Newly-Elected Benin President Aims To Reduce Presidential Terms

BENIN NEW PRESIDENTNewly-elected Benin president Patrice Talon plans to reduce presidential mandates to just one five-year term, he said late on Friday, after the constitutional court confirmed his election victory over prime minister Lionel Zinsou.

Talon took 65.4 percent of the vote in last Sunday’s run-off poll to decide who would replace President Thomas Boni Yayi, who is stepping down after serving two terms in office, the constitutional court said on Friday. The figures confirmed results that came out earlier in the week.

“I will first and foremost tackle constitutional reform,” Talon told reporters, reinforcing a promise made during campaigning. One term of five years would reduce presidential “complacency”, he said.

Benin presidents can currently serve two five-year terms.

The peaceful election was seen as reinforcing the democratic credentials of Benin, a bastion of stability in a region where elections are often marred by violence.

By relinquishing power after serving two terms in office, Boni Yayi stands in contrast to leaders in other African nations, including Burundi, Rwanda and Congo Republic, who have altered their constitutions to extend their rule.

Talon said his government will be made up of 16 members, down from the 28 members of the outgoing government.

Buhari Calls For Peaceful Elections In Benin Republic

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has commended the efforts made so far by the outgoing President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi and the Beninoise National Electoral Commission to ensure a peaceful and transparent Presidential Election in the country in 2016.

President Buhari while receiving the Beninoise President at the State House, commended the visionary leadership that Yayi had provided for his country for close to ten years, urging him to complete the legacy of patriotism and statesmanship by ensuring a peaceful hand-over of power.

“Whatever happens in Benin is of particular interest to Nigeria because we are very good neighbours. I will like to congratulate the President of Benin for successfully completing two terms in office and his plan to hand over power after the elections in February”, the President said.

According to the President, Nigeria will need more support from neigbhouring countries in fighting the scourge of terrorism and illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea that currently undermine the West African economy.

On energy and gas supply to West African countries, the President said discussions were still ongoing among the technical experts from various countries.

In his remarks, the Beninoise President promised that he would do his best to ensure a peaceful and transparent presidential election in his country in 2016.

President Yayi also emphasized that there was a need for more cooperation in West Africa to confront the challenges of security and infrastructure currently faced by the countries in the sub-region.

Benin Republic Plans Adding More Troops To Tackle Boko Haram

Burkina Faso's President Yayi attends a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in AbujaThe President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, on Tuesday promised to send 800 military men to help fight Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria’s north-east.

President Yayi made the pledge at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in Abuja when both leaders held talks on the fight against the terrorist group that has its strong hold in north-east Nigeria.

Benin Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic had set up a Multi-National Joint Task Force to strengthen inter-border security and reduce the free movement of terrorists within the nations’ borders.

Acknowledging President Yayi’s contribution to the war on terror, President Buhari said securing a healthy relationship with neighbouring countries was key to security and economic development.

Neighbourliness And Development

President Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to maintaining the existing bilateral relationship with Benin Republic and other countries within West Africa.

He said: “Such partnerships are essential for good neighbourliness and development”.

The Nigerian leader further expressed Nigeria’s readiness to host an Economic Community for West African States’ summit in about nine days where vital issues bothering on security and the economy would be discussed.

After he was sworn in as President of Nigeria in May, Buhari visited some neighbouring countries to seek closer ties that would further reduce the trans-border movement of Boko Haram terrorists.

Nigeria, Benin Republic Discuss Fight Against Boko Haram

Boni Yayi and Muhammadu Buhari on Boko Haram Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari and the President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi, met on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to discuss the fight against Boko Haram terrorist group.

At the meeting, President Yayi pledged to deploy 800 military men to help fight insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east.

Acknowledging President Yayi’s contribution to the war on terror, President Buhari said securing a healthy relationship with neighbouring countries was key to security and economic development.

Neighbourliness And Development

President Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to maintaining the existing bilateral relationship with Benin Republic and other countries within West Africa.

He said: “Such partnerships are essential for good neighbourliness and development”.

The Nigerian leader further expressed Nigeria’s readiness to host an Economic Community for West African States’  summit in about nine days where vital issues bothering on security and the economy would be discussed.

Benin Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic had set up a Multi-National Joint Task Force to strengthen inter-border security and reduce the free movement of terrorists within the nations’ borders.

After he was sworn in as President of Nigeria in May, Buhari visited some neighbouring countries to seek closer ties that would further reduce the trans-border movement of Boko Haram terrorists.

Nigeria, Benin Sign Economic And Security Cooperation Pact

Benin RepublicThe governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic have agreed to strengthen the economic and security cooperation between both countries.

Addressing a joint press conference after a closed door meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, the two presidents also agreed to promote efforts towards regional integration.

They pledged to put in place necessary mechanisms to further strengthen regional integration under the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Co-Prosperity Alliance Zone (COPAZ).

President Buhari, expressed satisfactions with Benin Republic for identifying with the current efforts at fighting terrorism under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

President Iyayi, who spoke in French through an interpreter, also said that Nigeria and other West African countries have to do more in the area of border co-operation, climate change and power generation in the sub-region.

He commended President Buhari for the coordination of the fight against Boko Haram pledging the continuous support of his country.

President Buhari said with what has already been put in place and with the huge deployment of men and materials in the north east, the heat is already on the insurgents.

The President expressed gratitude to Benin Republic for identifying with the Lake Chad Basin Commission and their contribution in the fight against Boko Haram.

President Jonathan Leaves For Pilgrimage To Israel On Friday

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan will depart Lagos on Friday to undertake a brief pilgrimage to Israel.

The President, who will be accompanied by the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba, and his principal aides will, in addition to visiting Christian Holy sites, join other Nigerian pilgrims in a prayer session for the well-being and progress of the country at an Inter-Denominational Service in Jerusalem on Sunday.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, he is expected back in Abuja on Monday.

Before leaving for Israel, President Jonathan would participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post on Friday morning.

The President would be joined at the event by President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic and officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post is being constructed under the ECOWAS Transport Facilitation Programme which has the objective of boosting trade and economic relations among member countries.

Nigeria and Benin Republic parliaments aim to hold joint sessions

President Goodluck Jonathan and his counterpart from the Republic of Benin, Boni Yayi on Monday considered arrangements of establishing a joint sitting between the legislative arms of government of the two countries.

This was disclosed by Mr Yayi, who addressed State House correspondents after a meeting with Mr Jonathan at the presential Villa in Abuja.

Mr Yayi, who is also the chairman of the African Union, commended Mr Jonathan for his efforts in fighting terrorism in Nigeria.

He said both countries share the same vision on peace, stability and good governance and commended the joint operation to fight piracy in the West African sub region.

The two leaders said they have put machineries in motion to rehabilitate the Badagry-Seme road said to have been in bad shape to alleviate the sufferings of the people who use the road.

 

 

 

AU to take Mali to UN Security Council

The African Union plans to refer the situation in Mali to the United Nations Security Council so that it can create a framework for tackling the worsening crisis there, a diplomatic source close to the AU president said on Wednesday.

Mali, once regarded as a fine example of African democracy, collapsed into chaos after soldiers toppled the president in March, leaving a power vacuum in the north that enabled rebels to take control of nearly two-thirds of the country.

A regionally backed transitional government has been set up in Bamako to organise new presidential elections within a year, though supporters of the ruling military junta oppose the plan.

“The African Union will go to the Security Council and then it will be up to it to find the right format for a resolution and if it deems military support necessary,” said the source close to Thomas Boni Yayi, the Benin president and head of the African Union.

He said it was not clear when the issue would be taken to the United Nations.

An agreement between northern Mali’s MNLA Tuareg rebels and the al Qaeda-linked Islamist group Ansar Dine to create an Islamic state in northern Mali’s Azawad desert has hit trouble over how strictly to impose sharia, Islamic law.

The separatist MNLA wants a moderate form of sharia, while Ansar Dine would like to impose a more hardline version, using punishments such as the amputation of hands and heads for certain crimes.

The West African group ECOWAS said it rejected the idea of a separate Islamic state in northern Mali, and new French President Francois Hollande urged African leaders on Tuesday to ask the U.N. Security Council to help restore stability in the region.

REUTERS