Africanews RSS Receive free and in real-time all news published by, by subscribing to our RSS feeds. Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:04:07 +0000 Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:04:07 +0000 Who needs Rome? Italian regions vote on autonomy Fri, 20 Oct 2017 07:04:07 +0000 All these campaigners need, they say, is Lombardy – an autonomous Lombardy. They are travelling to every corner of the wealthy northern Italian region in a camper van to spread the message: let’s keep more of the taxes we give the state for ourselves. “With this referendum, we want to set an example so that all other regions in Italy can ask to manage their own public finances in the future,” said yes campaigner Giovanni Malanchini. For autonomy supporters, who needs Rome when they already have Milan? Italy’s financial capital boasts towering new skyscrapers, award-winning architecture, and a curious sense of humour. A marble sculpture of a cut-off hand with the middle finger stuck up, right in front of the stock exchange, is supposed to be a warning against financial speculation, but these days it feels more like a message by Milan’s autonomy supporters to the central government in Rome. They claim the capital is milking their regions’ coffers and paying for its “Dolce Vita” with their taxes. The position by “yes” campaigners is clear, but did they convince voters? In Brera, one of Milan’s iconic neighbourhoods, one elderly man argued that taxpayers’ money should stay in Lombardy and Veneto, “because Rome is a thief”. Another local however called Sunday’s referendum a joke – one costing 50 million euros. “Spending money to holding a referendum in which 99.9% of voters will vote “yes” is a joke… They could have given those 50 million euros to someone who really need it,” he said. Another woman called the referendum rather pointless. “It’s not clear what fields this autonomy will apply to. Obviously there are constitutional limits to what they can do. They also spent too much money on the campaign, that could have been spent in other ways. On top of that, it’s just a non-binding referendum, so it doesn’t have an immediate effect.” Opinions in the streets of Lombardy are divided, but as this is a non-binding referendum, turnout – rather than voting preference – will be key to find out which way this region is swaying. Claudio Lavanga, NBC News NBC News No sex until Uhuru is elected president – Kenyan women tell their lovers Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:06:34 +0000 A section of women in Kenya have called for a sex ban ahead of the country’s presidential poll re-run ordered by the Supreme Court, the Star newspaper reports. Even though uncertainty surrounds the October 26 polls, women in the town of Nyeri in a press conference on Wednesday said they will not allow men to have sex with them unless incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta is handed a second term. Leader of the group, Rahab Mukami, a woman representative said the women had intensified campaigns to ensure Kenyatta wins the upcoming polls. The elections body, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has insitsted that the polls will go ahead despite a boycott by main opposition chief, Raila Odinga, of the National Super Alliance (NASA). Sex has been a talking point in Kenyan elections. Ahead of the first poll in August, Odinga was the first to ask for sex boycott on the eve of the polls. “August 8 will be a historic day and no vote will be left without being cast. Men will sleep outside. When the day comes, no man should sleep with a woman,” he is quoted to have said. The Opposition chief had said in June that “when you are going for war, sex is a bad omen”. The IEBC says ballot papers are ready and due in the country. NASA has called its supporters to protest on the day of the polls. Their supporters have clashed with police in the streets and in strongholds, the protests were called by NASA who insist that without reforms, the October 26 will not hold. Cameroon top lawyer quits anti-graft post to tackle Biya in 2018 polls Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:46:31 +0000 Akere Muna, a prominent Cameroonian lawyer, has quit his post as an anti-graft campaigner as he prepares to contest for the presidency in polls slated for 2018. Until last week, he was a Chairperson of the international Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). He tendered in his resignation on Monday October 16, 2017, the body stated in a statement. ‘Barrister Muna has opted to avoid any conflict of interest, or any confusion that can arise from his personal ideas and those of the IACC, it said. Muna, a former Vice Chairperson of Transparency International will be replaced by Delia Ferreira Rubio of Argentina. Rueben Lifuka from Zambia was also elected vice chair of the IACC. The group describes itself as the world’s premier forum that brings together Heads of State, Civil Society, the Private Sector and more to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenges posed by corruption. Muna announced his presidential bid last week via a video address stating that his decision was premised on wanting to give the central African country a fresh start after years under incumbent Paul Biya. Muna who hails from the Anglophone region, in the address and a statement cited by AFP said it was time for the Central African country to reset its direction hence his decision to enter the race. “We have to walk to a new Republic”, which will be “based on good governance” and “the rule of law,” he asserted, saying that there would be no “tolerance for corruption, tribalism, nepotism and favoritism,” with him in charge. Cameroon is due to go to the polls in 2018 and incumbent Paul Biya is expected to contest to extend his over three decades in charge. John Fru Ndi, the main opposition leader who lost the 2011 race to Biya, has also yet to confirm his participation. Muna’s announcement comes at a time that Cameroon’s Anglophone areas are facing a serious social and political crisis since November 2016. The two regions – North West and South West – are pushing for independence under the Ambazonia republic. Their attempted symbolic independence declaration on October 1, 2017 was met with heavy security crackdown which led to official deaths of eight people. Rights group, Amnesty International, puts the casualty figure at 17. Scores were reported injured and mass arrests made. The United Nations, United States, United Kingdom and other religious groups have all called for the need to open dialogue between the government and leaders of the restive region. President Biya has also condemned the violence and called for dialogue. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban 100% results of Liberia presidential polls, run-off set for November 7 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:38:07 +0000 Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) on Thursday released full results of the October 10 general elections. The body further confirmed a run-off vote between the two top candidates for the presidency. Ex-football star, George Weah of the Congress For Democratic Change (CDC) will face current vice-president, Joseph Boakai of the ruling Unity Party (UP) in a race to succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Sirleaf won elections in 2006 to become the continent’s first democratically elected female leader. She won a second term in 2011. She will handover to winner of the run-off – the second president after the end of the 2003 civil war. CDC and UP to have run off on Nov 7, 2017.— NEC Liberia (@NECLiberia) October 19, 2017 The NEC beat the official deadline for the announcement of final results by six clear days. It had till October 25 to announce full results as per electoral laws. After collating results from the 5390 polling places across the country, the following results and facts were ascertained: Weah, George Manneh of CDC polled 596,037 votes (38.4%) Boakai, Joseph Nyuma of UP polled 446,716 votes (28.8%) Brumskine, Cahles Walker of LP polled 149,495 votes (9.6%) Johnson, Prince Y. of MDR polled 127,666 votes (8.2%) Cummings, Alexander B. of ANC polled 112,067 votes (7.2%) Urey, Benoni Wilfred of ALP polled 24,246 votes (1.6%) The 14 other contenders each got less than one percent of the total valid votes cast. NEC gave the voter turn out as 1,641,922 voters representing 75.2%. The need for a second round is because none of the candidates got 50%+1 required. It is the third staraight third round scenario. It is Weah’s second run-off from a winning position. He won the 2005 vote but lost the run-off to incumbent Johnson Sirleaf. Already merger talks have been established by both camps as they move to consolidate efforts towards November 7. The polls roundly received good reviews from observer bodies from the ECOWAS, the African Union, the European Union and United Nations. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Eritreans topped asylum seekers aiming to enter Switzerland Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:37:30 +0000 Eritrean citizens are the biggest asylum seekers applying to enter Switzerland in the month of September 2017, Swiss government data have revealed. The Eritreans according to Swiss records are followed by citizens of Syria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia. The overall request for asylum for the month under review, however, dropped by a third bringing the total for the first nine months to just under 14,000, the lowest since 2010. Most migration reports on Africa has identified Eritrea as a major contributor to migrant flows. They are joined by Nigerians, Somalis and to some extent Sudanese. READ ALSO: Eritrea country profile According to political and rights watchers for the Horn of Africa region, the cause of Eritrean migrant flows are harsh economic conditions back home and also ‘forced national service’ plus a tense political atmosphere. A drop since mid-July in the number of would-be refugees trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean played a role, the Swiss Secretariat for Migration said on Thursday, adding that Switzerland was also not a primary destination for these people. Switzerland is not a member of the European Union but takes in some asylum seekers who have reached frontline states Greece and Italy to help relieve their burden. It has accepted around 1,300 such people since the programme began in September 2015. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban [Photos] Work at Ethiopia's GERD project; ministers meet over concerns Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:31:22 +0000 Ethiopia’s news agency shared photos on the latest level of work at the country’s flagship power facility, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project. Ministers of the three countries that share the River Nile – Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia – also visited the site of the project to have first hand information on work. The tour of Tuesday October 17 was followed by a ministerial meeting on Wednesday which seeks to consider reports instituted into the impact on the dam on the river. The last concerns raised on the GERD project was when Egypt expressed concerns over what it says is the slow pace of work on technical studies in relation to the project. This concern was raised during a meeting between Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, and his Ethiopian counterpart Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu last month in New York on the sideline of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Shoukry said all parties needed to meet to share results from the technical studies and to firm up commitments in that regard. There is an ongoing dispute over the GERD project especially its impact on water distribution of the River Nile. The issue affects both countries as well as Sudan. Leaders of the three countries in 2015 signed a cooperation deal over the giant hydroelectric dam which will lie on a tributary of the river Nile, at the time tensions had risen over regional water supplies. The leaders said the “declaration of principles” would pave the way for further diplomatic cooperation on the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has stirred fears of a regional resource conflict. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban World bank on African countries debts stock [Business Africa] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:52:48 +0000 IMF on Africa’s debt The International Monetary Fund has raised concerns about the debt burden of some African countries between 2010 and 2016. The issue was brought to the table during the just ended World Bank annual meeting held to discuss poverty reduction, economic development and finance. The burden -which affects mostly sub Saharan African countries clouds the emergence ambition of the nations concerned. Afolake Oyinloye Actors in agricultural production up their game in packaging [Business Africa] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:27:51 +0000 Packaging Agricultural products African investors have been urged to improve the packaging of their produce if they hope to meet international standards and attract more customers. The need to give more value to ‘Made in Africa’ goods was discussed during a recent 6th edition of an International Agricultural Fair in Togo. Diamonds, the new gold for rich investors Some good news for diamond investors following the invention of a credit-sized device containing a chip that allows the immediate measurement of its value based on exchange trading and instant authentication. The move puts to an end to long years of frustration among diamond dealers . Take a look! Afolake Oyinloye UN Envoy meets leaders of Polisario Front in Algeria Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:08:00 +0000 The new Uited Nation envoy for the disputed Western Sahara, Horst Koehler, has met with leaders of the Algerian-backed independence movement in a bid to get stalled peace talks back on track. The former German president is tasked with mediating the decades-old dispute, met with leaders from the Polisario Front in Algeria where they are based. “I came to listen to both sides of the conflict, to see firsthand the conditions in the refugee camps and to better understand the issue and more importantly to make my personal assessment”. Horst Koehler, New UN Envoy, Western Sahara. The meeting is part of a fresh push by the United Nations to resolve one of Africa’s longest-running territorial disputes, which saw the Polisario Front wage a bitter 16-year insurgency against Moroccan control. “I expect the visit of the envoy to put pressure on the United Nation’s Secretary-General and especially the Security Council, so that a date is set for us to organise a referendum on our independence”. Rachid Mostafa Said, Saharawi Minister. “We have expressed our full readiness, since the first day of his appointment to help each other and work with him on the principle that the question of Western Sahara is in fact very clear according to law it is a question of self-determination”. Katri Adouh, Speaker, Saharawi Parliament. A UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991 halted the fighting, but Morocco insists the phosphate-rich region is an integral part of its kingdom. Western Sahara is the only territory on the African continent whose post-colonial status has still not been resolved Eric Oteng Libyan's enjoying horse racing to escape chaos in the country Thu, 19 Oct 2017 18:10:17 +0000 In the shade of the pines and eucalyptus trees, a young rider wraps himself in his “jard”, a large white sheet, before mounting a horse for racing. In Zawiya, a city located 45 kilometers west of Tripoli, horse racing plays a central part in the lives of the people here. These races are held every Friday, which is a non-working day in the country . The horse races allows Libyans to forget the daily violence and chaos associated with the country all be it for a couple of hours. Hussein al-Marmouri, horse rider “I like the traditional riding, it has been my passion since childhood. This sport was practiced by our parents and grandparents. I hope that the general public will practice it too. “ Ali al-Hadi, horse rider “Horseback riding is in our blood, our children and the whole family love it.” Their passion for the sport defies the insecurity and the risks involved in travelling hundreds of kilometers with their horses. The atmosphere at the racing ground is very evident which attracts the young and old. These horsemen mount their horses in shiny dresses adorned with shimmering ornaments, including traditional Libyan saddles. The popularity of these races have helped to boost the local craft industry that manufactures the saddles and adorable ornaments, a feat in a country where violence has shut down many businesses. “In the past, they were used by our ancestors during the Italian invasion, they fought on horseback and had special stools. Then, the stools evolved and were used in celebrations, events and parties. “ Ibrahim Sueidan, manufacturer of traditional saddles Combining leather, velvet and felt, these “jewels” of Libyan craftsmanship are embroidered with silver plates. The price of a saddle also depends on the percentage of silver used for decoration, artisans use more and more copper and aluminum in an attempt to limit costs. Despite this surge in prices, demand for these stools has not weakened. Eric Oteng South Africa may avoid downgrades to junk in November - Reserve bank governor Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:44:36 +0000 A narrowing current account deficit, improving economy and stable inflation should help South Africa avoid credit rating cuts in November, central bank governor, Lesetja Kganyago said in an interview, playing down concerns over the most recent cabinet reshuffle. Growth in Africa’s most industrialised economy has slowed to a near standstill in recent years, hit by corruption and a lack of progress on sorely needed reforms. Bitter infighting within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has also sapped investor confidence and thwarted efforts to create jobs and reduce widespread poverty. “The engagements that we had with the rating agencies, we were able to deal with the credit concerns that they had raised,” Kganyago said. Kganyago and Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba met the ratings agencies on the sidelines of International Monetary Fund meetings last week in Washington, hoping to convince investors that the economy is on the mend despite the tensions in the ANC. The central bank targets inflation of between 3 and 6 percent. Despite a slight rise in September to 5.1 percent, Kganyago sees price growth remaining within the target range for the next two years. The three major international ratings agencies – Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global – all downgraded South Africa’s sovereign credit rating after President Jacob Zuma fired respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan in an abrupt cabinet reshuffle in March. “Uncertainty can’t be a new normal. We have got to clear the uncertainty, restore business and deal with the credit concerns that we had identified – we have got the ability to put this economy back on a growth trajectory,” the Reserve bank governor said. Fitch and S&P now rate South Africa’s foreign-currency rating in sub-investment, or “junk”, territory. But only Fitch has the country’s local-currency rating in junk. But with Moody’s and S&P expected to review South Africa’s local-currency credit rating in November, some foreign investors are nervous. If both downgrade the country to junk, that could trigger massive outflows from South African bonds of up to $12 billion. South Africa’s central bank cautious about more rate cuts #263Chat #Twimbos #NewsDay #Zimbabwe— 263Chat 🇿🇼 (@263Chat) October 18, 2017 Kganyago has headed the South African Reserve Bank since 2014, and his team has been praised for its credible response to high inflation and low growth amid the political turmoil. Dibie Ike Michael Cameroon president preaches patriotism amid Anglophone crisis Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:28:22 +0000 Cameroonian president Paul Biya is urging citizens to remain patriotic irrespective of what people may think about it. According to him, it was a mark of responsible citizenship. A terse statement on his official social media handles posted on Wednesday October 18 read as follows: “Patriotism is a virtue that some people might wrongly consider outdated. Even today, it remains a mark of responsible and nobly asserted citizenship for the nation.” The message was accompanied by a smiling photo of the leader who is currently on vacation since he left the United Nations General Assembly in September. The president’s quote comes at a time when tensions remain high in the country’s English-speaking regions. In what has become known as the ‘Anglophone crisis,’ people in the North West and South West regions of the central African country are pushing for independence. The resultant protests which started months back has resulted in deaths, injuries to scores of people and mass arrests of protesters. The height of the clashes was on October 1 when a symbolic declaration of independence under the Ambazonia republic was planned. The government had deployed heavy security presence to the regions to face off the separatists. There has been widespread calls for the government to engage leaders of the restive region in dialogue. The president in his last address on the crisis condemned the violence. The government has, however, defended the security forces over the level of force used during protests. I strongly condemn all acts of violence, regardless of their sources and their perpetrators […]: #PaulBiya #Cameroon— President Paul Biya (@PR_Paul_Biya) October 1, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Pics of the day: October 18th, 2017 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 13:59:11 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Nigeria: CitiServe launches OrangeBox 7210 Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:46:57 +0000 CitiServe Limited, a member of the Vigeo group Limited recently launched its OrangeBox™ 7210 in Lagos, Nigeria.. Citiserve is a technology enabled distribution company with focus on enterprise solutions and payment services that make life easier. The company provides e-business solutions for the industry, developing applications for e-transactions, bill payments and numerous value added services. In a statement by the Managing Editor, ITPulse , martin Ekpeke he said this in turn would provides income, facilitates cashless payments via bank cards on the PoS and other touch points. Industry experts described CitiServe as a dominant payment and distribution platform for products and services. They achieved this status by offering radically superior value for stakeholders in terms of product service, delivery and speed. This belief and achievement is conspicuously embedded in their vision. The OrangeBox™, Introduced in 2011, a part of Central Bank of Nigeria cashless roll-out, is the preferred POS terminal modeled for the climate of Nigeria with its strong external shell for accidental drops. The system has a very strong transceiver to pick weak signals for GPRS networks (MTN, Etisalat, Glo, and Airtel) with options for other POS communication including Wi-Fi, LAN and dual SIM. To further strengthen its market base and its ever growing appetite to bring ease of financial transaction to their growing customers/consumers, CitiServe recently introduced the Orangebox™ 7210. The launch of the new spectacle in the world of e-payment at Four Points by Sheraton recently, was witnessed by representatives of virtually all the banks in Nigeria, Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) and other captains of the industry. The new OrangeBox™ 7210 box is a high performance multiple hold terminal and has the capacity to support multiple tasks and application. Several breath-taking components makes the OrangeBox™ 7210, a dream come true for e-payment services. The new OrangeBox™ 7210 with its attractive features lends credence to Citi Serve’s drive to be known as a base for innovative ideas and this assertion was echoed by the industry bigwigs that graced the launch. Those that shared their thoughts were unanimous on how CitiServe sets the standard and then go above it again and again with strategic innovation in its product features. OrangeBox™ 7210 is poised at delivering superior value to our stakeholders-banks, billers, merchants and the consumers. Through market insight and understanding, CitiServe developed the OrangeBox™7210, a robust, dynamic and efficient PoS machine unparalleled in today’s PoS industry. With the launch of the Orangebox7210, e-payment is set to experience a new dawn as it hits the market to give uncommon services to consumers and customers alike. The Chief Operating Officer, Jubril Salaudeen said “the CitiServe Orangebox was built on innovation and will stick with this belief in satisfying its consumers as long as e-payments operate in Nigeria and innovation will not be compromised”. CitiServe also used the opportunity of the launch to introduce its Retail platform. The OrangeBox™ Retail platform is a digital distribution platform that creates and delivers value, through the chain to the last mile by providing income opportunities in the sale of e-products via the OrangeBox™ point-of-sales device and on-time and in-full product delivery to the consumer. Dibie Ike Michael Singer, ex-MP accuses South African FA boss of raping her 24 years ago Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:41:54 +0000 The President of the South African Football Association Danny Joordaan has been accused by singer and former Member of Parliament Jennifer Kestis Ferguson of raping her 24 years ago in a Port Elizabeth hotel after a performance. The Sweden-based accuser said she was inspired to speak out by a social media campaign hashtag #MeToo which is urging women to come forward with their allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. “...he entered and without a word grabbed me and forced me onto the bed from behind. He overpowered me and painfully raped me. It must have been over in about 20 seconds although it felt like a lifetime. He left immediately without saying a word,” she alleged in a blog post on Wednesday. She said the 1993 incident happened after singing at a dinner for sports officials where he invited her for a drink and later joined her in her hotel suite when she wanted to change from her performance dress. “The thought of going to the police felt intolerable. What would I say? Should I have screamed louder? Fought him off harder? Had I been complicit in some way? All these questions raged in my mind. I wept,” she wrote. Jennifer Kestis Ferguson later became a member of parliament like Joordan and “I would see him at many political gatherings thereafter, in the corridors of the parliament, in our caucus. He would never meet me in the eye. Slide away as fast as possible”. She said the reason she is disclosing it now is “partly because we need to understand how hard it is to come forward and speak out … Survivors of abuse do not need to feel any shame, anymore.We are not to blame. We are not guilty of anything”. She added that her alleged rapist used her as “an object for his sad need for power and twisted gratification. I was not a person to him. Where men in leadership positions…have all been entrusted with power, yet it is especially in these terrains that there is a concentrated and distorted culture of abuse. This needs to be changed. The abuse needs to stop!!!” Jennifer Kestis Ferguson made it clear that she is not speaking out as a form of revenge but to help others to be courageous and begin to heal. “I am not speaking out to get revenge on Danny Jordaan or a million South African men like him. I am doing this so we can help each other be courageous, speak out and begin to heal as we find we are not alone. I know there are many of us out there,” she said. Danny Joordan has not yet responded to the allegations. Ismail Akwei Nivea downplays racism accusation over skin-lightening cream ad in Ghana Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:44:10 +0000 Producers of Nivea skin care products have responded to accusations of racism over billboard and television adverts of a skin-lightening cream promising “visibly fairer skin”. The advert showing former Miss Nigeria Omowunmi Akinnifesi using the body lotion to lighten her skin created a lot of outrage after pictures of the billboard ad in Ghana was shared online. Dear Nivea, Kindly take down these billboards you have placed all over our beloved countries in Africa. I saw this one with my own eyes today in Ghana and we love our complexion the way it is. And if you don’t take these down. We will. Every African everywhere should stop buying any Nivea product. Tag the Nivea branch from your country so they understand how foolish this is! With love #PULLITDOWNNOW Nivea_uk NiveaUSA reggierockstone711 Sarkodie r2beesmusic A post shared by Fuse ODG (fuseodg) on Oct 17, 2017 at 7:06am PDT Beiersdorf, the parent company of Nivea said in a statement published on Facebook on Thursday saying: “We recognize the concerns raised by some consumers regarding a NIVEA product communication in Ghana and take them very seriously. Our intention is to never offend our consumers”. “We acknowledge every consumer’s right to choose products according to their personal preferences, and we are guided by that to responsibly provide them with high-quality skin care product choices,” the statement added without any apology. Nivea. Colour Blind— C-Real 🇬🇭 (@C_RealMC) October 19, 2017 Nivea had faced a similar attack in the United States in April after posting a deodorant ad on Facebook that declared “White Is Purity”. The German company pulled down the ad after people called the slogan racist and others hijacked the ad’s online campaign with comments about white supremacy. Social media has been busy since Wednesday with condemnation of the recent ad including campaigns from African social influencers and musicians like UK-based Ghanaian singer Fuse ODG who is calling for the “self-hate” billboards to be taken down. For those of u claiming the word “fairer” mean beautiful TakeDown ya SelfHate billboards in Africa. #BlackIsBeautiful Nivea_UK NiveaUSA— Fuse ODG (@FuseODG) October 18, 2017 The racism row follows a similar accusations leveled against Dove over a Facebook advert showing a black model turning white after using their body wash. A screenshot of the ad went viral and several people took to twitter to criticise the beauty brand. Dove apologised for the ad saying the image “missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully”. The black model in the ad said it was taken out of context because the campaign was “supposed to be about all skin types deserving gentleness”. The full #Dove ad has been uploaded— HĪP MAGAZINE (@HIPWEEKLY) October 9, 2017 Below are some reactions on Twitter against the Nivea ad in some African countries.— Nana Beni JahSeed (@nanabeni77) October 19, 2017 Are they trying to tell us darker means ugly #StopBleaching#Blackisbeautiful— HSG_c.o.b Barça🇬🇭 (@asarenanakusiv1) October 18, 2017 niveauk get out of our beautiful continent— Michael K (Rumpel1) October 18, 2017 This is why black businesses need to rise up and cater for our needs. Nivea can’t get away with pushing this skin lightening agenda across Africa. Appalling.— William Adoasi (@WilliamAdoasi) October 18, 2017 NIVEA BE LIKE Staff 1: is a good idea? Staff 2: Nope but we’ll make money 😍 Staff 1: Yep we can apologize later 😉— Efo Dela (@Amegaxi) October 18, 2017 Why do these so called ‘Beauty Companies’ LOVE to promote self hate within the Black Community??!!?? Bun Nivea 🚶🏽‍♀️— Melody Kane (@DJMelodyKane) October 18, 2017 Cancelling Nivea won’t change the fact that there are people actively seeking bleaching products. That’s what is really concerning.— Ronke Lawal (@ronkelawal) October 18, 2017 My brother is using now to make himself white. Stupid cream for real #Ghana— Yao Noah Nash (@nashmessiah) October 19, 2017 Anti blackness & white supremacy are global we need to look at the roots of why people bleach, Nivea are catering to a demand.— GHANA’S FINEST (@Ghanasfinestx) October 18, 2017 ...tell the people who hate dark people to stop, then I will stop bleaching.” Colorism is real yo. And it is not Nivea’s fault or making.— Elnathan John (@elnathan_john) October 19, 2017 That cream is for dark people oo it makes ur skin smooth and not fair— Senõrita Hemans (@senorita_hemans) October 18, 2017 But Nivea doesn’t bleach I have been using for the past 6yr— Rashidat zeba (@RashidatuZeba) October 18, 2017 Massa no one is putting guns down your throat to purchase it …it’s a matter of choice— Uncle Morgan (@MorganUncle) October 19, 2017 Ismail Akwei Burkina Faso remembers "Africa's Che", renew calls for justice [no comment] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 14:06:12 +0000 Hundreds of demonstrators marched in the streets of the Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou on Sunday (October 30th), to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the assassination of former president Thomas Sankara, a charismatic Marxist revolutionary who gained a reputation as “Africa’s Che Guevara”. Uganda confirms one case of Marburg virus similar to Ebola Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:28:14 +0000 Uganda has confirmed one case of Marburg virus, a highly infectious haemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, the health minister said on Thursday. Jane Ruth Aceng told reporters the case had been confirmed after “a series of tests” but did not give details. The East African nation last suffered a Marburg outbreak in 2014. Marburg is from the same family of viruses as Ebola, which killed thousands in West Africa in 2014. Two killed in protest against extension of Ugandan president's rule Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:48:39 +0000 Two people died as police fired bullets and teargas to disperse a crowd of opposition supporters rallying on Wednesday against plans to extend Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s rule. Police have broken up a series of protests in recent days against a bill to let the 73-year-old president stand again in 2021 elections – the constitution currently sets an age limit for candidates at 75. Rights organisations and activists have criticised moves by several other long-serving African rulers, notably in Rwanda, Burundi and Burkina Faso, to stay in power by extending term limits. Police spokesman Elly Maate earlier said one person died after officers fired bullets in the air to disperse a crowd gathering for what he called “an illegal rally” near a stadium in the southwestern town of Rukungiri. Opposition party member Ingrid Turinawe and a local government official both said two men died. Turinawe said a bullet also struck a vehicle carrying opposition leader Kizza Besigye. He was not hurt but an image showed a gaping hole in the rear window of his vehicle. A Museveni-allied legislator introduced the bill to remove the presidential age limit last month. Museveni met MPs backing the measure last week and for the first time openly expressed his support for the legislation, several local media outlets reported. Nobody eats potential, Africa's savannah needs to feed the world - AfDB president Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:24:38 +0000 The African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has stressed the need for Africa’s vast savannah lands to be developed to achieve global food security. The 2017 World Food Prize Laureate said the world needs to help Africa to rapidly modernise its agriculture and unlock its full potential to feed the world. “There is therefore absolutely no reason for Africa to be a food-importing region. Africa has huge potential in agriculture, but, as Dr. Borlaug used to say, nobody eats potential! ... Unlocking that potential must start with the savannas of Africa,” Adesina said during a lecture on World Food Day. Africa’s savannas cover “a mind-boggling 600 million hectares of which 400 million hectares are cultivable … African farmers need more than a helping hand. They need a policy lift,” he said at the Norman Borlaug Lecture in the United States under the theme: Betting on Africa to Feed the World. Adesina compared Africa’s savannahs to those of Brazil and Thailand that feed the world despite their acidic soils that need liming at massive scales before cultivation can be done. “While the savannas of Brazil feed the world, those of Africa cannot even feed the farmers there. Policy support and massive investments in infrastructure made the difference to turn the savannahs of Brazil and those of Northern Thailand into a food powerhouse,” he added. He called for the development of new agrarian systems, land tenure systems and land tax for unused agricultural land to provide incentives for faster agricultural commercialization. Africa spends US $35 billion annually on food imports and estimated to spend US $110 billion by 2030 if the trend continues. Adesina stressed that despite progress in global food production, the world has 700 million people languishing in extreme poverty, including 800 million with chronic hunger, 2 billion people with micronutrient deficiency, and 150 million children under 5 years who are stunted. The AfDB president won the 2017 World Food Prize in June. He is the fifth African to take home the $250,000 prize for advancing human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Ismail Akwei Ghanaian journalist cycles from Denmark to UK to champion safe migration Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:28:41 +0000 Globally, illegal migration remains a historic human phenomenon that continues to worry humanity and world leaders alike. There has always been a wave of refugees mostly from Africa trying to enter Europe illegally. Many of these in the last couple of years have been held up at the Calais “jungle” in Calais-France. To champion safe migration for Africans, Kwame Nyantakyi Oti, an award-winning Ghanaian journalist studying War and Conflict Journalism at Swansea University cycled from Denmark to Swansea in the United Kingdom. During his 888.5 miles trip, he passed through Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, and Calais in France. ‘‘It is important that you don’t end up in places like Calais. If you want to migrate, I am not saying people should not migrate, because migration has been with human beings since the beginning of time. It is important to go through the right channels to migrate,” he told Africanews’ Ignatius Annor. At the Calais refugee camp, he had a firsthand experience of the conditions of the refugees trying to enter Europe. Oti said the world has forgotten about refugees here after the camp gained fame for its closure in 2016. ‘‘There are about 200 people who live in what used to be the Calais jungle. It is a jungle literally because they live in the forest day and night. And there are no tents, they live under deplorable conditions. The only way by which they survive is through the kindness of some Red Cross officials whom I happen to have seen when I visited Calais. “And this trip has shown me that Calais is something we need to talk about. In the minds of the world, Calais does not exist, but in reality it does. There are people there who need our help. Regardless of the conditions under which they migrated. “I think that it is an aberration on the conscience of people that we allow our fellow human beings to be under the conditions that they are in Calais. We need to have that conversation,” he said. Some 6,400 migrants were evacuated from the encampment in 170 buses in 2016. The migrants were mostly from Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia. He spent 19 days on the journey with two other friends; Sophia Jessen and Stefan Weichart. Oti concurs that the trip wasn’t all rosy as they had to endure rains, cold and storm; but his mission to champion safe migration for Africans would not stop him. The award-winning Ghanaian journalist has about 10 years experience working across the African continent. In 2016, Oti left Ghana to pursue further studies in Europe. His work focuses on Development, Politics and Tourism. Ignatius Annor Uncertainty deepens over Kenya's electoral crisis [The Morning Call] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:30:47 +0000 The Kenyan Electoral Commission (IEBC) has questioned the possibility of holding a credible presidential election on the 26th of October, while the opposition called for demonstrations on the day of the election. The announcement from the IEBC has cast doubts on the possibility that the October 26 rerun will hold after the cancellation of the August 8 presidential poll. Earlier on Tuesday, an election commissioner, Roselyn Akombe, resigned and left Kenya, saying her staff was facing intimidation and threats. Debate over media coverage of Somalia attacks grow [The Morning Call] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:05:29 +0000 Somalia’s three-day national mourning period for victims of the terrorists attack it suffered over the weekend is coming to an end. The attack on the horn of Africa nation is the deadliest terrorist attack experienced in Somalia since islamist militant group al shabaab began carrying out attacks in the nation since 2007. The death toll from that saturday bombing is now said to have risen to more than 320. Dozens are missing, hospitals are running out of blood and anger is growing. But there is also something else that is fuelling anger? Many on social media are not satisfied with the response to the events in Mogadisghu; bringing to fore yet again the debate on world information flow imbalance on third world countries. Press review [The Morning Call] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:00:31 +0000 Hannane Ferdjani has got the headlines from some of the papers across the continent. UN chief insists on sending extra 900 peacekeepers to CAR Thu, 19 Oct 2017 08:04:05 +0000 Amid a U.S. push to cut United Nations peacekeeping costs, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday he hoped the U.N. Security Council would agree to send an extra 900 troops to protect civilians in Central African Republic. Guterres, who will visit Central African Republic next week, told reporters that while peacekeepers had “helped avert the worst” when mass atrocities were being committed in the country five years ago, the situation remained “very troubling.” “Across the country, communal tensions are growing. Violence is spreading. And the humanitarian situation is deteriorating,” Guterres said. “There is a need to increase the capacity of our troops in Central African Republic to protect civilians.” “I am convinced there will be a very positive understanding of all the members of the Security Council, including the United States of America, in relation to this,” he said. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias. Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked this year and the United Nations warned that ethnic fighting could descend again into a much larger conflict. U.N. peacekeepers were deployed in 2014 and the Security Council is due to renew the mandate for the mission of more than 12,000 troops and police by mid-November. In a report to the council on Tuesday, Guterres recommended an extra 900 troops. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley has led a push to cut peacekeeping costs and is reviewing each operation as annual mandates come up for renewal by the Security Council. President Donald Trump wants to cap the U.S. share of the peacekeeping bill at 25 percent, down from 28.5 percent, a level he says is “unfair.” The United States is a veto-wielding member of the council, along with Britain, France, Russia and China. There are currently more than a dozen peacekeeping missions with a total annual budget of more than $7.3 billion. Guterres has pledged to make U.N. peacekeeping more efficient but has noted that the current budget to fund it is less than one half of 1 percent of global military spending. U.N. peacekeepers in Central African Republic have also been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse that the world body has been working to address. “I am pained that some peacekeepers are alleged to have committed egregious acts of sexual exploitation and abuse against the people of the Central African Republic,” Guterres said. Reuters Four killed in clash with Togo security forces as protesters defy ban Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:49:44 +0000 Four people were killed in Togo on Wednesday in clashes between security forces and demonstrators calling for an end to a half century of Gnassingbe family rule, the security minister said. Opposition activists have been demonstrating since August against Gnassingbe’s administration and say a constitutional reform he has proposed would allow him to rule the West African country until 2030. Colonel Damehame Yark, the security and civil protection minister, told a news conference that one person was shot dead and around sixty others arrested in the capital, Lome. Another three died of gunshot wounds in the second-biggest city, Sokode. “These are too many deaths. We’d be wise to preserve the peace,” he said. The latest bout of protests followed the arrest in Sokode on Monday of a Muslim imam accused of urging his followers to murder soldiers. Clashes erupted after the arrest. A crowd killed two soldiers and one other person died in unspecified circumstances, the government said in a statement. About 20 other people were injured, it added. The deaths reignited a mass protest movement against President Faure Gnassingbe, who succeeded his late father Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2005. The protesters are calling for his resignation. “We deplore this toll and we say that backing down is out of the question. Despite what we have suffered, we will maintain our call for protests tomorrow,” said Brigitte Adjamagbo, one of the leaders of the opposition movement. She said the coalition was aware of two people killed, including an 11-year-old child, as well as twenty others who were seriously injured and dozens of arrests. In a bid to curb demonstrations, the government has banned marches and mass protests on weekdays. But young protesters in Be, a working-class neighbourhood in eastern Lome, defied the ban on Wednesday. They erected barricades with bricks and burning tyres and threw stones at security forces, who responded with volleys of tear gas. “This is our last bastion,” shouted one demonstrator, Ayi Koffi. “We have no arms, no gas. We do not have cars to pick up people. We have come out barehanded to say, enough!” In a statement, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, a group comprised mainly of French-speaking countries including Paris’s former colonies, said that nothing justified the violence. “Dialogue must be prioritised in all circumstances,” it said. The controversial constitutional reform will be decided by popular referendum after the bill failed to win approval from parliament following a boycott by opposition lawmakers last month. Reuters Thousands of Somalis protest against deadly bombings Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:59:37 +0000 Thousands of Somalis demonstrated on Wednesday against those behind bombings that killed more than 300 people, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site where their loved-ones were killed. The twin blasts in the heart of Mogadishu on Saturday also injured more than 400 in what were the country’s deadliest truck bombings. Police initially opened fire to prevent people from accessing the rubble-strewn scene of the attack, injuring at least two people, the emergency response service said. But, overwhelmed by the number of people, they eventually let thousands of protesters gather at the site. Residents said they had never seen such a big protest in the city. “We are demonstrating against the terrorists that massacred our people. We entered the road by force,” said Halima Abdullahi, a mother who lost six of her relatives in the attacks. The Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which began an insurgency in 2007, has not claimed responsibility, but the method and type of attack – a large truck bomb – is increasingly used by the al Qaeda-linked organisation. Mohamed Ali, a police captain at the scene, said it was fine for protesters to access the site to express their grief. “For some who could not see their relatives alive or dead, the only chance they have is to at least see the spot where their beloved were killed,” he told Reuters. Later President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed addressed demonstrators at a football field in the city and called on Somalis to join the national army. “Take your guns and let’s liberate our country. Come forward for recruitment (into) government forces in order to fight and eliminate al Shabaab,” he said. The government buried at least 160 of those killed because they could not be identified after the blast. Masked security officers kept an eye on the protest on foot and on motorbikes. Some protesters sat on police trucks waving sticks and chanting: “We do not want al Shabaab”. The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory. But they retain the capacity to mount large bomb attacks. Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs. In the central town of Dusamareb, residents also marched for several hours to protest against the bombings in Mogadishu and clerics called for the war on the militants to be stepped up. Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulances, said one pregnant demonstrator was evacuated from the Mogadishu protest after she developed complications. “The other two were also demonstrating. They were injured by bullets which the police fired to disperse the demonstrators who wanted to enter the blast scene by force,” he said. Reuters FBI opens investigation into South Africa's Guptas - report Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:02:53 +0000 The FBI has opened an investigation into U.S. links to South Africa’s Guptas, escalating a scandal over the family’s alleged use of a friendship with President Jacob Zuma to control state businesses, the Financial Times said on Thursday. The newspaper, which cited “people familiar with the matter”, said U.S. investigators had been looking at individuals, bank accounts and companies in the U.S. for ties to alleged graft involving the family. It gave no further details. The Gupta family and Zuma have denied any wrongdoing. Reuters Tourism in the face of extremism [Travel] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 10:54:37 +0000 In light of the recent events in Somalia where more than 300 people were killed and hundreds more seriously injured in the worst-ever attack the country has ever experienced, we take a look at tourism in the face of extremism. As the world comes together to condemn this heinous act and offer support to the war torn country, we will focus on the positive steps Somalia has made over the years. Somali tourism could be an oxymoron. The two rarely go hand in hand as it is currently considered a very dangerous country to visit. As a result, the governments of most developed nations advise their citizens to avoid all travel to the country. Nonetheless, last month, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s added Somalia as its 157th member state. The Somali tourism industry is growing fast, which helps in job creation, cultural exchanges and economic growth that the country desperately needs right now. Elayne Wangalwa explains more on this week’s travel segment. Italy breaks up a Libyan gang smuggling low quality fuel into Europe Thu, 19 Oct 2017 04:22:05 +0000 Italian police have broken up Libyan fuel-smuggling ring accused of trafficking €30 million euros’ worth of low-quality diesel into Italy and Europe and selling it at the standard price. A Libyan, nicknamed the ‘boss’, and linked to the Sicilian mafia, used small boats to steal fuel from a refinery in Zawiya, a port city 40 kilometres west of Tripoli. The fuel, stolen from Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), was then transported through purposely modified fishing boats off the coast of Malta. After being transferred onto oil tankers it was taken to the Italian port of Augusta in Sicily. Carmelo Zuccaro, chief prosecutor of Catania, said “This oil contains less than one per cent of sulphur. It should be used for bunkering or the refuelling of ships. Instead it was distributed in petrol stations through this illegal network. Many of us might have bought it unwittingly, but clearly it is not petrol that should be used in our cars.” Police, who for the first time used technology capable of listening in on satellite phones documented 30 voyages in which more than 80 million kilos of diesel was imported. Six of the gang of nine have been arrested and an international arrest warrant has been issued for the other three, who are abroad. One of the men arrested, Nicola Romeo, has been accused of being a member of the Santapaola clan of the Sicilian mafia, while the Libyan, Fahmi Mousa Saleem Ben Khalifa, is already in custody in Libya on accusations of fuel smuggling. Another Italian man headed a seemingly legitimate company used to distribute the stolen fuel in gas stations in Italy, France and Spain. The Italian company offered its diesel to distributors for up to 60 percent less than market prices. Though the quality of the diesel, which was meant for ships’ engines, was of a lower standard than that used by vehicles in Italy, it was sold at the same price. Fake certificates and a complex network of Maltese companies were allegedly used to hide the real origin of the product. The police investigation followed a United Nations report, published in March 2016, which had highlighted the rapid growth of a petrol trafficking ring in Libya. Ethiopia army banned from Oromia-Somali areas amid peace efforts Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:54:49 +0000 The Ethiopian government has disclosed that the army has effectively been banned from playing any role in the search for peace in a boundary crisis between the Oromia and Somali regional states. Information Minister Negeri Lencho at a press briefing said as part of peace efforts in the wake of recent deadly clashes, the government was tackling the source of the tensions but also actively helping displaced persons with much needed assistance. A high-powered government delegation led by deputy Prime Minister Derneke Mekonnen is said to have visited displaced persons in the town of Dire Dawa, Harar, Hamaresa and Babile, state-affiliated FANA Broadcasting corporate reported. The minister also disclosed that arrests have been made of people believed to be behind the hostilities. He admitted that even though suspects in Oromia have been picked up, the Somali state officials were not showing enough commitment to do same. The inter-state clashes is said to be ethnic in nature even though political, human rights watchers and Oromo activists insist that it has an element of government complicity. Most residents in Oromia believe that the government continues to arm a paramilitary force, the Liyu Police’ located in the Somali region as part of efforts to clamp down on Oromo protesters. Some residents and activists continue to blame the Liyu Police for recent clashes between Oromo and Somali ethnic groups. Despite long-standing talk of resource control fueling the tensions, some residents and activists say the Liyu police are more to blame for recent incidents. Meanwhile, a new wave of anti-government protests continue to gain currency in Oromia – the heartland of similar protests between 2015 – 2016. It led to a state of emergency in October 2016, a six-month measure that eventually lasted 10 months, it was lifted in early August 2017. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Thousands of Somalis defy police to protest against deadly bombings Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:29:18 +0000 Thousands of Somalis demonstrated on Wednesday against those behind bombings that killed more than 300 people, defying police who opened fire to keep them away from the site where their loved-ones were killed. The twin blasts in the heart of Mogadishu on Saturday also injured more than 400 in what were the country’s deadliest truck bombings. Police initially opened fire to prevent people from accessing the rubble-strewn scene of the attack, injuring at least two people, the emergency response service said. But, overwhelmed by the number of people, they eventually let thousands of protesters gather at the site. Residents said they had never seen such a big protest in the city. “We are demonstrating against the terrorists that massacred our people. We entered the road by force,” said Halima Abdullahi, a mother who lost six of her relatives in the attacks. The Islamist militant group al Shabaab, which began an insurgency in 2007, has not claimed responsibility, but the method and type of attack – a large truck bomb – is increasingly used by the al Qaeda-linked organisation. Mohamed Ali, a police captain at the scene, said it was fine for protesters to access the site to express their grief. “For some who could not see their relatives alive or dead, the only chance they have is to at least see the spot where their beloved were killed,” he told Reuters. Later President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed addressed demonstrators at a football field in the city and called on Somalis to join the national army. “Take your guns and let’s liberate our country. Come forward for recruitment (into) government forces in order to fight and eliminate al Shabaab,” he said. The government buried at least 160 of those killed because they could not be identified after the blast. Masked security officers kept an eye on the protest on foot and on motorbikes. Some protesters sat on police trucks waving sticks and chanting: “We do not want al Shabaab”. The militants were driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 and have been steadily losing territory. But they retain the capacity to mount large bomb attacks. Over the past three years, the number of civilians killed by insurgent bombings has steadily climbed as al Shabaab increases the size of its bombs. In the central town of Dusamareb, residents also marched for several hours to protest against the bombings in Mogadishu and clerics called for the war on the militants to be stepped up. Abdikadir Abdirahman, the director of Aamin Ambulances, said one pregnant demonstrator was evacuated from the Mogadishu protest after she developed complications. “The other two were also demonstrating. They were injured by bullets which the police fired to disperse the demonstrators who wanted to enter the blast scene by force,” he said. REUTERS Sierra Leone's 2018 poll takes shape as major candidates are announced Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:46:02 +0000 Sierra Leoneans will go to the polls in 2018 to elect a new president. Incumbent Ernest Bai Koroma is not eligible to stand after serving two consecutive terms. Koroma came to power in 2007 under the aegis of the All People’s Congress (APC), he won a second term in November 2012. The two main candidates aiming for Bai Koroma’s seat are a minister and former junta leader turned politician. The ruling APC has subsequently chosen the current Foreign Minister, Dr Samura Camara, as its candidate for the March 2018 polls. Koroma is on record to have said he is the man to win the elections for the APC in March. BREAKING: #SierraLeone’s ruling APC party have chosen foreign minister, Dr Samura Kamara as their Presidential Candidate.— Umaru Fofana (@UmaruFofana) October 15, 2017 Candidate Samura along with President Bai Koroma and his running mate Chernor Bah, paraded the streets last week after a party congress where they were elected. The main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has also picked a retired brigadier, Julius Maada Bio as its candidate as it aims to return to power after a decade in opposition. #SierraLeone’s main opposition SLPP party have elected Rtd Brig Julius Maada Bio as their Presidential Candidate for next year’s election.— Umaru Fofana (@UmaruFofana) October 15, 2017 Bio beat three others in the primaries with all his contenders pledging to support him wrestle power from the APC. A Reuters journalist in the country, Umaru Fofana, pointed out a political history between the two men dating back to 1996. There was talk of a possible postponement of the elections after a deadly mudslide in August left hundreds dead. The government at the time was said to be considering the imposition of a state of emergency on relief and political grounds. The current development means that move will not be pursued. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Togo opposition to go ahead with protests despite Wednesday's violent clashes Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:59:10 +0000 Togo’s opposition coalition is going ahead with day 2 of anti-government protests despite violent clashes that resulted in severe injuries to protesters on Wednesday, October 18. Armed police were deployed yesterday to known starting points of the protests but that did not stop people coming out to the streets for the first day of a two-day protest called by the opposition last week. The government officially banned weekday protests as it put in, in the interest of public security, but the protesters defied the order. In the capital, Lome, there were clashes between security forces and protesters leading to the firing of tear gas and live bullets. Activists say three people were hit by bullets – among them an 11-year-old boy. There was a social shutdown of sort as shops closed in most parts of the country and most roads were deserted. There were several road blocks as people set fires in the middle major roads. Wednesday’s clashes came on the back of violent scenes in the northern town of Sokode where state agents reportedly arrested an Imam who is closely allied to an opposition chief, Tikpi Atchadam. Imam Alpha Alhassane’s arrest led to widespread clashes led to burning of public and private facilities in towns across the country. The coalition confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that three people had been killed. Reports indicated that the tension spread to other cities including Tchamba, Bafilo, Kpalimé, Agoényne and the capital Lome. The opposition are calling for incumbent Faure Gnassingbe to immediately step down as president. They say they want an end to a family dynasty that has ruled the West African nation for the last fifty years. Faure’s father Eyadema ruled for 38 years till his death in 2005. Faure took over and has been in charge for the last twelve years. His current mandate runs till 2020 when he is eligible to run for another term because there are no term limits. Key among the opposition demands are a restoration of two term limits and two-round voting system. They also are calling for reforms of the constitutional court. A move by government to reinstate term limits has stalled due to an opposition boycott. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ghana to face Mali after beating Niger at FIFA U-17 World Cup Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:51:48 +0000 Ghana’s Black Starlets have qualified for the quarter finals of the ongoing under-17 FIFA World Cup in India. The team beat their Nigerien counterparts in a round-of-16 fixture by two goals to nil to book a date with Mali in the next stage. The match was played at the DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai. Ghana’s goals were scored by captain of the side, Eric Ayiah, who converted a penalty in extra time of the first half. He secured the penalty before going on to convert. In the 80th minute Ayiah got another chance to double his tally from the spot but failed. Nine minutes later, Richard Danso, who had joined the action only five minutes prior wrapped up the game after scoring Ghana’s second. In the other round of 16 fixture, Brazil dismissed Honduras by an emphatic three – zero result to also progress. 89* G⚽⚽⚽L! GHANA! Call him the super sub, RICHARD DANSO doubles the lead. Ghana 🇬🇭 2-0 🇳🇪 Niger#GoGhana #BlackStarlets #FIFAU17WC— Ghana FA 🇬🇭 (GFA) (@ghanafaofficial) October 18, 2017 The Ghana team thrashed hosts India 4-0 last Thursday to finish top of Group A ahead of Colombia and USA. Niger lost 2-0 to Brazil in their last game but a 1-0 win over North Korea in their opener gifted them three points, just enough to secure passage to the last 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams. REVIEW | #FIFAU17WC 🇬🇭Ghana 2-0 Niger🇳🇪 🇧🇷Brazil 3-0 Honduras🇭🇳 Quarter-final picture completed on Wednesday ➡️— #FIFAU17WC 🇮🇳⚽️🏆 (@FIFAcom) October 18, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Ethiopia PM's ex-top advisor must be prosecuted – E.U. MP Wed, 18 Oct 2017 22:31:25 +0000 Bereket Simon, a former top advisor to Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn must be prosecuted for crimes against Ethiopians. This is the view expressed by a Member of the European parliament, Ana Gomes, after news of the Bereket’s resignation was announced on earlier this week. The Portuguese politician who doubles as a Socialist Member of the European parliament also had hard words for the former advisor to Desalegn in charge of Policy Studies and Research Center. She described him as ‘cynical and a cruel totalitarian,’ during dealings with him. She added, ‘(He) Should be tried for his crimes against Ethiopians.’ It is not known the nature of the dealings both had and what crimes she is referring to. Bereket Simon is 1 of the cynical & cruel totalitarians with whom I have dealt in #Ethiopia. Should be tried for his crimes agst Ethiopians!— (((Ana Gomes, MEP))) (@AnaGomesMEP) October 16, 2017 Ana Gomes, currently a member of the political committee of the socialist party, is known to be someone who frequently speaks on Ethiopia’s politics. She was part of efforts calling on the government to disclose charges against Oromo leader Merera Gudina after his arrest last year. The government communications office on Tuesday confirmed receipt of Bereket’s resignation letter to PM Desalegn. It said his letter gave no reasons for his decision but that his request was being considered. He is leaving a post he has held for the past four years. Local media reports indicate that Simon, a veteran politician with his latest resignation had quit two top positions in just a week. He recently gave up his position as board chairman of the government-owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. A member of the ruling Ethiopia Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), he has served the government in different capacities including as Minister of Communication. The move comes weeks after two major political shifts around the Prime Minister. The Protocol Chief of the PM, Baye Tadesse Teferi, sought asylum in the United States for fear of political persecution. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abadulla Gemeda, also resigned his post following ‘disrespect’ to members of his ethnic group and his party in the ruling party. Ethiopia: U.S. Embassy speaks on recent protest deaths, lauds security restraint Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:59:01 +0000 The United States embassy in Ethiopia has reiterated its belief in the right of Ethiopians to express their views by way of peaceful demonstrations. In its latest statement regarding Ethiopia’s internal security issues, the U.S. expressed admiration and concern in the same statement issued on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Admiration for the manner in which Ethiopian government forces have restrained themselves during recent protests in parts of the Oromia region but also concern about the fact that some reports have pointed to deaths and violence. Their position titled ‘Statement by the U.S. Embassy’ read as follows: “The United States sees peaceful demonstrations as a legitimate means of expression and political participation.  We note with appreciation a number of recent events during which demonstrators expressed themselves peacefully, and during which security forces exercised restraint in allowing them to do so. “We are saddened by reports that several recent protests ended in violence and deaths.  All such reports merit transparent investigation that allows those responsible for violence to be held accountable. “We encourage all Ethiopians to continue to express their views peacefully, and encourage Ethiopian authorities to permit peaceful expression of views.  More generally, we encourage constructive, peaceful, and inclusive national discourse on matters of importance to Ethiopian citizens.” Local media portals over the last two weeks have reported of renewed tension across the Oromia region where anti-government sentiments continue to simmer. Federal security agents killed four people last week. There were a series of protests particularly in the town of Shashamane, about 250km south of the capital, Addis Ababa, leading the U.S. embassy to issue its last security message a week ago. Anti-government #OromoProtests rallies are being reported in Chancho, Jarso, Gebre Guracha, Metu… today #Ethiopia— Addisgazetta (@addisgazetta) October 18, 2017 Somaliland election campaigns kick off with first ever presidential debate Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:36:00 +0000 Self-declared independent state of Somaliland is gearing towards its third presidential election on November 13 in which 704, 089 registered voters are expected to elect a new president. Three candidates are vying to replace the country’s fourth president Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo who withdrew from running for a second seven-year term. The three candidates are former minister Muse Bihi Abdi of the ruling KULMIYE (Peace, Unity and Development Party); veteran politician Faisal Ali Warabe of UCID (Justice and Welfare Party); and then the former speaker of the House of Representatives Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi Irro of Waddani (National Party). They will face off on Wednesday in the Horn of Africa country’s first ever presidential debate. The debate will be televised nationwide to offer the about 4 million Somaliland population an insight into what the candidates have to offer. The organisers of the debate, Inspire Group, said it will serve as an opportunity for the voters to assess the candidates; and also for the candidates to publicly commit to peaceful elections on one stage. “The objective of the debate is to promote inclusive democracy in Somaliland, political level playing field and reduce tensions and tribalism by facilitating the neutral platform where all parties are involved,” said Samir Dualeh, a board member of Inspire Group. Another board member Abdirashed I. Abdirahman said the debate will contribute to the overall legitimacy of the election process as “voters will be able to see issues they are concerned about addressed by candidates and hold them accountable for past actions”. The debate will be followed by the official start of election campaigns from Saturday, October 21 to November 10, the spokesperson for the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (SLNEC), Said Ali Muse, announced on Wednesday. Each candidate has been assigned specific days for campaigns to avoid clashes. #Somaliland: Electoral Commission announce Campaign Schedule starting from 21st October. Each party will have it is own day #SomalilandVotes— Rooble Mohamed (@Rooble2009) October 18, 2017 This election will be the first in the country to utilise the iris-recognition biometric voter registration system at the 1,642 polling stations in the 21 constituencies across the six regions of Somaliland. The elections were scheduled to be held in March but was postponed due to the drought condition in the region. Somaliland has held presidential elections in 2003 and 2010 including a parliamentary election in 2005. Despite its international recognition as the autonomous region of Somalia and not a sovereign state, Somaliland has attracted international interest especially from the European Union and the United Kingdom who are supporting the country to hold credible elections. EU joint mission to Somaliland. Congratulating president Silanyo on progress towards 13 November presidential elections. So far, so good!— Veronique Lorenzo (@VLorenzoEU) October 4, 2017 Election observers are expected from several other countries to witness the process in the country described as the most peaceful in the Horn of Africa region. Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia on May 18, 1991. It has been under pressure to hold talks with Somalia which have so far been futile. Somaliland, with a population of about 4 million, can boast of an army, its own currency and legal system. The territory has been experiencing stability and economic prosperity. It has been influential in the fight against piracy and terrorism in the Horn of Africa. 26 years of diplomatic isolation has made it difficult for Somaliland to have access to loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Ismail Akwei Kenya's elections body says threats on officials will no longer be tolerated Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:13:25 +0000 Kenya’s electoral commission says it will not tolerate political threats and interferences from any party as they prepare to conduct repeat elections on October 26. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati addressed the press hours after the resignation of senior IEBC official Roselyn Akombe. “The very people, the political leaders that are supposed to build the nation have become the greatest threat to the peace and stability of the country. “I will not tolerate the threats on my staff anymore. I will not tolerate the interference in the commission anymore … I will not let the money of the Kenyan people or the development partners go to waste anymore,” he said. Chebukati also ruled out his resignation and assured that he will stay until the electoral process is over. “I know that there are elements who will like nothing more than to hear me announce my resignation at this point. In reality, that will be the easiest thing to do. But we all have to put our country first, and that is why I am determined to make this country work,” he said. The commission earlier expressed regret over the resignation of Roselyn Akombe who had said in a letter that the elections cannot be credible because “the commission has become a party to the current crisis”. We regret the resignation of Commissioner Dr Akombe. We will provide more details in due course— IEBC (@IEBCKenya) October 18, 2017 “The commission is under siege … We need the commission to be courageous and speak out that this election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election,” she added. Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law the electoral reform bill passed by parliament last week. It stipulates among others that if a candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential election, the other one would automatically win. The amendment also limits the ability of the Supreme Court to overturn election results and scraps the minimum requirement to be an electoral commission chairman. It also allows other commissioners to announce the results in the absence of the chairman. Opposition leader Raila Odinga says he has withdrawn from the elections in protest against the amendment and electoral process which he believes will mar the repeat elections. He has refused to sign the withdrawal form. The amendment sparked weekly protests by the opposition NASA supporters who are also calling for a reform at the electoral commission including the sack of CEO Ezra Chiloba and other commissioners for allegedly rigging the August 8 elections in favour of the ruling Jubilee party. Ismail Akwei Kinshasa celebrates Congo Fashion Week [no comment] Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:09:59 +0000 Stylists and designers gathered in Kinshasa, the capital of the DR Congo for the sixth edition of the Congo Fashion Week. The annual Congolese fashion event was held from October 12 to 13, 2017. Pics of the day: October 17th, 2017 Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:16:21 +0000 Africanews samples the best pictures of the day’s news. Armed Togolese soldiers patrol streets ahead of 'illegal' opposition protests Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:23:47 +0000 Togo’s military are out of the barracks and in the streets of the capital Lome and other cities ahead of planned opposition protests on Wednesday which have been banned by the government. At Adewui and the Be-Gakpoto roundabout in Lome where the opposition protest is set to begin, dozens of armed soldiers and gendarmes besieged the area early Wednesday morning, local news portal Ici Lome reports. Militaries and armed militias have been deployed in the streets of Lome by FEGnassingbe</a> to halt the protest scheduled today <a href="">#Togodebout</a></p>&mdash; Farida Nabourema (Farida_N) October 18, 2017 The opposition coalition vowed to hit the streets on Wednesday and Thursday after violent clashes in the northern city of Sokode where public buildings were torched after an Imam aligned to the opposition Pan-African National Party (PNP) was arrested. The government described the agitation and arson which affected the headquarters of the PNP as an act of terrorism. Militants of the ruling party UNIR of FEGnassingbe</a> burnt down the headquarters of the opposition party PNP following unrests. <a href="">#Togodebout</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Farida Nabourema (Farida_N) October 17, 2017 The leader of PNP Tikpi Atchadam and other members of the coalition condemned the arrest of Imam Alpha Alhassane and the action of the security forces who fired teargas to quell the angry protesters. The tension spread to other cities including Tchamba, Bafilo, Kpalimé, Agoényne and the capital Lome. The coalition said in a statement on Tuesday that three people had been killed. “According to the information in our possession, the provisional record would be 3 dead, many seriously wounded, public and private buildings among which houses and seats political parties, burned. “The coalition demands the immediate and unconditional release of the Imam and the arrested, and the immediate cessation of arrests and reprisals against the people. “Welcoming the people’s determination and resistance to oppression once again, the coalition urges them to come out on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th October 2017 in solidarity with the compatriots and to demand more than ever the return to the 1992 constitution…” they said in a statement. Togo banned protests during the weekdays to avoid violence, the interior minister announced last week. The Togolese opposition are calling for a two five-year term limit for presidents as well as a two-round voting system. A bill was tabled before parliament by the cabinet during the early September round of demonstrations to reinstate the term limits which were struck out by the father of Faure Gnassingbe before his death. The opposition rejected the draft bill to modify Article 59 of the constitution which has maintained the exclusion of the clause that says “no one can serve more than two terms”. They believe it is a ploy to allow Faure, who is serving his third term, to attempt a fourth in 2020. Their boycott of parliament on Tuesday blocked the passage of the bill forcing it to be decided in a referendum due to the lack of the needed four-fifths majority. Ismail Akwei Education and poverty eradication Africa [Business]. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 12:48:33 +0000 According to the World Bank, for the past 50 years, the educational level has not grown from generation to generation in developing economies. Nearly half of the individuals born in the 1980s are more educated than their parents, a proportion comparable to those born in the 1960s. In this episode of the Business Segment, Stephane Kugne focuses on the challenges facing the fight against poverty in Africa, as the world marks the 25th Poverty Eradication Day. Togo: Four killed in clashes over religious leader's arrest [The Morning Call] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:17:01 +0000 Togo officials say four people, including two soldiers, have been killed in clashes after the arrest of a religious leader close to an opposition politician on Monday evening. The government said Tuesday that paramilitary forces arrested Mohamed Alassane Djobo on charges of preaching violence and hatred against the military. Djobo is associated with opposition politician Tikpi Atchadam who has led protests calling for presidential term limits. The government said protesters in the central Togo cities of Sokode and Bafilo erected street barricades and set fire to the ruling party headquarters and the homes of government officials. Opposition coalition members alleged ruling party supporters retaliated by burning down the headquarters for Atchadam’s party in Lome. Zuma statue in Nigeria sparks outrage [The Morning Call] Thu, 19 Oct 2017 11:31:21 +0000 Governor of the south eastern state of Imo in Nigeria, Rochas Okorocha has come under heavy attacks for erecting a statue of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa in the state. Okorocha unveiled the giant bronze statue in honour of Zuma, after playing host to the south african leader. The statue is estimated at around 1.2 million dollars. Zuma, in the midst of a big corruption scandal and having survived several impeachment attempts against him had a road named after him in Imo state. He also received a chieftaincy title and the Imo Merit Award, the highest award the south east Nigerian state confers to distinguished individuals. This has sparked outrage in Nigeria with many wondering what Zuma had done to deserve such honor at the expense of salaries of workers that are owed in the state. Drive-by shooting at Cape Town airport leaves two injured, motive unknown Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:01:19 +0000 Two men were injured in a drive-by shooting at South Africa’s Cape Town International Airport, police said on Wednesday. Operations at the airport, which is the second busiest in the country and a tourism hub, were not affected, police spokesman Vish Naidoo told Reuters, adding that the motive for the shooting was unknown. “A man, about 50 years of age, was shot in a drive-by shooting and in the process a bystander, a 30-year-old man, was also hit,” Naidoo said. The shooting took place in the early morning in a public area some distance from the airport’s security gates, Naidoo said. Flights had not been affected, the airport’s general manager Deon Cloete said in a statement. “The shooting scene has been cordoned off while investigations continue,” Cloete said. Local media reported that the shooting was gang-related, but Naidoo could not confirm that was the motive. The airport is Africa’s third busiest and handles around 10 million passengers a year, including tourists and businesspeople commuting to the economic hub Johannesburg. Senior election official flees Kenya, says fresh polls cannot be credible Wed, 18 Oct 2017 13:31:30 +0000 A senior Kenyan election official resigned from her job a week before a repeat presidential election, saying the election board was under siege and could not hold a credible election. Roselyn Akombe, an election board commissioner, or member of its top panel, cited lack of cohesion among its eight members and the secretariat for her decision to leave. “The commission has become a party to the current crisis. The commission is under siege,” she said in a statement issued from New York and dated Tuesday. The election, as planned, fell short of the test of credibility, she added. “We need the commission to be courageous and speak out that this election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election.” Kenyan law requires the repeat election to be held within 60 days of nullification of the original vote. The constitution is silent on what happens if that timeline is not met, sparking fears of a constitutional crisis if next week’s poll does not go ahead. Odinga has called daily demonstrations to protest against the election body. At least three people have been killed in the ensuing melee when the protests turned violent. Kenyatta has accused Odinga of pulling out of the race after sensing defeat and trying to cause chaos to force a negotiated settlement. More than 1,200 people were killed in violence after a disputed presidential election in Dec. 2007. Reuters Togo opposition protests to restart; Canada, U.S. issue security alert Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:09:43 +0000 The Canadian and United States governments on Tuesday issued security alerts to its citizens ahead of fresh opposition protests in Togo. Opposition parties have called for two days of anti-government protests in the country, starting Wednesday October 18 to Thursday the 19th. Today’s protest means that the opposition coalition is defying a government order banning protests during the weekdays. The government last week said protests will be allowed only on weekends. The U.S. termed the rallies as ‘unauthorized’ in line with the government ban but cautioned citizens about being safety conscious of their surroundings at every point. “The U.S. Embassy has received reports that several Togolese opposition political parties have called for unauthorized protests on October 18 and 19, beginning in the morning each day. “Protesters are expected to use a number of routes in areas of central, northern, and northeastern Lomé. Major traffic disruptions are likely in Lomé, and public bus and private taxi services may be interrupted,” the statement read in part. The Canadian alert just like that of the U.S. referenced Tuesday’s violent incident in the northern town of Sokode after the arrest of an Imam. “Political demonstrations occur frequently, especially in Lomé, and can turn violent with little warning. Violent incidents occurred in Sokodé on October 17, 2017, and marches are expected to take place in Lomé on October 18 and 19. “During large-scale demonstrations, telecommunications and transportation can be disrupted. Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities,” the statement read. Opposition parties are calling for an immediate end to the Gnassingbe ruling dynasty that has ruled the country for five decades. Eyadema rules for 38 years till his death in 2005. His son and successor has been in charge for the last twelve years. His current mandate secured in 2015 runs till 2020 when he is eligible for another term. Reforms by the government by way of term limits have been flatly rejected by opposition who want the term limits to apply to incumbent Faure Gnassingbe in retrospect. Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Nigerian State partners Real Madrid; Governor meets Ronaldo, Ramos Wed, 18 Oct 2017 16:49:35 +0000 Nigeria’s Rivers State has entered a partnership with Spanish and European Football giants, Real Madrid for the establishment of an academy in the State. The State Governor, Nyesom Wike, along with other top officials met with a team from the Real Madrid Foundation during a visit to the Spanish capital. The meeting according to reports were held behind closed doors at the Santiago Bernabeu, grounds of the Spanish giants. Governor Wike underscored the impact that sports, especially football, could have on bettering the lot of people in the state. RS GOVERNMENT, REAL MADRID FOUNDATION FINALISE PLANS ON REAL MADRID ACADEMY IN RIVERS STATE— Gov N E Wike. CON (@GovWike) October 17, 2017 “This is the concluding part of the process of establishing a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State. It is our dream to empower our youths through football. Today, you know that football is big business and one of the ways to improve the economy. “This meeting is the height of our deliberation to get the Academy started. We are happy that this has gone on satisfactorily. Rivers youths will reap the benefits of the Academy,” he stressed. A customized jersey with his initials was presented to him by Julio Gonzales, Managing Director of the Real Madrid Foundation. “International Area Manager of Real Madrid Foundation , Rosa Roncal Gimenez lauded the governor for the initiative to set up a Real Madrid Academy in Rivers State. Governor Wike will meet with the Real Madrid President later on Tuesday evening,” a release on his Facebook page read. He had earlier met with a number of Real Madrid stars including Portuguese international, Cristiano Ronaldo and captain of the side, Sergio Ramos. The governor and his team were also in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid to watch the La Liga game between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. REAL MADRID ACADEMY IN RIVERS STATE : GOVERNOR WIKE MEETS RONALDO, SERGIO RAMOS— Gov N E Wike. CON (@GovWike) October 16, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Power of Twitter: Buhari meets three young supporters Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:53:51 +0000 Presidents across the world have busy daily schedules from receiving briefings, issuing orders, leading cabinet meetings, meeting diplomatic and business partners among other responsibilities. But once in a while presidents have taken time off their schedules to engage in some light duties. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari on Monday was caught in one such light duty. The leader of Africa’s most populous nation opened the doors of the presidency for three young fans. Two of whom got the meeting via a Twitter campaign. The third had donated her lunch money for campaign of the then presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari. A presidential personal assistant shared a profile of the three visitors to Aso Villa in Abuja. President Muhammadu Buhari’s guests are here in the Presidential Villa. Maya – 3 years old Aisha – 10 years old Nicole – 12 years old— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 The story of Aisha Aliyu Gebi She wrote a letter to President Buhari – which letter was posted by her uncle on Twitter. She made a request to meet the president in her letter. It read in part; ‘I wanted to ask you if I can come and see you. I’ve always wanted to see a president face to face.’ Her uncle asked for retweets in order to ‘make her dream come true.’ She finally got to meet the president face to face at which occasion she present him with a framed copy of the letter that she had originally written. After receiving the gift he asked of her name and was told Aisha – name of his wife – he responded with laughter, ‘Aisha, my good God!’ My niece wants to see the president MBuhari face to face please make her dream come true . Retweet please— Hussein I.Gebi (dgebis) August 29, 2017 As she wished in her 26/8/17 letter, Aisha Aliyu Gebi has today, met President MBuhari ‘face to face’, she came along with the letter too.— Bashir Ahmad (BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 The story of three-year-old Maya Jamaal In the case of Maya, her father posted a 10 second video of her praying for the health of Buhari at a time when the president was on sick leave in the United Kingdom. In a series of videos posted on Twitter he made several appeals to the personal Twitter handles of Buhari and that of the presidency seeking for his daughter to meet with the president. Maya’s lucky day was tied to that of Nicole and Aisha as the three met with Buhari. In her case, her daddy had to carry a shy Maya to greet the same Buhari she had longed to meet. Little Maya has spent more than 30 minutes with President Muhammadu MBuhari today in his office at the Presidential Villa.— Bashir Ahmad (BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 Maya meets PMB today, she was so shy — Mr. President jokily says; how can you be so shy when your video has been seen all over the world.— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 The story of ‘benevolent’ Nicole Benson In 2014, 9-year-old Nicole Benson of Lagos State donated her lunch money to the president in his capacity as presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). At the time she was accompanied by current Lagos State governor, Akinwumi Ambode. Buhari thus invited her over for a ‘reunion’ of sort. ‘Thank you very much for your contribution,’ Buhari said when he met Nicole for the second time – the first time after her donation three years ago. THROWBACK: 3 years ago, a 9-year old Nicole Benson donated her lunch money to the then APC presidential candidate, General Muhammad Buhari.— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) October 15, 2017 ‘Thank you very much for your contribution’ President MBuhari to Nicole, who donated her lunch money to his campaign team 3 years ago.— Bashir Ahmad (BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 “I am hoping that it will not be the first and last time we will be meeting while I am here. We will continue to meet”. — President MBuhari— Bashir Ahmad (BashirAhmaad) October 16, 2017 Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban