Is Nigeria On The Brink?

OPINION

By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON

Happenings over the last few days are alarming and desperately beg for prompt attention.

Pockets of violence have greeted the earlier peaceful EndSARS protests which rocked several major cities across the country.

It is sad that the most populous black nation on Earth has been greeted by such occurrences, gaining roots from alleged injustices that pervade the country over the years.

What started out as a peaceful protest took a new twist over the last two days, leaving behind several questions begging for answers.

This has resulted to trading of blames from several quarters, with the government blaming the opposition and the protesters alleging that sponsored thugs ate responsible for the recent violence recorded in several cities.
Just on Monday, the news of a prison break in Edo prompted a 24-hour statewide curfew in the state.

On Tuesday, the burning of a Police Station in Lagos State and the alleged stabbing to death of a policeman who tried to escape the raging inferno at the station, with earlier reports of the injuring of several Police personnel of the Rapid Response Squad in the state prompted Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to declare a 24-hour curfew in the state.
Before the dust settled, disturbing news came out of Jos, the Plàteau State capital that hoodlums had a field day burning vehicles and other property, too much a sad news from one day!

Reports from Abuja, the nation’s capital on Monday were worrisome that several cars at Apo were set ablaze by hoodlums.

The situation is beginning to take regional and religious dimension with the North feeling like the protest is targeted at ousting President Muhammadu Buhari.
Several statements from Northern based groups on Monday, frowned at the protest.

What Nigeria needs now is peace, without which there can be no development.

With the recent happenings it seems a mirage. However, all hope is not lost as the President needs to act fast to save the country from chaos.
Fact remains that sustained Injustice is a precursor for agitations, which often turn violent.

Mr President should in his wisdom, address the nation at this trying times and seek ways to calm frayed nerves
If possible, convene an emergency conference of strategic stakeholders like civil society organisations, youth groups, clergy, labour leaders and representatives of the government.
Facts remain that several are agitated, following rising cost of food and essential commodities.

It behoves on the leaders to act fast to save the degenerating situation from aggravating.

The protesting youth on their part should also know that breakdown of law and other will be detrimental to the country as it would affect everyone, with no one immune to the adverse effects should things get out of hand.
Nigeria is ours to build. Caution should be the watch word.

Jacob Onjewu Dickson is a Kaduna based journalist.

2023: Ohanaeze youths urge South-East govs to immediately join APC

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council , has urged governors of the South- East to join the ruling All Progressives Congress .

The group said it was apparent that the Peoples Democratic Party did not have the region’s best interests at heart , and as such , there was no need for leaders of the zone to continue to work with the main opposition party .

The zonal Secretary General of the group , Mr . Nnabuike Okwu, said this after a virtual meeting with leaders and other critical stakeholders of the region, on Monday .

This call came barely 48 hours after speculations that the Ebonyi State Governor , David Umahi , had concluded plans to dump the PDP and take up membership of the APC .

Okwu said “Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, after their consultative virtual meeting , with Igbo leaders and elders , on Monday , has been mandated to start mounting pressure on the South- East governors to abandon their political parties, especially those in the People ’s Democratic Party , to join the mainstream ruling party, the All Progressive Congress , without further delay .

“OYC urges the governors to defect, because there are no political benefits for the South- East to continue to remain in a political party that has no respect and value for Igbos , except milking their votes during elections through deceitful mediums and fake promises , and manipulative politicians .”

#EndSARS: Show you understand youths’ plight, Obasanjo tells Buhari

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday said the # EndSARS protests across the country were a product of extensive agitations by youths that must be attended to by government .

Obasanjo explained that the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari , could make Nigerian youths know that he understood their plight and would make life better for them .

According to a statement by Moses Olafare , the Director of Media , Ooni ’s palace, Obasanjo, who spoke in Ile Ife , during a visit to Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi said many youths had struggled to get education , while the educated ones among them were frustrated over lack of opportunities .

He , however , expressed the belief that there were windows of opportunities which the government could explore to show that it cared about the people .

Obasanjo was quoted as saying “Over 65 per cent of our population are under the age of 35 , who look up to the best in life , who struggle for education ; some of them didn ’ t even get educated while those who are educated get frustrated because of lack of opportunities . We must realise that the lid on the boiling steam would have to be removed .

“But I believe that there are windows of opportunity which the government can explore to show that it cares about the people , especially the youth ’s welfare as the father of the country , particularly as the father of the youths .

“Fortunately , by experience, the President has children and he knows how youths behave . I believe that the opportunities can still be taken to let the youths know that he , as a father , understands their plight and his government understands their plight and he is ready to make life better for them , ” Obasanjo concluded .

In his remarks, the Ooni of Ife , Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi , described the # EndSARS struggle as a clear message from the youths to the government , particularly about their ability to get things done in a coordinated manner .

He then urged the youths to allow the government to fully attend to their yearnings.

“If you look at the #EndSARS protests , you will see that our youths have what it takes to rule the country . Since day one, they have shown leadership , accountability and huge sense of responsibility , which have sent a clear message to the government.

“ As a youth leader myself , I am proud that we all have communicated our ideas and it is heartwarming that we have been heard . Dear youths, it is time to retreat particularly to prevent those with ulterior motives from hijacking the peaceful message of peace .

“The whole world is aware of our peaceful conduct and we must not let some bad elements tarnish this enviable integrity . Once again , I wish to urge our youths to stop the protest for now and give peace a chance . This would disallow the government from using force. ”

Airtel suffers service disruption, compensates customers

On Monday , social media was agog with information that Airtel was sharing free N 1, 000 airtime to its subscribers .

While many of the subscribers did not know the reason for the rare gesture by the network provider , they claimed it was a cyberattack by ‘ Anonymous’ hackers .

Others claimed that the free airtime was a giveaway to support the ongoing # EndSARS campaign in the country .

It was, however , found that Airtel Nigeria credited its customers ’ account with N1 ,000 airtime and data as compensation for network disruption on Friday , October 16 .

The network provider sent messages to its subscribers , informing them that the airtime and free data were compensation for service disruptions on its network on Friday .

The message stated , “Dear customer , we apologise for the recent service disruption experienced on October 16 . “Normal service has been restored and your line will be credited with five minutes of on -net calls and 100 MB of data both valid for one day .”

The industry regulator , Nigerian Communications Commission , had recently reiterated the industry ’s compensation policy , reminding operators to sustain it.

Calls and text messages sent to the Head , Public Relations /Communications , Airtel Nigeria , Erhumu Bayagbon , were not responded to as of the time of filing this report .

A spate of hacks claimed to have been executed by an “Anomynous’ hacker had sparked rumours of bank accounts and Pay TV hacks on social media .

On Sunday when MultiChoice ’s customers found that restriction had been lifted on all channels on DStv and Gotv , they attributed it to cyberattacks perpetrated by ‘Anonymous ’.

However , a representative of the company said the Pay – TV company was upgrading its system and had informed its subscribers via text messages last week .