Nigerian President Buhari Visits Biafra Region

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari who is visiting the pro-Biafran region in the southeast of the country on Tuesday thanked citizens of the southeast for the “enthusiastic” welcome they accorded him since his arrival.

Pres Muhammadu Buhari and Traditional Rulers in Southeast Nigeria
Pres Muhammadu Buhari and Traditional Rulers in Southeast Nigeria

In a Twitter post, the Nigeria leader said “from Enugu to Abakaliki, I have enjoyed a profuse display of warmth from everyone; political leaders, traditional leaders, citizens. I thank you all.”

While vising Igboland on Monday, Southeast Traditional leaders and Ebonyi State Traditional Council conferred the Chieftaincy title of Ochi Oha Ndigbo (leader of all) of Igboland on President Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari Visting Southeast Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari Visting Southeast Nigeria

Buhari’s trip to the southeast is his first since ascending to the Presidency and comes on the heels of the acceleration of tension in the region which is home to Biafran secessionists.

The movement has been designated as a terrorist group by the Federal government. The leader of the Biafran separatist group Nnamdi Kanu is facing charges and was recently granted bail.

West African Journal Magazine

 

 

Lenus Perkins – A Liberian Environmental Executive Gets Top Post on University Board in Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama USA

The Governor of the U.S. State of Alabama Ms. Kay Ivey recently appointed three new members to the University of South Alabama Board of Trustees.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey

According to statement issued on September 29, 2017 by the University, the new appointments include Mr. Lenus M. Perkins, a resident of Birmingham and Program Director at Bhate Environmental Associates.

Mr. Perkins, born in Liberia, West Africa, matriculated at the University of South Alabama following acceptance as an international student and graduated from the College of Engineering in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He began his career as a staff engineer at Thompson Engineering in Mobile before joining Bhate Environmental Associates in 1992.

Board Member Lenus Perkins
Board Member Mr. Lenus Perkins

As Director of Programs for Bhate, he is the direct report for all federal and commercial program managers, responsible for domestic and overseas environmental remediation, demolition, fuels, compliance, and construction contracts with capacity totaling more than $5 billion. Perkins’ 26 years of environmental consulting include more than 20 years of project and program management experience in environmental, remediation, fuel storage tank system closures, removal, installation, repairs and upgrades, remedial investigations, remedial/corrective plan development, system installation/construction, site restoration and cleanup, compliance, pollution prevention, and other investigations and remedial activities under various federal and state regulatory programs.

Perkins has received the Patriot Award from the Office of the Secretary of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for his contribution to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve Force.

He is on the executive committee of the Bong Education Center Alumni Association, which serves to meet the needs of students in Liberia, West Africa; a board member of the Birmingham Zoning Board of Adjustment; a member of the Highlands School Foundation board of trustees; and a member of the board of directors of Navigate Affordable Housing Partners in Birmingham.

University of South Alabama Logo
University of South Alabama Logo

In this prestigious and high profile position, Perkins is the first Liberian to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Alabama. His appointment became effective on October 1, 2017.

By Emmanuel Abalo

West African Journal Magazine

 

“Tension” In Zimbabwe As Army Movements Seen

West African Journal Magazine is monitoring reports of military movements in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe.

General-Constantine-Chiwenga
General Constantine Chiwenga

According to reports on international wire services and social media, which are still unconfirmed, Army Chief General Constantino Chiwenga has reportedly given President Robert G. Mugabe 24 hours to resign his office.

This follows President Mugabe’s dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week. Reports say army units have been moving tanks into and around the center of the capital Harare and that the national broadcaster was surrounded.

General Chiwenga, in a statement on Monday, demanded a “stop” to the purge in the ruling Zanu-PF party after the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangangwa, and warned the military could intervene.

“We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in,” Chiwenga told top army officials on Monday at the King George VI military headquarters in Harare.

Pres Robert G. Mugabe
Pres Robert G. Mugabe

The East Afrika Daily website reports that President Mugabe was chairing a regular cabinet meeting on Tuesday and has made no comment.

There has been tension in the ruling Zanu-PF party amidst internal feuding and talk of plans by the veteran Zimbabwean leader to have his wife and First Lady Grace Mugabe replace him.

Witnesses are quoted as saying they have seen uniformed soldiers posted at various street corners on Tuesday. There are fears that a military coup is underway.

A Zanu-PF Youth League official, at a news conference on Tuesday, says party youths are prepared to come out in their “millions” to defend the Mugabe regime from a military coup and accused the Army Chief General Chiwenga of collaborating with dismissed former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to topple President Mugabe and seize power.

Opposition member and former Finance Minister in a Twitter post blasted the latest developments in Zimbabwe saying, ” the overwhelming presence of the army on our streets is totally unwelcome and reflective of the unraveling of the securocratic State. We all know none of them have the guts to carry out a coup. So Army presence should not be the regime’s excuse for declaring a State of Emergency.”

Zimbabwe
Map of Zimbabwe

Meantime, the ruling ANC in neighboring South Africa says it will not intervene in the crisis in Zimbabwe. The BBC quotes ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, who spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, as saying that the party would be concerned if “things go wrong there because it will impact on us”.

ZanuPF Statement
ZanuPF Statement

In the latest attempt at pushback at the show of force and challenging comments against President Mugabe by the military, the ruling Zanu-PF is accusing the Zimbabwe Army Chief General Chiwenga of  “treasonable conduct”.

The 93 year old and now frail Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. He and some of his ministers remain under US and EU sanctions which have crippled the country’s economy.

This story is developing.

By Staff Reporter

West African Journal Magazine and Wire Services

 

Togolese Refugees In Ghana Returning Home

Reports from Ghana quoting the country’s  Refugee Board say that some Togolese nationals have begun returning home following the recent security crackdown against anti government protesters in Lome. 

Ghana -Togo Map
Ghana-Togo Map

Violent protests against the government of President Faure Gnassingbe forced hundreds of Togolese nationals to cross over into Ghana. A number of people were killed as a result of the protest.

According to the Program Coordinator for the Ghana Refugee Board, Tetteh Paddy, quoted by the Starfmonline website, “about half of the Togolese refugees have returned home although the political crisis in Togo is not over yet.”

Coordinator Tetteh said further that “The last check we sent a team up North to go and do verification and registration and we registered 355 [refugees] which meant that many of them have returned. At some point they were about 600.”

Help has been requested fronm the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and local organizations to care for over 300 Togolese refugees.

West African Journal Magazine

 

 

Major Solar Power Investor Launches Service in Cote d’Ivoire

Lumos Global officially launched a new, nationwide solar electricity service for Cote d’Ivoire on November 11 at an event in the city of Divo.

Map of Cote Ivoire
Map of Cote Ivoire

The Lumos Mobile Electricity Service aims to bring power to millions of people who do not currently have access to an affordable, reliable or clean energy supply. The service is paid for using mobile phone credit and is available to all of the roughly 10.5 million MTN Cote d’Ivoire subscribers, through a partnership between Lumos and MTN, a press statement issued on Monday said.

At the launch event, hosted by Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister for Economic Infrastructure and Mayor of Divo Amédé Koffi Kouakou, Lumos and MTN Cote d’Ivoire announced that the service will now be available in MTN stores across the country.

The event was attended by hundreds of local residents, in a demonstration of the appeal of solar energy to ordinary Ivorians and the demand for reliable power, particularly outside of major urban centers. It is estimated that only around 40% of Ivorians are connected to the national electricity grid.

Lumos Global
Lumos Global

Lumos’ service has been available in neighboring Nigeria since 2016 and has experienced rapid growth – over 65,000 systems have been sold, and 250,000 people have been provided with electricity. Many of Lumos’ Nigerian customers are small businesses that use the power to stay open later hours, thereby increasing revenues. The service also is enabling thousands of children to study into the evening, and powers clinics and community centers across Nigeria. The service stands to have the same impact in Cote d’Ivoire.

Lumos also has created over 1,100 jobs in Nigeria. With swift expansion planned throughout Cote d’Ivoire the company will be making a significant investment in creating new jobs for Ivorians.

Source: Lumos Global

 

Mauritania Receives IMF Grant for Economic Reforms

The International Monetary Fund, IMF has announced that the government of the West African nation of Mauritania is expected to receive a grant of $163 million assistance package to undertake economic reforms.  

Map of Mauritania
Map of Mauritania

According to the IMF, initial draft approval has been obtained and a final approval by the board of directors is expected in December, reports say. The conditional approval was made after the visit of an IMF delegation to Mauritania between September 25 – October 6.

 

IMF
IMF Logo

The IMF expects Mauritania to undertake reforms which address and foster inclusive and diversified growth, maintain the macro-economic stability, restore debt sustainability and reduce poverty.
The IMF also expects Nouakchott to improve banking supervision, improve business climate and develop the social security scheme, Jeune Afrique reports.

 The multi million dollar credit facility will assist with establishing a competitive exchange market and a modernized monetary policy framework. More credit facilities will be open to the country for the next few years.

The arrangement makes the Mauritania eligible for the credit over three years.

West African Journal Magazine

Senegal: Drivers Point System Introduced Following Pilgrims Deaths

The West African nation of Senegal on Monday said it will now introduce a long-delayed points system for its drivers. This comes in the wake of the deaths of more than 50 people died on motorways during the a week of pilgrimage to the Muslim holy Sufi site of Touba.

Senegal Transport Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo
Senegal Transport Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo

According to the Senegalese Transport Minister Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo who spoke to reporters while attending the funeral of some of the victims, the law which was scheduled to be announced earlier in 2017 will now be enforced beginning next year. The Senegalese official emphasized that, “There is no negotiating and no way back,” an apparent reference to the implementation of the law on the point systems. The implementation of the point based license system was due to the slow roll out of the country’s biometric system.

City of Darkar Senegal
City of Darkar Senegal

Faithful adherents undertake the pilgrimage annually in the mainly Muslim majority country to the city of Touba 90. This year, tragedy struck when over 50 were killed in road accidents.

Minister Diallo warned that “Drivers of public transport vehicles should be aware that they are in charge of people, not goods for sale.”

Drivers and motorists have announced a planned protest strike scheduled for November 15th.

West African Journal Magazine