The Commonwealth has confirmed the successful readmission of Gambia into the global bloc. The West African country becomes the 53rd nation but fourth to rejoin.
The Gambia referred to as “smiling coast of West Africa” joins the likes of South Africa, Fiji and Pakistan who all left at a point and gained readmission.
In 2013, exiled President Yahya Jammeh, pulled the country out of the Commonwealth. Jammeh at the time gave the reason that the 52-member group was a ‘neo-colonial institution.’
After Jammeh’s shock defeat to then opposition candidate Adama Barrow in December 2016 elections, the Commonwealth intimated that its doors were open to a return by The Gambia. The Adama Barrow government have over the past year gone through the legal process of readmission.
Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe in December 2017 notified parliament of the government’s decision to rejoin the Commonwealth union. The move was unanimously adopted by lawmakers who criticized how Jammeh unilaterally took them out of the union.
A December 2016 statement issued by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said, “When The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, heads of government, meeting in Colombo that year, noted this decision with regret, and looked forward to the country’s eventual return. Like every close knit family, our Commonwealth doors remain open.”
Beside the Commonwealth, Jammeh had announced the withdrawal of the Gambia from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 2016. Barrow rescinded the decision soon after taking office. It was one of the campaign promises of the then opposition coalition.
Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe
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.
Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival
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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