25.8 C
Abuja
Thursday, August 6, 2020

Forgotten European atrocities in Africa: Peek into abuses and man’s inhumanity to man

This story was done exactly two years ago, it generated quite a lot of feedbacks including a charge one from Shadrack Mandela which stated thus: 'less...

Bill Gates confident coronavirus vaccine will work in Africa, but Africans on Twitter not having it

Talks to have a potential vaccine for Covid-19 tested in Africa, because the number of infected people is not as high as other countries...

Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their...

Crime against Congo: Cases against King Leopold II and Belgium

The intriguing thing about the entrance of King Leopold II into Africa is that it was not with any force or coercion; rather, his...

Open letter to Mrs Seinye Lulu-Briggs: Release High Chief Olu Benson Lulu-Briggs body for burial

Dear Ma, I hope this letter meets you in good health.It is with deep sense of respect that I have chosen to write to you...

History Special: Queen Amina, a warrior among men

In many climes in Africa, women have had to struggle to rise above the perking order of patriarchal expectations.They were highly accepted among men...

Guinea defies coronavirus for vote that could keep Condé in power

The nation of Guinea is defying the coronavirus pandemic to hold a controversial referendum tomorrow that could allow the president to stay longer in power.

Nearly 5 million voters are registered for the vote, which also will choose 14 National Assembly members. President Alpha Conde, whose second and currently final term ends in December, might win the chance to stand for two more seven-year terms.

Some civil society groups urge authorities to postpone the vote until the end of the pandemic. Guinea has two cases of the virus, according to the National Agency for Health Security.

However, the ruling party has said the cases cannot prevent the rest of the county from voting. The election won’t spread the virus, spokesman Amadou Damaro Camara said.

A coalition of opposition and civil society groups, the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution, which has been demonstrating against the referendum, has called for another demonstration on Saturday and Sunday against the election.

When asked if calling for mass gatherings was the right thing to do amid a pandemic, the coalition’s spokesman Sekou Koundouno said they had no other choice. They have said this year they will use all means necessary to prevent the vote on a referendum. More than 36 people have died in demonstrations against the referendum since October, along with at least one gendarme.

“It is up to the government to take all practical health measures against coronavirus. It is not up to a social entity like (us),” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres took note of Conde’s decision and called on all parties “to ensure a peaceful and transparent process,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said late Friday.

The U.N. chief reiterated his call “for a constructive dialogue between the government, the opposition and civil society that seeks to achieve consensus through an inclusive process” and said the U.N. is ready to support such efforts, Dujarric said.

Conde, first elected in 2010, is barred from running for a third term under the constitution. While the amended constitution would keep a two-term limit and increase terms from five years to seven, Conde has implied that his previous terms served would not count.

Faced with the risk of the virus and potential violence, many residents have left the capital, Conakry.

“I’m going to Sierra Leone. My kids go to school, but I got them out,” said Assiatou Bobo Sow, a clothes merchant surrounded by her children at the train station. “We leave Guinea despite ourselves. But we prefer this to avoid coronavirus or a stray bullet.”

Dr. Sakoba Keita, coordinator of the National Agency for Health Security, asserted that the virus can be avoided during the election if voters keep a meter away from each other.

While many fled, others remained, saying they will vote. Some pointed to the country’s resilience in the devastating Ebola outbreak in 2014-16 that killed well over 10,000 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“There has been Ebola in Guinea. There are markets, right? People went to school right? People went to mosques, right? To the church, right?” asked Mansa Fofana, a car salesman in Conakry.

“Let’s stop telling us that coronavirus can prevent daylong elections. I ask the president to keep the election date and not postpone it.”

- Advertisement -

Latest Posts

Suspected grave vandal rescued after spending 2 days buried waist-deep in Soweto

A suspected grave vandal was rescued by the police in South Africa, after apparently spending two days buried up to his waist in a...

Woman 62, to spend 35 years in jail for violent robbery

A 62-year-old female carjacker, will spend the next 35 years behind bars after being convicted of robbery with violence by a Law Court in...

Tanzania opposition CHADEMA names Tundu Lissu as presidential candidate

Tundu Lissu, a fierce critic of President Magufuli, clinched the nomination for the leading opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party ahead of...

24,000 health workers in S. Africa have contracted coronavirus

Some 24,000 health workers in South Africa have contracted the coronavirus, 181 of whom have died, since the pandemic hit the country in March,...

Don't Miss

Suspected grave vandal rescued after spending 2 days buried waist-deep in Soweto

A suspected grave vandal was rescued by the police in South Africa, after apparently spending two days buried up to his waist in a...

Woman 62, to spend 35 years in jail for violent robbery

A 62-year-old female carjacker, will spend the next 35 years behind bars after being convicted of robbery with violence by a Law Court in...

Tanzania opposition CHADEMA names Tundu Lissu as presidential candidate

Tundu Lissu, a fierce critic of President Magufuli, clinched the nomination for the leading opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party ahead of...

24,000 health workers in S. Africa have contracted coronavirus

Some 24,000 health workers in South Africa have contracted the coronavirus, 181 of whom have died, since the pandemic hit the country in March,...

After arrest, Zimbabwean novelist decries state “chokehold”

Award-winning Zimbabwean novelist and filmmaker arrested at recent protests accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government on Tuesday of holding its people in a repressive “chokehold”...

Air Peace Nigeria sack pilots, cuts pay over Covid-19 impacts

Nigeria's largest airline Air Peace said on Tuesday it had laid off a number of pilots and cut salaries in order to cope with...

Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan resumes talks over disputed dam

Three key Nile basin countries on Monday resumed their negotiations to resolve a years-long dispute over the operation and filling of a giant hydroelectric...

CIVICUS, others condemn Zimbabwe continued crackdown on critics

Zimbabwe’s military and police continue the arrests of scores of critics/opposition figures after last week's aborted anti-government protest, according to reports.Global civil society alliance...

Five Mali soldiers killed in an ambush, amid rising political crisis

Twin attacks believed to have been carried out by rebel fighters in Central Mali, have left at least five soldiers dead, amid political crisis...

Gambia government officials ravaged by Covid-19

Three ministers in Gambia's government have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said, days after the West African nation's president went into self-isolation.President Adama...
%d bloggers like this: