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Sri Lanka president suspends parliament

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Sri Lanka president suspends parliament
  • Sri Lanka president suspends parliament

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Thursday suspended parliament until next month in a shock move amid a deepening power struggle between him and his unity government’s prime minister.

A government decree quoted the president as stating that he had halted parliament’s meetings “with effect from midnight” Thursday under article 70 of the constitution.

The move, scheduled to last until May 8, came hours after at least 16 Sirisena loyalists, including six cabinet ministers, said they would leave the troubled coalition.

Relations between the rival groups in the unity government have soured after both suffered losses in February’s local council elections.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) had increased pressure on the followers of Sirisena — who voted against Wickremesinghe in a recent no-confidence motion — to resign.

Parliament had been expected to meet again next Thursday and presidential officials declined to comment on the reason for the suspension.

“We have been surprised by the announcement,” one government legislator who requested anonymity told AFP.

Just hours before he announced the suspension of parliament, Sirisena had appointed acting ministers to the positions of those who quit the Cabinet.

Wickremesinghe last week won the motion of no confidence moved by the joint opposition and backed by Sirisena’s ministers.

With the help of minority Tamil and Muslim parties, the premier defeated the motion — dealing a blow to Sirisena, who had campaigned for Wickremesinghe to stand down to allow him to appoint a prime minister of his choice.

In recent weeks, Sirisena has reduced Wickremesinghe’s powers, removing from his control the central bank, the policy-making National Operations Room and several other institutions.

Former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party trounced the UNP and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the February polls to win control of two-thirds of the 340 local councils at stake.

In the run-up to the election, Sirisena branded the prime minister and his party as more corrupt than the Rajapaksa regime, which Sirisena and Wickremesinghe jointly toppled in 2015.

Earlier Thursday, a presidential spokesman said a wider government reshuffle would be announced next week.

The SLFP is to decide later this month if it will remain in government. Rajapaksa is pressing for a 2020 national election to be brought forward.

Source: AFP

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Oyo government shuts Obasanjo Farms in Ibadan

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Oyo government shuts Obasanjo Farms in Ibadan

The Oyo State government on Tuesday sealed Obasanjo Farms and 15 other businesses over failure to pay the state’s Environmental Development Levy.

The enforcement order was executed by the state’s inter-ministerial enforcement unit being coordinated by the Board of Internal Revenue.

Other companies affected by the order included Black Horse, Heinemann Educational Books, Lister Flour Mills, Evans Brother, Butterfield bakery, Chicken Republic, MRS oil and Rasmed Publicity.

Chairman of the board, Bicci Alli, told journalists that the order became necessary after the failure of the companies to comply with the state tax laws’ directives despite being served reminders on several occasions.

He said, “We went to restrain some corporate organisations that failed to pay what is due to the Oyo State government after giving due notices, demand notices and even public notices to that effect and they failed to pay.

“So we went to those places to stop them from having access to their premises until they comply with the directive and do the right thing.”

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Nnamdi Kanu is in London, says Orji Kalu

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Nnamdi Kanu is in London, says Orji Kalu

Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Tuesday said the leader of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is in London.

He claimed that Kanu fled to the United Kingdom during the time the military were looking for him.

Kalu disclosed this in an interview with newsmen after meeting former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi, IBB, in Minna.

He said: “Nnamdi Kanu is where I told you he is, he is in London. He is safe”.

Kalu explained that he visited IBB to canvass support for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Kalu explained that his campaign for President Buhari had nothing to do with the South-East getting the presidency in 2023 or his perceived presidential ambition.

On the crises over the emergence of candidates at the forthcoming primary election nationwide, Kalu said conflict of interests were normal in politics.

“The crisis is part of political development, if there is no crisis there will not be political development. Crisis is what makes political development there must be crisis and there must be solution”.

The former Governor and his entourage arrived at Babangida’s Hilltop residence Tuesday afternoon in three black Toyota SUVs and two Hillux Vans.

Kalu was ushered into the guest room, where he held a 2-hour closed-door meeting with IBB.

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”I am not involved in inter/intra party politics” – Pastor Adeboye denies begging Tinubu on behalf of Ambode

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''I am not involved in inter/intra party politics'' - Pastor Adeboye denies begging Tinubu on behalf of Ambode

There have been reports that the former Lagos state governor Bola Tinubu, had allegedly decided to stop Ambode’s bid for a second term in office by replacing him with Babajide Sanwoolu. This according to the same report, led to an alleged phone conversation between Pastor Adeboye and Tinubu, in which the general overseer begged Tinubu not to dump Ambode.

But in a statement issued on Pastor Adeboye’s social media accounts, RCCG General Overseer has denied ever making the call.

“Our attention has been drawn to news making the rounds from dailies especially the New Telegraph that Pastor E.A Adeboye, the General Overseer of the RCCG had a recent phone conversation with the Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

“We would like to inform the general public that this is false and Pastor E.A Adeboye has not and would not be involved in inter/intra party politics in Nigeria and anywhere RCCG is present across the world. Pastor E.A Adeboye advises all well meaning Nigerians just like him to get their PVCs and exercise their civic duty.

“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”''I am not involved in inter/intra party politics'' - Pastor Adeboye denies begging Tinubu on behalf of Ambode

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