News / Africa

Group Rejects Former Nigerian Leader as AU Observer Head in Zimbabwe

Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at a recent interview in Washington, D.C.Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at a recent interview in Washington, D.C.
x
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at a recent interview in Washington, D.C.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo at a recent interview in Washington, D.C.
TEXT SIZE - +
James Butty
The Pan African Forum has rejected the African Union’s decision to name former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as head of the AU election observer team to Zimbabwe’s July 31st election.  

David Nyekorach-Matsanga, CEO of Pan African Forum, said the former Nigerian president is too divisive and could create an Egypt-style scenario in Zimbabwe. 

The group described former Obasanjo as a traitor who has betrayed Africa during past election monitoring missions around the continent.  

Nyekorach-Matsanga said Obasanjo has a dislike for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and a “soft spot” for the opposition, something he said could cause a conflict of interest in the election.

“We don’t have any personal hatred against General Obasanjo, but this is a man who can never be trusted to observe any elections in this African continent,” he said.

Nyekorach-Matsanga said the Zimbabwe elections are critical not only to the southern Africa region, but to the whole of Africa.

“We need sober minds, a cool observer, a person who is not erratic, a person who has not betrayed Africa before, a person who has never used double standard, and a person who has never failed election observers before,” he said.
Butty interview with Matsanga
Butty interview with Matsangai
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

He said Obasanjo betrayed Africa during past election monitoring missions around the continent.

“In Ghana, Obasanjo created a problem when he was the leader of an observer team; in Togo, Obasanjo created a problem; in Senegal, Obasanjo created a problem; in DRC, when Obasanjo was the leader of the negotiations between (renegade CNDP rebel leader Laurent) Nkunda and the Congolese government, he created a problem and aborted that mission,” he said.

Nyekorach-Matsanga said the former Nigerian president has no democratic credentials to lead a continental election monitoring mission because, as president of Nigeria, basanjo attempted to change the constitution in 2006 to give himself a third term.

In addition, Nyekorach-Matsanga said Obasanjo cannot be an impartial observer because he has in the past called Mugabe’s resignation.

“Obasanjo has called for the removal of President Mugabe violently.  He has also taken sides with Morgan Tsvangirai.  It is very, very incredible for any institution to take a man who has already taken sides to go and observe an election in a country that is facing an uphill task to produce a free and fair election,” he said.

Nyekorach-Matsanga boasts of the fact that his organization defended Zimbabwe against Western sanctions.  Yet, he said, he’s not biased in criticizing Obasanjo.

“We have not only been supporters of President Mugabe, we have been supporting the entire country against sanctions.  We are not rejecting Obasanjo because we hit MDC.  No!  We are only saying the elections in the Zimbabwe need a sober head, somebody whose track record is not litter with lies like Obasanjo,” Nyekorach-Matsanga said.

The AU observer mission is said to comprise 60 observers drawn from African electoral management bodies, civil society organizations, Pan-African Parliament, regional economic communities and human rights organizations.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid