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  1. Nigeria fails to pay six ex-leaders because of 'cash crisis'
  2. Zimbabwean activists 'abducted' by suspected security officials
  3. Guinea flies out woman to give birth to quintuplets
  4. Nigerian caught with cannabis executed in Singapore
  5. Mozambique mourns after 56 people die in a fuel tanker explosion
  6. Vasectomies carried out live on stage in Nairobi
  7. Get Involved: #BBCAfricaLive WhatsApp: +44 7341070844
  8. Email stories and comments to - Friday 18 November 2016

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender and Farouk Chothia

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back on Monday

That's all from the BBC Africa Live page this week. Keep up-to-date with what's happening across the continent by listening to the Africa Today podcast or checking the BBC News website.  

A reminder of our African proverb of the day: 

A clever gazelle sleeps on the edge of the forest."

A Runyankore/Rukiga proverb sent by Ambrose Niwagaba Katoto, Kanungu, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs

And we leave you with an image of a man leaning against a tree on a windy Friday in Dakar, Senegal:

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The shoeshiner who 'earns more than a civil servant'

Idris, 21, has been in the shoeshine business in Nigeria for three years now. 


He roams around a suburb of the capital, Abuja, in search of customers, offering to repair or polish shoes.  


Idris has not had any formal education, but he does not regret this. He says he earns about $5 (£4) a day, and adds that his monthly income is higher than of some civil servants who start off with a salary of between $125 and $190.


Idris’s dream is to own a big shoe-making factory, but for now he remains a shoe shiner on the streets of Abuja.


* Idris told his story to BBC Hausa's Usman Minjibir

Eye Radio 'back on air'

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

South Sudan’s first independent radio station Eye Radio is going back on air on Saturday, the station says.

Eye Radio - which is managed by South Sudanese but funded by USAid and is part of the Internews network - was shut down by national security service officials last Friday.

No reason was given for the closure and the station now says matters have been resolved.

Matters concerning the recent shutdown of the station have been discussed and amicably resolved with authorities."

Eye Radio management statement
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Guinean pregnant with quintuplets flown out for birth

Alhassan Sillah

BBC Africa, Conakry

A woman pregnant with quintuplets in Guinea has been flown to Morocco because local state-run hospitals are not in a position to handle the birth of five babies. 

First Lady Hadja Djene Kaba arranged for her to be treated at a clinic in Morocco and the government has promised to pay the bill. 

The woman flew out on a regular flight from the capital, Conkary, with her husband and personal medic. 

She is six months pregnant, according to medical sources. 

She was admitted to a state-run hospital in Conakry on 2 November for unspecified complications. 

The woman comes from a poor family, and the first lady's intervention has been widely welcomed here. 

Her name has not been released. 

There are only two state hospitals in Conakry, and facilities are poor. 

Guinea's President Alpha Conde (R) and his wife Hadja Djene Kaba Conde attend Conde's Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party conference on August 11, 2015 in Conakry
The first lady is seen here with President Alpha Conde

Can Indomitable Lionesses deny Super Falcons at Cup of Nations?

Asisat Oshoala with the Women's Africa Cup of Nations trophy after Nigeria won the title in 2014
Asisat Oshoala of Nigeria with the 2014 trophy

A first ever continental title is Cameroon's goal, when the women's Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on Saturday - but will the hosts flourish or collapse under the weight and pressure of expectation?

The Indomitable Lionesses are one of seven teams desperate to deny Nigeria another African title.

The Super Falcons are the dominant force on the continent, having been crowned African champions seven times.

On the two occasions that they misfired, Equatorial Guinea took the honours.

Florence Omagbemi in action for Nigeria at the 2003 World Cup
Getty Images
Florence Omagbemi in action for Nigeria at the 2003 World Cup

Last month it was reported that Nigeria coach Florence Omagbemi has not been paid by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for eight months.

The former international has played in four Fifa Women's World Cups.

Read more: Super Falcons go for eighth title in women's Africa Cup of Nations

Read more: Nigeria women's football coach goes unpaid for months

Nollywood's few female film directors

Mayeni Jones

BBC Focus on Africa

Tope Oshun
The documentary says film directing is seen as a male terrain in Nollywood

A new documentary seeking to shed light on the contribution of female film makers to the Nigerian film industry will have its world premiere in London this weekend.

“Amaka’s Kin – The Women of Nollywood” chronicles the journey of directors Mildred Okwo, Omoni Oboli, Lowla Dee, Blessing Effiom-Egbe and others.

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Filmmaker Effiom-Egbe, told documentary maker Tope Oshin that often actors won’t respect her because of her gender; which can be a bit of a problem when your job is to tell people what to do.

Meanwhile Michelle Bello - who has directed hits such as romcom Flower Girl - said that when she tells people she is a Nollywood director they tend not to believe her.

But many of the female directors featured in the documentary say this perception drives them to work hard to prove people wrong.

Amaka’s Kin will have its world premiere at the Beyond Nollywood film festival in London, UK, this weekend, along with a number of other films by female directors.

The weekender is curated by Jamaican programmer Nadia Denton and aims to showcase the diversity and creativity of Nigerian cinema.

Mugabe opens new Victoria Falls airport

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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has opened an expanded airport at Victoria Falls, built using a $150m (£120m) loan from China.

The new airport means international tourists can now fly directly to Victoria Falls, a major tourist attraction and a World Heritage site, Mr Mugabe said.

It was opened in 1966 as a regional airport and work on the new expansion began in 2013.

Mr Mugabe said the upgrade would be a major boost to tourism and Chin's financial aid showed the "enduring friendship" between the two countries.

He urged people to "keep the airport tidy, clean, and let's not mess it up with litter thrown everywhere," the state-owned Herald newspaper reports in a live blog of the event. 

Mr Mugabe did not refer to opposition claims that suspected security officials abducted six anti-government activists, and arrested at least eight people who had planned to protest today to demand an end to Mr Mugabe's 36-year rule.  

Madonsela is Forbes Africa Person of the Year

Getty Images
Ms Madonsela was a thorn in the side of South African President Jacob Zuma

A lawyer and former head of South Africa's anti-corruption watchdog has been named Forbes Africa Person of the Year for 2016.

Thuli Madonsela, who was public protector from 2009 until last month, is the sixth recipient of the award.

The announcement was made at a ceremony in Nairobi on Thursday evening.

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The winner was a thorn in the flesh of South Africa's President Jacob Zuma. She ruled that he had "unduly benefited" from government money used to upgrade his private residence. 

Before she stepped down last month as anti-corruption chief, she called for a judge-led inquiry into allegations that Mr Zuma let a powerful business family, the Guptas, wield influence in his government. 

Mr Zuma and the family strongly denied the allegation. 

Read: South Africa's corruption crusader    

EU condemns Zimbabwe 'abductions'

The European Union has condemned the alleged abduction of at least six anti-government activists in Zimbabwe ahead of a planned protest today. 

In a statement, it said there had been a worrying increase in recent months of abductions, torture, violence and intimidation. 

The EU called on the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incidents, and to prosecute those who were responsible for the human rights violations. 

Police made several arrests amid a heavy security presence as the planned demonstration failed to materialise.

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Canada extradites Rwandan to face genocide charges

skulls in kigali museum
About 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide

An ex-army officer has arrived in Rwanda after being extradited from Canada on accusations he took part in 1994 genocide, Rwandan officials have said.

Jean Claude Seyoboka, who was a second lieutenant in the Rwandan military, is accused of participating in the "extermination" of more than 72 Tutsis in Kigali and attending meetings where massacres were allegedly planned, AFP reports.

He has denied involvement in the genocide.  

About 800,000 people, mostly from the Tutsi ethnicity, were killed in the four months of violence.

Mr Seyoboka arrived in Canada in 1995 and was granted refugee status a year later. 

However, his status was revoked after testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda linked him to the killing of a woman and two children during the massacre.

Rwandan authorities issued a warrant for Mr Seyoboka's arrest this year, but he fought extradition by claiming he would be tortured or killed if returned to Rwanda. 

He is the second genocide suspect to be extradited from Canada after former politician Leon Mugesera was sent back to Rwanda in 2012. 

He was sentenced to life in prison in April for inciting the 1994 slaughter. 

The Dutch national prosecutor said last week that two Rwandans living in the Netherlands would be extradited to their homeland. 

Rwanda had demanded the extraditions of Jean-Claude Iyamuremye and Jean-Baptiste Mugimba in 2012 and 2013 respectively to face trial on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Read more: Rwanda genocide: 100 days of slaughter

Mozambique in mourning after deadly explosion

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Mozambique’s government has declared three days of national mourning after an emergency cabinet meeting convened by President Filipe Nyusi.

At least 56 people have been killed and 108 injured in a fuel tanker explosion in western Mozambique, officials say.

The circumstances of the blast on Thursday afternoon in the village of Caphirizanje in Tete province, near the border with Malawi, remain unclear.


Some reports say the driver of the tanker was trying to sell fuel to villagers, others that he was ambushed.

The blast itself may have been caused by a lightning strike or a fire nearby, reports say.

The government says it will provide coffins for identified victims.

Those burned beyond recognition have been buried in a common grave, government sources told the BBC.

Officials initially said 73 people had died in the explosion.

The fact that the official figure is now lower may be that it only accounts for actual bodies recovered.

US concern over 'dozens' of Nigeria Shia deaths

mourners carry bodies of those killed in clashes
The number of people killed on Monday is disputed

The US says it is "deeply concerned" by reports of "dozens of deaths" during clashes between Nigerian police and people participating in a Shia Muslim religious procession on Monday.

In a statement released by the embassy in Abuja, spokesman John Kirby said the US was "troubled" by the "apparent disproportionate response by the police".

The IMN said scores of its members had been killed in when police opened fire unprovoked in the northern city of Kano on Monday. Police said eight marchers and one police officer died after police came under attack.

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The marchers were embarking on an annual seven-day procession from Kano to the city of Zaria in Kaduna state, where the IMN has its headquarters.

The right of Shia Muslims to celebrate their beliefs should be protected while members of Nigeria's biggest Shia organisation - the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) - should respect the rule of law, Mr Kirby said.

The Iran-backed IMN has a history of tension with the security forces.

Almost 350 IMN members were killed by the security forces in Zaria last December during a crackdown on the group.

The US said it was "continuing to urge the government to ensure accountability for their deaths".

A Nigerian judicial inquiry has recommended that those responsible for the killings face charges.

Read more:Investigating clashes between Nigeria's Shia and the army

Judge finds magistrates absent on surprise visit

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Kenya's Chief Justice startled staff and found courtrooms closed on a surprise visit to a provincial courthouse, the Daily Nation has reported.

David Maraga discovered a large number of claimants waiting for the courts in Kakamega in western Kenya to open when he arrived. He was told the magistrates were attending a seminar.

“Some arrangements should have been made to ensure the magistrate on duty was left behind to serve the litigants and ensure normal services continue uninterrupted,” he said, the newspaper reported.

Mr Maraga has been touring the country's courts after taking over from his predecessor.

'Hyena man' convicted in Malawi

Karen Allen

BBC southern Africa correspondent, Johannesburg

hyena man

In the first case of its kind in Malawi, an HIV-positive man has been convicted after admitting to having sex with 104 women and not disclosing his status. 

Eric Aniva was found guilty under the country’s gender laws of what the lawyers describe as a "harmful cultural practice" -  forced sex with newly widowed women as part of a cleansing ceremony.  

In an interview with the BBC prior to his conviction he also admitted to having sex with girls as young as 12 to prepare them for adulthood. He was subsequently arrested under presidential orders.

Two women testified that he had been paid by traditional communities to act as a so-called hyena – the word used for a man hired to have sex with newly bereaved widows. 

The practice is outlawed under Malawian law. Mr Aniva also admitted that he had been paid to have sex with underage girls and continued this despite his HIV-positive status.  

The case has attracted international media attention and sharply divided opinion as to how widespread the practice remains.  

He will be sentenced on 22 November. 

Read more: The man hired to have sex with children

Zimbabwe protesters 'arrested'

A least eight people have been arrested in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare, as our reporter tweets:

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One of the social media groups which organised the protest says the number is much higher: 

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The protests are against President Robert Mugabe's 36-year rule, amid a worsening economic situation.

Security officilas have also been accused of carrying out abductions. 

See earlier posts for more details

Nigeria's government stops salaries for ex-leaders

Former Nigerian President Shehu Shagari arrives to attend the inauguration of new Nigerian President at the Eagles Square in Abuja, on May 29, 2015.
Former President Shehu Shagari is said to live hand-to-mouth

Nigeria's government has failed to pay the country's ex-leaders their monthly salaries and allowances since January because of a cash crisis, government secretary Babachir Lawal has said. 

He made the disclosure during a meeting with group of senators, raising questions about whether the government was in breach of the constitution which guarantees ex-leaders salaries for life, reports BBC Abuja bureau chief Naziru Mikailu.

There are six ex-leaders whose salaries have been cut, including that of 91-year-old Shehu Shagari, who was elected in 1979 and overthrown by the military in 1983 after winning elections. 

In an interview with Punch newspaper, Senator Aliyu Wamakko condemned the failure to pay Mr Shagari:

We can understand if former President Goodluck Jonathan has not been paid because he just left office. But for someone like Shagari, who lives from hand-to-mouth, it is something I can’t understand. This development is really unfortunate. It doesn't indicate seriousness and it doesn't indicate fairness.”

Naziru says that unlike Mr Shagari, other ex-leaders are wealthy so they are unlikely to feel the pinch. 

They include:

  • Olusegun Obasanjo - military ruler from 1976 to 1979 and elected president from 1999 to 2007
  • Ibrahim Babangida  - military ruler from 1985 to 1993
  • Ernest Shonekan - interim president in 1993
  • Abdulsalami Abubakar - military ruler from 1998 to 1999.

Current President Muhammadu Buhari, who is also a former military military, was elected to office last year after defeating Mr Jonathan - the first Nigerian leader to relinquish power without a fight.

Our reporter says it is likely that the salaries of vice-presidents have also been stopped.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (C) and APC main opposition party's presidential candidate Mohammadu Buhari (R) smile after signing the renewal of the pledges for peaceful elections on March 26, 2015 in Abuja
Mr Jonathan (L) gracefully accepted defeat at the hands of Mr Buhari (R)

War crimes court 'will survive'

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has told the BBC the court will survive despite a wave of defections.

Burundi, The Gambia and South Africa have recently announced that they are withdrawing their membership.

But Ms Bensouda admitted to the BBC's Anna Holligan during a conference of the court’s founding members in The Hague that the withdrawals were a step backwards for international justice.

War crimes court will survive, says ICC prosecutor

Pardew wants Africa Cup of Nations rethink

Stanley Kwenda

BBC Africa

Alan Pardew
Getty Images
Pardew said losing African players mid-season was a "massive worry"

Crystal Palace Manager Alan Pardew, has told the BBC that the timing of the Africa Cup of Nations is disruptive to the English Premier League season.

Dozens of African players playing for English clubs will be trooping back home for the Africa Cup Nations tournament in Gabon in January.

"It's very disruptive for us. It was particularly damaging for me at Newcastle where I had three or four African players. There was always a massive worry," said Pardew at his weekly pre-match press briefing.

In 2012 while he was still managing Newcastle, Pardew struggled to find suitable cover of his then star performers Cheick Tiote, from Ivory Coast, and Demba Ba, from Senegal, who went away on Nations Cup duty. As a result, the club suffered a deep in form.

Pardew said clubs now have to consider whether an African player would be going away for Nations Cup duty before signing them. 

"It's one of the things that comes on your scouting  tick list. Are we going to lose him to the Africa Nations Cup? We considered it when we signed Pape Souare," said Pardew.

He suggested a review of the tournament timing. Most big international football tournaments are usually played in the summer after the European season has ended.

Nigeria's trail-blazing giant snails

Global demand for giant African land snails is growing. Measuring up to 25cm in length and 700g in weight, some are kept as pets, while others are used for cosmetics and food.

Farmers in Nigeria are taking full advantage of their popularity.

Africa Business Report visited a snail farm just outside Lagos to meet these creatures and learn more about them.

Nigeria's trail-blazing giant snails

Snips on stage in Nairobi

man has vasectomy
Daily Nation/Facebook

World Vasectomy Day is being marked in Kenya's capital Nairobi - featuring men having the snip on stage in operations broadcast live on Facebook by Kenyan news organisations.

Some 150 men were due to undergo the procedure at an event at the Kenyan National Theatre, reports said. Photos and videos were shared under the hashtag #AnActOfLove.

The male sterilisations are being promoted by the organisation World Vasectomy Day as a safe and reversible method of family planning.

It was set up by US film director Jonathan Stack, who has six children.

The vasectomies were performed by a team of Kenyan specialists and international experts as part of a day-long event.

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man gets snip
implements used in vasectomy

'Don't fear Trump,' singer urges US Somalis

BBC Monitoring

News from around the globe

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A female Somali musician has released a song titled "Donald Trump", urging the president-elect to accept the Somali-American community. 

Prior to his election, Mr Trump drew criticism after he warned that Somali immigrants in Minnesota were "joining Isis and spreading their extremist views". 

Pop musician Deeqa Afro, whose real name is Deeqa Adan Muse, was born in Ethiopia and lives in Sweden.  

She also urges the immigrant community not to be fearful about the new president, in the song posted on YouTube by Stockholm-based Bulqaas Studio on 13 November:

I am speaking to my people. America is a big and multiracial country and has one government, all brought together by a common interest. All are equal before the law... Donald Trump is not more American than you, don’t be weak. So don’t be in a hurry to leave, just stay in your country.

When the civil war broke out in my country, I got resettled here, and I will be part of it... Donald Trump, don’t be against us and don’t say bad things about my people."

There are about 85,000 people of Somali ancestry in the US.

During his campaign, the president-elect pledged to ban Muslims from entering the US due to security concerns. Somalis are predominantly Muslim.

A crowd marches from Union Square to Trump Tower in protest of new Republican president-elect Donald Trump on November 12, 2016 in New York, United States.
Mr Trump's election led to protests in several US cities

The song, which has been also been shared on Facebook and Twitter, has elicited mixed views from hundreds of commentators. 

On YouTube, Ayan Hashi holds a grim view, saying, "I am sure you will all be deported, no law can stop that man [Trump]." 

Other commentators hold the same view, with Oubi Love, saying: "Just come back to your country of birth. America belongs to Donald Trump."

Ahmed Abdi wonders: "Why are you concerned with US constitution, Donald Trump has a right to deport immigrants."

But Ahmed Hassa takes a more optimistic tone: "This song will give many Somalis in the US hope."

His sentiments are echoed by Hodan Abukar, who muses: "No one can force you to go back, so enjoy life in America."

On Facebook, Seno Rita is pessimistic and warns that "America doesn’t belong to Somalis".

Read: What Trump didn't say about Africa 

Benghazi district taken by Hefter's forces

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

soldier loyal to government
Getty Images
Benghazi has been badly damaged by conflict between rival factions

One of the last two remaining districts in Libya's second city Benghazi, to be held by Islamist militants, last night fell to forces loyal to General Khalifa Hefter, who is with the government based in the port city of Tobruk.

Guwarsha was a heavily contested area and is where some of the worst and most destructive battles took place.

This now leaves Ganfouda district, where armed Islamist fighters are still holed up and where some families are trapped. 

It has been besieged for months by troops, a move heavily criticised by rights groups who say civilians are suffering and having to cope with indiscriminate bombing.

The battle for Benghazi started over two years ago, following a wave of assassinations and bombings targeting the police, army officers and anti-militia activists. 

Armed units have been battling several groups, including Ansar al-Sharia and multiple other Islamist militias allied to the Shura Council, a loose grouping of Islamist organisations. 

Some members of Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to al-Qaeda, have since also fought under the banner of the so-called Islamic State group.

Read more: 

Why is Libya so lawless?

Guide to key Libyan militias

Zimbabwe activist 'beaten with iron bars'

A leading organiser of today's anti-government protests in Zimbabwe says armed men - some in police uniforms - beat him with irons bars and drove him to a remote location where they debated whether to kill him.

In an interview with the BBC's Shingai Nyoka at a hospital in the capital, Harare, Patson Dzamara said his attackers eventually left him naked:  

I then had to crawl to the road to find help but because I was naked it was not easy."

Mr Dzamara said he was abducted after being with a group of people who were organising an anti-government protest for today in the capital, Harare. 

As they were leaving Mufakose township at 01:00 this morning several vehicles cut them off, and he was then taken away and beaten up, he said.  

Mr Dzamara added that he was "not discouraged" by what happened and would continue to campaign for a "new Zimbabwe". 

Mr Dzamara and other activists have called for a protest over a wide range of issues, including moves to introduce what the government calls bond notes because of a shortage of money.  

People outside a bank in Harare
Banks have limited the number of people they serve and how much money they can withdraw

'Give me a job' girl gets job

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A Kenyan university graduate who took to the streets with a placard offering her services to employers in a bid to land a job has succeeded in her quest, the Standard newspaper reports.

Economics graduate Rakiel Kaoka found work at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) in Nairobi.

The 24-year-old had attracted the attention of employers including Josiah Moriasi, CEO of YEDF, who contacted her shortly after she was seen on the Limuru Road in Nairobi.

She started work this week and reportedly told the Narobian newspaper:

I did not expect this to happen so fast. I am definitely thrilled, and grateful to all those who reached out to me.

You should be aggressive; jobs will not come by on their own. You have to go out and work towards getting one.”

Tests show Mozambique soft drink 'is safe'

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

Malawi bureau of standards

The Mozambican authorities say national and international laboratory tests prove that soft drinks manufactured in the country are safe.

Last month Malawi banned Frozy soft drinks, produced in the southern Mozambican city of Matola, over allegations that citric acid levels were too high. 

But after visiting the factory, two deputy ministers announced the results of the laboratory tests.

They accused Malawi of an attempt to smear their country.

Deputy Mozambican Minister of Trade and Industry Ragendra de Sousa said the government would ensure compliance with trade agreements of the Southern African Development Community:

Our external trade department has started to act, in a more tranquil manner, so that the truth can be brought to the surface and to review the relations between the two countries.

If we receive what is made in the other states, we have the right to demand that they receive what we produce.”

'Come back Baba Jonathan'

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Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appears to have been begged to return to power by some residents in northern Nigeria as he visited to pay his respects to the late former Sultan of Sokoto.

Some held up banners bearing the words "Come back Baba Jonathan" as he was welcomed to Sokoto to visit the family of Ibrahim Dasuki - the former spiritual leader of Nigeria's Muslims - who died on Monday at the age of 93.

The images were reported by the Vanguard newspaper.

Mr Jonathan handed over power to President Muhammadu Buhari last year after the latter won an election - the first time an opposition figure had won a presidential election in Nigeria since independence in 1960.

Mr Buhari has been grappling with a range of challenges facing the country and the economy has recently gone into recession.

In a tweet last week congratulating US President-elect Donald Trump on his victory, Mr Jonathan said conceding victory to his rival had taken "great self-sacrifice".

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Mr Jonathan has described the late Sultan of Sokoto as a "bridge builder and father figure who was ever committed to fostering unity in Nigeria".

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'Six activists abducted' in Zimbabwe

 At least six Zimbabwean activists were abducted and beaten up ahead of today's planned protest against the government, protest leader Sylvanos Mudzvova has told told AFP news agency. 

Patson Dzamara and two others were admitted to hospital after being abducted by unidentified men who dragged them out of their cars, he said.

Mr Mudzvova added that three others were missing:   

They were blocked on the road and taken from their cars which were later found burnt. This is the most barbaric thing to do. That's not the way to stop dissent."

Zimbabwe's government has not yet commented on reports that security officials may be behind the abductions. 

Opposition groups had called for a protest today against President Robert Mugabe's 36-year rule, amid a growing economic and financial crisis. 

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe arrives to attend an official lunch given by Morocco's King (unseen) for the opening of the high-level segment of the COP22 Climate Change Conference at the Royal Palace in Marrakesh on November 15, 2016.
Mr Mugabe, 92, has vowed to rule until he dies

See earlier posts for more details

'Raid' on Nigerian currency dealers

Naziru Mikailu

BBC Abuja editor

A trader changes dollars with naira at a currency exchange store in Lagos, Nigeria, February 12, 2015.
Nigeria is in the grip of a recession that has increased the cost of living

Nigerian intelligence agents have raided offices of black market currency dealers accused of exchanging the naira at a rate lower than the agreed 400 naira to $1. 

One trader told the BBC that several people had been arrested by officers of the Department of Security Services (DSS) this morning in the capital, Abuja. 

The currency was floated on the international currency markets in June after previously having been set at a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar.

However the government last week ordered security forces to crack down on currency dealers in the wake of the central bank's apparent inability to stop the naira’s slide.

India medical centre offers to treat Tanzania's tallest man

Baraka Elias sitting

An Indian medical centre has offered to assist a Tanzanian man who has been told he is too tall to get surgery in his country. 

A doctor at Speedy Recovery medical has told the BBC they would be able to assist Baraka Elias, whom doctors in Dar es Salaam said would not fit properly in a hospital bed. 

Mr Elias, who is 7ft 4in (2.20m), said he needed hip replacement surgery after hurting himself in a fall. 

He was also told X-ray equipment was unsuitable for someone of his height.

Local media quote doctors at the specialist Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, confirming Mr Elias' story.   

"I'm sure Mr Elias will sigh a relief as soon as he gets to know that there's somebody in far away India trying to organise things," Dr Shaila Raveendran, who heads the Speedy Recovery Centre in India, told the BBC.  

Mr Elias is said to be the tallest man in Tanzania.

Maasai Mara University 'riot over alleged love triangle'

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A university campus in Kenya's south-western Narok town has been closed indefinitely after students "rioted" in protest against the beating of a colleague by motorcycle taxi riders over an alleged affair, Kenyan media report.

They blocked the Narot-Bomet road on Thursday after the alleged attack by a group of "boda boda" riders on Wednesday, who are said to have discovered the student allegedly having sex with one of their wives.

The student is reported to have been admitted to hospital.

Kenya's KBC Channel 1 has filed footage of the students blocking the Narot-Bomet road.

They were dispersed by riot police, who made 40 arrests, the channel said.

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However the closure of the university campus has not gone down well with students, who say it is a way of avoiding a strike over unpaid staff salaries, the Standard newspaper reported.  

Nigeria 'third most terrorised country'

Boko Haram
Boko Haram killed almost 5,500 people last year

Nigeria suffered the third-biggest impact from terrorism in the world last year, after Iraq and Afghanistan, a report says.

Somali was the seventh most affected country, after Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, according to the the Institute for Economics and Peace's Global terrorism Index.

The overall number of deaths from terrorism declined by 10% last year - the first decline since 2010 - due mainly to the success of military operations against Islamist militants Boko Haram in Nigeria and so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq.

But with a global total of 29,376 deaths, 2015 was still the second deadliest year on record.  

The report also found:

  • IS surpassed Boko Haram as the deadliest terrorist group in 2015, launching attacks in 252 cities that killed 6,141 people. 
  • The number of people killed by Boko Haram fell by 18%. The group was responsible for 5,478 deaths during the year.  

However Boko Haram and IS were posing new threats as they expanded into new countries, the report said.

Boko Haram has expanded into Niger, Cameroon and Chad, increasing the number of people they have killed in these three countries by 157%, it said.

IS and its affiliates were active in 15 new countries, bringing the total number of countries where they were operating to 28. 

This expansion is why a record number of countries recorded their highest levels of terrorism since 2000, the report said. 

Read more: 

'How I almost became a Boko Haram suicide bomber'

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists?

South Africa captain charged with ball tampering

Faf du Plessis
Getty Images
Faf du Plessis has played 33 Tests

South Africa's cricket captain Faf du Plessis has been charged with ball tampering in the second Test win over Australia in Hobart.

Video footage appears to show the 32-year-old licking his finger and shining the ball while eating a sweet.

Du Plessis was charged for breaching level two of the International Cricket Council code of conduct relating to "changing the condition of the ball"using an artificial substance.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Read the full BBC story here

Zimbabwean activist 'in pain'

The BBC's Shingayi Nyoka has sent us more photos of Zimbabwean activist Patson Dzamara at a medical centre in the capital, Harare, following claims that he was abducted, assaulted and dumped at a lake by suspected security officials.

She says he is in crying in pain and is being consoled by his mother. 

Patson Dzamara

 Mr Dzamara had called on Zimbabweans to take to the streets today to protest against the government, as this tweet shows: 

View more on twitter

Nigerian hanged in Singapore for cannabis offence


A 38-year-old Nigerian man has been hanged for drug trafficking after being caught with 2.6kg of cannabis.

"A 38-year-old male Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried out on 18 November 2016 at Changi Prison Complex," the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement. 

Obioha, who graduated in industrial chemistry from Nigeria's Benin University, had originally moved to Singapore in 2005 hoping to be a footballer.

He was arrested in 2007 by drugs officers who found 14 blocks of cannabis in a bag he was carrying and another 14 blocks in the flat he was renting, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Under Singapore law, anyone caught with more than 500 grams of cannabis can be sentenced to death.   

Obioha's execution followed a lengthy legal process.

An initial appeal against the sentence was turned down in 2010.

Obioha then turned down the possibility of applying for re-sentencing after a change in the law that came into force in 2013.

On Thursday, his lawyers launched a final bid to have his sentence commuted to life in prison but that was refused by a three-judge court.   

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the execution:

By executing people for drug-related offences, which do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes, Singapore is violating international law."

A 31-year-old Malaysian man was also executed at the same time for trafficking heroin.  

Singapore executed four people in 2015, one for murder and three for drug offences, according to prison statistics.   

Prominent Zimbabwean activist 'abducted'

Patson Dzamara
Patson Dzamara has been admitted for medical treatment

A leading Zimbabwean activist was abducted, beaten up and dumped at a lake near the capital, Harare, by suspected security officials last night, his colleagues say. 

Patson Dzamara's car was also torched while other activists are still missing, according to a series of tweets by their colleagues: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

The alleged abduction came ahead of today's planned protest against government plans to introduce bond notes to overcome a severe shortage of US dollars, the main currency in Zimbabwe. 

The opposition fears that the bond notes - which would be the equivalent of dollars - would once again stoke hyperinflation, and are demanding the end to President Robert Mugabe's 36-year-rule, saying he has mismanaged the economy.

The BBC's Shingayi Nyoka in the capital, Harare, says there is a strong police presence with no sign of protesters. 

She adds that Mr Dzamara is the brother of Itai Dzamara, who has been missing for about two years after being abducted in Harare. 

Read: Why Zimbabweans are spending nights outside banks

Today's wise words

Our African proverb of the day: face

A clever gazelle sleeps on the edge of the forest."

A Runyankore/Rukiga proverb sent by Ambrose Niwagaba Katoto, Kanungu, Uganda.

Click here to send us your African proverbs

Good morning

Welcome to BBC Africa Live where we will bring you the latest news from around the continent.