President Buhari’s most senior spokesman, Femi Adesina, has rejected a report by Amnesty International on the Lekki shootings. Mr Adesina said that Amnesty could not have more facts about the country than the Presidency which has a ‘helicopter view’ of things happening in the country. He said the looting and rioting were not caused by the military shootings because there was already violence before the Lekki incident. Responding to a question on the Lekki shootings, he said, “You are not quite correct. You are falling for the narrative of Amnesty International, and Amnesty is wrong. Anarchy had broken loose before even Lekki. The prisons in Benin and Oko had been broken open before Lekki. Orile police station had been burnt before Lekki. He continued: “Amnesty International does not have all the facts, they don’t run this country, they shouldn’t know beyond what they have been told. They shouldn’t know more than you and I should know as media people as watchers of developments.” When probed further as to whether the President approved the military action in Lekki as the commander-in-chief, Mr Adesina said he would not want to undermine the work of the panel of inquiry looking into the matter.
President Buhari on Thursday said the country’s economy is “too fragile” to go through another period of lockdown. The 77-year-old, through his twitter handle, urged Nigerians to continue adhering to the laid down COVID-19 protocols in order to avoid a resurgence of infections that would prompt the government to impose new lockdown measures. “Looking at the trends in the other countries, we must do all we can to avert a second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria. We must make sure that our cases, which have gone down, do not rise again. Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown,” he wrote. Buhari’s warning comes a day after the World Health Organization published COVID-19 trends in Africa and globally. After seeing a decline in daily new infections, some countries have recently experienced a resurgence of cases, prompting new restrictions. The WHO report noted that Nigeria had registered 623 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths in the last seven days. By Thursday afternoon, Nigeria had reported 62,371 infections and 1,139 fatalities. The country’s caseload is the fifth-highest in Africa, only shadowed by tallies recorded by South Africa, Morocco, Egypt and Ethiopia.
Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has described the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group and signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on IPOB’s activities in the state. According to Mr Wike’s spokesman, Kelvin Ebiri, the state government will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise. Mr Ebiri said, “the state government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State. And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State. But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed IPOB and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State. This is clearly a terrorist group whose existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the governments and peoples of the South-Eastern states of the country.’’ Governor Wike also “directed security agencies and the chairmen of local government areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community following the executive order and other legal instruments’’.
The United States said on Thursday there were “serious doubts” about the credibility of Tanzania’s presidential election. The U.S. Embassy in the East African country said there had been “credible allegations of significant election-related fraud and intimidation” in Wednesday’s poll in which voters were electing a president and lawmakers. The vote was marred by allegations of arrests of candidates and protesters, restrictions on agents of political parties to access polling stations, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots and widespread blocking of social media, the U.S. Embassy said. Elections took place simultaneously both in Tanzania and in the country’s semi-autonomous state of Zanzibar, an Indian Ocean archipelago. Tundu Lissu, the main challenger to incumbent President John Magufuli, has said the election results – expected within a week – could not be trusted. Magufuli, of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, is seeking a second, five-year term in the poll. Preliminary results announced by the electoral commission showed Magufuli leading against his challengers. The opposition and rights groups have complained that his administration has cracked down on critical voices, closing down media outlets and preventing opposition public rallies. The government has denied stifling dissent. A version of the CCM, the second longest-ruling party on the continent, has held power in Tanzania since independence from Britain in 1961.