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ECOWAS withdraws ambassadors in Mali, shuts borders

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The Economic Community of West African States has resolved to withdraw all its ambassadors from Mali and close land and air borders between member-countries and the country.

This resolution was conveyed in a communiqué issued after an Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra, Ghana.

The summit was held on Sunday to discuss the political situation in the Republic of Mali.

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The communiqué said that after reviewing the situation, the regional leaders rejected the transition schedule proposed by the Malian military junta as “totally unacceptable”.

ECOWAS also imposed additional sanctions on the junta.

It said: “Withdrawal of all ECOWAS Ambassadors in Mali; closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Mali.

“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Mali, with the exception of the following products: essential consumer goods; pharmaceutical products; medical supplies and equipment, including materials for the control of COVID-19 products, and electricity

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“Freeze of assets of the Republic of Mali in ECOWAS Central Banks; freeze of assets of the Malian state and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial Banks

“Suspension of Mali from all financial assistance and transactions from financial institutions.”

The communiqué also disclosed that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government instructed all community institutions to take steps to implement the sanctions with immediate effect.

It said that the sanctions would only be gradually lifted after an acceptable and agreed transition chronogram was finalised and monitored satisfactory to ensure progress.

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On the situation in Guinea, ECOWAS said it remained concerned about the slow progress of the transition process four months after the coup.

It said: “The Authority regrets the absence of chronogram for the election and the non-setting up of the National Council of Transition (CNT).

“It also directs that a mission be fielded to Conakry to discuss the transition.”

Earlier in his remarks at the opening session of the Summit, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Chairman of ECOWAS, praised the commitment and support of West African leaders to the progress and prosperity of the sub-region.

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Akufo-Addo said: “As you did through the entire year of 2021, you continue to demonstrate your commitment of responding to urgent and critical evolving situations in the region.

“This is the 6th Extraordinary Summit since I assumed the chair of the authority that Your Excellencies have participated in concerning the vexed issues of Mali and Guinea.

“It is strong testimony to your leadership and concern to the progress of ECOWAS.”

Aside Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) of Nigeria and Akufo-Addo, other West African leaders present at the summit were Presidents Macky Sall of Senegal, George Weah of Liberia, Patrice Talon of Benin Republic, Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire.

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Other Heads of State present included Umaro Embalò of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and the Vice President of The Gambia, Isatou Touray.

The summit was also attended by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the ECOWAS Mediator for Mali; President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou; and representatives of international organisations.

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BREAKING: INEC counters Tinubu, says PVCs have not expired

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has countered a claim by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that Permanent Voters’ Cards have expired.

Tinubu had made the claim while addressing women leaders of the APC who paid him a visit in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The former governor of Lagos State also lamented that there had been a decline in the number of eligible voters in recent times.

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Reacting, Chief Technical Adviser to the Chairman of INEC, Prof Bolade Eyinla, stated that PVCs previously registered remain valid.

This is as he advised those who already have PVCs not to bother about registering for another one.

“This information is not correct. The PVC issued to all previously registered voters remains valid. This kind of statement will certainly push eligible voters to register more than once, thereby creating the problem of double and multiple registrations,” he said as quoted by Daily Trust.

Buttressing Eyinla’s point, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman,  Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, pointed out that registering for PVC more than once is an offence under the law.

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“In fact, double registration is an offence under our laws. Eligible Nigerians are entitled to register only once. Once a name appears on the National Register of Voters, it stays there permanently.

“One of the very few instances where a name could be removed from the register is if there’s a strong and verifiable proof that the person bearing the name has died,” Oyekanmi said.

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MKO Abiola’s daughter, Tundun blows hot on live TV over Tinubu’s supporter interview about her father [Video]

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Tundun Abiola, one of the daughters of late MKO Abiola and presenter at Arise News, had an outburst on national TV on Wednesday morning after one of the supporters of Bola Tinubu’s presidential aspiration made a reference to her late father during an interview.

Tundun had asked the co-founder of Grassroots Network for Asiwaju Tinubu, Ayodele Adewale, to respond to the allegation made by a presidential aide, Babafemi Ojodu, that he has been threatened for not supporting the presidential aspirations of the National leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu.

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Responding to the question, Ayodele Adewale said;

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Asiwaju will never send anybody to attack anybody and if anybody has said unprintable words against Mr Ojodu, the onus lies on him to prove that that person was actually from Asiwaju Tinubu and Mr Ojodu knows that Asiwaju will never do that. Asiwaju is very forgiving, even people who have wronged him.

If you permit me, I will always refer to him because I preserve his history and I have always worked to make sure all he deserves is given back to him and that is your dad, Chief MKO Abiola.

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It was on the streets of Lagos when some Airfoce officers slapped him and abused him. He was attacked by some military ratings. the Mad dog incident. Chief Abiola never raised a finger. He never even fought the military hierachy. He took it in as a leader and he forgave them”

After a short break on the show, Tundun expressed her displeasure at the guest for speaking about her father.

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I just had this really insulting encounter with our previous guest and I am furious. My father is not the one running for President. That was in 1993. Why was he raised randomly?

That was completely out of order. I am completely furious. I can’t even contain myself right now.

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I would defend my father. In recent times, I have been nauseated by the kind of revisionist history I have been subjected to. Everybody betrays that man constantly till today. How many times can you kill a man? What does he have to do with what we are discussing today? If their principal has not done enough to stand on his own two feet, that is hardly my fault or his fault. Invoking this man….

What on earth was that nonsense?

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Completely name dropping. My feet are sored from people dropping my father;s name constantly. Can you just stand on your own two feets if at all you have two feet to stand on”

WATCH VIDEO BELOW

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