Omar Al-Bashir, a political hardliner and controversial leader of Sudan, has stepped down after 30 years in power, reports said Thursday.
United Arab Emirates-based Al-Arabiya network reported that Mr Al-Bashir resigned his position with immediate effect. Reuters also cited government sources as saying Mr Al-Bashir has stepped down and a new government was being formed.
The 75-year-old has reportedly handed over to the country’s supreme military council controlled by the armed forces.
His ouster follows days of protests that have engulfed the country, which is amongst the largest by land mass in Africa.
Reports of Mr Al-Bashir’s resignation came shortly after the soldiers reportedly surrounded his palace in the capital Khartoum.
Agence France-Press cited state television as announcing the military was gearing for an important message to the nation, but the statement did not appear to have come before Mr Al-Bashir’s reported exit.
Additional details of Mr Al-Bashir’s ouster were still sketchy as of early Thursday morning in Abuja, as other claims on social media said it came through a military coup d’etat.
Mr Al-Bashir has been highly unpopular amongst Western powers and was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2008 for alleged crimes stemming from the genocide in Darfur.
While he remained an unwelcome political figure in the West, African leaders, however, largely stood behind him, dismissing the charges against him as a witch-hunt and refusing to hand him over for prosecution at The Hague.
He seized power in 1989 as a military general and has served the longest since the country gained independence in 1956.
Heavy chants against Mr Al-Bashir’s reign rented the air across the county, and solidarity songs by the military were reported to be playing on the airwaves.
The minister of defence has been tipped as the head of the military council now in charge of the country. It was not immediately clear when new elections would be held.
Al-Arabiya reports that several former and current officials, including a former vice president, have been detained.
Airports have been shut down and some broadcast stations were said to have been taken over by soldiers.
Protesters have been asked to move to the main square for a further sit-in. Protesters are matching to the military headquarters, demanding that the military should only supervise the ouster of Mr Al-Bashir, but not take over power in its aftermath.
Mr Al-Bashir has reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia, but details of this development are also still sketchy.
More than 50 persons were reported to have been killed since agitation for Mr Al-Bashir to leave power took off in December.
This is a developing story, additional details will be provided.
Gowon Brought Half of CBN to UK, Nigerian Officials Have Loot Here – British MP
A member of the United Kingdom Parliament, Tom Tugendhat (Tonbridge and Malling) took a swipe at retired General Yakubu Gowon on Monday.
Gowon was Nigeria’s Head of State from 1966 to 1975.
During the debate on a petition on End SARS, Tugendhat accused him and the country’s leaders of corruption.
Decrying the situation in Nigeria, the lawmaker said: “One of the great countries is, sadly, being racked by violence, and violence against young people.
The greatest book in the English Language is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, the great Nigerian writer. The beauty of that book is the way it explains the challenge of changing generations to live together.
“The way it speaks about values falling away and community being eroded by outside pressure. What we’re seeing in Nigeria today is part of that story.
“It’s a tragedy that we are watching, it’s a tragedy that we are all witnessing. The pressure this time is not foreign colonialism, the pressure instead is corruption and violence.
“We need to call out the corruption, we need to use the powers that we have in this country to stop those profiting from the wealth of that great nation and hiding it here.
“Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half the Central Bank and moved to London.
“We know that today, even now, in this great city of ours, there are, sadly, some people who have taken from the Nigerian people and hidden their ill-gotten gains here.
“We know that our banks, sadly, have been used for that profit and for that illegal transfer of assets.
“And that means the UK is in enormous unique position in being able to do
actually something to really exert pressure on those who have robbed the Nigerian people.”
MPs including Theresa Villiers (Chipping Barnet), Kate Osamor (Edmonton), Lyn Carol Brown (West Ham), Taiwo Owatemi (Coventry North West) made contributions.
The lawmakers urged the Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and the UK Foreign Office to engage Nigerian authorities and brief parliament subsequently.
#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings
Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.
Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.
However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.
The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.
Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.
Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.