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Cameroonian government claims separatists not responsible for refinery blast1 min read

Separatist groups had on social media claimed the blast at the country’s only refinery was executed by them

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Cameroonian government claims separatists not responsible for refinery blast
(File photo) - Scene of accident.

Cameroon has increased troops around its lone oil refinery after a weekend explosion caused a shutdown of the facility. But the government denies separatist fighters’ earlier assertion that they were responsible for the blast.

Cameroon’s Trade Minister, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana said there will be no shortages and no price increases of petroleum products. He said Cameroon, two years ago, found itself in a similarly difficult situation when the national refinery shut down its doors for eight months for rehabilitation.

He also said shortages in supply were minimal because imports were increased without increasing prices. He further urged people to remain calm.

People are reported to have been buying and stocking fuel with fear of a looming scarcity. The scare was sparked after a storage tank exploded Saturday night at Cameroon’s only oil refinery in the town of Limbe, in the Southwest region.

The blast caused a fire that damaged parts of the refinery and shut down output. No lives were lost.

Rebels fighting to separate the English-speaking parts of Cameroon from the Francophone majority claimed responsibility for the explosion on social media. They said the refinery was attacked because English speakers benefit very little from the company.

Government spokesperson, Rene Emmanuel Sadi said proceeds from the company are used to develop all of Cameroon and refuted claims that the explosion was perpetrated by secessionist fighters. He said early investigations indicate it was an accident.

He said details of the accident that blew up parts of the refinery will be made public soon. He also added that the military has been deployed to make sure the refinery and its equipment are totally protected.

The refinery, which is almost entirely state-owned, supplies 2.2 million tons of petroleum a year to Cameroon and countries of the region including Togo, Nigeria, and Ghana.

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Foreign banks accused of enabling corruption in South Africa

Some of these corporations are based in New York, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai

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Former British minister Peter Hain on Monday accused international corporations and banks of abetting graft in South Africa.

Testifying at a commission probing state corruption under former President Jacob Zuma, Hain – a former anti-apartheid activist who served in past Labour governments – charged international banks, corporations and governments with facilitating the looting of state funds.

“It should be a source of shame for the international community and these banks and professional enablers that they have facilitated this,” said Hain, now a member of the House of Lords.

“Some of these corporations are based in New York, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai,” he added, referring to HSBC, Standard Chartered and the Bank of Boroda by name. 

The Indian-born Gupta brothers – Ajay, Atul and Rajesh – are at the centre of a South African investigation into rampant corruption under Zuma’s nine-year administration. 

The US Treasury blacklisted the Guptas and froze their assets last month, calling them a “significant corruption network” that dispersed bribes and misappropriated millions in state funds. 

The South African-born Hain, who also penned a book on Nelson Mandela, said the banks were still allowing the Guptas to open bank accounts, possibly for illicit money transfers. 

He blasted banks for not applying the same “stringent measures” they put on ordinary citizens and criminals and called on them to help return funds to the country.

“(The) Indian authorities should be trying to repatriate Gupta assets to South Africa,” Hain said.

Numerous government officials and businessmen have voluntarily appeared before the commission, which was launched in August 2018 and is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Their testimonies have gripped TV audiences across the country.

Zuma was forced to set up the enquiry in January 2018, shortly before he left office, after failing in a legal battle to overturn the ombudsman’s instructions.

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Nigeria’s electoral body declares Yahaya Bello winner of Kogi Guber polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Governor Yahaya Bello winner of 2019 Guber election in Kogi State

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The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Governor Yahaya Bello winner of 2019 Guber election in Kogi State. Read now.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Governor Yahaya Bello winner of the keenly contested 2019 Guber election in Kogi State. This is happening a few hours after the resumption of the announcement of Guber results.

Recall that INEC, through its Returning Officer for the Kogi Guber polls Prof.Ibrahim Umar had announced the results inconclusive on Sunday following the delay in the arrival of the results from Lokoja and Ibaji local governments.

The Returning Officer of INEC for the election and Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof Ibrahim Umar who announced the results said APC’s candidate Yahaya Bello won with a total of 406,222 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party who amassed 189,704 votes.

This victory came as a surprise to many who had predicted that the incumbent governor would lose his re-election bid due to the controversy surrounding the non-payment of civil servants in the North-Central state.

READ: Nigeria’s electoral body declares David Lyon winner of 2019 Bayelsa Guber polls

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the re-elected governor. In a statement delivered through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina, President Buhari described the election and the victory of Yahaya Bello as “a race well run and a victory well won”.

He further praised the supporters of the ruling All Progressive Party for remaining steadfast and resolute even in the face of incidents of violence. 

President Buhari also sympathized with the families of those who lost their lives in the violence that erupted during the election. He beckoned on stakeholders to make a conscious effort to stop electoral violence for a sustained democracy.

In his words, “all political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy”.

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Nigeria’s electoral body declares David Lyon winner of 2019 Bayelsa Guber polls

Chief David Lyon polled a total of 352,552 to defeat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Sen. Duoye Diri

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Nigeria's electoral body declares David Lyon winner of 2019 Bayelsa Guber polls
David Lyon, the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate and governor-elect of Bayelsa. (File photo)

The candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Bayelsa State has on Monday been declared the winner of the 2019 Gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State. 

The results were announced on Monday morning by the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Bayelsa Gubernatorial election and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Faraday Orunmuwese, who subsequently returned Chief David Lyon as the winner of the election. 

Chief David Lyon polled a total of 352,552 to defeat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Sen. Duoye Diri who polled 143,172 votes.

The All Progressive Congress’ candidate and governor-elect of Bayelsa State, secured his landslide victory by winning in 6 local governments out of a total of 8 local governments in the small oil-rich state. The local governments are, Southern Ijaw; 124,803 votes, Ekeremor L.G.A; 21,489 votes, Nembe; 83,041 votes, Brass; 23,831, Yenagoa; 24,607 and Ogbia; 58,016 votes.

Ogbia local government, where the PDP lost massively is the home council of the former president of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. It is widely believed that the outgoing governor, Mr Seriake Dickson disregarded the former President Jonathan in choosing Sen. Diri as his favoured candidate and that cost him the shocking loss in Ogbia local government.

Read: Nigeria’s ruling party wins an election in a key oil state

The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Sen. Diri only won in Kolokuma/Opokuma and Sagbama local governments with 15,360 and 60,339 votes respectively.

President Mohammadu Buhari has on Monday, congratulated the governor-elect, Chief David Lyon for his victory, amidst protests in the oil-rich state against the election that many believed was marred by violence. 

In another development, the announcement of the Kogi State Gubernatorial results was postponed till 9:00 am on Monday. The postponement was necessitated by the delay in the arrival of results from Lokoja and Ibaji Local Governments.

The Returning Officer of INEC for the Kogi State Guber election, Prof. Ibrahim Umar who announced the postponement said that the postponement would allow the staff to sort things out and give other stakeholders to rest.

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