Why Cancer Is Often a Death Sentence in Africa

<SUNBIGHT>~Africa~Health~Eke~6th February,2022.

THE number of cancer cases is notably on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa. But medical professionals say there is not enough awareness, facilities, or political will to change the situation.

Lilian Gasper is an oncologist at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi, located just south of the eponymous mount in Tanzania. The consultant says she sees more patients these days than in previous years.

“However, few patients really know about cancer,” she told DW. This is why she also visits surrounding villages in the hope of educating more people about the symptoms of various cancers, helping them to detect disease early.

“We show women techniques to scan their breasts and offer consultations in our mobile clinics,” she says. “We offer imaging solutions for [detecting] breast cancer and also offer vaccinations for young girls against cervical cancer.”

But an overall lack of knowledge among the population isn’t the only challenge cancer specialists face in many parts of the continent. Above all, there’s a shortage of medical equipment.

German physician Oliver Henke — who helped set up the new cancer ward at KCMC Hospital in Moshi in 2016 — says finding a cancer specialist anywhere in Africa can be difficult.

“If we exclude the North African countries and South Africa, the rest of the [African] countries suffer from an overall sense of poor coverage in terms of specialists and staff,” he told DW.

Only 20 cancer specialists for an entire country

In Tanzania — a country with a population of over 60 million — fewer than 20 doctors are specializing in cancer care, says Henke. In addition, only three hospitals offer cancer therapies, and only two of those three have the equipment for radiation therapy. In Moshi, for example, there are plans to open a radiation center in the future — but there still isn’t enough money to do so.

The clinics that do offer treatments are often overbooked, Henke adds. As a result, many cancer patients have to travel for a couple of days to receive treatment.

On top of everything else, cancer treatment in Tanzania is far from being a free service.

“Only 8% of Tanzanians have adequate health insurance that covers cancer,” Henke says. “The others have to pay out of their own pockets, collect donations or try to participate in free aid programs.”

This is part of why most cancer patients seek out traditional healers first — not realizing that they cannot cure cancer.

More routine cancer examinations needed

By the time they overcome all of these obstacles and see a specialist, it’s already too late for many people. Gaspar explains that “many patients only come when they are already showing symptoms due to the lack of routine examinations,” which can be fatal.

Henke also confirms that about 80% of patients only come to seek help when the cancer is no longer curable.

But there is also another issue at stake that may contribute to higher death rates across Africa: Genetics. Henke says evidence suggests that “prostate cancers appear earlier in African men and are generally much more aggressive.”

More aggressive forms of breast cancer are also more common in African women than German women. According to Henke, these differences are “very likely genetic.”

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that cancer cases worldwide will nearly double between 2018 and 2040. Factors behind this forecast, include the growth in the global population and the steady increase in life expectancy around the globe.

A team of scientists — most of whom work at the Pasteur Institute in Tunisia — conducted a study on cancer trends on the African continent. Their research, published in 2021, revealed that growing affluence across Africa is also a risk factor for cancer.

Lifestyles are shifting alongside changing disposable income levels, with “urbanization, various forms of pollution, more tobacco and alcohol consumption, and diets high in meat, sugar and processed foods” all contributing to an increased risk.

The biggest killer: Cervical cancer

Oncologist Henke says that an estimated 30% of all cancer cases in sub-Saharan Africa are caused or exacerbated by infections. Above all, this includes cervical cancer, which is usually the result of a long-term Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection.

Gasper says that the risk factors for transmitting the virus include having sex without barrier protection (usually a condom) or having multiple sexual partners. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the magnitude of these risks, partly because the narrative on sexually transmitted diseases in Africa has focused solely on HIV/AIDS for decades.

According to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project, cervical cancer caused the highest number of deaths in more than half of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018. And the study from Tunisia confirms that there is a high mortality rate for cervical cancer in Africa: In 2018, more than 75% of all affected women in East, Central, and West Africa did not survive.

The mortality rate declined in southern Africa in recent years, while it has increased in all other African regions over the past four years. Although vaccinations against this type of cancer are available, Gasper says that vaccine skepticism is high based on her experience in Tanzania.

South Africa’s battle against lung cancer

The study from Tunisia also highlights that lung cancer is on the rise in northern and southern Africa. In South Africa, this type of cancer caused the most deaths in 2018, according to TCGA.

Lorraine Govender, a health promotion manager at CANSA, South Africa’s oldest non-governmental organization working to help eradicate cancer, is concerned about the lack of official screening programs against lung cancer in her country.

Although South Africa is considered a middle-and upper-income nation, Govender says there are still massive inequalities in cancer treatment. Currently, only private health insurance is available in South Africa, which offers varying degrees of services and protections.

This means that the quality of care is low, especially in rural areas, as there is a lack of personnel. “Most oncologists work in private clinics,” Govender told DW.

Politics over people

Meanwhile, the potential introduction of national health insurance in the country remains a highly debated issue in a country where poor service delivery has disillusioned much of the population, with few trusting the government to run any public program.

But any progress towards making healthcare accessible to everyone has effectively been halted, as other political issues and scandals take center stage. This puts lower-income demographics at a major disadvantage when they fall ill.

Govender believes that saving people’s lives should not depend on politics: “People are dying while we wait for new laws and a strengthening of the health sector.”■

[Courtesy: Martina SCHWIKOWSKI/Ineke MULES/Chrispin MWAKIDEU// Deutsche Welle]

Guinea-Bissau: Are drug cartels behind the attempted coup?

<SUNBIGHT>~Guinea-Bissua~Nkwo~5th February,2022.

IT is still unclear who is behind the attempted coup in Guinea-Bissau. President Embalo claims that the coup plotters wanted to end his fight against drug trafficking. But what about the role of the political elite?

“It was a cold-blooded attack. And the perpetrators were certainly not members of our armed forces. They rather were people from the underworld, who wanted to prevent my fight against international drug trafficking.”

Those were the words of Guinea-Bissau’s president, Umaro Sissoco Embalo, speaking to an assembled press corps on Tuesday night. Just hours before, a bloody shootout had taken place at the government buildings, followed by an hourslong siege at the complex that houses not only the official residence of the head of government, but also all of the country’s ministries.  

Unknown individuals also fired projectiles, allegedly with bazookas. 11 security personnel were killed — all of them members of the presidential guard.  

Embalo — himself a former general — appeared cool and determined throughout his speech.

“The perpetrators were certainly killers finances by the drug mafia,” he repeated on multiple occasions — despite insisting that he did not want to jump to any conclusions in the ongoing investigation.

Above all, he stressed that the government had been able to repel the attack and that the situation was under his control.  

Doubts raised about president’s version of events

Epifania Fernandes, a journalist for the independent newspaper O Democrata, was a witness to the attack. She had gone to the government palace on Tuesday morning to report on a cabinet meeting when she suddenly heard bazooka shells.

“Inside the government building, everyone panicked,” she told DW. “Then we heard a lot of pistol shots. I ran from hall to hall, ministry to ministry, and finally hid in a toilet. Only after more than five hours, at 5 p.m. in the afternoon, could I feel reassured that it all was over and that we could leave the government building. We were all in a state of shock.” 

Fernandes went on to describe the perpetrators she saw: “Whether it was hit men paid by the drug lords or soldiers, I cannot say with certainty. However, I saw several armed people in civilian clothes who were not recognizable — at least externally — as soldiers.”

Domingos Simoes Pereira, head of the largest opposition party in Guinea-Bissau, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cabo Verde (PAIGC), told DW that it wouldn’t be “advisable” to go along with the president’s simplistic explanation.

“[Embalo] is presenting himself as a fighter against the drug mafia in order to lull the international community into complacency,” Pereira said. “But the citizens of Guinea-Bissau want to know what is really behind this alleged coup attempt. Who were the people who carried out this coup? How many were there? Who was in command of them? What were their real goals?”  

The president has so far failed to provide answers to any of these questions, Pereira said, adding that some observers are openly speculating that Embalo himself may have staged the coup.

“Such a coup would be an ideal pretext to intensify his purge of internal critics and opposition figures,” Pereira said.

In the hands of drug cartels 

There is currently no evidence to support the theory that the drug mafia commissioned the attack. However, this theory cannot be dismissed altogether either: Guinea-Bissau is considered an important hub for drug trafficking — especially for cocaine.

Since achieving independence from Portugal in 1974, the West African country has experienced nine coups and attempted coups, as well as several political assassinations. Some of these have actually been attributed to drug cartels, which have had a firm grip on the country since 2005.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Guinea-Bissau is now one of the most important gateways for cocaine coming from South America to Europe.

“Organized crime will do whatever it wants in Guinea-Bissau,” Calvario Ahukharie, the former head of Interpol in Guinea-Bissau, told DW. He said the fight against the cartels was practically impossible to win, as many capos are rumored to be in cahoots with military officials and politicians.

“The drug lords from South America go in and out of our country whenever and however they please,” Ahukharie said. “They subjugate the politicians. They are the real rulers in our country.”

A gateway to the drug trade

Ahukharie said large quantities of drugs were casually smuggled into the country on large ships, inside packages weighing up to 200 kilograms (450 pounds). The government in Guinea-Bissau, he says, will likely leave this drug mafia alone and let them reign as they please.

In return, the political elites will be paid off — with money or even with drugs.

“The drug lords feel right at home in Guinea-Bissau, like they are in paradise,” Ahukharie said. 

Guinea-Bissau began its transformation into a narco-state in 2005, when longtime president Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira — who had ruled the country with an iron fist from 1980 to 1999 — was reelected after returning from six years of exile in Portugal. 

Vieira allowed the Colombian drug mafia to seize the country. Guinea-Bissau’s numerous islands, which were virtually uncontrolled by the state, were used as a station to bring in cocaine from South America en route to Europe.

The drug lords had nothing to fear from Vieira, Ahukharie said:”On the contrary, Vieira paved the way for the drug cartels to have free reign, and in return he received a share of their profits.”

But, soon, Vieira came into conflict with rivals in his own military. In March 2009, he was assassinated by his own soldiers.

Military in cahoots with cartels

After Vieira’s death, the drug smuggling business continued to thrive in Guinea-Bissau: In April 2013, navy chief Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was lured into an intelligence trap set by agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, who arrested him on the high seas in international waters, making his extradition merely a formality.

Bubo Na Tchuto provided US authorities with important information and names of key players in the trade. He was consequently released from prison soon after his court conviction, so that he could return to Guinea-Bissau.  

Observers are certain that pockets of Guinea-Bissau’s army are still involved in drug trafficking. But some of the senior military officials in Guinea-Bissau have reportedly become more cautious, trying to fall under the radar. 

In the wake of the recent coup attempt, one name keeps coming up again and again: Bubo Na Tchuto — even though he is no longer active in the military.

What has two wings and won’t fly?

An airliner parked at the airport of the capital, Bissau, since October 2020 has been the subject of much discussion in recent months — especially with regard to the state of corruption and active collaboration between government and military officials and drug cartels.

The relevant authorities don’t know who owns the Airbus 340 aircraft, nor what it was carrying when it landed there. Investigations into this mysterious state of affairs have been repeatedly postponed or avoided.

President Embalo, however, still fancies himself as a committed fighter against international drug trafficking. He refuses to draw any connection between the wayward plane and the drug cartels operating in his country.

Embalo’s stance has caused much outrage, not only among the opposition and civil society, but also in his own government.   

“I’m not sure if this president really has what it takes to style himself as a leader in the fight against the drug cartels in the country,” said Pereira, the opposition leader. “We also have information about the movement of boats in our territorial waters for which there are no plausible explanations.”

Coup d’etat or coup de grace?

Pereira may not be as innocent as he makes himself out to be: He and his own party have also been repeatedly accused of having links to the drug cartels that operate in Guinea-Bissau — and quite openly so.

Still, Pereira has repeated his calls to the international community to not accept the president’s “simplistic statements” surrounding the attempted coup.

Whether Pereira is involved in the drug trade or not, his message seems to have fallen on dead ears: The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) appears to agree with the president’s version of events — at least for now — and has praised Embalo’s efforts against the drug mafias.

The international community has only condemned the coup attempt for what it is: an attempt at seizing power without going through democratic processes. There’s been no mention of the South American drug wars being played out on African soil. At least not yet.■

[Courtesy:Antonio CASCAIS / DW]

Bring the AFCON Cup Home or Pay Back Money Spent to Prepare You!

<SUNBIGHT> – Guinea – 29 December, 2021.

GUINEA president Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya has told the country’s Africa Cup of Nations squad to either win the tournament or bring back the money spent in preparing for it.

Guinea are in Group B of the continental extravaganza, alongside Zimbabwe, Senegal and Malawi.

Speaking at the send off ceremony, Doumbouya, the former army general who rose to power through a military coup which toppled former President Alpha Condé in October, challenged the team to win the continental showpiece in Cameroon.

“Bring back the trophy or bring back the money we invested in you. Period,” the President said.

Guinea kick start their campaign against Malawi on January 10.■

[Courtesy: soccer24]

Libya close in on Nigeria’s spot as Africa’s top oil producer

NIGERIA’S oil production fell again in October, nearly handing Libya the title of Africa’s top oil producer.

This is according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ most recent monthly oil market report.

OPEC uses secondary sources to track its oil output, but it also publishes a table of numbers given by its member states.

What the report is saying

OPEC said oil output climbed mainly in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the UAE, and Kuwait while Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea suffered a decline in their monthly oil production.

The report said, “According to secondary sources, total OPEC-13 crude oil production averaged 27.45 mb/d in October 2021, higher by 0.22 mb/d m-o-m. Crude oil output increased mainly in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the UAE, and Kuwait, while production in Nigeria, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea declined.”

According to data provided to OPEC by Nigeria, output fell drastically to 1.228 million barrels per day (bpd) in October 2021, down from roughly 1.247 million bpd in September.

Libya, which surpassed Angola as Africa’s second-largest oil producer in December 2020, increased production to 1.244 million barrels per day in October from 1.161 million barrels per day in September.

According to OPEC, Nigeria oil production fell to 1.354 million bpd in October 2021 from 1.399 million bpd in October 2021, based on secondary sources.

Based on direct contact, Nigeria had the second-largest decline in output among its OPEC counterparts in October, after Iraq. According to secondary sources, the country’s production dropped the highest in the month.

Why the drop in Nigeria’s crud oil output

Nigeria has experienced a drop in crude oil production over the last three months, failing to meet the 1.6mbpd cap placed on it by OPEC.

Analysts suggest this is due to rig shutdowns at the height of the pandemic as an oil glut disincentivize production. However, to bring the oil rigs back up requires a protracted period of mobilization of all the resources required to bring output back to pre-Covid levels. There was also an outage at the Trans Forcados terminal, a major export hub for Nigeria.

Nigeria’s production drop as against target is also due to downtime on major pipelines, crude oil theft and several operational challenges leading to production capacity constraints in the assets.

Upshots

While these challenges persist, indications suggest the situation may be improving with production output expected to grow.

Seplat Energy, an indigenous oil exporter reported in its third quarter results that production was back up following the reopening of the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

“Production has recovered strongly since the outage at Forcados Oil Terminal (FOT) and we have been averaging nearly 33kbopd liquids throughout October. Now that production has normalised, we expect production to be in the range 48-50 kboepd for the year, provided uptime on the Forcados Pipeline and FOT remains above the budgeted 80,” Seplat Energy said.■

Author: Ubah Jeremiah IFEANYI [Nairametrics]

SAMUEL ETO’O VISITS MADAGASCAR FOR STADIUM LAUNCH

http://www.sunbight.com

The Malagasy President , Andry Rajoelina has welcomed Africa famous soccer star Samuel Eto’o to Madagascar as the country will launch officially a newly completed ultramodern sports stadium the Barea stadium on Thursday.

President Rajoelina welcoming Eto’o added that his presence will inspire the youths of Madagascar. African Report files learnt that Samuel Eto’o is invited by the government of MADAGASCAR to grace the occasion.

africanreportfiles

REACTIONS: Africans at Home and in Diaspora expresses sadness over a $55 million deal struck by the government of Sierra Leone and China to sell its Rainforest

http://www.sunbight.com

A $55 million deal struck by the government of Sierra Leone and China to build an Industrial fishing harbour on 100 hectares(250 acres) of beach and protected rain forest has been criticised  as “a catastrophic human and ecological disaster” by conservationists, landowners and rights groups.
African people have expressed sadness over what they describes as a ugly deal between Sierra Leone and China .

As collated by African Report Files, Bovet Maloba, CEO of “WILL YOU MARRY MI”, a platform that promotes Marriage among African people and it descendants . Mr Maloba a buisness man based in  United States of America USA is a Southern Cameroonian by birth in his reaction, have  asked African people to take serious actions  for a radical changes beyond social media criticism.

BELOW IS HIS OPINION; EXCERPT

“My take on this issue is that of sadness as usual because Sierra Leone represent Sub Saharan Africa.  Everything that China and Western countries are doing in Sierra Leone is exactly what they do in the whole  of Sub Saharan Africa.
All we do is criticize on social media but we never follow up to see if the leaders took our criticisms seriously and made changes.

Neocolonialism is alive and well, just like the Chinese, every other continent trading with us is happily taking advantage of our laziness.

The marriage between African leaders and the African people has been characterised by unfaithfulness for a long time. Our leaders are cheating on us with the West, Asia and everyone who flirts with them.

Similarly, the suffering Africans also have their own share of the blame. Our leaders don’t come from space, they are our brothers and sisters, if they are corrupt it’s because we as a people are corrupt.

During elections in Africa we display our immorality  by supporting and voting to power only leaders who corrupt us with Beer and bags of Rice.
We show no interest in the policies proposed by the Candidates. The one who bribes us carry the day, so we deserve what’s happening to us.

Chinese, Europeans and Americans are not smarter than us, we live  and school with them in Western and Eastern cities. They have no special knowledge that we lack, the only reason why their countries are leading ours is because our leaders lack of will to make the difference.

Also, the only reason these thieving African political class continue in their thievery is because we don’t stand up against them. Even when a small portion of the population try to resist, the leaders will use the old colonial tactics of divide and rule to make us fight against the smart few who tried to resist them. Tribalism remains their most effective tool they use to practice divide and rule.

The day Africans will unite and say no to Tribalism or any kind of Favoritism In favor of truth and justice, that will mark the beginning of the better days to come for our continent.

Africa has 1.3 billion people,  this represent an outstanding market. With this huge market we don’t need China or any foreign nation to prosper, we have the capacity to trade among ourselves. We don’t need to produce what we don’t consume, the old lie that those things we don’t consume are “cash crops” whatever that means should be forgotten.  Plantains, Yams and Groundnuts that we consume can also bring us cash. We can’t be producing what we can’t consume, just for people to decide the prices of what we produce in Belgium, Switzerland & Beijing etc. Nobody can decide prices for our plantains,  Yams and Groundnuts cause if they don’t buy it we will consume it happily, said Mr Bovet Maloba.

Also reacting , Prof Tshilidzi Nenzhelele  from the University of South Africa (UNISA) frowned as he pitied  the future generations who will bear the burden .

“Cry my beloved Africa. It is discouraging to learn that even today we still have African countries selling precious natural jewels for worthless papers (money). The current and future generations should pay for something that belong to them by birth. Sierra Leone why would you sell us?”.♧

[Courtesy: Pan-African Daily TV]

Hundreds are starving, homeless as UAE denies work permits to Nigerians

NIGERIANS residing in the United Arab Emirates have raised a public outcry over a restrictive labour policy that bars them from getting employed, leaving hundreds without means of livelihood, homeless and hungry.

The new policy, which prohibits Nigerians from getting work permits that will enable them live decently, goes against Sustainable Development Goals One, Two, Three, Eight and 10 which bother on poverty, hunger, good health and wellbeing, decent work and reduced inequalities respectively.

Since early July, Nigerians in the UAE have been saying that they are being victimised solely on account of their nationality and more than 300 persons have lost their jobs as they are not granted work permits by the country’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MORHE) in charge of regulating labour affairs.

Those affected include those who have lived and worked in the country for years but whose work permits expired after July, and others seeking to relocate to the UAE for employment.

Jobless after working for seven years

One of the victims, who did not want to be named for fear of further victimisation, told The ICIR that he had lived in the UAE peacefully for over seven years and had never been involved in any criminal activity.

After toiling for these years for wages that were not commensurate to the 14 hours (on the average) he had to put in daily on the available jobs, he landed his dream job in answer to his prayers during the last Ramadan.

“I was so happy and grateful to God, believing that my life had changed but the company applied for my work permit issuance from the Ministry of Labour and it was stated that because I’m a Nigerian, I’m not eligible for work permit,” he narrated.

“Hundreds of people are losing their jobs daily. People are homeless. I don’t even know how I will get money to pay my house rent. I’m so depressed and I have children (back in Nigeria) whom I have not sent money to since June,” he said.

A sample of the rejection message received by Nigerians seeking to renew their work permits.

http://www.sunbight.com

When translated to English, the encircled part of the document above states that “this nationality is not allowed to apply for permit.”

He later received a message from the company stating that his offer of employment had been withdrawn as they were unable to hire Nigerian candidates due to work permit restrictions for the nationality.

“We have been following the guidelines from the government to be able to hire our employees as per the law, as Nigerians’ work permits are not allowed in MOHRE as well as the visas by immigration departments..,” part of the letter read.

A copy of the communication from the new company withdrawing his offer of employment on Sunday September 26, 2021.

A fruitless journey to the UAE

Chabor Oghenevwede Angus and a friend who both reside in Nigeria received an employment offer from a company in the UAE on July 7 and were excited about the prospect of relocating to the country.

Unaware of the government’s ban on work permits for Nigerians, the company processed all their employment documents and flew them into the country through Ghana, as direct flights between Nigeria and the UAE had been suspended since March.

“After all they tried to do to see that we continued with our job, it proved abortive and the company was left with no choice than to send us back to Nigeria. We returned on Augusts 12. This is really happening, it’s not a fluke,” Angus told The ICIR.

Other victims share their experiences

Another anonymous victim who spoke to this newspaper said: “I don’t know when this ban will be lifted because seriously this is just unfair. I have just been told by the owner of my company that no Visa renewal for Nigerians and I have not saved enough. My last hope is to work in Expo 2020”.

Fredrick Adams (not real names) said he had no family in the UAE and had been unable to renew his contract after it expired on July 26 owing to the work permit dilemma. He called on the Nigerian government to come to the aid of its citizens that were stranded in the Middle East country.

Hillary Ejiofor is grateful to still have a job as his work permit is still valid, yet he is extremely concerned about the wellbeing of his Nigerian brothers and sisters and is calling for help for the many rendered homeless.

“Some of us here are suffering for what we don’t know about because even if another country like Uganda, Cameroon commit any offence here, they will tag it Nigeria…Many people who lost their jobs have now been rendered homeless and are unable to feed. We are calling for help because Nigerians here are suffering,” he told this newspaper.

Our findings show that this work permit restriction does not apply to Nigerians working in free-zone areas as they do not require work permits to get their Employment Visas from immigration.

However, the majority of companies in the UAE are in areas designated ‘mainland’ and come under the Ministry of Labour which must issue work permits before Employment Visas are issued.

Seeing that companies are now wary of accepting Nigerian citizens, some recruitment agents have begun to reflect this ‘No Nigerian Accepted’ position in their job adverts, as seen by The ICIR.

Appeal for restoration of friendly diplomatic relations

Last Wednesday, the umbrella body of Nigerians in the UAE (NIDO-UAE) sent a passionate appeal to their host country to rescind its position and restore friendly diplomatic relations with Nigeria.

However, the UAE officially maintains a non-discriminatory position and claims that it has not placed any restriction on Nigerians, even though unofficial sources have attributed the ban to the criminal activities of some Nigerians in the country.

“It’s unfortunate that innocent Nigerians who are the (Black) majority in the UAE are passing through hard times despite being hard working, focused, committed and determined to excel in there various legitimate occupation careers,” a Nigerian resident in the UAE Nkechi Obiora said.

She urged the UAE government to safeguard the jobs of honest, hardworking and sincere Nigerians working tirelessly to contribute positively to the economy of the country.

Some other Nigerians who spoke with The ICIR, argued that they had taken the fall for crimes committed by other black nationalities.

Emmanuel Ugochukwu said: “It is true that a few Nigerians are not representing us well but the UAE is also tagging every black person Nigerian, which is not the case. Other people would commit crimes and they would say it is Nigerians that have done it. This makes it very tough for us here.”

Nonetheless, it would appear that the work permit restriction on Nigerians may not be unconnected with the flight ban the Nigerian government placed on Emirates, the UAE national carrier, over disagreement arising from COVID-19 testing.

Nigerian government’s position

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika explained that the UAE introduced a COVID-19 protocol that was not backed by science and tended to target only Nigerians.

“For the sake of the international convention, we cannot be discriminated against,” Sirika said.

Addressing world leaders at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76) in New York, United States, last Friday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari stressed the urgent need to sustain efforts geared towards rooting out racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related intolerance.

“In the past, racism oiled the machine of slavery and colonialism. Today, racism drives hate crimes and institutional discrimination. In all this, Africans and people of African descent are among the major victims,” Buhari said.

The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) has mandated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Aviation to work together to resolve the lingering diplomatic crisis between both countries.

As Dubai prepares to host the World Expo 2020 for 180 days, starting on October 1, Nigerians in the UAE are hoping they would be able to leverage on the potential opportunities the event would bring, but only if both countries reach a compromise.

Author: Oghenekevwe UCHECHUKWU

[Courtesy: International Centre for Investigative Reporting]

UNEXPECTED POLITICAL ALLIANCE IN GAMBIA AS BARROW AND JAMMEH UNITES FOR DECEMBER POLL

Barrow and Jammeh

ADAMA BARROW AND YAHYA JAMMEH FORMS POLITICAL ALLIANCE

■ Gambian President Adama Barrow and former leader Yahya Jammeh have formed a political alliance ahead of the December 4th elections, putting to test the incumbent’s commitment to justice and human rights .

Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party will support President Barrow’s National Peoples Party (NPP) at the ballot.

Jammeh, who ruled the Gambia for 22 years, was forced to resign after losing a 2016 vote to Barrow, who is now expected to run for re-election, despite an earlier agreement to step down after three years.

Gambian human rights groups and victims’ associations have characterized the merger as a betrayal, after the government promised to hold Jammeh accountable for alleged rights abuses.

What do you make of that statement by human rights groups and victims’ associations? ●

[ DW ]