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Gabon: Tinubu moves against junta, rallies world leaders *Insists coup unacceptable



Like he did in Niger Republic, President Bola Tinubu, is already talking tough over the coup in Gabon that chased away the country’s civilian government led by Ali Bongo on Wednesday, insisting that military coups remained unacceptable anywhere in Africa.

Tinubu, is in agreement with world leaders, who also seemed to have harkened to the cry for help from Bongo, scion of former lifetime leader, Omar Bongo, who died in office after more than three decades in power, having called on friends across the world to save him from his ordeal by “making noise.”

The world leaders, including the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), European Union (EU), United States (U.S.), Russia and others, not only demanded the safety of the deposed President, but asked the junta to return to their barracks and restore democratic order.

France, Gabonese colonial master, which also condemned the coup, said through Olivier Veran, government spokesman: “France has maintained close economic, diplomatic and military ties with Gabon, and has 400 soldiers stationed in the country leading a regional military training operation.

In the same vein, the U.S. described the development as “deeply concerning,” adding in a statement by John Kirby White House National Security spokesman: “We are going to watch this closely, and we’re going to continue to do everything we can to support the idea of democratic ideals that are expressed by the African people.”

China on its part, while calling on relevant parties in Gabon to restore order as soon as possible, urged them to ensure the personal safety of President Bongo, maintain national peace, stability, and overall development, according to Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry.

Moscow, through Maria Zakharova Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, while stating that it received with concern reports of the sharp deterioration in the internal situation in Gabon, added: “We continue to closely monitor the development of the situation and hope for its speedy stabilization.”

Margarita Robles Spain’s Acting Defence Minister, while highlighting her country’s position on the development during a meeting of European Union Defence Ministers in Toledo, said Spain, whose about 140 troops are stationed to the northeast of Mali’s capital, Bamako, as part of the EU’s training mission, was monitoring events in Africa’s Sahel region with great concern.

The coup in Gabon, a thinly-populated, but oil-rich country, would be the sixth on the African continent in six years, after countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad and most recently Niger Republic, despite the revulsion of the African Union to such undemocratic moves to regime changes.

Holed up in his residence in Libreville, where he has been kept under a house arrest by the soldiers, who announced the take-over of political power early morning on Wednesday, following what they said was an unacceptable electoral process that gave the President who came into power in 2009 after the father’s death, Bongo had begged his friends across the world to intervene.

In the viral video, he made to underscore his situation, the ousted President, said: “I’m Ali Bongo Odinba, President of Gabon. I’m to send a message to all my friends that we have all over the world and to tell them to make noise, to make noise, for the people here have arrested me and my family.

“My son is  somewhere and my wife is in another place and I’m at the residence. Right now, I’m in the residence. Nothing is happening, nothing is happening really. I don’t know what is going on. So, I’m calling you to make noise, to make noise, to make noise really. I’m thanking you. Thank you!”

Tinubu’s fresh moves, saw him speaking with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and some  ECOWAS leaders in his capacity as the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government, on Wednesday to find a way to move in and arrest the situation.

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelari, his spokesman, said the President indicated his readiness to see to the restoration of order in Gabon, on the same day UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the takeover through his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, who said he “firmly condemns the ongoing coup attempt as a means to resolve the post-electoral crisis and reaffirms his strong opposition to military coups.”

The AU through the Head of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, also echoed the same sentiments by calling on security forces to peacefully return to “democratic constitutional order,” in a statement by his spokesman, who added: “He calls on the national army and the security forces to guarantee the personal safety of the president, the members of his family and those of his government.”

Josep Borrell, a top EU diplomat, while stating the position of the body said the situation would be discussed by the bloc’s ministers this week, adding: “If this is confirmed, it’s another military coup, which increases instability in the whole region,” while Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland called the coup “an illegal takeover of power.”

She said: “The Commonwealth Charter is clear that member states must uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy at all times and the Commonwealth Secretariat will be keenly monitoring the situation.”

But, while Bongo, rallied support to end the coup, citizens trooped out into the streets in celebration chanting the national anthem, saying the country had been saved from decades of the vice grip of the family getting rich on the country’s wealth while many of its citizens struggle to scrape by.


Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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