down. “Please, just get him off the set.” That happened, even as I was still watching the segment.

We stayed overnight in Nigeria to try to calm things, offer any needed assistance to the government, and make an orderly departure. Fortunately, despite deep public upset, no significant violence occurred. The autopsy eventually confirmed the cause of death as a heart attack. Nonetheless, it was Nigeria where conspiracy theories abound. The most popular, which still has currency over twenty years later, is that I killed Abiola by pouring him poisoned tea.

From that experience, I found that being a woman policymaker comes with unique hazards. The men would not have offered, much less thought, to pour the tea. They may have swiftly called for a doctor. They may not have been able to break the bad news to the wives. Not for the first time, it was I, not they, who took the public fall for a crime nobody committed.

NOTE: Rice also wrote a brief on her Nigerian connection:

Almost immediately after their wedding, my parents moved to Lagos, Nigeria, where Dad had been sent by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a research advisor to help establish the Central Bank of Nigeria in the wake of the country’s independence. Mom took leave from the College Board and worked for the Ford Foundation as an educational specialist for West Africa. Their two years in Nigeria, punctuated by travel around West Africa and Europe, were, by all accounts, enjoyable. They amassed an impressive collection of Nigerian art, including valuable sculptures that were a visual fixture of my upbringing.
I was conceived in Nigeria. Toward the end of their stay, Mom became pregnant with me, and I have long amused myself with the hypothesis that my origins in Nigeria, combined with my Irish and Jamaican ancestors, explain a lot both about my temperament and attraction to all things international. (Factnote)

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Brigadier-Gen. Nengite’s Wife, Chizoba Furious About False Claims Of $15m Found In Her US Bank Account

Brig-Gen. Charles Nengite

**threatens to seek legal redress against sponsors or publishers of such “false information”.
 

Wife of Brigadier-General Charles Nengite, Chizoba, has denied allegations that between $11m and $15m was found in her bank account in the United States.

Mrs Nengite also said allegations that she was being investigated for money laundering in America were false.

She threatened to seek legal redress against sponsors or publishers of such “false information”.

There were reports last December that the Nigerian Army detained Brigadier-General Nengite following the discovery of $16m in a bank account belonging to his wife.

He was said to have been held by the Army’s Special Investigations Bureau, a department that handles matters relating to fraud and money laundering.

But Mrs Nengite, in a statement through her lawyer, Taofik Adeleke, described publications linking her to any such money as “false and malicious”.

Adeleke said, “A false allegation by unknown sources was made against our client insinuating that our client was involved in money laundering activities.

“The said publications specifically stated that monies ranging from between $11m to $15m was found in our client’s private account in the United States of America and that our client is under investigation by the authorities in the United States of America.

“The false publication caused Mrs Nengite and her family a lot of undue embarrassment thus necessitating the need to refute the wrong information now in the public domain.

“We wish to state unequivocally on behalf of our client that the information is not true.

“At no time was such an amount of money or any huge sums of money found in our client’s account to warrant the false and malicious publication.”

According to Adeleke, the woman had “never at any time been invited, interrogated or questioned by authorities in America as falsely claimed in the said publication.

“The false information in the public domain is only an imagination in the mind of mischief makers.” (Sahara Reporters)

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Supreme Court Judgement: Imo Citizens In Diaspora Petition Trump, Seek Visa Ban On Supreme Court Judges |The Republican News

US President, Donald Trump

The tussle for the Imo State Government House has taken a new turn, with Ndi Imo abroad under the aegis of Imo Diaspora Coalition for Justice and Democracy petitioning United States President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over last week’s controversial judgement by the Nigerian Supreme Court removing Governor Emeka Ihedioha and replacing him with Hope Uzodinma.

The coalition in the petition which has gone viral faulted the verdict as illogical and requested a visa ban on those who delivered it. The petitioners a statement issued over the weekend announced that they have set the goal to get 1,000 signatures by Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

The petition reads:

“Dear President Trump,

“Nigeria’s Disgraceful Partisan Supreme Court Must Reverse Her Recent Perverted Ruling or Be Placed on Visa Ban or no Fly List, Including Members of their Immediate Families

“The Nigeria’s Supreme Court recently in what has been described a “judicial coup”, overturned the landslide Imo State Governorship electoral mandate, given to Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and handed victory to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Party candidate, Hope Uzodinma, who came a distant fourth position in the election. Imo State is a totally Christian State!

“On March 9, 2019, during Nigeria’s gubernatorial elections held in Imo State Nigeria, the incumbent APC Party candidate, Hope Uzodinma lost in this highly Christians concentrated enclave to a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), candidate, former Speaker of the National House of Representatives Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha, a Knight of the order of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion, and three others. According to official figures of the electoral umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the results were as follows;

1.     Accredited voters is                      = 823,743.

2.     The total valid votes cast is          = 714,355

3.     Rejected votes                              =  25,130

4.     Total votes cast (Line 2 Plus 3) is  = 739,485

The top four candidates received the following number of votes:

5.     Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha (People’s Democratic Party-PDP)   = 273,404 votes

6.     Mr Uche Nwosu (Action Alliance – AA)                                = 190,364 votes

7.     Ifeanyi Ararume (All Progressives Grand Alliance – APGA) = 114,676 votes

8.     Hope Uzodinma (All Progressives Congress – APC “Moslem Party”) = 96,458 votes

“On the basis of the above the INEC declared Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha the winner. However, thereafter all the losers went to court, with Hon Ihedioha sustaining his win at the tribunal, and again at the appeal court. Then at the Supreme Court something strange and yet inexplicable happened, the Supreme Court accepted previously tendered and INEC rejected 213,699 votes  from Mr Hope Uzodinma, the fourth placed candidate which was adjudged to be fake and unreliable by the trial Tribunal and concurred by the Court of Appeal.

“They added these fake votes to the official INEC declared votes for him of 96,458 to give Mr Uzodinma the winning votes of 310,153.

“But in a haste to gain foothold in this Christian enclave of Imo State, through their proxy Mr Uzodinma (a notorious character who had been indicted by a Presidential Task Force on fraud for diverting over $11m meant for dredging a government sea port channel and currently has a bench warrant for his arrest issued by an Abuja Magistrate Court for issuance of N200 million naira dud cheque amongst other criminal infractions) they forgot simple Arithmetic.


“When that whole fake results were added without adjustment to other figures, it brought the total votes cast to 928,054 , which is not only higher than INEC declared total valid votes cast of 714,355 but total number of accredited voters of 823,743 for the election. Yet, the Supreme Court in a bizarre judgment awarded more votes to the fourth placed candidate, that inflated total votes cast above the number of voters, and made him winner. When confronted in private, two of the justices said, “we were under instructions”.

“Nigeria legal system allows for Supreme Court to reverse itself in certain circumstances including where the judgement was obtained by fraudulent representations as in the case herein.

“It is based on these that we are calling on the partisan-agenda driven Nigeria’s Supreme court to review and reverse their decision, within ten days, or be sanctioned alongside their immediate families with visa ban and/or put on international No-fly list.

“The compromised Justices who delivered this atrocious ruling and who we demand sanctioned, if they fail to reverse their fraudulent judgement are

“Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad,

“Justice Kudrat Kekere-Ekun,

“Justice Sylvester Ngwuta,

“Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,

“Justice Aminu Sanusi, Amina Augie, and

“Justice Uwani Abba-Aji.

“We need your intervention Mr. President!

“Thank you!”

The petition was signed by the following:

Eddie Oparaoji; Matthew Mbanaja; Chijike Ndukwu; Chiwuikem Ihediwa; Adaugo Vivian Agwuocha; Hyacinth Nwachukwu; Jerry Uchechukwu; Joy Mmegwa; Anyanwu Benedict; Benson Ifeanyi; Kelechi Eberechi; AIhetuge Paschal; Ntim Jonathan; Nneoma Jonathan; Festus Nnodim; Patricia Ndubuisi; Uchenna Nomso; Chidiebere Madumere; Noble Ndubuisi; Flavius Ndubuisi; Goodness Nwafor; Eusebius Emereole; Calista Nnadi; Victor Chikere; Petrus Onyeokoro; Ugochukwu Nwanna; Michael Ishiguzo; Stan Ogadinma; Amam Nwaopara; Ejike Ozoemena; Zeph Achilonu; Isidore Nwoko; Basil Ugwo; Chima Ozioma; Marcel Njoku; Lucky Toochukwu; Ken Obijuru; Emeka Ebiringa; Paul Nwankwo; Michael Izundu; Joshua Ohanu; Christopher Ihekaire; Stella Amanze; Judith Ahamefule; Silas Etoh; Flavor Onyakachi; Luke Chilaka; Chinonso Udeze; Canice Onu; Charles Umudim; Obasi Agwulonu; Nathan Nkemakolam; Vitus Gozie; Bartholomew Akachi; Thomas Abara;  Nwada Akanegbu; Kelechi Wilson; Chizoma Samuel; Enyinna Azuogu; Nnenna Onuoha; Austin Ibeawuchi; Obi Chetachi; Fidelis Okoronkwo; Alphonsus Madubuchi; Daniel Uka; Lawrence Unachukwu; Helen Nwachukwu; Philomena Ogbuja; Deborah Opara; Declan Agwulonu; Polycarp Ejekam; Suzanna Ikeh; Ekene Dimkpa; Stephen Ejiogu; Magellan Ebomuche; David Aso; Damian Ukaga; Kyrian Asoluka; Peter Ezeude; Joseph Okwu; Tunde Ibekwe; Nwalozie Obinna; Ahunna Chidebere; Chinedu Chiedozie; Esther Nweze; Bentley Ogbonna; Thed Clement; Chizoba Nwuzor; Nosike Ebirim; Uchenne Chimezie; Gabriel. C. Madu; Kings Nnaji; Chinemerem Daniel Owuliri; Anthony Egbuhuzor; Robert Unegbu; Eddie Eze Ojukwu; Olelewe Nwamaka; Godwin Osuagwu; James Osuagwu; Charles Ihejirika; Donatus O. Ekeanyanwu; Kate Nwaete-Nwanedo; Patrick Iroegbu; Charlie Ogbuehi; Ibeh Tobechukwu Cynthia; Ndukwu Prisca; Chuks Ikedigwe; Chimaeze Amadi; Prince Ferdinand Alilonu; Moses Ohaegbuchi; Anne Nkwocha; Colman Ejerenwa; Njoku Obioma; Esther Anosike; Olivia Anyanwu; Bismarck Njoku; Austin Ifeanyi; Anad Daberechi Ezebunwa; Chisom Ezebunwa; Zara Blessing; Eburuche John; Ogechi Ugwo; and Julius Udekwe. (Expressnews)

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2020: Biafra Declaration Will Shake The Whole World —Nnamdi Kanu

IPOB leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has revealed that the push for agitation has received a revelation by the top countries and the declaration will shake the whole world after the announcement will be made by the United Nations, United States , and European Union body in 2020.

According to the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu who gladly received the news and urged all IPOB members to keep the celebration mood high without violence.

Nnamdi Kanu has urged all IPOB members that Biafra freedom will be announced in 2020 and the joy, jubilation and celebration of Biafrans will shake the whole world.

IPOB has reacted to the news that the only joy is to achieve Biafra freedom in 2020 and all the Biafrans across the world has joined hand in hand to the push for Biafra referendum.

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Muslims Will Not Be Provoked To War With Anyone, Says Sultan Abubakar |The Republican News

The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday called for continued dialogues over issues of religion in the country.

He said making public comments do not help but aggravate the issues, assuring that Muslims in the country are good people who would not be provoked to take up arms against anybody.

The Muslim leader spoke at the opening of the 34th National Qur’an Recitation Competition organized by the Musabaqah Foundation for Quranic Recitation in Nigeria/Centre for Islamic Studies, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in collaboration with the Muslim Community of Lagos State.

In attendance were the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu; his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat; Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, Chairman of Police Service Commission, Musliu Smith, among others. Sultan’s remarks were coming in the wake of a recent disagreement between NSCIA and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) over the United States Department of State report listing Nigeria among countries that failed religious tolerance test.

CAN had backed the US report, saying Christians are being persecuted in the country but Sultan insists nothing of such exists, stressing that not all Fulani herdsmen are Muslims and they were not after the Christians as insinuated by CAN. Speaking yesterday in Lagos, the Sultan insisted that Muslims are very good people and they would continue to work with Qur’anic injunction forbidding man’s inhumanity to man. He said while Muslims are generally good, there are bad ones as they exist in all societies, urging the government to deal with the bad ones. “And I want to assure you that no Muslim would be provoked into taking up arms against anybody based on what you have been seeing in the media particularly of recent.

These are issues we need to tackle; these are issues the various governments at all levels need to tackle by sitting down and talking to one another because making public comments don’t normally help. “They aggravate situations. And I want to assure all, everything is right with us. The Muslims in Nigeria are very good people. We will continue to do the best. But among all good people, there are also bad people and we know there are bad people among all societies.”

He stressed that the Muslim leaders would not cease to give sound advice to the leaders to do the right thing and make the country a better place. According to him, Islam is a complete way of life and Qur’an is very important to all Muslims. He said if everybody works with the injunction of the Qur’an, there would be no corruption or any form of criminalities in the society.

“We must work with the Qur’an and Insha Allah as Muslims in this country we would continue to work with the Qur’an. We would continue to uphold Qur’anic injunctions and obey our leaders who Almighty Allah has placed on us,” he said. The state governor said he was convinced that Islam is a religion of peace which encourages tolerance and harmonious coexistence among all people of different beliefs. He urged the adherents of Islam and Christianity to follow the commandments of the two Holy Books and live peacefully with one another.

He said: “As a nation engaged in the battle against extremism, this programme will, among other initiatives, promote true understanding of the religion of Islam and help make our young people less vulnerable to beliefs that are not consistent with the teachings of the religion.

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Buhari Doesn’t Fear God But Whitemen, Says Buba Galadima |The Republican News

Alhaji Buba Galadima

Alhaji Buba Galadima, a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Council, has said the only people President Muhammadu Buhari fears is the White man, especially the United States government.

He also described as untrue statement from Abubakar Malami, Attorney General and Minister of Justice that former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore were released on compassionate grounds.

He said pressure from the international community forced President Buhari into releasing the duo.

” This government has no respect for anybody in this country. The only person President Muhammadu Buhari fears is the Whiteman. In fact, he fears the whiteman more than God and Nigerians can see that in the release of Dasuki and Sowore” he said

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Nnamdi Kanu Knew, Said Sowore Will Be Released And That Is Beyond Buhari, DSS |The Republican News

Those who listened to NNAMDI KANU’s radio Biafra broadcast on Saturday 21st December, (3 days before Sowore was released) which he broadcasted from America, will be shocked not just on Sowore’s release, but NNAMDI KANU’s insider knowledge and connection to international power brokers.

While trying to explain the unworkability of Nigeria as a country and the hopelessnes of believing in one Nigeria, sighting Afghanistan and the recent America-Afghan war as a case study, KANU said ” I’m saying this because Sowore will soon be released, we have done a lot of works on his behalf, and soonest they will release him. They will have no other option than to release him. It doesn’t matter what DSS does. And I advice him to leave one Nigeria and fight for his people” .

Just three days after his broadcast, and uncanny prediction, surprise surprise, Sowore was unconditionally released by DSS. This goes not only to show that KANU knows more than the Nigerian government, but also has contacts and connection of foreign powers that be.

I fear and believe whatever he says.

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United States Plotting To Destroy Nigeria, Says Lai Mohammed |The Republican News

Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

BY AKPOS OGHENETEGA 

The Federal Government has accused the United States (U.S.) of attempting to sow seed of religious mistrust among the various religious groups in Nigeria with its recent report.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government rejected the U.S. designation of Nigeria as “a country that engages in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom”.

Mohammed said that the iniquitous tag stemmed from an orchestrated narrative that had long been discredited.

He stressed that the people of Nigeria enjoyed unfettered freedom to practise their religion.

The minister blamed failed politicians and disgruntled elements – some of them supposedly respected leaders, for latching on to religion as their trump card, especially in the run-up to the last general elections.

He said it was unfortunate that the U.S. fell for the antics of “the discontented and the unpatriotic few, who will not hesitate to hang Nigeria out to dry on the altar of their inordinate ambition and their sheer animosity towards the Buhari-led administration”.

He said the Nigerian government was aware of how the political opposition in particular, had spared no resources in deriving political capital from the various security challenges in the country.

“The deliberate effort to give religious colouration to the farmers-herders clashes and the Boko Haram insurgency, in particular, has undoubtedly helped to mislead the U.S. into concluding that the government is doing little or nothing to guarantee religious freedom in the country.

“But, as we have always said, the farmers-herders clashes have nothing to do with religion, but everything to do with environmental and socio-economic realities.

“The religious tag given to the clashes has no basis in fact, but it is very convenient for those who will very easily give the dog a bad name just to hang it.

“On its part, the Boko Haram terrorists are extreme fanatics who do not subscribe to the tenets of any religion, in spite of their pretence to Islamic adherence,” he said.

The minister said the good news was that the government had succeeded in curbing the farmers-herders clashes through the implementation of proactive and multi-dimensional strategy, yielding remarkable results.

He added the government had largely defeated the Boko Haram insurgency.

“On the El-Zakzaky issue, which was referred to in the report by the U.S. government, it is purely a criminal matter, which is being handled by a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said.

The Minister stressed that while the government welcomed constructive criticism from any quarter, it rejected any attempt to sow seed of mistrust among the various religious groups in the country.

[NAN]

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African Union Asks United Kingdom To Leave Chagos Islands After Deadline Expired On Friday |The Republican News

Chagos Islands

By Pauline Bax

**UN deadline for U.K. to end its adminstration expired Friday

**U.K. clings to last African territory for ‘security reasons’

The African Union urged the U.K. to comply with a United Nations resolution calling for it to withdraw from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which is considered part of Mauritius.

The U.K. is under increased international pressure to give up its last territory in Africa since the International Court of Justice ruled that the 1965 excision of the islands from Mauritius had been unlawful. The UN General Assembly affirmed the ruling in May and set a six-month deadline that expired Friday.

Almost all African nations support the resolution. AU Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat “requests the international community to continue its support to the Republic of Mauritius for a complete decolonisation of the Chagos Archipelago,” according to a statement on the website of the organization.

The U.K. argues it can’t give up the Chagos Archipelago for security reasons. It’s leased the biggest island to the U.S., which runs a military base there that supports operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.  (Bloomberg)

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