JOHANNESBURG – Convicted South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda was met by family, friends and her lawyer at OR Tambo International Airport.
Nobanda has hinted that she plans to use her experience to raise awareness and stop other young people from falling into the same trap.
She expressed her gratitude to South Africans for their support.
“It’s good to be back home, I want to thank all South Africans for supporting me throughout the eight-years,” Nobanda said.
“It hasn’t been easy, my people have been behind me, I just want to thank my country for all their love, for all their support and all their prayers. I am back home stronger, I just want to spend time with my family.”
Detained convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore has faulted claim by the Department of State Services (DSS) that he planned to topple the government of President Mohammadu Burahi with his plan.
The 2019 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, has dismissed allegation by the Department of State Services, DSS, that he collected money from Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, to overthrow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
He, however, admitted that though, he had a meeting with Kanu in the United States, US, he did not receive any fund to wage war against President Buhari.
Sowore, who is being held by the DSS after it got a court order to detain him for 45 days in the first instance, categorically denied plotting to topple the government.
He explained that his action was directed at expressing his displeasure with the current state of affairs in the country.
Citing instances where the DSS had accused many prominent Nigerians, including President Buhari of engaging in treasonable acts for participating in a street protest, Sowore denied receiving funds from any external sources as claimed by the DSS.
Sowore’s position is contained in a document filed before the Federal High Court, Abuja by his lawyer, Abubakar Mashal.
The document was filed on Tuesday in response to an earlier application by the DSS, claiming among others that Sowore plotted to topple the government.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the ruling party had led street protests in the past which the Applicant/Respondent claimed were planned to overthrow the federal government.
“President Muhammadu Buhari led protest marches after each consecutive loss of the presidential elections won by Messrs Olusegun Obasanjo, Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP in 2003, 2004 and 2014 but was neither arrested nor charged for planning to overthrow the government.
“The respondent/applicant (Sowore) is not a coup plotter like the military officers who toppled elected governments in Nigeria in January 1966 and December 1983 and who were never arrested and prosecuted by the Federal government.
“Based on the misleading advice of the applicant/respondent (DSS), any political leader who criticized the federal government has always been accused of engaging in sabotage, treason, treasonable felony or terrorism.
“He (Sowore) did not plan a coup with anyone but he mobilized the Nigerian people including students and youths, workers, market women and other oppressed people to influence the federal government, the 36 state governments, and 774 local governments to address the crises of corruption, maladministration, mismanagement of the economy and insecurity.
“The present administration had promised to create one million jobs per annum, build one million houses per annum, end epileptic supply of electricity, end corruption and impunity and restructure the country, end insecurity and manage the economy in the interest of the Nigerian people.
“Apart from failing to address these problems, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has compounded them in a manner that the majority of Nigerians are frustrated.
“Aside from the myriads of challenges noted above, insecurity has increased to the extent that thousands of people have been killed by terrorists, kidnappers, armed robbers, armed herders, armed soldiers and armed policemen without any hope in sight.”
Meanwhile, the hearing of the application by Sowore, challenging his detention and a similar application by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (INM) also known as Shiite Movement has been scheduled for Wednesday.
Both cases are expected to be heard by Justice Evelyn Maha, sitting in Court 11.
The South-East Governors’ Forum has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pay heed to its earlier demand on the ban of herdsmen without cattle and those who move their cattle by foot in the zone.
The governors also pleaded with President Buhari to delay the government decision to close the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu for repair works.
The forum made these pleas in an open letter signed by its chairman and governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi on Tuesday.
The governors said they decided to make the letter an open one in order to assuage the people of the zone, who according to them, do not believe that they (South-East governors) are making efforts to check worsening insecurity in the region.
“We plead with Mr. President that we publish this letter to assuage our people’s feelings who erroneously think that no efforts are being made by the leaders of the South-East to tackle insecurity and economic challenges facing the zone and to let them know that her leaders before now have been working very hard without making noise as issues of security must not be discussed in the public.
On the call for criminal herdsmen to be banned, the governors said that doing such will help checkmate escalating cases of all manner of criminal activities against the people of the zone.
They said, “That Mr. President do approve the earlier resolution of the South-East governors banning herdsmen without cattle and movement of cattle by foot in the zone to eliminate increasing cases of killing, maiming, raping of our women, the kidnapping of our people and destruction of our farmlands mostly carried out by foreign herdsmen and in most cases with the backing of some compromised local herders.”
On the closure of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, the forum said that the announcement for the closure was prompt and would not allow them time to make security arrangement for the convenience of the people, and visitors to the region who would be travelling long distances to alternative airports where flights would be diverted to.
They therefore urged President Buhari to direct aviation authorities to make available urgent palliatives in form of transportation with armed escorts and helicopter services to prospective passengers from alternative airports that connect the zone.
“Your Excellency, in our letters to the respective ministries, we observed that the notification of the closure was prompt giving us no time to make adequate arrangement for the security and convenience of our people and visitors to the South East who will be travelling long instances to alternative airports where flights will be diverted to,” the governors wrote.
Recall that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had on Saturday, announced that the airport’s runway would be closed for major repairs.
Oupa Ngake has called on government to do something about the looting.
A South African businessman has spoken out against the looting spree that Soweto residents took part in this week. Small businesses belonging to foreign nationals were broken into in Zola, Emdeni, Moletsane, White City, Zondi, and Rockville.
Epupeng Project Distributions director Oupa Ngake told The Citizen that the perception that foreign nationals only hired their own was wrong. He condemned the looting spree, saying not only did it put foreign nationals out of business, but also left South Africans without jobs.
“We want them to tell us exactly what they want. This thing of saying the foreigners don’t hire them, I have proof. I have 50 people who are hired and work with foreigners in their fully registered businesses in this country, through them.
“If it wasn’t for them [foreign nationals] we would have been able to hire 50 people without going to school. We are also not educated. We distribute different products to more than 12,600 tuck shops that belong to our foreign brothers in Soweto. We were affected by what happened yesterday, we saw it when it started happening.”
According to Ngake, the looting started at noon on Wednesday when a group of people attacked a Sasko delivery truck in Zondi. At the time, everyone thought it was robbery.
“We became aware at around 4 o’clock that this is not robbery, it’s something beyond that but we didn’t know what it was. We’re so stressed, we don’t know. As a small company, we have 50 people we hired who as we speak now, they’re not working, so it means 50 families were not making a living.”
Ngake said the hatred looters had was beyond xenophobia
“We want these people to tell us exactly what is going on. If they say these people don’t share with them, we can stand in front and say we’re sharing with these people, we’re doing business with these people that they don’t want.”
He further called on government to do something about the looting as it was affecting them.
“It’s getting worse. Nine months back, it happened and it’s happening again now. How do we stop this?”