President John Magufuli of Tanzania, a prominent COVID-19 sceptic whose populist rule often cast his East African country in a harsh international spotlight, has died aged 61.
Magufuli’s death was announced on Wednesday by Vice-President Samia Suluhu, who said the president died of heart failure.
Magufuli had not been seen in public since the end of February and top government officials had denied he was in ill health even as rumours swirled online that he was sick and possibly incapacitated from illness.
Magufuli was one of Africa’s most prominent deniers of COVID-19. He had said last year that Tanzania had eradicated the disease through three days of national prayer.
Tanzania has not reported its COVID-19 tallies of confirmed cases and deaths to African health authorities since April 2020.
But the number of deaths of people experiencing breathing problems reportedly grew and earlier this month the US embassy warned of a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Tanzania since January.
Days later the presidency announced the death of John Kijazi, Magufuli’s chief secretary. Soon after the death was announced of the vice president of the semi-autonomous island region of Zanzibar, whose political party had earlier reported that he had COVID-19.
Critics charged that Magufuli’s dismissal of the threat from COVID-19, as well as his refusal to lock down the country as others in the region had done, may have contributed to many unknown deaths.
source — YAHOO NEWS
BREAKING: OSPAC, soldiers kill 5 civilians in Rivers community
Five civilians were killed when Nigerian army soldiers and members of the Onelga Security Planning Advisory Committee (OSPAC) raided their home in Okpulor Iriebe, Rivers State in southern Nigeria.
Locals said the incident happened in the early hours of Thursday, May 13, 2021, when people were still sleeping.
“They fired sporadically as they stormed the community looking for IPOB members. We saw the bodies in the house this morning,” a resident said, adding that the victims are two women and three men.
Authorities have made no statement regarding the incident, but a traditional chief who confirmed the incident to Gazette Africa said soldiers accused the community of harboring secessionist IPOB members and backing the secessionist group.
“They came around midnight like you said and killed them,” he said.
Nigeria: Two police stations razed, officer killed in Akwa-Ibom
UYO — Two police stations were set on fire by unidentified gunmen in Akwa-Ibom state, southern Nigeria.
The Ika Divisional Police Station was attacked and set of fire in the early hours of Wednesday, alongside the Etim Ekpo Police Station, where the attackers killed a policeman, Constable Edogi Bassey, said the State Public Relations Officer — SP Odiko Macdon.
It is the latest attack on police in the state just two weeks after three police officers were killed in separate attacks on police facilities.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack alongside other attacks targeting police formations and other government forces in the country.
Unidentified gunmen set ablaze NDLEA office in southeast Nigeria
UMUAHIA — An office of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) was set ablaze on Tuesday by unidentified gunmen in Amaekpu Ohafia Abia State, in south-eastern Nigeria.
The incident occurred amid several reports of attacks on police facilities and government forces in the country.
No casualties were recorded in the attack suspected of being carried out by armed hoodlums, authorities said.
Meanwhile, residents told Gazette Africa that the attack lasted for about 30 minutes, forcing the officers to flee to safety.
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