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27 million people going hungry as worst in decade food crisis hits West Africa – Report

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A report by West Africa Oxfam says West Africa has been hit by its worst food crisis in a decade, with 27 million people going hungry with a possibility of a rise to 38 million by June.

This alert is issued by eleven international organizations in response to new analyses of the March 2022 Cadre Harmonisé (CH), ahead of the virtual conference on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad organized by the European Union and the Sahel and West Africa Club.

The Regional Director of Oxfam, a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice, Assalama Dawalack Sidi, speaking on the situation said “This is 40 percent more than the number we had last year at the same time, at the same period and this is four times more than the numbers we used to see ten years ago… so this is why we really want to call on donors’ attention, on governments’ attention because we know that there are so many other crises here and there but this crisis does deserve to be visible”.

The body further says drought and worsening floods have reduced the food sources as well as regional conflicts and the war in Ukraine.

“Six out of the 12 countries where Oxfam operates in West Africa import their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, and because of this crisis in Ukraine, this is no longer possible. And if they cannot import wheat, that means it is creating a shortage in the food available in the countries and therefore increasing the prices and making it very difficult for people to afford food”, explains Assalama Dawalack Sidi.

Recall that last month, Africa’s richest man, Dangote, Dangote Group CEO, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria which is the largest economy in West Africa asked the country’s President to place an embargo on the export of maize to ensure food security in the country amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We would start seeing people exporting maize to earn foreign exchange, which I believe we should stop,” he pointed out. “We need to grow more so we don’t have a shortage of food. It is about food security, and it’s serious.” Dangote said.

 

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Shelve your planned protest, I’m addressing your grievances, Tinubu begs Nigerian youths

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President Bola Tinubu has called on aggrieved Nigerian youths and organizers of the planned nationwide #EndBadGovernance protests on August 1 to shelve the plan as he is working hard to address their concerns.

Tinubu, who made the plea on Tuesday through the Minister of Information National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said there was no need for the protests as he had heard the cries of Nigerians and was doing everything possible to address them.

Idris, who conveyed the President’s message while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the president was working assiduously to ensure the country’s economy was placed in a good position.

“We discussed the issue of the country in general and Mr President has asked me to again inform Nigerians that he listens to them, especially the young people that are trying to protest.

“Mr President said he listens to them and takes what they say seriously and he is working assiduously to ensure that this country is good not just for today, but also for the future.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that, he asked them to shelve that plan and he has asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas, he has listened to them,” Idris said.

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Zambia: PF lawmaker Chitotela sentenced to 10 years in prison

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A Member of Parliament in Zambia, Ronald Chitotela, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of arson by the Kawambwa Magistrates’ Court.

Chitotela, an MP on the platform of the Patriotic Front (PF) who represents Pambeshe Constituency in the Parliament, was found guilty by Magistrate Martin Namushi of malicious damage, and received a five-year sentence on one of the counts.

He was also sentenced to an additional 11 months for threatening violence and 18 months for occasioning actual bodily harm.

Chitotela’s co-accused, Nixon Chilangwa, another MP who represents Kawambwa Constituency, was acquitted of arson charges but according to the Magistrate, was not spared from the law.

Chitotela, although acquitted of charges related to threatening violence and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, now awaits the High Court’s decision on the arson charges.

According to media reports, Chitotela, Chilangwa, and five others were dragged before the Kawambwa Magistrates’ Court on charges bordering on arson, threatening violence, malicious damage to property and assault, all allegedly committed during the August 2021 general elections.

The others involved in the trial were Kalumba Chifumbe, Davy Kaniki, Chabu Chitotela, Charity Musantu, and Kunda Chitotela.

Chifumbe was sentenced to five years for malicious damage to property, threatening violence, and threatening actual bodily harm, Kaniki and Kunda Chitotela were found guilty of arson, while Musantu was been acquitted of all charges.

Magistrate Namushi also denied the bail applications for Chilangwa and Chifumbe, citing unconvincing reasons for their release.

The defense team is expected to appeal for bail in the High Court.

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