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African press review 12 October 2018


Ex-President Obasanjo of Nigeria endorses PDP Presidentil hopeful Atiku Abubakar he vowed never to forgive. And the driver in Kenya's Homeboyz killer bus tragedy was 72 years old.

We begin in Nigeria the papers relay cries from President Muhammadu Buhari's office about a gang up in the opposition People's Democratic Party to stop him from winning re-election.

Vanguardreports that the reaction followed a political bombshell that the ex-President Olusegun Obansanjo and his sworn political enemy PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar had buried the war hatchet.

Punch says that just two months ago Obasanjo had vowed not to support Atiku’s presidential ambition, stressing that God would not forgive him, if he did so, digging into a bitter dispute dating back to their time and President and Vice president of the country.

Premium Times reports that the spectacular turn-around occurred after Atiku Abubakar accompanied by top chiefs and prominent religious leaders backing his bid paid a high profile reconciliation visit to Obasanjo at his Abeokuta home on Thursday.

Daily Post says that on learning of the U-turn and somersault by Obasanjo, Buhari's office reacted by denouncing what they termed a “confederate of desperate power-mongers and questionable characters who wish to return Nigeria to the era of unbridled corruption.”

This Day holds that Olusegun Obasanjo finally blessed Atiku’s presidential aspiration because of pressure from the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.

According to the newspaper, the involvement of the religious leaders in the reconciliation meeting might suggest there might be a coalition against the re-election of Buhari, whose reign had been mired in massive killings.

This Day claims that political forces, are gathering behind Atiku against Buhari, largely because they see his three and a half years in the saddle as the most divisive of the nation in its 58 years of independence, fearing that another four years for him might push the country over the precipice.

In Kenya, the Star leads with another handshake that means volumes to the country's people as President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga discussed their plan to reunite the country ravaged by tribal hatred.

The newspaper reports that the two political rivals on Thursday emphasized that while their newly found friendship would meet resistance and pitfalls along the way, they remained committed to focus on the country’s posterity and not short-term political interests.

President Uhuru Kenyatta reportedly reiterated his stance during the burial of Kikuyu music maestro Joseph Kamaru at Muthithi Secondary School in Murang’a County on Thursday.

Also in Kenya, Standard revisits the deadly Homeboyz’ bus crash in which 56 people were killed on Wednesday.

The paper reports that the 72-year-old who was also died in the accident had 50 years of experience and was on his second day behind the wheel.

Standard quotes relatives of the father of 25 as saying that he never drank.

One of the man's son's reportedly told Daily Nation thathis father complained of the bus' faulty brakes.

And in South Africa the papers carry breaking news about the death of Pik Botha the last Foreign Minister of Apartheid South Africa. Several publications quote his son Roelof Botha as saying that he died at his Pretoria home on Thursday night at the age of 86.

BusinessLIVE reports that as foreign affairs minister in the cabinets of apartheid presidents BJ Vorster and PW Botha‚ Botha fought a losing battle to persuade the world that the policy was not a fundamental violation of human rights.

Sowetan recalls that Botha was later on minister of mineral and energy affairs under Nelson Mandela's first democratically elected government adding that he once hinted about wanting to join the African National Congress.


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