​ENDSARS: Resist enemies of the Nation, Northern Governors beg Nigerians

Worried by the #ENDSARS protest which led todestruction of lives and properties in some parts of the country, Northern Governors have called on Nigerians to resist all enemies of the nation trying to plunge the nation into chaos.  
The Northern Governor’s forum (NGF)  held an emergency meeting this Thursday, appealing all citizens to restraint themselves from unwarranted disposition of sentiments, harassment and intimidation of other citizens resident in their home states.
In a communique signed by the chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Bako Lalong, NGF expressed worry and concern on why the protests have persisted despite the magnanimity exhibited by the Federal Government and various State Govenments calls from well-meaning Nigerians to put an end to the protest.

The Forum  calls for comprehensive and robust reforms in the Police Force to supports various Federal Government initiatives put in place by the Federal Government and will ensure that they are fast track and given more impetus by the Nineteen (19) Northern states.
The Governors said it’s constitutional rights of all citizen to express concern even by way of protest, it however condemned the incessant destruction of lives and properties that ensued in the process.
“Forum commiserates with those who lost their lives ,the wounded and those whose properties where destroyed.

“Forum strongly sues for unity and peaceful co-existence of all citizens and groups of people in Nigeria. Urge all
Nigerians to see themselves as equal citizens of the country as the unity of Nigeria cannot be compromised.

The communique reads in part that: “The Forum regrets the diabolical influencers in form of hooliganism, ethno-religious bigots and even political marauders who are bent on pulling the nation down its knees and pushing for regime change. 

“The Forum called on all Nigerians to resist these enemies of the nation by supporting Mr. President, the Federal Government and
democracy at large.

“Forum notes that all these are antics of the enemies of the country who are violently pushing for regime changeoutside the ballot box.

” Forum resolve further intensify their strategic engagements among different levels of stakeholders in their respective states.

“The Forum advocates for the Constitution of Judicial Commission of enquiry to investigate all levels of destruction and killings during the Endsars protest.

“Calls for greater synergy between the state and the federal government in strengthening the unity, oneness and overall development of the country.

“Federal Government to explore the possibility of ending ASUU strike. Most of the youths are idle staying at home.

” forum further restates her commitment in exploring area of reviving the ailing economy of the North with reference to
those areas of comparative advantage.

“The Forum is in synergy with other Governors in the South-West,
South-South and South-East to address this challenges of nationhood headlong. Together we shall keep Nigeria united and indissoluble.”

“The Forun salutes the resilience and restraint of the Northen Youths in the face of the current challenges. Also, the Forum acknowledges the leadership qualities executed exhibited by some prominent Nigerian Leaders in persuading and calming nerves of the youths,” the communique ended. 
While pledging their supports to their  Southern counterparts,  the forum also notes the heavy presence of external influencers both locally and internationaly.
They further Called on all citizens particularly community leaders and youth groups to be very vigilant and report the presence of such people to security agencies.

You asked for speech, you got the speech, now you are speechless – Shehu Sani

Reactions have started pouring in, minutes after President Muhammadu Buhari addressed Nigerians.

Shehu Sani, a senator who represented Kaduna Central in the last Senate, Thursday reacted to Buhari’s speech, and in a poetic tone opined: “You asked for speech, you got the speech and now you are speechless.”

Of course Nigerians had since the inception of #ENDSARS protests demanded to be spoken to by Mr. President, who deemed it necessary to address them today.

Some of the key points from Buhari’s speech include:

Asking youths to discontinue street protests

Says his administration will not allow anyone disrupt Nigeria’s peace

Says Govt promptness to act misconstrued as weakness

Reaffirms Govt commitment to preserving Nigeria’s unity

Urges Int’l community to get their facts right before making hasty pronouncements

Lists his achievements and plans

Having listened to him speak on a national television, Sani said: “You asked for speech, you got the speech and now you are speechless.”

If you don’t understand what Baba said you must have mistakenly press the Swahili or Spanish button. One of my Boys is just angry I disrupted his Nickelodeon.”

You ask for speech,you got the speech and now you are speechless.

— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani)

October 22, 2020

If you don’t understand what Baba said you must have mistakenly press the Swahili or Spanish button.

— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani)

October 22, 2020

One of my Boys is just angry I disrupted his Nickelodeon.

— Senator Shehu Sani (@ShehuSani)

October 22, 2020

National Assembly gets only 1% of annual budgets — House Leader

The majority leader of the House of Representatives, Rep. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, has that less than two percent of the nation’s annual budget goes to the National Assembly and all its agencies.
Doguwa, who disclosed this while addressing the board of Civil Society and Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), who paid him a working visit in his office on Thursday, said the wrong narrative about the salaries and allowances of members of the legislature should be corrected.

He said out of the N128 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2021 budget, just a little of it goes into salaries and allowances of lawmakers, as there are other agencies and bureaucracies within the national Assembly.

“Out of this N128 billion allocated to the National Assembly, you have the central management, you have the House and Senate managements, you have the National Assembly Service Commission, you have the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) and the National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) who all take from this money.

“Just as we need you to supervise and check what we do, also try to help us correct this negative and wrong narrative that’s out there.

He compared what goes to the education and defense ministries, with what goes to the legislature, saying that lawmakers and the bureaucracies working with them get just a fraction of what both sectors take combined.

“When you calculate what agencies under education and the ministry itself got in the 2021 budget, it’s over N1 trillion. And then you look at the defense ministry which got the highest amount. If you compare them to what the National Assembly got, you will realise that it is nothing in comparison”, Doguwa’s said.

Doguwa also spoke on the current crisis arising from the EndSars protest across the country saying that the youth should give peace a chance and allow the National Assembly to take measures that will bring lasting solutions to their concerns.

“Let me also address the Nigerian people on the current issue that’s going on. What is happening on our streets is worrisome and many leaders have spoken about this.

“The National Assembly has been speaking and working through motions and resolutions on this because we have all the demands made and we have spoken to the executive on this same demands and work is ongoing to implement them.

“Some of our legislation is quite defective, some of them are obnoxious and we need to update them. Even the drafters of the constitution did not envisage some of the things that are happening now.

“When SARS was formed, I’m sure the founders never thought it would turn out this way. So let us come together and articulate the ills we seek to correct as a people. Where we need to work on the constitution, we will work on the constitution.

“So CISLAC, these are some of the areas you need to look into in your civic responsibility as a civil society organization, and we will also look into the areas of collaboration and improvement that you have noted”, Doguwa said.

Earlier, the executive director of CISLLAC, Awal Musa Rafsanjani, who led the delegation told the House Leader that his organization is not unmindful of efforts being made by the National Assembly leadership to correct many of the anomalies bedevilling Nigeria as a country.

“The National Assembly we know is determined and ready to work with executives to find a lasting solution to the current problems that the nation is facing.

“And the level of corruption and decay that we have, we are confident that the National Assembly will create a legislative framework that will curb the anomalies hindering the success of the fight against corruption and the overall development of our country.

“We saw that you passed the EFCC Act, the ICPC Act and other legislation aimed at fighting corruption, and we hope that you collaborate more with the executive in the fight against corruption even if it means amending some of the existing laws.

“On the issue of job creation, most Nigerians are not satisfied with the way job vacancies are announced and filled. There are instances where people say jobs are sold to the highest bidders or those with godfathers, and we hope that the National Assembly will look into these allegations and investigate with a view to addressing it so that young and qualified graduates can have equal opportunities to be gainfully employed.

“We want to believe that this relationship with CISLAC and the House should be consolidated so that we can amplify and support programmes that you initiate in your various constituencies”, the CISLAC boss said.

The team also presented a publication of the Centre, informing the House leader that it wishes to establish a civic and leadership training centre where young Nigerians can be educated on the workings and roles of the legislature.

Full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech

Fellow Nigerians, It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

On Monday 12th October, I atcknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.

The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; …

but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.

As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised;

the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.

Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years;

the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders.

These are in addition to many other initiatives such as: a. Farmermoni, b. Tradermoni, c. Marketmoni, d. N-Power, e. N-Tech and f. N-Agro.

No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police

The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.

Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.

We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.

But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position.

or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.

In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful,

and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.

I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.

Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint.

I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Lekki tollgate massacre: 100 CSOs ask Buhari to immediately sack Buratai, others

A coalition of 100 civil society organisations has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Chief of Army Staff following the killing of unarmed protesters Tuesday evening at Lekki Tollgate.

Besides, the group asked the president to immediately order suspension of the Nigerian Army’s newly launched Operation Crocodile Smile just as it urged soldiers to use non-kinetic approach to engage protesters

Reacting to ongoing developments in the country triggered by the Lekki killings, the group in a statement in Abuja, also tasked the president to sack the entire service chiefs as well as constitute independent commission of enquiry to unravel the killings and bring alleged perpetrators to book.

The statement was signed by Prof Ibrahim Alkali for Coalitions Against Injustice in Africa; Dr Hassan Baba Khalid,for Centre on Equity and Human Rights Africa; Prof P. O. Okeke for Action Against Bad Governance; Mr Kolawole Adesina for Citizens Watch Forum and Rev. Dr Paul Kaigama for Centre for Peace and Good Governance, on behalf of others.

While regretting that the peaceful protests meant to draw attention of authorities to take action on certain fault lines in governance was hijacked by some unscrupulous elements to feather their selfish interests, the coalition also said “the launch of Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army and subsequent use of kinetic approach in engaging the protesters by men of the Nigerian Army was the most reprehensible.”

“It is unfortunate that this action which is not acceptable in any form in a civil society regrettably resulted in killing of armless protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos. This ugly development no doubt,has inflamed passion among the people and thus escalated tension in all parts of the country at the moment,” it said.

According to the coalition, “The resultant effect of this is the ongoing destruction of private and public infrastructures across the country today.”

“Having viewed the development closely,we wish to categorically condemned the action of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.

“We call on President Muhammad Buhari,to as the Commander-In- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,immediately order immediate suspension of Operation Crocodile Smile. We ask that he follows this up with the sack of the Chief of Army Staff in particular and all the current service chiefs in general to pave way for a new and efficient security architecture.

“Like we observe, for Nigerians to trust the president and believe him that the soldiers acted on their own, he must not only immediately sack the Chief of Army Staff and all the officers concerned but also immediately hand them over for prosecution.

“We believe that taking this first step will calm frayed nerves and restore the peoples’ confidence once more in his ability to provide them the desired security,” it said.

The full statement read:”We have noted with concerns the protests by Nigerians calling for the disbandment of SARS and total reform of the Nigeria Police Force in the last one week. It is regrettable that the peaceful protests meant to draw attention of authorities to the much needed reform in many areas of governance, was hijacked by some unscrupulous elements to feather their selfish interests. These fifth columnists sponsored hoodlums to unleash mayhem on unarmed protesters.

“Our coalition, consisting of 100 civil society organizations after an extensive and painstaking deliberation on events trailing the protests, wish to express our disappointment on the orgy of violence that have trailed the protests so far in the country.

“More so, we wish to say that the launch of Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army at a time like this was not the best. More so, the use of kinetic approach in engaging the protesters by men of the Nigerian Army was the most reprehensible.”

“It is unfortunate that this action which is not acceptable in any form in a civil society regrettably resulted in killing of armless protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos.

”This ugly development no doubt,has inflamed passion among the people and thus escalated tension in all parts of the country at the moment.

“The resultant effect of this is the ongoing destruction of private and public infrastructures across the country today.

“Having viewed the development closely,we wish to categorically condemned the action of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.

“We call on President Muhammad Buhari, to as the Commander-In- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,immediately order the immediate suspension of Operation Crocodile Smile.

”We urge him to follow this up with the sack of the Chief of Army Staff in particular and all the current service chiefs in general to pave way for a new and efficient security architecture.

“Like we observe, for Nigerians to trust the president and believe him that the soldiers acted on their own, he must not only immediately sack the Chief of Army Staff and all the officers concerned but also immediately hand them over for prosecution.

“We believe that taking this first step will calm frayed nerves and restore the peoples’ confidence once more in his ability to provide them the desired security.

“We urge the president to immediately constitute an independent judicial commission of inquiry made up of eminent Nigerians, the youths, civil society organizations, to investigate the killing of innocent Nigerian protesters demanding for reforms at Lekki Tollgate allegedly by soldiers from 65 battalion Nigeria Army with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.

“We also ask that the president immediately constitute a fact-finding committee to ascertain the exact number of protesters that lost their lives and compensate families appropriately.

“On the other hand, we want the Nigerian youths to be focused on the struggle for a better Nigeria devoid of political leanings. They should refrain from destroying what we already have as a nation. Peaceful and non-violent protests have proven to be the most effective all over the world. It is the strength of democratic tenets.

“We call on the Federal Government to ensure genuine police reform as well as ensuring that the lives of the citizens and those living in Nigeria are safeguarded. The current situation should not be allowed to degenerate into anarchy.

“We also urge the security agencies to live up to their expectations in securing the country at this critical time of our nation’s history.

Some losses are irreplaceable, we’ll get justice for all ― Osinbajo speaks

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has expressed sadness over the killing of some protesting youths attacked at Lekki Tollgate, by soldiers.

He also sent messages to members of the Nigeria Police that lost their lives too.

In a short thread on his verified Twitter account, Osinbajo said: “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 & other states.

“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.

“We pray we will never see a repeat of these tragedies in Jesus name. God bless you all. – YO.”

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 & other states.

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo)

Curfew: NECO reschedules Oct 22, 23, 24 examinations till November

The National Examinations Council (NECO) has rescheduled its examinations scheduled for Oct. 22, 23 and 24 to November, owing to insecurity and curfew imposed by some states.

Mr Azeez Sani, Head, Information and Public Relations Division (NECO) said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.

Sani said that the affected papers were now scheduled for Nov. 17, 18 and 19.

”This is to inform the general public and especially candidates that the National Examinations Council (NECO) has been constrained by circumstances beyond its control, to reschedule the papers meant for Thursday, Oct. 22, Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24.

”The affected papers are now scheduled for 17th, 18th and 19th November 2020.

”The examination time table for these papers will be made available subsequently.

“These changes were due to the security challenges, which led to the imposition of curfew and closure of schools by some state governments in order to safeguard lives and properties,’’ he said.

Sani said that the development became difficult for the council to move examination materials across the country.

”The Council prays that the examinations will continue on Tuesday, Oct. 27, all things being equal, with the papers as originally scheduled in the examination time table,’’ he said.