• Ivory Coast toll rises to 19 with body found on beach

    16/Mar/2016 // 204 Viewers

     

    Grand-Bassam (Ivory Coast) (AFP) - The toll from a deadly attack in Ivory Coast by an Al-Qaeda affiliate rose to 19 on Wednesday, with the body of a young man shot in the head found on the beach.

     

    State-run RTI television showed images of the body and quoted the person who had found it as saying it had been "washed back by the waves".

    Citizens from Burkina Faso, Germany and France were among those killed when gunmen stormed three hotels and sprayed a beach with bullets at the Grand-Bassam beach resort, an unprecedented jihadist assault in Ivory Coast.

    The sleepy town, with its pristine beaches and UNESCO-listed French colonial-era buildings, is packed with visitors on weekends from nearby Abidjan, Ivory Coast's main city and commercial capital.

    A security source said it was possible that some corpses had been washed away from the beach following the assault.

    Several witnesses had reported seeing the attackers firing on people bathing in the sea or swimming.

    Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) said the shooting rampage was one of a series of operations "targeting dens of espionage and conspiracies".

    It directly threatened France and its allies in the region in warning that nations involved in the anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane and the 2013 French-led Operation Serval in Mali would "receive a response", with their "criminal leaders" and interests targeted, according to the SITE group which monitors extremist groups.

    Ivory Coast, the world's leading cocoa producer, was France's star colony in Africa.

    On Tuesday the visiting French foreign and interior ministers pledged to step up anti-terrorism cooperation in the region and deploy crack GIGN special operations troops specialising in counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions.

    France has a permanent military base in Ivory Coast under a deal with the country's founding president Felix Houphouet-Boigny.

    French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said about 10 GIGN troops would be stationed in the capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso and could even intervene if needed.

    Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara meanwhile held a cabinet meeting in Grand-Bassam on Wednesday to show "our unity and our strength," adding: "Ivory Coast will not be intimidated."

    He said he hoped the town's numerous hoteliers would resume business soon, adding: "We will do everything possible so that normal life resumes."


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  • Burkina coup leader charged with ‘crime against humanity’

    16/Oct/2015 // 219 Viewers

    Burkina Faso's military said Friday a general accused of leading a failed coup last month would be prosecuted on an array of charges, including "crime against humanity".

    "Eleven charges have been filed" against General Gilbert Diendere, "notably crime against humanity", Colonel Sita Sangare, in charge of military justice, told a press conference.

     http://jobrize.com/index.php?ref=373503

     

    Diendere is accused of leading a power grab by presidential guards loyal to ousted head of state Blaise Compaore on September 17.

    The poor Sahel country was brought to the brink of chaos for six days before the putsch collapsed, with its leaders admitting they lacked popular support.

    The presidential guard has since been disarmed and formally disbanded.

    According to government figures, 14 people were killed and 251 injured in the unrest.

    Amnesty International has demanded putschist troops be punished for violence against civilians.

    "(They) displayed a cold-blooded disregard for human life, killing 14 unarmed protestors and bystanders and wounding hundreds more with automatic weapons," the rights group said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The country's interim government on Wednesday said that presidential and parliamentary elections initially set for October, but delayed by the failed coup, would go ahead on November 29.

    (AFP)


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  • Guinean opposition leader Diallo pulls out of vote, claims 'widespread fraud'

    16/Oct/2015 // 194 Viewers

    Preliminary results from Guinea's disputed presidential vote on Wednesday showed incumbent Alpha Condé leading the first round, as his main rival from the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) said he would pull out of the election.

    The opposition has said that Sunday's vote – only the second democratic presidential poll sinceGuinea gained independence in 1958 – was marred by widespread fraud, demanding a re-run.

    Preliminary results from around a quarter of the ballots cast showed Condé comfortably ahead of main rival Cellou Dalein Diallo of the UFDG, with the six other candidates trailing behind, the Independent National Electoral Commission said late Wednesday.

    Diallo's spokesman Aboubacar Sylla said: “The UDFG has decided to definitely put an end to its participation in the current electoral process.”

    He dismissed it as a "travesty of an election". Diallo himself had earlier dubbed the vote "a masquerade, a massive fraud throughout the day".

    His party would "use all legal means, including peaceful demonstrations... to protest against the denial of democracy and justice for which the current authorities are to blame", Sylla said.

    Sarah Sahko, FRANCE 24’s correspondent in the capital Conakry, said Condé’s government appealed for calm and said rival candidates should address electoral institutions with any complaints.

    “Condé warned that there would be sanctions for anyone who calls for post-election violence,” she said.

    It was not immediately clear what Diallo's withdrawal would mean if the election goes to a second round run-off.

    The election commission has been criticised by the opposition and by European Union observers for its poor organisation of the poll.

    EU observer mission chief Frank Engel said the many logistical and organisational problems "confirmed the lack of preparation".

    In a statement earlier, the commission said turnout was extremely high at almost 75 percent and described the atmosphere as being "characterised by serenity, calm and exceptional enthusiasm".

    The first free presidential vote in 2010, won by Condé, 77, in a run-off against Diallo, 63, was tainted by accusations of fraud and violence, as were legislative polls three years later.

     http://jobrize.com/index.php?ref=373503

     

    Condé spent nearly three decades in exile in France, where he led opposition to Guinea's dictatorial first president Ahmed Sekou Touré.


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  • Burkina Faso interim president, cabinet ‘detained by presidential guard’

    16/Sep/2015 // 192 Viewers

     AFP (file photo) | Burkina Faso's interim President Michel Kafando

    Soldiers from Burkina Faso’s powerful presidential guard interrupted a cabinet meeting on Wednesday and detained the ministers, the prime minister and interim President Michel Kafando, military sources said.

    The move came two days after a commission charged with drafting reforms for Burkina Faso’s transitional government proposed dismantling the elite unit. The presidential guard, known as the RSP, was a key pillar of President Blaise Compaoré’s regime before he was toppled by demonstrations in October after 27 years in power.

    “It is the whole of the government, including the prime minister and the president, taken by a group of soldiers from the presidential guard,” said one senior military source.

    “They have not asked for anything for the time being.”

    According to information obtained by FRANCE 24, gunshots were heard inside the presidential palace, while Kafando and the prime minister were taken to an unknown location by the soldiers. The presidential guard had reportedly surrounded the palace to prevent anyone from entering or leaving, with the cabinet ministers still inside.

    Journalists from state television, who had gone to film the cabinet meeting confirmed that the cabinet had been detained by soldiers.

    The head of the country’s interim parliament told Reuters that the prime minister, interim president and senior cabinet members had been taken “hostage” by the soldiers and military chiefs were now negotiating their release.

    Civil society activist Souleymane Ouedraogo said on his Facebook page that the soldiers were demanding the resignation of President Kafando. It was not possible to confirm this.

    Burkina Faso is due to go to the polls on Oct. 11 to elect a new president from a field dominated by former members of Compaoré’s regime.

    In a report submitted to Prime Minister Yacouba Isaac Zida, himself a former commander in the presidential guard, the national reconciliation and reform commission described the 1,200-strong unit as “an army within an army”.

    The RSP’s political meddling after Compaoré’s ousting, including attempts to force the prime minister’s resignation over his plans to reduce its size, provoked further protests and prompted authorities to call for a review of the guard’s role.

    Monday’s report recommended that the regiment be broken up and its members redeployed within the framework of a broader reform of the military.

    Reuters

     


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  • Ivory Coast attacks 'No2' arrested in Mali

    17/Apr/2016 // 503 Viewers

     

    BAMAKO (AFP) -Mali's special forces have arrested the suspected "Number Two" of a group of Islamists accused of carrying out an attack last month on Ivory Coast's Grand Bassam resort, Malian security sources told AFP Sunday.

    Malian national Alou Doumbia, 32, was arrested in the capital, Bamako, on Saturday night, the sources told AFP. He was wanted in connection with his role in a grenade and rifle assault on Grand Bassam's beachfront hotels that left 19 people dead.

    "Special forces from Mali's intelligence services carried out the arrest of the Number Two of the organisation behind the terrorist attacks against Ivory Coast during a 'special operation'," one of the sources told AFP under condition of anonymity.

    Fifteen people have been detained in connection with what was Ivory Coast's first jihadist attack, later claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in retaliation for anti-terror operations in the Sahel region led by France and its allies.

    Doumbia drove the attackers from Mali to Ivory Coast, according to a second security source, and helped the group rig a 4x4 vehicle to hide an arsenal of weapons in the spare tyre well.

    The brains of the operation, Kounta Dallah, is still at large, and is suspected of both organising and taking part in the attack, as well as appointing Doumbia to his role.


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  • Burkina Faso starts three days of national mourning after deadly hotel attack

    17/Jan/2016 // 261 Viewers

     

    AP: - Burkina Faso began three days of national mourning Sunday and the president said security would be stepped up after al-Qaida militants killed at least 28 people in an attack on a hotel and cafe popular with foreigners.

    In a message to the nation, President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said the people of Burkina Faso must unite in the fight against terrorism. He also announced on the national broadcaster, Burkina 24, that security forces would be stepping up their efforts to thwart future attacks and asked people to comply with the new restrictions.

    "These truly barbaric criminal acts carried out against innocent people, claimed by the criminal organization al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) seek to destabilize our country and its republican institutions, and to undermine efforts to build a democratic, quiet and prosperous nation," said Kabore.


    The national mourning began Sunday, a day after Burkinabe and French forces ended a more than 12-hour siege at the upscale Splendid Hotel in downtown Ouagadougou. When the gunfire and explosions finally stopped, authorities said 18 were killed in the hotel and 10 were killed at the nearby Cappucino Cafe.

    Among the victims were the wife and young daughter of Italian Gaetan Santomano, who owned the cafe. Government officials say the toll also includes six Canadians, five Burkinabes, two Swiss nationals, two French citizens and one American.

    The American - Michael Riddering, 45, of Cooper City, Florida - had been working as a missionary in Burkina Faso since 2011, where he and his wife ran an orphanage that also provided shelter to abused women and widows. He is survived by his four children, two of whom were adopted from Burkina Faso.

    Riddering was "a wonderful, godly man" who managed to find spare time to help teams of volunteers from other organizations who dug wells for local residents, said John Anderson, a board member of Sheltering Wings, Riddering's charity.

    "During the Ebola crisis, when it was hard to find people to do the digging, Mike would go out and join them so they could continue doing the work," Anderson said. "And that's backbreaking work. He never stopped moving and never stopped helping."

    Swiss authorities said its two nationals who were killed were also in Burkina Faso for humanitarian reasons.

    The al-Qaida group claiming responsibility for the carnage released an audio tape titled: "A Message Signed with Blood and Body Parts."

    On Sunday, French authorities were back at the scene carrying out a forensic investigation. Special forces from the former colonizer came during the overnight siege from their base in neighboring Mali to help Burkina Faso's military put an end to the killings.

    Some guests returned to the Splendid Hotel to pick up their luggage and other belongings left behind when guests fled for their lives when the gunmen began firing to kill as many people as possible.

    The attack, which began around 7:30 p.m. Friday, was the first of its kind in Burkina Faso, a largely Muslim country that had managed to avoid the kinds of jihadist attacks that have destabilized neighboring Mali since 2012.

    In a separate incident two Australian humanitarian workers were kidnapped by extremists in northern Burkina Faso. Surgeon Ken Elliott and his wife Jocelyn were abducted Friday. The couple, reported to be in their 80s, were kidnapped in the northern town of Djibo where they had run a medical center for 40 years.

     

     

     

    (AP)


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  • INTERVIEW: Why We Overthrew Buhari - IBB

    17/Jan/2016 // 787 Viewers

     

    Former Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida may go down in the history of Nigeria as the most loved yet most hated leader to ever rule Africa’s most populous nation. Such paradox marks him out as an intriguing personality, who remains a reference point in the political circle more than two decades after he ‘stepped aside’ from Aso Rock in controversial circumstances.

    In this rare encounter with a team from Zero Tolerance (ZT), a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,  at his Hill Top mansion in Minna, Niger State,  the former leader offers rare reminisces on his leadership of the country and attempts a prognosis on the myriad challenges facing Nigeria. He spoke about why he led a coup that toppled the regime of Muhammadu Buhari and why he approved the killing of his bosom friend, Mamman Vatsa.

    The interview was conducted by the ZT team of WILSON UWUJAREN, TONY ORILADE, WILLIAMS OSEGHALE, AISHA MOHAMMED and FRANKLYN OGUNLEYE. We have the magazine’s permission to republish the interview here.

    Excerpts:

    Let us congratulate you on your 73rd birthday

    Thank you for reminding me that I am an old man

    At 73, do you feel accomplished?

    First of all, I need to thank God for having attained this age, at remarkably good health still talking and moving. I remain grateful to God, brothers, friends, colleagues and Nigerians generally for all the goodwill.

    Any regrets?

    So far, the emphatic answer is, no!

    Looking back in the last 73 years, what will you say has been your greatest achievement and contribution to this country?

    Seriously speaking, my generation came at a time when Nigeria was just trying to be on its feet. I went into the military service in 1962, Nigeria was just about two years old and it had the problems of a developing nation, what they need to go through and so on. So, we were witnesses to this development and I think, one should be able to quantify his contributions based on that period, what we had been doing. I think it was very fulfilling and rewarding.  

    Why did you choose to go into the military at that time?

    There was a drive to get students or people from this part of the country so as to balance the officer corps of the armed forces; so there was a deliberate drive to recruit officers from this part of the country and I was fortunate that the minister for the army happened to be from this part of the country. So one of his first recruitment drives was to come to our school; he talked to us and gave reasons why we should join the military. Then, we saw some demonstration by General Yakubu Gowon; he was a captain at that time, a lot of us got excited. We applied and were recruited.

    If not the military, where else would you have been?

    My original thought was to be a civil engineer but when this military thing came, I jettisoned that and went in for the military.

    EFCC is eleven years old now, what is your assessment of the Commission?

    Well, I think EFCC has done remarkably well because it came at a time when this country needed an organization that should check the scourge of corruption and the rest of it. I think it came at the right time. I took quite an interest to know how the Commission operates, especially under the present leadership. I believe they are achieving good result. I was reading in the media some of the prosecutions and convictions recorded and I think I am impressed as they have been doing everything in accordance with the law.

    Like everything new, the Commission experienced some teething problems. First of all, the public needed to understand what it was trying to do but I understand what the Commission is doing now. It is very civil, you don’t condemn people, you investigate, you establish facts and so on. This is what is happening now and I think the fact that anybody is innocent until proven guilty is what you are doing now. I think this is good for this country.

    Despite all the efforts, Nigeria continues to be ranked as one of the most corrupt countries, what will you say is responsible for the high level of corruption in this country?

    The fact that the corruption index says Nigeria is highly corrupt is quite subjective. A lot of us have had lots of experience in other countries; generally every country has the problem of corruption in various forms. I think what we need to do is to do the little we did when we were in office, try to find out the source of corruption and then block it.

    Back in 1986, Cooperative Boards as we knew them then was an institution bedeviled by corrupt practices. An ordinary farmer brings his products, the board is there to assess it as either grade one ,two or three. A lot of things went wrong, so what we did was to encourage the farmer to go to the end users, negotiate. The end user will also inspect what you have. So the farmer is talking to you directly, no middle man or anything because the corruption starts where the middle man is.

    Once you have identified areas that are prone to corruption, the next thing is to eliminate them  and get the people educated. In the case of foreign exchange for example, you needed to go to the Central Bank or to the banks before you could get foreign currencies but by establishing the bureau de change, you could walk in there, exchange the money and put it in your pocket, go on with your business and you are not robbing anybody.

    One of the things to avoid, especially in government institutions, is too much control, where there is a lot of control corruption easily manifest itself. So you look at where there is a lot of control, try to do away with it and then things will work for the people.

    The military regimes before you, Murtala Mohammed/Olusegun Obasanjo and General MuhammaduBuhari/Tunde Idiagbon had programmes that frontally tackled corruption. Will you say your government fought corruption?

    Well, we had different approaches; I think my government was able to identify corruption prone areas and checked them. If you remember in this country, there were things they call essential commodities. These are also sources of corruption; you go and buy omo or food or whatever it is and we got government to take its hands off such activitie. Let people use their own brains, hands and labour, nobody has to do it for them. So we did but I am proud to say that was much more effective.

    I don’t have the facts but if what I read in the papers is currently what is happening then I think we were angels.

    I asked that question against the background that during the Buhari administration, there was War Against Indiscipline, you didn’t have a programme like that. You came in and the programme died as it were. Why didn’t you put up something similar to deal with corruption, knowing that corruption was very prevalent?

    Because I was learning from the mistake of those before me. If you take for example the War Against Indiscipline, they were teaching you how to queue, to say sorry when you march somebody! It hasn’t solved anything. It was trying to make you to be civil in your approach to things. Ok I accepted I am going to queue before I get into a car but I might have bribed somebody before I got a ticket to go into the vehicle. We tried not to fall into the same trap, by tackling the source and making corrections in those places.

    You described yourself as an angel when you ruled this country. Sadly people tend to remember your regime as institutionalizing corruption in Nigeria.

    Yeah, I know. Maybe I have to accept that but anybody with a sense of fairness has no option but to call us saints. I give you example, in a year I was making less than seven billion dollars in oil revenue, In the same period there are governments that are making 200 to 300 billion dollars. With seven billion, I did the little I could achieve; with 200 billion there is still a lot to be achieved.

    You are not looking at the benchmark, what was the value of naira to the dollar then and what is it today?

    When I left office, it was 22 naira to the dollar Now it is 162 and is not my making, I left it at 22, official rate.

    When you came into office, the naira and the dollar were almost at par, so what happened that triggered the massive devaluation of the naira under your watch?

    The world is changing economically and if you want to compete with the industries around the world, you have to moderate your currency and what we did was in accordance with the development in the world at that time. The first time when it became one dollar to four naira, we almost went crazy, all of us in the military but then we were learning. Our economy should not be oblivious of what is happening in the outside world and we wanted to compete effectively with other countries.

    All the same, we were able to keep it down to 22. When I left, it went up to 85. Abacha was good; he kept it between 85 and 90.

    In terms of accounting for resource earnings, we can remember that during your regime, there was also this gulf war and Nigeria earned a lot of money. What happened to the gulf war oil windfall?

    First of all, that war lasted 3 months, about ninety something days; it didn’t last up to a year. So get that fact straight. Secondly, the oil price at that time was below 18 dollars per barrel, so there is no way you could make 12.4 billion in 3 months. We couldn’t have made that amount of money but Pius Okigbo knew what he was doing. He had brains and he said between 1986 or 1988 to 1994, monies that accrued to the federal government at that time was about that money you are calling, windfall. He said so. It is there in his book. Then the other thing he said, the monies could have gone into generative investment, I am not an economist but I have an understanding of what this is. Our argument then was if you have the money why keep it and be looking at it when you have a lot of things that will benefit the ordinary man. So that money was not stolen.

    Where is it?

    It is what you see now in the country, Thank God most of the infrastructures we put in place are what you are using today and proudly so.

    What are these infrastructures you are talking about?

    Abuja for example, I built Abuja. Today we have a brand new capital, we used that money. I gave you a Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, you cannot build it now for all the money Nigeria is making. And what did it cost me? 500. 600, 700 million naira. For the first time, a dual carriage way was seen in the northern part of the country between Kaduna and Kano and then linked it up from Abuja. You cannot afford to do it now, you cannot even afford to touch it because there are a lot of competing needs. You have to put money in education, armed forces infrastructural development, you have to put money in transportation; there are a lot of competing demands.

    You talked about Abuja being a brand new city, surprisingly the city is perhaps the only modern capital without a rail transport system. How come you never thought of building a rail system or was it not part of the master plan?

    You have got good roads. But the advantages of the rail over road is quite obvious as it is cheaper and can move more people per time. The first standard gauge railway was established during our regime. If you ever travel, just go to a place called Itakpe, there is a rail track linking it to Delta. It is a standard gauge railway. So we put these things where we thought the country will benefit from it.

    If as you said,  you did so well, why then is the perception that your government and your person are the most corrupt in Nigeria?

    Well, you gladly use the word perception, and it is said that perception is not reality.

    Why the perception?

    I should ask you, because it is the perception of the media.

    Are you worried?

    No, and you know why? Because now a lot of people can reflect; you believed quite wrongly that we are all crooks and I bear no grudge whatsoever against anybody but I know time will come when they will say after all, they did something and this is what is happening. Now, even our fiercest critics give us credit for certain things we did.

    You are regarded as one of the wealthiest Nigerians living, how did you make your money?

    Well, that is if you believe I have the money.

    This is not a perception

    If you give me some facts, throw it and say this is it then I have cause to explain. But I know who I am and what I represent, I know what values I stand for. A lot of us will not make such stupid mistakes.

    What are the investments of IBB?

    Let me tell you something, maybe you have a hand in it, I have been the most investigated president Nigeria has ever had. By now somebody should have come forward to say here it is. Every government that came after me investigated me because of that perception. Because they wanted to retrieve the billions I stole. Unless you can tell me that you haven’t been very efficient in your investigation, that’s your problem and not mine.

    We interviewed General Olusegun Obasanjo and asked him how he makes his money and he told us that he is a big time farmer. In your case, what do you do, how do you earn your money?

    My pension (Laughs…)

    What is your worth?

    It is difficult, worth in terms of? Naira and Kobo

    I wish I could have shown you my bank account, My account officer just left. I would be ashamed to say it so I won’t say it.

    What are your investments, what do you do?Are you into telecoms?

    No. The issue that I have stake in a telecom company has been laid to rest for a long time.  Globacom issued a statement, nothing of that nature. Agreed they are good and doing well. I am proud that they came up during our time but I am fairly an arrogant man, I don’t plead. If you are good and it is good for us, we say go ahead and do it. So, no Globacom, no petroleum industry and I am not a farmer because I can’t farm.

    You have Heritage Press

    Yeah, it hasn’t been working very well yet.

    Are we to assume that outside government you are not productive? Then how do you get by?

    (Laughs), it doesn’t mean that I am not making money. Of course I have investments, no doubt about that.

    What are these investments?

    I would assure you using my head, I came to one conclusion that the best investment for someone like me is banking, that’s all

    You have shares in banks?

    Yes.

    How many banks

    No, in one bank.

    A major shareholder? 

    Yes.

    Which bank are we talking of …

    (cuts in) ..Again investigate…laughs

    We have observed a trend, most Nigeria leaders come into office not comfortable financially but by the time they are leaving, they become billionaires. Why is it so?

    Now you said most, let me tell you on my own. When I got into office August of 1985 I made a declaration and it is there on record what I had, what I possessed, everything and when I left not much have changed.  Before I became president I was living in this environment, nobody seems to remember that. I tried farming before I became president. I failed. That’s why I said am not going into that field anymore. So it depends, I am not also sure that every president has left office rich. I know they are not.

    Apart from Generals Yakubu Gowon, Mohammadu Buhari and may be Shehu Shagari, some people say every other president left  richer

    No. This is perception. Everyone went there, served and left. I wouldn’t say they left there richer than they were when they came in.

    We really wouldn’t want to talk about the dead but is Abacha among the leaders you claim did not make money

    (cuts in)…ok talk about the living, talk about me.

    The circumstances surrounding your emergence as military president in 1985, some people believe that it was more of self-preservation than national interest. Can you tell us what happened?

    First of all, we planned a coup towards the end of 1983 that truncated the democratically elected government and the military government came in January 1984. Then that government also suffered the same fate as the democratic government when the military staged one of the finest coup in this country, because there was no blood, nothing was lost, smooth and everybody was treated with the most civility and our administration came. When we came in August of 1985 there was a plan to kick us out in December 1985, it didn’t work, they went into operation again in 1990. I think the country was going through a phase at that time, it’s a developing country and we always had one reason or the other for doing what we did at that time.

    But the talk at that time was that there was a rift between you and Buhari and he wanted to dismiss you from the Army.

    No, let me give you a lesson today. A coup or change comes about if there is frustration in the society. Just get that right. There was frustration in the society between 1984 to 1985. The ground was fertile for a coup. It wasn’t fertile, thanks be to God, in December, 1985 when the first attempt on me was made. Neither was it fertile in April 1990 when the second attempt was made and we had the support of all of you sitting down here. You write, you analyze, you talk, and you demonstrated. It was not unusual then to hear, in the case of the democratically elected government in1983, a common phase was ‘the worst military regime is better than this government’. So you were giving us the impetus to stage a coup. We are not dummies. If we didn’t have the support of all of you, we wouldn’t venture into it.

    We cannot end this interview without talking about June 12…

    Yes, it is a day in the history of Nigeria and the day the most credible election was held, so what is your question.

    Why was it annulled?

    We gave you a lot of reasons but I understood the passion, at that time everybody was fed up. The sentiment was, ‘just pack your things and go’. Our thought process is very limited. First of all, on June 23, 1993, I was on the air, and I told Nigerians why we had to do what we did. But I was sensible enough to know that whatever I said nobody was interested.  So the important thing is ‘get out’. I hate to say it but when we annulled June 12, the same Nigerians supported the intervention of the Military. True or false?

    True because you saw it, you are old enough. All those who fought for June 12 ended up serving the Military Government they didn’t like and that perpetuated a longer stay of the military in government.

    When you were leaving government you used the phrase ‘stepping aside.’ Why did you choose to use that phase?

    Every one of you thought that I was not keeping pace with the Nigerian dream. We have a tradition in the military, if you are marching in a column, when they say left, you should obey the command. If you right foot, somebody will shout at you because you are affecting the column, you should step aside so that the column will continue. That was what I did.

    What’s your philosophy in life?

    To be at peace with myself and other human beings.

    And your values …

    Oh that one is a lot. I told you earlier when we were talking about  the stupendous wealth, I told you I know who I am , I know what I represent , I know my background so there are things I wouldn’t do.

    What are these things?

    (Laughs), I wouldn’t steal and I don’t have business to fight you even if you are abusing me. This is still part of what I believe in.  I will always forgive you because if we offend God he forgives, so why should I hold anything against anybody

    Why then was it difficult to forgive your bosom friend, late General Mamman Vatsa?

    Because others before him faced the same law, the only change in that law was introduced by us to give room for appeal. If i was involved in that coup and it flopped, I would have been shot too. So it is the application of the law but then it is painful. We made the law others suffered the consequences.

    As military president, you had the power to commute the death sentence to jail term

    But all those that were shot dead, were shot under a military regime.

    You have a beautiful mansion here; anybody would like to live in this kind of house. We understand that it is a souvenir from a contractor

    Whoever that contractor is, I think he should have gone to jail, to give this as a souvenir. I told you I was living in this environment before I became the president. I built a house here when I was Chief of Army Staff. If I open the window for you, you will see a very beautiful house just behind us, that is where I started and then kept on moving up to this place.

    But you got this place after you left office?

    I started building it in 1991, took 2 to 3years so that by the time I finished I would have a house to sleep in.

    What is the value of the property?

    Now, or then?

    Now

    I cannot estimate because it has appreciated.

    Then

    I know what my friends spent

    Your friends built it for you?

    No, my friends contributed.

    You have good friends..

    Yes I have

    Were they your friends before you went into government?

    They were friends before we came into government and friends while I was in government.

    Source: Premium Times Nigeria


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  • Sudan's al - Bashir defies ICC arrest warrant, attends Rwanda summit

    17/Jul/2016 // 534 Viewers

     

    KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir arrived in Rwanda on Saturday to attend a summit of African leaders, defying an international warrant for his arrest after public assurances from Rwandan leaders that he would not be arrested.

    The African Union summit on Sunday is expected to discuss the continent's uneasy relationship with the International Criminal Court, which some say unfairly targets Africans.

    Ahead of the summit, some African countries renewed efforts to quit the ICC en masse despite the opposition of some countries like Botswana. Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast have been pushing back as well in recent days.

    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has led growing criticism of the ICC, calling it "useless" during his inauguration in May, an event that al-Bashir attended.

    Some countries want a separate African court with jurisdiction over rights abuses.

    "Withdrawal from ICC is entirely within the sovereignty of a particular state," Joseph Chilengi, an AU official, told reporters Saturday.

    Al-Bashir is wanted by the ICC for alleged atrocities in the country's Darfur region.

    He should be at the ICC answering to charges that include genocide, "not persisting in this game of cat-and-mouse with the court," Elise Keppler of Human Rights Watch said Saturday night.

    Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said this week that Rwanda would not arrest al-Bashir.

    "Africa doesn't support criminals, but when justice is involved with a lot of politics we take a pause to separate the two," Mushikiwabo told reporters.

    The African Union summit also will discuss South Sudan, where clashing army factions raised concerns of a return to civil war. The chaos threatens a peace deal signed last August between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, who is attending the summit, has called for an arms embargo.


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  • WICKEDNESS! HIV sexual ritualist confesses infecting 104 school girls

    17/Nov/2016 // 494 Viewers

     

    The story of Eric Aniva, Hyena, broke sometimes mid this year when a BBC reporter spoke to him. Aniva bragged of his mischeavious feat of  having sexual cleansing for young girls before they are given out in marriage.verdict is expected this week in the case of a man arrested in Malawi after he told a BBC reporter he had had sex with pubescent girls as part of a “cleansing” ritual. But some Malawians are asking why only one man is on trial for a practice involving whole communities.

    On Thursday, the follow up reveals that a verdict is expected this week in the case the Malawian after he had sex with pubescent girls as part of a “cleansing” ritual. But some Malawians are asking why only one man is on trial for a practice involving whole communities.

    Eric Aniva was arrested in July on presidential orders after he admitted having unprotected sex with girls as young as 12 – and keeping quiet about his HIV-positive status.

    Aniva says he was hired by the girls’ relatives to take part in a sexual initiation ceremony which they believe “shakes off” the girl’s childhood “dust” so that she can enter adulthood.

    We believe that if a widow or widower is not sexually cleansed, then bad luck, sudden death or illness will come to some, or all, of the clan Social worker, Nsanje.
     
    When Malawi’s president, Peter Mutharika, ordered the arrest, he wanted Aniva tried for defiling young girls, but no girl came forward to testify against him.

    So instead Aniva is being tried for another ritual defined as a “harmful cultural practice” under section five of Malawi’s Gender Equality Act, in which he had sex with newly bereaved widows.

    On this charge, two women have come forward to give evidence against Aniva, though one says he had sex with her before the practice was banned, and the other says she managed to escape before the sexual act took place.

    “Widow cleansing is a highly regarded practice among us,” said a social worker from Nsanje, the remote south-western district where Aniva lives.

    “We believe that if a widow or widower is not sexually cleansed, then bad luck, sudden death or illness will come to some, or all, of the clan. We are obliged to do this custom by our ancestors,” he added. He asked to remain anonymous, because government employees are not allowed to talk to the media without permission.

    Until a few years ago, it was common practice in the district for a bereaved widow to have sex with a man three times a night for three to four nights. Often the man would be the deceased’s brother, but in some cases someone from outside the immediate family, such as Aniva, would be hired to perform the act.

    If the bereaved was a man, a woman would be found to have sex with him.

    The ritual was modified, however, in the light of the HIV epidemic, and these days a married couple are supposed to act as surrogates, having sex on behalf of the bereaved. As before, they utter an oath at the point of ejaculation to prevent ill fortune arising from the death.

    What horrifies Malawians about Aniva, who claimed in his BBC interview to have had sex with 104 women and girls, is that he did not stop his sexual practices after finding out he was HIV-positive.

    “HIV is a killer. How can someone with this status, do what he did? I think this man is the devil. Greedy and selfish. If I could judge him, I would give him a murder sentence and life imprisonment,” a pastor, Paul Mzimu, said outside Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, where HIV rates on some wards reach 70%.


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  • Guinea’s president re-elected in contested vote, provisional results show

    17/Oct/2015 // 230 Viewers

    Guinea's Alpha Conde has won re-election in the first round of presidential polls, according to provisional results released Friday that his main rival refused to recognise, labelling the poll "illegal".

    Conde's challengers have said the October 11 election was tainted by widespread fraud and mismanagement and have urged supporters to take to the streets, raising the spectre of unrest in the days to come.

    The poor west African state has a history of post-election violence, prompting the international community to call on all parties to pursue their grievances through the courts rather than protests.

    Conde's main rival Cellou Dalein Diallo dismissed the result as an "electoral farce", telling AFP "we cannot recognise such a victory".

    Results published by the Independent National Electoral Commission from areas representing over 90 percent of Guinea's voters showed Conde winning an outright majority with nearly 2.2 million ballots.

    Turnout was put at around 66 percent of the six million voters, well below an initial estimate of 75 percent.

    One suburb of the capital Conakry and the overseas votes cast by Guineans living in New York have yet to be counted.

    Conde's seven challengers have said the vote, only the second democratic presidential poll since Guinea gained independence from France in 1958, was marred by vote-rigging and demanded a re-run.

    Conde, 77, had gone into the campaign promising to deliver a "KO blow" to his opponents by winning victory at the first round, avoiding a run-off against his closest rival.

    'Illegal' election

    Guinea's first ever democratic election in 2010 went to a second round between Conde and former prime minister Diallo, which Conde narrowly won.

    While Diallo grudgingly conceded defeat in that election he refused to recognise the result of Sunday's rematch -- in which he garnered more than 1.06 million votes, according to the latest results.

    "When the president (of the electoral commission) decides that anyone holding an electoral card can vote, even without an envelope in violation of the electoral code, it shows the illegal way in which the election has taken place," Diallo said.

    "We reserve the right to use all legal means necessary, including peaceful protest," he said.

    The 63-year-old and the six other opposition candidates all demanded a re-run and warned a proclamation of victory by Conde at the first round would vindicate their suspicions of vote-rigging.

    Diallo had dubbed the vote "a masquerade, a massive fraud" and called for protests when he pulled out of the race on Wednesday.

    The election has caused increased tensions, with around a dozen people killed in clashes between Conde and Diallo supporters ahead of polling day.

    An EU election observer team criticised the electoral commission for poor organisation and a "lack of preparation".

    Conde, who spent nearly three decades in exile in France, led the opposition to Guinea's dictatorial first president after independence from France, Ahmed Sekou Toure.

    He says the achievements of his presidency include an overhaul of the army and judiciary, the completion of a hydroelectric dam and reforms to make mining contracts more transparent.

    Despite being rich in bauxite, the ore used to produce aluminium, the country is one of the world's poorest and was blindsided by a severe outbreak of Ebola, which began in the country's southern forests in December 2013 and then spread to neighbouring countries.

    Half the population lives below the UN poverty line, and according to the World Bank, per capita income in 2014 was just $470 with many lacking access to electricity or running water.

    (AFP with DailyGlobeWatch)


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