Kaduna-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi on Monday faulted the Muhammadu Buhari-led government’s approach towards fighting the Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgency in the Northern part of the country. The cleric who said both sides of the divide committed the crimes, however, stated that if the next president of the country follows the footprint or walks on the same trajectory as President Buhari, Nigeria would result in a greater insurgency. He said, “The recent BBC Africa Eye documentary and Daily Trust documentaries about the insurgency in Zamfara State have exposed the ethnic and tribal undertones as the real genesis of the decade mayhem the North Western region is experiencing as a whole. “The crimes were committed by both sides of the divide but unfortunately, the outside world sees one side as the only criminal, and thus the government acted in such a line of thinking, messing up the conflict and applying the wrong measures of communal conflict resolution. “If the next president also follows the same trajectory thinking that the present government was only dealing with the criminals with kid gloves, then a greater insurgency will definitely ensue.

The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED) has expressed its displeasure with the FG over the recent takeover/restructuring of five of its members. To ANED, the take-over/restructuring of the five distribution companies could, at worst, be described as “renationalisation.” ANED has decried the restructuring exercise, alleging that the BPE had in the first place shortchanged the entire 11 distribution companies when the facilities were privatised in November 2013. The association also accused the federal government of non-payment of an agreed sum of ₦100 billion subsidy on the electricity sector since the privatisation. ANED, in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan, described the move as “a backdoor rationalisation of the power firms”, by the federal government. The statement read, “Although some of the affected power firms had commenced legal actions against the move, the association viewed the restructuring to be inconsistent with all the guidelines necessary to comply with the framework of privatisation agreements and the rule of law. ANED listed other areas it said the government has failed in its obligation to the sector, including its inability to implement a cost-reflective electricity tariff and the management style of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

The first ship carrying Ukrainian grain set out from the port of Odesa on Monday under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, expected to release large stores of Ukrainian crops to foreign markets and ease a growing food crisis. The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni left Odesa carrying over 26,000 tons of corn destined for Lebanon. In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov hailed the ship’s departure as “very positive,” saying it would help test the “efficiency of the mechanisms that were agreed during the talks in Istanbul.” The corn is destined for Lebanon, a Middle East country in the grips of what the World Bank has described as one of the world’s worst financial crises in more than 150 years. A 2020 explosion at its main port in Beirut shattered its capital city and destroyed grain silos there, a part of which collapsed following a weeklong fire just Sunday. The Turkish defence ministry said other ships would also depart Ukraine’s ports through the safe corridors in line with deals signed in Istanbul on 22 July but did not provide further details. Russia and Ukraine signed separate agreements with Turkey and the U.N. clearing the way for Ukraine — one of the world’s key breadbaskets — to export 22 million tons of grain and other agricultural goods that have been stuck in Black Sea ports because of Russia’s invasion. The deals also allow Russia to export grain and fertilisers.

Senegalese President Macky Sall’s ruling party and the opposition both claimed victory after legislative elections on Sunday, while awaiting the release of official results. Former prime minister Aminata Toure, who led the ruling coalition’s list in the legislative election announced partial results on national television early on Monday, saying the party had won 30 out of Senegal’s 46 administrative departments. “This gives us an unquestionable majority,” Toure said from party headquarters to the cheers of supporters. An opposition coalition known as Wallu Senegal said in a statement later on Monday that along with an allied coalition, Yewwi Askane Wi, it had defeated the ruling party in most departments. The political backdrop in the country of 17.5 million, considered among West Africa’s most stable democracies, has become increasingly acrimonious, fuelled in part by Sall’s refusal to rule out breaching term limits by running for a third term. Under Senegal’s hybrid electoral system 97 candidates who win a majority of votes in administrative departments are elected, while 53 from national lists are elected using proportional representation, and 15 are elected by Senegalese living outside the country. Sall’s ruling Benno Bokk Yakaar coalition is trying to conserve its majority of more than three-quarters of the parliament’s 165 seats. “I’m confident that like in the past, voters will decide in all transparency,” Sall said after voting. He swept to power in 2012 after removing Abdoulaye Wade, the president from 2000. Sall was elected again in 2019. Opponents have seized on growing frustrations with economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic and rising fuel and food prices.