The military junta in Mali must work with the West African regional bloc to ensure a swift return to civilian rule, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou said on Monday.
Issoufou said this in Niamey while opening a summit in which Mali’s post-coup progress is high on the agenda.
A group of army colonels has ruled Mali since ousting President Ibrahim Keita on Aug. 18. No consensus has yet been reached on the make-up and duration of a transitional government ahead of promised elections.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is calling for a vote within a year, a timeline the junta, the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), has not committed to.
“It is the duty of our community to assist Malians with the rapid recovery of all democratic institutions.
“The military junta must help us to help Mali,” ECOWAS Chairman Issoufou said.
The bloc will issue a communique on the results of the summit, which is also expected to address other regional issues, including the coronavirus pandemic.
Seeking to pressure the junta, ECOWAS has already closed borders and halted financial flows amid concerns from some West African leaders the coup could undermine their power and democratic gains in the region.
Talks in the capital Bamako about the transition period got off to a bumpy start on Saturday, when supporters of the influential M5-RFP political coalition accused the junta of sidelining them.
International powers fear continued political turmoil will further destabilise Mali and undermine a joint fight against Islamist militants in the wider Sahel region.
The CNSP’s negotiations, which are also being held in regional capitals across Mali, will continue later this week.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Wale Ojetimi
Ekiti PDP congratulates Obaseki
The Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday congratulated Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on his victory at the polls.
The party, in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Sanya Adesua, in Ado-Ekiti, described Obaseki’s victory as well deserved.
According to the statement, the State Working Committee, under the leadership of Mr Kehinde Odebunmi, expresses the joy of Ekiti PDP and its members for the outstanding victory.
The party commended voters in Edo, PDP members in particular, for their doggedness and fighting spirit in ensuring the desired victory.
It encouraged its members to take a cue from the ruggedness, determination and sincerity of Obaseki, PDP members and Edo people across political divides, for not allowing politics of money bags to thrive in the state.
The party charged its members to maintain the tempo and fighting spirit in order to ensure the party’s victory in subsequent elections, especially those of Ondo and Ekiti states.
“This is a timely warning to those still acting God in our democracy to have a rethink and respect the power of the people.
“Obaseki neither compromised the victory of the party nor was he involved in underhand tricks against the party.
“They were transparent and sincere to the party; and here is the reward today.
“Ekiti State PDP also commends our courageous leaders led by Governor(s) Nyesom Wike of River; Seyi Makinde of Oyo state; Okowa of Delta and other leaders for ensuring the desired victory.
“As we continue to celebrate the victory of Godwin Obaseki, we must be on guard that it is not yet Uhuru until PDP removes all the anti-people rickety structures from the North to the South.
“That is the only hope of restoration for the Nigerian people; the next victory being Ondo state governorship election of Eyitayo Jegede, on Oct. 10, 2020,” the statement added.
Edited By: Moses Solanke/Donald Ugwu
Emir of llorin mourns Zazzau’s counterpart, Shehu ldris
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has commiserated with people of Zazzau Emirate and Kaduna State Government over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris.
In a condolence message signed by his media aide. AbdulAzeez Arowona in llorin on Monday, Sulu-Gambari described the demise of the frontline monarch as a colossal loss to the entire people of Zazzau Emirate, Kaduna State and Nigerians in general.
The monarch said late Shehu Idris was a compassionate personality whose contributions to nation building would not be forgotten in a hurry.
He condoled with Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State as well as the entire traditional rulers in the state over the irreparable loss.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Maharazu Ahmed
Lagos Speaker greets Oluremi Tinubu at 60
The Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, on Monday felicitated Sen. Oluremi Tinubu on the occasion of her 60th birthday celebration.
Obasa, who is also the Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, disclosed this in a congratulatory message in Lagos.
The speaker described Mrs Tinubu as a priceless gift to Lagos State and a great source of inspiration for women.
He said: “Your tenacious and resilient commitment to the cause of girl-child education is widely acknowledged.
“You have continued to work hard for the well-being of others with unquantifiable zeal, and with zest for the less privileged.
“You have been doing this with a large heart pulsating with care and compassion for all, regardless of class or creed.
“Your motherly disposition to societal welfare is legendary and your exemplary character is worthy of appreciation and emulation.”
Obasa prayed that Almighty God would continue to bless Sen. Tinubu, be with her and grant her divine enablement in her unrelenting quest for a better life for all.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Wale Ojetimi
International Peace Day: Commission calls for collective action to promote peace in Kaduna
The Executive Vice Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Priscilla Ankut, has called for collective action to promote peace and security in the state.
Ankut made the appeal in a statement issued in Kaduna on Monday, to mark the International Day of Peace.
The theme of the International Peace Day is ‘Shaping Peace Together in the COVID-19 era.’
She said residents must enthrone actions, individually and collectively, for peace and justice to thrive in the state.
“Today’s event offers the people of Kaduna State an opportunity for further reflection on actions that can be taken together to shape peace and justice in the state in the COVID-19 era.
“Despite the existing security challenges in flash point local governments of Birnin Gwari, Igabi, Chikun, Kajuru, Kaura, Kauru, Jemaa and Zango Kataf, the Commission, joined by stakeholders and well-meaning residents of Kaduna state, have continued to persevere and sustain the momentum of peace-building.”
Ankut regretted that the commemoration was taking place at a time when the state is experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and criminality which have led to avoidable loss of precious lives in the state and Nigeria in general.
She, however, said that with the support of government, security agencies, NGOs, CBOs, women and youth groups, traditional and religious leaders, the commission has been shaping the peace and transforming the narrative from one of violence to one of sustainable peace and development.
“The resilience of peace artisans, especially in our local communities have been a source of encouragement.
“The commission believes that with further commitments and efforts, creativity and resourcefulness, the match toward peaceful and harmonious coexistence will be achieved sooner than later,’’ she said.
Ankut urged individuals and groups across communities, especially those that have been affected by violence, not to relent in their quest for peace and harmonious coexistence.
“This is because sustained community-driven initiatives are the most reliable and lasting instruments of building peace.
“Today, should remind us of where we are coming from, and the possibility that we are heading toward overcoming and containing insecurity, criminality, mutual misunderstanding and mistrust in our communities.
“Together, we will ensure a just, secure and peaceful environment for everyone in our dear state,’’ she added.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/ Maharazu Ahmed