South Africa’s ruling ANC marked its 110th anniversary Saturday in low-key fashion as the country reels from the devastating fire in parliament, last year’s deadly riots and emerging details of corruption.
In the stands of a stadium in Polokwane, in northern Limpopo province, a few hundred party members sporting the African National Congress signature yellow, green and black dotted the terraces.
It was a far cry from the noisy and large crowds of supporters traditionally bused in for the annual festivities, thanks to Covid-19 restrictions limiting outdoor gatherings to just 2,000 people.
And the speech from President Cyril Ramaphosa, in which he referred to acts that had had “the effect of subverting our constitutional democracy”, further dampened the party atmosphere.
“These acts include blatant acts of state (corruption) and criminality… the concerted campaign of public violence and destruction that took place in July last year, as well as ongoing theft, destruction and obstruction of infrastructure,” Ramaphosa told party loyalists.
“This anniversary takes place just a few days after a devastating fire swept through our parliament in Cape Town.
“The entire country has been shocked, outraged and saddened by the destruction because the institution of parliament is a repository of our democracy — and symbol of democratic stability of our people,” Ramaphosa said.
His government was, he said, “reforming our law enforcement agencies, our security sector, so that it’s better positioned to defend the gains of our democracy”.
– Corruption report –
The state suffered other setbacks over the past year.
The state security agency was roundly criticised after police stood by watching when the jailing of Ramaphosa’s predecessor Jacob Zuma sparked an orgy of rioting and looting in July that claimed more than 300 lives.
Zuma was sent to prison for refusing to cooperate with corruption investigators.
The party of Nelson Mandela, which led the liberation of South Africa from the shackles of white-minority apartheid rule, has been weakened by historically poor electoral showings, factionalism and corruption.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa received a report of more than 800 pages containing nearly four years of testimonies collected by a judicial panel on corruption.
Its authors accuse the ANC of having turned a blind eye to graft in state-owned companies that play a significant role in the South African economy.
Many of the plundered state companies were headed by CEOs whose appointments had been approved by the ANC.
The party had been guilty of ignoring “acts of indiscipline”, he said.
“Those who are guilty of corruption, ill-discipline, factionalism and undermining our democracy find no home” in the ANC, said Ramaphosa.
He hoped the investigators’ recommendations “can help to enhance the fundamental renewal and rebuilding” of the ANC.
– ‘ANC is bleeding’ –
In last November’s local elections, most registered voters did not bother to cast votes, and the ANC’s support at the ballot box fell below 50 per cent for the first time ever.
Now party officials are haunted by the possibility of an outright defeat in the 2024 general election.
“The ANC is bleeding,” said party supporter Themba Ubisi, 40, after the celebrations. “Either we renew the party or we perish.”
Other supporters were more optimistic.
“The party is self-correcting,” said 45-year-old Khathu Mathoho. “There’s a will to do things differently, but (some) elements are resisting change.”
Ramaphosa vowed the party would be renewed. “Let us cleanse the ANC,” he said.
One of the half-a-dozen clergymen who offered prayers, prayed for the ANC to make South Africa “great again”.
But adding to their problems, the party’s finances are in shambles.
One political source confirmed that the ANC was indeed “broke” and that in addition to unpaid taxes, the party had a deficit of at least 400 million rand ($26 million, 22.6 million euros).
However, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola insisted to AFP that the party’s finances were “stable”.
In what was a wide-ranging speech Ramaphosa also tacked the issue of vaccine hesitancy, renewing his call for people to be inoculated against Covid to enable the recovery of the pandemic-battered economy.
“The ANC urges government to finalise a policy on the introduction of vaccine mandates for particular settings and activities,” he said.
Find the killers of Oba Odetola now: Gov. Abiodun orders police, others
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun has ordered the police and other security agencies in the state to fish out urgently the killers of Oba Ayinde Odetola, the king of Agodo in Ewekoro LGA.
Gunmen killed the king, along with three other people on Monday over a mix of chieftaincy and land issues.
An outraged Abiodun condemned the killings and vowed to find the killers.
In a statement by Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, Governor Abiodun directed the security agencies to immediately fish out the killers.
Abiodun declared that his administration would not tolerate a breach of peace and harmony being currently enjoyed in the state.
He said the politics, land, and chieftaincy matters should not attract descent into self-help and killings.
“To those threatening the peace of our state, we will stop at nothing to fish them out, prosecute them and mete out the full wrath of the law on them,” the governor was quoted as saying.
“We have zero tolerance for these ignoble conducts. Politics, land, and chieftaincy disputes are no excuses for people to take laws into their hands. All hirelings, parents, and guardians should call their wards to order.
“OP-MESA, Joint Internal Security Task Force, Amotekun, vigilantes’ groups, DSS Police and NSCDC are not mere toothless bulldogs. They are armed and deployed to strike agent provocateurs.”
Abiodun, meanwhile has sent his condolences to the family of the late monarch and the residents of Agodo town.
According to Ogun state Police Command, Oba Odetola was shot dead by suspected hoodlums on Monday.
He was killed not too long after his brother was also gruesomely murdered.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said the traditional ruler and the others were killed at about 11am on Monday.
They were said to be returning from an outing before they were attacked by the hoodlums.
The three people in the company of the king were reportedly set ablaze.
Oyeyemi revealed that the Commissioner of Police in Ogun, Lanre Bankole, and the Special Security Adviser to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Olusola Subair, have visited the town for an on-the-spot assessment.
He stated that the whole town was deserted as of the time of the visit, adding that the police commissioner has directed that the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department of the command commence an investigation into the killing.
Channels Television reported a tussle over the chieftaincy title of Alagodo between the people of Ake and Owu in Egbaland.
While the late monarch was from the Ake section of Egba, he reportedly faced resentment by Owu people as they considered it improper for an Egba Ake to rule in aa town dominated by Owu.
RIG holds ‘Warri Kingdom Miracle Crusade’
By Agatha Emeadi
All is set for a night of wonders as ‘Warri Miracle Kingdom Crusade’ holds on Monday 31st January, 2022 at the Palace Ground, Ugbori, Warri, Delta State. According to the convener, Prophet Tomi Arayomi of Restoring Issacharis Generation Nation (RIG), the kingdom of God has come to Warri Kingdom, especially as it will hold at the palace ground and the gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached; not with flowery words but with the Spirit of God and the demonstration of HIS power. “The kingdom of God has come to Warri Kingdom especially as it will hold at the palace ground and the gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached, not with flowery words but with the Spirit of God and the demonstration of HIS power.”
With Arayomi’s past performances during his crusades, he reminds that there is a move of God sweeping across the earth like never before and a yearning for the sons of God to reach out to the poor, sick, broken-hearted, needy and alikes; urging all to come and partake in the blessing of God.
100% Natural Herbs to Finally End Premature Ejaculation, Weak Erection and Small Manhood. Click Here Now .
“There is a move of God sweeping across the earth like never before and a yearning for the sons of God to reach out to the poor, sick, broken-hearted, needy and alikes; urging all to come and partake in the blessing of God”.
Taking a quote from Luke 1:37 “For with God, all things are possible” he said, the kingdom of God has come to Warri and therefore invites all to come and receive miracles in healing, breakthrough, and more. But most importantly come to encounter Jesus, the King of kings, Arayomi said.
Afenifere to FG: Ensure release of Igboho, Kanu forthwith
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called on the Federal Government to ensure the release of the Yoruba nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho, and the leader of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, even if it is on political consideration.
The organisation noted that releasing Kanu on political consideration is not unprecedented because the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007 did the same thing by releasing the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo in such manner.
The request was contained in a communique issued at the end of the first annual general meeting of Afenifere held on Tuesday, at the country home of its Acting Leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, in Isanya Ogbo, Ogun State.
Afenifere also noted that restructuring of Nigeria into a true federalism is achievable before the 2023 general elections, if President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government would adopt the reports of the 2014 National Conference and the 2018 Mallam Nasir El-Rufai Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on True Federalism with desirable modifications where necessary.
The communique, which was made available to journalists by the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Jare Ajayi, stated that the meeting deliberated extensively on various issues pertaining to the Nigeria nation, especially in the way they affect the Yorubas, adding that “The meeting reviewed the various challenges that Nigeria has been facing since independence. The meeting felt that while the country had never met the dream of its founding fathers, the situation had never been this bad socially, economically and politically. The situation is particularly worse on the security front as no part of the country is safe at any time of the day any more.
After extensive deliberations, Afenifere “considered Sunday Adeyemo Igboho as a Prisoner of Conscience. Afenifere called on all men and women of conscience, particularly the international community to which human rights and freedom are abiding faith, to prevail on the Governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic to release Sunday Igboho forthwith.
Not only that, the federal government should also pay Sunday Igboho the damages awarded to him by the court upon the savage attack on his person and property.
“The meeting also called on the federal government to release Nnamdi Kanu even if on political consideration as happened in the case of Asari Dokubo under the then President Olusegun Obasanjo.”
The communique further stated that “before and after independence, various efforts have been made to have a country, Nigeria, that everyone would be proud of. A country in which every one lives a happy life and there is life more abundant for all.
Afenifere however has no doubt whatsoever that the country can never get out of its present logjam, let alone, develop, unless there is restructuring.
“The meeting felt that one of the things that has been a great cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s progress today was the rubishing of true federalism, meaning that true federalism must be allowed to be effectively operational immediately. In other words, states and local government councils must be allowed to enjoy self governance as provided for them in the constitution.
“Afenifere is convinced that restructuring of the Nigerian State before the 2023 general elections is achievable. It is achievable through the adoption of the Reports of the 2014 National Conference and the 2018 Mallam El-Rufai Committee of the APC on True Federalism with desirable modifications where necessary.
“In recent times, we have consistently expressed concern on the situation of insecurity in Nigeria today. We have also always recommended what we consider as the ways out of the unprecedented security challenges facing us. In this respect, we strongly call on the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the introduction of State Police equipped with requisite means to enhance security in the states and that of the federation ultimately.
“The performance of Amotekun Security Network in the South West in conjunction with the Nigeria Police has shown clearly that all the criticisms against State Police are unfounded and self serving.”
The meeting was attended by some leaders and members of Afenifere from all the states in Yorubaland including Delta, Kwara and Kogi. Among the leaders in attendance were the former Governor of Kwara State, Chief Cornelius Adebayo; former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele; Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Supo Sonibare, Chief Sola Ebiseni, and the Secretary General, Dr. Gbola Adetunji.
The list also comprised Chief Korede Duyile, Abagun Kole Omololu, Hon. Leke Mabinuori, Chief Kofoworola Doherty, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Chief Tunde Onakoya, Senator Femi Lanlehin, Jumoke Ajasin-Anifowose, Chief Segun Olawoyin and Deacon Owolabi Oladejo, Chief Olu Pesu, Reverend Goke Omigbodun, and others.
Adevanjo, however, welcomed members and congratulated them for surviving the turbulent 2021.The meeting also looks forward to a more benign year in 2022.
Metro2 days ago
Big Brother Mzansi returns with 18 new housemates
Latest Update2 days ago
Osun 2022: Battle for who becomes governor intensifies as infighting grips PDP, APC
Latest Update2 days ago
More millionaires emerge in Fidelity Bank’s second GAIM 5 Promo draw
Relationship2 days ago
Florida Woman ‘Stripped Naked For 4-Year-Old Boy Because He Asked Her To’
Latest Update2 days ago
Surgeons gave me scary news, pray for me – Metuh begs Nigerians
Relationship2 days ago
10 Scientific Benefits Of Cuddling You May Not Have Known About
Nation1 day ago
Gunmen kill two policemen, abduct one person in Jigawa
Music2 days ago
MP3: Jose Guapo – Pull Out