Written by Umamah Bakharia
Geo-political analyst for SPM Intelligence, Damimola Olawuyi analyses this week’s Africa report with Radio Islam International.
Nigeria’s General Elections Candidates Kick-Off Canvasing
Nigeria’s election office [INEC] has announced new dates for the 2023 general elections. Presidential and National Assembly elections go happen on February 25, 2023. While governorship and State Houses of Assembly votes will take place on March 11, 2023.
This was announced by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.
This comes after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed a new Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021 into law that indicates how the 2023 elections should be contested. It states that the commission deploys technological solutions for elections in Nigeria.
“The political crisis [in Nigeria] is more for gaining and maintaining power than actually solving the current issues,” says Olawuyi.
He adds: “It’s looking like we are going to end off with [the same] then a real change that will bring peace, prosperity and perpetuity to the citizens.”
Sudan Lifts State Of Emergency Imposed Since Last Year’s Military Coup
Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan on Sunday lifted a state of emergency imposed since last year’s military coup.
This came after a meeting with senior military officials who recommended the state of emergency be lifted and people detained under an emergency law be freed.
There were also calls by United Nations (UN) special representative Volker Perthes to remove the state of emergency, following the killing of two protesters during anti-coup protests on Saturday.
“He was forced to lift the state of emergency to show some progress rather than an actual desire to return power,” says Olawuyi.
He states that Western bodies have been influencing what has been happening in Sudan but have not done anything practical for a change.
Africa is Currently Facing The Worst Food Crisis Since 1945
According to the Human Rights Watch, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has worsened the food security crisis in many African countries.
With many countries in Africa relying on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of their wheat, fertilizer, or vegetable oils imports, the war has disrupted global commodity markets and trade flows to Africa.
Which has in turn increased already high food prices in the region.
“African countries have had trouble feeding their own populations,” says Olawuyi.
He adds that a combination of mismanagement and conflict means that the African population routinely face hunger and starvation.
“We really need to have a discussion about food security and self-sustainability in Africa which only African governments can solve and not the private sector,” says Olawuyi.
African Union (AU) Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes
Last week, the AU held a ‘The Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism and Unconstitutional Changes in Africa’ in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The summit evaluated the current response mechanisms in Africa and decided on the specific actions and measures necessary to strengthen the collective security of the Member States facing terrorism and violent extremism. Furthermore, the Summit looked at actionable measures needed to stem their upsurge on the continent.
“We really need to solve the problems of governance, how we take care of our people, how we address their needs [and] resolve conflict amongst ourselves for us to tackle the problem of terrorism across the continent,” says Olawuyi.
He reiterates that regional bodies need to step up and do more to impose costs that will deter military’s from seizing power for themselves in their countries.