Friday, 24 November 2017

ENTERTAINMENT

Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa flew home on Wednesday to take power after the resignation of Robert Mugabe put an end to 37 years of authoritarian rule.

Mnangagwa flew into Harare’s Manyame airbase from South Africa and met key members of the ruling ZANU-PF there before heading to the nerve-centre of power, State House, for a briefing, his aide Larry Mavhima told AFP.

He will be sworn in as president at an inauguration ceremony on Friday, officials said. 

Mugabe’s iron grip ended on Tuesday in a shock announcement to parliament where MPs had convened to impeach the 93-year-old who dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life for decades.

He was last seen in public on Friday and gave a televised address on Sunday but neither he, nor his wife Grace, have been seen since, with their whereabouts unknown.

On the streets, the news that his long and often brutal leadership was over sparked wild celebrations which lasted late into the night, with crowds dancing and cheering ecstatically amid a cacophony of car horns.

Mnangagwa, 75, was sacked by the president on November 6 in a move that pushed infuriated army chiefs to intervene, triggering a series of events which led to Mugabe’s ouster.

Excited crowds
Ahead of his arrival, hundreds of people gathered outside ZANU-PF headquarters in Harare in the hope he would address them, some holding placards welcoming him home, while others wore shirts emblazoned with his likeness.

A former key Mugabe ally, Mnangagwa had fled the country after his dismissal, saying he would not return without guarantees of his safety.

His sacking was the result of an increasingly bitter succession battle with first lady Grace, who had been pushing to take over from her ageing husband.

In a highly symbolic scene shortly after his resignation, a man took down a portrait of Mugabe from a wall inside the building where MPs had assembled for the extraordinary session to impeach the defiant president.

Another person replaced it with an image of the ousted vice president. 

Mnangagwa is a political veteran long-time party loyalist who has served in a host of different cabinet positions since independence in 1980 and who has close ties with the military.

But critics describe him as a ruthless hardliner behind years of state-sponsored violence, warning he could prove just as authoritarian as his mentor.

And Rinaldo Depagne of the International Crisis Group said Mugabe’s departure “does not necessarily mean more democracy”.

Meeting Zuma
At Harare’s Manyame airbase, senior military commanders and a gaggle of journalists were waiting for him as his business jet touched down at around 1400 GMT, AFP correspondents at the scene said.

Before leaving South Africa where he had been staying, Pretoria published a photograph of Mnangagwa shaking hands with President Jacob Zuma following a meeting earlier in the day, with both men grinning broadly.

Mugabe’s resignation capped a chaotic week in which the military seized control and tens of thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets in an unprecedented show of dissent against Mugabe.

“We want our new president to make sure power hungry gangs don’t infiltrate,” said Talent Chamunorwa, 37, a brick seller.

“We hope to be able to access our money from the bank come December and the US dollar must come back.”

He was referring to Zimbabwe’s chronic shortage of cash and a mistrusted “bond note” scheme intended to be pegged to the greenback but trading at a lower rate in reality.

Outstayed his welcome
Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe almost unopposed since independence and until his exit, he was also the world’s oldest serving head of state.

But efforts to position his 52-year-old wife Grace as his successor were his undoing.

Although Mugabe’s fate remains unknown, ZANU-PF has said he deserved to be treated with respect after leading the country for nearly four decades.

“He deserves to rest and I believe every Zimbabwean agrees with this,” said ruling party spokesman Simon Khaya Moyo.

“But I think he had overstayed the hospitality of the people of Zimbabwe.”

Last week’s military takeover had all the hallmarks of a coup, but the generals stopped short of forcing Mugabe out.

As the crisis grew, the ZANU-PF party, an instrument of Mugabe’s brutal reign, removed him as party leader and began parliamentary proceedings to have him impeached.

‘Extraordinary opportunity’
The international community hailed his exit as a chance to reshape Zimbabwe’s future, with British Prime Minister Theresa May saying it offered “an opportunity to forge a new path free of the oppression” that characterised Mugabe’s rule.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it offered Zimbabwe “an extraordinary opportunity to set itself on a new path”.

And Beijing, which became a major political and economic partner of Harare as it was shunned by the west, said it respected Mugabe’s decision, describing him as a “good friend of the Chinese people”.

Most Zimbabweans had only known life under Mugabe, whose time in power was defined by violent suppression, economic collapse and international isolation.

Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo says there is no better man for the Presidency than President Muhammadu Buhari.Okorocha said this while addressing leaders of the ‘Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 2019,” who were on a courtesy visit to him at the Government House, Owerri on Tuesday.

He urged every Nigeria to support President Buhari for second term, adding that all but two Governors in the country, regardless of party affiliation, were in support of a second term for the President.

“President Buhari is the best for the country at the moment and that there could not have been a better option now.‘’I am a believer of Buhari and I made it clear years ago that if President Buhari is running for president, I will not run.

“Now God has chosen him to be the president of Nigeria and some of us are witnesses that Buhari was and is still the best for Nigeria at this material time,” he said.

Okorocha also said that Nigeria’s quick exit from economic recession was a testament to Buhari’s tenacity, adding that he had shelved his ambition in preference to support Buhari.

While appealing to others to extend the same level of support, he noted Buhari’s second term would bring about enhanced unity and peace of Nigeria.

“Supporting Buhari for a second tenure will bring about the new Nigeria we are talking about. This will put Nigeria first and the unity we are looking for will be guaranteed under this administration.

“Our nation is going through a challenging moment and we will require a man of his calibre to see us through this period.

“People should not use the Anambra election result to judge the support for Buhari as it does not reflect the support.

“Even the government and people of Anambra support President Buhari, what happened was that an internal disagreement among the leaders in APC in Anambra cost us the election.”

Earlier, the National Chairman of the group, Mr Kassim Kassim, said the group came to appeal to Okorocha to shelve his ambition of running for the office of the president of the country.

He noted that although Okorocha was well qualified to run, his support was needed to enable Buhari to complete his “good works for the nation.”

“With your track records, we would have gladly chosen you to run for 2019, but we have all endorsed Buhari and accepted that you lead us all the way in the support.

“We are begging and pleading that you lead all the governors of APC to support Buhari for what he has done and what he stands for in Nigeria.“With you on our side, victory is assured” Kassim said.

Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday following the resignation of Robert Mugabe, state broadcaster ZBC reported on Wednesday.

Mnangagwa, who fled for his safety after Mugabe sacked him two weeks ago, will land back in Zimbabwe at 6pm (1600 GMT) at Manyame Airbase in Harare, ZBC said.

Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot.

Mnangagwa, whose sacking this month prompted the military takeover that forced Mugabe out, was expected to land

in Zimbabwe at 1130 GMT, Larry Mavhima, an ally of the former vice president, told Reuters.

Mnangagwa, 75, who fled from Zimbabwe in fear of his safety after being sacked this month, could be sworn in as president later on Wednesday or on Thursday and is likely to lead ZANU-PF into elections in 2018.

Mugabe resigned as Zimbabwe’s president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved to end four decades of rule by a man once feted as an independence hero who became feared as a despot.

The 93-year-old Mugabe had clung on for a week after an army takeover, with ZANU-PF urging him to go.

He finally resigned moments after parliament began an impeachment process seen as the only legal way to force him out.

People danced in the streets of Harare and car horns blared at the news that the era of Mugabe, who had led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, was finally over.

Some brandished posters of Mnangagwa and army chief General Constantino Chiwenga.

Speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda is due to hold a news conference at 8.30 GMT.

Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe Tuesday, swept from power as his 37-year reign of brutality and autocratic control crumbled within days of a military takeover.

The bombshell news was delivered by the parliament speaker to a special joint session of the assembly which had convened to impeach Mugabe, 93, who has dominated every aspect of Zimbabwean public life since independence in 1980.

It was greeted on the streets of the capital Harare with car horns and wild cheering.

“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,” said speaker Jacob Mudenda, reading the letter.

“My decision to resign is voluntary on my part. It arises from my concern for the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe and my desire to ensure a smooth, peaceful and non-violent transfer of power that underpins national security, peace and stability.”

It capped an unprecedented week in which the military seized control, tens of thousands of ordinary Zimbabweans took to the streets to demand that the president go and Mugabe wrestled to remain in power.

– ‘Things are finally going to change’ –
“We are just so happy that things are finally going to change,” Togo Ndhlalambi, 32, a hairdresser, told AFP.

Mugabe had ruled Zimbabwe almost unopposed since the country won independence from Britain but his efforts to position his wife Grace as his successor triggered fury in the military that had underpinned his regime.

His grip on power was shattered last week when the armoured military vehicles took to the streets, blockaded parliament and soldiers placed the president under house arrest in an operation that had all the hallmarks of a coup. 

But instead his generals stressed they were simply “arresting” criminals around Mugabe — a reference to supporters of Grace — and even allowed the one-time liberation hero to appear at a public function and deliver a TV speech stressing that he retained control.

Open dissent 
It is expected that he will eventually be replaced by former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had been Grace Mugabe’s chief rival to succeed her husband and whose dismissal earlier this month triggered the army takeover.

Grace has not been seen since the start of the crisis.

However, under Zimbabwe’s constitution, second Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko stands to be elevated as head of state.

Veterans of the independence war — who were also formerly key Mugabe allies — had compounded mounting pressure on the former leader, demanding that he leave office immediately and helping to rally the weekend’s vast protests.

On Saturday, in scenes of public euphoria not seen since independence, huge crowds marched and sang their way through Harare and other cities in peaceful celebrations to mark his fading power.

The demonstrations drew citizens of all ages and races, jubilant that Mugabe’s fate had been sealed.

In central Harare, a group of young men tore down a green metal street sign bearing Robert Mugabe’s name and smashed it repeatedly on the road.

Such open dissent would have would have been routinely crushed by security forces before this week’s shock events.

The majority of Zimbabweans had only known life under Mugabe’s rule, which was defined by violent suppression, economic collapse and international isolation.

Zimbabwe’s parliament opened a session on Tuesday to begin the process of impeaching President Robert Mugabe, which could lead to him being stripped of office, an AFP correspondent saw.

Parliament speaker Jacob Mubenda gave permission for a joint session of the House of Assembly and the Senate to debate a motion that would trigger impeachment proceedings against Mugabe.

“This motion is unprecedented in the history of post-independence Zimbabwe,” Mubenda declared.

Lawmakers from across the political spectrum have called on Mugabe to quit after the military seized power and tens of thousands of citizens took to the streets to demand the 93-year-old’s resignation.

They accuse him of allowing his ambitious wife Grace to plunder the country and to usurp his power.

She emerged as the front-runner to replace the veteran leader when Mugabe fired his vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

That prompted the current crisis as the army, alarmed by Grace’s rise, deployed armoured vehicles on the streets and took power.

There were tense protests outside parliament as hundreds of demonstrators — from rival political parties — shouted for Mugabe to go.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 07:05

Witness: how ex-PDP chair’s son was killed

Fresh facts emerged last night that the jealous wife, Maryam Sanda, who stabbed her late husband, Bilyamin Bello, the son of a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Haliru Bello, was earlier prevented four times from carrying out the act.

It was also alleged that bloodstains in the couple’s flat had been mopped up and murder weapon cleared by unknown persons before homicide detectives stormed the place on Sunday.

The deceased also at the last minutes went to an ATM and withdrew cash to pay for the balance of the repair of his wife’s crashed car.

But Maryam was said to have demanded for a divorce with the threat of cutting off her husband’s manhood.

These facts were contained in the testimony of a witness, Habib Gajam (aka Gidado), which was published in the Lifestyle Section of  inside are wa.com.ng

Gajam, who is a family friend, gave the graphic details of what transpired and how the embattled wife had tried to cover up the act.

Gajam said: “Today, I witnessed the most wicked and shameful display of arrogance in Bilyaminu’s death case.

“At about 9 to 10p.m. last night  (Saturday),  tension started to build between Bilyaminu  and his wife, Maryam,  at his residence.

“Maryam demanded a divorce with the threat of cutting off his manhood. Ibrahim Aliero, Bilyaminu’s friend (in whose instance the drama started) intervened four times to stop Maryam from stabbing her husband.

“Ibrahim called Auta (Maryam’s uncle) and Abba (Bilyaminu’s cousin), who had left the house moments before the drama started, to come and intervene.

“After a short calm, Maryam broke a bottle of groundnut and attempted to stab Bilyaminu, again, but this time he held both her hands and struggled to take the bottle from her, injuring himself in the process. Unrelenting and wild, she bit his finger.

“Uncle Auta had arrived this time to calm the situation. They both committed to Uncle Auta to let go of the grievances (at least for the night).

“After the situation had become calm, Bilyaminu and his friend went to the Pharmacy to get his hand treated from the bite he sustained from Maryam.

“They later went to the ATM and made a withdrawal to pay up the balance of a spare part for Maryam’s crashed car. By 11pm, Bilyaminu and Ibrahim had gone back to a calm home. Abba (Bilyaminu’s cousin) joined them in the living room.

“They stayed till almost midnight and decided to call it a night.

In the emotional piece, Gajam related the parting words of Bilyamin to his cousin and others.

He also captured attempts by the detained wife to change the story at the police station in order to cover up her crime.

The witness said: “When Bilyaminu was seeing them off, he told Ibrahim that ‘I don’t want to go back until she’s asleep’. They called it a day. Abba and Ibrahim left.

“At around 2pm Sunday afternoon, family members were summoned to Maitama Hospital, where Bilyaminu was lying in a pool of his blood with multiple stabs on his chest, shoulder, a deep cut on his inner thigh and many bite wounds on his stomach.

“Maryam had confessed to stabbing him to the hospital authorities. Maitama Police Station was the next point of call.

“At Maitama Station, where Maryam was asked to write her statement, story changed. She claimed they got involved in a fight and Bilyaminu sustained injuries from a broken Shisha pot and that she never stabbed or hit him.

“She was later taken to the FCT Command in Garki II for further investigation. The police commissioner instructed that the crime scene should be visited.”

Gajam explained: “To the amazement of Abba (Bilyaminu’s cousin) and Ibrahim (his friend), who are key witnesses in the investigation, bloodstains had been mopped up, murder weapon disappeared, but flower vases and shisha pot were broken to corroborate Maryam’s earlier statement at the station.

“In the midst of this tragedy and confusion, Maryam had the audacity and courage to change her story. More disgusting is her lack of remorse and respect for the victim’s family.

“Someone, who divorced his first wife to be with you doesn’t deserve this. #JusticeForBilyaminu shall be served by the Almighty Allah on the day of resurrection.

“May Allah grant Bilyaminu Jannah and bless the life of his eight months old daughter, Sa’adatu.”

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested Peter Odion, the chef of a former Minister of Finance, Dr Kalu Idika, for his involvement in the robbery of his boss.

Odion lived with the ex-minister at 180A, Moshood Olugbani Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He had allegedly put some sedatives into a cup of coffee he served the ex-minister on a Wednesday morning.

After Idika slept off, Odion was said to have led his gang members into the boss’ apartment, where they made away with a sum of N750,000, a Blackberry, a Samsung phone and other valuables estimated at about N10m.

Odion was paraded on Monday at the police command office in Ikeja along with four others identified as Samuel Ogana, Joy Omagu, Uboh Obi and Sunday Emmanuel.

The state Acting Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, said operatives of the State Intelligence Bureau, tracked down the suspects.

The CP said the gang members had wanted to adopt a similar method to rob one Mrs. Augustina Akhibi, when they met their Waterloo.

He said, “The syndicate is made up of six members who specialise in getting jobs as cooks or home helps and while in service, gain the trust of their principals and inject their food with drugs to make them sleep off. They thereafter cart away their principals’ belongings.

“The first victim, Dr Kalu Idika, was robbed of items worth N10,943,000 on September 20, 2017, while the second potential victim, Mrs. Akhibi, was used by the police as a bait to bust the syndicate.”

He added that drug substances like Diazepam Injection, ground nitrogen (morgodon) table, and a syringe filled with some substances, were recovered from the gang.”

The chef, Odion, who admitted to the crime, told PUNCH Metro that he was desperate to get a sum of N60,000 his boss allegedly owed him.

He said, “I started working with the man some months ago. The man owed me N60,000 and he refused to pay. I told my friend, Samuel (Ogana), and he gave me the drug to put in his tea. They came in when he was asleep and robbed him. I played along with them. Other workers in the house did not know I was involved. I got N100,000 from the proceeds.”

Twenty-year-old Omagu said Emmanuel acted as an agent and contracted her as a housemaid to Akhibi.

“He gave me some sedatives to make the woman sleep, but I had not used them when the police arrested me,” she added.

But 38-year-old Emmanuel denied that he gave the drugs to Omagu, noting that he had got a housemaid for the woman in the past.

He said, “I only told her (Omagu) that the woman was wicked and that she could do whatever she liked to her. I don’t know anything about the drugs.”

The Federal Government has floated the much awaited US$3 billion dual series bond to fund approved budgetary expenditures.

A statement from the Federal Ministry of Finance yesterday quoted Minister  Kemi Adeosun as saying that “the government would utilise the proceeds of the Notes in funding the approved budgetary expenditures and for refinancing of domestic debt, as may be applicable.”

According to Mrs. Adeosun, the Notes represent Nigeria’s fourth Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011, 2013 (two series) and earlier in 2017.

She noted: “Nigeria is implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda designed to deliver long-term sustainable growth and reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues while reducing waste and improving the efficiency of government expenditure.

“Our economy is beginning to recover, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) having returned to growth in 2017, but we must maintain the momentum behind our investments in order to further drive growth. That is why we are, and will continue to focus investment on the enabling infrastructure we need to broaden economic productivity.

“Successfully extending out debt profile in the international market to 30 years is a key element of that strategy as it establishes a basis for the longer term financing required for transformational infrastructure investment.

“As we have always stated we are progressively replacing debt with revenue, which is reflected in the 2018 Budget proposal. We are establishing the building blocks for inclusive growth and beginning to see the results of the hard decisions that have been made to reset our economy appropriately.”

The aggregate principal amount of the dual series bond is being offered notes under the Federal Government’s US$4.5 billion Global Medium Term Note programme (increased from US$1.5 billion).

The Notes comprise a US$1.5 billion 10-year series and a US$1.5 billion 30-year series.

The Ministry of Finance said “the 10-year series will bear interest at a rate of 6.5%, while the 30-year series will bear interest at a rate of 7.625%, which will be repayable with a bullet repayment of the principal on maturity.

The statement said “the offering, which attracted significant interests from leading global institutional investors, is expected to be closed on or about 28 November, 2017, subject to the satisfaction of various customary closing conditions.”

When issued, the Notes will be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and available to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market.

Nigeria may apply for the Notes to be eligible for trading and listed on the Nigerian FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The pricing was determined following a roadshow led by Mrs. Adeosun; the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma; Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele; Debt Management Office (DMO) Director-General Ms. Patience Oniha, and the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze.

Commenting on the Notes’ pricing, the DMO Director-General Patience Oniha said: “With the successful pricing of our 4th Eurobond, Nigeria has become one of the few African issuers whose securities have attracted strong investor interest amongst institutional investors across the globe.

“This time, Nigeria issued a new 10-year bond at a yield of 6.500% and a 30-year benchmark, priced at a yield of 7.625%, which despite the longer tenure remains cheaper than our 15-year issuance earlier this year.

“The 30-year is a landmark as the tenor represents the first by a sub-Saharan country other than South Africa and importantly establishes the basis for long term infrastructure funding, which is a priority for this government.”

Oniha expressed satisfaction with international investors’ recognition of Nigeria’s huge potential.

“Perhaps even more important is that with this dual tranche issuance the objective of reducing the cost of government borrowing has been achieved,” she added.

 

Panelists are Secondus’ men, Adeniran claims

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains unsettled as it heads for its December 9 convention.

National chairman aspirant Prof. Tunde Adeniran has kicked against the list of panelists to conduct the ward delegates’ election ahead of the convention. He has petitioned the leadership.

The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting has been fixed for Abuja to ratify the list, among other decisions on the convention.

Adeniran said many members of the committee are sympathisers and supporters of Prince Uche Secondus, another chairmanship candidate.

In the Southwest, the faction led by Chief Makanjuola Ogundipe is laying claim to legitimacy. The leadership recognises Dr. Eddy Olafeso as the Vice Chairman (Southwest). Makanjuola is threatening a law suit should his faction be denied participation at the convention.

In Oyo State, a meeting on Sunday to settle the differences between the two factions on Sunday broke up in disagreement.

The director general of Adeniran’s Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Shehu Gabam, said the peace accord entered into by the eight chairmanship aspirants is threatened.

”A particular state has members on that list and some of  them are the leading campaigners for Prince Uche Secondus. We as campaign organisation were not consulted to bring one or two persons and I am sure other aspirants were not consulted too.

“It is an indirect way of short-changing other aspirants. The spirit behind the MoU we signed has been violated, not by the aspirants but by the party managers,” Gabam said.

The Adeniran camp mentioned Senator George Sekibo, Mr. Austin Opara, ThanGod Danagogo, Chief Kenneth Ubani Emeka Ihedioha as some of the Secondus loyalists on the list.

The Adeniran camp said: “Now you have just one chairmanship aspirant having his men deeply entrenched in a system that would determine how the delegates will emerge.

“The party created the division among the aspirants. The party should provide equal base for all aspirants and I want to say that we disagree with the composition of this list.”

Adeniran urged the party leadership to shun impunity and imposition of candidates, saying PDP must learn from past mistakes.

The camp yesterday rejected the call by the Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose for shadow primary elections for aspirants from the South West, saying the governor had already taken sides.

The Caretaker Committee of the PDP said: “We have received a petition written by Prof Adeniran on the matter and the Caretaker Committee will meet to discuss the petition this week.”

Ogundipe told reporters that the faction remained the authentic executive in the zone based on a subsisting court judgment.

Ogundipe said the continued recognition of Olafeso as Vice Chairman (Southwest) ran foul of the law as there had been no superior order to nullify the subsisting Abuja court judgment.

“We are the authentic Southwest zonal executive of the PDP, based on a subsisting court judgment and we want the party to accord us the due recognition.

“Any other group parading themselves as exco from the zone is committing an illegality as there has been no better judgement to nullify the court judgement affirming us as the authentic executive.

“Moreso, the subsisting court order restrained Olafeso and his group from participating in the Dec. 9 national convention.

“We do not want to constitute any problem to the convention and that is why we are saying the party should operate in accordance with law and allow us to present delegates from the zone.

“In the event that we are excluded, just as we were at the non-elective convention in Port-Harcourt, we shall take the necessary legal action, and that will affect the party in the long run,” he said.

Ogundipe said the Supreme Court judgment affirming Sen. Ahmed Makarfi as Caretaker Chairman did not nullify the leadership of his faction in the zone.

He urged all stakeholders to abide by the rule of law in order not to jeopardise the progress of the party.

Ogundipe cleared Chief Olabode George of any involvement in the leadership impasse in the zone.

He said an all-encompassing meeting of stakeholders in the zone, including national chairmanship aspirants, would soon hold, to decide on a united position of the zone to the convention.

Olafeso, in a statement yesterday said the Southwest PDP did not micro zone the chairman’s post.

He denied that the Southwest executive at its last meeting with stakeholders directed that national chairman aspirant must come from a particular state.

“This is patently false as no such decision was taken. We only zoned other offices that were zoned to the Southwest among all the states in the region and this action is traditional.

“The position of national chairman and deputy national chairman is zoned to the southern states and, as such is beyond the scope of the South West zone to unilaterally adjudicate on. We declare that all those gentlemen that have signified their intentions to contest for those positions remain at liberty to continue to prosecute their ambitions without hindrance.”

The attempt to resolve the crisis between the two factions in Oyo State failed at the weekend.

Senator Rashidi Ladoja called a parley in his home on Sunday but it ended in a stalemate as the faction led by Seyi Makinde, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarumi and Senator Hosea Agboola rejected the terms of truce.

At the meeting, the representatives of the Makinde faction – Akande-Adeola, Agboola and Hon. Kehinde Ayoola- rejected the offer of a position for Akande-Adeola and Agboola to appease the faction.

The faction, it was learnt, insisted on harmonisation that will see both factions have almost equal number of slots in the State Executive.

The factions held parallel congresses on November 4.

The National Caretaker Committee invited Ladoja for a resolution. Ladoja was said to have promised the committee that he would resolve the crisis.  His promise made the national leadership to stop its intervention. The committee also considered the fact that both factions accepted the former governor as the leader.

At the Sunday meeting were also Sen. Femi Lanlehin, Chief Yemi Aderibigbe and Sen.  Ayo Adeseun from the Ladoja faction.

The meeting, which lasted for over two hours, failed to resolve the problem, with each camp not ready to shift grounds.

It was learnt that Makinde also rejected the two slots already given to him, saying he should have been allowed to present his own candidates.

Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party will launch the parliamentary process on Tuesday for impeaching President Robert Mugabe, a government lawmaker told AFP.

The decision on Monday came after Mugabe missed a deadline to resign given to him by his party over the weekend.

Once a simple majority of parliamentarians vote for impeachment, an investigative committee is formed by lawmakers, who report back to both houses of parliament. Each house must then vote by a two-thirds majority for him to be stripped of office.

“We are expecting the motion to be over (Tuesday),” said ZANU-PF lawmaker Paul Mangwana, referring to the initial procedure to commence impeachment proceedings.

He added that ZANU-PF had approached the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party to seek their cooperation to pass the necessary parliamentary votes.

In a televised address late Sunday, the 93-year-old veteran leader defied expectations he would quit, pitching the country into a second week of political crisis.

The speech provoked anger and disbelief among many Zimbabweans, fuelling concerns that Mugabe could face a violent backlash.

Zimbabwe’s crisis erupted on November 13 after a factional squabble over the presidential succession erupted into the open prompting the army to seize power.

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