Tens of thousands protested in Morocco Sunday in support of Palestinians amid the Gaza war, the biggest demonstration in the North African kingdom since it normalised ties with Israel in 2020.
According to AFP, crowds stretching for two kilometres (more than a mile) marched through the capital Rabat in the mass rally called by an alliance of Islamist parties and a left-wing coalition.
“The people will liberate Palestine,” demonstrators chanted while others waved huge Palestinian flags, donned keffiyehs and voiced “unconditional support for resistance to the occupation”.
“We apologise to the people of Gaza because we can’t do more than protest,” said university professor Sheherazade Bekkari, 50, who had travelled more than 200 kilometres from Fez with her children to join the protest.
“Down with Zionism”, read some placards, while others declared that “Hamas is Palestine”.
Israel’s new war was sparked when the Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, attacked southern Israel on October 7 and killed at least 1,400 people.
Israel has launched an intense reprisal, pounding the Gaza Strip with air strikes and killing more than 2,450 people.
Some protesters in Morocco stamped on Israeli and American flags, denouncing Washington’s support for Israel.
Other placards denounced “terrorism regardless of its perpetrators”.
The protest, which was punctuated by prayers against “tyranny and oppression”, was the largest in Morocco since it normalised relations with Israel in December 2020 in a US-sponsored deal.
“The people want to abolish normalisation” some protesters chanted, as well as the slogan “against occupation, against normalisation”.
Until now, Morocco’s anti-normalisation movement had been able only to mobilise, at most, a few hundred people.
The treaty with Israel has been of great importance to Rabat because it came in exchange for Washington recognising Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
READ ALSO: Israeli Airstrikes Kill 558 People In Gaza
Morocco maintains that the territory, a former Spanish colony under its control, is an integral part of the kingdom.
The Polisario Front, which campaigns for Western Sahara’s independence with the support of Algeria, demands a referendum on self-determination.
Israel and Morocco have strengthened their economic and security cooperation following the deal.
However, Moroccan supporters of normalisation have been embarrassed by extreme right-wing parties entering Israel’s government and surging violence in the occupied West Bank over recent months.
Nigerian Lady Strangled To Death In UK
The family of a former ophthalmic nurse at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Taiwo Owoeye, who was found dead in her home in Suffolk, United Kingdom, has expressed sadness over her death.
The PUNCH learnt that Taiwo was allegedly strangled to death by her husband, David Abodunde on Tuesday, November 28.
It was gathered that the mother of three who was also a nurse in the UK had reported a case of an assault by her husband to the police on Monday, November 27.
READ ALSO: British Poet Benjamin Zephaniah Is Dead
The police, upon visiting their apartment the following day, found Taiwo lying on the floor of the living room motionless. Efforts to revive her, however, proved abortive as she was declared dead by the paramedics who arrived at the scene.
Taiwo’s husband who also was said to be inside the apartment with her was thereafter arrested on suspicion of her murder.
The couple got married in 2016. However, the late Taiwo relocated to the UK in 2022 and was later joined by her husband earlier this year.
The deceased’s brother, Alex Owoeye, who mourned her passing in a Facebook post claimed that David was declared the sole murderer after an investigation carried out by the police.
He wrote, “This is to officially announce the painful exit of my dear sister, Nurse Owoeye Taiwo Morenikeji, married to Abodunde David Olubunmi of Ipoti Ekiti. According to the Suffolk Police in the UK and the available documents and records sent to us via mail and direct conversations from the UK Police, after thoroughly conducted investigations, despite being caught in the act, he (the husband) was declared the sole murderer of his wife (my sister).”
Owoeye noted that the three children of the couple were currently being taken care of by the UK social services.
He also urged his family members to keep calm while assuring them that justice would be served in due course.
Another relative, Opeyemi Owoeye, also wrote on her Facebook page, “She was killed by her own very husband (Abodunde Bunmi David), no peace for the wicked. Justice for Owoeye Taiwo.”
Reacting to the news of her death, another Facebook user, Olabanji Fabiyi, described it as heart-wrenching.
He wrote, “The recent tragic news of Taiwo Owoeye Abodunde murdered by her husband in Suffolk, United Kingdom, is profoundly heart-wrenching. Although myself and Taiwo were not that so close, her late dad and my late dad were childhood friends and her mum and mine are also good friends, all from Igogo Ekiti. Considering her upbringing, it seems improbable that any provocation from Taiwo warranted such a brutal act as strangulation. Also, the audio clip of what transpired between them prior to the untimely death is a pointer to the animalistic, barbaric and untrained husband she had.”
British Poet Benjamin Zephaniah Is Dead
British poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who famously rejected an honour from over Britain’s empire and links to slavery has died.
Zephaniah died at the age of 65.
His family announced his demise on Thursday, in a statement on social media.
According to the statement, the poet was diagnosed with a brain tumour eight weeks ago.
“It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of our beloved Husband, Son, and Brother in the early hours of this morning the 7th of December 2023,” the statement said.
“Benjamin’s wife was by his side throughout and was with him when he passed. We shared him with the world and we know many will be shocked and saddened by this news.
“Benjamin was a true pioneer and innovator, he gave the world so much. Through an amazing career including a huge body of poems, literature, music, television, and radio, Benjamin leaves us with a joyful and fantastic legacy.
“Thank you for the love you have shown Professor Benjamin Zephaniah.”
Nigeria, Ghana, Six Others Receive $1.96m To Tackle Fistula
Eight member countries of the Economic Community of West African States received $1.96 million from the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre on Wednesday to tackle fistula disorder.
Fistula disorder is an abnormal connection between organs. Fistulas are usually the result of an injury or surgery.
According to the United States Agency for International Development in 2021, Nigeria accounted for 40 per cent of fistula cases worldwide.
USAID also stated that Nigeria reports 13,000 new cases of fistula per year, and as many as 400,000 women languish on waiting lists for corrective surgery.
The countries that got $245,000 each were Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia and Liberia.
The presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries was one of the highlights at the 91st Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in Abuja.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chairman, ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Yusuf Tuggar, stated that the Council would deliberate on the community’s budget for the 2024 fiscal year as the current economic challenges are affecting the region’s Gross Domestic Product and revenue generation.
Tuggar noted, “We must be mindful of the prevailing economic and financial challenges confronting our sub-region, such as inflation, high food prices, and currency devaluation, which have adversely affected our economies.
“These challenges have impacted our gross domestic product, revenue generation, and in particular our mobilisation of the community levy, due to the devaluation of some of our major currencies, particularly Cedi and Naira against the US Dollar.”
Urging the Council Ministers, the minister said, “Therefore, we must support the recommendations of the Administration and Finance Committee on enhancing prudence, as well as the efforts of the President of the Commission and other Heads of the Institutions on blocking leakages to ensure judicious use of our meagre resources.”
Also, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, lamented that member states under sanctions have stopped remitting levies, adding that ECOWAS needs enough financial resources to tackle the challenges bedeviling the region.
“For some time now, the levy collection has been a challenge. The amount of 0.5 per cent ECOWAS levy on imports from outside the Community has been collected by member states on behalf of ECOWAS.
“However, the deposit of these funds into the ECOWAS bank accounts at the country level and access to the funds have been a challenge. This has led to low resource mobilization.
“The situation is more critical now that our member states under sanctions have stopped remitting the levy. As the financial situation gets more difficult, the tasks for ECOWAS are growing,” Touray stated.
The president urged the councils of ministers to “mobilise the levy fully to be able to implement our community work programme and keep up with the successes of ECOWAS.”
Edo 2024: Osunbor Joins Guber Race, Vows To Lift Edo To Enviable Heights
Edo Lunches Security Control Centre, Holds 2023 Summit
NJC Sacks Osun Judge, Rejects Adeleke’s Request To Suspend CJ
PICTORIAL: David Oyedepo’s Son Unveils Ministry, Receives Blessings From Father
Nigerian Correctional Service Begins Commercial Bread Production In Benin
National Orthopaedic Hospital Benin To Begin Clinical Service In Eyean PHC, Says Medical Director
Business2 days ago
Nigerian Correctional Service Begins Commercial Bread Production In Benin
News1 day ago
NUJ OSBC Executives Visit Igbajo Polytechnic, Promise Partnership
News2 days ago
BREAKING: Police Reveals How 500L ATBU Student Was Stabbed To Death
News1 day ago
COP28: NNPCL Signs Two LNG Deals
Headline1 day ago
VIDEO: North Korea’s President Weeps As He Begs Women To Have More Children
News4 days ago
FG To Commence Disbursement Of Presidential Grants, Loans To Businesses
Sports1 day ago
Transfer: Jorginho’s Next Possible Club Revealed
Metro4 days ago
Police, Complainant Killed As Angry Mob Set Suspected Killer ablaze In Delta
Metro3 days ago
Supreme Court Imposes N40m Fine On Mike Ozekhome Over Frivolous Suit
Entertainment1 day ago
‘Christ Lives In Me,’ Daddy Yankee Quits Music To Evangelize Jesus