Buhari apologises for Obama speech plagiarism at Anti-Graft Campaign Launch
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria launched a campaign titled “Change begins with me” on September 8 in a bid to fight graft in the West African country. Though this was a noble cause, what caught the attention of the media were the similarities between this speech and President Barack Obama’s Victory Speech after his election in November 2008. In his speech, Buhari said, “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.”
Obama had said, “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.”
The Nigerian President’s office released a statement admitting the similarities between the two speeches were “too close to be passed as a coincidence”. The office however, urged Nigerians to look beyond the incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs to restore value systems and promised that those who were responsible would be punished. Meanwhile, Obama has scheduled a meeting with Buhari on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session to discuss continued U.S. support for security and economic changes in Nigeria as well as efforts against terrorism.
Earthquake kills 19 in Tanzania
At least nineteen people were killed, 252 injured and 840 families left homeless by a rare 5.9 magnitude earthquake in the Lake Victoria region. The quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometres which made it even more lethal. Deeper earthquakes have to travel further and lose energy along the way. The tremor was felt as far as Western Kenya and in parts of Uganda. More than 5,000 houses were damaged and will need repairs. The Regional Commissioner for the area said the leadership was still assessing the loss and damage and that the situation had to be regarded as a national disaster needing national attention. Each household will be given 20 iron sheets and five bags of cement to start with.
DRC parties reach agreement on elections
The Democratic Republic of Congo government and some opposition political parties forged an agreement to hold all elections at the same time if the financial and technical resources allow such an arrangement. The compromise does not, however, set any dates but the vote was due in November. The Kabila government had called for sequencing of the elections with the local and provincial polls coming before the legislative and presidential votes which the opposition rejected. The Justice Minister, Alexis Thambwe said the ruling party and the opposition will manage the country together but would not provide more details raising speculation of a possible unity government. Meanwhile, a coalition of opposition parties which did not participate in the negotiations, called The Assembly will on Monday demonstrate against the electoral commission’s failure to organise elections.
Museveni a “blessing” to Uganda
President Museveni’s wife, Janet Museveni posted her birthday wishes on Twitter where she called her husband, a blessing to his country. Museveni who turned 72 on Thursday has been president of Uganda since January 29, 1986. He is serving his fifth term as leader of the country and will not be constitutionally eligible for another term. The country’s constitution bars anyone above the age of 75 from running for office but there have been reports that officials in the Ugandan ruling party want to remove the age limit on the presidency so Museveni can run again.
Former Nigerian First Lady caught in a corruption scandal
Patience Jonathan has been caught in a graft storm after claiming ownership of five bank accounts worth $31.5 million frozen in a corruption scandal. She filed a suit asking the Federal Court in Lagos to unfreeze the bank accounts at Nigeria’s Skye Bank which had been frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in July. Her lawyer claimed $15 million of the money was a government payment for hospital bills she incurred in London in 2013 drawing much derision from Nigerians who wanted to know if she was buying eternal life with all that money. Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project demanded that the attorney general take criminal proceedings against the former first lady.