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Africa Press review

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African press review 23 October 2018


Cameroon's President Biya wins seventh consecutive term after disputed election. And Israel denies hosting "at large" Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu.

We begin in Cameroon where the papers are all about President Paul Biya's re-election for a seventh consecutive term of office.

The state-owned Cameroon Tribune reports that Biya won 71.3 per cent of the October 7 election, far ahead of Kamto’s 14.2 per cent according to the country’s Constitutional Council.

The paper claims that the people have since ignored calls from opposition leaders to protest the outcome of the vote for which opposition leader Maurice Kamto claimed victory.

Africanews.com reports that that the president-elect Paul Biya thanked citizens at home and abroad for their renewed and large confidence in him so he can continue in his role as president in a message posted on his social media handles.

It observes that the October 22 message was Biya’s first political message since the 7th when he cast his ballot in the capital, Yaounde.

The online publication Camerooninfo.net says Maurice Kamto on Monday published a video on social media rejecting the official results published by the Constitutional Court and releasing the figures which he claimed substantiated his alleged victory.

In South Africa, Mail and Guardian relays claims by critics that unlike more fiery and flamboyant peers in the club of long-standing African leaders, Biya nicknamed “The Sphinx” is a quiet autocrat.

In Nigeria the sudden appearance of Biafran separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu, who vanished in thin air 13 months ago after a military raid at his home continues to dominate the news.

Punch reports that he was sighted in Israel on Friday from where he reportedly issued a Facebook message via Radio Biafra on Sunday evening.

In the statement Kanu urged members of his Indigenous People of Biafra Organization not to participate in the 2019 elections unless there is a referendum on self-determination in the South-East.

The publication upholds the opinion that South-East voters were unlikely to obey Kanu's boycott call which could only be heeded by IPOB members who didn't register to vote in the first place.

Meanwhile Vanguard reports that the Israeli government, on Monday moved to preempt a diplomatic row with Nigeria over the alleged presence of the wanted IPOB leader in Jerusalem.

The paper says in an interaction with African journalists in Jerusalem, the spokesman of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Emmanuel Nashon said there was no evidence that Kanu was in their country of recent.

In related news, Sahara Reporters and several other newspaper carry a statement from one of the leaders of the outlawed IPOB making public their decision to remove Nnamdi Kanu as leader of the organization.

Olisa Mbakwe, who is IPOB's Director of Strategy and Documentation is quoted by the press as saying that in Kanu’s message, his outcry was more about his dog killed during the army raid at his Imo state home in September 2017, than about the IPOB members who allegedly lost their lives trying to defend the property. 

Daily Post says he was sacked for allegedly personalizing the Biafran struggle and derailing from the core objectives of IPOB as a grassroots movement”.

And in Kenya, the Standard leads with bombshell revelations that documents at the heart of a Sh400 million graft case against former Kenya Power bosses have gone missing.

The paper claims that the firm’s former CEO, Ben Chumo, and his successor Ken Tarus, who is on suspension, are facing charges touching on controversial procurement of transformers from three firms. 

Standard says the case failed to open at a Nairobi court on Monday after the prosecution told the tribunal that original reports from the Energy Regulatory Commission and another one from the Public Procurement and Review Board could not be found.