As we conclude the week, here are the key headlines from Africa. A Nigerian politician tragically passed away during an AFCON match, while Nigeria’s dramatic victory over South Africa secured their spot in the finals against Ivory Coast.
Namibia swiftly inaugurated a new president following the death of its former leader. In other news, at least 13 fatalities were reported in central Kenya due to illicit alcohol consumption, and Gauteng, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga continue to endure a scorching heatwave.
Multichoice settled a tax dispute with Nigeria, Kanye West hinted at possible tours in Nigeria and Kenya, and Tyla’s “Water” earned a nomination for International Song of the Year at the BRIT Awards 2024.
Check out all the top stories below:
NIGERIAN POLITICIAN DIES WATCHING AFCON GAME
Nigerian politician Cairo Ojougboh, a former member of the House of Representatives representing the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, passed away on Wednesday, February 7th, while watching the dramatic Nigeria vs. South Africa AFCON semi-final game.
The Cable reports that the politician collapsed and lost consciousness when a penalty was awarded
against the Super Eagles of Nigeria in regulation time.
Ojougboh was confirmed dead hours later.
NIGERIA KNOCKS SOUTH AFRICA IN THE DRAMATIC SEMI-FINALS OF AFCON ’23 AND WILL HEAD TO FINALS WITH IVORY COAST
Nigeria clashed with South Africa on Wednesday in the dramatic semifinals, in a match that saw the Super Eagles advance to the finals after a (4-2) penalty shootout.
The Super Eagles will face hosts Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) on Sunday, February 11, 2024, for the AFOCN finals.
Meanwhile, the losing teams, Bafana Bafana and DR Congo will face off against each other to compete for third place on Saturday.
Saturday, 10 Feb – SA vs. DR Congo (10pm)
Sunday, 11 Feb – Nigeria vs. Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) (10pm)
NAMIBIA’S NEW PRESIDENT MBUMBA SWORN-IN HOURS AFTER GEINGOB (82) DIES
Namibia’s President Hage Geingob (82) passed away in the hospital early on Sunday, 4 February 2024, weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer, the presidency said.
Hours after the announcement of Geingob’s death, Nangolo Mbumba, aged 82, was sworn in as Namibia’s fourth president.
Mbumba will serve as interim president until March 2025, when a new leader is scheduled to assume the presidency.
KANYE WEST HINTS POSSIBLE NIGERIA AND KENYA TOUR
This week, Ye (Kanye West) shared on social media a list of countries he plans to tour in 2024 and 2025, with Nigeria and Kenya among those included.
Ye revealed this extensive list in a screenshot of a conversation posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday, which included Lagos and Nairobi.
The screenshot of suggested tour dates listed Eko Energy City in Lagos, Nigeria for December 14, 2024, and Nyayo International Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya for December 7, 2024.
The tour list further revealed that after touring Africa, Kanye will proceed to Australia in January 2025 and conclude the tour in Japan in February.
This won’t be the first time Ye performs in Africa; he was part of the international artist lineup at the 2007 Mega Star Jam hosted in Nigeria.
TYLA – WATER NOMINATED FOR INTERNATIONAL SONG OF THE YEAR AT THE BRIT AWARDS 2024
Tyla continues to make waves after winning her first GRAMMY award for her smash hit “Water” in the Best African Music Performance category.
Tyla’s widely acclaimed track “Water” maintains its momentum, securing a nomination for International Song of the Year at the BRIT Awards 2024.
The BRIT Awards are given every year by the British Phonographic Industry to honour exceptional achievements in music. There have been many artists who have won BRIT Awards, including Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Adele, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, and Michael Jackson, among others.
Other African artists nominated for this years BRIT’s include Asake, Burna Boy, Rema,
The BRIT Awards 2024 will take place on Saturday 2nd March – once again back in a primetime Saturday night slot – and will broadcast live on ITV1 and ITVX – from The O2 arena.
AT LEAST 13 PEOPLE DIE AFTER CONSUMING ILLICIT ALCOHOL IN CENTRAL KENYA
At least 13 people have died, while others have been hospitalized, after consuming illicit brews in Kenya’s central county of Kirinyaga, as confirmed by government officials on Wednesday.
Central Regional Commissioner Fredrick Shisia stated that the tragedy occurred when the victims drank at a local bar on Monday night.
They later complained of stomach pains and vomiting early on Tuesday, with six dying at home and seven in hospitals by Wednesday. In addition, Shisia also reported that over ten people were blinded by the brews, adding that enraged Kangai villagers raided and set fire to the bar associated with the deaths on Wednesday.
The National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) expressed concern about the deaths and blindness among those who drank the suspected alcoholic drinks.
NACADA issued a warning to the public about the rise of illicit alcohol-related deaths and illnesses.
“NACADA wishes to caution the public on the rising cases of illicit alcohol-related deaths and illnesses, and urges the public to avoid consumption of alcohol whose quality cannot be verified,” NACADA Chief Executive Officer Anthony Omerikwa said in a statement issued in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.
Furthermore, Shisia has urged government agencies to work together to address alcoholism in the central region.
HEATWAVE CONTINUES IN GAUTENG, LIMPOPO, AND MPUMALANGA
Gauteng residents have been urged to brace for scorching temperatures this week as the South African Weather Service (SAWS) issued a heatwave alert for the province, along with Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Forecaster Puseletso Mofokeng said the hot conditions are expected to persist until Friday, with residents advised to stay hydrated and to keep themselves in cooler areas, EWN reports.
The highest temperature in each province is expected to be 39 degrees, in Hammanskraal (Gauteng), Musina (Limpopo), and Musina (Mpumalanga).
MULTICHOICE REACHES TAX SETTLEMENT WITH NIGERIA
MultiChoice Group has resolved a tax dispute in Nigeria by agreeing to pay a total of US$37.5 million (R709 million). This settlement amount is significantly lower than the sum initially demanded by Nigeria’s tax authorities.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service of Nigeria had frozen MultiChoice Nigeria’s accounts in 2022 and imposed a tax claim of ₦1.8 trillion (R24 billion) for its operations in Nigeria, along with a R6.5 billion claim for Value Added Tax (VAT).
“Shareholders are advised that MultiChoice has reached a settlement with the FIRS in Nigeria in relation to the tax assessments raised in April 2021 on MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN) and in June 2021 on MultiChoice Africa Holdings BV (MAH),” the company said
Multichoice owns the popular subscription-based satellite television services DStv and GOtv in Nigeria. It currently has more than 1,000 employees and indirectly supports over 20,000 jobs in Nigeria.
“The parties (FIRS, MCN and MAH) concluded a without prejudice or precedent’ agreement in full and final settlement of all matters in dispute. In terms of the agreement, MCN and MAH shall pay a total tax amount of NGN35.4bn (~US$37.3m), to be offset against the security deposits and good faith payments made to date.”
However, after negotiations, MultiChoice Group has settled the dispute for a much lower amount, bringing an end to the protracted tax issue in the country.
SENEGAL PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS POSTPONED
Senegalese President Macky Sall announced that the presidential elections, which were originally planned for 25 February 2024 will be postponed.
This announcement was made on Saturday, 3 February in a message broadcast to the nation just a few hours before the start of the electoral campaign at midnight on Sunday.
The National Assembly passed a bill on Saturday to delay the 25th February presidential elections by six months. Twenty candidates, approved by the Constitutional Council, are set to contest in the polls.
President Macky Sall has chosen not to seek a third term.
NDLEA INTERCEPTS 14.5 TONS OF ‘GHANAIAN LOUD’ DRUG IN LAGOS
On Sunday, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) announced that its operatives had seized substantial shipments of Ghanaian Loud, a potent strain of cannabis sativa, smuggled into Lagos from Ghana.
The contraband was found loaded in two trucks and a J5 bus, totaling a weight of 14,524.8 kilograms.
According to the NDLEA, three vehicles carrying large bags of the psychoactive substance were tracked and intercepted at the Ojuelegba area of Lagos in the early hours of Sunday, January 28th, 2024.
The agency disclosed that two drivers fled when the vehicles were stopped, while the third driver, 66-year-old Nasiru Ojomu was arrested.
On Sunday, NDLEA’s Director of Media and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, announced the seizure of several shipments of the psychoactive substance over the past three years, while also revealing the arrest of three suspects during a routine patrol near a warehouse under investigation on Church Street, Idumota, Lagos.
COURT ORDERS FG TO FIX PRICES OF GOODS, AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS WITHIN 7 DAYS
The Federal High Court in Lagos has instructed the Federal Government to establish prices for essential goods and petroleum products within one week.
The decision was made after Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, presented an originating motion before Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa, arguing against the Price Control Board and the Attorney General of the Federation.
The motion aimed to clarify if the Price Control Board was meeting its obligations as stated in Section 4(1) of the Price Control Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. This section deals with setting prices for specific goods listed in the First Schedule to the Price Control Act.
In a supporting affidavit sworn by legal practitioner Taiwo Olawanle from Falana’s firm, it was noted that items such as bicycles, flour, matches, milk, motorcycles, motor vehicles, salt, sugar, diesel, petrol, and kerosene are listed in the Price Control Act.
The affidavit pointed out the lack of enforcement for fixed petroleum product prices as listed under the Act, along with the significant increase in prices of goods like rice, which have risen from ₦8,000 to ₦45,000 per bag in the market.
GHANA SUFFERS CONSTANT AIR POLLUTION DUE TO DUSTY WEATHER CONDITION
The Ghana Meteorological Agency (GET) has issued advice for Ghanaians to consider wearing nose masks due to the recent surge in air pollution in the country.
GET has stated that Ghana’s airspace is polluted and advised citizens to wear protective nose gear for safety.
The Harmattan weather (cool dry wind) is caused by dry and dusty winds from the Sahara desert blowing over West Africa, usually happens between December and February.
Felicity Ahianyo, the Head of the Central Analysis and Forecasting Unit at the Ghana Meteorological Agency, shed light on this situation.
“You can even see the dust settling on cars, buildings, and any other thing, so it becomes very visible to us, and since it is coming from the bare floor, it will definitely have some pathogens, parasites, or disease-causing agents that may be dangerous to our health.”