Oyo central market shut down over alleged violence by rival gangs

The central market in Oyo town, popularly known as Akesan was on Monday morning shut down as rival gangs unleashed violence on the market and adjoining areas. Guns, bottles, machetes and other dangerous weapons were freely used in the ‘pay back’ attack which according to residents, is the latest so far recorded as violence has become a regular occurrence between dreaded rival gangs known as Agunpopo and Ilaka. The attack by the Agunpopo group on the Ilaka gang on Monday morning has now effectively shut down Akesan market, the usual battlefield of the two camps, traders and security officials told Premium Times. It was said that those familiar with the immediate cause of the clash alleged that the group from Ilaka had gone to Agunpopo’s carnival on Saturday night to “cause trouble”. Subsequently, residents have reportedly asked road users to divert from all roads leading to the market, including Apinni, Kanga, Garage and Palace...

Fulani herdsmen destroy N20m rice farm in Anambra State

Three Fulani herdsmen in the early hours of yesterday (today) set commercial rice farms worth about N20 million ablaze in Ugbene community, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State. The rice fields belonging to farmers in Umualor and Umuagunwoke villages occupy about 75 hectares of land.The residentsdecried that the dastardly act was as a result of their lingering feud which started last year when the herdsmen allegedly trespassed into their farms; an incidence, they disclosed resulted into open confrontation of each other with firearms. Conducting newsmen around the smouldering scene, the farmers, some of who had tears cascading down their cheeks lamented that they took loans to embark on the agribusiness with the hope of paying back after sales. A community leader, Mr Emmanuel Ifesinachi Okoye, lamented that “a message came to us this morning that our farm known as Area 1 was set ablaze by the Fulani herdsmen. We rushed...

Gabon teachers launch one-month strike

Teachers in Gabon launched a one-month strike on Monday over demands for bonuses and unpaid salaries, less than a year after a wage dispute closed many schools for almost three months, a union leader said. "Our demands have not changed for months. We had obtained written and signed commitments from the government which has not only failed to respect the deadlines but does not even speak about it any more", said Simon Ndong Edzo, one of the leaders of Conasysed, which groups the main teachers' unions. He said the walkout had been "massively observed" since the start of the day throughout the country. The teachers are demanding the payment of various bonuses as well as the unpaid balances of their salaries for the years 2014 and 2015. In February 2015 about 20 public sector unions, led by teachers, called a strike to press for higher wages, leaving many schools virtually closed for around...

Showdown in Uganda looms as Museveni, Mbabazi cross paths

Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi, who is running as an independent candidate in Uganda's presidential election in February, is likely to cross paths with President Yoweri Museveni on January 10 in Mbale district. The president is running under the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) banner. Whereas Mr Mbabazi will be in Mbale to campaign, President Museveni will be there to ‘commission’ roads that are still under construction. Mbale was the first district Mr Mbabazi visited when he was carrying out his consultative meetings in September. Like Luweero and Nakaseke districts, Mbale is of symbolic importance to Uganda’s so-called 'Bush War' heroes. Since he did not launch the roads then – though they were already being constructed – some political analysts say his handlers want to disorganise Mr Mbabazi’s rally. “There will be a political showdown, which is likely to turn chaotic. You cannot have two presidential candidates with unresolved issues meeting in the same...

Zambia to hold elections in August

Zambia will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on August 11 under a new constitution, a government spokesperson says. President Edgar Lungu's is expected to give the nod to the constitutional amendments on Tuesday, ratifying the election date, his spokesperson Amos Chanda said on Monday. "The new constitution has a fixed election date and that will take effect as soon as the president signs," said Chanda. The elections are expected to be a tight contest between Lungu's ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party and opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND). Confident of victory under the previous constitution, the president set the election date every five years. Presidential candidates will run on a joint ticket with a vice-presidential candidate, unlike the present situation where the president appoints his deputy, Chanda said. Other amendments include a clause requiring a winning presidential candidate to get more than 50% of the valid votes cast, he said....

We will resist any attempt by APC to rig Southern Ijaw poll – PDP

Barely four days to the Bayelsa State governorship supplementary election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it will use all democratic means necessary to resist any attempt to rig the poll by the All Progressives Congress, APC. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP said it is aware of plots by the APC to use compromised security operatives and INEC officials to attempt to produce fictitious votes and declare itself winner. The party disclosed that it has again rallied its formation in the state and particularly Southern Ijaw Local Government, to use all means necessary in a democracy to resist any move by the APC to rig the election. PDP reminded APC and INEC that Southern Ijaw is a well-known PDP stronghold and would not accept any results that do not reflect the will of the people.‎...

Nasrallah calls cleric’s execution a ‘crime’

The leader of Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah has strongly condemned Saudi Arabia for executing prominent opposition Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. In a televised speech on Sunday, Hassan Nasrallah described al-Nimr as a brave martyr and holy warrior, who didn't carry weapons or espouse armed conflict and was killed only for his criticism of the Al Saud ruling family. Celebratory gunfire rang out in central Beirut at the speech's beginning and end. Nasrallah said the Saudis could not take any criticism, and thus they executed al-Nimr in what amounts to a "serious crime" that "cannot be taken lightly." Earlier, protesters gathered in Beirut at the Saudi Embassy and United Nations buildings to denounce the execution. Audiences at the rallies and watching Nasrallah's speech chanted: "Death to the house of Saud."...

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