31 years ago, February 11, marks the day South African icon Nelson Mandela walked through Victor Verster Prison gate to freedom after having been imprisoned for 27 years.
A prison sentence that the lawyer and social activist had received — along with several others including Andrew Mlangeni and Govan Mbeki, for leading the movement to end the racist, brutal and segragative apartheid regime in the country. A freedom fighter to the highly oppressive white-supremacist system that existed in South Africa for some 50 years.
‘Madiba’ as he his popularly called, Mandela became the nation’s first black President of South Africa in 1994 and since then — until his passing at 95 years old in 2013 and after is passing, so many people around the world in South African, on the rest of the continent and abroad, have paid their respects to him by way of various tributes.
European Union (EU), Foreign bodies, as well as African and national leaders called and sent several messages of condolences to President Muhammadu Buhari as the remains of his late chief of staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, laid to rest yesterday.
The remains of the deceased were put in the ground at about 11:22am at the military cemetery, Gudu, Abuja, after funeral prayers at the deceased residence.
The officials who interned the late Kyari’s were in full personal protective kits and equipment as mandated by the Federal Ministry of Health to bury coronavirus victims.
As advised by the protocols put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the ministry on social distancing, the burial, according to the presidency, marked the end of all ceremonies for the late Kyari.
Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, noted in a statement that there will be no more condolence visits to the Kyari family and the presidency after yesterday’s burial rite.
“Well-wishers and all other Nigerians are instead advised to pray for the repose of the soul of the late Chief of Staff. A condolence register will be opened at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) from Sunday for those who are able to use the window permitted for movement by the FCT administration”, Shehu stated.
Seven African leaders are in Lome, the capital of Togo, as a summit against fake drugs kicked off on Friday, The two-day summit is under the sponsorship of the Brazzaville Foundation.
It is said to be the first time in history African heads of state are gathering on the issue of fake drugs on the continent which continues to plague especially sub-Saharan Africa. Discussions at the political and health level are on the agenda to build a reliable strategy to tackle fake drugs.
President Faure Gnassingbe is hosting colleagues such as Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Congo Republic’s Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou, Macky Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Adama Barrow from The Gambia.
The Togolese described the phenomenon of fake drugs as a daily humanitarian scandal and that the time to act and stamp it out had arrived.
“It affects millions of people, either indirectly because these drugs do not treat those who believe they are treating themselves, or directly because the falsified products used kill,” he said in a tweet.
The Brazzaville Foundation, an independent NGO based in London is teaming up with Initiative Lome to address the problem of fake drugs which is a big public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa.
Experts have stressed that porous borders and weak governance of health systems are some of the main factors that causes the procreation of fake drugs.