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Venezuela In Crisis

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The crisis in Venezuela seems to be getting worse week by week following the disputed presidential elections held in May 2018 in which President Nicholas Maduro was re-elected.
Following the hues and cries, the national assembly become factionalised with the opposition controlled majority on the 10th of January 2019 recognising the parliamentary leader, Juan Guaido as the acting president of the country who eventually on the 23rd of January declared himself as the president of the country, a direct challenge to the incumbent president.
Why did this crisis start in the first place? According to political analysts, two major factors created this high level of political metability in venezuela a once prosperous and peaceful country. The first was the economic meltdown which began in 2010 under the presidency of the Late Hugo Chavez, and the non-compromising nature of the incumbent president Nicholas Maduro who the opposition claimed rigged the elections of 2014 and that of 2018. In addition to that, there are the allegations that apart from the rigging of the 2018 presidential elections, major opposition candidates were Prevented from running for offices.
As the political situation continues to deteriorate, the US, Bazil, Canada with some Latin American countries and some European Union countries have recognized Juan Guaido as President of venezuala while Russia,China, Cuba, Iran and their alised still recognise Nicholas Maduro as the legitimate president of the country.
As the tension continues to mount, some leading opposition figures have fled, some detained and attempts to factionalise the armed forces and the judiciary have so far failed and despite the sanctions imposed by the United States of America on venezuala, Maduro is still hanging on accusing the opposition for colluding with the American government for trying to overthrow his administration.
However, the opposition is not relenting in its effort to get rid of Maduro from office as the daily protest to oust him continues.
But what is quite worrisome is the unforeseen consequences of the action of the opposition. What if the protests turn violent and result in a civil war like that of Syria, which resulted in the destruction of over 40 per cent of the country’s infrastructure and displacement of millions of people. For now the scenario is relatively calm and hopefully the people of venezuela are more mature in their political outlook, that is both the opposition and members of the ruling party.
If Maduro were to be generally unpopular like Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan or Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria he would have been removed from office long ago. In any case, every country is unique and what may work in country A, may not work out in Country B.
As the politicians lock horns for supremacy, one thing that they have tried to avoid with saner minds cautioning them is never to allow the country plunge into a civil war as dialogue and negotiations are always the best option in resolving issues. Otherwise, deadly armed merchants are waiting on the wings cash in whenever there is instability and the possibility of a civil war in any country.
The examples are many, that’s why even the United States of America is cautious in its approach to the crisis in Venezuela.
For a country to scide into such political crisis, several factors come into play such as personal ambition, the greed for power and foreign interest groups who might not like the politics of the incumbent in power or the possibility of creating chaos so that an individual or a politician who they believe will protect their interest will propped up to take over the reigns of government. So they are ever ready to use every means available to instigate crisis or cash on the existing crisis to achieve their aims by supporting a faction either through diplomatic support or financial inducement to bring about their desired change.
If people say that nobody benefits form chaos in the political life of any country, then we are still living in a fantasy world. Definitely, in every civil war, manufacturers of arms and ammunitions and providers of the necessary logistics and other accessories will hope to make sales and profit.
The economices of these countries will make improvements with job creation based on the increasing demands for their products and services. So one thing that should be paramount to the people of Veneuzuela is never to allow their country to become the next playground or battle field for any proxy war for merchants of death. They should learn from Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
They should also ask themselves why the western countries resolve their own political crisis without all these drama, bloodshed and the appeal for foreign support, whereas the reverse is the case for developing countries. It is only when we play into the hands of opportunists next target. Countries in Latin America have passed through violent revolutions after their independence from Spain and Portugal. They have also experienced brutal military dictatorships especially in the 20th century, and now that all of them are under democratic rule, there is no need or any of therebe it Venezuela to go book to the old path of bloodshed and war of attrition.
For any civil war to occur, it venezuala is only the people of venuzuela that will suffer the consequences and all what the United Nations will do is just to pass resolutions upon resolutions to end the conflict. Yemen is in a mess likewise Syria.
The future can still be better only if there is dialogue and trust.

 

Tonye Ikiroma-Owiye

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Kaduna Guber Contest: PDP Seeks Cancellation Of 515, 951 Votes

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its Governorship candidate, Isah Ashru will today ask the Kaduna State Elections Petition Tribunal to cancel a total 515, 951 votes which it contended were unlawfully added to the total votes cast during the March 9 poll.
The tribunal had fixed Aug. 19 for adoption of final written addresses by counsel in the governorship election case.
A certified copy of the document to be adopted by the PDP was obtained by newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna, yesterday.
In the document, the PDP is asking the tribunal to declare Ashiru as the validly elected governor of the state by majority of lawful votes cast.
The petitioners had called 135 witnesses out of the 685 they assembled to prove massive rigging, ballot stuffing and other irregularities during the poll as contained in their petition.
In their final written addresses, the petitioners alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had added 391,741 votes to Nasiru El-Rufai of APC and a total of 124, 210 unlawful votes to the PDP through wrong or double entry on the result sheets.
The PDP and its candidate contended that declaring El-Rufai winner by INEC was illegal as he did not score majority of lawful votes cast.
The PDP through its legal team of Emmanuel C. Ukala SAN, Donald Denwigwe SAN, Chief Ferdinand O. Orbih SAN, Elisha Y. Kurah SAN and 14 other counsel said a deduction of 391,741 votes from 1,045,427 scored by El-Rufai and 124,210 from Ashiru’s 814, 168 votes will give victory to their candidate.
The counsels further argued that after the deduction of the alleged unlawful votes, Ashiru will be left with 689,958 lawful votes, while El-Rufai will have 653,686 votes.
The petitioners averred that evidence of their witnesses has demonstrated that there were “improper entries in the polling units results, wrongful collation of entries in the ward collation results including unstamped and un-authenticated votes and void or invalid votes were credited to the parties”.
They further argued that a total of 4, 235 votes were wrongfully credited to El-Rufai on form EC8A while 256 votes were also wrongfully entered for Ashiru.
In another polling unit 45,478 votes arising from unstamped result sheets were unlawfully credited to El-Rufai, while 9,655 votes were equally credited to their candidate.
Also 6,840 unlawful votes arising from improper collation figures were entered for El-Rufai while 1,098 vote were credited to Ashiru.
” Some 391,188 void and unlawful votes were also credited to El-Rufai while 113,001 votes were equally credited to the PDP in other polling units in the state,” the petitioners argued.
The party also submitted that it had produced enough material evidence of substantial irregularities to enable the tribunal declare its candidate winner of the March 9 governorship election in Kaduna State.
The PDP cited several authorities in the written address, alleging that INEC, El-Rufai and the APC did not demonstrate the required evidence to counter the relevant materials as well as oral and documentary evidence by their witnesses.

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House Committee Condemns Attack On Ekweremadu

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The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Yusuf Buba (APC-Adamawa), has condemned the alleged attack on former Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu by some members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Germany.
In a statement, yesterday in Abuja, Buba urged Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Yusuf Tugga to ensure the attackers are made to face justice.
Ekweremadu had on Saturday attended the 2nd Igbo Cultural Festival of Iri Ji in Nuremberg, Germany, as a distinguished guest of honour on the invitation of the Igbo community.
Ekweremadu, who was however, violently attacked by some men believed to be members of the proscribed IPOB group was whisked away in a vehicle as seen in a video that had since gone viral.
The senator who had since released a statement confirming the attack said that he was fine and had received thousands of calls and messages from Nigerians identifying with him.
Buba said that given the high personality profile and the public service record which Ekweremadu parades, it was unthinkable for any individual or group anywhere in the world to attack him in such a manner.
According to Buba, his very own people in the diaspora who ought to know better to contemplate, carried out the despicable public act of shame that was brought upon a well-respected national leader.
Buba described Ekweremadu as an accomplished scholar in the legal profession and a political leader of high standing in society.
He also described Ekweremadu as one of the longest-serving senators, who had also in the last 12 years until June this year, held sway as the deputy president of the Nigerian Senate.
He said that before joining the Senate, Ekweremadu was also secretary to the Enugu State Government and had before then served in various capacities in that state.
“I, therefore, in very strong terms, condemn in its entirety the action of the group of Igbo people, alleged to be members of the outlawed IPOB.
“I also wish to join other Nigerians and leaders to call on the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Amb. Yusuf Tugga to investigate and bring to book everyone who was part of that dastardly assault on a serving national leader,” he said.

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Kalu Condemns Attack On Ekweramadu In Germany

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The Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate, Dr Orji Kalu, has condemned the attack on the former Deputy President of the Senate,  Ike Ekweramadu in Germany by some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Ekweremadu, who attended the 2nd Annual Igbo Cultural Festival in Nuremberg, Germany, was assaulted physically by some members of the group.
A video showing the assault on Ekweremadu by the group had gone viral across the various social media platforms.
Kalu, a two-time governor of Abia, in a statement issued by his Media Team yesterday in Abuja, described the action of the group as uncivilised, unacceptable and barbaric.
He urged Igbo people to respect leaders at all levels, noting that the only way the South-East zone could be prosperous was to embrace dialogue, peace and unity.
Kalu in the statement made available to newsmen also urged the Embassy of Nigeria in Germany, the German Government and appropriate authorities to bring the perpetrators of the act to book.
“After watching a viral video of the physical attack on former Deputy President of the Senate Sen. Ike Ekweramadu, I was not only disappointed but irritated and disturbed with the action of some members of IPOB.
“The assault on the senator is a slap on Igbo leaders regardless of age, party affiliation and religion,’’ Kalu  said.
According to him, the perpetrators of the uncivilised act must face the wrath of the law.
“Sen.Ekweramadu is not only one of the Igbo leaders but also a prominent Nigerian and as such should be accorded due respect by all and sundry at home and abroad.
“For the South-East to move forward, the people of the region must embrace dialogue as a way of resolving pertinent issues and eschew violence.”
Kalu, who appealed to Igbo across the globe to be law-abiding and remain good ambassadors of Nigeria, urged Igbo groups to educate their members on the consequences of social vices.

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