Issued on • Modified
African press review 13 July 2017
Nigerian officials clash over President Buhari’s health, while South African cab owners bring out guns in Soweto route war.
We begin in Nigeria where the papers lead with news about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari who has spent more than two months on medical leave in London.
In a a statement from acting President Yemi Osinbajo just back from a meeting with Buhari in the British capital on Tuesday.
Osinbajo said that he was recuperating well and in high spirits during their long conversation which lasted for more than an hour and that he would soon return to the country.
Vanguard says Osinbajo however refused to give a deadline for the Nigerian leader's return when asked by State House correspondents if he felt Buhari could be back home within ninety days.
This day highlights the acting President's refusal to disclose when two recently confirmed ministerial nominees to fill vacant portfolios in the Federal Government would be sworn in, an attitude which is bound to raise more questions than answers about the order of business in Abuja in Buhari's absence.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Tribune carries accusations by the Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, Ayodele Fayose that Yemi Osinbajo is not being truthful over President Muhammadu Buhari, real state of health.
The paper reports that Fayose who is Governor of Ekiti State accused Osinbajo of lying to the nation, stating that he was in the possession of information showing that Buhari was still seriously sick, on life support and incapacitated to perform his official duties as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Tribune says Fayose is threatening to release “11 shocking photographs” concerning the real health status of the President, “if he was pushed to the wall and if the Presidency failed to come clean on the issue”.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, the Star predicts a “torrid time” for Soweto commuters following the shutdown this Thursday of five taxi ranks and routes notorious for deadly shootouts.
The paper says the unpopular ordered by transport and community safety officials in Gauteng province follows a bloody confrontation by heavily armed men allegedly linked to two rival cab associations.
According to the Star, the two rival groups are also to blame for last Friday's unlawful blockade of several streets in Johannesburg, leading to severe disruption of traffic and economic activities.
Meanwhile, the Sowetan reports a tense standoff at the strategic junction Mofolo Crossroad in Soweto guarded by five men armed with rifles, in a new twist to the ongoing taxi war.
The guards claim that the pickup areas closed are the ones operated by them, adding that it will be hard to accept the shutdown because they are losing money.
And in Kenya, Daily Nation leads with a high profile campaign visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to opposition chief Raila Odinga's political backyard ahead of the August 8 General Elections.
The paper reports that Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto stormed Homa Bay and Kisumu counties on Wednesday with a call for national unity.
This was while they inaugurated a 12.6 million Chinese constructed bridge in Mbita.
According to the Nation, the two counties voted overwhelmingly for Raila Odinga in 2013, adding that the campaign shuttle is unlikely to change how residents vote.
Still the publication believes that the Jubilee duo was there to make the point that everyone had benefited from Kenyatta's leadership and to market the incumbent as a unifying President.