Former Chelsea and Cote D’Ivoire striker Didier Drogba has been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sciences and Technology of Africa Network (RUSTA) in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
Drogba according to the university was deserving of the award in recognition of his contributions to nation-building and restoration of peace in his country.
The 43-year-old in the company of his mother Clotilde Drogba received the degree in person at the university premises.
The two-time African Footballer of the Year was honoured for his charitable work and his role in bringing stability to the West African country.
According to Gaol.com, Drogba’s peace-keeping contribution dates back to 2005 when he halted a civil war that had spanned three years after they secured qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup with a 3-1 win over Sudan.
A Benin presidential candidate was wounded after gunfire hit his car soon after he formally filed his papers for a presidential election in April against incumbent Patrick Talon, family members and the government said on Saturday.
Ganiou Soglo, a former minister and son of ex-president Nicephore Soglo, was wounded on Friday on the way to his farm in Zinvie, 35 km (22 miles) from the country’s commercial capital Cotonou.
He was one of 19 politicians who filed papers for the April 11 ballot.
“He was shot in the shoulder, but his prognosis is not guaranteed,” a Soglo family member said from the hospital where he was being treated.
Many Benin opposition figures are either in exile or are barred from running in the election, prompting criticism the former French colony once seen as a model of democracy has veered into authoritarianism under Talon.
Police have opened an investigation but have yet to issue a statement.
Benin government spokesman Alain Orounla condemned the attack and said security forces would apprehend the assailants.
“The government will ensure the diligence of investigations promptly undertaken by the Republican Police services,” he said.
The opposition says the election is already fixed in favour of Talon, especially after a new provision of the electoral law requiring each candidate to be formally sponsored by 16 mayors or members of parliament.
Critics accuse Talon of leading a country once praised for multi-party democracy down an authoritarian road and say he is behind a crackdown that drove key rivals into exile.
During parliamentary elections in April 2019, no opposition parties were allowed to present lists of candidates for the vote.
A year later, only six opposition challengers to sitting mayors won in municipal elections that were boycotted by some opponents.
“Running in a presidential election in Benin today is a nightmare. From shameful exclusionary moves to assassination attempts to threats,” opposition candidate Reckya Madougou said before visiting the hospital.
Some opposition leaders have formed a coalition backing little-known academic Joel Aivo as a single candidate against Talon despite fears the incumbent faces little challenge in the election.
A total number of 800 Nigerian soldiers sent on peace support operations in Darfur, the Sudanese capital last year, are back in the country to join in the fight against insurgency.
Addressing the contingent on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, shortly after their arrival at the Ribadu Military Cantonment in Kaduna, the General Officer Commanding One Division of Nigerian Army, Major General Kenneth Osuji, reminded the soldiers that their exposure to international warfare is needed at this critical time to tackle the Boko Haram security challenge which has become a threat to national security.
He urged them to contribute their quota to the fight against ending terrorism, especially in the northeast states.
Osuji commended them for displaying a high level of professionalism and discipline while in Darfur and expressed optimism that such zeal would be replicated in the fight against insurgency.
The soldiers spent a period of nine months in the West African Country.
Upon their return to Nigeria, they will proceed on a two weeks disembarkation leave and thereafter, join their colleagues in the field.
Mali’s government has resigned and town planning minister Moussa Mara will become prime minister, a presidential spokesman said on State Television late on Saturday.
Outgoing prime minister Oumar Tatam Ly submitted the entire government’s resignation to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Saturday and it was accepted, the statement said.
His replacement Mara, a political veteran who ran against Keita in Mali’s August Presidential election, will be responsible for appointing new ministers.
No time frame was given for the appointments.
Under the Malian system, a reshuffle is normal following legislative elections.
President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, known universally by his initials IBK, was elected on a pledge to unite Mali and is seeking to rebuild the country from the ashes of a war against Islamists.
The West African country was plunged into chaos by a Tuareg rebellion in early 2012, followed shortly by a military coup. Islamist militants took advantage of the chaos and seized the desert north, forcing France to intervene in its ex-colony.
Red Crown Productions has set Idris Elba to star and Cary Fukunaga to direct Beasts of No Nation, an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s bestselling novel.
The story follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who, when civil war engulfs his West African country is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters. Not only must Agu face the death of his father and disappearance of his mother and sister, but must also join a life of violence and brutality. Agu befriends a mute boy named Strika and together they face the crimes and hardships of war. Elba will play the lead role of Commander and he will serve in a producing capacity as well.
Elba joins Red Crown Productions’ Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker, Parliament Of Owls’ Cary Fukunaga and Primary Productions principal, Amy Kaufman as producers on the film. Daniel Crown and Bill Benenson will serve as executive producers. Red Crown is funding the production.
Beasts Of No Nation was packaged by WME Global, which arranged the financing and will make the domestic deal. IM Global’s specialty label acclaim will make international sales at the Toronto Film Festival.
“We fell in love with Iweala’s powerful narrative and Idris and Cary are a tremendous pairing,” said Red Crown Productions partner, Lundberg.
“This project has been seven years in the making, so to say I’m excited to start shooting this — and with Idris Elba as lead — would be me trying to play it cool. Red Crown has real moxie standing behind this story,” said Fukunaga.