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Sudan: Protesters brave bullets, tear gas to oppose military takeover

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Sudanese protesters
Sudanese protesters

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in the Sudanese capital Khartoum and other cities on Saturday to protest against a military takeover, despite security forces firing tear gas and bullets to disperse them, witnesses and medics said.

One protester was killed by live fire from security forces in Omdurman, across the Nile from central Khartoum, and many others were wounded, the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said.

The demonstrations come two days after military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the formation of a new ruling council that excludes the civilian coalition the military had been sharing power with since 2019.

Sudanese pro-democracy groups condemned the move and vowed to continue their campaign of civil disobedience and protests against the Oct. 25 coup.

Deal of the day

Security forces closed bridges on Saturday between central Khartoum and its twin cities of Omdurman and Khartoum North to vehicles and pedestrians, laying barbed wire to block access. Roads to strategic sites were also shut.

As protesters began to gather in the early afternoon around the capital, security forces moved quickly to try to disperse them, firing tear gas and chasing demonstrators down side streets to try to prevent them reaching central meeting points, witnesses said.

A protester waves a flag during what the information ministry calls a military coup in Khartoum, Sudan
A protester waves a flag in Khartoum, Sudan

“People were surprised that they fired the tear gas so early,” said one protester in Omdurman. Protesters “retreated into the neighbourhood and barricaded the streets and now they’re coming back to the main road.”

Witnesses estimated the number of protesters around Khartoum to be in the tens of thousands.

During previous rallies, including on Oct. 30 when hundreds of thousands turned out, security forces had waited until later in the day before trying to disperse protesters.

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which is aligned with the protest movement, said demonstrations were “facing excessive repression using all forms of force including live bullets in several areas of the capital Khartoum”.

There was no immediate comment from security forces, but Burhan has previously said peaceful protests are allowed and the military does not kill protesters.

In Wad Madani, south-east of Khartoum, large crowds gathered, chanting slogans including: “Down, down with military rule,” a witness told Reuters. There were also protests in Kassala in eastern Sudan and Atbara to the north, witnesses said, among other cities.

Sudanese soldiers
Sudanese soldiers

The military takeover upended a transition towards democracy that began after the uprising that toppled autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Security forces detained senior officials appointed under a power-sharing arrangement between the military and civilian groups and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was placed under house arrest.

On Saturday, protesters carried pictures of Hamdok, now a symbol of resistance to military rule, while chanting against Burhan and his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Internet Cut

Mobile internet services have remained cut in Sudan since the coup, despite a court order to restore them, and phone coverage has been disrupted, complicating efforts by the protest movement.

However, local resistance committees energised by the nomination of the new ruling council used flyers and organised smaller neighbourhood protests in recent days.

“We reject any mediation or settlement with the coup leaders and will continue our struggle until we bring down the coup and bring the criminals to trial,” they said in a statement.

Volker Perthes, the United Nations envoy to Sudan, called on security forces to show restraint and to respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression ahead of Saturday’s rallies.

Despite widespread opposition from political groups in Sudan and pressure from Western powers that backed the transition, Burhan has pushed to consolidate the military’s position. read more Burhan said the army moved to prevent unrest, accusing civilian groups of inciting opposition to the military.

Western states and the World Bank have suspended economic assistance designed to help pull Sudan out of decades of isolation and a deep economic crisis.

The United States and other Western powers expressed grave concern at Burhan’s appointment of the ruling Sovereign Council.

“The U.S. and partners call on Sudan’s military leaders to refrain from further unilateral actions that will set back Sudan’s hard-won progress to rejoin the international community,” U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Twitter.

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Kaduna govt sacks 233 teachers over fake certificates

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government has dismissed 233 teachers for providing forged certificates during their recruitment process.

Tijani Abdullahi, Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, announced during a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday.

He claimed that the teachers were dismissed following inquiries from the institutions they claimed to have attended, which revealed they had presented falsified certificates.

According to the SUBEB Chairman, the decision to investigate the teachers’ certificates began in April 2021 as part of the Board’s responsibility to ensure that all teachers have the qualifications they presented.

According to him, the main goal of the exercise is to ensure that all of our teachers have the necessary credentials that constitute the fundamental qualifications for employment as teachers.

According to the Kaduna SUBEB Chairman, 451 certificates have been verified so far by contacting the institutions that awarded the certificates, with nine of the 13 institutions contacted responding.

 

“So far, the Board has verified 451certificates by contacting the institutions that awarded the certificates. Nine of the 13 institutions contacted have responded, as of today,” he said.

“The responses from the institutions show that 233 teachers presented fake certificates. This represents 51% of the 451 certificates on which responses have been received from the awarding institutions. One institution disowned 212 of these 233 fake certificates.

“The Board will dismiss the 233 teachers who presented these fake certificates, while their files will be forwarded to the Ministry of Justice to initiate prosecution for forgery. The Board will continue to check the integrity of the certificates presented by teachers to ensure that this critical profession is not devalued by impostors.

“As part of our duty of transparency, the names of the 233 teachers found to have presented fake certificates will be uploaded on the website of the Kaduna State Government today.”

The Board also announced that beginning in January 2022; it will administer a new competency test to 12,254 teachers as part of its ongoing assessment of teachers for their development as well as for better learning delivery.

It will be recalled that the Kaduna State Government hired 25,000 new teachers in 2017 after dismissing over 22,000 unqualified ones following a competency review.

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RCCG parish launches dating site, says there’s no marriage in heaven

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RCCG City of David
RCCG City of David

The City of David parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Victoria Island, Lagos, has launched a new dating website.

“There is no marriage in heaven!” declared the church on its official Facebook page, just days after the website went live. “We’re here to help you connect and, hopefully, meet your better half.”

A look at the website reveals that the dating platform connects adults in courtship and marriage.

Before being approved, prospective participants must register and have their information processed. However, participants are not required to pay any fees to use the platform.

According to the church, the platform’s goal is to connect people for courtship and marriage.

RCCG Pastor Idowu Iluyomade
RCCG Pastor Idowu Iluyomade

According to a statement on the dating site, users of the dating site were advised to conduct due diligence before connecting with other participants.

“The Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David Parish makes no representations or warranties and expressly disclaims any and all liability concerning any damages sustained by any registrant as a result of connecting with anyone on this platform,” the disclaimer said.

The Parish Pastor, Idowu Iluyomade, said in a video posted to the platform’s Facebook page that people on the forum are of varying ages.

“We have from ages 20, 25 to 65,” Pastor Idowu said on social media.

The platform is already organizing virtual masterclasses for participants in which critical ingredients for a successful marriage are taught.

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JUST IN: Amaechi visits Nnamdi Kanu in DSS custody

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Chief Mbazulike Amaechi, a First Republic parliamentarian and former Minister of Aviation, on Thursday visited the detained leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, who is in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

This was made known by Kanunta Kanu, younger brother of Nnamdi Kanu via his known social media pages.

Amaechi visited Kanu alongside the co-Chair of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha. Nnamdi Kanu’s sibling said the visitors “had a meaningful interaction” with the IPOB leader.

“Chief Mbazuruike Amaechi and His Grace Bishop Sunday .N. Onuoha visited their son #MaziNnamdiKanu the leader of IPOB at #DSS Headquarters in Abuja today, where they hard a meaningful interaction,” Kanunta Kanu wrote.

POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that twelve days ago, Chief Amaechi, a nonagenarian, led Igbo elders to Aso Rock Villa where they met President Muhammadu Buhari and asked for Kanu who has been held since June, to be freed.

There, Buhari said the unconditional release of the IPOB leader, who is currently standing trial for treason, runs contrary to the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and judiciary.

On Thursday, Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja rescheduled Kanu’s trial from January 19 to 18, 2022.

The shift in the trial date followed the abridgement of time granted by the Judge following a passionate plea to that effect.

Kanu’s lead lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had approached the Court with an application seeking an order of the Court to accommodate the trial in November and December this year as against the earlier January 19, 2022.

The prosecuting Attorney of the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, however, told the Court that a counter affidavit opposing the request by the government has been filled and served on Kanu.

Justice Nyako informed Kanu’s lawyer that the application for time abridgement cannot be granted because there was no judicial time for such an issue.

During the drama that ensued, the case diary of the Court was read to the lawyer to establish that the Court has crowded pending cases.

Following the insistence, Justice Nyako agreed to shift other cases slated for January 18 to accommodate the trial which would last till January 19 and 20.

Justice Nyako ordered the DSS to allow Kanu to practice his faith, change his clothes and be given the maximum possible comfort in the detention facility.

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