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Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo All Set for Thursday’s Second Oath of Office

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Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will be sworn-in for a second term this Thursday after winning the West African country’s election with 51.59% of the vote.

The 76-year-old, who has one presidential term and four presidential bids behind him, defeated long time rival John Mahama, 62 in the just concluded December 2020 elections .

Mahama has petitioned the Supreme Court to challenge the results although Akufo insists that he won the just concluded elections fairly.

On Tuesday, in his final state of the nation address ahead of his inauguration for a second term, Akufo-Addo said it is good for the nation that the opposition has resorted to legal means to address their concerns.

He also urged parliament to unite and accommodate each others’ views.

Ghana’s next parliament, which will be sworn in on Thursday as well, has no clear majority, with both the opposition and the ruling party having 137 MPs each, with one independent MP.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, has announced the designation of a Presidential Delegation to attend Akufo-Addo’s inauguration as the President of the Republic of Ghana.

The Honorable Dr. J. Peter Pham, Ambassador, United States Special Envoy for the Sahel Region of Africa, will lead the delegation, a statement from the White House said.

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Health

Lagos in Discussions to Provide Residents COVID-19 Vaccines – CJ

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Nigeria’s commercial city, Lagos State, has begun plans to make COVID-19 vaccines available for residents in the states.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), who disclosed the Lagos government has begun discussions with COVID-19 vaccines manufacturer, noted that move became necessary following rising cases of patients needing treatments urgently.

Onigbanjo also dismissed claims that the Lagos Government is incapable and unwilling to enforce compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

He said, “It is correct that Lagos State has the highest number of infections and sadly fatalities from COVID-19 in Nigeria. The State Government itself never shied away from admitting that Lagos is indeed the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria. But is it “business-as-usual”? Most certainly not.

“Since the first index patient was confirmed on 27 February 2020, Lagos State Government has led from the front in tackling the pandemic. It was Lagos State who also first introduced; reduced working hours for all sectors of the economy in the State; directed that all its staff between levels 1-14 should work from home; closed all bars, gyms, lounges and cinemas; restricted restaurants to offering take-out services only; and closed worship centres.

“The first lockdown, to contain the pandemic was declared in Lagos on March 30, 2020.

“The first fully equipped isolation centres sprang up in Lagos. At its peak the State had a total bed space of 600 reserved exclusively for COVID-19 patients. The State also led and still leads nationwide in administering COVID- 19 tests.

“As at date we are testing about 3000 persons a day from 60 public and 20 private Sample collection centres, spread out across 57 Local Government and Central Public Health Labs in the state.

“Thousands of people have been successfully treated and discharged from our isolation centres and home based care to date.

“When the second wave started, Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (even while just recovering from being infected with the virus) addressed a press conference on 18 December 2020 and shut down, nightclubs, lounges, concerts and bars.

“A plan to construct three oxygen plants was launched and on the 8th of January 2021 the first installed oxygen plant was commissioned at Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba. This is capable of producing 60 large cylinders a day of high grade medical oxygen.

“The state government is also currently discussing with vaccine manufacturers with a view to making vaccines available to Lagosians,” Onigbanjo concluded.

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East Africa Politics News

Uganda Election: U.S. Promises to Sanction Human Rights Abusers, Riggers

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The United States has said it will take action against anti-democratic forces and human rights abusers in Uganda following Thursday’s general elections in the country.

The U.S. position came in a statement by the Department of State through its spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus.

Ortagus said the government was “deeply troubled” by credible reports of “security force violence” and election irregularities before and during the polls.

She called for independent investigations into the allegations, and urged the Ugandan government to hold accountable security agents responsible for violence and abuses.

“The Ugandan people turned out to vote in multi-party national elections on January 14 despite an environment of intimidation and fear.

“We are deeply troubled by the many credible reports of security force violence during the pre-election period and election irregularities during the polls.

“We strongly urge independent, credible, impartial, and thorough investigations into these reports and that those responsible be held accountable,” she said.

Earlier on Saturday, Uganda’s Electoral Commission declared long-time President Yoweri Museveni, winner of the disputed presidential election for a sixth term in office.

According to the results, Museveni, 76, secured 58.64 per cent of the total votes to beat his main challenger, Bobi Wine, who trailed with 35 per cent.

But the exercise has been marred by allegations of voter fraud and harassment of opposition politicians by security forces.

Reports say dozens of people were killed during violence in the run-up to the election.

Ahead of election day, the government shut down internet connections in the country, drawing condemnation from civil society and election observers.

Wine, a former music star, has vowed to provide evidence of election fraud when internet services are restored.

“We condemn the continuing attacks on political candidates and urge the government to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of expression.

“We are gravely concerned by harassment of and continued threats to civil society.

“Finally, we note the continued nationwide shutdown of the Internet and call for its immediate restoration along with that of social media services,” Ortagus said.

She urged all political actors to shun violence and resolve all arising disputes through constitutional and legal means.

The spokesperson also called on the Ugandan government to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly.

“We reiterate our intention to pursue action against those responsible for the undermining of democracy and human rights in Uganda,” Ortagus added.

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Uganda Election: Bobi Wine Cries Fraud, May Release Video Evidence

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Defeated presidential candidate in the Uganda election, Robert Kyagulanyi, better known as Bobi Wine, has alleged vote rigging as the Electoral Commission declares incumbent President Yoweri Museveni winner.

Museveni won almost 59% of the vote, with Bobi Wine trailing with about 35%.

Bobi Wine, a former pop star turned politician, has vowed to provide evidence of fraud but the Electoral Commission denies there was vote-rigging in Thursday’s election.

Poll monitors have criticised the government for closure of internet access, they said this undermined confidence.

Bobi Wine said he would provide evidence of fraud once the internet was restored.

Dozens of people were killed during violence in the run-up to the election, opposition politicians have also accused the government of harassment.

The result gives President Museveni a sixth term in office, the 76-year-old, in power since 1986, says he represents stability in Uganda.

On Friday, as the results came in, Bobi Wine said that Ugandan soldiers had surrounded and breached his home.

But a government spokesman accused him of “dramatising” the incident “to seek sympathy”.

“The electoral commission declares Yoweri Museveni… elected President of the Republic of Uganda,” election commission chairman Justice Simon Mugenyi Byabakama said on Saturday.

He said turnout was 57% of the almost 18 million registered voters, earlier, Byabakama said the vote had been peaceful, and called on Bobi Wine, who said some of his polling agents were arrested on Thursday, to make public the evidence for his fraud allegations.

The opposition candidate believes the internet shutdown is being used to block communication and as a way of compromising the vote.

“I will be happy to share the videos of all the fraud and irregularities as soon as the internet is restored,” Bobi Wine said.

Meanwhile, Wanyama, who is a spokesperson for President Museveni, hit back at Bobi Wine’s claims of vote rigging.

“He came short of the expectation of Ugandans,” he said in an interview.

“He had no message and Ugandans have told him he has to wait a little longer.”

Wanyama added: “We have challenged him to provide proof for his claims, he has not a single iota of evidence.”

The EU, the United Nations and several rights groups have previously raised concerns about the integrity of Uganda’s election.

But, aside from an African Union mission, there is currently no major international group monitoring the vote. Earlier this week the US – a major aid donor to Uganda – cancelled its diplomatic observer mission to the country, saying that the majority of its staff had been denied permission to monitor polling sites.

Violence reached an unprecedented level in the build-up to the race, and dozens have died during crackdowns by security forces.

Bobi Wine and other opposition candidates have been arrested on several occasions, and during protests that followed one arrest in November, more than 50 people were killed.

Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, stood as leader of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

He has long been depicted to Ugandans as a liberator and peace bringer.

His challenger Bobi Wine is a reggae star known by his supporters as the ghetto president. His party, the National Unity Platform (NUP), campaigns for basic needs like improving access to healthcare, education, clean water and justice.

Over the last two decades, Bobi Wine’s musical output has been filled with songs about these issues and they have inspired a fervent following.

He grew up in Kampala’s Kamwokya slum where he went on to build his now world-famous recording studio.

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