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#LekkiTollgate: Police Arrest Comedian Mr. Macaroni, 18 Others

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Security operatives have arrested 19 people, including popular social media comedian, Mr Macaroni, for participating in the #LekkiTollgate protest on Saturday.

Youths in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, had announced the protest earlier in the week after a panel probing the shooting of #EndSARS demonstrators at the tollgate by soldiers last year announced it was allowing the Lekki Concession Company to reopen the Lekki tollgate.

On Saturday, Mr Macaroni, whose real name is Debo Adebayo, joined the protest against the planned reopening of the Lekki toll gate. In an Instagram Live video, the comedian revealed he had been arrested and kept in a Black Maria.

He was seen in a video he posted in a police van.

One of the coordinators of #OccupyLekkiTollgate, Kunle Ajayi, had earlier confirmed the crackdown on protesters.

According to reports, among those arrested are trade union movement organiser, Juwon Sanya-Olu, and one Comrade Dimeji.

In a video shared on Twitter, one of the arrested protesters said over 10 of them have been arrested and kept in a Black Maria stationed at the toll gate.

The Nigerian Government and the police had earlier warned youths who planned to protest at the Lekki tollgate on Saturday to have a rethink and shelve the protests.

But the young Nigerians, under the aegis of #EndSARS Season 2 and #OccupyLekkiTollgate, vowed to defy the government’s order.

The other group, #DefendLagos withdrew from the protest, noting that that is in accordance with the government’s directive of “no protest”.

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Kampala Capital City Authority Officially Takes Over Owino Market

In an operation code named ‘walk through Owino Market’ downtown, KCCA announced the take over of Owino Market.

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Uganda’s largest open market, St. Balikudembe, popularly known as Owino market in country’s capital, has been effectively taken over by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)

The Executive Director of KCCA Ms Dorothy Kisaka, announced the official takeover on Tuesday, during a second visit she undertook with the authority’s team through the market.

She also requested the vendors to organise elections for new leadership of the market, to replace renowned trader and chairman Godfrey Kayongo Nkajja.

Dorothy Kisaka leading the ‘walk through Owino Market’

Last year, Vendors in the four markets including the Owino and Nakasero issued an ultimatum, urging the Ministry of Kampala and KCCA to replace market Association leaders, threatening to hold demonstrations to oust leadership from those markets .

Kisaka also acknowledged traders in the market for observing COVID-19 standard operating procedures as directed by the Ministry of Health in the market.

She also commended them for exercising their democratic franchise in the recently concluded national polls.

Several vendors welcomed the move, saying it will solve several challenges they faced under private administration.

The directive highlights issues of market leadership, ownership, compensation, relocation, and suspension of government taxes in the market.

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France Urges Chad to Investigate Attack on Opposition Leader’s Home

Chadian President, Idris Deby (middle) flanked by Burkinabe President, Marc Kabore and French President, Emmanuel Macron. Ludovic Marin/pool

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Following an attack on Chadian opposition leader, Yaya Dillo’s home on Sunday, the French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has called for an investigation to be conducted into the incident.

Dillo said five members of his family, including his mother, were killed when his home was attacked by men believed to be from the Presidential Guard.

The opposition leader plans to contest against Idris Deby in a Presidential election in April.

Deby, one of West Africa’s most fearsome leaders, has spent almost three decades in power in the country.

He has a very cordial relationship with the French government and is often supported by French soldiers in stamping out criminal elements in the country.

Dillo is no unfamiliar foe for Deby, as their paths had crossed in 2006 when the former was a rebel leader, before going on to become a Minister in the country.

He’s one of the 16 people who have signified interest in unseating the President in the election, slated to hold in a month’s time.

The French government said there should be total investigation into the attack, as there were arrest warrants issued against Dillo before the attack on his home.

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East Africa News

Kenya Receives “Machine Guns and Bazookas” as COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive

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As Kenya takes delivery of 1.02 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX facility, the East African nation’s Minister of Health, Mutahi Kagwe remarked rather humorously that the days of fighting COVID-19 with “rubber bullets” have ended.

Kagwe described the vaccines as metaphorical “bazookas and machine guns” as the doses are expected to help the country lead a better charge against the virus.

The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, International Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness were all on hand as the vaccines arrived in the East African country from India.

COVID-19 vaccines arrive Kenya

Kenya became the fourth country on the continent to receive the vaccines following Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria, just on Tuesday.

The Kenyan Minister of Health said he expects the vaccine to help limit the spread of the virus and also redirect the nation to economic recovery.

Kenya will vaccinate more than 400,000 medical staff, with frontline health workers and people working in essential services also to be prioritised.

Health workers in the country are, however, unhappy after being forced to resume following a 70-day strike over the lack of Personal Protective Equipment to shield them against the disease.

Kenya has recorded more than 106,000 cases, with a fatality of 1800 recorded. The nation’s case fatality rate of over 1.6% is lower than the African average of 2.6%.

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