Policemen killings: IGP begins commands’ tour, Force admits cops’ morale low [PUNCH]
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, will on Friday begin visits to the police commands across the country to boost the morale of officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force.
The PUNCH on Thursday gathered that the morale of members of the force was low following the killing of no fewer than 28 policemen by hoodlums, who hijacked the #EndSARS protests that started in the country on October 8 and lasted for two weeks.
Findings showed that the police authorities were disturbed by the high level of dejection among policemen, hence the need for the IG to encourage them and boost their morale.
It was also learnt during the tour, the IG would assess the level of damage done by the hoodlums, who burnt police stations and looted government and private property.
These came to the fore on Thursday as many policemen, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said they would not resume until government addressed the killing of their colleagues during the #EndSARS protests.
Following the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki, Lagos on October 20, hoodlums in states such as Lagos, Edo, Abia and Rivers looted and burnt police stations.
On Thursday, a top police officer, who confided in The PUNCH, said the police authorities were concerned about the low morale in the force following attacks on police stations and killing of policemen.
“The tour by the IG, which is starting in Abuja, is aimed at raising the morale of officers and men of the force many of whom are not happy that the police were blamed for almost all the problems of the country during the protests despite the fact all sectors have their bad eggs.
“We are not happy with the atrocities of SARS and other bad eggs in the force, but we are sad about the violent dimension the protest took. Many of those people killed were not hoodlums. Also, we lost fine officers and men, who were not found wanting on their duties. Our policemen are not happy that Nigerians are not concerned about the killing of policemen.”
The Deputy Force spokesman, Adeniran Aremu, told The PUNCH that the IG would on Friday (today) embark on an assessment of the security situation in Abuja.
Aremu disclosed in an SMS on Thursday that the IG would carry out an on-the-spot assessment of facilities and property destroyed by the hoodlums in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“You’re invited to cover the on-the-spot assessment of security situation and some critical facilities in Abuja by the IGP,” he said in an invitation sent to one of our correspondents.
Over 600 hooligans said to have participated in the looting of COVID-19 palliatives at various warehouses at Jabi-Daki-biu, Idu Industrial Estate and Karimo, Abuja, and in other states have been arrested and arraigned.
During the tour, Adamu is expected to address men and officers of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command and encourage them against despondency.
But some members of the Nigeria Police have threatened not to respond to distress calls or enforce law and order across the country until the murder of their colleagues by suspected hoodlums was addressed by the authorities.
Some of the cops, who had been away from their duty posts for the last five days, accused the Federal Government and the police authorities of not caring about their safety and well being.
Senior officers, who spoke in separate interviews with one of our correspondents on Thursday, complained about the high number of their colleagues that were killed during the #EndSARS protests and the failure of the government and Nigerians to condemn the incident.
Findings by The PUNCH indicate that no fewer than 28 policemen were confirmed killed within one week in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ondo, Delta, Abia and Rivers states.
Over 30 police stations and posts were also razed during the attack on the men of the force by thugs who hijacked the #EndSARS protests.
Investigations revealed that policemen had been absent from the roads, street junctions, black spots and other strategic points for the past five days despite a directive by the IG.
Following widespread looting and arson by suspected hoodlums, the IG on Saturday ordered police commanders to immediately stop the anarchy across the country.
Adamu directed the immediate mobilisation of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property, and reclaim the public space from criminal elements.
According to a statement by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba, the IG gave the order to all assistant inspectors-general of police, commissioners of police, heads of police operational units, squadron and base commanders in charge of zonal/state/FCT commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter-Terrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit, on October 24, 2020.
But almost one week after the order, most police officers and men have failed to resume for duty while only a few were seen on the roads.
Sympathisers rescue 67-year-old man who jumped into Kwara river [PUNCH]
A67-year-old man, Abraham Olayinka, has been rescued alive after jumping into Asa River on Abdulwahab Folawiyo, Unity Road, Ilorin, Kwara State.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the incident occurred around 11.30am on Monday.
Traders within the vicinity, who saw him jump into the river, reportedly drew the attention of security men around the area to the incident.
Our correspondent learnt that a commercial motorcyclist, Mohammad Abubakar, in response to the call for help, jumped into the river together with some fishermen.
They were said to have rescued the victim from the river.
The Head of Media and Publicity of the Kwara State Fire Service, Hassan Adekunle, who said the victim was rescued before firemen arrived at the scene, said Olayinka was unstable when he was first brought out from the water.
He, however, said the sexagenarian was revived and taken to a hospital where he was stabilised.
Adekunle said the victim refused to state the reason for attempting suicide despite the pressure mounted on him by the fire service.
Free meter distribution begins in Kano, Kaduna, Lagos today [PUNCH]
The free distribution of electricity meters to Nigerians will commence today (Friday) with the simultaneous inauguration of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution companies’ franchise areas.
A source in the Presidency, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, disclosed this to journalists on Thursday.
According to him, the free distribution of meters is in fulfilment of the promise of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to ensure mass metering in the country and in the process put an end to the menace of estimated billing in the electricity sector.
He said the free distribution would be carried out under the National Mass Metering Programme.
He listed the locations to receive meters to include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO); Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric); Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric); and Yaba and Surulere (Eko Disco).
He added that key stakeholders to monitor the inauguration of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos state government representatives, the chairmen of Senate and House committees on Power, as well as representatives of the organised labour and Civil Society Organisations.
The Presidency official added, “The NMMP is to roll out six million meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimated to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.
“Following Mr President’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 18, approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme which entailed that all meters under the scheme will be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through lead manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC and others.”
When contacted the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, confirmed the development.
Akande said, “Current efforts by the Federal Government on improving power supply and mass metering is in line with some of the agreements recently reached between the Federal Government and the organised labour.
“Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had committed that Nigerians would be metered before the end of his administration and that estimated billing would be ended.”
Rice millers to shut down plants over looting [PUNCH]
Rice millers on Thursday declared that they would shut down some of their plants in some parts of the country following the destruction of some of their mills by protesters during the widespread #EndSARS protests.
Dealers under the aegis of Rice Millers Association of Nigeria said they were taken aback at the devastating destruction and looting carried out against members of RIMAN.
“RIMAN is shocked and sad at the level of havoc that was carried out on these rice mills and other government and private properties within the country,” the association’s National President, Peter Dama, said.
He added, “The resultant impact on these rice mills will create some deficits in our members’ contribution to national food security and rice value chain, as the affected rice mills will be shut down for a while at this critical period with huge debts to pay.”
Dama, who disclosed this in statement issued in Abuja by RIMAN and signed by its president, stated that some of the affected mills included Shamad Rice Mill, Yola; Glams Foods, Lagos.
He said, “This act is condemnable, highly regrettable and insensitive.
“Regrettably, during these attacks, tonnes of milled rice, paddy, furniture, machines, equipment and operational vehicles were destroyed and looted, while some parts of buildings were set ablaze.”
RIMAN therefore called on governm\pent to urgently assist the rice millers with funds to rebuild and restock to commence their operations, as most of them took loans to run their businesses.
It also appealed to government to provide adequate security coverage to rice mills that were under threat in order to avert future occurrence.
The association urged Nigerian Youths to sheath their swords since they had spoken loud and clear, adding that the government had heard their demands.
It said the youths should therefore retreat and await the implementation of government promises.
Oyetola hands over recovered items to owners [THE NATION]
OSUN State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola on Thursday handed over recovered belongings looted across the state to their owners.
The Special Adviser on Special Duties to the Governor, who is also the Secretary of the Ad-hoc Committee on Recovery of Stolen Items, Mr. Samson Owoyokun, said looting was done in 14 local governments.
The Nation reports that following the looting in Osun State last Saturday, Oyetola imposed a curfew and while accessing the level of damages done by the hoodlums on Sunday, he issued a 72-hour amnesty to people to return the looted items through traditional rulers and local government chairmen.
The belongings were handed over to the owners at the Government House, Oke-Fia, Osogbo by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, who is also the Chairman of Loot Recovery Committee, Prince Abdullah Binuyo.
Binuyo, represented by the Secretary of the Ad-hoc Committee on Recovery of Stolen Items, Mr. Samson Owoyokun, said: “The looting affected 14 local governments.
“The recovered items were dropped by the looters. The committee has been going round to pick them. Some of the owners have identified their belongings at the Government House, Osogbo, where the recovered loot were deposited.”
Also speaking at the handing over, the Executive Secretary, Osun Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS), Dr. Adeniyi Ogini, told reporters that he had identified 15 per cent of the stolen items of OHIS.
He said “About 15 per cent of the stolen items have been recovered. Though, some of the electronics such as flat TV sets have spoilt. Some of our belongings have not been recovered. Our server, all our computers (both desktops and laptops), we have not seen any of them.
“We are appealing to the residents to notify law enforcement agents whenever they see anybody trying to sell electrical equipment.”
Governors: our grouse about Buhari’s package for teachers [THE NATION]
Unless the conditions spelt out by governors are met, only teachers in Federal Government employment will enjoy the new salary package and improved condition of service granted them by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It was learnt that the governors were shocked that the Federal Government did not consult them before unilaterally unfolding the package during the 2020 World Teachers Day on October 5.
The governors insist, it was gathered, that since education is on the concurrent list, the Federal Government ought to have sought their input.
It was also learnt that the major challenge facing the governors is how to get funds to implement the new welfare package.
There are indications that the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) might meet with Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, on how to address the challenges associated with the new package.
Some governors were said to be pushing for an amendment to the Universal Basic Education Act to free more cash for states to enable them to pay the new salary.
On October 5, the Federal Government announced a special salary scale for teachers.
Other perks unveiled include increase of their years of service from 35 to 40 years; adjustment of retirement age of teachers from 60 to 65; special pension scheme; rural posting allowance, science teachers allowance and peculiar allowance.
Other incentives listed are building of low-cost houses for teachers in rural areas; sponsorship of teachers to at least one refresher training per annum; expansion of annual Presidential Teachers and Schools awards to cover more categories with outstanding winners to be considered for National Awards and National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) awards.
Most governors were caught unawares by the decision.
Some of them alleged that the Federal Government did not take into consideration that some states had already placed their teachers on Special Salary Scale.
They claimed that in some states, teachers have risen to the level of permanent secretary.
It was gathered that the governors have been weighing options on how they can implement the policy with the drastic fall in revenue and debts.
A top source said although the governors agreed that teachers needed better package, there ought to be harmonisation of existing welfare structure at the state level with the Federal Government’s comprehensive proposals before the pronouncement was made.
Panel to meet DisCos on electricity tariffs [THE NATION]
Talks between the Federal Government and Labour on electricity tariffs increase will resume next week, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said on Thursday.
The seven-man technical sub-committee set up to review the increase in electricity tariffs will meet with power Distribution Companies (DisCos) and electricity consumers across the six geo-political zones.
The committee will look at the issue of gas pricing, which is being sold to DISCOS in dollars.
The committee is also expected to look at the issue of banding for electricity consumers in the second phase of its assignment.
It has two months to submit its report.
Talks were temporarily suspended because of the #ENDSARS protests.
Keyamo told our reporter: “We should start meeting by next week. The #EndSARS protests disturbed our meeting last week.”
A highly-placed source close to the committee said the next phase will include meetings with DisCos, consumers and other stakeholders.
Before the #ENDSARS protests commenced on October 10, the sub-committee submitted its first report to the larger house comprising the government team and organised labour.
After consideration of the interim report, which was submitted to the larger house on October 11, the committee was given two months to work around the issues surrounding the hike in electricity tariff.
The National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will commence the distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DISCO franchise areas today. The scheme will be simultaneously launched.
Presidency said the locations where meters will be received include Bawo Road and environs in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DISCO).
The Presidency source added that key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos State government representatives, the Senate Committee and House Chair on Power as well as representatives of Organized Labour and Civil Society Organizations.
He said the NMMP is to roll out six million meters for all connections points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.
“Following Mr President’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria, on October 18, approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme, which entailed that all meters under the scheme would be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through lead manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC and others”, the source said.
He added that the launch of the NMMP would be part of a continuous effort where all DisCos would go from location to location across the country with their respective Meter Asset Providers to install meters for all Nigerians.
Mr. Laolu Akande, a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, confirmed the story, but added that more details would emerge as the distribution progresses across the country.
He added that current efforts by the federal government on improving power supply and mass metering was in line with some of the agreements recently reached between the Federal Government and Organised Labour.
COVID-19: How Niger govt bridged learning gap [THE NATION]
SADIA Adebisi, who was among those who wrote the just concluded Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE), had to keep herself busy during the closure engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic. All schools were closed March 23.
Sadia said she had forgotten everything she was taught and was grateful for the one week tutorial classes they had before they wrote their final examinations.
Another student, Habibat Adamu, said when the schools reopened in Niger State she had forgotten all she learnt in school.
Jamila Gabriel, Rosemary Sunday, Fausat Akerele and Abigail Godfrey all live in the Nkangbe area of Bosso local government area of Niger State. They are all around eight to nine years and in primary three and four.
Although Nkangbe is a rural area, there are, however, opportunities for some of the children to attend private schools outside the community. Parents, who are unable to, send their children to the public school or the private schools within the community.
While Rosemary Sunday and Fausat Akerele go to different private schools, Jamila Gabriel and Abigail Godfrey go to Nkangbe Primary School in Bosso local government area.
Rosemary Sunday attends the privately owned El-Amin Secondary School in Minna. During the closure, her school organised online lessons for its students. . They had written their examinations online under the supervision of their parents who provided a tablet or laptop for the classes and examinations.
But for Fausat Akerele who also goes to a private school, in Nkangbe, it was a different kettle of fish. Her school did not organise any online classes for them. They were left to their own devices and the pupils whose parents could afford lesson teachers, paid for such services.
Both Jamila Gabriel and Abigail Godfrey, did not have online lessons or lesson teachers, as the public schools did not organise any of these. This is just as the majority of the parents of pupils in the school cannot afford N2,000 or more to get lesson teachers for their children.
Access to Data and Internet
According to the Digital 2020 Global Overview Report published in January 2020 by DataPortal in partnership with We Are Social and Hootsuite, about 60 percent of Nigerians are not connected to the internet. The statistics for mobile phones, which could also be used as a learning medium, are more hopeful. According to the report, around 169.2 million people (83 percent of Nigerians) have access to mobile phone connections.
The report states that of these, 50 percent (around 84.5 million people), reside in urban areas. For the population with access to data, the proportion of those with access to data is skewed towards high socio-economic households and urban households. This is as an overwhelming majority are children from wealthier backgrounds, who already have a learning advantage over children from economically disadvantaged homes.
For Jamila and Abigail, there was no learning during this period. All they did was sleep, eat and play. Abigail sometimes was in her mother’s tailoring shop in the afternoon, where she helped to sell sachet water.
21 school children killed in auto crash in Enugu [SUN]
Twenty-one school children were yesterday killed in an auto crash in Awgu community in Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, throwing the community into deep mourning.
The accident according to a witness occurred at Mgbowo Awgu, when a Lowbed truck belonging to a construction firm working at Oji-River – Awgu Federal Road ,lost control and rammed into a Mercedes Benz 608 school bus conveying pupils home from the Presentation Nursery and Primary School, Awgu.
Confirming the incident yesterday, the Enugu Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Ogbonna Kalu, said that as at 11am, 21 persons have been confirmed dead. Kalu said the 21 were not all school children as there were some people around the scene of the incident that were affected.
He said that the school bus was carrying 51 school children of the aforementioned school (both secondary and primary), two teachers and the driver. He said, “As I speak with you 21 persons have been confirmed dead and more than 50 persons were in the school bus.
“Also of note is that not all the dead were school children. Those working on the roadside were part of the casualties. From available information, the accident was caused by mechanical problem developed by the truck.”
The sector commander who said they visited the hospital where the wounded were taken to, said some parents had taken away their children to other hospitals of their choice.
Presentation Nursery and Primary School, Awgu is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Awgu and run by the sisters from the Daughters of Divine Love (DDL), Congregation.
COVID-19: Nigeria’s economy too fragile for another lockdown –Buhari [SUN]
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, stressed the need for Nigerians to obey Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines and protocols to avert a second wave of infections.
In a tweet via his official Twitter account, yesterday, the President warned that the country’s economy was too fragile to bear another round of lockdown.
“Looking at the trends in other countries, we must do all we can to avert a second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria. We must make sure that our cases, which have gone down, do not rise again. Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown,” he wrote.
The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), said four COVID-19 related deaths and 147 new infections were recorded from 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the last 24 hours.
Record by the NCDC showed that the country has 62, 371 confirmed cases, 58,095 recoveries and 1,139 deaths since it reported its index case on February 27.
In March, Buhari imposed a total lockdown on some states, including Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to control the spread of COVID-19.
Okonjo-Iweala: We’ll continue to engage relevant stakeholders –FG [SUN]
The Federal Government, yesterday, said it will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is realised.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement by its Spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, informed that the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-Generalship of the WTO was concluded on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 and the result was formally announced on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Nwonye added that the candidate from Nigeria, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, secured the support of majority of the member countries, but was yet to be declared and returned as winner.
“This is because apart from winning the election, all the 164 member states of WTO are expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO. It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.
“The Ministry wishes to further inform that a meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for November 9, 2020, for a final decision on the election process.
“Nigeria will continue to engage relevant stakeholders to ensure that the lofty aspiration of our candidate to lead the World Trade Organization is realised,” Nwonye said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of African Union, Pan African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC), Professor Pat Utomi has described the possible emergence of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) as fantastic.
He said the benefits are multifaceted. “Besides country pride, I think it will place her in a position to help guide the evolution of international trade in a way that will make exchange more just and also facilitate the expansion of participation by African countries,” he said.
“I congratulate her ahead and look forward to WTO extending its current partnership with PAFTRAC and AfreximBank to rapidly grow intra-African trade and aggregation across borders to scale up capacity to meet high volume demands that can be key to competitiveness in international trade.”
In tweet yesterday, Okonjo-Iweala wrote: “Happy for the success & continued progress in our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus.
The recommendation of Nigeria’s former finance minister was made by three WTO ambassadors, the so-called “troika”, after consulting with members in a series of closed-door meetings in Geneva as part of an intricate and secretive process that some have compared to a papal succession. The troika, led by New Zealand’s Ambassador David Walker, is due to make the formal recommendation to a closed-door meeting of heads of delegations at 3 p.m. (1400 GMT).
Lagos okays November 2 for reopening of schools [SUN]
Lagos Government has approved the re-opening of schools for all classes in public and private schools beginning from Monday, November 2, while boarders in public schools resume Sunday, November 1.
This was announced by Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo in a statement signed by Head, Public Affairs Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi.
The commissioner said it has been an unprecedented year with the recent happenings that have regrettably led to frequent closure of schools with attendant learning disruptions faced by all children.
“We pray and hope that there will be no more disruptions in the academic calendar. However, the state government will always regard the safety of pupils/students, parents and all staff as a matter of priority.
“We recommend that when schools resume on Monday, teaching and learning should continue unhindered till the end of the term,” she said.
The commissioner, therefore, advised pupils/students to take their studies more seriously in a bid to recover the lost period and thereby excel.
Govs, JNI, ACF Rally Youths For Peace [LEADERSHIP]
As Muslim faithful celebrated Eid-el-Maulud yesterday, state governors, the Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) have implored youths in the country to embrace peace in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest as well as the massive looting and arson that accompanied it.
The Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) called for tolerance and love among Nigerians as Muslims the world over marked the day.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, urged all Muslims to use the occasion to reflect on the virtues of love, tolerance and compassion as exemplified by the Holy Prophet.
In a statement issued by his director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, the governor said the current situation in the country called for somber reflection and the need for patience, understanding, honesty, sincerity, kindness and collaboration in overcoming the various challenges in the country.
The chairman of the forum also urged Nigerians to pray for wisdom and guidance to enable leaders to serve the people through programmes and policies that would alleviate poverty and improve their wellbeing.
Lalong further called for calm following the recent nationwide protest, assuring that government was taking all necessary measures to address the issues raised by the Nigerian youths.
He appealed to the youths to resist the temptation of engaging in destruction of property which he said only impedes development.
On his part, the chairman, caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, called for forgiveness and tolerance among Nigerians.
Felicitating with Muslim faithful as they celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Governor Buni said Prophet Muhammad was a prophet of peace and light to the world.
In a statement issued by his director-general of Press Affairs and Media, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, the governor said: “This occasion of his birthday should therefore be a period to preach peace, forgiveness tolerance, and peaceful coexistence.”
Lekki Shootings: Amnesty International Report Misleading, Inaccurate – Presidency [LEADERSHIP]
The presidency has accused Amnesty International (AI) of projecting misleading and inaccurate details about recent events surrounding the #EndSARS protest and the attendant chaos.
The special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, stated this yesterday morning on Channels Television daily programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’.
According to him, the AI’s report on the crisis was inaccurate as it misplaced facts and was totally wrong in most cases.
He said that the narrative that the widespread chaos in different parts of the country, which saw many policemen and civilians killed, police stations burnt, private and public property looted and destroyed, was precipitated by the incident at the Lekki Toll Plaza on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, was generated by AI, insisting that it was a misleading narrative.
Adesina further asserted that that timeline of events showed that anarchic activities had commenced way ahead of the alleged shooting at the toll plaza.
He cited the jail breaks in Benin City, Edo State and Oko, Anambra State, the attacks on police stations and murder of police personnel in other places as pointers to the fact that the chaos that pervaded the country was not just as a result of the Lekki incident.
Responding to a question that the looting was a fallout of the Lekki shooting, Adesina said: “You are not quite correct. You are falling for the narrative of Amnesty International. And Amnesty is wrong. Anarchy had broken loose before even Lekki. The prisons in Benin and Oko had been broken open before Lekki. Orile police station had been burnt before Lekki.
“Many policemen had been burnt before Lekki. So, you cannot say it was Lekki that precipitated all those things. Look at the timelines, look at when all those things happened. You will discover that it had happened before Lekki. So, you are falling for the gambit of Amnesty International.
“Amnesty International does not have all the facts, they don’t run this country, they shouldn’t know beyond what they have been told. They shouldn’t know more than you and I should know as media people, as watchers of developments,” he said.
Asked if it was the president’s thinking that the Amnesty’s report was wrong, the presidential spokesman said that Amnesty International had been known to always make unsubstantiated reports about Nigeria.
“Many times, the military has come out to dispute facts brought out by Amnesty,” he declared.
Adesina also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered his ministers to submit the reports of their engagements with stakeholders in their various states over the recent chaotic events following #EndSARS within the next week.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the president, during last week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, directed the ministers to go back to their home states and do everything to douse the tension across the country.
Adesina said: “I can tell you because there was another Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday (Wednesday), the president asked for briefs from ministers who went out. Only two had their reports ready as at yesterday because some others were still in their respective states carrying out their assignment.
“So, the president said all of them should turn in their reports through the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) in the incoming week,” Adesina disclosed.
Asked what to expect out of the reports, Adesina responded: “Well, it can only be positive. One, it will help us to establish the truth to some things because there are a lot of conjectures, colorations, outright falsehoods, fake news and all that. The ministers can come with what is near authentic based on the consultations they are going to make.”
FG Begins Distribution Of Free Meters To 30m Electricity Consumers Today [LEADERSHIP]
In fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to ensure mass metering nationwide process to end the estimated billing saga in the electricity sector, the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP) will today commence the distribution of free electricity meters to Nigerians with simultaneous launch of the scheme in Kano, Kaduna, Eko and Ikeja DisCo franchise areas.
This was disclosed to journalists last night by a reliable source at the Presidency last night. The source said that the locations to receive the meters include Bawo Road and some parts in Kano metropolis (KEDCO), Governor Road/Tudun Wada in Kaduna (Kaduna Electric), Oshodi Business Unit in Ikeja (Ikeja Electric), and Yaba and Surulere (Eko DisCO).
The presidency source added that key stakeholders to monitor the launch of the distribution include Kaduna, Kano and Lagos State government representatives, the chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Power as well as representatives of the organised labour and civil society organisations (CSOs).
He said that the NMMP will roll out six million meters for all connection points on grid without meters over the next 18 to 24 months, estimating to impact 30 million consumers nationwide.
Following the president’s directive on mass metering, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on October 18 approved guidelines for funding the mass metering programme which entails that all meters under the scheme will be locally sourced, creating thousands of manufacturing jobs through leading manufacturers such as MOMAS, MOJEC, and others.
According to the source, the launch of the NMMP will be part of the continuous efforts where all DisCos will go from locations to locations across the country with their respective Meter Asset Providers to install meters for all Nigerians.
When contacted, Mr. Laolu Akande, the senior special assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, confirmed the story but added that more details will emerge as the distribution progresses across the country.
He added that current effort by the federal government to improve power supply and mass metering was in line with some of the agreements recently reached between the government and organised labour.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that President Buhari had promised that Nigerian electricity consumers would be metered before the end of his administration and the estimated billing syndrome would be ended.