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Nigerian Presidential Candidate Mohamed Bazoum, his son and election campaign director Sani Issoufou arrive at a polling station to cast their votes on the second round of the presidential election in Niamey, Niger on February 21, 2021

Niger's Election Officials Killed During Voting in Presidential Elections

Niger has announced that seven senior election officials have been killed in a landmine blast during Niger's presidential election runoff.

Niger has announced that seven lives have been lost due to a landmine bomb during the country's presidential runoff. The seven individuals, who were members of Niger's electoral commission (CENI), reportedly drove over a landmine in the western region of Tillaberi. This took place during the second round of presidential elections this past Saturday following the December elections where presidential candidates, Mohamed Bazoum and former President Mahamane Ousmane, failed to get the majority vote.


Read: Niger's Presidential Election Plagued by Increasing Violence

According to Al Jazeera, the seven election officials were on their way to a polling station with ballot boxes when their car hit an explosive in Dargol. It is unclear whether the car was targeted as the region which borders Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali, is a known location for al-Qaeda groups that have a history of disturbing political activities, this according to News24. The vice president of the commission for the local branch, Harouna Mounkaila, confirmed their deaths and that three other workers had been injured.

Bazoum secured 40 percent of the vote in the first round and he is, according to the BBC, the anticipated presidential elect. Ousmane ruled as president between 1993 to 1996 and like previous former presidents, was ousted in a coup and is unlikely to be elected again. The outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou abstained from running in last year's elections and decided to step down after serving two consecutive five-year terms. The incoming president will be the first democratic president since Niger gained independence from France in 1960.

The presidential elections on the 27th Of December last year were also reportedly attacked by al-Qaeda in the regions of Tchombangou and Zaroumdareye, near the border with Mali.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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