Argentina’s vice-president has narrowly escaped assassination after a gunman’s weapon jammed as he aimed at her.
Footage shows the moment Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – surrounded by a mob of supporters – found herself face-to-face with the loaded weapon.
The former president was returning home from court, where she faces allegations of corruption. She denies the charges.
Police said the gunman, who local media identified as a 35-year-old Brazilian man, has been taken into custody.
They are attempting to establish a motive for the attack on the left-leaning populist, who was Argentina’s president from 2007 to 2015, and its first lady for four years before that.
President Alberto Fernández revealed the gun was loaded with five bullets, but failed to fire when triggered.
Video circulating on social media shows the gun emerging from the crowd, and Ms Fernández de Kirchner ducking to avoid it – covering her ears as she crouches.
In another video, people in the crowd appear to try to block Ms Fernández de Kirchner from the suspected gunman, who came within inches of her. The crowd has been gathering outside her home for the last few nights in a show of support as she fights charges of defrauding the state and being involved in a scheme to divert public funds while she was president.
A police spokesperson earlier told Reuters news agency that a weapon was found a few metres from the scene after the man had been arrested.
Addressing the nation late on Thursday night, President Fernández – who worked as chief-of-staff to both Ms Fernández de Kirchner and her husband during their tenures – said: “Cristina remains alive because, for a reason not yet technically confirmed, the gun, which contained five bullets, did not fire.”
He went on to condemn the attacker and said the attempt on Ms Fernández de Kirchner’s life was one of the “most serious” incidents since the country returned to democracy in 1983.
“We can disagree, we can have deep disagreements, but hate speech cannot take place because it breeds violence and there is no chance of violence coexisting with democracy,” President Fernández said, declaring a national holiday on Friday to allow Argentines time to “express themselves in defence of life, democracy and in solidarity with our vice president”.
Argentina’s economy minister, Sergio Massa, called the attempted shooting an “attempted assassination”.
“When hate and violence prevail over debate, societies are destroyed and situations like these arise: attempted assassination,” he said in a tweet.
Ms Fernández de Kirchner has yet to make any comment.
She is accused of defrauding the state and of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her stronghold in Patagonia while she was president between 2007 and 2015.
If convicted at trial, prosecutors have asked that the ex-president face 12 years in prison and a lifetime ban from politics.
However, Ms Fernández de Kirchner is the Senate president and so enjoys parliamentary immunity. She would not be imprisoned unless her sentence was ratified by the country’s Supreme Court, or she loses her Senate seat at the next elections at the end of 2023.
Ms Fernández de Kirchner has faced numerous other corruption trials following her time as president. The verdict of this trial is expected to take some months.
Ooni’s new wife adds colour to Olojo festival
The new wife of Ooni of Ife, Mariam Ajibola, on Saturday stepped out with her husband, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, for the first since she got married to the royal father on Saturday as the annual Olojo Festival got underway in Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Mariam, who attended the event with her husband, and other dignitaries that included; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and Osun state Deputy governor, Benedict Alabi, among others, was dressed in all white attire, and was seen speaking with the royal father as different groups paid homage to the Ooni during the ceremony.
The new Yeyeluwa of Ife is attending Olojo, a major cultural celebration in Ile-Ife, during which Ooni will adorn ‘Are crown,’ for the first time as Ooni’s wife.
The new queen was ushered into Ile Oodua Palace in Ile-Ife at 8pm on Tuesday, September 6 by her mother and other members of her family from Kogi and Kwara states and since then, she had not attended any public outing.
Keyamo: Why Osinbajo was not included in Tinubu’s campaign council
The campaign council of the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, has cleared the air surrounding the absence of Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo from the list of patrons.
In a statement released on Saturday by Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the council, the APC camp said Osinbajo was left out of the lineup to allow him “concentrate on governance of the country and administration of government.”
On Friday, the APC presidential campaign council released a list containing 422 names of its members.
Osinbajo was absent from the list alongside Yakubu Dogara, former speaker of the house of representatives, Babachir Lawal, former secretary to the government of the federation, and Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, former minister of state for education.
The vice-president had contested the APC presidential ticket with Tinubu, and it appeared to have severed the relationship between the duo.
The absence of Osinbajo’s name from the campaign council further fuels the suspicion of an awry turn in their relationship.
Addressing the situation, the campaign team said President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the omission of the vice-president and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation, from the list.
“Our attention has been drawn to some stories making the rounds that there may be something amiss within the family of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the name of our own revered and respected Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, is not included in the list of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council,” the statement read.
“Nothing can be farther from the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, is the chairman of the campaign council. As a result, Mr President has SPECIFICALLY directed that the Vice-President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, should be left out of the Campaign Council to concentrate on the governance of the country and administration of government.
“As a responsible party and government, all the key functionaries of government cannot abandon their positions for electioneering campaigns. The APC has the mandate of the Nigerian people to administer the country on their behalf at least till May 29, 2023, and this we intend to do with all sense of responsibility.
“Our candidates and the leadership of the APC have also indicated that the list is not sacrosanct as there may be periodic review of it as circumstances dictate.
“We will not toe the path of those who governed the country in an irresponsible manner before us, and our Party is not in total disarray like those who wish to ‘rescue’ the country but cannot simply manage their own internal affairs.”
Shock as PDP senator, Chimaroke Nnamani, makes APC presidential campaign council list
Chimaroke Nnamani, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and senator representing Enugu east senatorial district, has been listed a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council.
In a 422-man committee released by James Faleke, secretary, APC presidential campaign council, on Friday, Nnamani is the 350th on the list as a member.
Prior to his announcement, Nnamani did not announce his exit from the PDP.
But in August, Nnamani, in a long-thread tweet, said he is in opposition to the “shameless campaigns and parodies” aimed at the health of Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC.
Nnamani, a medical doctor, said he is appalled by the “extreme and unprofessional” forms of attacks directed at the former Lagos state governor over his health.
“I vigorously oppose, protest and detest the shameless campaigns and parodies targeting Tinubu’s health,” he wrote.
“As a health worker, I am amazed by ignorance, foolishness, wickedness and callousness of these idiotic operators. I believe they are unwarranted, extremely unprofessional, and have no place in our polity.
Nnamani also cited Tinubu’s works in the criminal justice sector, education, and health, adding that he left a “lasting legacy of hard work in Lagos infrastructure”.
He did not answer or return calls and SMS sent to his mobile phone.
But Felix Morka, APC national publicity secretary, said he would respond later.
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