Mali To Hold Local Polls In November Despite Unrest

Voters in Mali will be asked to go to the polls in local elections across the vast Sahel nation in November, despite the threat of attacks by armed Islamists, the government has announced.

At a meeting led Wednesday by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, the cabinet “adopted a draft decree on convening (the electorate), opening and closing the electoral campaign for … electing local councillors,” an official statement said.

Local councillors and mayors are normally elected for five years in the largely desert west African country, where the last such polls were held in 2009. However, no election was held in 2014 because of insecurity.

Northern and central parts of Mali frequently come under attack by jihadists, despite a peace pact sealed in mid-2015 by the government, armed groups that back it and mainly Tuareg former rebels who battled the army in the north.

The authorities nevertheless decided to call out voters “on Sunday November 20 across the whole of the national territory in order to go ahead with the election of local councillors”, the statement said.

Campaigning will begin on November 4 and close on November 18, the statement added.

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OAU Closed Down Over Students Unrest

The authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, have closed down the school after 48 hours of students unrest.

The institution was shut down on Tuesday after an emergency meeting of Senate.

The students started the protest on Monday over epileptic power supply, unavailability of portable water supply in their halls of residence and alleged poor funding of education in Nigeria.

The protest prevented free flow of traffic into and out of the campus.

The institution’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Biodun Olanrewaju, who confirmed the closure of the university in an interview, said that the date of resumption would be announced as and when due.

He however said that the convocation slated for next week would still hold.

Credit: Vanguard

Several Injured In Yet Another Oshodi Unrest

Barely two weeks after rival factions of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) turned Oshodi into a battle ground, pandemonium erupted in Bolade area yesterday.  This time around, thugs of two political parties slugged it out over the closure of the market.

By the time police restored sanity, eight people were seriously injured.  Many property were vandalized by motor-park touts and street urchin’s who hijacked the clash.
Crime Watch Today gathered that trouble started when two rival political parties were quarreling over the closure of the market by their leaders.

A faction believed that the closure was uncalled for and for a selfish interest of a particular political party faithful.  The other party members said those who closed the market have reasons for doing so.

Crime Watch Today learnt that the argument snowballed into a clash as some street urchins and touts hijacked it. An eyewitness, John Okotoba, said that “guns, acid/machetes, broken bottles and charms were freely used during the fracas.  I saw many people who were injured.  Those injured were mostly men.  They were about eight of them that I saw bleeding. “Many passersby were robbed by the hoodlums who cashed in on the crisis to unleash mayhem on the innocent citizens.  The hoodlums also smashed cars.

“I learnt that two rival political parties were quarreling why the market leaders should close the market for campaign.  While one faction supported the closure, the other kicked against it.  As they were arguing, a fracas broke out,” he said.

Read More: sunnewsonline