Presidential Elections: Security May Jam Some Broadcast Stations

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has accused the federal government of planning to clamp down on media houses and their reporters during tomorrow Saturday February 16th presidential election.

Spokesman of the coalition, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere made the allegation in a statement released last night. Ikenga claimed the plan is to ensure that the media houses do not have the opportunity of alerting Nigerians on the various irregularities being allegedly planned during the presidential and National Assembly elections in favour of the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) across the country.

He noted that the media organisations listed for attack are the African Independent Television (AIT), Silverbird Television, Arise Television, Raypower FM, and 15 other radio stations.

“The plan is to jam and destroy transmitting equipment of these media organisations on election day. The strategy also includes indiscriminate arrest and detention of reporters and cameramen of these stations, while their working tools will be confiscated and destroyed.

The opposition parties have credible information on the move by the APC working through the NSA and the elder brother of Governor Nasir el-Rufai, named Bashir el-Rufai, who is the Director of IHS Towers, a major base station services provider for telecom companies to disconnect the service providers in targeted areas under the guise of debt recovery for unpaid services rendered to the telecommunication companies.

“They want to keep the whole country in darkness, so as to stop citizens from tweeting, blogging, and giving live updates on what is going on in every centre, so that they will be able to carry out their rigging plan. They don’t want the people’s voice to be heard because they have already concluded their evil plot to ensure that the election is not free and fair,” CUPP alleged.

The coalition called on all stakeholders, including Nigeria’s international friends, to be aware of this plan which has been perfected by the Federal government.

“We are watching them and we shall continue to expose their evil plans for the world to see and know,” he added

In a swift reaction, the Director, Strategic Communications of APC campaign, Festus Keyamo, in a statement released last night, said such a plot is nothing but a figment of the imagination of the PDP.

“Whilst the story is full of half-truths and outright lies, the portion that concerns us at the Campaign Council is the allegation that the networks would be jammed on Saturday by the said Israeli company. This is nothing but a figment of the imagination of the PDP, the obvious sponsors of the story. We have warned a few days ago of a series of fake news lined up by the PDP and Atiku’s campaign team in the last days leading up to the elections. This is obviously one of them.”the statement in part read.


2 Cameroonian Journalists In Shackles

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists has called on the Cameroon government to immediately release two journalists Théodore Tchopa and David Eyengue Nzima.

The two journalists, from privately owned daily newspaper Le Jour, were recently arrested while covering an opposition gathering in Douala. 

The newspaper deputy editor in chief and the president of the Cameroonian journalists’ trade union Denis Nkwebo told the CPJ that The journalists were detained in the house of the opposition leader Maurice Kamto, who claims to have won the 2018 presidential election.

Nkwebo said that the journalists were mistaken for activists and have since been transferred to the National judicial police headquarters in the capital, Yaounde, about 230 km away. 

Angela Quintal, the CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, based in New described the arrest as intimidation and censorship of journalists who have a duty to keep citizens informed about the political and economic situation across the country.

Both the Cameroon’s deputy justice minister, Jean De Dieu Momo, and the newly appointed communications minister, René Sadi, as well as The police’s national communications chief, Joyce Ndjem, have all refused to comment.

Cameroon was the third worst jailer of journalists in Africa, after Egypt and Eritrea respectively, with at least seven journalists behind bars for their work as of December 1, 2018.

Terrorists Attack Nairobi Hotel.

Two explosions and gunfire were heard at an upscale hotel and office complex in the Kenyan capital on Tuesday afternoon, said a woman working in a neighbouring building.

“We are under attack,” another person in an office inside a complex in the Dusit hotel told Reuters, then hung up. Local television showed smoke rising from the area.

The Nairobi police commander Philip Ndolo said they had cordoned off the area around Riverside Drive.

Al-Shabaab claims responsibility – A Somali journalist with Al Jazeera says Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the ongoing attacks. Hamza Mohamed tweeted that the group’s spokesperson told the gulf channel: “We are currently conducting an operation in Nairobi.”

The militant group based in Somalia continues to carry out attacks on Somali and the African Union force in the country (AMISOM).

Their incursions across the Kenyan border has been numerous with the two standout attacks being the Westgate Mall attacks and the Garissa University massacre.

The Garissa attack occurred a little in April 2015, 365km northeast of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, and resulted in the loss of 148 lives including 142 students.

Most victims were killed in their dormitories, whiles others were gathered and executed in a hall of residence. 

The attack was the second bloodiest in Kenya since al-Qaeda bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing 213 people.

Story Courtesy of Al Jazeera

Media Invasion: Armed Nigerian Soldiers Shut Daily Trust.

Soldiers shut down Daily Trust office in Borno; arrest Editor, Reporter

Armed soldiers on Sunday, January 6, invaded Daily Trust regional office in Maiduguri, Borno state. According to the report, the soldiers arrested the regional editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.

The newspaper said the soldiers action may be connected with the lead story of Daily Trust on on military operations in the northeast. The soldiers shut the gate of the newspaper’s Maiduguri regional office, after arresting the two editorial staff on sight at the time of the raid.

An eye-witness also noted that the soldiers requested to see Daily Trust’s political editor, Hamza Idris, whose byline appeared on the story. The Armed soldiers also took over the Daily Trust head office in Abuja, hours after the regional office in Maiduguri, Borno state and arrested the regional editor, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab.

The soldiers forced the gate open at the head office and drove in with three vans loaded with armed soldiers.Everyone in the building was asked to move to the ground floor while they move computers. The military personnel retrieved the phones of all staff member in the office.

They also loaded all computers at the head office into some of their vans before taking off. Dozens of soldiers are presently stationed within and outside the building, preventing entry and exit. The newspaper’s office in Lagos was also shut.

Meanwhile The Federal Government has directed the military to vacate the premises of Daily Trust offices.The government in a statement by Garba Shehu the Official Spokesperson to the President on Sunday night said that issues between the military and the newspaper as they affect the coverage of the war in the Northeast will be resolved through dialogue. 

Breaking:Trump Orders U.S Troops To D.R.Congo

The United States has deployed military personnel to Gabon, in anticipation of possible violent demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, when results of a presidential election are declared.

In a letter to congressional leaders, president Donald Trump said the first batch of about 80 military personnel arrived in Gabon on Wednesday.

He said they ‘will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed’.

Trump said additional forces may deploy to Gabon “if necessary.”Congo’s electoral commission is scheduled to release provisional results of the presidential election on Sunday, but it has said there could be delays because of the slow arrival of tally sheets.

Observers and the opposition say the election was marred by serious irregularities. Congo’s government says the election was fair and went smoothly.

President Joseph Kabila’s ruling coalition is backing his hand-picked successor Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

The international community has raised concerns that a disputed result could cause unrest, as was the case after the 2006 and 2011 elections.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department called on the electoral commission to ensure votes were accurately counted and threatened to impose sanctions against those who undermined the process or threatened peace and stability in the country.

CAF Member Faces War Crime in Hague

 Amember of Africa’s top football Controlling body, the Confederation of African Football caf Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, is to face the International Criminal Court in The Hague over war crimes charges, a court in France ruled Monday.

Ngaissona, who is from the Central African Republic on the board of CAF, has been in a jail near Paris since his arrest on December 12.

The former government minister, who is head of the Central African Republic’s football association, was controversially elected to the executive board of the CAF general assembly last February.

The ICC issued a warrant in December for Ngaissona for allegedly coordinating the anti-Balaka militias which emerged after the civil war broke out in the Central African Republic in 2013.

The anti-Balaka militias were set up to defend Christian communities from mostly Muslim rebels.

The arrest of Ngaissona came just weeks after another suspected militia leader — Alfred Yekatom, known as Rambo — was arrested in the Central African Republic and transferred to The Hague.

Japan Ban Drones At Major Games and Airports.

The Japan Government says no drone will be allowed at any Olympic and Paralympic Games venues in 2020.The decision was made during a meeting of relevant Government Ministries and Agencies.

Comes at a time chaos had occurred at Gatwick Airport in London which has repeatedly closed in recent days due to drone sightings near the runway, where about 1,000 flights being either delayed or cancelled.   Around 140,000 passengers have been stranded. 

During the Games, drones will also be barred from flying near major airports, while flying them near facilities for either the Japanese Self Defence Force or US military bases has been permanently banned.

A similar ban will be imposed during the 2019 Rugby World Cup, also taking place in Japan.

Fmr Nigerian CDS Alex Badeh’s Assasination

The Chief of Defence Staff who served under Goodluck Jonathan the Former Nigerian President Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh,has been killed by gunmen. He was attacked and killed in his vehicle while returning from his farm on Tuesday, an army official confirmed.

The current Head of the Air Force Public Relations Unit, Ibikunle Daramola, wrote on Twitter: “It is with a heavy heart that I regretfully announce the unfortunate demise of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, who died today, 18 Dec 18, from gunshot wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked while returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi Road.”

The current Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar described the death of Badeh as “an irreparable loss,” in a statement that also commiserated with the bereaved family. The late Alex Badeh who facing efcc on corruption was also a strong critic of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Nigerians have reacted to the news of his death with demands for government to probe the death. The Senate President Bukola Saraki was among the first top government officials to react.”Nigeria has suffered another great loss with the passing of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh. My heartfelt prayers go to his family and our Armed Forces at this tragic time. May the Almighty grant him eternal rest. Amin.”

The Speaker House 🏠 of Representatives Yakubu Dogara also wrote. “News of the gruesome murder of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, is both saddening and alarming. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, and I hope that those responsible are swiftly apprehended and brought to justice.”