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164 killed after Kazakhstan president ordered military to open fire on protesters

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The Health Ministry in Kazakhstan says not less than 164 people were killed during the past week of protests in the Central Asian country.

Figures cited by state-run media also said that more than 2,200 people were injured in the violence, which saw Kazakh security forces respond with a heavy hand to anti-government protesters.

According to the ministry, 719 people were being treated in hospitals on Sunday, 83 of them in critical condition. It, however, did not state the nature of the injuries.

Demonstrations, prompted by soaring fuel prices, began a week ago in western Kazakhstan, a country bigger than Western Europe, before turning into a broader revolt against the authoritarian government.

In Almaty, the country’s largest city, the protests devolved into riots and clashes that left buildings torched and businesses looted.

A report by state television said 103 people – including two children – died in Almaty alone, while 1,100 people there sought medical help.

Following a crisis meeting on Sunday, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s office said that operations to contain the protests were continuing and described the situation as being under control.

“Measures are being taken to locate and arrest terrorists,’’ it said.

So far, almost 6,000 people have been arrested, including many foreigners, the presidential office said.

Mr Tokayev has repeatedly said the protesters, who are threatening the survival of his government, are being supported from abroad but has offered little evidence to support the claim.

On Friday, the president issued a shoot-to-kill order against protesters threatening his government’s survival.

Since the protests erupted, Mr Tokayev has dismissed the government and top leaders from the country’s Security Council, declared a state of emergency and asked a Russian-led military alliance for help.

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), an alliance of former Soviet states, has sent 2,500 paratroopers to Kazakhstan as part of a peacekeeping force.

 (dpa/NAN)

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Osun education policy attracts over N2 billion alumni fund, says Gov. Oyetola

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Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun says his administration has attracted over N2 billion in alumni contribution across the state since the review of its education policy.

Mr Oyetola, who was represented by Folorunso Oladoyin, Commissioner for Education, made the disclosure on Saturday at the 60th anniversary of St. John’s Grammar School, Ile-Ife, organised by the Old Students Association, at the school playground.

“Since the reform of education policy that we carried out, we have attracted over N2 billion intervention fund from old students across the state.

“We thank you for your quick intervention in the structural renewal of your school infrastructures.

“We are immensely grateful that you heeded our call for a partnership between the government and all stakeholders in the education sector to move education to the next level.

“Our vision is to deliver 21st-century education that will make our student to be globally competitive, we realise that the four legs on which education stands like a table must corporate and work together.

“We have introduced policies that are impacting education which will attract public schools to the middle and upper class,” he said.

The Chairman of Organising Committee of the Anniversary, Gbenga Adefaye, said the association was not happy with the way the past administration practically destroyed education by decentralising school in Osun.

Mr Adefaye, however, commended the governor for restoring the name, uniform and for collaborating with stakeholders to transform the school. 

(NAN)

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Comoros to face Cameroon without goalkeeper as COVID-19, injury hit squad

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Comoros squad

Debutants in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, Comoros, will be without a goalkeeper and coach Amir Abdou on Monday as they face hosts and five-time champions Cameroon in Yaounde.

Their giant-killers camp has been hit by 12 positive COVID-19 tests, affecting seven players, including the two remaining goalkeepers in the squad.

And this has come with their number one goalkeeper Ben Boina being out through injury.

Officials of the team have, however, assured that they were working round the clock to “do everything in our power to find a solution,” according to the team general manager, El Hadad Himidi. 

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) had earlier ruled that teams affected by COVID-19 must play matches even if they have no recognised goalkeeper in their squad.

“A team will be required to play a match if they have a minimum of 11 players available who have tested negative.

“In the event of the absence of a goalkeeper, another player from the team must replace the goalkeeper, provided the total number of available players is at least 11.

“In exceptional cases, the Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will take the appropriate decision,” CAF had stated.

Comoros will now be hoping that the injury suffered by Boina could be considered an exceptional case.

This is because the goalkeeper sustained the injury and had to leave the field following a challenge which led to Ghana’s Andre Ayew being sent off.

Comoros had shocked Ghana 3-2 to eliminate the Black Stars and qualify for the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed sides.

(NAN)

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Nothing can make me return to party politics, Obasanjo tells Iyorchia Ayu

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Sule Lamido Olusegun Obasanjo and Iyorchia Ayu

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday restated his decision to stay off party politics, saying nothing can make him return.

Mr Obasanjo said this while addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abeokuta.

The former president said he was contented to remain as an elder statesman. “I want to emphasise that I am no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that will bring me back to partisan politics.

“I will always be interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have my advice, I will distinctively give it in the best interest of Nigeria and in the best interest of Africa.

“This is why I have the type of responsibility that I now have in the horn of Africa, which is not an easy thing,” the former president said.

He, however, said that PDP would continue to be part of his life history because he attained the position of the president on the platform of the party.

“I have been with the party right from inception. Whatever I do in my life, because I became president on the platform of PDP, the party will continue to be part of history of my life.

“I must, however, add that the day my ward decided to tear my PDP card, was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. And that day, I vowed that I will no longer be a member of any political party.

“I will remain a statesman in Nigeria, West Africa, Africa and indeed in the world at large.

“Though, I have retired from partisan politics, but I cannot retire from the welfare and wellbeing of the people, whether in my own community, in my own state, in my own country, anywhere in Africa or indeed anywhere in the world.”

Mr Obasanjo said the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, has a huge responsibility in restoring the lost glory of the opposition party.

Speaking, Mr Ayu said that the tenure of Mr Obasanjo as Nigeria’s president on the platform of the PDP, remained the golden era of the party.

“During that period, not only did you grow Nigeria’s economy to be the biggest in Africa, you were able to take the country away from slavery by negotiating and cancelling so much of its foreign debts.

“The Direct Foreign Investment (FDI) in the country was on the increase on daily basis with attendant respect for Nigeria from the international community.

“Most of the institutions and agencies set up during your tenure, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), are still useful in the country.

“You are very passionate about this country and you did a lot. So, we thought we should come and thank you for what you have done, not just for Nigerians, but also for our party and the African continent.

“Though, you retired from partisan politics, partisan politics will never retire from your blood.

“You always want the right thing done and since you want the right thing done, for life, you will remain the emeritus member of the PDP. You cannot build a house and leave it to collapse,” Mr Ayu added. 

(NAN)

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