A bomb and gun attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants on a hotel in Somalia’s port city of Kismayo left several people dead Friday, security forces and witnesses said.
“Several people died and many more are injured but we don’t have the exact number of the fatalities so far because there is still a rescue operation going on,” said security official Abdiweli Mohamed.
A suicide bomber rammed a vehicle loaded with explosives into the popular hotel in the southern town before several heavily armed gunmen forced their way inside, shooting as they went, he said.
“The blast rocked the popular Medina hotel formerly known as Cascasey which is located in downtown Kismayo,” said Mohamed.
“Several gunmen entered and started shooting but the security forces responded quickly and engaged in a gunfight with the terrorists inside the building,” he added.
Witnesses said among those killed was a well-known social media activist, her husband and a local journalist.
“The blast was very big,” said witness Hussein Muktar.
“There is chaos inside, I saw several dead bodies carried from the scene and people are fleeing from the nearby buildings,” added Muktar.
“The relatives of a local journalist Mohamed Sahal confirmed his death and I’m getting that social media activist Hodan Naleye and her husband also died in the blast,” another witness, Ahmed Farhan, said.
Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement.
“Mujahidin fighters carried out a martyrdom attack on one of the hotels accommodating the apostate officials of the Jubaland administration,” an autonomous southern zone in the troubled country whose main city is Kismayo, the group said.
According to several sources, most of those staying in the hotel were politicians and traders ahead of upcoming regional elections.
Ex-Oyo ALGON boss rejoices with Ibarapa-born billionaire Ayandele at 60
Former Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria )ALGON) in Oyo State, Chief Ademola Ojo has felicitated with All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Dr Olusola Ayandele as he clocked 60.
Ojo, described the Ibarapa-born billionaire as a patriot, politician and leader who have contributed to the advancement of the nation’s democracy as well as nurtured many individuals to greatness.
The ex-council gaffer states this in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan the state capital.
Ayandele was an APC governorship aspirant in the 2019 general election and presently a senatorial hopeful.
According to the ex-ALGON Chief, the renowned businessman and philanthropist had brought great political, economic as well as social success to the state and Nigeria.
“I feel inspired and motivated most times by your doggedness, forthrightness and knack for truth at all times. You are leader worthy of emulation.
“I celebrate you my dear brother and leader. Your courage, character, wisdom, strength and simplicity stands you out always. May the Almighty fill your future with blessings, ” he said.
Also, Mr Olusola Adeleke, a Personal Assistant to Ayandele, joined to felicitate his boss whom he described as reliable, dependable and visionary boss.
He described Ayandele as a renowned businessman, philanthropist, leader and political gargantuan with uncommon sagacity.
“Your commitment and selfless service to humanity has brought tremendous development to Ibarapaland, Oyo State as well as Nigeria. You are a rare gem boss and you will forever be appreciated.
“I wish you more years of sound health, peace and glory as you celebrate. Happy birthday to my dear boss,” he submitted.
Oyo APC scribe celebrates Ayandele at 60
Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo state, Hon. Mojeed Olaoya, has described the former gubernatorial aspirant of the party in the state, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, as a pride to Nigeria and humanity as a whole.
Olaoya remarked while celebrating the 60th birthday of the Ibarapa-born Ayandele who is a staunch player in the business and political space of the country.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday and which he personally signed, Olaoya expressed his delight about Ayandele being always available to help the cause of the poor and less-privileged in the society.
“For the good people of Ibarapaland, Oyo state and Nigeria in general, the man (Olusola Ayandele) is a rare blessing and he deserves to be celebrated everyday having made a lot of difference as a businessman, politician and philanthropist for a very long time.
“As an academic and scholar, Ayandele made his indelible mark by imparting knowledge on a great population of young people. And more importantly, his positive contribution to the economy of Nigeria cannot be underestimated as he is leading investor and creator of employment opportunities of all time. To crown it all, Dr. Ayandele decided to dabble into partisan politics to enable him do more for the society and he has not disappointed his people.
“To this end, it is worthwhile to join several thousands of people globally to celebrate the enigma known as Eruobodo on this auspicious occasion of his 60th birthday anniversary as we pray God to grant him the opportunity of long life, sound health and prosperity”, the statement added.
Oyo commissioner, Olatunbosun urges citizens to disregard panic messages over ultimatum to herdsmen
Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun has disclosed that citizens of the State should disregard a voice note message urging people in Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday 22nd of January due to a purported ultimatum issued by some individuals to a Fulani Community in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
Recall that the State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has warned individuals to respect the constitutional rights of any Nigerian to live anywhere in the country in a peaceful manner and condemned the said ultimatum in a state broadcast to the people of the state
A voice note, being circulated on Wednesday by one woman from London simply known as ‘Remi’ has urged residents of Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday so as to avoid any crisis that might arise from the outcome of the ultimatum issued to the Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan.
Olatubosun said the message was targeted at causing panic among the people and to tarnish the efforts of the present administration in tackling insecurity in the State.
He said Oyo State indigenes at home and in the diaspora ought to give support to the government and not to cause disaffection and unnecessary panic over an issue that has been adequately addressed by the government and concerned security agencies.
He added that the people of the State, especially in Ibadan should go about their businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.
“It is funny to hear that somebody was sending voice note from London, warning Ibadan people not to venture out on Friday because of an ultimatum issued to a Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan, in Ibarapa area.
“This is an issue that has been addressed by the government that nobody has the power to give such ultimatum, the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for it, especially when the said Community is not constituting security threat to lives and properties of the people.
“The government of Oyo State and security apparatus are working around the clock to give the people of the State the required peaceful atmosphere that will engender economic growth, we therefore urge our people, especially in Ibadan to ignore the voice note message and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.”
The commissioner called on the residents of the State to be wary of scaremongers who he said could create psychological crisis where such was not in existence.
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