Breaking: Soldiers storm Abuja, take over streets, as #ENDSARS protests continue

Despite several warnings and advise from well meaning Nigerians that soldiers should not be deployed to streets in Nigeria until the demands of #ENDSARS protesters are taken care of, soldiers today were seen in Abuja placing themselves in strategic places.

Recall that Nigerian army had promised to launch ‘exercise Crocodile smile’, an operation that would assist in identifying terrorists in the country.

According to the Acting Director Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, the exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.

“The Nigerian Army is set to start its annual Exercise CROCODILE SMILE which is traditionally conducted in the last quarter of the year. This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020. “The Exercise is deliberately intended to be all-encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track, and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace. This is the first-ever Cyberwarfare exercise to be conducted in the history of the African Armed Forces.

“Accordingly, the exercise will also include positive identification component aimed at identifying Boko Haram terrorists fleeing from the North East and other parts of the country as a result of the ongoing operations in the various theatres of operations especially in the Northeast, North Central and North Western parts of Nigeria. “The Nigerian Army, once again, reassures all well-meaning Nigerians of its commitment to the sustenance of peace and security in Nigeria and urges members of the public for their support and understanding throughout the period of the exercise.”

However, the Nigerian army yesterday said that its exercise has nothing to do with #EndSARS protest.

Denying this, Musa Sagir, army spokesman said: “The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to some social media stuff wrongfully condemning the Army and its Leadership over the announcement of Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI particularly the Cyber Warfare Component of the Exercise. This year’s Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is scheduled to commence from the 20th of October to the 31st of December 2020 has no relationship with any lawful protest under any guise whatsoever.

“For the records, Exercise CROCODILE SMILE is a yearly exercise in the NA Calendar/Forecast of Events which traditionally holds from October to December of each year. “Thus, to now insinuate that it is an exercise meant to stifle the ongoing ENDSARS protest is to say the least highly misinformed. Exercise CROCODILE SMILE VI has nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the NA has never been involved in the ongoing protest in any form whatsoever. So far, the army has acted professionally since the civil protest started over two weeks ago.”

It would be pertinent to note that Nigerians have continuously been on the streets demanding a change in the political and otherwise system of the country.

BREAKING: Edo govt declares 24-hour curfew

The Edo State Government hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew across the state until further notice.

The curfew is to take effect from 4 pm, October 19, 2020.

This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #ENDSARS protesters.

While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state.

By the directive, schools and businesses are to shut down activities accordingly. Those who cannot move safely are to stay put between now and 4 pm till calmness is restored.

Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property and maintain law and order, therefore, anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law.

NSCDC officer allegedly manhandles NTA staff over refusal to pay bribe

An officer of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Akwa Ibom State has beaten up and inflicted injuries on a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), in Uyo, Mr Imo Etimudo for alleged bribery refusal.

It was gathered that Etimudo, was manhandled by the NSCDC officers allegedly on the orders of staff of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), identified as Mr Joseph Umoh.

The NTA staff said Umoh on Saturday led the PHEDC team to the estate where he lives to disconnect consumers who have not paid their electricity bills.

Narrating his ordeal to newsmen in Uyo, he said, ”the PHEDC team came to where I live at Anniversary Estate along Idoro road in Uyo. We have not had electricity in the estate for over a year now.

”On Saturday they came and knocked at my gate and I opened for them. They demanded my electricity bill and I told them I don’t have it because we have not had light for over a year and that that may be why they don’t give us bills.

”They said okay that I should give them money and I asked them what the money they were demanding was for. They replied that their ‘oga’ said I should find them something so I went out to see their ‘oga’.

”As I soon I went to see their boss they dropped my wires. At that point, I demanded to know why they dropped the wire since we have not enjoyed the electricity supply for a very long time.

”They said they are disconnecting me and going with my wires because I refused to give them money. I insisted they can’t go with the wires after disconnecting me. I tried to stop them from taking the wires.

”I wasn’t the only person affected. The branch manager of Keystone Bank lives here too. They met him in person and demanded money from him. The man refused to give them money and they also brought down his wire.

”I tried reaching the State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to intervene but he said he was indisposed so I decided to drive out in my car to seek help.

”On my way out I was blocked by NSCDC and the PHEDC officials who attacked and beat me up and inflicted serious injuries on my head and back”.

However, the state leadership of the NUJ told newsmen on Sunday evening that the State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Samuel Fadeyi has scheduled a meeting today (Monday) with the State Chairman of the union, Comrade Amos Etuk to address the matter.

2023: It’s our turn now, Ndigbo tells Northern, S’West leaders

Igbo leaders have told their counterparts in the North and Southwest to stop arrogating to themselves the sole power to decide the fate of Nigeria, saying the Igbo have come of age and deserve a shot at the presidency in 2023.

They made the demand at a news conference over the weekend in Abuja under the auspices of Global Movement for Igbo President GLOMIP 2023 and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK & Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the event, a former governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife called for a restructuring of the federation. He added that the Igbo are already projecting some persons for the 2023 presidential contest.

He also dismissed concerns that the Igbo are republican in nature and may not be able to unite for a common cause, especially with regards to the 2023 presidency.

Ezeife said: “If you mention some names, they are not Igbo enough and are not acceptable at all to us because we know they will sell out. So, we will bring somebody who will show love to all, show love to Hausa, Yoruba and to his Igbo brothers and to all Nigerians. It is too early to name names, but we are already projecting some people.

“If Nigeria is well organised, everybody will be happy and the Igbos will be the happiest because we want the largest market possible to trade in”.

He recalled that there was a time when the World Bank declared that some parts of Nigeria were growing faster than the rest of the world. “Then what happened? There was a coup in 1966 and from then, we started to take giant steps backwards. We must know where our problems started.

“We need to go back to what used to work and instead of regions, we may use the current six geo-political zones. They can be adjusted but it must be based on fairness. Some people in the North believe that restructuring is about resource control or that when we restructure, they will lose oil money. This is not true. A good leader will nationalize petroleum mining while the people who reside in the area would still get more by far, but it is not a matter of denying other sides access to the resources”, Ezeife added.

President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo UK & Northern Ireland, Dr Nnanna Elias Igwe, who was represented by the Media Officer of GLOMIP, Mazi Godffrey Azu said the Igbo would no longer play a second fiddle.

According to him, one of the veritable ways to stop secessionist agitations is to cede the presidency to the Igbo in 2023.

He said: “I want to say very clearly and with all boldness of heart and confidence that in 2023, we are not going to be a joker to anyone. We are ready to go after any Igbo man who disrupts the waters because there are Igbo men who take joy in disrupting waters and steering it so that nobody will drink from it. We have told them, we know them.

“Many people we spoke to told us the biggest problem of Ndigbo is Ndigbo and we are saying to Ndigbo wherever they are both in the Diaspora and in Nigeria that when we begin this discuss and progress with this dialogue and get to the point of reaching an answerable report and we find any man among them that goes to stir the waters, God forgive him if he doesn’t become a scapegoat.

“We are sending the message also to our brothers and sisters in the North and in the South West; we call upon the Kaduna and Langtang mafia and the Daura Caliphate and the cabal in Daura and Katsina and the Lion of Bourdillon ,we call upon everyone of them. They know what their plans are and their secrets but we are saying enough is enough.

“We cannot be part of the tripod that formed Nigeria at independence and two legs of the tripod are deciding the fate of everybody in this country. Two legs of the tripod decide what economy we make and what social life we live and who becomes who in politics.

“We in the Diaspora are saying enough is enough and we are telling our brothers to rise to this challenge. We have come of age to have an Igbo president after 50 years of sacrifice. The only way we can kill the spirit of secession is to give Igbo man the presidency in 2023”, the group added.

#EndSARS: IGP reveals criteria used in selecting SWAT team

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, has reaffirmed that the new Police Tactical Team, SWAT, launched in lieu of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law and dictates of best international policing practices.

Highlighting the criteria included in the selection of the new team personnel, he noted that the officers screened for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.

In a press statement made available to Newsmen by the Force Public Relation Officer, DCP Frank MBA, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) was reported will be partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners for the training of the Tactical Team which commences Monday, 19th October, 2020 at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.

Clarifying on whether the disbanded SARS personnel will be included in the new team, the IGP reiterates that no personnel of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will be a member of the new Tactical Team.

The selected officers according to the statement shall be subjected to physical fitness test, medical and toxicology screening etc and those found to be unsuitable shall be discharged.

It reads in part; “The ICRC, an independent International human rights and humanitarian support organization with over 71years experience in humanitarian services and institutional support and development, will provide resource persons and materials to handle the human rights components of the training program.

“Specifically, they will handle topics touching on humanitarian laws, police conduct in conflict situation, human rights standard especially in the use of force and firearms, arrest and detention amongst others.

“Other areas of the training program will include modern-day police ethics and values, Intelligence-led policing, Operation planning/Tactical decision making processes, Hostage rescue tactics and operation, weapon handling, first aid/basic life saving skills, stress/fear management, police-citizens relations and emotional intelligence etc.

”The training modules will be handled by other carefully selected development partners, security experts as well as veterans from the civil society and human rights community.

“The IGP charges the training coordinators to ensure a diligent and timely delivery of the Tactical Team. He observes that the necessity for the immediate establishment of a new Tactical Team is in view of the need to fill voids created by the dissolution of the defunct SARS particularly during the “EMBER Month” traditionally characterized with upsurge in armed robbery and other violent crimes in the country.

“The IGP therefore seeks the cooperation of the citizens in the ongoing development drive for a new and reformed Nigeria Police Force.

”He enjoins them to be patient and to believe in the reform processes which are all directed at ensuring the security, safety and rights of all.”