Lungu To Be Sworn In As Opposition Misses Election Challenge Deadline

Lungu_ZambiaZambia will press on with swearing in its president, Edgar Lungu, for another five-year-term next week, after the opposition missed a deadline to challenge his re-election, a senior official said on Monday.

Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema had filed a petition in constitutional court last month, saying the Aug. 11 vote was rigged and Lungu’s victory should be annulled. But he missed a Friday deadline to present evidence to back up his charge, and the top court ruled on Monday not to extend the time limit.

Hichilema’s UPND party said it rejected the ruling.

“We wish to put it on record that we have not lost an election, neither have we lost the petition which was before the Constitutional Court,” the party said in a statement.

“We have rejected the court ruling in that the judgment was passed on an application from the respondents without allowing us to respond,” it said, without outlining its next move.

Lungu, who won 50.35 percent of the vote according to the official results, will take the oath of office on Tuesday next week, later than the original Aug. 23 date, cabinet secretary Roland Msiska said.

Lungu has been the head of the ruling Patriotic Front since its leader, Michael Sata, died in 2014. He won the presidency the following year, defeating Hichilema in their first electoral confrontation.

Zambia is Africa’s second-largest copper producer, and slumping commodity prices have afflicted it with mine closures, rising unemployment, power shortages and soaring food prices.

Group Faults Northern Elders Over Ultimatum To Jonathan

Goodluck JonathanA socio political group,  Arewa Peoples Patriotic Front (APPFRONT) has faulted the ultimatum issued on Monday by  the Northern Elders Forum led by Alh Maitama Sule mandating  President Goodluck Jonathan to produce the over 200 abducted school girls of Chibok in Borno state or forget seeking re-election in 2015.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, spokesman of the group,  Mr Mordecai Ibrahim,  expressed  disappointment that the  elders could issue such an ultimatum to the  President, even when they have not contributed in any way in assisting the Federal Government in finding a lasting solution to the insurgency or finding the abducted school girls, stating that such remark amounts to the elders seeking for unnecessary attention.

The group queried the role of the northern elders in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east and wondered why they have not visited Chibok or any of the states under emergency rule before coming out to give  such an ultimatum to President Jonathan.

The group further noted that the continued antagonistic stance of northern elders against the constitutional rights and aspiration of President Jonathan is seemingly painting a picture of the entire north to be fighting the president, and  therefore called on the  members of the forum to redirect their energy on how to restore peace and develop the region.

The group also called on the Northern Elders Forum to come out with a workable modality for the restoration of the unity of the north.

The faction of the Northern Elders Forum led by Maitama Sule, on Monday, gave President Goodluck Jonathan an ultimatum to produce the over 200 abducted Chibok girls in Borno State and also bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency, saying that failure to do so amounts to him being deemed unfit to seek re-election in 2015.

The Northern Elders noted that the warning became imperative because they were of the firm belief that the lingering terrorist attacks and other related security challenges in the country poses a major threat to the 2015 elections and the survival of Nigeria as a nation.

 

Reconcile with Tukur Led PDP or Quit, Northern Group Tells G7

A northern political group, Arewa People’s Patriotic Front (APPFRONT) has given the Baraje breakaway faction of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) the option to either avail themselves for dialogue and genuine reconciliation with the Bamanga Tukur led PDP, leave the party or  seek legal redress in the courts, rather than overheating the polity of the nation.

The group also called on President Goodluck Jonathan to appoint persons with track record of tangible contributions to their local communities as the next crop of ministers and not opportunists who have distanced themselves from happenings in their local communities.

At a news conference in Kaduna, APPFRONT National President, Mordecai Ibrahim condemned the barrage of attacks on the office and the person of President Goodluck Jonathan over his yet to be announced ambition for 2015 by the Baraje group,  adding that majority of those launching the attacks are only out to seek undue relevance.

While it pointed out that they are not in any way campaigning for President Jonathan, the group said it is undemocratic or unconstitutional for the G7 governors to ask the President to drop his 2015 presidential ambition.

“Nigerian voters will decide the President’s fate in 2015 and not  any of the  G7 governors or their supporters,” Ibrahim said.

He added that the purported agreement by President Jonathan to serve only one term as alleged by the G7 governors was to blackmail him.