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The Gambia: President Buhari, West African leaders in a closed door meeting

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Presidents of Liberia and Senegal, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Macky Sall as well as ex-Ghanaian President John Mahama are attending the meeting.

 

NAN reports that the representative of the United Nations to West Africa and The Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas is also attending the meeting while the Vice –President of Sierra Leone is still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.

NAN further reports that the meeting which is being held at the new Presidential Banquet, Aso Villa, followed the one in Accra on the sidelines of the inauguration of President Nana Akufo-Addo, on Saturday.

NAN gathered that the meeting of the West African leaders is aimed at avoiding violence and preserving democracy in The Gambia.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said the Abuja talks would discuss further steps to be taken.

“There are some disturbing information the (Nigerian) president (Muhammadu Buhari) is hearing which he needs to verify and the Abuja meeting will take a final decision,” he said, without elaborating.

The West African leaders at the Accra meeting expressed the readiness of the region to continue the pursuit of dialogue with the leaders of The Gambia.

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At the last ECOWAS meeting in Abuja, President Buhari, and the former President of Ghana, John Mahama were appointed as Mediator and Co-Mediator to resolve the political impasse.

They have also been mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure the safety of the President-elect, Adama Barrow and ensure a peaceful handover of power on Jan. 19.

After the meeting in Accra, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the regional bloc had no intention to deploy its standby military force in Gambia.

“We are committed to a peaceful mediation and a peaceful transfer of power in the Gambia … we will continue to pursue that for now,” Sirleaf, who chairs the 15-member body said.

Asked if the regional group would deploy a standby force soon, she said “no”, adding that ECOWAS was closely monitoring proceedings in Gambia’s Supreme Court where President Yahya Jammeh is challenging the poll result.

Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the top U.N. official in West Africa, also attended the closed-door meeting, which was the first official engagement by Ghana’s new President Nana Akufo-Addo, who was sworn in on Saturday.

Diplomats are concerned about the impasse over the poll.

The United States warned its citizens on Saturday against visiting Gambia, whose white beaches are a draw for tourists.

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“The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to The Gambia because of the potential for civil unrest and violence in the near future,” the statement said.

Jammeh, a former coup leader, who has ruled Gambia for 22 years, initially accepted his defeat by opposition figure Adama Barrow in the Dec. 1 election.

But a week later reversed his position, vowing to hang on to power despite a wave of regional and international condemnation.

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Politics

Oyo APC women stakeholders mobilise for party’s membership registration

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Women stakeholders in the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to mobilize all existing and prospective members to participate in Party’s forthcoming nationwide membership registration and revalidation exercise billed for January 25, 2021.

Rising from a stakeholders meeting held at the Oke-Ado, Ibadan State Secretariat of the APC on Monday and attended by women executive committee members, party chieftains, serving and former elected lawmakers, former political appointees and faithful, Oyo APC women expressed their readiness to support the exercise which, according to them, would send the signal to the world that APC remained the party to  beat in the state come 2023.

In her welcome address, the Oyo APC Caretaker Woman Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams, charged those in attendance to do all that was necessary to encourage old members of the party to revalidate their membership as required and also mobilize all residents across the state to register as new members with a view to accommodating all willing patriots wishing to contribute their quota to the cause of democracy and nation building.

“Women have always been at the forefront when it comes to mobilization of people, electioneering campaigns and promotion of the ideals within the Progressive fold. This time, we would do more to maximize the gains for our great party and also give hope to the people of the state who are currently suffering in the hands of the current PDP administration. We shall take the gospel to all the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure that Oyo APC’s membership population rise to, at least, 2.5 million”,  Mrs Williams said.

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In her remarks, the former Head of Service and a stalwart of the party in the state, Mrs Hannah Olawumi Ogunesan, observed that it was time for all leaders and members of Oyo APC to sheathe their sword and give a room for genuine reconciliation among themselves.

“We must all bury the hatchet and embrace one another as members of the same Progressive family. As women, we are agents of peace and tranquillity. So, we must spare no efforts to preach peace and harmony at all times”.

A serving member of the State House of Assembly representing Ogbomoso North Constituency, Hon. Wumi Oladeji, in her own address at the meeting, also charged those in attendance to go all out and encourage people at the grassroots to keep faith with the party as doing so “would guarantee the quick realisation of the dream to make the Pacesetter state great again”.

Notable party faithful at the meeting are the representatives of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Folake Olunloyo-Oshinowo and a former Senatorial candidate in Oyo South, Chief (Mrs) Olanrewaju Otiti. Others include; Mrs Toyin Ajibade (deputy state woman leader), Taiwo Moteleola (Oyo South Senatorial woman leader), Mrs Juliannah Ajuwon (Oyo North Senatorial woman leader) as well as all the Woman Leaders in the 33 local government areas of the state.

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2023: Ex -Osun governor, Akande promises to consult Yoruba leaders over Tinubu’s presidency

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A former governor of Osun state, Chief Bisi Akande has promised to consult with the Yoruba leaders over the presidential ambition of Mr. Bola Tinubu.

Akande, who receives in courtesy visit delegation of South West Agenda for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (SWAGA) led by Senator Dayo Adeyeye on Sunday lauded the effort of the group.

He promised to  deliver SWAGA’s message calling on Tinubu to throw his hat into the ring for the 2023 presidency to all the Yoruba leaders in the region.

According to the elder statesman, it is the turn of South to succeed  President Muhammadu Buhari, declaring that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the South-west, is the best man for the job .

The group later visited Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Osun state governor.

Coordinators from Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo states were  also part of the entourage.

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LEADERSHIP TUSSLE: Lagos PDP Endorses Makinde As S’ West Leader

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The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Saturday, declared that it was endorsing Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State as the leader of the party in the South West.

Lagos PDP leaders, who made the declaration after a meeting with Governor Makinde in Ibadan, the state capital said that they were highly appreciative of the outstanding role the  governor has played in the life of the party.

The party leaders also pledged their unflinching loyalty to the leadership of Governor Makinde in the South West PDP, adding that his leadership style was exemplary.

The Deputy Chairman of the PDP in Lagos State, Alhaji Waliu Hassan, and the former House of representative  member, Hon Rita Orji, who spoke to journalists shortly after a  stakeholders meeting held at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, asked the governor to continue his leadership role and never to relent in showing leadership.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the party leaders informed that members of the  PDP in Lagos have agreed to continually resolve their crisis amicably so as to ensure that the party takes over the baton of leadership come 2023.

“The purpose of today’s meeting, to be very precise, is to thank Governor Makinde for standing by the party and to pledge total loyalty to his leadership of the South-West. No more, no less. 

“We can tell you that the governor does not want anything from us. He, as the Chief Security Officer of Oyo State, needs nothing from the party, rather we are the ones who came all the way from Lagos, to plead with him to keep leading the party.

“We resolved to, irrespective of any rancor, move the party forward and we will ensure that the party takes its better seat in 2023”, the duo submitted.

They also hinted that all PDP members in Lagos state have restated their commitment to Governor Seyi Makinde and promised to stand by him always.

“We did not come here to discuss who takes anything for zonal congress. The congress will soon come up and for all we care, we have come to restate our commitment to our own governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, and we stand by him anywhere he is going on the issue of the South West.”

They  told newsmen that the full structure of the Lagos PDP Executive attended the meeting, adding that 12 executive council  members were present out of 19,  while all the 17 non -working committee members were also present.

They added: “Yes, it is the full structure of Lagos that is represented here. Out of 19, we have the representation of 12 local government chairmen. And we also have 17 complete non-working committee members of state exco here present. We have the deputy chairman of the party here. We have the secretary, legal adviser and the entire party structure of Lagos State here. This is a complete House of PDP, Lagos State.”

On his part, the Caretaker Zonal Chairman of the party, Dayo Ogungbenro affirmed that Governor Makinde remains the undisputed leader of the party in the zone.

Ogungbenro called on other leaders like Ayodele Fayose and others to rally round Makinde with a view to forming a formidable party for future elections.

The event, according to the statement, had in attendance the former Federal House of Representatives member from Lagos State, Honourable Rita Orji, and a host of other party leaders.

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