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Gabonese president ‘opens arms’ for peace talks with opposition

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Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba has again expressed readiness to meet with opposition leaders to sustain peace after the post-election violence.

The president’s spokesperson, Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nzé, announced that Ali Bongo wants to meet with them to avoid further deaths.

“President Bongo is ready to meet all candidates in the last presidential election, including Ping, so that no more Gabonese dies in the claim for democracy which the law is in place to resolve,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday night on state television.

President Bongo is ready to meet all candidates in the last presidential election, including Ping, so that no more Gabonese dies in the claim for democracy which the law is in place to resolve.

He also condemned calls for violence which he describes as “irresponsible”.

“These calls for political violence have never been seen in our country. Promising instability if the Court’s ruling is not favorable,” Bilie-By-Nzé claimed.

“The motive of these people is to get more victims, as if the death toll already registered and the grief faced by many Gabonese families are not enough,” he added.

The main opposition candidate, former AU Chairperson, Jean Ping, has applied to the Constitutional Court to authorise a recount in a province where President Ali Bongo won 95 percent of the votes on a 99.9 percent turnout.

He has openly proclaimed that if there is no recount of votes, the country will face “profound and sustained instability”.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict by Friday, September 23.

Jean Ping lost the August 27 election by less than 6,000 votes.

Crime

Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe

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Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.

The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).

The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.

According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.

It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.

“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.

“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”

The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.

Source: BBC

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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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