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Wike: Strong Goliaths Will Be Defeated – Atiku Vows, Blasts Tinubu

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The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has vowed that those ganging up against him in the battle to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming election would be defeated.

Atiku, who spoke through the Spokesperson, PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Dino Melaye, also accused the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of masterminding the crisis rocking the PDP.

Recall that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, yesterday, lambasted the former vice president, Atiku and the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and vowed to continue the fight until his demands are met.

Wike, who was defeated by Atiku during the May 29 primary election, had demanded the resignation of Ayu as the only condition to work for Atiku’s victory come 2023.

But according to a statement by Dino, titled “No Shortcut To Victory”, the campaign spokesperson said Atiku is currently suffering persecution because he chose to be a democrat by not forcing Ayu to resign.

The statement added that Atiku would continue to support the “enthronement of strong institutions that can minimise the excesses of political goliaths”, stressing that as it happened to Goliath in the biblical story, “strong men get defeated, no matter the length of their domination”.

The statement reads, “the hawkers of spin in the camp of Ahmed Bola Tinubu are at it again, this time latching on to a debatable forecast to award victory to a delusional candidate who claimed that the presidency of Nigeria is a categorical entitlement.

“The Palace jesters are gloating over the orchestrated amplification of the agitation by some members of our Party to sing a dirge, forgetting that advocacy is not only normal in a democracy, their very idol went riotous and danced naked in desperation when he sensed that the ticket of his discredited and failed political party was eluding him.

“Through a sheer arrogance, impudence and indiscretion, Bayo Onanuga the mouth piece of the hallucinators and hawkers of illusion took the place of INEC by declaring a loss of election for the most promising flagbearer in the 2023 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar. May the self-acclaimed rivals of God be reminded that power belongs to God?

“In any case, the polemics being celebrated was an indictment against Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who regardless of the status and efforts of APC leaders like Rotimi Amaechi was hawking the Senatorial ticket in an insensitive and indecorous manner. In the end his power excursion lu’le. This is what Atiku will not do. It is, in fact, for the defence of democracy and respect for due process that Atiku is now being persecuted.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku as a long standing democrat will not sacrifice those elected by the Party for his own ambition, just to please autocratic democrats. If by chance he loses the support of some party members on account of adhering to the rules, he would be satisfied that he acted right.

“Waiting to benefit from the internal synthesis that may play out in the PDP is a wait in futility. The tears of opposition are only flowing from the demonstrable capacity of Atiku for political sagacity.

“This contest will be a long hull. No shortcut, no award and no conferment of entitlement. Kaka ‘eyin ko lokan’”.

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3 million children at risk in Sudan as civil war engulfs – U.N

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The war between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed 12,190 people, according to conservative estimates by the Armed Conflict Locations and Events Data project. It has displaced 5.4 million people inside the country, according to the UN, and sent over 1.3 million fleeing abroad.

Sudan’s raging civil war threatens the lives of almost 3 million children, the United Nations Children’s Fund said Thursday, as fighting imperils what had become a haven for hundreds of thousands of displaced people.

Fighting in the huge northeastern African nation has now reached Jazeera state, the country’s breadbasket with a population of 5.9 million people — half of whom are children, UNICEF said.

« This new wave of violence could leave children and families trapped between fighting lines or caught in the crossfire, with fatal consequences, » the organization’s executive director, Catherine Russell, said in a statement Thursday.

The latest about of violence broke out on April 15, as Sudan’s military and a powerful paramilitary force vied for power. Since then, heavy fighting has left hundreds of thousands of people facing the agonizing decision of whether to flee their homes or stay and risk injury or death in the violence. Cease-fires have failed to halt the power struggle and fueled the growing humanitarian crisis.

Civilians are often caught up in the crossfire as neighborhoods are divided between the armed forces, led by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo.

Some 9,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to the U.N., but local doctors groups and activists say the death toll is likely far higher.

Almost 300,000 people have fled Jazeera state, moving to the nearby Sennar state, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Wednesday.

 

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‘Nothing for me in Cameroon’: Waiting in Tunisia, one eye on Europe

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Having lost everything and everyone precious to him, Joseph tries to hold things together, waiting to leave Africa.

Joseph Afumbom is a big man who has faced unimaginable tragedy.

The conflict in Cameroon between Anglophone separatists and the government killed the 27-year-old’s mother, father and siblings. It also took his home in Bamenda in the country’s northwest.

“I was there when the war started. The war took everyone,” he said, “It was three years ago. My brothers and sisters are all gone.”

With his home and family destroyed and no jobs available, Joseph felt he had no option but to gather his fiancee, Esther, and their three-year-old daughter and travel the 5,000km (more than 3,000 miles) overland to the Mediterranean coast. They arrived in Algeria, where they considered crossing into Tunisia and from there to Europe.

However, both Joseph’s fiancee and daughter died in El Menia. “They are all gone because of the cold,” he says. “That was last month.”

“I’m just trying to act normal, you know,” he tells Al Jazeera. “See, I’m smoking. I’m whiling away my thinking, trying to act like a normal person, but I’m not.”

He paused, allowing his thoughts to drift back. “We had been together for years. My daughter was three. I called her ‘Little Joy’.”

Eventually, Joseph crossed into Tunisia, making his way to the coastal city of Sfax before travelling by shared taxis to the capital, Tunis. He didn’t eat for two days.

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“There is nothing left for me in Cameroon,” he says. “I will continue to Europe if I have the opportunity.”

This article is the third of a five-part series of portraits of refugees from different countries, with diverse backgrounds, bound by shared fears and hopes as they enter 2024. Read the first and second parts here.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

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Chad: Supreme court approves ‘yes’ referendum vote

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Chad’s Supreme Court definitively validated the results of the referendum for a new constitution organized by the military junta that has been in power for the past two and a half years, a key step intended to pave the way for elections in the country at the end of 2024.

According to the final results, the « yes » side won with 85.90% of the vote, while the « no » side won 14.10%, with a turnout of 62.8%, the president of the Supreme Court told a press conference.

For some members of the opposition and civil society, the result of this ballots a plebiscite resembles designed to pave the way for the election of the transitional president, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the Bloc Fédéral, an opposition coalition which had called for the results to be annulled on the grounds of several irregularities in the voting process.

The opposition, which had widely called for a boycott, denounced, in the words of Max Kemkoye, president of the Groupe de concertation des actors politiques (GCAP), « a second coup d’état by Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno », in the face of results which, in his view, were not credible.

The new constitutional text is not very different from the one already in force, and still gives great power to the Head of State.

Mahamat Déby, 37, was proclaimed transitional president by the army on April 20, 2021, at the head of a junta of 15 generals, following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed by rebels on his way to the front. Idriss Déby Itno had ruled the country with an iron fist for over 30 years.

The young general immediately promised elections after an 18-month transition period, and made a commitment to the African Union not to run. Eighteen months later, his regime extended the transition by two years and authorized him to stand in the presidential elections scheduled for late 2024.

On the anniversary of the 18-month transition, October 20, 2022, between 100 and more than 300 young men and teenagers were shot dead in N’Djamena by police and military, according to the opposition and national and international NGOs.

They were demonstrating against the two-year extension of the presidential term.

More than a thousand were imprisoned before being pardoned, but dozens were tortured or disappeared, according to NGOs and the opposition.

 

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