Uganda Pop star, Bobi Wine has declared his political ambition to run for the presidency ahead of the 2021 elections that will take place in Uganda.
He told CNN that he is making plans for a bigger political stage in the country. He added that he has launched a grassroots movement for young people aimed at challenging the country’s longtime leader President Yoweri Museveni.
Speaking with CNN’s Robyn Curnow, Wine said he is “seriously considering” running for president in 2021 where he is expected to face Museveni who has ruled Uganda since 1986.
Museveni has changed the constitution twice to extend his stay in office, although he has not declared his intention to contest in the next elections.
Wine said dictatorships have thrived in Africa by suppressing young people, and getting young voters to the polls could help change the game.
“Ugandans cannot be free unless they free themselves from military rule and lawless rule,” Wine said.
“We started a campaign calling upon all people of Uganda, especially the young people that have been so apathetic to go ahead and register themselves and be voters. Not just supporters but voters.”
“We believe that by the time we get to the election which is about two years away, we will have many Ugandans registered as voters and overwhelming Museveni looks like our only way out.”
However a spokesman for the Ugandan government, Ofwono Opondo, dismissed the MP as presumptuous.
“Wine is being presumptive, perhaps to ride on Museveni’s name to gain some international attention. Otherwise, it is his right to do so if he really wants to run for the Presidency of Uganda,” Opondo said in an emailed statement to CNN.
“It’s not up to Museveni to prepare a handover. His job is to ensure elections are organized and held, regularly and on time and the winner according to the popular vote will lead Uganda,” he added.
Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, is the leader of a youth movement calling for an end to Museveni’s 32-year-old rule in Uganda
He entered politics as an outsider in 2017 and has since proved to be a thorn in Museveni’s side.
In the same year, he ran for a parliamentary seat without the backing of a political party and won in a landslide.
The reggae sensation continues to release songs highly critical of the President and has used his star power to criticize unpopular government policies.
Authorities have banned his songs in the past and canceled some of his recent performances.
The government has proposed new regulations vetting lyrics and songs by artists before they are released, a restriction Wine said seeks to silence his voice.
“The regime in Uganda has always used various approaches to curtail personalities…after noticing music has played a big role in the opening of the minds and eyes of the people the regime seeks to regulate it,” Wine told Curnow.
Despite the restrictions, Wine said he would continue to hold concerts abroad to draw international attention to the “dictatorship regime” in Uganda.
“While the world looks at my brutalization and personal oppression I know millions of people go through similar oppression or even worse in Uganda.”
“So I want to use my circumstances to prepare that voice, so the world does not only see my oppression but looks at the oppression of all my countrymen,” Wine said.
His fight for a change in leadership has been met with equal resistance from the government.
Wine was charged with treason last year August and was only released from prison following widespread protests and intense pressure from activists and governments around the world.
The politician said he was tortured in detention, an allegation the government has dismissed as “fake news.”
Supreme Court rejects Zamfara APC request
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to review its judgment in which it voided the participation of its candidates in the last elections in Zamfara State.
A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, in a ruling early on Monday, struck out the application marked: SC/377/2019 filed by the APC, seeking a review of the judgment.
The court rejected the effort by the lawyer to the APC, Robert Clarke (SAN), to take a second look at the decision given earlier this year.
BREAKING: Fashola, Amaechi, 41 others make ministerial list
President Muhammadu Buhari has finally forwarded the list of ministerial nominees to Senate for confirmation. There are 43 nominees by the President.
On the list announced by Senate President Ahmed Lawan are former ministers Babatunde Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Adamu Adamu(Bauchi), Senator Chris Ngige(Anambra).
Also on the list are former Governors Rauf Aregbesola(Osun) George Akume(Benue) Timipre Sylva(Bayelsa), Adeniyi Adebayo(Ekiti).
Some of the newcomers are Senator Godswill Akpabio(Akwa Ibom), Sunday Dare(Oyo), Festus Keyamo(Delta), Sharon Ikeazor(Anambra), Senator Tayo Alasoadura(Ondo) and Olorunnibe Mamora(Lagos).
Lawan said screening of the nominees commences tomorrow.
Northerners tolerates bad governance because of Buhari – Sen. Shehu
Senator representing Kaduna Central in the 8th Senate, Comrade Shehu Sani, has said that the North is tolerating bad governance, because one of their own, President Muhammadu Buhari is in power.
Sani who was the guest speaker at a conference held to prepare emerging leaders in Kaduna on Monday said, the North had failed to hold President Buhari accountable, despite the unabated killings and destruction of property in the region.
The senator who expressed worry over the high rate of poverty and educational backwardness in the North, asked President Buhari to do something urgent to tackle the socio-economic issues, as the region is under time bomb.
He also tasked President Buhari to come out with sound policies to address high-level poverty and educational challenges in the region and the country at large.
Sani said: “The North is tolerant of bad government because Buhari is in government and he is from the North.
When powers move to the South, the North is good at holding leaders to account but when it moves to the North, we keep silent. We are shy; we are cautious; we are afraid of telling our own that the road in the North is bad. We are more courageous, to tell the truth to power when the president doesn’t come from our region.
“Questioning President Buhari is more sympathetic when people are killed in the South West than in the North and this is because the(South) are holding him to account. Here in the North, you don’t because they are shy. They believe he is infallible and that he cannot be called to question.
“If 50 people were killed in Katsina and representative of the state is not ready to stand up in the Senate to talk about his people being killed, then it will go on and nobody will know. But if Fasoranti’s daughter is killed and a representative from Fasoranti stands up and says I senator blaa… blaa… stand up to outrightly condemn the murder, the nations, and the world will know.
“But if your people are dying here and the people you elected are afraid of being embarrassed and they don’t want to be categorised as being disloyal and be seen in the bad book, they will kill as many as possible and the perception of people outside is that all is well. So, the North must not be docile because one of their own is in office.
He further noted, “Northern leaders have failed to use the opportunity of office to upgrade the North and the country, to industrialise the region and to build a foundation for the generation of people like you. How do you solve the problem of poverty when the three most industrialised state in the North, Kaduna, Plateau and Kano – 80 per cent of their industries are closed down?
“For this country to survive, President Buhari must listen to the voices of reason. You may not like the face of Wole Soyinka, Balarabe Musa, and Obasanjo but read through the content of what they have written and see where adjustment can be made.
“He (Buhari) must be interested in his legacy and he has only four years. In any government after two years there will be heat and once the heat starts , you will not be able to concentrate and do your work.”
While urging youths across the country to always tell truth to power, the senator urged them to revolt against divisive elements trying to sow discord by using religion or ethnicity.
“You must revolt against leaders and elders who are fanning the embers of discord and against people who will generalise one ethnic group or the other and say they are criminals.”
$1bn ECA Fund: We Paid $490m For Tukano Jets – Presidency
The Presidency on Sunday said that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was under socio-emotional distress by alleging that the $1 billion approved from the Excess Crude Account for security was used by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the 2019 elections.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said that the government under the leadership of President Buharj made an advanced payment of $490million for a dozen Super Tukano fighter aircraft in a direct transaction with the American government.
The clarification was in reaction to a call on President Buhari to account for the $1billion drawn from the ECA.
Shehu who accused the PDP of profligacy while incharge of government at the centre, said the transaction was also on a no contractor and no commission basis.
According to the presidential spokesman, the balance of expenditure from the transaction currently stands at $880million.
He explained that ”It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about USD 490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United State.
“Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about USD 880 million or so.”
Garba however accused the PDP of spending Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court.
He said ”The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”
“The PDP is under a socioemotional distress. They think that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own, ” the presidential aide noted.