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Tanzanian opposition leader returns home after years in exile

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Tanzanian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Tundu Lissu returned home from years of exile in Belgium to a cheering crowd on Wednesday, after the government lifted a ban on political rallies.

A former lawmaker and a fierce critic of the government, Lissu initially left the country to seek treatment abroad after he was shot 16 times, mostly in his lower abdomen, in an attack by unknown gunmen in the administrative capital Dodoma in 2017.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a ban on political rallies this month, more than six years after her predecessor John Magufuli imposed the measure which caused frequent run-ins between opposition leaders and police.

The move was welcomed by the opposition and it prompted Lissu to announce he would end his exile.

He was welcomed by a large gathering of his supporters at the Julius Nyerere International Airport, before making his way by car to a rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Exile had been tough, he told the crowd which was waving his CHADEMA party flags, adding he would push for the enactment of a new constitution.

“Without a new constitution it will be difficult to change anything. Without it we won’t have a free and independent electoral commission,” he said.

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The current constitution vested too much power in the executive, he said, adding it was imperative to push for reforms.

“If you are tired of all these high taxes, high inflation of food… let us find a political solution, let us find a new constitution,” Lissu said.

Lissu, who had been arrested eight times in the year leading up to the gun attack he survived, returned to his homeland in 2020 to challenge Magufuli in an election.

However, shortly after the election he fled to the residence of the German ambassador after receiving death threats, and then left the country again.

Under the ban on rallies, which came into force in 2016, elected politicians were allowed to conduct rallies in their constituencies but other political rallies or protests were prohibited.

Magufuli died in March 2021 due to a heart disease that had plagued him for a decade. Upon ascending to the presidency, Hassan undertook some reforms, including lifting a ban on newspapers deemed critical and opening talks with opposition leaders.

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AFRICA

Nigeria’s AfriGo to Rival Visa, Mastercard – Central Bank

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched the Nigerian National Domestic Card Scheme, AfriGo, aimed at creating a more robust payment system that would drive financial inclusion in the country.

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that transaction charges on all cards would henceforth be paid in Naira, except for international transactions.

Emefiele said the card, which will function like other international payment cards, is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country and reducing dependence on foreign cards. He added that “by this initiative, will therefore be joining countries like China, Russia, Turkey and India which have launched domestic card schemes and harnessed the transformative benefits for their respective payments and financial systems, particularly for the underbanked.”

The national domestic card is expected to rival Visa and Mastercard, the market’s biggest players.

The announcement follows last year’s decision to phase out old higher denomination bank notes. The new notes came into circulation effect on December 15, 2022.

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AFRICA

The Gospel of the “Obi-Datti” Movement

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Nigeria 23:57….. and it came to pass in those days as Peter the son of Obi journeyed from Kaduna unto Kano, a great multitude followed him as he spake unto them saying; behold, I will do a new thing in Northern Nigeria, if thou and thy children shall vote for me, we will prosper thy land and thy seed shall eat the fruits thereof, for what profiteth the North that thou hast great land and thy offspring suffereth hunger and starvation.

 

As he spake these things, the Kadunites and the Kanites marvelled and they spake one to another, what manner of man is this that bringeth hope unto us. The people spread the good news of Peter and his brother Datti and whole city rejoiced at the marvelous things he spake unto them. Many were baptized unto OBIDIENCE and the number of those baptized were Nine hundredth and forty thousand men, with women and children not counted.

 

….. An excerpt from one of the “obedients” that got our attention inhouse. With the elections at hand in Nigeria, it would be advisable for all to get their PVC’s and go vote for their candidate.

 

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AFRICA

Nigeria: Federal Govt Sets Up 14-Man Committee to Manage Petroleum Products Supply, Distribution

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In a move to find lasting solution to the disruptions in the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the constitution of a 14-man Steering Committee on Petroleum Products Supply and Distribution management, which he will personally chair, the ministry of petroleum resources announced yesterday.

The Steering Committee, which has minister of state for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva as alternate chairman is expected to among other things to ensure transparent and efficient supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Other terms of reference are to ensure national strategic stock management, visibility on the NNPC Limited refineries rehabilitation programme and ensure end-end tracking of petroleum products, especial PMS to ascertain daily national consumption and eliminate smuggling.

To further ensure sanity in the supply and distribution across the value chain, Sylva has directed the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to ensure strict compliance with the government approved ex-depot and retail prices for PMS.

The minister has further directed the NMDPRA to ensure that NNPC Limited, which is the supplier of last resort meets the domestic supply obligation of PMS and other petroleum products in the country.

He further directed that the interests of the ordinary Nigerian is protected from price exploitation on other deregulated products such as AGO and DPK and LPG.

The federal government will not allow misguided elements to bring untold hardship upon the citizenry and attempt to discredit government’s efforts in consolidating the gains made thus far in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

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Other members of the committee are minister of Finance, permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, National Economic Adviser to the President, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), comptroller-general, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Member (EFCC), and commandant-general, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

Others who made up the Steering Committee are Authority chief executive, Nigerian Midstream and Member Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), group chief executive officer, NNPC Limited, Special Advisor (Special Duties) to the HMSPR while the Technical Advisor (Midstream) to the HMSPR will serve as Secretary.

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AFRICA

Nigeria: SERAP Threatens to Drag Buhari to Court Over Attack On Peter Obi in Katsina

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari administration to promptly investigate the reported attacks on the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, or face a legal battle.

SERAP issued this warning to the government in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said, “We’ll take legal action if the perpetrators are not immediately arrested and prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, the presidential campaign council of the Labour Party reported that the convoy of Obi was attacked two times in Katsina State on Monday.

A spokesperson for Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council Diran Onifade said Obi was attacked by hoodlums on his way to the airport after his rally in Katsina.

According to Onifade, some yet-to-be-identified hoodlums hurled heavy stones at the driver’s side of Obi’s vehicle on his way to the airport.

He said the stone caused heavy damage to the vehicle, though Obi and those in the car with him escaped without sustaining injuries.

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The spokesperson added that another set of hoodlums had earlier attacked the campaign convoy with stones in front of the Katsina stadium.

He said the attack left several vehicles, including that of the official stage crew damaged.

“Our candidate had met with women in a town hall and then held a hugely successful Rally at the Muhammad Dikko Stadium.

“However, on his way to the airport, hoodlums attacked the car our candidate was riding in with heavy stones from his driver’s side causing substantial damage to the vehicle.

“To the glory of God, Mr. Obi and other occupants of the car were unhurt.

“Subsequently another set of thugs also threw stones outside the stadium which damaged several vehicles including that of our official stage crew.

“The two incidents taken together make us suspect that the attacks may have been premeditated at the behest of desperate politicians who had been deluding themselves with the false claim that they had the northwest locked up but are now shocked by the show of force of the Obidient movement in the region.

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“While thanking the good people of Katsina who came out en masse to support our campaign yesterday, we call on security agencies to investigate this matter to forestall future occurrences,” the Campaign Council said.

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