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Pence, Pelosi Evacuated As Pro-Trump Protesters Sack U.S. Congress In Session

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Supporters of United States (U.S.) President Donald Trump yesterday breached the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

They disrupted a joint session by the U.S. Congress to ratify the 2020 election results won by former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrat Party.

Biden won the election by 306 to 232 in the state-by-state Electoral College and by more than seven million ballots in the national popular vote, but Trump falsely claims there was widespread fraud and that he was the victor.

The Capitol Building houses the U.S. Congress and is the seat of the legislative branch of the American government.

The breach brought to a standstill the U.S. Congress’ debates. Vice President Mike Pence, who presided in the Senate and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who chaired in the House, were evacuated from their respective chambers at the first hint of the breach for their own safety.

Trump supporters, according to reports, tore through four layers of security fencing and attempted to occupy the building. In the process, they confronted federal police in an attempt to overrun them.

The protesters, waving the blue Trump flags, banging on the doors of the House Chamber and yelling outside, made their way inside as senators were ferried out from the room.

There were reports of gunshots outside the House as an armed standoff took place at the doors of the chamber.

“We’ve been given gas masks on the House floor. Tear gas has been used in the Rotunda,” wrote Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly on twitter.

The protesters filled the rotunda, which sets below the dome of the Capitol and is filled with paintings depicting important scenes in the founding of the nation. They also were seen marching through Statuary Hall, the room off the House chamber that is filled with statues of the nation’s founders and used for special ceremonies.

In the crypt of the Capitol, originally billed for George Washington’s burial, police and protesters clashed, fighting it out.

Trump’s Tweet

In a tweet that came after they had breached the building, Trump urged his supporters to stay peaceful. Police in the U.S. Capitol responded with drawn guns and tear gas.

At a rally earlier that morning, the President had encouraged them to march on the Capitol, where lawmakers were certifying the Electoral College vote.

“Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our country. Stay peaceful!,” the President wrote. But he did not tell them to leave.

Pence had before the invasion rejected Trump’s demand that the results of the presidential election be upturned.

The vice president issued a statement shortly before he began presiding over the joint session of Congress in his constitutional role as President of the Senate.

Pence said he concluded, after “a careful study of the Constitution,” that he doesn’t have the sole power to accept or reject electoral votes. Instead, he said, his role is “ministerial.”

“When disputes concerning a presidential election arise, under Federal law, it is the people’s representatives who review the evidence and resolve disputes through a democratic process,” he wrote.

“As a student of history who loves the Constitution and reveres its Framers, I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice President with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress, and no Vice President in American history has ever asserted such authority.”

Pence lambasted

But, Trump lambasted his deputy, saying: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

Majority leader kicks

Also, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who helped give Trump some of the biggest accomplishments of his presidency, including deep tax cuts and confirmation of conservative judicial nominees, said: “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral.”

The voters, courts and states “have all spoken,” McConnell said on the Senate. “If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever,” he added.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called the challenges “an attempted coup” and said, “The Congress does not determine the outcome of an election. The people do.”

The U.S. Constitution, he said, does not give Pence the power to unilaterally overturn the results of the election, but he was pressured to do so by Trump.

“It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not,” he said in the statement.

The Electoral College results were presented alphabetically, starting with Alabama. Republicans raised their first objection to results from Arizona, with possible objections to follow for Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Republican lawmakers cheered and Democrats groaned when the Arizona objection was brought.

Senator Ted Cruz, seen as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, led at least 11 other Republican senators, alongside a majority of the 211 Republicans in the House, in objecting to Electoral College results being formally approved by Congress.

State and federal reviews have debunked Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud even as increasingly desperate legal efforts by his campaign and allies on the right to overturn the election have failed in numerous courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Biden calls for caution

Biden on Wednesday called for an end to the chaos at Capitol.

“The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition, and it must end now. I call on this mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward,” Biden said, speaking from Wilmington, Delaware.

“At this hour, our democracy’s under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our republic,” Biden said.

Amid the breach of the Capitol Building, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted, calling it a “coup attempt.”

Following the breach, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser in a tweeted statement imposed a curfew from 6:00 p.m. ET. He said it would remain in effect until 6:00 a.m. today.

“During the hours of the curfew, no person, other than persons designated by the Mayor, shall walk, bike, run, loiter, stand, or motor by car or other modes of transport” within the district, the statement said

The Capitol Police, thereafter, asked for additional law enforcement for assistance, including federal authorities.

The source said there were several suspicious devices outside the Capitol Building.

A separate law enforcement source said the DC Metropolitan Police Department sent more resources to assist the Capitol Police, including CDU platoons or Civil Disturbance Units.

Democrats retook Senate control after the Georgia runoffs

With Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock winning their Senate runoffs in Georgia, Democrats look set to control both chambers of Congress and the presidency for the first time in a decade.

They are on course to wield power during a period of extraordinary health and economic challenges facing the nation.

Cases are still spiking and the economy is displaying severe signs of strain. Yesterday morning, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York noted the growing toll of the pandemic on average Americans in a statement hailing the pair of victories.

“Senate Democrats know America is hurting – help is on the way,” Schumer said, adding the party can deliver “bold change”. He stands to be the new majority leader in a chamber that’s evenly divided between 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris casting tie-breaking votes.

It’s a razor-thin majority for Democrats and most legislation needs 60 votes to pass the Senate. But Congressional Democratic leaders have already signalled they could use a legislative manoeuvre known as budget reconciliation to approve more generous economic relief for individuals and strengthen Obamacare.

Among the measures that could make the cut in another emergency spending package are $2,000 stimulus checks, which President Donald Trump belatedly called for in the waning days of his term. Biden has pledged that the federal payments would be sent to Americans immediately if Democrats clinched victories in Georgia.

“Their election will put an end to the block in Washington – that $2,000 stimulus check – that money would go out the door immediately, to help people who are in real trouble,” he said at a Democratic rally.

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Rakib Idris is a scientist, blogger, entrepreneur, web designer, socioeconomic and political commentator. He loves writing quality contents for readers and presenting to them happenings around the world promptly as they occur. Thank you for visiting pointloaded.com , •••• For Advert Placement Call/WhatsApp: 09054011337 or send an E-mail to info@pointloaded.com

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APC Governors Donate N50m To Victims Of Zamfara Market Fire Incident

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The Chairman of the  Progressives Governors Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has led a high powered delegation to Zamfara to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the recent fire outbreak that engulfed parts of Tudun Wada market Gusau.

The APC Governors Forum Chairman was accompanied by the governor of Yobe State and the  Chairman of All Progressives Congress APC Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee Mai-Mala Buni and Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.

He said the Sad incident that happened at Tudun Wada Market Gusau affected the livelihood of the victims and business activities in the state which they found necessary to show their concern and sympathy to the victims.

He commended and acknowledged the efforts of Governor Matawalle in ensuring the return of peace in the state and announced a donation of N50 million to the victims, calling on the general public to be more careful to prevent a recurrence.

Responding, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle commended the three governors for undertaking a long journey just to express their love and brotherliness to the government and people of Zamfara state despite being from another political party.

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2023 Presidency: Kogi Speaker Canvases Legislators’ Support For Yahaya Bello

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The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, has solicited the support of legislators across the country for Governor. Yahaya Bello’s ambition to become the President of Nigeria in 2023.

Mr Kolawole stated this in Jos during a visit to the Speaker of the Plateau House of Assembly, Abok Ayuba, and his colleagues to solicit for their support for Bello’s ambition.

He was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Ahmed Mohammed, and other Kogi lawmakers.

“Our mission in Plateau is to congratulate the Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Abok Ayuba on his election as the Chair of North-Central zone of Speakers Conference of Nigeria.

“We are also here to brief him and canvass support for his Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, who is the youngest governor in Nigeria to run for president come 2023.

READ ALSO: South West Speakers Endorse Bola Tinubu For 2023 Presidency

“In view of our relationship with our governor, as legislators, we have articulated all his achievements in the areas of security, women empowerment, youth inclusion in government, education and infrastructure development.

“We have found him to be suitable as he has performed creditably well.

“On this note, we decided on our own, to pass a vote of confidence on him and at the same time, pass a resolution that we want him to contest for the position of the President of Nigeria.

“The youths of Nigeria are also putting pressure on him to contest for the position of the President of Nigeria and he has finally agreed,” he said.

According to him, they brought the message to Plateau Assembly being one of the states that is controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The speaker said they believed in the association of legislators in Nigeria which had about 998 members with over 600 of them being members of APC and automatic delegates of the party.

In his remarks, Mr Ayuba said that the Plateau lawmakers would support Mr Bello if he set an example by granting Kogi State House of Assembly autonomy.

He said that autonomy was one of the key things that the Speakers Conference of Nigeria had been fighting for its implementation.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Ignore Fake Lockdown Alert, PTF Tells Nigerians

“As a young person, he should act differently and implement the autonomy so that others will follow.

“Sincerely, the north-central should be included in the calculations of this country as it is most times left out.

“We will tell them that we form one of the largest populations in the country and we should be considered this time,” he said.

He assured the Kogi speaker that he would convey his message to the state lawmakers when they resumed from recess on Jan. 20.

Mr Ayuba further stated that Plateau would join hands with Kogi to get what rightly belongs to the north-central.

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South West Speakers Endorse Bola Tinubu For 2023 Presidency

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Incumbent and former Houses of Assembly speakers across the South West geopolitical zone have endorsed the 2023 presidential aspiration of former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in 2023.

Rising from a meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Lagos Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, formally introduced the Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Foundation and Movement to the gathering.

The speakers, who were up to 20, at a meeting in Ibadan, agreed on some far-reaching resolutions to actualise Tinubu’s presidential aspiration.

Obasa, who convened the meeting, said the BAT Foundation was meant to break the shackles of poverty in Nigeria and create a coordinated humanitarian image for the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

READ ALSO: Appeal Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Yahaya Bello’s Candidacy

He claimed that though Tinubu had not given the nod to their plan, “there is need to deliberate on this all-important issue on behalf of Tinubu.”

Obasa added: “All current and former speakers present should, after the meeting, go back to their respective states to set up the template that would see to the actualisation of the agenda of an Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidency come 2023.

“An address by Ambassador Aliyu Saulawa, national coordinator of BAT Movement, was emphatic in the movement’s readiness to ensure power shifts to the South West and to be clinched by Tinubu.”

He lauded Tinubu’s option of embracing principle by supporting President Muhammadu Buhari rather than former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who would have done anything for Tinubu to win his support.”

Other issues resolved at the meeting include the need for power to shift to the South and that the South West must produce the next president and that Tinubu, being a Yoruba man with the capacity, experience, competence and means should be the candidate to be supported to emerge as the next president of Nigeria.

The speakers also resolved that Tinubu still needed to do more networking in Yoruba land, especially among serving and past governors, so that voices of dissent could be reduced to the barest minimum.

Stakeholders present at the meeting were asked to go back home and start the Asiwaju Tinubu presidential project pending when he (Tinubu) would come out to agree to contest.

All the speakers present were charged to commence beneficial political interaction with traditional rulers across the South West on the issue.

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