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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has won the London Marathon for a third time; Vivian Cheruiyot, also from Kenya, won the women’s race. The UK's Mo Farah broke the British record by finishing third.

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There was a Kenyan double at this year's London Marathon as Eliud Kipchoge won first place with a time of 2 hours, 4 minutes and 27 seconds.

He joined fellow Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot, who had earlier come in first place in the women's race with a personal best of 2 hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds.

Kipchoge finished more than half-a-minute ahead of Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele, and two minutes ahead of British Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah.

"I came to London to run a beautiful race and today I ran a really beautiful race," said Kipchoge. "Thank you, London."

Read more: Berlin Half-Marathon 'crime' suspects freed

Despite coming in third, Farah's time was enough to earn him a British marathon-running record, even though he twice lost ground with mix-ups when picking up water bottles at drink stations. The 35-year-old, more used to distances of 5,000 and 10,000 meters than the 42.2-kilometer (26.2 miles) marathon, said the event had taken its toll.

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The London Marathon was first held in 1981. This year's was the hottest one ever.

"It's so different to the track. It's incredible. It's a different pain, different training but I've really enjoyed it. I gave it all, 110 percent as I normally do," said Farah.

Strong and steady

In the women's event, Cheruiyot beat favorite Mary Keitany, who had been leading for much of the distance but who struggled towards the end, eventually finishing fifth. Cheruiyot had held back from the leading pack of runners at first.

"I didn't go with the faster group because the faster group was quicker than I was at the start," Cheruiyot told the BBC. "I didn't want to race against anybody, I wanted to race alone. So I raced like that."

It was the hottest London Marathon since 1981, when it was first held, with temperatures at 23.2 degrees Celsius (73.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Runners, many of whom wear novelty costumes when running the marathon, had been told ahead of the event to reconsider their choice of clothing.

Demonstrators took to the streets of the capital in protest of a new electoral law they say is too restrictive. The administration of President Rajaonarimampianina has been marred by allegations of corruption.

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File photo: A street in Antananarivo

The situation was uneasy in Madagascar's capital of Antananarivo on Saturday as hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the government quarter to protest a new law they say is designed to prevent their candidate from running in this year's presidential elections.

Local news described a heavy police presence, including both police and soldiers guarding important sites like parliament. The Madagascar Tribune reported that President Hery Rajaonarimampianina had left for an unannounced overseas trip in the wake of the protests.

The Reuters news agency reported that the demonstrators had been dispersed by police throwing tear gas canisters.

'He attacks members of parliament'

Opposition lawmaker Paul Bert Rahasimanana was quoted by Reuters as accusing the government of attacking politicians outside the ruling party: "Rajaonarimampianina has to resign, he attacks members of Parliament which are in the line of their duty. We just wanted to report on the adoption of [new] electoral laws and he sends us forces of repression."

Supporters of former President Marc Ravalomanana say the new statute effectively stops him from running in the country's general election which is set for later this year. Opposition politicians have also complained about the new laws restricing campaign financing and media access.

President Rajaonarimampianina has been in power since 2013 and his administration has been marred by allegations of corruption and incompetence. In 2015, parliament voted to remove him from office for "constitutional violations" but the country's constitutional court threw out the motion.


….Gani Fawehinmi 80th Posthumous birthday anniversary

…Son blames OBJ, IBB, Abacha for father’s death

….As encomiums pour in from textile workers, NCP, Odumakin

By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo

lagos—GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday unveiled a new 34-foot statue to immortalise late legal luminary and human rights activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, at the new ‘’Liberty Park”  Ojota, Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area, LCDA.

According to Ambode, the unveiling of the new statue was a demonstration of his administration’s belief in the ideals and principles of social justice, equity and better society which Gani was known for during his life time.

Represented by his deputy, Dr. Oluranti Adebule, Ambode said, “As a government, we draw inspiration from Fawehinmi’s struggles and ideals as we strive to make life meaningful for our people. Significantly, I call on Nigerians to draw strength from the exemplary life of the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Let us work together to fight poverty and improve our society for the benefit of generations to come.”

While describing the late activist as a selfless individual who committed his life to the principle of a better society, the governor said: “We celebrate  the invaluable contribution and personal sacrifices of Chief Gani Fawhinmi in the campaign for human rights and dignity, especially in Lagos State where he spent the greater part of his life.

During his life time, Chief Fawehinmi loomed large in the minds of the people, especially the underprivileged and vulnerable masses for whom he was ready to lay down his life and his acts of philanthropy were borderless. The unveiling of this 34-foot statue therefore symbolizes the phenomenon that Chief Gani Fawehinmi represented in his life time.”

Falana speaks

Speaking, Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, described the new late Fawehinmi’ statue as the best monument in the country, saying Fawehinmi was a thorn in the flesh of dictators as he was totally committed to fundamental change – Change from poverty to prosperity.

While appreciating Ambode for investing in the re-modelling of the statue, he said: ‘’It is a mark of greatness to honour great people like Gani who stood for justice, accountability, transparency and equity. ‘I want to suggest that the streets named after British administrators who carted away our country’s resources; should be changed to names of our countrymen who have contributed positively to good governance.’’

In the same vein, Vice President of IndustriALL Global Union and General Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, Comrade Issa Aremu, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to accord the late  Chief Fawehinmi a posthumous national honour in appreciation of his selflessness and commitment to nation building.

Aremu while commending Governor Ambode for what  he called “historic tribute after similarly unveiling the  statue of the Late Fela Kuti last year” recalled that  “for the late human rights activist, the methods and strategies might vary, but the objective is the same: get justice for the oppressed”.

According to him, “Very few progressive lawyers in Nigeria’s history has made effective use of instrumentality of the law to push for respect for  good governance as Gani did. The iconic lawyer always  had eye on justice as distinct from cases and judgements”.

Also speaking, Mr. Ayodele Akele, Secretary, National Conscience Party, NCP, who expressed happiness over the re-modelling of the statue, said it was a birthday gift to the family, friends and associates of Fawehinmi.

For the Convener of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, Fawehinmi gave all his resources, time and energy to defend human rights.

Son speaks

On his part, son of the late activist, Mr Muhammed Fawehinmi, however, blamed former President Olusegun Obasanjo and ex-Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, for his father’s death.

He said: “I want to laugh in the faces of three leaders and unfortunately one of them is dead. The triumvate of Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha. My father would have beaten hell out of Abacha in heaven. But to Obasanjo and IBB, the man they wanted to kill his spirit is the one a governor of this country has erected his statue here. Let me see how they will come here and destroy it.”

He commended Governor Ambode, saying apart from being a befitting representation to the legacies of their patriarch, the statue would place their father’s name on the global map.

“I am totally overwhelmed. I want to say a big thank you to Lagos State Government and another very big massive thank you to Governor Ambode. In all honesty, he is the man I least expected this to come from.

“We understood when former Governor Fashola started this with a smaller statue and we were all glad that at least he remembered our mentor, our father, our leader in the human rights struggle and Senior Advocate of the Masses, SAM. But now seeing this, I now say to myself that Governor Ambode has placed the name of Gani Fawehinmi on a global map,” Mohammed said.

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By Henry Umoru and Godwin Oghre STRONG indications have emerged that following the invasion of the Senate by hoodlums last Wednesday and the snatching of its now recovered mace, the Senate and the House of Representatives will decide the fate of suspended Senator Ovie Omo- Agege (All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central). 

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Senate, at its executive session, on Thursday, resolved that it will work in synergy with the lower chamber to take a decision on the senator who allegedly stormed  the chamber with armed thugs while plenary was in session.

















 According to a source, at the expiration of the 90 legislative days suspension slammed on him, a position will be taken by both chambers through a strongly-worded letter to the world on the implication of what Omo-Agege allegedly did, adding that the National Assembly will not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet. The source said, “As a National Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives will do a joint letter, stating the position of the lawmakers, with regard to the alleged action of Senator Ovie Omo- Agege who was believed to have led thugs to storm the Senate, disrupted plenary and went away with the mace. We are aware that he is on suspension, but, at the end of his suspension, the position will be taken to  guard against any future occurrence.

Even after his stay as a senator, the position of the National Assembly will carry a strong weight on his future political career. But Senator Omo-Agege has been consistent in maintaining that he neither had any thing to do with the thugs, nor did he lead them into the Senate Chambers that fateful day.

The Senate had, last Wednesday, suspended Omo- Agege  apparently for kicking against the sequence of elections adopted by the upper chamber which was alleged to have been targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of 2019 elections. The senator had also been asked to withdraw his suit against Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Senate from court as part of the conditions to forgive him at the expiration of the suspension.

The Senate mandated that the Parliamentary Support Group( Senate) for President Muhammadu Buhari which  Omo- Agege is the Secretary of and Senator Abdullahi Adamu, APC, Nasarawa West the Chairman, must be disbanded immediately. The decisions of the Senate were sequel to the report of Senator Samuel Anyanwu, PDP, Imo East, led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions which investigated the senator. Earlier, the Committee had recommended that Omo- Agege be suspended for 181 legislative days for dragging the upper chamber to court and to serve as  deterrent to others, but following pleas from Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe North, and Senator Kabiru Marafa, APC, Zamfara Central, for leniency and in the spirit of one family, Senate President Saraki reduced it to 90 legislative days. The Senate had asked the Committee to summon Omo- Agege over his comments that the new amendment to the Electoral Act regarding the sequence of the 2019 general elections was targeted at Buhari. Presenting the Committee’s report, Anyanwu said, “Having carefully and fully exhausted all sides to the matter and the inherent implication therefrom for today and the future of the National Assembly, the Committee recommends as follows: “That Senator Ovie Omo-Agege be suspended for 181 legislative days from the date this resolution is taken to serve as deterrent to other Senators who might contemplate taking the Senate to court over its power to regulate or determine its internal matters.” And about 24 hours after the Senate mandated the Anyanwu Committee to investigate him, Omo – Agege apologised to his colleagues at plenary. Omo-Agege, who came under Order 43 of Senate Standing Orders 2015 as Amended, said, “Yesterday, I was not here. My colleague and my brother, Senator Dino Melaye brought a motion under Privileges which is in Order 15 of the Senate Standing Rules. Mr. President, I rose as a consequent on the debate on the sequence of elections in the Electoral Act amendment which was passed last week Wednesday. “In the course of that debate and subsequent upon that, I addressed the media at the press centre.

I made certain remarks during that interview which my attention has been drawn to. The comments are offensive, not just to Senator Dino Melaye, but to the entire Senate. “I rise to apologise to the leadership and the entire Senate for those remarks.

I take back whatever I said. Thank you Mr. President.” Apology In a related development, Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, tendered unreserved apology to the Senate and the National Assembly on the Omo-Agege saga, saying what happened was a clear testimony to the kind of leadership the All Progressives Congress, APC, was giving to Nigerians “and a dangerous early warning signal of what and how they intend to prosecute the 2019 general elections.” In a statement, the state Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Ifeanyi Michael Osuoza, said, “Delta State PDP condemns the alleged invasion, on Wednesday, of the Senate chamber, and the carting away of the mace. We are shocked and greatly disturbed by the unsavoury incident which occurred in the hallowed chamber of the Nigerian Senate.” Invasion of the Senate, violation of the people’s institution- Afe Also yesterday, a  gubernatorial candidate on the platform of the Abundant Nigerian Renewal Party in Ekiti State, Rev Tunde Afe, has described the invasion of the Senate as a  violation of the people’s institution. Afe, who asked for immediate investigation and necessary punishment to serve as a deterrence, said  it was regrettable that a  sacred institution, such as the Senate, could be readily overrun by touts and miscreants.

“The time has come for the security forces to get to the root of the matter because the Senate is a revered institution and should not be violated without necessary punishment”, he said. “We should avoid needless politicisation of such a heinous crime which can not be justified and all persons of all political persuasion should condemn such action”.

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