Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Africa: How we stopped rain for Sango festival celebration -Alaafin’s wife

The rain, which would have disrupted the celebration of the 2021 World Sango Festival in Oyo Town on Saturday, was stopped midway through the intervention of the deities.

Ayaba Ramat Adeyemi, the Iya Ile-koto and one of the wives of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, made this known on Saturday.

She spoke while leading other Ayaba (king’s wives) to perform their traditional roles of Igbatiti at the grand finale of the festival, held at the palace of the first-class traditional ruler in Yorubaland.

According to her, Igbatiti means the beating of calabash by the Ayaba in the palace to get the attention of Alaafin whenever they need to collect something, especially money, from him “because we women love money.”

“Any time we are beating this calabash in the palace, it is mandatory for Kabiyesi to come out and meet us.

“As we are beating the calabash, we are eulogising him and singing his praises through his oriki, which we know very well.

“So, when it was raining before the commencement of the celebration at about 1.00 p.m., we the Ayaba were worried, because it would not allow us to perform our traditional roles.

“Whereas, as women and ayaba in the palace, we needed money from the Kabiyesi, I had to consult the Yemoja and Sango priests to appease the goddess to stop the rain,” she said.

Ayaba Adeyemi stated that five minutes after consulting the priests, the rain stopped, adding: “if not, we would not be able to perform the igbatiti.

“Ten minutes after, Alaafin entered the venue to commence the celebration of Sango festival.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme started immediately Oba Adeyemi stepped down from his car at about 2.18 p.m., with Iwure Agba (prayer by elders) led by Sango priests.



Africa: Tension as police, secret agents cordon off Dunamis church

There is palpable tension at the Dunamis church dome at Lugbe, Abuja as dozens of policemen and other plain-clothed state operatives have cordoned off the area in fear of possible invasion by members of the #Revolutionnow movement who are protesting the arrest of its members by the Department of State Services.

When The Guardian visited the church this morning, dozens of policemen were sighted in the area, while patrol vehicles numbering about four were also parked in strategic locations.

Human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, had threatened another mass protest if the five people arrested for wearing ‘Buhari Must Go’ T-shirts to the church last Sunday are not released within seven days.

Those arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) are Emmanuel Larry, Henry Nwodo, Samuel Gabriel, Ben Manasseh and Anene Udoka.

Sowore, at a press conference organised in Abuja, weekend, by a group called ‘Take It Back Movement’, also alleged that the General Overseer and Senior Pastor of the church, Pastor Paul Enenche, collaborated with the DSS to effect the arrest of the persons. Theguardianng 


Africa: Army denies viral video of soldiers assaulting suspect

The Nigerian Army has urged Nigerians to disregard a viral video of soldiers assaulting a suspect.

In a statement on Monday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, the Army said investigation revealed that the military fatigue worn by the “criminals” is a far variation from the uniforms adorned by troops in the various theatres of operation.

The statement titled,’ Re: Video of soldiers mutilating a suspect.’

It read, “The Nigerian Army has been notified of an online video footage making the rounds in the social media, showing some persons in military fatigue torturing and mutilating an individual.

“The video footage is not only capable of deceiving unsuspecting members of the public into believing that the men in the footage are members of the Army. engaged in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North East, but a deliberate effort to promote a culture of violence in the society by creating an erroneous impression that it is a legitimate action by troops.

“It is, therefore, crucial to refute and properly inform the public on the said footage.

“Preliminary investigations reveal that the said footage has been on the social media for quite a long time and is not originated by troops of the Nigerian Army.

“Very importantly, the uniform of NA troops deployed in the North East is the Nigerian Desert Camouflage, while that of other operations around the country is the Nigerian Woodland Camouflage. Evidently, the military fatigue worn by the criminals is a far variation from the uniforms adorned by our own troops in the various theatres of operation.

“The Nigerian Army, therefore, wishes to clearly inform the general public that the video being circulated does not have any connection with its operations. Those in the footage are not troops of the NA and do not represent any operation of the NA. The video is circulated by mischievous elements aiming to tarnish the good image and reputation of the NA, in order to create mistrust in the minds of the public.

“It must be reiterated that as a responsible organisation, the NA conducts its operational activities in line with extant rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights.

“The NA, therefore, wishes to distance itself from the outrageous video and reassures the public that the NA under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, will continue to discharge its roles of securing the territorial integrity of the nation and aid to civil authority professionally and in consonance with extant laws and international best practice.” (Punch)


WHO: Africa faces ‘rising threat’ of a COVID third wave

Healthcare systems across Africa are “far from ready” to cope with a fresh surge of coronavirus infections, with vaccine deliveries at a near standstill and cases surging in many countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

“Many African hospitals and clinics are still far from ready to cope with a huge rise in critically ill patients,” WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, said on Thursday.

“The threat of a third wave in Africa is real and rising,” she added in a virtual briefing.
Africa has officially registered more than 4.8 million cases and 130,000 deaths, according to the WHO, representing 2.9 percent of global cases and 3.7 percent of deaths.

According to a survey conducted by the WHO in May, the essential health facilities and personnel required to manage critically ill COVID-19 patients are grossly inadequate in many African countries.

Of 23 countries surveyed, most had less than one intensive care unit bed per 100,000 population and only one-third had mechanical ventilators. In comparison, countries like Germany and the United States have more than 25 beds per 100,000 people.

“Treatment is the last line of defence against this virus and we cannot let it be breached,” Moeti stressed, calling for better equipment for hospitals and medical staff.

Rising cases

In recent weeks, the continent has seen a rise in infections. South Africa, officially the most affected African country, has tightened health restrictions and now has more than 1.6 million cases and 56,439 deaths.

In the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Kinshasa, the WHO detected an “exponential rise” last month in cases that mirrored a “clear deterioration” in the wider province.

The DRC Health Minister Jean-Jacques Mbungani said that the country was experiencing a new wave of infections.

“I officially announce the onset of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, with Kinshasa as its epicentre,” Mbungani told reporters.

A low vaccination rate and haphazard observance of recommended hygiene practices were among the reasons for the rising infection rate, he said.

Meanwhile in Uganda, the number of cases has jumped 131 percent in one week with outbreaks in schools and an increase in cases among health workers. Angola and Namibia are also seeing a resurgence.

Simultaneously, the continent is facing a shortage of vaccines and deliveries are almost at a standstill in Africa, according to WHO, which hopes for new deliveries in the coming months through the international COVAX scheme, including a pledge of 80 million doses from the United States.

Only 2 percent of Africans to date have received at least one shot, compared with 11 percent of the world’s population, according to Our World in Data. Six countries have not kicked off inoculation, four of which are in Africa: Tanzania, Burundi, Chad and Eritrea.

Separately on Thursday, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), John Nkengasong, slammed rich countries once again for failing to step up their effort in guaranteeing more equitable access to vaccines.
“I would like to make a moral case to the leaders of the G7 that our limited supply of vaccines on the continent has definitely a serious boding for us, a serious economic boding for us,” he said during a press briefing.

“Perhaps it is a greater moral boding for those who are sitting on excess doses of vaccines; because actually, they want to be on the right side of history.” Aljazeera

Africa: TASUED staff kidnapped in Ogun

A Deputy Director at the Information and Communication Technology Department of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Mrs I.B Abimbola, has been kidnapped.

Abimbola was reportedly kidnapped around 7pm on Thursday at Ijebu-Ode.

As at the time of filing this report, the abductors are yet to contact Abimbola’s family for ransom, it was learnt.

Ogun State Police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, has confirmed the incident to newsmen.

Unknown land grabbers take over Christ Embassy camp ground [Video]

Oyeyemi the police have begun a search for Mrs Abimbola.

“We got information that a University staff was kidnapped on Thursday night in Ijebu-Ode. The Command operatives have been sent out to search and rescue the victim unhurt. We are on top of the situation,” Oyeyemi confirmed. Dailypost


Africa: Actor, undergraduate arrested for defrauding traders with fake bank alerts

The Oyo State Police Command has arrested a man, Olumide Olajide, for allegedly defrauding traders in Ibadan with fake bank alerts.

Olajide, who claims to be a Yoruba film actor, was among those paraded at the state police command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, on Monday.

The actor, who was paraded alongside his partner, Wemimo Adeyanju, a Higher National Diploma student of Purchasing and Supply at a polytechnic in the South-West, told our correspondent in an interview that he was arrested in the Apete area of Ibadan.

Asked to explain how he used to generate the fake bank alerts, Olajide said he would ask for the account numbers and names of the sellers after buying goods from them.
After this, he would use the information to generate their details by dialling the USSD code of his bank.

After generating the recipient’s name, he said he would alter the old bank alert sent to him by his bank and change the date and the amount, and resend same to the recipient.

According to him, the fake alert sent will show on the recipient’s phone as a genuine alert from his bank.

He said, “I did it just three times before I was arrested. After seeing the alert, they would allow me to go away with the goods paid for with the fake bank alert.
“I went to another shop and a woman recognised me through the display photograph on my WhatsApp and raised the alarm.”

The undergraduate also told our correspondent that he went out with the prime suspect.

He admitted that Olajide used the fake bank alert to purchase some items on an occasion that he accompanied him.

“He did it once. He was the one who did it, but I followed him that day,” Adeyanju stated.

Police sources said Olajide had an app on his phone through which he was generating fake bank alerts to defraud traders. Punch

Africa: How Man Hatched Kidnap, Murder Of Neighbour’s Son Despite Collecting N1m

Operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command have arrested four suspects in connection with the abduction and subsequent killing of a six-year-old boy.

The suspects were alleged to have killed their victim after collecting one million naira as ransom from his father, Kabiru Magayaki.

They were paraded before reporters on Monday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mohammed Jalige, at the command headquarters in the state capital.

Jalige explained that the abduction of the victim was plotted by his father’s neighbour, Mohammad Nazifi, who took advantage of his close relationship with the family.

Unknown to Magayaki that his neighbour hatched the plot, he went into negotiation with the abductors and after much negotiations, they settled for one million naira which the family paid but could not secure the freedom of their son.

Nazifi, on the other hand, was said to have gone further to get the boy killed over concerns that he could inform his parents that he (the suspect) orchestrated the abduction should the victim be released.

The boy was, thereafter, strangled until he died, and his remains were concealed in a drainage tunnel in the outskirts of Kano metropolis.

After paying the ransom and no sign of the return of his son, Magayaki reported the case to the police for assistance on Thursday last week.

According to the police, the suspects confessed to the crime and led security operatives to where the decomposing body of the victim was identified and evacuated.

Jalige said that the suspects would be charged to court for criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, and culpable homicide. ChannelsTv


Africa: How Baby Died After Mother Ran Away With N3 Million Donation Meant For Her Cancer Surgery

A baby girl simply identified as Ada, has died after her mother absconded with a N3 million donation meant for brain tumour surgery.

A philanthropist and founder of Global Initiative for Peace, Love and Care (GIPLC), Nuhu Fulani Kwajafa, disclosed this on a Facebook page on Tuesday.

Kwajafa wrote: “Last month we had a case of a 3 year old girl with a brain tumour who needed N3 million for surgery. A donor insisted on paying the money to the account of the mother, stating that he was not comfortable with NGOs.

“We initially wanted him to pay directly to the hospital, but that was not possible because 80% of medical materials needed for the surgery had to be bought outside the hospital.

“Eventually the donor credited the mother’s account, and the mother absconded with the N3 million. Sadly, the child died this morning. Rest In Peace Ada.”

Kwajafa said his NGO has continued to champion the cause of vulnerable women and children in Nigeria and Africa. Saharareporters

Africa: How 20 children died in Niger Republic school fire incident

A school in Niger Republic with a population of 800 has been thrown into mourning after a fire outbreak killed 20 children.

Twenty School children have died after their classrooms caught fire in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

The school located in the Pays Bas area has a population of 800 students. According to Reuters, the cause of the fire which started around the entrance of the school is yet to be established.

Twenty-one classrooms built with straw were gutted by the fire, effectively trapping some students who did not have an alternative escape route.

“Without an emergency exit, many were trapped and students were forced to scale the wall to escape. Those that died were mostly children in the preschool,” Reuters quoted a teachers’ union official, Mounkaila Halidou, as saying.

Prime Minister of Niger Republic, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou has however embarked on a condolence visit to the school to offer his respect to the children’s parents. Vanguardngr

Africa: UN tribunal denies early release to Rwanda genocide mastermind

A UN tribunal in Tanzania has denied a request for early release by a man considered the mastermind of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda that left some 800,000 dead.

Theoneste Bagosora, 79, was in 2008 sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

However his sentence was reduced to 35 years on appeal in 2011.

Bagosora, who is imprisoned in Mali, made the request for early release in March 2019, which several genocide convicts have been granted after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

Bagosora was first arrested in 1996, and his trial began in 2002.

Maltese judge Carmel Agius, president of the Arusha-based Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT), the body charged with completing the work of the ICTR after it wound up, rejected the request in a ruling dated April 1, provided to AFP Monday.

“I hereby deny the application,” wrote Agius, explaining that “the extremely high gravity of Bagosora’s crimes weighs very heavily against his early release.”
“I also consider his failure to sufficiently demonstrate rehabilitation as militating against granting the application.”

A church choirboy who rose to become a key officer in the Rwandan army, Bagosora was described during his initial trial as the “kingpin” behind the genocide.

The genocide saw extremist Hutu militia slaughter minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus over 100 days from April 7 to July 15.

The appeals chamber argued that Bagosora did not order the killings, rapes, and assassination of politicians, but as a top defence ministry official, he knew the crimes were going to be committed and did nothing to stop them despite having the powers to do so.

It also upheld a lower court ruling that Bagosora was Rwanda’s most senior military official between April 6 and 9, 1994.



Africa: Don’t sell UTME form above N3,500, JAMB warns

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board has warned financial institutions not to sell the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) forms (ePIN) above N3,500.

Candidates are expected to pay financial institutions N3,500 for ePIN and N500 for the books they will use for the examination, totaling N4,000.

The board also asked the financial institutions to ensure that all ePINs are transferred electronically to the candidates to ensure that they don’t face any hardship.

The board said it would not accept handwritten ePINs from any financial institutions to avoid mistakes while writing it.

Banks are expected to get 30,000 ePINs from the board while microfinance banks and other payment platforms will get 10,000 ePINs through the board.

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, announced this at a meeting with representatives of financial institutions ahead of the sale of ePINs next month.

Oloyede warned that any financial institution caught selling the ePIN above the stipulated price would be de-listed and prosecuted.

He said: “ePIN will be sold at N3,500 to the candidates but what comes to JAMB is N3,290 because as you, our partners (financial institutions) retain N210. But what you collect from the candidates is actually N4,000 because N500 that belongs to the book vendors you help us collect.

“In the past, these book vendors would collect their money and they wouldn’t even pay the token they were paying to us. In some cases, they were selling the books beyond the prescribed price.

“When candidates were frustrated, they would buy the books at between N1,000 and N2,000. That is why we insisted they must sell the books through us. We collect their money for them (vendors) and ensure that it is from us they will collect their money.”

“Cost of ePIN and the book remains N4,000. That is why we have now made your six per cent commission to be N210. We are the one paying the commission on behalf of book vendors because they are collecting their money in full, but we are paying. It pays us better.

“You (financial institutions) will be responsible for the activities of your agents. We will not want to listen to the fact that ‘Oh, it is my agent; I am not the one.’ Once your agent commits an infraction, it is assumed that you have committed it because your agent represents you in law. Whatever your agent does, he has done it on your behalf.

“Make sure your agents do not extort our candidates. You know we have zero tolerance for extortion. The forms must not be sold one kobo above N3,500. That is, you must not take a kobo above N4,000. Any kobo above N4,000 is a violation, which we will not tolerate.

“You know all of us in Nigeria are complaining everybody is bad. But if everybody should take care of its own corner of the table, Nigeria will be better for us all.”

The registrar also warned banks and its agents against extortion and hoarding of the forms.

According to him, some financial institutions deposited N3 billion with JAMB in the past and sold the forms at a higher price.

He said the board would not tolerate such going forward.

Oloyede said: “We have no tolerance at all for any type of extortion and hoarding. In the past, some financial institutions used to buy; they would just come and deposit N3 billion with JAMB and they would be hoarding the forms and be selling it at any amount they liked. That, we have come to put an end to.

“Having done so by democratisation, we also believe that despite the fact that you make money, you must be satisfied with the fact that you are rendering service to this great nation, particularly these young boys and girls who are our future.

“Therefore, they should not be exploited because exploiting them is not just about the money you get from them, but you are indoctrinating them into the culture of corruption. And if a candidate should go and buy N4,000 form at N4,500, you are already indoctrinating him and inviting him that it is the Nigerian way of doing things.

“So, it is not about the little money you illegally make but about the damage to the system, the damage to the training platform we are providing for this. We must develop these young boys and girls in such a way that the right way to do anything is to do it the right way. Any cutting corners that we may think are just for us to make more money are doing incalculable damage to the future of this country.

“Therefore, if you view it from this angle, you will then understand why we are very sensitive about any exploitation of these candidates. We are pleading with you that for the sake of this country, for the sake of this nation and future of everyone of us, we must not allow and we must not tolerate any extortion.

“We will not protect anybody. Any institution or agency that doesn’t present itself as an institution of integrity, JAMB will not hesitate to drag the institution and the person behind it into what he/she wants to drag himself/herself to into the mess.” Thenationonlineng

Africa: Uganda miss out on AFCON 2021 after loss to Malawi

Uganda's national football team, the Cranes, failed to clinch a place for the AFCON 2021 after a narrow loss to Malawi 1-0 in the final qualifier match played in Blantyre.

Malawi joined Burkina Faso in group B, displacing Uganda that held the second position after last week's draw at home in Kampala.

Malawi's sole goal came through a header from their strike Richard Mbulu at the 15th minute, getting past Uganda's goalkeeper Dennis Onyango.

Uganda dominated the play with fierce attacks but the home team stood still in their defense while also deploying time-wasting tactics.

The Uganda Cranes only needed a point in group B but the host were in for maximum points. 

This is the third time Malawi will feature in the upcoming AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, given their previous appearances in 1984 and 2010.

The East Africa country has been pitted as one of the most improved football team in Africa in the past few years. Africanews

Africa: Who are the fighters launching attacks in northern Mozambique?

Fighters stormed the strategic town of Palma in northern Mozambique last week in a dramatic escalation of an armed campaign that has wreaked havoc in the gas-rich Cabo Delgado province since 2017.

The government on Sunday said “dozens of defenceless people” were killed in the coordinated raid that saw the attackers fire indiscriminately at people and buildings in the coastal town. Among the victims were seven people caught in an ambush during an operation to evacuate them from a hotel where they had fled to in order to escape Wednesday’s attack.

Palma – home to some 75,000 people, as well as to many who had already been internally displaced due to the worsening violence in the province – was deserted on Monday after residents fled by road, boat and on foot “in all directions”, according to aid groups.

Here is what we know about the attackers and the conflict in Cabo Delgado.
When members of the shadowy armed group Ahlu Sunnah Wa-Jama, also known locally as al-Shabab (no established links to the armed group of the same name in Somalia), began launching attacks in northern Mozambique in October 2017, security agencies dismissed it as isolated acts of banditry.

But the fighters, who later pledged allegiance to ISIL (ISIS), continued staging attacks in Cabo Delgado, burning villages, killing civilians and even targeting military positions.

Last year, they captured the town of Mocimboa da Praia, which still remains out of the government’s hands. Mocimboa da Praia’s port is strategically important for liquefied natural gas projects led by Total and ExxonMobil that are being developed on a fortified peninsula a short way up the coast, just off Palma.

The escalating violence has killed more than 2,600 people, half of them civilians. It has also caused a serious humanitarian crisis, forcing almost 700,000 people from their homes.

Zeinada Machado, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, said while there are still many questions surrounding the strength of the group and the amount of territory they control, what is certain is that over the past three years, it has grown in size and in its ability to stage big attacks.

“It started by doing a game of cat-and-mouse with security forces, going to villages, attacking civilians, destroying property and then running away once security forces arrive,” Machado told Al Jazeera. “They’ve moved into being a serious enemy to security forces and even targeting military posts.”

Jasmine Opperman, of the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, agreed about the group’s increasing strength.

“There is a voice of discontent against the government that is fighting credibility among specific groups of people,” Opperman told Al Jazeera, estimating the group’s fighters number at least 2,500 people whose ages seem to mostly range from 20 to 35 years.

The conflict entered a particularly gruesome new phase last year, prompting United Nations chief Antonio Guterres to express shock at reports of massacres, including the beheading and kidnapping of women and children.

On Monday, ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack on Palma, which hosts several international companies and their staff working on gas projects in the region. In a statement on its Telegram channel, ISIL said its fighters had seized the town after days of fighting.

The raid came two weeks after the US State Department labelled al-Shabab a foreign “terrorist” organisation over its links to ISIL.

But Fernando Lima, a Maputo-based journalist and political commentator, said there were “serious doubts if this is really a religious confrontation, or a cover” for social grievances in a region where poverty and unemployment are still rampant despite the promises of wealth linked to the development of the multibillion-dollar worth gas projects.

“I think that the main problem is in fact poverty and inequality,” he said, adding the government has not been able to communicate to Cabo Delgado’s residents “that they are there to reverse the situation”.

“I would [add] bad management of expectations related to oil and gas, because it creates this idea that there are other Mozambicans living in the south that are benefitting from oil and gas – in fact, there is no oil and gas at this point, yet.”
Earlier this month, the US embassy in Mozambique said US military personnel will train Mozambican forces for two months.

The US government said it will also provide medical and communications gear to help the government in its fight against the armed group, which, analysts say, has steadily increased its military capacity and the ability to stage sophisticated attacks.
“[Palma is] a town that was heavily guarded and everybody knew could be targeted at any moment – how was it possible for this group to enter this town, fire indiscriminately, kill people and make others flee,” asked Machado.

“The absence of soldiers to help the population was very clear, and that is an embarrass[ment] for the government of Mozambique that has been fighting this group for the past three years. By now, they should have learned how to help their population and how to lead them to safety in a moment of danger,” she said.

“It’s not just about [the government] giving us a press conference in which they are going to tell us how many people died – it’s also about explaining what exactly happened, what failed and what measures they are taking for a situation like Palma not to be repeated ever again.”

Some analysts have suggested that the authorities had been warned of an imminent attack on Palma but failed to act.

“The question has to be raised: why no action was taken,” asked Opperman.
“For the last two years, we’ve warned that there are some influencers within the insurgency at play. They are people with clear, deep level experience in guerilla warfare fighting that has been transmitted back into Cabo Delgado,” she said. “Mocimboa de Praia’s occupation for a prolonged period gave them the ideal opportunity not only for training but for recruitment.”

The government has deployed thousands of soldiers to Cabo Delgado to tackle the armed group. But analysts have long cautioned that Mozambique’s army has historically been weak, poorly trained and underequipped.

Mozambique has also hired Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), a South African private military firm. Reports say DAG are being discreetly helped by mercenaries from Russia.

Earlier in March, global rights watchdog Amnesty International accused the fighters, government security forces and private military companies of “war crimes”.
“The longer the insurgency continues, the risk to the region increases,” said Opperman. “The issue of weapons, the issue of sympathy, the issue of IDPs fleeing, the issue of movement of illegal goods; this is an area where there is simply no governance, where there is no ability to control anything,” she added.

“What is interesting about the Palma incident, and that is the tragedy of Cabo Delgado, is when expats get targeted, everyone goes crazy. What about the [tens of thousands of] people that had to flee and find a home somewhere quite quickly, or safety quite quickly? I think it’s a sad case but we cannot neglect in terms of Cabo Delgado.” (Aljazeera)

Africa: Oil-rich Bayelsa community seeks military intervention to flush out criminals

Bilabiri community in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa has called on the military Joint Task Force (JTF) to flush out criminals from its fold.

In a letter dated March 21, the community appealed to the Joint Task Force deployed to protect oil facilities in the Niger Delta to deploy its surveillance boats to the area to fish out miscreants.

The letter was signed by Chief Peter Pinne, Amananawei (Paramount Ruler) in Bilabiri 1 and Chief Minna Fun, Amananawei of Bilabiri 2.

Other signatories are Mr David Bazigha, Community Development Committee (CDC) Chairman, Bilabiri 1 and Mr Esau Joshua, CDC Chairman Bilabiri 2.

The letter stated that the community leadership had resolved to rid the area of pirates, militants, oil thieves and kidnappers who brought the name of the area to disrepute.

It added that the development was an expression of the people of Bilabiri to support government’s efforts at maintaining a peaceful atmosphere for legitimate economic activities.

The community leaders noted that the entire settlement comprising youths, women and elders was unanimous in its resolve to stamp out criminality and pledged its support to aid the JTF to achieve its mandate.

The letter noted that miscreants burnt down the palace of the monarch, engaged in kidnappings and other criminal activities that undermined the security of the oil-rich community.

The Bilabiri community hosts oil production facilities operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company and Chevron Nigeria Ltd.

The leaders noted in the letter that miscreants in the community had rebuffed internal efforts to check their nefarious activities through established traditional mechanisms.

“It is an established norm that the king and other authorities as listed above are the custodians of tradition, law and order in conjunction with the established security apparatus of the Nigerian state.

“When the governed are showing no sign of obeisance or refusing to subject themselves to constituted authorities, a higher force or authority will have to be invited to quell the inferno before it degenerates to an uncontrollable fiasco.

“In event of collapse or total breakdown of law and order within our community, the leaders are always the ones to account for it.

“It is on the strength of these that we invite you to come to our aid and end the criminal behaviours of some of our boys who have become bigger than the kingdom,’’ the letter stated. Theguardianng 


Africa: Zimbabwe Begins Vaccine Roll-Out With Chinese Jabs

Zimbabwe’s vice president was first to be inoculated Thursday as the southern African country began coronavirus immunisation three days after receiving jabs donated by China.

Constantino Chiwenga, wearing a rosary around his neck, received a dose of Sinopharm vaccine at a hospital in the capital Harare and urged citizens to register for the shots.

The 64-year-old was first swabbed to test for coronavirus before taking off his jacket and unbuttoning his shirt to receive the shot in the shoulder.

Chiwenga said the health ministry had done “all scientific processes” to vet the jab.

“My presence here today with some ministry officials (…) is to exhibit the government’s confidence in the Sinopharm vaccine,” said Chiwenga, who doubles as the country’s health minister.

Zimbabwe’s fight against the virus has been blighted by a run-down healthcare system and a struggling economy.

On Monday, it received a shipment of 200,000 doses of the vaccine, whose efficacy against a fast-spreading local variant is unclear.

Frontline healthcare workers and custom officials will be the first receive the shots.

Soman Mudariki, a doctor who had just received his shot, said it was “one of the strategies in the war chest” to fight the virus.

“There should be benefits. There is no harm,” he added.

The vaccination drive has been criticized by human rights lawyers.

They said the authorities had embarked on vaccinating the public while simultaneously conducting clinical trials of the same vaccine.

“Many lives would be put to risk as they may be victims to irreversible side effects,” they said in a protest letter.

Zimbabwe has recorded more than 35,000 infections of which 1,418 have been fatal, figures said to be an undercount due to scant surveillance tools.


Africa: Kano welcomes medical doctors trained in Sudan

Forty seven Kano State female medical students who were sponsored for training in the Republic of Sudan have graduated and returned. The delighted doctors were welcomed by the state government, which recently cleared the hitches they faced due to incomplete fees for their studies.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Abba Anwar, stated that the medical students left the country for Sudan in 2014 during the Kwankwaso administration. When Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje came on board, he sponsored their MBBS programme in the Al-Ahfad, Al-Razi and Undurman Universities.

It was gathered that the Executive Chairman of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, Barrister Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado, alongside the Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr Mariya Mahmud Bunkure, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Higher Education, Usaini Jarma and representative of the State Scholarship Board were in Sudan few days earlier to pay the outstanding bills of the graduates before they were cleared by Sudan universities.

The doctors arrived Kano, through Malam Aminu Kano International Airport en route Abuja, on Friday night, accompanied by Kano State delegates led by Barrister Muhuyi Magaji Rimingado.

Rimingado assured that the state government will unearth alleged sharp practices associated with foreign scholarship programmes that emanated from past administrations.

“Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has vowed to purify the process of paying any outstanding fees left behind by the past administration, so that tax payers’ money will not leak again under the guise of foreign scholarship. That is why the governor directed our office to come into the exercise.

“Parents should know that out of the total sum of over $2 million meant for this particular exercise, the Ganduje administration paid over $1 million,” he disclosed. Thenationonlineng

Africa: NAN reporter Modupe Oremule dies at 36

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has lost Modupe Oremule, a defence correspondent.

Oremule, a mother of 2, died after a brief illness. She was 36 years old.

The reporter was laid to rest on Thursday at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Cemetery, Redemption Camp.

The burial organised by the RCCG Akute, Lagos, was attended by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) members, relatives, friends and colleagues.

Presiding Cleric, Pastor Akin Onimole said her corpse showed that everyone has an appointment with death some day.

“We are not praying that we die young like Dupe, but when death shall come, where is the last place you shall go?”, he quipped.

NUJ Chairman, Lagos Council, Adeleye Ajayi called Oremule’s demise a tragedy.

He described the deceased as a humble, respectful and diligent person.

“I advise all of us left behind to concentrate on our health, do regular medical checkups and pray to God to keep sparing our lives,” Ajayi said.

The husband, Adesanya Oremule, disclosed that his late wife worked hard for the family.

“I pray I will be able to achieve all we had planned together and more for our children. When we meet again in heaven, I will be able to gist her everything,” he said in tears. Dailypost


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