"Part of the reason why poverty still persists in our continent is governments inability to work in a bi-partisan manner with the opposition to confront the many problems facing us as a continent. In almost all the advanced democracies a government in power works or listens to the opposition in matters of national importance such as education, defence, energy and the economy. However in Africa such matters are always hijacked by the ruling government to the detriment of the nation and its people". Lord Aikins Adusei

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Monday, June 29, 2009

President Tandja takes emergency powers after failed bid for third term


AFP - Niger's President Mamadou Tandja Friday said he was assuming emergency powers after a failed bid to prolong his stay in office by changing the constitution to allow him to run for a third term.


The 71-year-old leader said in a television address that he was invoking "article 58 of the constitution" giving him special powers "because the independence of the country is threatened." Tandja had already run into opposition from the Constitutional Court in his attempt to hold a referendum on changing the constitution to enable him to run for a third five-year elected term in office after his mandate expires in December. Tandja, 71, first announced his referendum proposal in early May, but the opposition, the trade unions and non-governmental organisations all turned to the Constitutional Court, which on June 12 annulled the president's plan. The court's decisions are binding on the head of state, whose bid to stage the referendum has also led to street protests and strikes. Nevertheless, on Wednesday evening Tandja submitted a request to the court, asking it to retract its ruling on the grounds that it had gone beyond its competence.

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President declares state of emergency in wake of 'intensifying violence'


President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has declared a state of emergency in Somalia in response to "intensifying violence" from an Islamist insurgency seeking to topple the government. The move could pave the way for foreign military intervention.


Somalia's president, clinging to power by his fingernails in his Mogadishu palace, on Monday declared a state of emergency in a bid to contain a deadly six-week-old insurgent offensive.

Sharif Sheikh Ahmed's announcement came amid growing talk of fresh foreign military action to flush out hardline Islamist groups, less than six months after Ethiopia ended a two-year intervention which failed to do just that.
The measure should have little impact on the ground in a country plagued by chaos since 1991 and over which Sharif's forces have no control but could facilitate his administration's request for foreign military assistance.
"As of today, the country is under a state of emergency," Sharif said at press conference in the capital, during a brief lull in fighting that has killed at least 300 people nationwide since May 7.
The president said the government had decided to announce the emergency "after witnessing the intensifying violence across the country."
According to a presidential aide, the decree still has to be approved by parliament to be officially effective. It was not immediately clear where and when the national assembly would convene.
On Monday, the African Union reiterated its concern and gave its blessing to Somalia's appeal for foreign backing.
AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping said the Somali government "has the right to seek support from AU members states and the larger international community."
On Sunday, the secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference called for urgent international action to suppress the assault that has also displaced 130,000.
"It has become inevitable that the international community should intervene immediately to support the transitional government, re-establish order and lighten the suffering of innocent civilians," Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said.
The previous day, Somalia's parliament speaker had launched a desperate appeal for foreign assistance, less than six months after neighbouring Ethiopia put an end to it's ill-fated military intervention.
"The government is weakened by the rebel forces. We ask neighbouring countries -- including Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Yemen -- to send troops to Somalia within 24 hours," Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur told reporters.
In 2006, Ethiopia invaded Somalia to remove an Islamist rebellion led by Sharif and Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys.
When it pulled out earlier this year, having failed to stabilise the country and significantly strengthen the internationally backed transitional government, Ethiopia warned it could return at any time should hardliners threaten to take control.
But Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon reacted to the Somali speaker's call Saturday by insisting that his country would not make its move without international backing.
"Any further action from Ethiopia regarding Somalia will be done according to international community decision," he told AFP.
Ethiopian troops were reported to have beefed up their presence at the border with western Somalia in recent days.
On May 7, an unprecedented anti-government offensive was launched by the Shebab, a hardline armed group suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda, and Hezb al-Islam, a more political movement led by Aweys, Sharif's ally-turned-foe.
The fighting has focused on central regions, where Sharif's Islamic Courts Union is well represented, and Mogadishu, where he has owed his survival mainly to the protection of African Union peacekeepers.
The Somali security minister, a lawmaker and the Mogadishu police chief were killed in three successive days last week, drawing a barrage of international condemnation.
Somalia has been without an effective central authority since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre touched off a bloody power struggle that has defied at least a dozen peace initiatives.


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Lawmakers flee abroad amid escalating violence


As clashes between Islamist militants and Somali security forces worsened this month, dozens of Somali lawmakers have fled abroad, leaving parliament effectively paralysed.


Reuters - Scores of Somali legislators have fled violence at home to the safety of other countries in Africa, Europe and the United States, leaving the nation's parliament without a quorum to meet.

Violence from an Islamist-led insurgency has worsened this month, with a minister, the Mogadishu police chief, and a legislator all killed. The government, which controls little but a few parts of the capital, has declared a state of emergency.

With reports of foreign jihadists streaming into Somalia, Western security services are frightened Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network may get a grip on the failed Horn of Africa state that has been without central government for 18 years.

Needing two-thirds of legislators present to meet, Somalia's 550-seat parliament has not convened since April 25. Officials said on Wednesday that 288 members of parliament (MPs) were abroad, with only about 50 on official visits.

The rest were in neighbours Kenya and Djibouti, European nations such as Sweden, Britain, the Netherlands and Norway, and the United States, the officials said.

"I cannot be a member of a government that cannot protect me," Abdalla Haji Ali, an MP who left for Kenya last week, told Reuters. "In Somalia, nobody is safe."

Parliament speaker Sheikh Aden Mohamed Madobe has urged the MPs to return, and Somalia's Finance Ministry has blocked the salaries of 144 legislators abroad, officials said.

In Nairobi on Wednesday, plenty of Somali MPs could be seen sipping tea and talking politics in various hotels and cafes.

"As legislators, we have responsibility and every one of us should perform his duty in Mogadishu," one legislator who has stayed in Mogadishu, Sheikh Ahmed Moalim, told Reuters.

"Before you decide to flee, you have to resign officially if you realise that you cannot work in this environment."

"GOVERNMENT FIDDLES, SOMALIA BURNS"

Islamist rebel leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys held a news conference in Mogadishu to denounce the government's call at the weekend for foreign forces to come to its aid.

The African Union has a 4,300-strong force guarding government and other installations in Mogadishu, but has been unable to stem violence and has been targeted by the rebels.

Kenya has said it supports international efforts to get more troops into Somalia, but Aweys thanked Nairobi for declining to send its soldiers across the border. "If they deal with us well, we will deal with them well as a good neighbour," he said.
Nairobi expatriate circles have been awash with rumours of planned attacks by Somali militants.

"The fighting will stop when the foreign enemy forces leave the country and Somalis come together for talks," Aweys added.

"Nothing remains of the puppet Somali government."

The United Nations and Western powers back President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed's government, but are increasingly frustrated over how to help him stabilise Somalia.

Ahmed, himself a moderate Islamists, was elected by parliament at a U.N.-sponsored process in Djibouti in January.

"The situation has gone from bad to worse to worst, presenting the entire Horn of Africa with a security crisis of the first order," U.S. analyst Peter Pham said in a paper.

"If the TFG (government) is 'fiddling' while Somalia burns, it is doing so with a full orchestral accompaniment provided by an international community that apparently lacks either the will or the imagination (or both) to do anything else."

Gus Selassie, an analyst for IHS Global Insight think-tank, was equally pessimistic.

"There appears to be an extreme reluctance on the part of the international community, including neighbouring countries and friendly governments such as Ethiopia, to heed the TFG's desperate calls," he wrote in another analysis.

"Both the security and humanitarian situation will have to worsen considerably before anyone will aid the TFG."


US supplying weapons to Somali government


Following urgent appeals from Somalia’s embattled government, the US is giving the UN-backed government weapons to fight Islamist fighters, according to a US official.


The United States is giving Somalia's embattled government urgent supplies of weapons and ammunition to fight off Islamist insurgents, a US official said Thursday.
The United States has also approached Eritrea with "concerns" that it is aiding the insurgents and warned that such support would be a "serious obstacle" to better ties, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly added.
"We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in Mogadishu and attacks against the Transitional Federal Government," Kelly told reporters during the daily media briefing.
"At the request of that government, the State Department has helped to provide weapons and ammunition on an urgent basis," Kelly added.
"This is to support the Transitional Federal Government's efforts to repel the onslaught of extremist forces which are intent on destroying the Djibouti peace process," he said.
On May 7, the Shebab, a hardline Islamist armed group, and Hezb al-Islam, a more political group, launched an unprecedented nationwide offensive against the administration of President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
The internationally-backed Sharif has been holed up in his presidential quarters, protected by African Union peacekeepers as his forces were unable to reassert their authority on the capital.
Around 300 people are confirmed to have been killed in the latest violence, many of them civilians.
Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled their homes over the past three years of violence involving hardline Islamist movements and many more in total over the country's 18 years of almost uninterrupted civil chaos.
The High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday that fierce fighting between forces loyal to Somalia's government and the insurgency have displaced 159,000 people in six weeks.
"We think that this government... represents Somalia's best chance for peace, stability and reconciliation," Kelly replied when asked if Washington feared the government would collapse.
"This government is the best chance they've had in the last 18 years," he said.
"And in addition to this threat to the government ... this kind of violence is causing real suffering for the Somalian people and it's just prolonging the chaos and preventing the country from getting on stable footing," he said.
"So, yes, we are concerned," he said.
He said the US weapons deliveries flowed not just from a request from the Somali government but from a policy review conducted by President Barack Obama's new administration.
Kelly said he was not aware of any immediate plans to send Johnnie Carson, the State Department's top Africa envoy, to Eritrea, a neighbor of Somalia which Washington suspects of backing the insurgents.
"We think they (the Eritreans) are providing material support, including financing to some of these extremist groups, most particularly Al Shabaab," the spokesman said.
"We've taken these concerns up with the government of Eritrea," he added.
"I want to emphasize that we remain open to trying to improve relations with Eritrea, but ... Eritrea's support for Al Shabaab and other extremist groups is a serious obstacle to any improvement that we can make," he said.


EU lauds liberation of deposed president from house arrest


Mauritania's ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who was deposed in an Aug. 6 coup, has been freed from house arrest. Before his release, Abdallahi said he would refuse to join talks organised by the ruling military junta for Dec. 27.


Mauritania's military junta freed ousted president Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi from house arrest on Sunday, ahead of "national consultation" talks next weekend his supporters plan to boycott.

"President Sidi has been freed," a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity, after the junta that seized power in the Saharan nation on August 6 ended his confinement amid international pressure.

Four military vehicles picked up Abdallahi in his home village of Lemden, 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Nouakchott, and drove him to his private residence in the capital in the early hours of the morning, the source said.

"He now is free to move," the source said.

However, in an apparent show of defiance to the generals who ousted him, Abdallahi promptly returned to Lemden.

"The president used a personal vehicle to go back to Lemden," a former senior official close to him told AFP, asserting that Abdallahi had been driven to Nouakchott by junta members "against his will."

"He did not have time to say goodbye to his extended family in Lemden," he said. "He wished to return to prepare his return to Nouakchott, serenely, according to his own agenda."

The European Union presidency, currently held by France, welcomed Abdallahi's release but told the military junta that "the solution to the current crisis is through the return of constitutional order."

The junta had said it would free Abdallahi by December 24, to enable him to join a "national consultation meeting" on December 27. But in a French newspaper interview, published Saturday, he said he would boycott the talks.

Abdallahi told Le Monde that to take part "would be to legitimise the coup d'etat."

"I have firmly decided to fight to ensure this coup d'etat fails.... Only the people of Mauritania can make me go, by expressing themselves in the same way as when they (elected me)," he said.

A spokesman for Mauritania's National Front for the Defence of Democracy (FNDD) told AFP that Abdallahi's release was "a step on the road to his reinstatement." The anti-coup FNDD has also refused to take part in the junta-sponsored talks.

France's ambassador to the west African nation urged the opposition to reconsider. "It is an opportunity to discuss all the problems," said Michel Vandepoorter in an interview with a local newspaper.

"We would of course like all the political parties, especially those opposed to the coup... to go and participate in a true debate of opposing views," he said, reiterating France's opposition to the coup.

The ambassador's comments were criticised by the FNDD spokesman who accused France of meddling in strictly Mauritanian affairs.

Meanwhile, the movement's head, Beijel Ould Houmeit, told a press conference that Abdallahi had agreed to stay put until the FNDD asks him to return.

"President Sidi is not looking for confrontation. He will stay on in Lemden, at the disposition of the Front which has backed him. He will remain at our disposition until (constitutional) legality is restored to Mauritania," he said.

Abdallahi, 71, took office in March 2007 after three decades of military rule, the first democratically elected president since independence from France in November 1960.

Twice, the former minister was imprisoned or placed under house arrest as regimes changed. He also lived for lengthy periods in Kuwait and Niger.

The junta led by General Ould Abdel Aziz, the commander of Abdallahi's presidential guard, has taken over the powers of the president and formed a new government with the support of a majority of deputies in parliament. It promised fresh elections in 2009.

The European Union had threatened the junta with sanctions, while the African Union also condemned the coup and the United States called for Abdallahi's reinstatement and a swift return to constitutional rule.


Interim gov't formed ahead of July 18 vote


Mauritania has appointed a transitional government ahead of next month's presidential elections after ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi (pictured) officially resigned on Friday.



AFP - The transitional government that will lead Mauritania into presidential elections next month was appointed Friday after disputes that threatened to unravel an internationally brokered pact were overcome.
Ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi signed the decree appointing the transitional government and then officially resigned his office in front of the Constitutional Council and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who has led international mediation efforts.
The move signaled that disputes that held up implementation of an agreement reached earlier in the month to resolve the political crisis in the west African country had been overcome.
The installation of a transitional government was foreseen under an agreement signed on June 4 by all Mauritanian parties delaying the election until July 18, just days before a controversial presidential election was due to go forward.
General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who toppled Mauritania's first democratically elected president last August, was set to sweep the election as the opposition had boycotted the vote.
Under the agreement, a transitional government equally balanced between pro-junta and anti-coup forces was to be formed to organise the election.
But Ould Cheikh Abdallahi refused to appoint the transitional government and step down until the junta council was dissolved.
International mediators said Friday an agreement had been reached under which the junta would become a national defence council under the transitional government's authority.
After signing the decree to loud applause, Ould Cheikh Abdallahi said he was stepping down "to protect the country from the simultaneous dangers from the economic embargo, political stress and social explosion."
The African Union imposed sanctions on the junta and the European Union froze cooperation with Mauritania earlier this year.
Ould Cheikh Abdallahi called on Mauritanians "to unite to give hope" to holding transparent elections.
The elections are still to go ahead on July 18 despite the delay in appointing the transitional government, international mediators said Friday.
Although the political crisis was overcome, there were new fears in Mauritania on Friday after Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for this week's murder of an American teacher in Nouakchott.
Christopher Logest was shot several times from close range after he resisted an apparent kidnap attempt on Tuesday at a private language and computer school he ran, a witness told AFP.
The Al-Qaeda statement called him guilty of "the crime of missionary in the land of Muslims," according to US-based monitoring group SITE Intelligence.


Interim government agrees to July 18 election date

Mauritania's transitional government, headed by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz since a military coup in August 2008, agreed to an internationally-brokered pact scheduling presidential elections for July 19



AFP- Mauritania's transitional government on Sunday endorsed the internationally-brokered pact to overcome the west African country's political crisis and set the presidential election for July 18.

However, anti-putsch politicians, who have been seeking a longer delay to the vote, claimed the decree was not properly adopted.

"The council of ministers examined and approved the Dakar agreement of June 4, 2009..." said a government statement, adding "the government also examined and adopted a decree convening the electorate to vote in the presidential election planned for July 18, 2009."

Under the internationally-mediated pact signed in Dakar, Mauritanian political forces agreed to the delay until July 18 the presidential election, which the general who led last year's putsch was set to sweep.

General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who toppled Mauritania's first democratically elected president last August, was expected to have easily won the presidential election set for June 6 as opposition parties had boycotted the vote.

While anti-putsch forces did not secure as long a delay in holding the vote as they sought, the did succeed in having a transitional government installed made up equally of pro- and anti-putsch forces.

Ousted president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi signed the decree appointing the transitional government on Friday and formally stepped down.

Under the transitional government's decree, later approved by the Constitutional Council, candidates have until Tuesday to register to stand in the presidential election. Under Mauritania's constitution they should have 45 days to declare their candidacy.

Anti-putsch forces said the decree was not properly adopted.

"I can tell you that the decree convoking the vote was not signed either by me or the interim president, Ba Mamadou dit Mbare," transitional interior minister Mohamed Ould Rzeizim told AFP.

Lawmaker Khalil Ould Teyeb, who is close to anti-putsch candidate Messaoud Ould Boulkheir, said opposition candidates were set to meet late on Sunday to try to agree on a common position.

Official sources said decree foresees the electoral campaign getting underway on Thursday.


Tsvangirai's ministers snub Zimbabwe cabinet


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party boycotted a meeting of Zimbabwe's cabinet on Monday on the grounds that it made a mockery of the country's power-sharing deal.


The 13 ministers from Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) pulled out of the meeting after it was brought forward to accommodate President Robert Mugabe, who was to fly to the African Union summit in Libya later.

"This morning we were advised that cabinet had been shifted from its mandated day of Tuesday to Monday," Tsvangirai's deputy Thokozani Khupe told journalists.


"The decision seeks to deny recognition of the prime minister as chair of cabinet when the president is away. Mr Mugabe has indicated he will not be present on Tuesday and hence the decision to move cabinet forward to today," said Khupe.

The former rivals set up a power-sharing government in February meant to stabilise Zimbabwe nearly a year after disputed polls plunged the country into further economic and political chaos.

Khupe said the decision to move the meeting "reflects unilateralism, disrespect, contempt and refusal to recognise the reality and the letter of the global political agreement."


"We will not attend an informal unilateral meeting," she added at a press conference attended by the 13 MDC ministers, including Finance Minister Tendai Biti and Home Affairs Minister Giles Mutsekwa.

Khupe also expressed disappointment at the issues that remained unresolved four months after the coalition government was formed.


"For a long time we have remained the polite and subservient upholders of the global political agreement, against clear evidence of the absence of a reliable and honest partner," said Khupe.


Among the outstanding issues listed were the appointments of provincial governors and ambassadors, as well as the dispute over the appointments of the attorney-general and the central bank governor.


"Further evidence of a lack of paradigm shift is the deliberate refusal to convene the national security council," Khupe said. "The national security council became law in February 2009 and demands that the security council meets once every month.


"Four months later, it has not yet met simply because a few elite securocrats do not recognise the authority of the new order."

Low turnout in tense Guinea Bissau election by Malick Rokhy Ba


Guinea Bissau's presidential election, after the assassination of the incumbent and other killings, was marked by one of the lowest turnouts ever, officials said Monday as the slow count got under way.

First provisional results would take four or five days and the official results up to a week, National Electoral Commission (CNE) spokesman Orlando Mendes told AFP.


Eleven candidates, including three former presidents, ran to replace assassinated leader Joao Bernardo Vieira in the coup-prone former Portuguese colony of 1.3 million people.

No incidents were reported but the atmosphere was tense as the election came less than four months after members of the army gunned down Vieira.


Vieira, who ruled Guinea-Bissau for much of the past quarter century, was killed by soldiers in apparent revenge for the death of army chief, General Batista Tagme Na Waie, in a bomb attack.

On June 5, former territorial administration minister, Baciro Dabo, a candidate in the election, and former defence minister Helder Proenca, were killed by soldiers amid allegations that they were plotting a coup.

The CNE spokesman said Sunday's turnout was "very weak" compared to recent legislative elections when up to 82 percent of the 600,000 eligible voters took part. Another source close to the CNE said the abstention rate could have been up to 40 percent, the highest of the past decade.


"It has got nothing to do with the rain, but more the recent events," the CNE spokesman said, referring to the killings.

The three leading contenders in the contest are all former heads of state.

Malam Bacai Sanha served as interim president from June 1999 to May 2000 and was candidate for the long-dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which already controls 67 of the 100 seats in the national assembly.


Also running was Kumba Yala, whose time in office between 2000 and 2003 was marked by wide fiscal mismanagement and sweeping arrests of opposition figures until he was brought down in a coup.

Another former head of state, running as an independent, is Henrique Rosa (2003-2005).

If no candidate wins an overall majority in the first round, the election will go to a run-off between the two highest-placed contenders on July 28.


Whoever wins will have to contend with grinding poverty -- Guinea-Bissau was ranked 175 out of 177 countries in the 2007-2008 UN Development Programme human index report -- and with the corrupting influence of drugs trafficking.

It is a transit point in the cocaine trade to Europe from Latin America, according to the United Nations.

Raimundo Pereira, the caretaker president, described the poll as "an important step towards stability" in the country which became independent from Portugal in 1974.

Stability a critical issue in presidential vote


Months after soldiers killed former President Joao Bernardo Vieira, Guinea-Bissau goes to the polls Sunday to elect a replacement amid widespread hopes for stability in the poor, coup-wracked African nation.

AFP - Guinea-Bissau goes to the polls Sunday in an election where the key contenders are promising to bring stability and peace to one of Africa's poorest and coup-wracked states.

The current political crisis in the West African country, a notorious transit point for the drugs trade to Europe, was sparked by the March murder of president Joao Bernardo Vieira.

The leader, who ruled Guinea-Bissau for 23 years, was killed by members of the army on March 2 in apparent revenge for a bomb attack that claimed the life of the army chief, General Batista Tagme Na Waie.

Eleven candidates, including three former presidents, are in the running, as one pulled out after the army killed two senior politicians on June 5 after they were accused by the government of plotting a coup.

One favourite is Malam Bacai Sanha, who served as interim president from June 1999 to May 2000 and who is the candidate for the long-dominant African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC).

The PAIGC already controls 67 of the 100 seats in the country's national assembly.

The other aspirants are former presidents Kumba Yala (2000-2003), who was toppled in a coup and whose reign was marked by wide fiscal mismanagement and sweeping arrests of opposition figures, and Henrique Rosa (2003-2005).

Both Yala and Rosa have also made stability and peace the main planks of their electoral campaigns.

A second round, anticipated for July 28, could also take place to decide on the new president.

Around 600,000 of the country's 1.3 million inhabitants are eligible to vote when polling stations open at 7 am (0700 GMT). Voting is due to end at 5 pm.

Observers have been sceptical that Guinea-Bissau is ready for a vote after the recent upsurge in violence.

In a bid to ensure Sunday's election runs smoothly, regional west African bloc ECOWAS announced that it had paid the country's armed forces three months salary they were owed and issued a call for pledges of support to help after the vote.

But other government employees, also unpaid for three months, still face uncertainty in a state which was ranked 175 out of 177 countries in the 2007-2008 human development report by the United Nations Development Programme.

The elections costing around 5.1 million euros (7.1 million dollars) is entirely funded by foreign donors.

The European Union is sending election observers to the former Portuguese colony, which won its independence in 1974 but has since been overwhelmed and weakened by the international drugs trade.

Observers say the sudden influx of drugs money has considerably raised the stakes in the ongoing power feuds between the army and politicians.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Ghana: Storm over JJ ‘cash’


Interesting revelations are beginning to unfold hours after the lid covering an alleged nine-month secret ‘deal’ between former President Jerry John Rawlings and Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of the Rivers State of Nigeria, involving some $3.5 million dollars, was blown off.

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While Rawlings’ spokesman, Kofi Adams, is jumping over the roof in a lame attempt to rubbish the story, DAILY GUIDE can say from deep-throat sources in Nigeria that contrary to his claims, his boss and the governor had met more than twice.

In his usual element, the glaringly disarmed Adams went into tantrums, screaming, ‘Stupid! Nonsense!! Baloney!!!’, without giving any tangible explanation for his boss’ alleged involvement in the multi-million-dollar scandal.

Kofi Adams, who earlier suggested the story was a plot by DAILY GUIDE and The Chronicle to smear the former president, was virtually humiliated when the original editor of the story in Nigeria called into Citi Fm’s Eye Witness News yesterday to defend his story.

According to Ude Jackson, editor of www.pointblanknews.com , video clips and still pictures in his possession are strong evidence that Rawlings and Amaechi have been close pals for a long time.

Adams again displayed his ignorance with regard to internet usage when he insisted that the website that carried the story was now under construction.

Jackson told Citi Fm that the website had been fully functional for over two years and he was a journalist of 10 years’ standing with credible sources for his stories.

DAILY GUIDE is also reliably informed that, about three months before Ghana’s December 2008 general elections, Governor Amaechi had discreetly flown into the country to ostensibly deny to then President John Agyekum Kufuor, allegations that he was bankrolling the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the country’s largest opposition political party at the time.

This was after ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo had reportedly queried Amaechi over information that he was flirting with and meddling in the politics of Ghana. But some nine months after vehemently denying the allegations, the governor was stripped naked over the weekend, in the on-line publication from the oil-rich country.

Before his secret trip as governor to meet Kufuor, Amaechi was for several months a refugee in Ghana when he was caught in a political turmoil in his native Rivers State during the gubernatorial race.

Governor Amaechi, who is not new to controversies, even when he presided over a corrupt House of Assembly during the Governorship of Mr. Peter Odili, had a problem with his party in 2007, ran to Ghana, and for several months, lodged at the Fiesta Royale (Formerly Cresta Royale) Hotel at Dzorwulu in Accra.

After being entangled in some financial deals, for which reason his party was hesitant in presenting him as its gubernatorial candidate, he fled to Ghana so he could pursue the matter from Accra.

DAILY GUIDE can say that while in Accra, Amaechi flew into Port Harcourt to fight his legal battles through London and returned to his Fiesta Royale base through the same route.

The last time the paper spotted him in Ghana was on Monday, 23rd February 2009, when the British High Commission held a programme at the La Palm Royal Hotel in Accra.

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The governor is currently in the middle of a controversy over how his administration misappropriated funds totaling over Five Hundred Billion Naira ($3.6billion) in the last two years. Media reports say out of the sum, a whopping Four Hundred Million Naira ($3.5 million) was allegedly transferred to facilitate the election in Ghana.

According to the publication, the money was given to the NDC founder and former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings, through one Nyeson Wike, a special aide to Governor Amaechi, and that the money accounted for the victory of President John Atta Mills in the historic Ghana election.

“Former Ghanaian dictator, Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Retired) has been identified as the alleged conduit through which the huge sums were transferred to the ruling party in Ghana.Rawlings has been a regular visitor to Rivers State.

Another individual identified as a courier for Governor Amaechi is one Nyeson Wike, an aide to Amaechi”, it said.

The publication said Amaechi had invested over N1 Billion in selected companies in Ghana, in a manner designed to outwit the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of his home country, which had been investigating his administration for money laundering.

Wike, who allegedly operates an account with a top bank in Port Harcourt, was said to have ran errands for Amaechi mostly in Ghana and other countries the Governor had interest in.

Meanwhile, DAILY GUIDE has seen heaps of documentary and pictorial evidences, suggesting that the former president and the governor are more than mere pals.

Interestingly, some NDC gurus are fuming that such huge monies were raked in on behalf of the party, and Professor Mills had to struggle to win the election by a mere 40,000 votes.

By Bennett Akuaku

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