South African Students Clash With Police

south africanA protest over increase in tuition fees in South Africa has gone awry, after the protesting students clashed with the Police.

The fees had been proposed to be hiked between 10 per cent and 12 per cent, and students rejected a government offer to cap tuition fees at six per cent.

So far, 10 South African institutions have been affected by the protests and have shut down academic activity in the meantime.

The students are also calling for free education for the poor, saying this was promised by the African National Congress Government when it took power in 1994.

Reports say that the last time students were on the streets of South Africa protesting, was back in the apartheid era, when they protested against being taught Afrikaans, one of the main languages spoken by the White minority.

Burkina Faso: African Leaders To Mediate With Coup Leaders

Burkina_Faso_ProtestersA day after the military took over power in Burkina Faso, two West African Presidents, Senegal’s Macky Sall and Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, have taken steps to mediate with the leaders of the coup.

The putsch was announced after the presidential guard stormed a cabinet meeting, detaining the Interim President and Prime Minister.

A close ally of ex-President Blaise Compaore has been named the new leader.

World leaders and the African Union (AU) have condemned the takeover.

At least three people have been killed by the presidential guard, RSP, amid protests in the capital, Ouagadougou.

Report says that an unknown number of protesters have also been detained.

Many Dead As Boats Sink Off Libya

libyaHundreds of people are said to have died from the two boats carrying about 500 migrants which sank off Libya.

According to a Libyan official, about 200 people have so far been rescued.

The first of the boats which capsized on Thursday had 50 people on board, while the second was carrying over 400 people.

According to the United Nations (UN), about 2,400 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe this year.

More than 100,000 others are said to have landed in Italy, while another 160,000 have crossed to Greece.

Meanwhile report suggests that more than 1,800 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2015. This is a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014.

Police Parades 30 Suspects, Recovers 10 Vehicles In Ogun

policeAs part of its renewed onslaught against criminals in Ogun state, south-west Nigeria, the Ogun State Police Command has arrested about 30 suspected criminals across the state, including a four-man gang of armed bandits which specialise in snatching vehicles in the state and neighboring states.

Parading the suspects at the state headquarters of the Police Force, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Muyiwa Adejobi said the arrest was made possible with useful information from members of the general public.

Among the arrested suspects are 16 suspected cultists and armed robbers.

The items recovered from them included guns, flat screen TV, arms and ammunition, ten vehicles and fabricated master keys being used by the suspects.

The PPRO informed the public that the command would not relent on the latest determination to reduce crime and criminal tendencies to the barest minimum in the state.

The suspects confessed to the crime as a 34-year-old car dealer claimed to buy the cars between 200,000 and 250,000 naira.

The command has however appealed to members of the general public whose car were stolen to approach the command with prove of evidence and claim their vehicles.

Stop Brain Drain, Obama Tells African Leaders

Barack-Obama-The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has said that African leaders can stop the brain drain in the continent by providing for the youth, the basics of rule of law, democracy, governance and peace.

Obama made the demand on Monday at a meeting with young African leaders of the Mandela Washington fellowship in the United States.

The President also said that many young, talented and well educated people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia were staying away from their countries for lack of confidence in succeeding in their home countries.

He said it was not the wealth of the host countries that keep the young people away, but their quest to have a sense of meaning and belonging in the society they live and grow, an atmosphere he said every government must try to provide for its young people.

In the last few months, deaths of migrants have been recorded in the Mediterranean sea, as they attempt to cross to Europe in search of greener pasture, a development that may have triggered President Obama’s comments.

The influx had forced the European Union consider military operation against human traffickers.

Jidenna Apologises To Nigerians For ‘Kidnap’ Comments

jidennaNigerian-American sensational singer, Jidenna has penned an open letter to Nigerians after coming under fire for kidnap comments he made in a recent interview.

The ‘classic man’ crooner through his official website calls Nigerians his brothers and sisters and says he will always be proud of his Nigerian heritage.

Read the full letter below:

To all my Nigerian brothers and sisters…

I am, always have been, and always will be proud of my Nigerian heritage. I understand the pain and anger caused by some of the comments I made in a recent interview, and I wanted to address you directly. Contrary to popular belief, this interview was not the first in which I mentioned Nigeria. In fact, I’m frequently bragging about how Nigerians attend the world’s most prestigious institutions, and how we are known to produce world class doctors, entrepreneurs, innovators, lawyers, engineers, professors, athletes and artists. Unfortunately, people tend to leave these moments out, and, in this case, highlight stereotypes. I would never do or say anything to intentionally disgrace the legacy of my father nor my fatherland. But to not relay my own story, both the good times and the bad, would be a disservice.

My name is Jidenna, which means “to hold or embrace the father” in Igbo. It was my father who gave me this name and who taught me countless parables, proverbs, and principles that made me the man I am today. These same principles helped me to write the record “Classic Man.” When I brought home a 98 percent on a test, my father would say, “ah ah, where are the other two points? Go and get them, then bring them back.” My father and Nigerian culture has always stood for excellence. While the majority of my childhood memories are beautiful, I also have experienced the challenges that Nigeria has faced since Independence.

When I was 5 years old, my family was robbed at gunpoint, my mother was beaten, family members were kidnapped, and I was shot in my foot. As is the case with all kidnapping, targeting those who are perceived to be wealthy is the objective. In this instance, my father was the target because of his prominence in the community. This was a traumatic experience for my family that would shape our entire lives and our experiences in both Nigeria and America. As a little boy, I swore that I would never let that happen to my family again. As my father often said, “Once you’re bitten by a snake, you‘ll be ready to shoot a lizard!” At the time of my father’s burial 5 years ago, my family in the village was concerned about increased targeting for kidnapping since the rate of abductions had increased dramatically in the area we are from. We were traveling from America, which along with our biracial appearance, had the potential to attract attention and pose a threat to our security. In light of what happened in the past and the tense climate at the time, my family took precautions to ensure our safety. This was not an uncommon protocol at the time. I recognize incidents such as these are not unique to Nigeria or the African continent, and there have been significant improvements in the region since this period.

In the recent interview to which I’ve been referring, I shared my family’s experience traveling from the States back home for the burial. In this interview, I used the term “light-skinned.” When using this term, I was actually referring to my immediate family’s mixed or biracial appearance. See, no matter what language I use to describe my heritage, I’m certain that someone will feel some kind of way. This is a larger discussion not meant for this statement, but certainly derives from our colonial past and postcolonial present, and in the States, from the days of slavery to the present times. My comments about skin tone were related to the notion of perceived wealth and value, not my personal beliefs. My point was never to imply that biracial or “light-skinned” people are the only ones or the most targeted group of people kidnapped, or that I myself was wealthy at the time. Rather than focus on my perceived value, let us continue to focus on the value of Nigeria.

There is no question that Africa is playing a pivotal role in the future of our planet and that Nigeria, with it’s booming economy and burgeoning middle class, is a driving force. I will continue to play my role in the Renaissance taking place in Nigeria and Africa at large. We may not agree on everything, but know my heart is your heart, and my experience is part of our collective experience.

Tunisia To Build Libya Wall To Counter Terror Threat

tunisiaIn order to counter the threat from Jihadist militants, Tunisia has announced plans to build a wall along its border with Libya.

Tunisian Prime Minister, Habib Essid, told reporters that the wall would stretch 160km (100 miles) inland from the coast, and be completed by the end of 2015.

The gunman who killed 38 people in an attack on a beach resort is believed to have received training in Libya.

Tunisia declared a state of emergency following the attack last month where over 30 people were killed.

Mr Essid said that the Tunisian army would build the wall, which would have surveillance centres at certain points along it.

Meanwhile, the Tunisian government has deployed extra security to tourist sites and vowed to close down mosques accused of inciting violence.

Tunisia Attack: Gunman ‘Had Help’ From Others – Interior Ministry

tunisiaTunisia Interior Ministry has revealed that the gunman who killed 38 people at a tourist beach in Sousse, carried out the attack with the help of other people.

The government had increased security measures after the attack, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility for.

It was also confirmed that at least 30 of the dead were from the UK.

UK Police said that 16 officers have been deployed to Tunisia and hundreds more were working on the case in the UK, in one of the largest counter-terrorism investigations since the 2005 London bombings.

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Prime Minister, Habib Essid, said army reservists would be deployed to archaeological sites and resorts, adding that about 80 Mosques accused of “spreading venom” would close within a week.

2015 Elections: Academics, Others Call For Peaceful Polls

ElectionsAppeals have continued to come from different quotas for peaceful polls in the rescheduled March 28 and April 11 general elections.

‎The University of Port-Harcourt Alumni Association, members of the civil society and other concerned individuals on Thursday, asked Nigerians to come out en mass to vote without causing trouble.

They also appealed to security operatives to be on the alert.

‎Acknowledging the transformation agenda of the present administration, the group advised voters not to be intimidated by tension in the atmosphere, noting that they have the freedom to make their choice by going to the polls.

The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff had on the previous day, warned that any one who threatens violence, no matter his position, would be met with organised violence by the Nigerian Army.

Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah stated that the Armed Forces, the Police and other security agencies have made adequate arrangements for security, ahead of the general elections commencing on Saturday.

He urged Nigerians to turn out en masse and vote candidates of their choice without fear for their safety.

Jonathan Reiterates Commitment To Boko Haram Defeat

Jonathan-Boko HaramThe Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has re-emphasised the government’s commitment to fighting the Boko Haram terrorist group, in what may be described as a ray of hope in the fight against insurgency in the nation’s north-east.

President Jonathan, who spoke to BBC in Abuja on Thursday, maintained that the Islamic sect was getting weaker and weaker by the day.

He expressed hopes that all territory seized by the terrorist group would be retaken within a month.

The Nigerian President admitted that the security forces had been slow in their response to the advance of the terrorists in the north-east Nigeria.

President Jonathan also admitted that the authorities “never expected that Boko Haram group would build up that kind of capacity”.

Earlier this week, the Nigerian military said the militants no longer control any urban centres in Yobe and Adamawa, two out of the three worst-affected states in the north-east.

The military also pledged that Borno State, the birthplace of the Boko Haram, would soon be freed.

Ekiti Vigilante Group Arrests 3 Suspected APC Thugs

Ekiti-vigilante-2The Ekiti State Vigilante Group has arrested three suspected All Progressives Congress (APC) thugs with gun and axe, on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.

One of the suspected thugs was identified as Soji Onigbinde while three ladies were arrested with them.

The suspected thugs, who were riding in a Mazda 323 bus branded APC House of Assembly candidate for Ado Local Government Constituency 1, Sola Olofin, were arrested at Omisanjana Junction, Ado Ekiti at about 11:30 pm local time.

The three ladies arrested with them were in another vehicle following the Branded Vehicle.

The Commander of the Vigilante Group in Ekiti State, Femi Ogunleye, who confirmed the arrest, said the suspected thugs were handed over to the police at the Okesa Police Station, Ado Ekiti.

Report said the suspects were later moved to the State Police Headquarters.

Niger To Send Troops To Fight Boko Haram In Nigeria

Boko HaramNiger’s parliament has unanimously approved sending troops to the northern part of Nigeria, as part of a regional offensive against the Islamist group (Boko Haram), that has launched several cross-border attacks in recent days.

Security sources said soldiers in Diffa, a town on Niger’s border with Nigeria, shot dead a suicide bomber heading on foot towards a military base and warned that Boko Haram had infiltrated groups of civilians who had crossed into Niger.

Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon agreed at the weekend to send a joint force of 8,700 troops to battle the militant group, which had killed thousands of people and kidnapped hundreds more in its bid to carve out a caliphate.

The general elections in Nigeria that was earlier scheduled to hold on February 14, had been shifted to March 28 by the electoral body.

In the last few days, Niger has massed more than 3,000 troops in Diffa on its southeastern border with Nigeria, awaiting approval to go on the offensive.

Niger’s Parliamentary Speaker, Adamou Salifou, said on Monday, after the vote that was supported by all 102 deputies present, that “the pooling of the efforts and resources of concerned countries would contribute without doubt, to crushing this group which shows scorn, through its barbaric acts, for the Muslim religion.”

Diffa Attack

On Monday, Boko Haram militants reportedly bombed Diffa leaving five people dead. This was its third attack in the area in four days. It also carried out raids in neighboring Cameroon, where a bus full of passengers was kidnapped.

The residents in Diffa, which lies about few miles away from the territory controlled by Boko Haram, had long spoken of sleeper cells infiltrating their communities.

Several security sources warned that the militants, who had been living among civilians in northern Nigeria, were among those who had fled to Niger with them.

“Most of the Boko Haram fighters who have operated in Diffa have come from these displaced.

“They are Nigerian refugees or people from Niger who had been in Nigeria.

“There are real networks,” a security officer said.

An intensification of Boko Haram violence near Lake Chad, which straddles Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger, had sent tens of thousands of Nigerians, fleeing across the border.

Diffa was mainly quiet on Tuesday but residents were scrambling for buses out.

“The situation in Diffa is very serious, We will do everything to protect the population.

“We will wage war against Boko Haram all the way to its last hideout,” Niger Defense Minister, Karidio Mahamadou, said on a private radio station.