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Issoufou assures that G5 Sahel alliance is unbreakable.

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Head of the G5 Sahel force Mahamadou Issoufou says, the G5 Sahel countries will not fall into the traps of terrorists,adding they will enforce their capabilities to defeat them.

The Nigerien President visited Burkina Faso’s capital on Monday to commensurate with Burkinabes after a twin attack on Ougadougou last Friday.

Issoufou said that “the terrorists” often describe the French as foreign troops but that Sahel G5 countries would not “fall in the trap” and will continue to maintain a strong alliance with France.

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“I would like to take this opportunity to send a thought to our allies, who are paying a heavy price in this battle which we are now fighting side by side against terrorism and in particular amongst our French allies, whose embassy was attacked. We know that terrorists and their accomplices seek to undo our alliance. We often hear them say of our allies that they are foreign troops. For us they are not foreign troops, they are allied troops that are fighting for the same cause as we are. Therefore we will not fall into the trap set by these terrorists and their accomplices who present the allied contribution as a foreign force in our countries. We will therefore re-enforce our capabilities with our allies, our operational capabilities, our information capabilities and I am sure that with this sharing we will not only defeat terrorism militarily but also we will create conditions for the economic and social development of the countries of the Sahel. That is why we put in place the G5 Sahel joint force which is working closely with Burkina Faso and collaborates with MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali)”, Issoufou said.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe who was part of the delegation ,praised security forces for their prompt response.

“A hit on Burkina, a hit on Ouagadougou is a hit on all of us. We have come to congratulate the security forces for their rapid and efficient response which certainly limited the damage because, following our visit to the army headquarters of Burkina Faso and the French embassy, it is clear that the intentions of these two groups was to achieve the maximum number of victims”, Gnassingbe said.

President of Burkina Faso, Marc Roch Christian Kabore said his people are in good spirit despite the attack.

“The fight against terrorism, as I said it before, is a long one and in this combat no sacrifice will be too high in the defense of our fatherland. It is true the recent events shook the Burkinabe people. But I assure you that the Burkinabe people will remain standing and that we will end terrorism no matter what the sacrifices we must make”,Kabore said..

The G5 Sahel force is made up of troops from Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate on Saturday March 3 claimed responsibility for the attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso that left 16 people dead and 50 wounded.

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Nigeria General Elections postponement not politically influenced – INEC

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Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cleared the air, saying its decision to postpone the general elections a few hours to the commencement was not politically influenced.



INEC chairman Mahmoud Yakubu said at a press conference that “The decision has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence and nothing to do with lack of resources.”

The postponement heightens the political tensions in the country, especially between the ruling All Progressives Congress and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party.

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The parties have accused INEC of kowtowing down to the political influence exerted by either party to postpone the elections which ought to begin the presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, February 16 2019.

PDP and APC faulted INEC’s decision to reschedule the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 23 while the governorship and state houses of assembly elections will take place on March 9.

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Nigeria: Reactions trail INEC Postponement of 2019 General Elections

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Reactions have trailed the decision of The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to postpone the Presidential and National Assembly elections earlier slated for today by a week, citing operational difficulties.



Prior to the postponement of the election, the PDP accused INEC of hoarding the presidential and senatorial elections result sheets for undisclosed reasons.

The party also revealed that its monitoring and intelligence showed that INEC had been distributing sensitive election materials in most states of the federation without the Presidential and Senatorial elections results sheets.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said that the party’s agents were being denied the INEC accreditation and identification cards, ostensibly to shut them out of the election monitoring process and allow the APC a field day to manipulate the process.

According to him, “The development is already heightening tension and suspicion of underhand method by the commission to open the elections for manipulations and allow the APC to enter fictitious results for onward transmission to collation centres.”

The PDP also rejected alleged substitution of the already trained INEC adhoc staff in various states of the federation with members of the APC.
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The party said that PDP would never allow “this unscrupulous attempt at power hijack to stand.”

He stated, “This surreptitious ploy to use APC members as polling staff is a direct template by the APC in collusion with some INEC officials, to rig the elections for the APC.

“This affront to the collective quest by the people for a credible election is akin to sitting our nation on a keg of gunpowder.”

A renowned political analyst in Lagos state, Isaac Abiola on his part expressed displeasure at the postponement, citing the electoral body’s insincerity the worrisome part.

Mr Abiola said “I am disappointed with INEC. It is obvious that they are not sincere with us. INEC till 11:30pm yesterday claimed to have been ready and even tweeted that their situation room was ready. It is not a must to conduct elections when you are not fully ready. But the decision to postponed should have been reached and announced at least 24hrs before election. Why announce 2:30am when people were sleeping. I feel there is an arrangement somewhere.”

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Also Reacting to the postponement, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ahmed Raji, noted that if the postponement was towards achieving a credible, free and acceptable election, it is in order. According to him, if the reason for the postponment is actually on logistics as it is being said, it is okay instead of the Commission to go ahead and conduct an election that would put it to ridicule both locally and internationally.

Raji, while stating that it is high time Nigerians begin to see election as a process, observed that budgetary allocation for the elections came a little bit late.

According to him election materials are not things people just pick from the shop, hence the commission needs adequate time to plan and arrange for some of this materials.

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On the ruling party’s side, Arc Waziri Bulama, the deputy director general of APC presidential campaign council disclosed the party’s readiness for the forthcoming general elections dismissing claims that the APC was looking for a postponement of the polls. Bulama who disclosed this on Wednesday, February 13, stated that the council had carried its campaign all over the country. He said the responsibilities of leaders was to deliver good governance, secure the lives of Nigerians, ensure that they promote justice, rule of law, peace and freedom through their actions.



Meanwhile, the opposition People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar said the postponement of the general election by Independent National Electoral Commission is “obviously a case of the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob.”

“The Buhari administration has had more than enough time and money to prepare for these elections and the Nigerian people were poised and ready to perform their civic responsibility by voting in the elections earlier scheduled for Saturday, 16 February, 2019,” Atiku said in a stateemnt on Saturday.

“By instigating this postponement, the Buhari administration hopes to disenfranchise the Nigerian electorate in order to ensure that turn out is low on the rescheduled date,” he added.

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