President Bola Tinubu on Thursday said the fear he had about the military junta in Niger Republic setting a bad precedent across the continent has been confirmed by the removal of President Ali Bongo of Gabon.
On Wednesday, soldiers struck in Gabon, annulling the recently concluded election and ending the 13-year reign of Bongo, who succeeded his father in 2009.
Speaking while receiving the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, at the State House, Abuja, Tinubu said all diplomatic options would be exhausted with the military junta in Niger Republic before any last resort of military intervention comes into the picture.
He insisted that any forceful removal of a democratic government remains “wholly unacceptable.”
“I must thank you for your several visits to Niger Republic, Your Eminence, but you will still have to go back. My fear has been confirmed in Gabon that copy cats will start doing the same thing until it is stopped. We are neighbours with Niger Republic, and what has joined Nigerians together with their great people cannot be broken. Nobody is interested in a war. We have seen the devastation in Ukraine and Sudan. But, if we don’t wield the big stick, we will all suffer the consequences together,” the President warned.
Tinubu noted that Nigeria, under General Abdulsalami Abubakar, instituted a nine-month transition programme in 1998, and it proved very successful, leading the country into a new era of democratic governance. The President sees no reason why such can not be replicated in Niger, if Niger’s military authorities are sincere.
“Your Eminence, please don’t get tired, you will still go back there. The soldiers’ action is unacceptable. The earlier they make positive adjustments, the quicker we will dial back the sanctions to alleviate the sufferings we are seeing in Niger,” the President affirmed.
On the hardship faced by many Nigerians post-fuel subsidy removal, the President assured that all ongoing reforms will liberate and reposition the economy, which will benefit the majority of the population in terms of opportunities, infrastructure, healthcare and education.
“Nigeria is headed for a promise. Our diversity will turn into prosperity, not adversity. We will build a country that our children will be proud of,” the President assured.
The President told the delegation that the Federal Government had opened talks with State Governments to provide land for the proper sustenance of animals with a view to developing pan-national animal husbandry and agro-allied production and processing facilities for mass export, job creation and revenue generation.
“If Nigeria is still looking for vaccines for basic health issues; if infant and maternal mortality is rampant, then we should examine ourselves. I will commit to consulting with other leaders, like the NSCIA, and we will meet the needs of our people,” he said
#SaferKwara: Governor AbdulRazaq Meets Army Chief
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq receives Commander 22 Armoured Brigade Ilorin Brigade General Adebayo Abdulrahman Babalola at Government House, Ilorin.
During the visit, the Governor explored strategies for strengthening security in the state with the Army chief.
Military personnel have made several efforts to dislodge security threats from the state.
The Army chief reiterated that the operations will be sustained to keep the state safer for peaceful and law-abiding residents.
Football is coming home! UK & Republic of Ireland set to host Euro 2028 as Turkey withdraw bid
The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland look set to host Euro 2028 after the Turkish FA withdrew its bid to host the tournament.
The Turkish FA has officially withdrawn its bid to host Euro 2028 in order to focus on its plan to co-host the tournament with Italy in 2032. UEFA has now approved the joint proposal, which was first announced in July.
Turkey’s withdrawal from the 2028 bidding process means that the UK and Republic of Ireland’s bid will now run unopposed. Wembley Stadium hosted the semi-finals and final of the delayed 2020 European Championship, but the UK has not hosted an entire major tournament since 1996.
Both bids will require official approval at a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee on Tuesday. An official statement from UEFA read: “The presentations at that meeting will be an important part of the process which will take due consideration of the content of the bid submissions before reaching a decision.”
If approved, then Euro 2028 will be hosted in the UK and Ireland. Among the ten proposed stadiums are Wembley Stadium, Hampden Park and the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, as well as the currently unbuilt Bramley Moore Dock stadium in Liverpool and Casement Park in Belfast
Messi makes decision on when he will leave Inter Miami
Lionel Messi has reportedly decided where he will end his playing career, but it won’t be in Miami or Barcelona.
Messi’s Inter Miami contract is set to expire in 2025, at which point – according to El Nacional – he will look to return to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina. There is an option for the World Cup winner to extend his deal with Miami for an extra year, but the report states that he wants to retire in his homeland.
Messi left Barcelona in 2021 after more than two decades at the club, having joined the Spanish giants from Newell’s as a 13-year-old. He snubbed a return to Camp Nou when he left Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, and it now looks like a fairy tale return to Barca is never going to happen.
Messi scored 10 goals in his first seven games for David Beckham’s Miami franchise, but he has spent the past month injured. He will play a farewell match at Barcelona at some point, even if he does not return to play for the club
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