What’s Going On: Uganda Suspends LGBT NGO, Nigerian Students Association Move To Impeach President & More

notable headlines from around the continent

“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That.

NANS Move To Impeach President

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) are moving to get their current President Sunday Asefon impeached. Some members of the group have cited incompetence and unlawful extension of his tenure as some of the reasons why Asefon is currently under fire and in the process of being removed from a position he’s held since December 2020.

Asefon, who is currently 47-years-old, was elected for a one-year tenure. He has however failed to conduct a national convention or hand over to another president, as is embedded in the NANS constitution. He’s also been considered unable to protect the interests of Nigerian students, both home and abroad. In the light of the further-stretching ASUU Strike, Asefon’s administration hasn’t been able to mount sufficient and efficient pressure on the government who are supposed to be held accountable by, not just his office, but the entire body.

A more sinister twist to the story is the reported information that Asefon is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, otherwise known as APC. This obviously contributes to his nonchalance about the strike, as he’s been reported to be touring the country campaigning for the same political party that’s kept Nigerian students at home for almost six months now. Speaking to SaharaReporters, a senate member of the body says, “We have called for a Senate meeting where his removal will be ratified.”


Al-Shabaab co-founder and former spokesperson, Muktar Robow has been announced by the Somalian prime minister as a member the country’s new cabinet. The news broke about sometime last week and created a great controversy and subsequently, discussions, about how beneficial Robow’s appointment could be for the country in its fight against insurgency. Some commenters believe it would be a positive choice, while others couldn’t look past Robow’s history as an ex-terrorist.

On television, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said that Robow would serve as the country’s minister in charge of religion. Before splitting from the Islamic sect in 2013, Robow had a $5 million US bounty on his head but four years later, he became one of the highest ranking officials to quit the sect, said analysts to CNN.

In 2018, the then 48-year-old Muktar was arrested by the previous government as he campaigned to become a regional president. A wide spate of protests spread afterwards, as over eleven people were reportedly shot at by security operatives.


It was agony last weekend as the Ugandan government suspended the operations of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a local non-governmental organisation that champions the rights of sexual minorities. According to an unnamed senior official, the SMUG was operating in the East African country “illegally,” even though they were founded as far back as 2004.

In its many years of existence, the SMUG have protected the rights of LGBT people in Uganda, a country where homosexuality remains illegal and gay people have been victim to being ostracized by society, imprisoned for life or/and met with unspeakable violence. A trans man Victor Mukasa and Sylvia Tamale, a Ugandan academic, founded the NGO in March 2004 as a means of galvanising support for vulnerable members of the LGBT community, and it has continued to be a key advocate for those specific rights.

SMUG operations were suspended because “they were operating illegally,” Reuters gathered from Stephen Okello, who heads a government agency that regulates NGOs. “SMUG continues to operate…without a valid NGO permit,” he says, although SMUG’s director Frank Mugisha doesn’t believe so, hinting at underlying problems. “This is a clear witch hunt rooted in systematic homophobia, fueled by anti-gay and anti-gender movements,” he said to the BBC.


In a speech to mark the 62nd anniversary of Ivory Coast’s Independence, President Alassane Ouattare revealed he had signed a presidential pardon to remove the pending economic charges on Laurent Gbagbo, his predecessor. This, he said, was “in the interests of strengthening social cohesion”.

He also revealed that he’s asked for the former president’s accounts to be unfrozen and that his life annuity be paid. President Ouattare also signed a decree for the conditional release of former navy chief Vagba Faussignaux and a former commander of a key gendarmerie unit, Jean-Noel Abehi, who were close associates of Gbagbo and were convicted for their role in the post-election unrest of 2011 when the estranged Gbagbo failed to recognise Outtara’s victory in the Presidential elections a year before.

Although the International Criminal Court (ICC) acquitted Gbagbo of alleged war crimes, an Ivorian court handed him a 20 year term in-absentia over the looting of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) during the country’s post-election crisis. This pardon comes some weeks after President Outtara, Gbagbo, and another ex-president Henri Konan Bedie were said to have had a “fraternal meeting” in which they discussed how best to collaborate in moving the country forward. Both Gbagbo and Bedie were invited to attend independence day celebrations yesterday at Yamoussoukro, which is acclaimed as the country’s political capital.

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