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Nigerian, 34, Joins US’ Michigan Governorship Race2 minutes read

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Nigeria-born Austin Chenge will challenge USA Representative Lamar Smith for the governorship ticket under the Republican Party in Michigan, the constituent state of the United States of America.

The election will hold in 2022.

The 34-year-old Chenge, who is originally from the Tiv speaking part of Nigeria’s Benue State, announced his intention to run for governor of Michigan in March 2020, making him the first Republican to do so.

A statement by Abdul-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations unit, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), described Chenge as an embodiment of the American dream.

It added that Chenge has repeatedly stunned critics by achieving what most people would consider impossible.

“Chenge is a Law graduate from the University of Birmingham, England. Since the year 2018, he has been serving with the US military as a specialist. He is a decorated with the Achievement Medal as a Distinguished Honour Graduate with a Culmulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 99.8% and for exceptional performance while on active duty.”

The statement said that Chenge is popular locally for designing the popular tricycle, known as “Wazobia tricycle”, in 2016, designed to improve the lives of peasant farmers all over Africa.

A brief bio on his website said, “Ever-smiling and always the big dreamer, Austin Chenge, 34, from Grand Rapids, is the embodiment of the American Dream.

“Austin has always stunned critics by achieving what others consider impossible. A graduate of the School of Law at the University of Birmingham England, Austin raised over $200,000 in funding for his first startup, Holla@Me/Holla.com (now sold) in England and soon expanded to San Jose in California.

“He created Waving in a social networking environment in 2011, a concept later seen on Facebook’ Wave. In 2016 his tricycle design (termed Wazobia tricycle) aimed at improving the lives of peasant farmers, made history in the West African nation of Nigeria as the first designed, engineered and manufactured by a person of Nigerian descent. Since 2018 he has served as a Specialist in the US Army, where he has been decorated with an Army Achievement Medal as Distinguished Honor Graduate with a CGPA of 99.8% and for exceptional performance while on Active duty.

“As of March, 2020 Austin became the first Republican Candidate for Governor of Michigan, for the 2022 election.”

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#EndSARS Protest Hijacked, Misdirected – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected. President Buhari further described the whole incident as unfortunate during the virtual meeting with former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina disclosured details of the meeting in statement.
President Buhari reiterated that the Government will not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.


At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: General Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Ernest Shonekan, General Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The President recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.

He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:

”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”

The President declared: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives have been lost, a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.

Reiterating his pledge to Nigerians from the nationwide broadcast Thursday, the President reaffirmed:

”We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.

”We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

The President thanked the former Heads of State for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”

Each of the former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country and also applauded the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.

”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you,” former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, said.

The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.

They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.

The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.

Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.

Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.

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#EndSARS protests: 1500 NSCDC Personnel Deployed to Guard National Assets in Lagos

The Lagos NSCDC boss said that he personally led some of his personnel to some critical areas because of the large number of #EndSARS protesters in such areas.

Bernard Akede

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Nigeria Security and Civil Defence

Over 1,500 personnel of The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been deployed in Lagos State to guard all national assets and critical infrastructures within the state.

While speaking to newsmen in Lagos on Friday, The Commandant, NSCDC, Lagos State Command, Mr Paul Ayeni said the directive came from the Commandant -General (CG) of NSCDC, Abdullahi Gana.

The directive was for all NSCDC formation across the states to reinforce deployment to protect nation’s critical infrastructure and assets in their domain following the #EndSARS protests in some parts of the country, Ayeni said.

The Lagos NSCDC boss said that he personally led some of his personnel to some critical areas because of the large number of #EndSARS protesters in such areas.

According to him, some of the infrastructure to be guarded by the corps were include: “the General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Third Mainland Bridge, Ikoyi and Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centers, as well as the Railways.

Others include “The Eko Electricity Distribution Company, (EKEDC) and all Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines within the state, Ikeja Shopping mall, among others.”

The commandant said that the corps would not relent in executing all mandates bestowed on it. “For instance, about 30 corps from the command were posted to monitor Ikoyi prisons and its environments, while 64 corps were posted to Maximum Correctional centre in Kirikiri and its environments. “The corps in conjunction with other security agencies foiled the attempted jailbreak at Ikoyi prison on October 22,” he said.

The commandant urged residents of Lagos State to report all cases insecurity or violation of human rights to the corps, while promising that appropriate steps will be taken. The deployment of The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps comes after hoodlums took advantage of the #EndSars #EndPoliceBrutality protest to loot and destroy public and private infrastructure.

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Ivory Coast Opposition Rejects Electoral Reforms Ahead Next Week’s Presidential Poll

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Ahead the October 31 elections in Ivory Coast, opposition parties in the West African country have rejected the government’s offer of concessions, insisting on a boycott of the polls.

The incumbent, President Alassane Ouattara, is seeking a third term – a bid which oppositions said is against the constitution. Ouattara’s supporters claims a constitutional reform earlier in the year has reset the 72-year-old’s tenure.

The opposition have threatened to boycott next week’s polls if Ouattara does not stand down.

The two main opposition candidates – former President Henri Konan Bédié and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan – announced the boycott earlier in the month.

They asked their supporters to block what they described as an electoral coup.

To pacify them, the government offered various concessions, including constitutional reform. On Thursday, 22 October 22, the opposition rejected the concession.

“Opposition candidates are maintaining their policy of civil disobedience and reiterate their request for international mediation,” Maurice Kakou Guikahue, a spokesperson for the opposition, told reporters on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the UN has expressed concern over ongoing violence that has in recent days left at least seven people dead and more than 40 injured.

The violence in the lead-up to the presidential vote on October 31 has raw memories of post-electoral clashes that killed some 3,000 people in 2010-11, when then-president Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept his defeat to challenger Ouattara.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced concerns over the latest tension, his office said in a statement, calling on all sides to “reject the use of hate speech and the incitement of violence along ethnopolitical lines.”

“He encourages all political actors and their supporters to embrace meaningful dialogue and forge an environment conducive to the holding of an inclusive and peaceful election,” the statement added.

The regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Monday urged opposition parties to “seriously reconsider their decision to boycott the election, and their call on their supporters to engage in civil disobedience”.

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