FRESH FM TOP NEWS THIS WEEK
Written by MaryGift Sunday on October 24, 2020
The hottest and most trending news articles for this week in all categories captured in one shot. Find articles ranging from News to Sports, to Politics, to Entertainment, to Economy, to Metro plus, and many other categories. See below the top news for the week:
- Security Operatives Storm Lekki #EndSARS Protest Scene, Open Fire
Pandemonium broke out in the Lekki Toll Gate Area of Lagos State on Tuesday as armed security personnel stormed the scene of the #EndSARS protests and opened fire at protesters. Several were killed, while many others sustained gunshot wounds. ome videos from eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident showed some persons bleeding seriously, while others tried to extract the bullets. Others were seen administering CPR to some injured persons, to resuscitate them. The incident comes hours after the Lagos State Government declared a 24-hour curfew as part of efforts to stop the violence which had broken out in some parts of the state by criminal elements who have been hijacking the protests.
At the Lekki Toll Gate which has been one of the major converging points, peaceful and unarmed protesters were still seen gathered in large numbers around 5:00 pm, an hour after the curfew was to have commenced. The situation, however, took a turn for the worse around 7:00 pm when the security operatives stormed the area and started shooting sporadically.
Meanwhile, the state government in a tweet at 7:08 pm noted that the curfew would not start until 9:00 pm, to allow those stuck in traffic to get to their homes. Some of the youths who were still at the scene of the incident at about 10:30pm told newsmen that they were protesting peacefully when the armed security operatives came and opened fire at them. “We were protesting peacefully after comedian, AY addressed us. There was nothing, we were still protesting peacefully. Then immediately, the street lights went off,” one of the protesters said on the News @ 10.
“People started shooting at us. We were able to recognise them, they were putting on uniform, they were military men, soldiers. “We were lying down, waving our flags, telling them we are protesting peacefully, yet they were shooting directly at us. “It wasn’t to drive us away, it was to kills us”.
- How Security Operatives Opened Fire At Lekki #EndSARS Protest – Pat Utomi
A professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, has narrated how security operatives opened fire at the #EndSARS protest venue in the Lekki area of Lagos State. Utomi, who lives very close to the toll gate area where the protest has held peacefully for about two weeks, said he was having a telephone conversation before the incident occurred. “I live not very far from the Lekki Toll Gate and I was on the deck of the house and I was actually speaking to somebody in the United States,” he in an interview on Tuesday evening. He narrated, “I have just finished speaking with a Nigerian diplomat friend here in Lagos, analysing the strategy and wondering if it was not really a worrisome strategy to take an ultimatum of how we are going to have a 24-hour curfew, bearing in mind that the young people are already accusing the authorities of being the ones sending the hoodlums so they can trigger a reason for attacking them.”
“I just finished discussing that with this Nigerian diplomat and I was talking to somebody in the US when I heard the siren, and I was wondering siren? “It just kept going and suddenly I heard ‘pa pa pa pa pa pa’ – gunfire, and I said, ‘oh my God, they are shooting at these kids’. I could hear them saying, ‘kneel down, they are shooting at us,” Utomi added. He advised federal and state authorities to be very careful in addressing the issues raised by the protesting youths. According to the economist, the youths of Nigeria have become a global tribe and are all over the world. He warned that the youths could run an asymmetrical war against the authorities in Nigeria if they don’t manage the situation carefully.
- #EndSARS: Fury In Lagos After Deadly Protest Shooting
Buildings were torched in Nigeria’s biggest city, Lagos on Wednesday as authorities shut down the economic hub after the shooting of peaceful protesters by security forces caused international outrage. At least 12 people were killed by the Nigerian army and police in two locations in Lagos on Tuesday in a deadly crackdown on demonstrations, Amnesty International said. Peaceful protesters had gathered despite a curfew imposed to end spiralling protests over police brutality and deep-rooted social grievances. “Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6:45 pm (1745 GMT) and 9:00 pm (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, October 20, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people,” Amnesty said in a statement. The Lagos governor at first insisted no fatalities had been recorded but later said the authorities were investigating the death of one person resulting from “blunt force trauma to the head”. He said at least 25 others were wounded.
Demonstrator Paul Sunday who was at the scene told AFP that the men who shot at the crowd were wearing masks and had army uniforms. “They attacked us from back and from front,” he said. “They came around 7 pm when everywhere was dark.” Pictures and videos showing scenes of chaos in the aftermath of the shooting were widely shared on social media. The shooting drew international condemnation, with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet saying reports suggested it could have been premeditated. “There is little doubt that this was a case of excessive use of force, resulting in unlawful killings with live ammunition, by Nigerian armed forces,” she said. “Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned and coordinated.”
Human Rights Watch corroborated reports that the Nigerian Army had opened fire on the crowd in “a shooting spree”. “The authorities should immediately withdraw the military from the streets,” said Anietie Ewang, a Nigeria researcher with the rights group. The Nigerian Army did not respond to AFP’s requests for comment but on Twitter it called reports of soldiers firing on protesters “fake news”.
- #EndSARS: Buhari Addresses Nigerians, leaves Shootings of peaceful protesters out of speech.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday finally broke his silence and reacted to the loss of lives and properties in some parts of the country as hoodlums hijacked the #EndSARS protests. In his less-than 15-minute long address on Thursday, the President warned miscreants who have taken advantage of the situation to loot and destroy public and private assets to desist from such acts. He further emphatically stressed that the protesters voices have been heard ‘loud and clear’ and urged them to discontinue their demonstrations, saying ‘we are responding’. The President, however, left out of his speech the inhumane and dastardly shootings by soldiers in the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State on Tuesday 20th October; an issue many Nigerians looked forward to and waited expectantly for him to address. He however, paid tributes to the policemen who he said paid the supreme price in the last few weeks.
“No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done,” the President said.
Over the past few days, the world has watched what started off as peaceful demonstrations, degenerate into violence that has seen properties destroyed, businesses grounded and several persons killed.
“All these executed in the name of the #EndSARS protests,” the President said, adding, “I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost”. The nearly three-week-long unrest in the country has also drawn the attention of the international community, with many such as the UN, ECOWAS and Amnesty International, calling for investigations into the brutality.
While the president acknowledged their concerns, he urged them to get all their facts right before making any “hasty pronouncements”. He also reiterated his administration’s commitment to securing lives and property and enjoined security agencies to do so without harming those they are meant to protect. Many Nigerians have been enraged by the President’s address and have taken to social media to express their disappointment over his handling of the situation.
- Lekki shootings: CCTV footage available, says Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that security cameras captured the shootings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate. He said the footage would be submitted to the judicial panel on police brutality, extra-judicial killings, and extortion. The governor said this during a live programme on ARISE TV on Thursday. He said this when asked why the cameras capturing the protest was removed before the shootings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate. In his response, he noted that the CCTV cameras have footage of what happened during the protests.
Sanwo-Olu also explained that the footage would be given to experts to analyse. Speaking further the governor insisted that he never gave orders for the uniformed men to go to the protest ground. He said a Judicial Panel of Inquiry would commence an investigation into Tuesday night shootings next Monday.
He said, “I will just speak up the truth on what actually happened. There is security personnel of The Lekki Concession Company on the ground. I had called the Managing Director that night when I saw the pictures. What he said to me is that because of the curfew that has been announced, they took a decision that they will take out installations that are critical to them. The camera that you saw is not a security camera or a motion camera. The camera is a laser camera for vehicles. It picks the tag on cars and number plates. “It is not a camera for human beings. It is an infrared camera that just picks the tag on the vehicles. Security cameras for the plaza are still available. These are some of the footage that we are going to use for our investigation. Security cameras are installed on top of towers and they are there because I have seen them. Nobody can touch the security camera. “These are things that we can leave open for citizens to come and verify when the panel of inquiries start. We will adopt this as evidence so that experts can come and review what kind of camera are those shown at the footage.” When asked if the footage of the cameras can be assessed, he replied “absolutely”.
- SERAP Drags Nigerian Government, Military To ICC Over Shooting Of #EndSARS Protesters
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent a petition to Mrs Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC), urging her to “promptly investigate reports that Nigerian authorities, military, and some politicians have used/ and are using thugs, soldiers and security agents to intimidate, harass, attack and kill #EndSARS peaceful protesters in several parts of Nigeria, including Abuja, Lagos, Edo, Osun, Plateau, and Kano states.” SERAP urged Mrs Bensouda to “push for those suspected to be responsible for these crimes, mostly security officials, soldiers, some politicians and other actors who directly or indirectly have individually and/or collectively contributed to the attacks, deaths, and injuries, and are therefore complicit in the crimes, to be tried by the ICC.”
In the petition dated 21 October 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The Nigerian authorities over the years have been unwilling and/or unable to prosecute suspected perpetrators of the killing of protesters, which in turn has promoted a culture of impunity and emboldened authorities, the military, politicians and their accomplices who continue to commit human rights crimes against protesters.” SERAP said: “The violent attacks on peaceful protesters in Lekki, Alausa, and other parts of the country suggest the lack of political will by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to respect people’s human rights, including the rights to life, dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.” According to SERAP: “The repeated attacks on peaceful protesters suggest the misuse of the military and security agents by the Nigerian authorities and the failure to apply criminal sanctions to suspected perpetrators.”
- Nigerians sign petition to charge Buhari at ICC for Lekki killings
In just 12 hours, more than 110,000 Nigerians have signed a petition calling for the prosecution of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) before the International Criminal Court at the Hague, for the killings at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos. The petition, which is on Change.org, was started by one Kayode Ogunfeibo. An introduction to the petition read, “Today in Lagos, Nigeria, the Nigerian Army started shooting peaceful protesters at Lekki Toll Gate. “This is the latest in a long series of human rights abuses in Nigeria and as the Head of State of Nigeria President Mohammadu Buhari should be held directly responsible for this heinous crime against humanity. “Under no circumstances should civilians be shot by soldiers in a civilised world and the perpetrators including the Army Chief of Staff, General Buratai, should be brought to justice.”
The petition is being widely shared by many Nigerians, including popular artiste, David Adeleke, aka Davido, who has been vocal since the incident. Several people were killed and many injured at the Lekki toll gate after soldiers opened fire on protesters. The military, has, however denied complicity despite video evidence of their officers at the scene of the event.
- #EndSARS: UK parliament may debate petition against Nigeria as 148,000 sign
No fewer than 148,864 individuals have signed a petition asking the United Kingdom to sanction members of the Nigerian government and police force for human rights abuses over the #EndSARS movement. This was as of 09.20 am on official webiste of the British parliarment. The petition, which was created by one Silas Ojo, seeks to generate 100,000 signatures.
According to information obtained from the website, any petition signed by over 100,000 individuals will be discussed. It stated that a date for debate would be announced on the peition. It reads, “Parliament will consider this for a debate. Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate. “Government will respond. Government responds to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures.” The petition noted that sanctioning government officials would enhance accountability in the country.
The petition on the UK government and parliament website read, “There have been deeply concerning reports of a Nigerian police force unit (SARS) engaging in illegal activities and human rights abuses, and there have also been reports of police firing at protestors calling for SARS to be disbanded. “Implement sanctions against the Nigerian Government and officials. “The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police. “Deploying sanctions would provide accountability for and be a deterrent to anyone involved in violations of human rights.”Nigerians, especially the youths, have taken to the streets in protest over violations of human right and extrajudicial killing by police personnel, specifically those of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
- Prosecute soldiers involved in Lekki shootings – Reps tell Buhari
The minority caucus of the House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the arrest and prosecution of soldiers who attacked #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday night. The Minority Leader, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement issued on Wednesday, “strongly” condemned killing of “peaceful and unarmed” protesters by security operatives at Lekki Tollgate and other parts of the country. The protesters were attacked by soldiers, who fired live ammunition at them after the Closed Circuit Television Cameras in the vicinity were reportedly removed and lights were turned off. In the statement titled, ‘Reps Minority Condemns Killing of Protesters,’ the caucus said, “such wicked act of extrajudicial killing of defenceless citizens by suspected agents of the state cannot be justified or condoned under any rule or guise whatsoever.”
The statement partly read, “As lawmakers and representatives of the people, we cannot accept this gruesome execution of our young ones in their own country by security operatives. Life is sacred and no one has the right to terminate the life of another just because he has the apparatus of state power. “Such brazen brutally and defilement of right to life, which is at the centre of the ongoing protests across the nation, underscores the demand for an immediate and total overhaul of our nation’s security architecture. “We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the arrest and prosecution of officers involved in the Lekki killing as well as the withdrawal of soldiers from engaging protesters.” The caucus also restated its earlier call on Buhari to urgently rejig the nation’s security architecture through extensive reforms and urgent replacement of the service chiefs “with more competent and professional hands to assist in effectively handling of the security challenges confronting the nation.” The caucus commiserated with the families of the victims of “this heinous act” while assuring them of immediate legislative actions that will ensure that justice is served.
- Lekki shootings: Army denies deploying soldiers to tollgate despite video evidence
The Nigerian Army headquarters has denied deploying soldiers to the Lekki tollgate despite video evidence showing uniformed soldiers shooting at the scene. The army in a Facebook post branded several reports linking soldiers at the tollgate as fake news, stating, “No soldiers were at the scene”. Officials of the Lekki Concession Company had earlier on Tuesday evening removed CCTV cameras from the tollgates. Around 7pm, the floodlights and display boards at the tollgates were also switched off, putting the entire area in total darkness. Soon afterwards, security agents began opening fire on protesters.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state following the violence that engulfed the state leading to the burning down of at least three police stations. However, some protesters remained adamant and refused to vacate the Lekki tollgate which is the epicentre of the protests. Several rights groups have condemned the Federal Government for the massacre.
- No death recorded in Lekki shootings —Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says no death was recorded in Tuesday night attack in the Lekki toll gate area of Lagos State. The governor made this known in a live broadcast on Wednesday morning, saying two critically wounded victims had been operated on and were in stable condition while others with “mild to moderate” cases are still receiving treatments at various hospitals in the area. Sanwo-Olu, who admitted that soldiers opened fire on #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate area last night in a bid to disperse them, said he is currently engaging the leadership of the Nigerian Army on the development. He noted that as a governor of the state, the control of military forces was not under his purview. Sanwo-Olu said, “For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki toll gate last night. “This is with a view to take this up with higher commands of the Nigerian Army and to seek the intervention of Mr President in his capacity to as the Commander-In-Chief to unravel the sequence of events that happened yesterday (Tuesday) night.
“Fellow Lagosians, whilst we pray for the swift recovery of the injured, we have not recorded any fatality as against the widespread circulation on social media.” “Myself and the leadership of the ministry of health have been going round. Indeed, we went round the hospitals last night. We went round mortuaries last night to see and to monitor for ourselves what has happened and to look and identified the injured protesters. “We personally visited the hospitals that took in these patients. 10 patients at the General Hospital in Lagos, 11 patients were at the two locations of the Reddington Hospitals both in Lekki and Victoria Island,” he said, adding others sets were at various hospitals in the Lekki area. “I want to expressly say that over the night, two of them had to go through surgery and I am happy to say that they are all stable and they are recovering very well. Quite a number of others are just mild to moderate states. “Indeed, three of them had been discharged this morning and I am told that additional three to four will be discharged anytime from now.”
- Stop attacking protesters, Biden tells Buhari, military
The Democratic Presidential candidate in the upcoming United States election, Joe Biden, has called on President Muhammadu and the military to stop the violent crackdown on protesters which has led to several deaths. The former American Vice-President said this in a statement titled, ‘Violence in Nigeria – Statement by Vice President Joe Biden’ on Wednesday. Biden said the United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption.
The statement read, “I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths. My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence. “The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy. I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”
Thousands of youths have in the last two weeks been protesting against police harassment and extrajudicial killings.
- Hillary Clinton Calls On Buhari To Stop Killing #EndSARS Protesters
American Politician, Hillary Clinton, has called on the Nigerian Government to stop killing #EndSARS protesters.Clinton made the call in a tweet on Tuesday, in reaction to the shooting by officers of the Nigerian Army that occurred in the Lekki Toll Gate Area of the Lagos State killings.“I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young#EndSARS protesters. #StopNigerianGovernment,” she wrote.
I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters. #StopNigeriaGovernment
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 20, 2020
The incident happened at about 7:00 pm on Tuesday. According to one of the protesters who was still at the scene of the incident at about 10:30 pm, they were protesting peacefully when the armed security operatives came and opened fire at them. “We were protesting peacefully after comedian, AY addressed us. There was nothing, we were still protesting peacefully. Then immediately, the street lights went off,” he told newsmen. “People started shooting at us. We were able to recognise them, they were putting on uniform, they were military men, soldiers. “We were lying down, waving our flags, telling them we are protesting peacefully, yet they were shooting directly at us. “It wasn’t to drive us away, it was to kills us”. Some videos from eyewitnesses at the scene of the incident showed some persons bleeding seriously, while others tried to extract the bullets. Others were seen administering CPR to some injured persons, to resuscitate them.
- #EndSARS: UN calls for end to attacks, violence on protesters
The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, has called for an end to police brutality and attack on #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria. The UN scribe, who said he is following the developments in the country, condemned the killing of activists demanding police reforms in Lagos and other parts of the nation on Tuesday. Guterres in a statement on Wednesday also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to those injured. He called on the authorities to investigate the incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable.
The statement read, “The Secretary-General is following recent developments in Nigeria and calls for an end to reported police brutality and abuses. “He condemns the violent escalation on October 20 in Lagos which resulted in multiple deaths and caused many injuries. “The Secretary-General urges the security forces to act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence.” The global body encouraged the authorities to swiftly explore avenues to de-escalate the situation and reiterated its readiness to support national efforts towards finding a solution.
- Killing protesters worsens crisis, makes dialogue impossible, Obasanjo tells Buhari
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the use of brute force to quell protests at the Lekki tollgate. He added that it was obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari and his lieutenants didn’t exhaust all avenues before deploying soldiers. Obasanjo said this in a statement titled, ‘Statement on Violence Against Protesters In Nigeria: An Appeal for Calm’. The former President called on Buhari to “restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force as a way of ending the crisis.” He said history had shown that killing protesters only worsens the crisis and makes dialogue impossible. The former President said, “The shooting and murder of unarmed protesters, no matter the level of provocation, has never been effective in suppressing public anger and frustration. Instead, such actions only reinforce the anger and frustration of the populace and close the window of dialogue and peaceful resolution. “It is clear that Mr President and his lieutenants did not exhaust the opportunities for dialogue with the protesters before resorting to the use of force.” Obasanjo said it was worse that despite overwhelming evidence, the authorities were still denying ever killing protesters. He therefore called on the President to take swift action before things spiral out of control.
“We are at a critical moment in this crisis and the President must act now before it is too late. This time demands leadership and mature leadership at such.”. He said most of the demands made by the #EndSARS protesters which had been conveyed to the President by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State were not unrealistic. Obasanjo added that these demands could be implemented without anyone’s political interest or ambition being threatened. The former President said, “It is imperative that leaders at all levels, starting with Mr President, must demonstrate meekness, humanity and sincerity in meeting the legitimate demands of the protesters and ensuring that justice is served where it must be served. These are the potent ways of ending this crisis now.” The former President also called on the youths to give peace a chance, adding that the destruction and looting must stop.
- #EndSARS: Demand immediate withdrawal of soldiers, Soyinka tells governors
Elder statesman, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has called on governors in states where protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad forced declaration of curfews to immediately demand the withdrawal of soldiers deployed by the Federal Government. The playwright, in a message on Wednesday from his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, titled, ‘DÉJÀ VU– In tragic vein,’ spoke on the backdrop of the reported killing of unarmed protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on Tuesday night after a 24-hour curfew imposed on the state by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. There have been peaceful protests across many states in the country against police brutality and the F-SARS, a unit in the Nigeria Police Force. The Nobel laureate said, “To the affected governors all over the nation, there is one immediate step to take: demand the withdrawal of those soldiers. Convoke town hall meetings as a matter of urgency. 24-hour curfews are not the solution. Take over the security of your people with whatever resources you can rummage. Substitute community self-policing based on local councils, to curb hooligan infiltration and extortionist and destructive opportunism. We commiserate with the bereaved and urge state governments to compensate material losses, wherever.
“To commence any process of healing at all – dare one assume that this is the ultimate destination of desire?– the Army must apologise, not merely to the nation but to the global community – the facts are indisputable – you, the military, opened fire on unarmed civilians. There has to be structured restitution and assurance that such aberrations will not again be recorded. Then both governance and its security arms can commence a meaningful, lamentably overdue dialogue with society. Do not attempt to dictate — Dialogue!” Soyinka noted that he said in his message to youths at the Freedom Park 10th anniversary events on Saturday, October 17, 2020, that they brought fresh blood into tired veins. The playwright also said it was bliss indeed to be alive to watch youths finally beginning to take the future into their own hands, adding that with the protesters’ roadblocks in Ogun State and elsewhere, it was all déjà vu– the uprisings in the former Western Region of Nigeria and the anti-Abacha movement among others. He further said it was absolutely essential to let the Federal Government know that the army had now replaced the SARS in the demonic album of the protesters.
He added, “My enquiry so far indicates that the Lagos governor did not invite in the Army, did not complain of a ‘breakdown in law and order. Nevertheless, the centre has chosen to act in an authoritarian manner and has inflicted a near incurable wound on the community psyche. Need I add that, on arrival in Abeokuta, my hometown, I again had to negotiate a road block? That went smoothly enough. I expected it, and have no doubt that more are being erected as this is being written. “It is pathetic and unimaginative to claim, as some have done, that the continued protest is hurting the nation’s economy etc. COVID-19 has battered the Nigerian economy – such as it is – for over eight months. Of course it is not easy to bring down COVID under a hail of bullets – human lives are easier target, and there are even trophies to flaunt as evidence of victory– such as the blood-soaked Nigerian flag that one of the victims was waving at the time of his murder.”
- #EndSARS: Military actions may make situation unmanageable, says Adeboye
General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of Nigeria, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has condemned the shootings of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday. He warned that such actions may worsen the situation of things in the country. This was contained in a statement by the General Overseer on Wednesday. He said, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms, attacks launched by the Nigerian military on unarmed young people, who have been peacefully protesting police brutality over the last 12 days as #EndSARS protests.
“The condemnable actions of the military risks driving the agitations of the young people underground, thereby making the situation unmanageable.
“I call on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the tragic events at Lekki and other parts of the country, give justice to all victims even as it engages the #EndSARS protesters to reach a common agreement to end police brutality.”
- We Will Get Justice For Victims Of Lekki Shooting – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said the Federal Government will get justice for #EndSARS protesters who were shot and killed by soldiers in Lekki. “I spoke to some of those in hospital. The pain of these terrible events is palpable in our towns and cities, and some losses are irreplaceable, but we can and will get justice for all of them. I stand with Lagos & all other affected states in these trying times,” he said in a series of tweets on Wednesday. He described the shooting, which has sparked global outrage and fury, as terrible and commiserated with those who lost loved ones. “My heart goes out to all the victims of the Lekki shootings, and also the policemen and all other men and women who lost their lives in the past few days in different parts of Lagos and other states,” he said. The Vice-President prayed for the nation never to experience “a repeat of these tragedies.”
- Outrage in South Africa over police brutality in Nigeria
Hundreds of people took to the streets in South Africa on Wednesday to voice outrage at the shooting of peaceful demonstrators in Nigeria. Africa’s most populous country has faced growing unrest as a protest over brutality by a Nigerian police unit known as SARS ballooned into wider grievances against the government. Witnesses said gunmen opened fire on a crowd of over 1,000 people in the main city of Lagos on Tuesday, with Amnesty International reporting that several people were killed. On Wednesday, demonstrators draped in the national flag of Nigeria and chanting liberation slogans marched to Abuja’s embassy in Pretoria carrying banners reading “End police brutality”. Another group of about 400 people in Cape Town, mostly Nigerian nationals, vowed to continue picketing until there was change in Nigeria.
Well-known South African rap star AKA voiced solidarity with the people of Nigeria, saying: “How can people shoot to KILL their own countrymen and women?” “This is insane… Sending love and strength to Naija,” AKA tweeted to his 4.6 million followers. South African opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), pledged its “moral and political solidarity” with Nigerians and called on the government to rein in its army and security services.
- Reveal Soldiers Who Shot At Lekki #EndSARS Protesters, NBA Tells Military
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers in the Lekki area of Lagos State. NBA President, Olumide Akpata, faulted the incident in a statement personally signed by him on Tuesday hours after the incident. A team of armed security personnel had stormed the Lekki toll gate – where a series of protests had held peacefully – and fired live bullets at a crowd of youths there.
“The Military High command is hereby requested to immediately identify and name the officers involved in this gross professional misconduct for immediate prosecution and dismissal in line with extant laws,” Akpata said. He added, “The NBA shall immediately commence legal proceedings at all relevant fora – both locally and internationally – against the Nigerian Military and other relevant authorities, on behalf of the families of the victims, for abuse of power, disregard of rules of engagement and the infringement of the fundamental rights (including the right to life) of the affected citizens.”
Akpata explained that given the degenerating nature of the crisis, an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NBA would be convened within the next 48 hours. According to him, the meeting is to review the state of the nation and take other appropriate steps to decisively deal with the situation and prevent Nigeria from further going adrift. The NBA president described the shooting as an act of recklessness and lawlessness by the security apparatus of the government.
- Lekki shootings: Lagos govt can’t be exonerated -Okei-Odumakin
Two civil rights movements under the aegis of Women Arise and Centre for Change, on Wednesday, lent its voice to the killing of #EndSARS protesters by security operatives in Lagos but warned that Nigeria may return to its pariah status in the comity of nations witnessed during the regime of late General Sani Abacha. While mourning the victims of Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos by the military, the organizations said the Lagos State government cannot wash its hands clean of this massacre. The LASG, the organisations said, must, therefore, immediately move to send the soldiers back to their barracks, allow access to medical treatment to the injured, and ensure the release of arrested youths.
The President of Women Arise and Centre for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, made the condemnation in a statement titled, ‘A mindless massacre.’ She said, “The barbaric killing of protesting youths by the Nigerian Government cannot but shatter the heart of any sane human being with blood running in his or her veins. “We are shattered! We are heartbroken! Together with the youths, we are in pains and in grief.
“But let us say it loud and clear: Conscionable Nigerians are not broken. We are not defeated. “This ‘victory’ by the Nigerian despotic government masquerading as a democratic government is phyrric and shall soon turn to ashes in their mouth. “It was so for Ibrahim Babangida when he executed (Mamman) Vatsa and the other so-called coup plotters against popular calls for clemency. “It was so for Sani Abacha when he executed Ken Saro-Wiwa despite worldwide opposition. “It will be no less even now because government was told loud and clear not to send soldiers after the youths!
“In these hours of grief, we stand with the Nigerian youths and demand that government stop the slaughtering of our youths immediately. “They are our shining lights and the leaders of tomorrow. Their grievances were genuine; even government itself said so. “They were peaceful until sponsored hoodlums broke into their ranks. They enjoyed not only countrywide but also worldwide support. “Government’s strong arm tactics against them will, therefore, not only backfire but leave it reeling from its new status of a dictatorial regime. “We should watch it lest this country relapse into a pariah state that it was under Abacha. “The Lagos State government cannot wash its hands clean of this massacre. It must, therefore, immediately move to send the soldiers back to their barracks, allow access to medical treatment to the injured, and ensure the release of arrested youths. “The families of the dead must be compensated and get justice, the wounded treated free of charge, and laws must now be made to henceforth prevent the use of soldiers in civil protests. “Never again must the guns we procured for our safety and the soldiers we pay to protect us be unleashed on us and our children.”
- #EndSARS: Youths are in pains, Okowa tells govs, others
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on all leaders in the country to rally and earnestly begin the process of correcting the wrongs in the society. Okowa made the call in a condolence message to the youths in the country following the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki, Lagos on Tuesday. In a statement personally signed by himself on Wednesday, the governor said “It is obvious that we cannot suppress the voice of the Nigerian youth. They have suffered untold pains and expressed their frustrations in the last two weeks.
“As leaders, our duty is to start to right the wrongs. We need to start the process of rebuilding a nation that works for all. “We need to take steps to recreate hope for our people, the youths inclusive. “My dear youths, you have spoken loudly. You have changed the narrative, and the reforms you called for cannot be wished away.’’ The governor reiterated his appeal to the youths to give the Government time to reflect on and take action on their demands. He described the youths as heroes and heroines, urging them not to allow their well-intentioned protests to take a negative turn.
- #EndSARS: Six Demands Buhari Must Meet To Close ‘Trust Deficit’ – Concerned Nigerians
Following the unfolding national crisis that has stemmed from the #EndSARS protests, a group of “responsible and patriotic Nigerians” organised themselves and made some crucial demands from President Muhammadu Buhari. The group called “Concerned Nigerians” said they have watched with serious concern the unfolding crisis threatening to engulf the nation and as non-partisan actors who believe in the union of the Nigerian people through the maintenance of democratic order founded on the rule of law they believe in the freedom of all Nigerians to exercise the rights guaranteed in our constitution, including freedom of speech, the right to participate in peaceful protest and in processions without harassment or intimidation from any person or authority.
The Concerned Nigerians said the developments of the last weeks culminated in a deadly attack on peaceful protestors, which from available evidence appears to be by agents of the government, thus making it one of the most serious crisis in the nation’s history. It is on this premise that the group asked President Buhari to take six crucial steps in a bid to bridge what they have termed a widening ‘Trust Deficit’ which they believe is the root cause of protests and the ensuing violence. According to the group, there is a wide trust deficit between the government and the president on one hand, and between government and the youths/people on the other hand.
Below are those six critical demands made by the Concerned Nigerians, these are decision they believe Buhari must take if the nation is to move forward in the right direction.
a. Identifying and arresting immediately the persons that gave instruction for soldiers to shoot protesting youth at the Lekki Toll Gate on 20th October 2020 4
b. Institute an urgent independent inquiry on: (i) the events at Lekki toll gate leading to the use of live ammunitions on the protestors and (ii) the apparent use of sponsored thugs or hoodlums by security operatives to infiltrate and break the peaceful protests. All those identified to be responsible for this must be held to account and prosecuted.
c. Take immediate remedial action as spelt out in the youth Charter of Demands (which they term 5For5 Demands) including the immediate release of all arrested protestors, justice and compensation for the families of victims, and an independent body to oversee the prosecution of guilty officers.
d. Address the Nation with concrete plan of implementation of the modalities and timelines for police reform.
e. Respond positively to the consensus opinion that the heads of the security agencies have performed poorly and should be relieved of office.
f. Announce urgent steps to address perennial insecurity and killings in the country particularly in the North-East and North-West. g. Finally, develop a clear workplan for the implementation of the governance reform programmes for which well-meaning Nigerians have been demanding.
The Concerned Nigerians commended the youth who have been courageous and patriotic in their demands for the protection of their rights and for a better 5 Nigeria.
They urged all Nigerians to support the young people’s demands which have been without any ethnic or religious coloration. Protestors were urged to remain law abiding and patriotic and not to engage in any intimidation or harassment of ordinary citizens or engage in any form of violence.
- #EndSARS: Organise for political power, Poju Oyemade tells protesters
The Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, Pastor Poju Oyemade, has urged youths demonstrating against police brutality and extrajudicial killings to “organise for political power” so as to effect meaningful changes. The moderator of The Platform, an annual conference organised by the church to commemorate Nigeria’s independence on every October 1, said the “streets has its limit”. The cleric wrote on his Twitter handle, @pastorpoju, on Monday, “Why did President (Barack) Obama go into politics, seeking to be in office? He realised as a community organiser he was limited to what changes he could effect without political power.
“The streets has its limit. To effect meaningful change peacefully organise for political power.” Oyemade had said the demands of the protesters were valid while narrating his wife’s ordeal in the hands of the operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
- #EndSARS/Crocodile Smile: Military operation will backfire, protesters, others warn Buhari
#EndSARS protesters, the Alliance for Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond, human rights groups and lawyers on Sunday warned the Federal Government against deploying troops to stop Nigerians campaigning for police reforms. They warned President Muhammadu Buhari that such an action would backfire. Campaigners, demanding the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, among other requests, have been holding rallies across the major cities of the country for days unending. The Nigerian Army had on Saturday 17th October said it would begin Operation Crocodile Smile aimed at tackling cyber warfare and insurgency. #EndSARS protesters and other groups interpreted this as a move by Buhari’s regime to deploy troops to quell demonstrations against SARS. However the Army, in a statement titled, ‘Exercise crocodile smile VI has nothing to do with #EndSARS protests whatsoever’ said the operation was not targeted at the protesters.
On its part, ASCAB led by a human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, vowed to drag the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague if any of the #EndSARs protesters was killed by any soldiers. The group, in a statement by Falana titled, “#EndSARS: Kill protesters, face International Criminal Court, ASCAB cautions Buratai,” urged the Federal Government to withdraw the plan to use soldiers to quell the protests. The ASCAB, said, “Buhari should not invite soldiers to resolve a purely democratic issue that calls for dialogue and constructive engagement.” It noted that protests had common features across the world as seen in Hong Kong, the United States, France, South Africa, Belarus and Sudan. The group added that in no instance were soldiers deployed to suppress the protesters. “Nigeria wants to set another ugly precedent in world history,” the group said.
- We will drag Buratai to ICC if soldiers kill protesters – Falana-led group
On its part, ASCAB led by a human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN, vowed to drag the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague if any of the #EndSARs protesters was killed by any soldiers. The group, in a statement by Falana titled, “#EndSARS: Kill protesters, face International Criminal Court, ASCAB cautions Buratai,” urged the Federal Government to withdraw the plan to use soldiers to quell the protests. The ASCAB, said, “Buhari should not invite soldiers to resolve a purely democratic issue that calls for dialogue and constructive engagement.” It noted that protests had common features across the world as seen in Hong Kong, the United States, France, South Africa, Belarus and Sudan.
The group added that in no instance were soldiers deployed to suppress the protesters. “Nigeria wants to set another ugly precedent in world history,” the group said. It reminded the Federal Government that Operation Crocodile Smile had been declared illegal by a Nigerian court with competent jurisdiction following legal actions filed by Falana. It added that efforts by the chief of army staff to challenge the order by approaching the Court of Appeal failed. The coalition said, “Every bullet that goes out from the barrel of the gun is owned by the people of Nigeria. It is a crime under international law to release these bullets with the hope of taking human life. “It is unfortunate that the Nigerian government is sending a signal to the military that it has a role to play in a purely civil matter.”
- I won’t approve 2021 budget without provisions for #EndSARS victims, ASUU – Gbajabiamila
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said he will not sign the 2021 Appropriation Bill presently before the National Assembly if provisions are not made for the compensation of the families of victims of police brutality in the last decade. Gbajabiamila also said he would also not sign the budget if implementation of the agreement between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government is not captured by the budget. Both the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate sign bills passed by the National Assembly before they are transmitted to the President for assent.
In his opening remarks at the plenary on Tuesday, the Speaker notes that the #EndSARS protests “have gotten more serious” with pockets of violence in parts of the country. According to him, the protests “seem to have hijacked” by those who have a different agenda. Gbajabiamila noted that the Federal Government, through the National Human Rights Commission, had set up a panel of enquiry to take complaints from victims of police brutality. According to the Speaker, none of these have convinced the agitators to suspend the protests. He pointed out that expectations from the ruling class were high, stating that, “Our people expect action and we just deliver.”
- #EndSARS: Police Not Above The Law, Must Be Accountable To Nigerian People – Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday said the Nigeria Police is not above the laws of the land, adding that they must be accountable to the citizens. He stated this during the House Plenary Session which held in Abuja, the nation’s capital. “We will establish a system of citizen-led accountability for the Nigerian Police Force because in a democracy we have set out to build, the police are not above the citizenry,” he said. “They are servants of the people. The police are not above the law, they are its guardians. As we endeavour to hold our nation’s police to higher standards of professional conducts, we must also make sure we provide for the welfare of the men and women in uniform.” The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila is appealing to #EndSARS protesters not to allow the protests to be hijacked by unscrupulous elements seeking to cause chaos in the country.
The Speaker who noted the protesters have raised their voices for a righteous cause which has been heard called for discussions on the way forward.
He also promised some measures to address the problem of police brutality in the country which includes drafting new legislation that enables a system to hold erring police officers to account for their conduct in the performance of their duties. According to Gbajabiamila, the draft legislation which will be enacted in collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will be ready for consideration within 30 days. He also reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to ensure that the abuses of the past never reoccur. On the 2021 budget, the Speaker explained that he will not sign budget that does not include adequate provisions to compensate those who have suffered violence and brutality in the hands of the police in the last two decades.
- #EndSARS: 23 key demands Nigerian youths want from FG
List of what Nigerian youths want the federal government to do before they can call off their protest
1. End SARS
2.Sack security chiefs
3. Improve security
4. Full deregulation of the oil and gas sector to allow more investments for job creation
5. Immediate passage of PIB
6. Full deregulation of the power sector to allow investment capital flow to generate, transmit and distribute more power and create
7. Should hands-off petroleum pricing to enable free-market determination of pricing
8. Close our northern borders to stop the free entry of Fulani herdsmen and bandits
9. Inclusive government for all tribes and regions of Nigeria with 50 percent youths in charge of governance
10. Allocate more funds to the education sector to provide better teaching tools and to pay better salaries to end ASUU strikes
11. Change our academic curriculum to reflect modern-day realities
12. All politicians should be placed on minimum wage to attract genuine public servants
13. Migrate to 100 per cent electoral reforms with electronic voting tied to our BVN and GSM
14. Return Nigeria to regional governance structure or restructure the country and embrace true federalism. States autonomy must be paramount.
15. Disband the bi-cameral legislature and adopt uni-cameral
16. Immediately reform Nigeria Police Force and let every state or region create its own police service
17. No more budget for running private affairs of elected and appointed public servants
18. Enthrone university education as a minimum qualification for public office holders at all levels of government from the president to local government and ward chairpersons
19. Strip ex-governors and all elected and appointed public servants of all benefits after office.
20. Increase salaries of our doctors, nurses, teachers, police, military officers, and civil servants
21. Government should hands-off ownership and management of businesses at all levels.
22. Name and shame looters and make criminal offenders, and looters face trial in their home states and villages to shame them and their families
23. Stop foreign medical trips for public servants. Let them be treated here in Nigeria. When last did you hear an American President or a British Prime Minister visit Nigeria for medical tourism?
- Okonjo-Iweala, Oyedepo, Kaigama back #EndSARS protests
The presiding Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, David Oyedepo, has warned against the shooting of youths protesting against police brutality, extrajudicial killings, and extortion in the country. He explained that the youth have good justifications to protest, adding that killing them during the protest “is a sacrilege.” He described the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari as the most “gruesome” in the history of the country. Oyedepo spoke during the second service of the church, monitored by newsmen on Sunday. He said, “Every man has a right, legitimately so, to express his displeasure and pains. “I kept quiet for a while because in 2015 I warned this nation, vehemently, consistently…because I saw the dangers ahead and you can tell. “The most gruesome season in the life of this nation is in the last five years, where lives have no value, wanton killings here and there. “Now, they have faced the youths; and because they don’t know who is next, they have a right to say enough is enough. “Any system that has no value for human lives is irrelevant. If they were killed when they were youths, will they be here today? “Now, it will be a sacrilege to shoot the protesters who are not looting, who are not ravaging.”
However, a former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has urged the protesting youths to be peaceful. While she commended the youths for being courageous, Okonjo-Iweala advised them to be united. She gave the advice in a tweet on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, on Sunday, described the widespread youth protests as a symptom of buried grievances and time bombs planted over decades by bad leadership. While calling on the youths to “pursue justice in the most peaceful way,” Kaigama told Nigerian leaders to “listen to the voice of our young people, harden not your hearts.” The cleric made the call in his homily delivered on Sunday during the World Mission Sunday at St. Gabriel Chaplaincy, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria with the theme, ‘Here am I, send me.’
- IGP Deploys Personnel Over Attacks On Police Stations
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot police personnel from the Police Mobile Force (PMF) to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country. The IGP’s order was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba.
Mba said the IGP also “ordered massive deployment of Police operatives to strengthen the security around Correctional facilities nationwide.” “The orders are coming on the heels of increasing attacks including acts of arson and malicious damage to public and private facilities as recorded in some states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
- Lagos violence: FG deploys more troops to secure public buildings
To prevent further destruction of public infrastructure in Lagos State by hoodlums, the Federal Government has deployed more security forces to guard public assets in the state. Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made this known on Thursday morning while speaking in an interview on Arise TV. Sanwo-Olu revealed that the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin; and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, called him on the phone on Wednesday. There have been reports of widespread arson and violence in the past few days as rampaging hoodlums looted, razed and destroyed public assets. Sanwo-Olu had announced the imposition of a 24-hour state-wide curfew on Tuesday afternoon in the wake of the unrest in the state. Hoodlums had taken advantage of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings to wreak havoc and cause mayhem in the state.
Banks, local government secretariats, police stations, the Palace of the Oba of Lagos, Shoprite Ajah, Nigerian Ports Authority head office, the governor mother’s house at Akerele, VIO/Federal Road Safety Corps’ offices at Ojodu, magistrates’ courts at Igbosere, TVC station, the Nation Newspapers office, and many others have been burned down in the last 48 hours. The situation was further worsened when soldiers, in a bid to disperse the protesters at the Lekki toll gate, opened fire on the youths.
- I’ve not been able to speak directly to Buhari since Lekki shooting – Sanwo-Olu
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday said efforts to reach President Muhammadu Buhari after the shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll gate, were abortive. He noted that he made attempts twice to reach Buhari. Sanwo-Olu said the first time he called, the President was not in the office, adding that the second time, he was said to be at the Federal Executive Council meeting. Sanwo-Olu spoke during an interview on Arise Television. Lagos has been in turmoil after the #EndSARS protest turned violent with several lives lost in different parts of the state. The situation came to a climax on Tuesday after soldiers opened fire on protesters at the Lekki toll gate. While there have been controversies on the number of casualties, Sanwo-Olu denied ordering the soldiers to the protest ground. Speaking during the interview, he said efforts to talk to Buhari had been abortive.
He said: I have not spoken to him directly. I actually did call to speak with him. But like I said, he was at the FEC meeting and probably had his briefings. “He was the one that asked the Chief of Defence Staff to call me and I think it was when he got my message. He (CDS) said to me, that it was the President that asked him to call. I don’t have a report to say. We haven’t spoken.”
- UN group declares detention of Sowore as arbitrary, asks FG to stop his trial
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has declared the detention of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, by the Federal Government for about 144 days in 2019 as arbitrary under international law. This is contained in the decision of the group titled, ‘Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention at its eighty-seventh session, 27 April–1 May 2020’. Sowore was arrested in August 2019 for planning to organise a nationwide protest tagged #RevolutionNow which was aimed at demanding better governance in the country.
The activist and former presidential candidate, who was detained by the Department of State Services up till December 24, 2019, was charged with treasonable felony for allegedly attempting to topple the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari. The UN group, after analysing the circumstances of the arrest and detention of Sowore as well as the charges instituted against him, called on the Nigerian government to stop its unlawful prosecution of the activist. The Working Group described the charges against Sowore as “quite vaguely defined,” adding that “such vagueness seems to have been used to make an ordinary exercise of freedoms sound like a threat to national security and/or a terrorist act.” “The Working Group requests the Government of Nigeria to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr. Sowore without delay and to bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms, including those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” it added.
Meanwhile, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, declined to order the request by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation for Sowore’s arrest. Sowore is restricted to remain in Abuja as stipulated in the terms and conditions of the bail granted him by the judge.
- #EndSARS: CAN, Islamic council knock Buhari’s aide for blaming religious bodies
The Christian Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs have scolded the Presidency for attributing the nationwide #EndSARS protests to hate message from religious houses. CAN and NSCIA, in separate interviews on Friday, knocked the Presidency for engaging in a blame game, rather than resolving the issues. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had in an article titled, ‘If Nigeria dies, hatred killed her,’ said the #EndSARS movement was a vehicle of hate message encouraged by religious centres.
He wrote, “The EndSARS campaign began as an agitation against police brutality, in which there was unanimity of purpose. And suddenly, it became a vehicle of hate. Against leadership, against national cohesion, an opportunity to settle political scores, and equally prepare for a power grab in 2023. Hatred came into the mix. “From hateful messages from the pulpit, as if that was the message of love Jesus Christ handed over to his followers; from unduly critical messages during Juma’at services; from radio and television programmes, in which bile is spewed. From talk shows which became a harangue of government, newspaper articles and columns tailored to instigate and generate dissent, and the like.
In its reaction, CAN through Pastor Bayo Oladeji, the Special Adviser to the President, Rev Supo Ayokunle, said the church was not a praise singer of the government and would always seek the welfare of the people. Oladeji said, “It is difficult to know if Femi Adesina was speaking his mind or the mind of his principal. The problem of some government’s functionaries begins with their myopic thought that they love the country more than the people. This is very wrong and unfortunate. Also, the NSCIA head of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Aselemi, said, “The NSCIA has done a lot in sensitising spiritual leaders of mosques in Nigeria to why hate speech is injurious to our collective existence. “At various times, the council has appealed to the Federal Government to deal decisively with the users of hate speech. The council has cautioned imams that hate speech is not free speech. So I don’t know with the greatest respect where the President’s spokesman got his information.”
- NECO reschedules exam, alleges protesters seize materials’ truck
The National Examinations Council has announced the rescheduling of the Paper I Computer Studies Practical earlier fixed for today (Monday) between 10am and 1pm. The paper has now been fixed for Monday, November 16, 2020, between 10am and 1pm. A statement issued on Sunday by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division, NECO, Azeez Sani, titled: ‘Rescheduling of Paper I Computer Studies Practical in the ongoing 2020 SSCE’, said the decision was caused by the #EndSARS protests that blocked the free movement at the city entrance gate in Benin.
He said, “The NECO delivery truck had left its take-off point well in advance on Friday, October 16, 2020, earlier to deliver examination materials to some states and has been held up in the blockage since then.
“The council wishes to assure all stakeholders and the general public that the affected examination materials have been retrieved and are intact.”
- #EndSARS: Akeredolu Directs Closure Of Schools From October 21
The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has directed the closure of schools from Wednesday, October 21, 2020. Although the schools had just resumed, a statement by the Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Femi Agagu, says that the decision followed the nationwide protest and the need to ensure the safety of students and staff.
“Parents and the public are to note this directive and all schools are to comply. “Any inconvenience is regretted, while the State Government would ensure the resumption of our schools as soon as possible. “Thank you and God bless”.
- Okowa imposes 48-hour curfew, shut schools till November 2
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday imposed a 48-hour curfew in the state following Wednesday night’s arson and destruction of government property in Asaba by protesters. The governor also ordered the closure of public and private primary and secondary schools in the state until Nov. 2. Okowa made the announcement in a statewide broadcast in Asaba, saying that the curfew would begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday. He noted that the peaceful protests by #ENDSARS protesters had been hijacked by suspected criminals, saying that the state government would not watch the elements to have a field day.
The governor commended the youths for their peaceful conduct but appealed to them to give peace a chance to enable the government to address their demands. He also appealed to parents and guardians to ensure that their children and wards were properly accounted for, and urged traditional rulers and opinion leaders to lend their voices to the appeal. Okowa urged youth leaders, community mobilisers and social media influencers, to have a rethink on the protest in the interest of the nation.
- Govt proscribes ASUU, NASU, others in Ebonyi varsity
The Ebonyi State Government on Thursday announced the proscription of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union and others at the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. The only body currently allowed to exist in the university is the Students’ Union Government.
The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who met with leadership of the unions, said, “The decision was taken in order to ensure that academic and non-academic unions’ activities do not negatively affect the resumption of EBSU and commencement of academic/ non-academic activities in the state-owned university.”
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Education, Dr Onyebuchi Chima, said approval had been given for the release of N500m for the payment of staff salaries. He added that the institution was also granted a loan of N300m for the commencement of SMEs towards boosting its Internally Generated Revenue, while the state’s mushroom and the citrus farms were also donated to the school. Chima said, “All teaching and non-teaching staff members are encouraged to resume normal university activities immediately. All teaching and non-teaching staff shall be paid 80 per cent of their monthly outstanding salaries except those who refused to immediately commence work. Accordingly, EBSU management and SUG are encouraged to keep records of staff that resume for work.
- #EndSARS: Throwing tear gas exposes protesters to asthma and partial blindness
Pulmonologists in the country have warned against throwing tear gas canisters at #ENDSARS protesters, saying it would expose them to asthma, partial blindness and other life-threatening health conditions. Nigeria is currently embroiled in ongoing nationwide protests by youths against the brutality and extrajudicial killings by men of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS)of the Nigeria Police Force(NPF). Tagged #EndSARS, an acronym for End Special Anti-Robbery Squad, it is a social movement that started on social media calling for a ban of the Nigerian Police unit over the latter’s use of excessive force, oppression and brutality. A pulmonologist with the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta, Dr. Olusola Adeyelu described tear gas, which is formally known as a lachrymator agent or O-Chlorobenzylidene Malononitrile, as a riot-control agent used to disperse a large crowd. “It is popularly called ‘tear gas’ because of the inflammation it causes in people’s eyes. Tear gas is an irritant or toxicant and prolonged exposure to it is very dangerous,” he said. He disclosed that the long term effects of exposing an individual to repeated exposure can presumably cause a transformation of the lining of the airway cells from natural to mutant.
The medical doctor also noted that as a short term consequence, it can aggravate and even kill anyone with a history of respiratory diseases. “I believe you remember that repeated tear-gassing was one of the issues surrounding the late Gani Fawehinmi’s cancer. Though no one was absolutely sure. But there was a high level of suspicion that it was the cause,” he said. He urged demonstrators at the ongoing #EndSARS nationwide protest to endeavour to cover their noses and wear eyeglasses when they come under tear gas attack. In a similar vein, another pulmonologist at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Prof. Olufemi Adewole has disclosed that continual exposure to the irritant in tear gas over a period of time may give people chronic lung disease or form of blindness.
It has immediate and long term effect too. That also depends whether it was triggered indoor or in outdoor areas among a sizeable number of people or crowd. Adewole remarked that the irritant also affects the nose because inhaling the substance can also lead to irritation like sneezing, adding that inhaling too much gas can lead to tightening of the muscles that line the airways called ‘Bronchospasm’. The pulmonologist, however, pointed out that people may quickly overcome tear gas with regards to the eyes, nose and skin within 30 minutes if the risk exposure was done in an open space.
- Attack on ambulance, health workers during #ENDSARS protests condemnable -NMA
The Nigerian Medical Association on Thursday condemned the violent attack by hoodlums on ambulances and healthcare workers in the wake of the violence that marred the #ENDSARS protests. In a press statement made available newsmen, NMA Lagos chairman, Dr. Adetunji Adenekan, said if the violence was allowed to continue, it could put the lives of health workers and residents in danger. He further expressed concerns about the use of live ammunition on peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, October 20 by security agents, describing the ‘worrisome footages and reported casualties including the loss of lives’ as a rude shock. “This sad event of unprovoked and unwarranted attacks of unarmed youth by security agents, whose primary constitutional duty is the protection of lives and property, will be remembered as a day security authority waged war against and attempted to make peaceful protest unconstitutional.
“We are also aware of the restriction of movement of ambulances by some security personnel around the Lekki area during the pandemonium, and damage to one ambulance in another part of the state by hoodlums, thereby endangering the lives of health workers. The NMA chairman advocated the protection of lives and property during any legitimate campaign. “It is pertinent to state that there is no place for callous brutalisation of the citizens under any guise, and therefore condemn the dastard act in its entirety. “We also wish to note that this act has led to a more tense atmosphere with public panic and mental health concerns. “In the same vein, the event is capable of putting the lives of healthcare workers, including medical and dental practitioners, who will have to continue to care for Lagosians, in great danger,” he said. Adenekan called on the Lagos State Government to create free flow of movement for emergency responders, ambulances and health workers; while he also urged government to ensure that survivors are provided needed care without further harassment.
- Job Creation, Economic Growth Critical To Checking Youth Restiveness, Ex-Leaders Tell Buhari
The generation of employment and economic growth, including through direct foreign investments are critical to checking youth restiveness in the country. This was the unanimous position of former Nigerian presidents and heads of state on Friday at a virtual meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the #EndSARS protest and various happenings resulting from the demonstration. Those in attendance were General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), Chief Ernest Shonekan, General Abulsalami Abubakar (rtd), and Dr Goodluck Jonathan. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed the details of what was discussed at the meeting in a statement.
According to him, the former leaders condoled with the bereaved families of civilians and security operatives who lost their lives to the violence recorded in parts of the country. They stressed the importance of respecting the fundamental rights of citizens, including peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution. The elder statesmen condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, stressing that such acts should be stopped. They, however, commended the actions taken by state governors to address the demands of #EndSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct. The former leaders also called on the youths to pursue peaceful means in seeking redress through engagement with the government. They advised the government to engage in further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country to ensure the issues raised were properly addressed.
- Nigeria lost N700bn to #EndSARS protests – LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the Nigerian economy may have lost about N700bn to the #EndSARS protests in the last 12 days. The President, LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, in a statement on Monday, expressed concern over the negative impact of the #EndSARS demonstrations on business activities across the country. The statement is titled, ‘LCCI press release on the economic implications of EndSARS protest’. “The LCCI appreciates the value of citizens’ engagement and the demand for accountability which the EndSARS protest essentially represents. “These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.
“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas. “The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated Seven Hundred Billion Naira (₦700bn) loss in the past twelve days,” Mabogunje said. She noted that the #EndSARS demonstrations had been impactful and profound, adding that it had the power of the people and the potency of the energy of the youth to bring about change. According to the LCCI president, the protests have achieved some significant outcomes and has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in Nigeria’s political governance. She recommended that the protesters dialogue with the government.
- Businesses Shut, Govt Offices Closed As Protesters Continue To Occupy Alausa
Businesses were ground to a halt in and around Ikeja area of Lagos State as #EndSars Protest continues on Tuesday. Malls, government offices, and other businesses in Alausa, Agidingbi, Allen were shut as protesters occupy the streets, blocking major roads along the business areas.
Dispatch riders can be seen stranded as vehicular activities were restricted due to the activities of the protesters. Some youths play football on deserted roads, others gather at different junctions mounting roadblocks to restrict vehicular movement. Others seized the moment to display cycling and other creative skills on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as traffic builds.
- N392bn projects debt: Senate asks FG to consider pension fund
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday, told the Senate that the Federal Government owe construction firms handling 711 road projects across the country N392bn. The debt, according to the minister, was higher than the N276bn, proposed as budgetary allocation for road projects in 2021. Fashola who stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while defending the 2021 budget of his ministry before the Senate Committee on Works. He said, “With the situation on ground, a stop has come for new projects and the country needs to prioritise the existing ones in order to complete some of them.”
He said N6.62tn was needed by the Federal Government to fund the 711 road projects across the country. The minister, however, said the resources to achieve that were not available now, hence the need to prioritise the very important ones. He said, “We do not have the resources that we need to fix our road infrastructure at once; the very reason we need to prioritise what want to do. “The situation on ground requires us to cut our coat according to our cloth and not according to our size because no good will come out of more new road projects now.”
- Dangote demands total ban on tomato importation
The Managing Director, Dangote Tomato Processing plant in Kadawa, Kano State, Abdulkarim Kaita, has called on the Federal government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato paste into the country. He made the call while flagging off the distribution of tomato seedlings to 5,000 farmers under the Anchor Borrowers programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday at Kadawa village in Kura Local Government Area. “We are appealing to the Federal Government to put a total ban on the importation of tomato like what it did to rice,” Kaita said. He said the call was necessary to boost local production of the commodity and ensure that Nigeria was self sufficient in tomato production.
According to him, the ban on the importation of tomato paste would lead to the establishment of more tomato processing plants, thereby creating job opportunities for many people in the country. He lamented that the importation of tomato paste was still thriving as the commodity was being imported from Cameroon and Cotonour in Benin Republic. According to him, the company had on several occasions visited the Customs Headquarters and met the Controller General with a view to lodging complaint over the issue, but nothing was done to check the ugly trend. “It is only by putting a total ban on tomato importation that the government can encourage farmers to grow the commodity for the country to be self sufficient,” he said.
- #EndSARS: Start mobilising to take Nigeria back in 2023, Peterside urges youths
The Chairman of non-profit organisation, Anap Foundation, Atedo Peterside, has urged Nigerian youths to start mobilising to take over political power in 2023. He was reacting to the #EndSARS protests against police brutality of the last two weeks and the gory event at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos as well as the widespread violence, arson and destruction of lives and properties in the country. The former Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc condemned the attacks and condoled the youths and the families of victims. Peterside advised youths to use their numerical strength to get what they want legally. He cautioned the youths against divisive elements and urged them to be wary of thugs. The 65-year-old, who spoke Friday on Arise TV The Morning Show said, “2050 is for the youths of today. It is not for those in my generation. “We are talking about the future of Nigeria and it is for the youths. So, if things happened that get the youths to be disenchanted nationwide, then we are in trouble. “I think what happened on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, can be turned around because it was the event of that day that made those who had no interest in politics to wake up. “The best time to build a nation is when the youths who are in the majority, they are at least 60 to 65 per cent, have been awakened. The gentle giants move a nation forward. “The youths themselves have learnt some lessons from these incidents. You will be most effective when you link your demands with political activism. They should start getting their voter’s cards. Don’t wait for the last one month or two months because then your cards may fail to arrive. “There is no force more powerful than the youths in Nigeria in terms of voting. They should become politically active and send some messages.
“Based on what happened, I came to the conclusion that the youths should plan to take their country back from 2023. I’m a democrat and I will not encourage anything that will subvert democracy. “You voted for some people and you have to see it through. Start planning now for the next election. Don’t let anybody tell you it is too early. “One powerful signal the youths can send is that they won’t support anybody who today is above the age of 60. If you all unite on that, I bet you, all the ambitious people who are below 60 will be struggling to curry favour from you. “When you send out that signal forcefully, they will obey you.”
Furthermore, Peterside criticised the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday night. According to him, the President should have made reference to all those who lost their lives and not handpicked cops who died on duty amid the civil unrest of the last few weeks.
- Lekki: Afenifere demands international probe, apology by Sanwo-Olu
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, in Abuja on Thursday demanded that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State should apologise over the killing of protesters by soldiers to assuage feelings and show value for human lives. Afenifere in a statement by its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, appealed for calm and a halt to destruction. He demanded to know “who deployed the killers through an international inquiry,” since the governor of Lagos had denied inviting soldiers to Lagos. Fasoranti said, “We demand the arrest and trial of all trigger-happy men who have caused sorrow, tears and blood. We call for the immediate restructuring of Nigeria to avoid imminent collapse. “We call on the governor of Lagos to show better humanity than the Federal Government by apologising over the killings to partly assuage feelings and show value for human lives.”
In the same vein, the Afenifere Renewal Group said on Thursday that those allegedly hiding under the #EndSARS protests to launch attack on Yoruba heritage would fail. The Publicity Secretary, ARG Ekiti State chapter, Michael Ogungbemi, who condemned the alleged shooting of some peaceful protesters by soldiers in Lagos on Tuesday and described it as callous, alleged that some people were hiding under it to destroy what Yoruba stood for. Ogungbemi, in a statement in Ado Ekiti titled, ‘The wanton killings, destruction must stop; those planning to destroy Yoruba will fail,’ cautioned politicians “to refrain from stoking the embers of crisis in Lagos. He said, “This carnage and wanton destruction must stop. Yoruba won’t fold their arms and allow the destruction of their fatherland and inheritance.”
- Lekki shootings: Life doesn’t matter to a clueless leader -Fayose
A former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has condemned the attack on #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos State. Fayo made the displeasure known in a series of tweets on Wednesday. He also condemned the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings of #EndSARS protesters. He tweeted, “My heart is heavy. Like every other concerned Nigerians, I’m worried. I’m sad that soldiers were sent to shoot at our youths, who were only expressing their anger against the system. “I sympathize with families of the deaths and pray that God will heal the injured.
“However, the sad reality we must face now is that the current situation in our nation is a result of allowing a clearly incompetent man to ascend to the highest office in the land. I saw all these coming and I warned Nigerians. You can’t wear a white robe on a pig. “Life does not matter to a clueless leader whose only fulfilment is that he is called Mr. President. He cares about no one except himself. That’s why up till now, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has not said a word. Sad.”
- Presidential system not workable in Nigeria –Victor Attah
A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, has called for the scrapping of the presidential system of government, saying it cannot succeed in Nigeria. He said Nigeria’s problem was beyond governance adding that what the country needs is a rebirth. Attah said this in an interview with newsmen in Uyo on Wednesday. He was reacting to questions about the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protests. According to him, Nigeria was better off when it operated a parliamentary system of government because the regions were autonomous, controlled their resources, had their own Police and only contributed to the central government. Attah noted that the challenge confronting Nigeria today “goes beyond governance. If you bring angels, (and I’m not blaspheming) to operate the system we have today, it would fail. The system is one that cannot succeed.”
He said, “I call it rebirth. I want Nigeria to be reborn. Let’s give it a new birth, let it become what it was always supposed to be: a federal system and preferably, I say preferably because some people still feel enamoured with this Presidential system, I am not. “The presidential system has become very oppressive. It seems it is in our nature to feel once you win an election, you are a conqueror, so you behave exactly as you please, nobody can talk to you, you don’t have to see anybody and that’s what is happening and we abuse it. “That’s why I say we are not mentally prepared for this presidential system. We are not ready; that’s one of the reasons I say scrap it, go back to the parliamentary system. In the parliamentary system, if you have a good prime minister like Britain had Margaret Thatcher, you can come back four or five times if your people want you back.”
- Ohanaeze convenes conference on 2023 presidency
Expectations are high that the quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023 will gain stronger acceptability, as the Ohanaeze Ndigbo will be leading eminent Igbo groups and individuals to a national conference on Thursday, October 22, 2020. Newsmen learnt that the event, scheduled for Enugu and being organised by the South East for President 2023 Movement (SEFORP2023), would be used to state Igbo position on the 2023 presidency, strategise on the quest and the need for other zones to support the cause. President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Special Guest at the event, Chief Nnia Nwodo, former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, former Managing Director of Pfizer, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Prof. Uche Amalu, among others, would speak at the event.
National Coordinator of SEFORP2023, Rev. Okechukwu Obioha, told The Guardian yesterday that the summit would have been held in April to mark the group’s first anniversary, but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It will be a gathering of Ndigbo from various parts of the country. Igwe Julius Nnaji will lead the traditional rulers and we will have people from the North Central. We have stirred up the polity and the attention is now on the South East. With our level of advocacy, there will be no person from the South East who will gun for Vice President in 2023. It will not happen.
- PDP Asks Buhari To Stop Killing Of #EndSARS Protesters Across Nigeria
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct an end to the killings recorded recently in parts of the country. It made the call in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital. The statement comes against the background of the shooting of demonstrators by soldiers at the #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate.
While peaceful protests have held in various states, some youths have lost their lives to attacks said to be perpetuated by hoodlums. For the main opposition party – PDP, the killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki and other parts of the country was condemnable. “It is shocking that security agents and, in some cases, thugs, were reportedly deployed to end the lives of promising Nigerians. This, to say the least, is saddening,” the PDP alleged.
It added, “Those responsible for the heinous murder of the innocent and harmless Nigerians must account for their nefarious acts.” The party also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring all those responsible for the needless death of the young Nigerians to justice. In an attempt to disperse protesters gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate, a group of soldiers fired live bullets at the demonstration. The incident has sparked outrage within and outside the country, as various individuals and groups asked the Nigerian authorities to stop the further killing of unarmed citizens.
- PDP move to prevent Umahi from defecting to APC
Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party have started reaching out to the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, in a bid to stop his defection from the party newsmen gathered. A party source who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, told newsmen in Abakalike on Wednesday that the PDP hierarchy, including the Board of Trustees and its Governors Forum, had made informal representations to the governor. It was learnt that the PDP governors who held a virtual meeting with Umahi on Monday, appealed to him not to dump the party. There were speculations that the governor and legislators in the state assembly were planning to defect from the PDP to join the All Progressives Congress.
Umahi has neither confirmed or denied these speculations since news of his imminent defection surfaced on Saturday, October 17, 2020. The governor was said to have met severally with leaders of the APC including President Muhammadu Buhari to fine tune his move. A source privy to the development, said, “He won’t remain in a party that has no future for the South-East”, hence his plan to ditch the PDP. The state assembly and the state chapter of the PDP had given the PDP national leadership a seven-day ultimatum to hold a National Executive Council meeting and zone the 2023 presidential ticket to the South East or be prepared for what was to follow. When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, again said the matter had not reached his office.
- Ohanaeze decries attempt to pit Yoruba against Igbo in Lagos
The apex Igbo socio-cultural and political body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has dissociated itself from inciting comments made by the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, over the ongoing carnage in Lagos State. President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, said this on Thursday in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS: Alleged destruction of Yoruba economic assets, the Ohanaeze position’. He said, “We wish to state that Ohanaeze is also outraged by the vituperative and inciting outrage of the leader of IPOB on the #EndSARS activities in Lagos and disassociate the body completely from them.” The organisation said the statement was in response to a press statement earlier issued by a pan-Yoruba group, the Apapo O’Odua Koya on the ongoing youth uprising in Nigeria particularly in Lagos as it relates to Ndigbo youths. Nwodo said: “We find the statement disheartening, not necessarily because of the untruth in its sentiment, but that it’s obviously being engineered and targeted at the age long good relationship between the Igbo and the Yoruba.
“Ohanaeze strongly believes that the press statement is craftily drafted showing a skillful use of underhand tactics to achieve a set goal, which in this case is to set Yoruba against Ndigbo. “We are ready to vehemently resist this in our time, knowing the historical affinity of these two great ethnic groups dating back to the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe through to the famous handshake across the Niger propagated by our iconic leader Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu- Ojukwu. Ohanaeze denied allegations that the Igbo youth involvement in Lagos #EndSARS protest was part of a grand design to destroy Yoruba economy. This, he said, was for the obvious reason that Ndigbo had most of their businesses scattered all over the country particularly in Lagos and would not be involved in crippling an economy they were active participants in developing.
- #ENDSARS: President Muhammadu Buhari goofed — PANDEF
Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s address to the nation on the #EndSARS protests was largely rhetoric, placid, and disappointing. National Publicity Secretary of the regional group, Hon Ken Robinson, in a statement, stated: “While Mr. President finally heeded calls for him to address the nation on the on-goings in the country, we do not think his address resonated with the youths who were in the streets of Nigeria for #EndSARS #EndPolicBrutality Protests.”
“It was not the time for heralding attainments of the most lopsided social intervention programmes of the administration. “Nigerians had expected a frank, confidence building, trust boosting, and emphatical address. The massacre of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on the evening of Tuesday, 20th October 2020, where persons in army uniform shot sporadically at the peaceful protesters, leading to many young Nigerians been injured and unspecified deads, was the high point of the #EndSARS protests.
“It was, therefore, grossly disappointing that Mr. President said nothing about that awful incident in his address. “While it is apparent that the peaceful End SARS protests may have been hijacked by unscrupulous persons, the fact remains that what happened at Lekki toll gate, last Tuesday evening, was most despicable and would remain an awful smudge on the nation’s democratic journey. “The world has become a global village, with technology, the world is totally connected. What was happening at Lekki toll gate was at that instant seen by the global community. Nigeria is an important member of the global community for many reasons. With a population of over 200 million, any untold crisis in the country would affect the whole world, and therefore, the untactful warning of our neighbours and the International Community was completely unnecessary. “PANDEF had a few days ago called on the African Union and the International Community to intervene in the situation in Nigeria before things get out of hand. We would wish to reiterate that call,” PANDEF stated.
- Francis becomes 1st pope to endorse same-sex civil unions
Pope Francis became the first pontiff to endorse same-sex civil unions in comments for a documentary that premiered Wednesday, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue. The papal thumbs-up came midway through the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered at the Rome Film Festival. The film, which features fresh interviews with the pope, delves into issues Francis cares about most, including the environment, poverty, migration, racial and income inequality, and the people most affected by discrimination.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” Francis said. “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.” While serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Francis endorsed civil unions for gay couples as an alternative to same-sex marriages. However, he had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions as pope, and no pontiff before him had, either.
- Trump-Biden Final Debate: Coronavirus, Wind And Hitler
President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden’s final debate on Thursday was a starkly more civil affair than their messy first showdown.
But that did not prevent the pair from clashing on everything from immigration to racism and even Adolf Hitler.
Here is a look some of the key moments of debate:
– Covid: ‘I will end this’ –
With the pandemic at the top of American voters’ minds, Biden pledged to get a handle on the virus that has killed over 220,000 in the US — while charging that “anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths” should not remain president.
“We’re about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter,” warned the former vice president, vowing, “I will end this” — though he didn’t say how.
Trump, just past his own brush with the virus, offered his usual sunny take despite cases surging again. “It’s going away,” he said.
– ‘Criminal’ separations at US border –
Biden fumed over the report this week that parents could not be located for 545 migrant children separated from their families at the border with Mexico due to US immigration policy. “Those kids are alone. Nowhere to go. Nowhere to go. It’s criminal,” Biden said, charging that the policy “violates every notion of who we are as a nation”. Trump retorted that the children were being “so well taken of” while separated from their families. “They’re in facilities that were so clean,” he said.
- Trump Plans To Remove Sudan From State Sponsors Of Terrorism
President Donald Trump said Monday he was ready to remove Sudan from a US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism, a major goal of Khartoum, after a compensation deal over past attacks. “At long last, JUSTICE for the American people and BIG step for Sudan!” Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump said that Sudan’s year-old transitional government had agreed to a $335 million package to compensate US victims of attacks and their families.
“Once deposited, I will lift Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list,” Trump said. Sudan is one of four nations branded by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism along with Iran, North Korea, and Syria — severely impeding economic development, with few major foreign investors willing to run afoul of US laws.
Sudan has been seeking for years to remove the designation, a legacy of former dictator Omar al-Bashir’s welcome of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden in the 1990s. The conflict-ridden nation experienced a historic shift last year as Bashir was ousted in the face of youth-led street protests and a civilian-backed transitional government was later installed. While Trump has the authority to remove Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism, both the administration and lawmakers have been seeking a package that would compensate victims and families over attacks — namely Al-Qaeda’s 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Trump administration, seeing leverage as it eyed removing the designation, has also leaned on Sudan to recognize Israel, following the lead of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain
- France Arrrests Italian Over 160 Child Rapes, Assaults
An Italian has been arrested in France on a warrant issued by Germany, where is wanted on 160 counts of rape or sexual assault of his daughter and other minors, police told AFP on Friday. The 52-year-old was arrested on a European warrant last Friday south of Strasbourg near the German border for the alleged crimes committed over a 14-year period starting in 2000. Germany has 122 open investigations against him, said France’s BNRF fugitive-tracking brigade.
The Italian is accused of having raped his own daughter for a period of about 10 years starting in 2000. He is alleged to have done the same, over the same period, with the minor daughters of a different partner.
“He operated in his various family circles,” said the BNRF. German police alerted the BNRF in early October that the wanted man had fled from Germany to Alsace in eastern France. He was arrested at a partner’s house in Rumersheim-Le-Haut, south of Strasbourg. The man is being held in prison in nearby Colmar to be handed over to German authorities, the BNRF said.
- Pompeo urges end to Armenia, Azerbaijan conflict
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged an end to fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh as he met his counterparts from Azerbaijan and Armenia but there were no signs of progress. Pompeo held separate meetings in Washington an hour apart with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, without any three-way meeting. Pompeo, who had downplayed expectations and did not speak alongside either minister, “emphasized the need to end the violence and protect civilians,” the State Department said.
He reiterated the US stance that the conflict should be resolved on the principles of “the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples,” a statement said.
Two ceasefire bids have already failed in the month of fighting with Armenia acknowledging that Azerbaijan has made military gains on the ground.
- ‘My Heart Is Broken For Nigeria’, Rihanna Condemns Shooting Of #EndSARS Protesters
Barbadian singer, Rihanna Fenty, has lent her voice to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in Nigeria. In a tweet on Tuesday, Rihanna said she couldn’t bear to see the torture and brutality that has continued to occur not only in Nigeria but also across the world. “I can’t bear to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planet. It is such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by. My heart is broken for Nigeria. It is unbearable to watch,” she wrote.
The singer, however, saluted Nigerians for their courage despite the tough times. “I’m so proud of your strength and for not letting up on the fight for what is right. #EndSARS,” she added. Her comments come hours after soldiers shot at #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Area of Lagos State.
- #EndSARS: Please do not cry for me, I am alive —Eniola Badmus
Ace actress, Eniola Badmus, has taken to her Instagram to make a three-minute video to urge her friends, family and fans not to cry for her as she is alive; hale and hearty. There were reports online that the Ghetto Bred actress was part of the protesters shot by Nigerian law enforcement agents at the Lekki Toll Gate. She made the video in her house to allay the fears of her loved ones emphasising that she is not in the hospital.
She said, “So guys this is me, life and direct. Wow! I thank you so much, thank you so much to everyone that actually reached out to me. I am hale and hearty, there is nothing wrong with me I did not even go out today. Please do not cry for me, I am hale and hearty. There is nothing wrong with me. I am at home as you can see, I am not in the hospital; I am not in any kind of critical situation, look at me I am at home; I am hale and hearty guys. There is nothing wrong with me. Oh my God! I came back from road walk, I left my phones at home only for me to get back, I went into the shower. I decided to go through my phone and saw 300 missed calls. I was shocked. There is absolutely nothing wrong with me. Eniola Badmus is alive, I am not dead. This fight is for everybody.”
- Let me bury my daughter in peace, Ada Ameh begs Buhari
Popular Nollywood actress, Ada Ameh, in an emotional video on her Instagram account has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of Lagos State, Babjide Sanwo-Olu, to listen to the youth so that she can bury her daughter in peace. In the video, the comic actress with teary eyes begged the government to desist from killing youths and remove the soldiers from the streets.
She said, “Good morning Mr President, good morning Sanwo-Olu, please I just want to beg. I am begging since in Nigeria they have said that we should not ask for anything nicely. People are protesting and they are killing them by sending soldiers. We have Boko Haram to deal with; Boko Haram dey there to deal with una no deploy soldiers to deal with them, Crocodile smile. Make dem go kill them. I go naked carry placard go airport wey I go fly bury my pikin. Sanwo-Olu, I am begging you in the name of God, you people should take the soldiers away and answer Nigerians. Stop these meaningless killings and let me go and bury my daughter in peace. I beg you in the name of God. I am begging you people; you people should just answer Nigerians and stop killing innocent souls.
Let me have the chance to bury my daughter in peace, please. Wicked souls, God will judge all of you.”
- Bebuzee eyes Nollywood, to become largest streaming service in Africa
UK outfit, Bebuzee has revealed its plans to release first of its new free-to-watch streaming video service for African countries in December. This gesture, according to the outfit, is based on its relationships with over 50 Nigerian film studios. Starting on that date, full-length movies, series, talk shows, documentaries among others will be available at Bebuzee.com at no cost to the viewers and requiring no subscriptions. In a statement by the firm, Bebuzee will select its releases from a catalogue of over 20,000 movies as of the release date, with up to 50 movies available each week from which Bebuzee will select the best for its viewers.
Bebuzee, it noted, had garnered over 16,000,000 users so far in African and is expanding to more African countries in its effort to become a worldwide force in video content, challenging Netflix and Amazon. In a related development, Bebuzee has filed for an initial public offering of its shares in the United States, expecting its launch as a public company in 2021. The company was founded in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, in May 2012 by entrepreneur Joe Onyero. Driven by his Nigerian roots, he is now turning his focus to Nigeria in creating the premiere platform for entertainment and news for Nigeria’s citizens, and then for all of the African continent.
- #EndSARS: Super Eagles players to boycott AFCON qualifiers
Super Eagles midfielder, John Ogu has revealed that players will not represent Nigeria in next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nation double-header against Sierra Leone. Ogu reacted to the recent shootings at Lekki toll gate as a result of the #EndSARS protest. He wrote on Twitter, “The Politicians should ask their children to represent Nigeria in the next @NGSuperEagles @thenff upcoming games. I’m so devastated like right now.”
Some overseas-based players were afraid of returning to Nigeria for Eagles games, for fear of being killed or maimed. “We can’t be representing a country that kills our brothers and sisters. This killings and unrest must stop or we stay away,” another player based in Belgium told newsmen. Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho posted a cryptic message on Twitter with a broken heart emoji to express his dismay at the recent killings. “God is watching. It will end in praise. We will keep speaking up,” he wrote.
- FIFA ranking: Eagles drop three places, now 32nd
The Super Eagles have dropped three places and are now ranked 32nd in the world in the latest FIFA ranking released on Wednesday. They also lost their position as the third-ranked team in Africa to Algeria, dropping to the fourth position. The Eagles had earlier been ranked 29th in the September ranking which was released after a six-month break due to COVID-19.
The top 5 nations are unchanged with Belgium, France, Brazil, England, and Portugal ranking first, second, third, fourth, and fifth respectively. Senegal are still the highest-ranked team in Africa, dropping one place to 21st, while Tunisia are second – unchanged at 26.
Algeria moved up five places to the 30th position to be ranked third in Africa, while Morocco are now ranked 39th position in the world and fifth in Africa, after moving up four places in the world ranking. Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, and Burkina Faso make the top 10 teams in Africa at sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th positions respectively.
- Pelé turns 80, isolated at home
Considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pele will celebrated his 80th birthday Friday, confined to his home in Brazil because of Covid-19 but meeting the milestone with his trademark laugh. “The King” has suffered from a series of health problems in recent years, but has not lost his charisma or sense of humor. “I’m fine, it’s just I won’t be able to play” on his birthday, he joked this week in a video conversation with the head of the Brazilian Football Confederation.
The only player in history to win three World Cups (1958, 1962 and 1970), Pele plans to celebrate his birthday quietly — as he does almost every year, he said, coronavirus pandemic or not. But several tributes were planned in Brazil, from an exhibit in his honor at the Sao Paulo Football Museum to a mural designed by renowned street artist Kobra in Santos, the city where Pele started his professional career as a 15-year-old prodigy in 1955. Pele has been in and out of hospital in recent years for various health issues. Pele said he was happy for his good mental health in a video sent to the media Tuesday. “I thank God for giving me the health to make it this far lucid. Not very intelligent, but lucid,” he joked. “I hope when I die God will welcome me the same way I’ve been welcomed all over the world because of our beloved football,” he added.
- #EndSARS: Eagles may boycott AFCON qualifiers
There are strong indications that some Super Eagles stars may boycott next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nation double-header against Sierra Leone over safety concerns. #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extrajudicial killings have rocked the country in the last two weeks, with the military and police killing peaceful protesters. Newsmen gathered that the overseas-based players were afraid of returning to Nigeria for Eagles games, for fear of being killed or maimed.
Eagles midfielder John Ogu wrote on Twitter, “The Politicians should ask their children to represent Nigeria in the next @NGSuperEagles @thenff upcoming games. I’m so devastated like right now.” “We can’t be representing a country that kills our brothers and sisters. This killings and unrest must stop or we stay away,” another player based in Belgium told newsmen. Leicester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho posted a cryptic message on Twitter with a broken heart emoji to express his dismay at the recent killings. “God is watching. It will end in praise. We will keep speaking up,” he wrote.
- Sportsmen rage over Lekki tollgate killings
Nigerian sportsmen and women have condemned the killings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos. Tragedy struck when security operatives, made up of policemen and soldiers, in a bid to disperse #EndSARS protesters, reportedly opened fire on the teeming youths at the Lekki tollgate around 7pm on Tuesday. The violence escalated on Wednesday, with many facilities across the country burnt down by hoodlums. Some Nigeria athletes expressed anger at the escalation of events, asking the government to stop the killing of innocent citizens.
Former Super Falcons captain, Desire Oparanozie, added, “Over the years our leaders have been paid for doing nothing. The recent events just show their level of incompetence is worse than their corruption. To my brothers and sisters who have fallen for this cause, your sacrifice will never be forgotten. #EndBadGovernance #EndSARS.”
“Once they know you can speak for yourself, ask questions about your right, entitlement and respect/fair treatment as a citizen, they either try to kill you, shut you up or tarnish your image,” Olympics silver medallist Blessing Okagbare wrote.
“You all are bold enough to kill your own people but scared to go fight Boko Haram. Shame on you all. #EndSARS protesters only need change but y’all scared of us and decided to kill us before we explode,” D’Tigress star Evelyn Akhator tweeted.
Eagles goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, added, “Nigeria is too blessed as a country for bad governance, why killing the innocent demanding for his/her right without arms, with the firearms you swore to protect with #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality #EndBadGovermentInNigeria. Pray for Nigeria.”
“I’m so very sad right now! I didn’t even sleep well. How could Nigeria leaders send the military to shoot the youths protesting peacefully for their rights? For God’s sake, why,” table tennis star, Funke Oshonaike, stated on Instagram in an emotional video.
- ‘History Will Remember You’: Ighalo Slams Govt Over Lekki #EndSARS Protest Shooting
Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo has slammed Nigerian authorities over the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers in the Lekki area of Lagos State. He condemned the shooting by the security operatives which led to the death and injury of several protesters on Tuesday evening at the Lekki toll gate. “I am sad and heartbroken; I don’t know where to start from,” the Manchester United striker said in a Twitter video after the English Premier League side won their Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). He added, “Today, October 20, 2020, you people will be remembered in history as the first government that sent the military to the city to start killing their own citizens.” Ighalo, who says he is not the type that gets involved in politics, believes it will be a disservice for him to keep quiet on the shooting.
He took a swipe at the government for the incident, stressing that the people were tired of them and could not condone such a reckless act any longer. “I am ashamed of this government, we are tired of you guys, and we can’t take this anymore.” He, therefore, called on the United Nations and the United Kingdom among others to intervene in the crisis in Nigeria. Ighalo also urged them to help the poor Nigerians and caution the local authorities against “killing their own citizens”. He appealed to the youths to, as much as they could, stay safe and steer clear of activities that could lead to a reoccurrence of the ugly incident.
- Liverpool’s Van Dijk to undergo knee surgery
Centre-back Virgil van Dijk has damaged knee ligaments and is set to undergo surgery, English Premier League clubside Liverpool confirmed on Sunday. The Dutch defender was injured in Saturday’s Merseyside derby draw against Everton. “Liverpool can confirm Virgil van Dijk will undergo surgery on the knee injury he sustained during Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Everton,” the club said in a statement. “The centre-back damaged knee ligaments following an incident involving Blues goalkeeper Jordan Pickford after six minutes at Goodison Park.” The club did not specify a timescale for the 29-year-old defender’s return to action. However, cruciate ligament injuries normally take months to recover from.
It has potentially ruled Van Dijk out for the rest of the season while also dealing a blow to the Netherlands ahead of the Euros next year.
Liverpool are also short in central defence with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip the only fit senior centre-backs available ahead of a congested schedule.
Liverpool begin their UEFA Champions League group stage campaign at Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday. Van Dijk’s absence leaves another space at the back with goalkeeper Alisson Becker also sidelined with injury.
- Bruno Fernandes To Captain United Against PSG In Champions League Opener
Harry Maguire did not travel with the Manchester United squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H opener away to Paris Saint-Germain as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Bruno Fernandes will captain the visitors in the French capital. “We’re a little bit depleted but we’ve got more than enough players,” said Solskjaer, who is without Maguire, Mason Greenwood, Eric Bailly, Jesse Lingard, and new signing Edinson Cavani for the game.
“We hope that the players won’t be away for too long. Edinson needs a few more days training before maybe we can think about the weekend, hopefully, Harry can and Mason as well but we’re not sure about that,” added the United manager of the players’ prospects of being back to face Chelsea on Saturday. Fernandes, who scored in the 4-1 weekend win at Newcastle United, described being given the captain’s armband in Maguire’s absence as “an honour, an important achievement”. United are returning to the Champions League this season after missing out in the last campaign.
- 2021 Rugby World Cup Draw To Hold Nov. 20 In Auckland
World Rugby, and hosts New Zealand Rugby (NZR), on Monday, said the 2021 World Cup draw will take place in Auckland on Friday, 20 November 2020.
SkyCity Theatre in the heart of Auckland’s central business district is the location for the draw which will be streamed live to rugby fans worldwide via World Rugby’s digital channels. Hosted in the southern hemisphere for the first time in a golden year for women’s rugby, the ninth edition of the showcase tournament will take place from 18 September-16 October 2021 across three match venues. It will be contested by 12 teams, nine are already confirmed.
Seven teams qualified directly for RWC 2021 courtesy of a top-seven finish at the last tournament in Ireland in 2017 – defending champions New Zealand, runners-up England, bronze medalists France, USA, Canada, Australia and Wales. Fiji and South Africa confirmed their places through the regional qualification process back in 2019, via the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup and Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship. The remaining three places will be filled by a qualifier from Asia and Europe together with the winner of the Final Qualification Tournament, a first for a women’s Rugby World Cup, offering a second opportunity for teams to qualify.
- Al Jazira signs Nigeria’s Imoh Ezekiel ahead 2020/2021 season
Al Jazira Club has signed Imoh Ezekiel, the Nigerian international forward joining the club ahead of the 2020-21 Arabian Gulf League campaign. The 26-year old arrives in the Abu Dhabi club following a career that has seen him play across European top-flight leagues, as well as having experience of football in the Middle East.
Ezekiel, who can play in a number of attacking positions, began his career in Belgium with a successful stint at Standard Liege, as well as playing for European giants, Anderlecht. He has also enjoyed spells in Spain and spent three years of his early career in the Middle East between 2014-2017. Speaking of Ezekiel’s arrival at Al Jazira Club, Sporting Director Mads Davidsen commented: “Imoh’s experience of the region and across Europe is a huge boost for Marcel and the team, with him playing for top clubs and against tough opposition.
- #EndSARS Protest Disrupts Handball Premier League Resumption
The #EndSARS protests across Nigeria have forced authorities to postpone the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2020. The board of the Handball Federation of Nigeria unanimously agreed to postpone the league, which was scheduled to commence on October 23 and ends November 7, 2020, amid the curfew declared by various state governments.
President of the federation, Mr Samuel Ocheho, explained that the postponement was inevitable. “For the safety of our players and officials who will be travelling from different parts of the country to Abuja for the league, we have decided to postpone the league for a week with the hope that everything will come back to normalcy soon,” Ocheho said.
- Rivers Govt Outlaws IPOB, Places N50m Bounty On Wanted Stanley Mgbere
The Rivers State government has outlawed the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Governor Nyesom Wike made the announcement in a state-wide broadcast on Friday in Port Harcourt, following reports of violence in parts of the state. He blamed the proscribed group for the recent attacks on some Local Government Areas (LGAs), especially in Oyigbo LGA. The governor also declared one Stanley Mgbere from Onne in Eleme LGA wanted and placed a bounty of N50 million on him. The money will be paid to any person who can provide credible information that would lead to his arrest and prosecution. He promised to sign an executive order to effect the proscription of IPOB in the state, adding that he would meet with communities and stakeholders to ensure prompt implementation in collaboration with security agencies.
On Wednesday, the Rivers State Police Command said IPOB members killed two of its personnel and burned two police stations in Oyigbo LGA. Following fears of fresh mob attacks in the area, troops of the Nigerian Army and policemen were deployed there to maintain the peace. Despite the security presence, gunshots rent the area from Thursday night till Friday morning, as soldiers repelled the hoodlums.
- Hoodlums attack warehouse, loot COVID-19 palliatives in Lagos
Hoodlums on Thursday attacked a warehouse where COVID-19 palliatives are kept at Mazamaza community in Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State. After the hoodlums gained entrance into the warehouse, they looted some COVID-19 palliatives, a resident in the area said. The warehouse is located on Benster Crescent, popularly called Monkey Village. The looting started as early as 08 am, an eyewitness confirmed. It was gathered that the hoodlums also set a bonfire at a junction not far from the warehouse.
It was learnt that the hoodlums later asked residents in the area to move into the warehouse and pick some palliatives. One of the residents, Sherif Olaiya, said, “We heard sounds of gunshots. The hoodlums have attacked a place where COVID-19 palliatives are stored. They are asking residents to come and be picking the palliatives.” When asked how he knew that the items are COVID-19 palliatives, he said, “They are branded.”
- 58 Inmates Escape As Hoodlums Attack Police Station, Correctional Centre In Ondo
At least 58 hoodlums have escaped after hoodlums attacked and set ablaze a police station and a correctional centre in the Okitipupa area of Ondo State. Spokesperson for the Ondo Police Command, ASP Tee Leo-Ikoro confirmed this to newsmen in a telephone interview. According to witnesses, some officers were injured during the attack, however it remains unclear if any death was recorded in the attacks.
- Mob burns down Sanwo-Olu’s family home on Lagos Island
Irate youths on Wednesday set ablaze the family home of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Omididun Street, throwing stones at the house. Sanwo-Olu had imposed a curfew on the state due to the #EndSARS protests. Soldiers were subsequently called in and eyewitnesses claimed seven persons, mostly youths, died in the attack. Eyewitnesses told newsmen that one of the youths holding a jerry can of petrol was seen soaking the house in petrol but was quickly stopped by residents for fear that the fire could spread uncontrollably. Moments after, however, the youths succeeded in burning down the house.
The eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “Around 7.45am, angry youths gathered around Sanwo-Olu’s family home on Omididun Street, Lagos Island, throwing stones and shattering glasses. “One of the youths poured petrol on the building but was immediately prevented from setting it ablaze because the fire could spread and lead to loss of lives.
“However, the youths soon gathered again and burnt down the house. The fire is currently spreading but firefighters have arrived at the scene.”
It was learnt that policemen attached to the Adeniji Adele Police Station had raced to the scene in a bid to quell the violence.
- Heavy gunshots as hoodlums set ablaze BRT terminal, buses in Lagos
Hoodlums set ablaze the Bus Rapid Transit terminal at Oyingbo, Lagos Mainland, Lagos State, eyewitnesses said on Wednesday. They also burnt many BRT buses, at least three residents in the area confirmed. The eyewitnesses said there is tension in the area. One of the residents, Okanlawon, said two persons are feared dead. “Markets cannot open. We heard two people have died The hoodlums are angry. We are hearing gunshots’ sounds. Nobody can go out,” he told our newsmen. Another resident, AnuOluwapo, said there were heavy gunshots at Adekunle Bus-Stop inward Third Mainland Bridge. This was also seen in a viral video seen by our newsmen.
The leader of the local vigilante team in the area, Agbodemu Ishola, said, “When the news of police stations being burnt spread yesterday, some of us, including NURTW team and mainland security, met with the boys and pleaded with them to ensure that Lagos Mainland is crime-free. They agreed and promised to protest peacefully. “It was after the meeting that they heard about shootings at Lekki toll gate and they began to mobilise this morning. “They said they are angry that their friends were shot. They asked the police to go back to their stations and drop their guns. We pleaded with them. “They threw bottles and other weapons at us. They wanted to attack Denton Police Station but they couldn’t penetrate. The Local Government Secretariat was attacked. They damaged a school. They destroyed over 100 BRT buses. They burnt the terminal. “They wanted to attack Adekunke Police Station but officers repelled them. That is why there were heavy gunshots. Two vigilantes have been shot. We are in the hospital.”
- Hoodlums burn Nigerian Ports Authority building in Lagos
Suspected hoodlums have entered the Lagos headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Marina. A member of the Lagos State Fire Service, who confirmed the incident, said they set fire to the building. He noted that efforts were on to salvage the situation. The firefighter explained that a statement would soon be released on the level of destruction done to the federal facility.
The arson was said to be a fallout of the attack on protesters at the Lekki tollgate. While witnesses claimed that seven people were killed and many injured, the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said nobody died.
Although the governor said the military was responsible for the attack, the Nigerian Army denied complicity in the shootings and tagged reports on the incident as fake news.
- Looter burns down Lagos court, wears judge’s robe
Scores of hoodlums made their way into the Igbosere High Court, Lagos Island on Wednesday, carting away computers, printers, files, fans, air conditioners and other items. A viral video also shows one of the thugs dressed in a judge’s robe and wig, wielding a machete. After looting the ‘temple of justice’ the rioters set it on fire before fleeing. A lawyer, Yinka Aileru, explained to newsmen that the loss of documents may not directly affect cases because the Lagos State judiciary had introduced e-filing.
He said, “In Lagos State they introduced the concept of e-filing so all processes are also submitted in soft copy. There is a section where soft copies are scanned. However, I don’t know if the server has been affected.” Scores of irate youths have in the last eight hours taken over several public buildings in Lagos Island including the Palace of the Oba of Lagos.
- Police Confirms Burning Of Stations In Benin, Ask Parents To Prevail On Children, Wards
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has confirmed the attacks on three different police stations in Edo State. “@policeNG regrettably confirm the unfortunate attacks on Police Facilities – Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station, and Idogbo Police Post by persons posing as #ENDSARS protesters in Benin, Edo State, today, Monday, 19th October 2020,” a statement on Twitter read. The Force in its tweet statement also called on parents/guardians to prevail on their children/wards to desist from acts of violence under any guise whatsoever. According to the brief communique, the NPF says it is doing everything possible at the moment to bring the situation under control, protect the lives of innocent citizens and prevent further attacks on any other critical infrastructure in the state.
At the time of filing this report, the NPF said the extent of damage cannot be ascertained but notes that reports indicate that the protesters carted away arms and ammunition from the armoury and freed the suspects in custody before setting some of the facilities ablaze. The force enjoined protesters to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.
- Lagos policemen torture journalists for covering #EndSARS protests
No fewer than 20 policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in the Alausa area of the state brutalised two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, while covering the #EndSARS activities in the area on Wednesday. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday declared a 24-hour curfew to stem the tide of the growing violence in the state but allowed those on essential services such as health workers, security operatives, and pressmen to carry out their legitimate duties. Dawodu and Odunayo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force. Newsmen gathered that the duo was recording a live video of the activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording. After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly. “What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement but we refused.
“Each time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they want was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we said the truth.” Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that prior to their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them and we were released.
- Hoodlums set Lagos police station on fire
Suspected hoodlums on Tuesday burnt down the Apapa Iganmu Police Station in Lagos State. The incident occurred around 09.45 am, according to an eyewitness. The eyewitness, identified simply as Muibudeen, noted that policemen shot at the hoodlums before they set the police station ablaze.
The spokesperson of the Apapa-Iganmu Local Government Area, Ayo Micheal said, “Yes, the station has been attacked. “The burnt Station is in Apapa Iganmu but serviced both Iganmu community in Apapa Iganmu and Orile Community in Coker/Aguda.” Micheal noted that two persons were allegedly shot dead in the incident.
He added, “What happened is that some boys came out this morning. They assembled themselves at Orile Junction. They were about marching down to Apapa. Just like yesterday that they started at Apapa Ports. They were on their way to Apapa, I learnt they passed through the police station and protested there. “As they were protesting, police officers attempted to disperse them. They resisted the police. Before you know it, two boys were shot in the shoulder and chest. “The two of them have died, according to reports that I got.”
- Hoodlums set ablaze another police station in Lagos
Layeni Police Station at Ifelodun Local Council Development Area of Lagos State has been set on fire by suspected hoodlums. Eyewitnesses confirmed the incident to newsmen on Tuesday. Earlier, Suspected hoodlums on Tuesday burnt down the Orile Iganmu Police Station in Lagos State. The incident occurred around 09.45 am, according to an eyewitness. It was also learnt that Pako Police Station is under attack.
Newsmen also gathered that some hoodlums attacked Ajeromi Police Station but repelled by policemen. An eyewitness, Ladipo, said at least eight persons were injured. He said, “The crisis started from Orile Iganmu. People were protesting peacefully and the police shot at them. Later, the boys heard that policemen have killed their people at Iganmu, they also burnt Layeni Police Station.
- Properties, Vehicles Destroyed As Hoodlums Disrupt #ENDSARS Protests In Abuja
Pandemonium broke on Monday 19th October as a group of people attacked some of the #ENDSARS protesters and destroyed properties in the Kabusa area of Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja. Shops, vehicles, houses, and anything else the hoodlums could lay their hands on were not spared by the fracas. The situation had some protesters running for safety while others stood their grounds as much as they could. The after-effects of this ill-fated event which occured on Monday 19th October, has left residents residents devastated as they count their losses.
- #EndSARS: Two Killed As Hoodlums Attack Ojoo Police Station In Ibadan
Two persons have been reportedly killed and several others injured in an attack on Ojoo police station in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as the ongoing protest continues across the country. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Gbenga Fadeyi confirmed the incident noting that some disgruntled people attacked the police station disguising themselves as part of the protesters. The #EndSARS protest has entered its third week with Nigerian youths calling for an end to police brutality, extra-judicial killings, increase in salaries for the police among other demands.
On Tuesday the protesters blocked the major roads linking the state secretariat to other parts of the town preventing vehicular movement in that axis. The protest at the Agodi area was said to be peaceful except at the Ojoo end of the Lagos/ Ibadan expressway where there was a face-off between security operatives and the protesters. Meanwhile, students have been sent home as public schools within the city have been closed.
- Ogun prosecutes four suspected killer cops
The Ogun State Government has announced the prosecution of four cops allegedly involved in extrajudicial killings in the state. The policemen included Inspector Wasiu Lawal, Inspector Niyi Ogunsoro, Inspector Ahmed Mohammed and one Okoi Obi. The state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Akingbolahan Adeniran, in a statement, urged members of the public to attend the proceedings. Adeniran also urged the public to submit petitions on human rights violations by security personnel to firstname.lastname@example.org, adding that the cases would be taken up.