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Nigerian newspapers headlines Friday morning



Kaduna Govt Queries 4 Zazzau Emirate Kingmakers [LEADERSHIP]

Four of the five kingmakers of Zazzau Emirate Council have been queried for failure to attend coronation meeting summoned by the Kaduna State commissioner for Local Government in his office.

LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that the meeting was in preparation for the presentation the of staff of office to the new Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, the 19th Emir of Zazzau which was held on November 9, this year.

Those alleged to have been queried were the Wazirin Zazzau, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu; Limamin Kona ,Alhaji Sani Aliyu; Limamin Zazzau, Alhaji Dalhat Kasimu; and Makama Karami of Zazzau, Alhaji Mahmoud Abbas.

LEADERSHIP Friday however, could not confirm whether the Fagachin Zazzau who is the fifth among the kingmakers was also served with the query letter or not.

The query titled: “Refusal to attend meeting convened by Ministry for Local Government Affairs with Reference number MLGCA/36/Vol:Vi/1059 was dated October 30th 2020 and signed by Musa Adamu, permanent secretary, Kaduna State Ministry for Local Government Affairs on behalf of the commissioner.

The query reads in part: “You may recall that on Friday, October 30, 2020, you were invited to attend a meeting convened by the Honourable commissioner for Local Government Affairs in his office but you failed/neglected/refused to attend.

“In the light of the above, you are hereby given 48 hours to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.”

LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that there was alleged fracas in the Emirate Council over the selection process of the New Zazzau Emir as most of the kingmakers were said not to have voted for the new monarch.


NPF, States Consolidate Community Policing [LEADERSHIP]

Amidst worsening crime rate and insecurity nationwide, the federal and state governments as well as the police authorities have intensified the implementation of community policing in rural areas across the country.

While the police have appointed community police officers in each of the 36 states of the federation and the 774 local government areas to ensure smooth implementation, the states have intensified the screening, recruitment, training and acquisition of critical tools for potential officers.

The training of the local security personnel is being done by the states in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that in some states, community policing has fully taken off with participants set for the training that will aid their operations.

In Benue State for instance, the Security Council has approved the recruitment of 2,300 personnel for community policing and 460 Community Volunteer Guards, also known as vigilantes, to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.

Governor Samuel Ortom during an interview said the decision to embrace community policing was in line with the resolution reached at the North Central Security meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa State in January this year at the instance of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

He said 100 community policing personnel would be recruited from each local government area alongside 20 community volunteer guards, adding that both the community policing personnel and those of the volunteer guards would help the police in intelligence gathering against crime.

He said, “As stipulated in the law, activities of the volunteer guards would be supervised by the permanent secretary, Bureau of Internal Affairs, while the council chairmen and district heads would coordinate same at the local government headquarters and ward levels respectively.”

Similarly, all is set to send over 800 youths that were recruited for community policing in Taraba State for police training at the Police Training College, Jaaji.

A member of the Taraba State Community Policing Committee and former chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, Mallam Abdulahi Gembo, disclosed this to LEADERSHIP Friday in Jalingo, the state capital.

Gembo said the state government recently constituted a 13-man standing committee to organise and screen youths that would be sent to the police for proper training in professional community policing.

He noted that the process of the selection had commenced and those who pass the screening would be presented to the IGP for onward training in the first week of December 2020.

Gembo said the state government had taken community policing very serious since it had been discovered that the scheme would tackle communal conflicts and promote peace among people of the state.

In Kwara State, community policing took off since August 25, 2020 when Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq inaugurated the Community Policing Advisory Council (CPAC) in Ilorin, the state capital.

The spokesman of Kwara State police command, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, confirmed that the participants would soon undergo training that would aid their operations, adding that the training exercise is being done in batches.

“Some states have had their turn, it will soon be the turn of Kwara and other states that have not had their trainings,” he said.

Okasanmi said both Governor AbdulRazaq and the state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, were committed to the idea of community policing and its success in the state.

“Community policing focuses more on using intelligence and constant interactions with community folks to prevent crimes. However, what this means is that the success of this idea lies in everybody seeing security as our collective business,” AbdulRazaq noted at the inauguration of the committee in Ilorin.

The State Advisory Committee comprises the head of the state’s traditional council (chairman); the police commissioner (co-chairman); heads of the various security agencies in the states; heads of police community relations committees; representatives of each senatorial district; and a representative each of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The Delta State government has also expressed optimism that the state’s security outfit, “Operation Delta Hawk”, would commence operation before the 2020 Yuletide.

Governor Okowa, who made this known at a meeting with traditional rulers and religious leaders at Government House, Asaba, said necessary equipment to make the outfit operational had been procured.

He explained that the process of establishing the security outfit took a while because he wanted to ensure that everything was in place, adding that the outfit would tackle kidnapping and other violent crimes, including farmers-herders clashes.


APC Assures South East Of National Integration [LEADERSHIP]

The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday assured the people of the South East geopolitical zone of national integration  under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Chairman of the party’s national caretaker committee  and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, gave the assurance in Ebonyi State when he presented the APC flag, broom and the party membership cards to the state governor, David Umahi and his supporters, symbolising their official defection to the governing party.

Speaking during the  ceremony at the Christian Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, Buni said the official admission of Governor Umahi into the party marked a new beginning in the history of Ebonyi State.

He said President Buhari since assumption of office did not put into consideration political affiliations in his administration, adding that when over 27 states could not pay salaries, the president gave bailout funds to all the states without considering party affiliations.

He stated that apart from the bailout funds and the Anchor Borrowers Scheme which many states had benefitted from, Ebonyi State and the South East in general would be fully integrated into the national programme and policies of the present administration.

He commended Umahi for being courageous and bold which, according to him, would liberate the South-East despite attacks and criticisms from some quarters.

He urged other South East governors to emulate Umahi by joining the APC, adding that his achievements stand him out.

Earlier, Governor Umahi said with his defection completed, Ebonyi was 99.9% APC, pointing out that soon, all the PDP National Assembly members from the state would join the APC.

He noted that Ebonyi State had remained in one political party for a very long time and there was the need for them to move.

The governor said, “We had remained in the PDP for a very long time with all the empty promises, so I think it’s high time we move.

“Today, Ebonyi State is 99.9% APC, the remaining 1% are the National Assembly members and some of our elders. I know too well that all of them will soon join us in the APC because in Ebonyi State, there is no opposition.

“I know what the National Assembly members are looking for and the moment they get it, they will join us in the APC. I want to assure all that this new house built on equity and trust will accommodate all.

“Party should not divide us; I believe that together we will be stronger. So there is no need for anyone to be aggrieved. It’s high time the South-East moved to the APC in totality. We are tired of the PDP and their empty promises”.

The governor reminded his supporters that no individual can determine the destiny of anyone without God, adding that “we have gotten our freedom now, freedom from one person deciding the faith of millions of people as seen in the PDP.

“I want to assure all that everyone would be carried along. No one would be discriminated against. We are going to work as a family to achieve our common goals and aspirations”, he noted.

He commended President Buhari for all the support and encouragement so far given to the state, adding that the support was the testimony of the transformation being witnessed in the state.

“We must thank the leadership of the APC for giving us the opportunity to be part of the transformation in the country. The South-East must get it right now,” he added.


Ex-NBA President, SANs Disagree On Forfeited Assets [LEADERSHIP]

Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), J.B.Daudu (SAN), another senior advocate of Nigeria Chief Mike Ozekhome and a senior law lecturer at University of Lagos, Wahab Shittu have disagreed on federal government’s anti-corruption efforts and its handling of recovered proceeds of crime, including forfeited assets.

Shittu has been prosecuting the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) cases just as he was also Magu’s lead defence lawyer at the Justice Isa Ayo Salami-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the alleged diversion of recovered assets and other corruption charges brought against Magu and other EFCC officials.

The three lawyers spoke in Abuja at Day 4 of the 3rd Annual Criminal law Review Conference organised by Daudu-Foundation, Rule of Law Development Foundation.

The 5-day event is with the theme, ‘’Updates and development within the last 12 months on criminal justice procedure and evidence in Nigeria.

However, yesterday’s sub-theme was Economic crimes and forfeiture of proceeds of crime.

Meanwhile, Ozekhome accused the government of disregarding constitutional provisions on rights protection and being selective in its supposed fight against corruption.

He argued that suspended acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu was currently experiencing the sought of treatment he had subjected others to, while he claimed to be fighting corruption.


PDP, APC fight over six kidnapped policemen, insecurity, defections [PUNCH]

The Peoples Democratic Party has scolded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.)-led All Progressives Congress regime over the deteriorating security situation in the country.

It specifically berated the President for failing to address the kidnap of eight senior police officers by bandits, but was quick to comment on the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.

Bandits had abducted eight Assistant Superintendents of Police in Katsina State over a week ago and demanded N100m ransom for their release.

The families of the victims are currently running helter-skelter to raise the reduced ransom of N500,000 to secure the release of each of the cops.

It was gathered that the ASPs were among the nine, who were recently promoted to their current rank. They were attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State.

They were demobilised from the riot unit and eight of them were on their way to the Zamfara State Police Command on transfer when they were ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State and taken into the forest.

While being taken into the bush, two of the unarmed policemen escaped, but the bandits shot one of them in the leg and he still managed to find his way to the nearest village from where he was taken to hospital.

The National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, in his address to the National Executive Committee of the party during its 90th meeting in Abuja, on Thursday, declared that the ship of the Nigerian state was on auto pilot.

Secondus said, “Your Excellences, great leaders of our party, before the COVID-19 lockdown, our country was already going through some socio-political and economic challenges arising from poor governance delivery by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

“The security problem of the country has refused to abate; instead, it has multiplied with no clear solution in sight. President Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch the situation got worse and complicated, has remained clearly helpless and incapable of providing the needed leadership.”

He lamented the slow response by the President to the concerns of Nigerian youths during the #EndSARS protests.

Secondus stated, “It took President Muhammadu Buhari almost two weeks of persuasion and cajoling from many Nigerians, including the Senate, before he agreed to address the nation on the issue after the damage was already done, youths killed by security agencies and property destroyed.

“The protests opened a fresh dimension in the government/citizen relationship and underscored the fact that some fundamental actions are needed to get our polity going on the right track.”

The party chair noted that the nation’s rising debt profile and alleged unbridled corruption made it difficult for Nigerians to believe claims that the government was finding it difficult to pay workers’ November salaries in 428 agencies.

He said, “At the last count, Nigeria’s debt profile is over N31tn; a lot of it is misappropriated. While borrowing in economics is not bad, it depends on what the borrowed resources are being channelled into.

“With the unprecedented corruption in the system under the APC’s watch, it will be difficult to see these borrowed funds properly deployed. Amidst the frightening insecurity in the country accompanied by mass killings that have set fears in the people, what you get from the government is multiple tariffs – electricity, VAT, fuel hike and more – with its operatives indulging in lies and propaganda.”


Nigeria spends $500m annually importing palm oil, says FG [PUNCH]

Officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, states, agencies and non-governmental organisations on Thursday said Nigeria was spending about $500m annually on oil palm imports.

At the National Workshop on oil palm organised in Abuja by Solidaridad, an international NGO, senior government officials and other stakeholders agreed to partner to reduce the continued import of the commodity.

Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, the Deputy Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD, Bernard Okata, said, “The partnership is to move the oil palm sector forward.

“Our current local requirement for oil generally is about three million metric tonnes but we are producing about 1.02 metric tonnes of oil palm.

“So there is a gap. We import to make up for this gap and Nigeria is spending about $500m annually for this importation up till now.”

Okata explained that the volume of oil and fat that Nigeria requires was about three million metric tonnes, but it had been difficult to meet this demand.

He said, “We have oils from groundout, soybean and all that. But from oil palm alone, we are producing 1.02 million MT, while from other oils we produce 1.7 million MT and so the shortfall is about 350,000MT.

“So the significance of this partnership is to ensure that the foreign exchange is channelled to the development of other activities if we can expand our oil palm production to satisfy our local industries.”


Again, Wike attacks Umahi as APC welcomes gov, expects others [PUNCH]

Rbonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Thursday, finally defected to the All Progressives Congress, putting an end to weeks of speculation.

However, the decision did not sit well with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who warned Umahi not to allow his alleged quest to become Nigeria’s President to destroy the South-East zone politically.

This was just as indications emerged that about 10 members of the National Assembly from the South-East zone elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party might dump the party for the APC.

Speaking during his formal defection to the APC at the Ecumenical Centre, Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, Umahi, who thanked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for playing a vital role in the development of the state, stated that it was time for the state to fully get involved in the politics of the centre so as to benefit from the dividends of democracy.

He said he was moving to the APC with all the state executive council members, chairmen of the 13 local government areas, liaison officers, board members, political appointees and coordinators, among others.

The governor had during an interaction with journalists, on Tuesday, said he was leaving the PDP because of injustice, noting that he could not be part of a system where fairness, justice and equity were not taken seriously.

A visibly happy Umahi said on Thursday, “It is time to go. We have dwelt so much in one political party and it is better to go to the centre. We want to appreciate Mr President, who has helped us to develop Ebonyi State. The help from the President has transformed the state.

“We want to thank the national leaders of the party, the governors, my deputy, my exco members, the state House of Assembly members and the Ebonyi people. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for following me. Thank you for standing by me.

“My National Assembly members are my children. They are looking for something. When they get it, they will soon come back. Do not castigate them. We have three members of the Elders’ Council, do not castigate them. They are my children. Do not castigate them. They will come back. We are together.

“This is a new house that is built on God. It will accommodate all of us. I have dissolved the Elders’ Council to accommodate our brothers and sisters who are coming from the APC.

“In the South-East, we have to move to the centre. We are tired of empty promises. We want action now. Today, as my deputy has said, we have moved to the APC. The governor and the deputy governor united, together with 106 exco members; 1,200 appointees made up of executive assistants, senior executive assistants and technical assistants; and 374 liaison officers are with me on this movement.

“We have 400 appointees into boards and commissions, 506 management committee members, 130 supervisors, all local government area chairmen and all the party chairmen and the legislators. We are all in agreement on this movement.”


FG insists no massacre in Lekki on October 20 [PUNCH]

The Federal Government on Thursday insisted that there was no massacre when soldiers dispersed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, on October 20, 2020.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this at a press conference in Abuja.

Mohammed attributed the reports of massacre to those he described as purveyors of fake news.

The minister said, “While we await the judicial panel in Lagos to unravel what transpired at the Lekki Tollgate, what we can say, based on testimonies available in the public space, is that the world may have just witnessed, for the very first time ever, a massacre without bodies!

“Some have tagged it ‘social media massacre.’ The testimony of Brig.-Gen, Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo of the Nigerian Army before the panel was compelling, and I am sure many of you have listened to or watched it.”

Mohammed insisted soldiers at the tollgate fired blank ammunition into the air which could not have done any damage.

The minister said, “Sadly, the purveyors of fake news and disinformation succeeded in deceiving the world that indeed there was mass killing in Lekki, even when, till date, not a single body has been produced and not a single family or relative has come out to say their child or ward was killed at Lekki.

“More surprising and irresponsible is the fact that some people have been calling for sanctions against Nigeria or against Nigerian government officials on the basis of a hoax.

“We want to use this opportunity to ask those who have alleged massacre at the Lekki Tollgate to go to the judicial panel to present their evidence(s) to the world or simply admit that they have goofed.”

FG faults CNN report, calls for sanction

The minister also faulted the report by the Cable News Network on the incident, describing it as “blatantly irresponsible.”

While claiming that CNN did a disservice to itself and journalism, Mohammed called for sanction for the broadcast organisation.

When however asked the kind of sanction he is recommending for a foreign organisation, the minister simply said “CNN has internal mechanism but we will do the needful on our part.”

He regretted that CNN, which he said touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification, adding that “this is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that.”

He added, “In its jaundiced reporting, CNN was blind to the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed in unprovoked attacks. Obviously, CNN did not consider the security agents human enough.

“CNN, in its ‘investigation,’ was blind to the wanton destruction of property in Lagos and across the country. Also, CNN was blind to the burning of police stations and vehicles all over the country. Instead, it went to town with unverified social media footages, in its desperation to prove that people were killed at the Lekki Tollgate.


Why food prices are rising, by NEC [THE NATION]

THE National Economic Council (NEC) has cited the restrictive effect of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the recent #EndSARS protest and the violent activities that trailed as some of the factors responsible for rising prices of food items.

This was part of the report presented to the Council by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari during Thursday’s virtual NEC meeting, chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), in Abuja.

According to the report, the COVID-19 scenario delayed annual planting and harvesting, while the #EndSARS crisis reportedly stalled food transportation and delivery, as well as widespread looting and destruction of food stores.

Besides the two factors, the report also cited the security breaches in the northwest, which had largely prevented farmers access to their farms; the ceaseless clashes between farmers and herders, which saw to the destruction of farm produce in some states; and the rising cost of transportation.

NEC, however, proffered solutions to mitigate the harsh effects of the situation, prescribing steps to take to both the federal government and the states.


Umahi: PDP chieftains, federal lawmakers will soon defect to APC [THE NATION]

Many PDP chieftains, including federal lawmakers, will soon dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi said on Thursday as formally bade the PDP farewell.

He was received into the All Progressives Congress (APC) by its national caretaker chairman, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni.

Umahi received the APC flag, broom and the party card from the chairman at a reception for him in Abakaliki, the state capital.

The ceremony was attended by Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, Governors of Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Sani Bello (Niger), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and APC leaders from the Southeast.

Buni said Umahi’s admission into the ruling party marked a new beginning in the history of Ebonyi State.

Hailing Umahi for taking a bold step, Buni said many people were inclined to joining the APC because President Muhammadu Buhari had been fair to all, irrespective of political affiliations.

He recalled that when 27 states could not pay salaries, the President gave them bailout funds, despite political differences.

Apart from the bailout and the Anchor Borrowers Programme from which many states benefit from, Ebonyi and the Southeast states in general would be fully integrated into the national programme and policies of the present administration.

He lauded Umahi for exhibiting courage and taking a step that would liberate the Southeast, despite attacks and criticism from some quarters, urging other Southeast governors to take a cue.

Buni said Umahi’s achievements stand him out in the geo-political zone.

Exuding confidence, Umahi said APC has become a dominant party in the state, assuring that many PDP chieftains, including federal lawmakers, will soon follow his footsteps.

Umahi said: “We have remained in the PDP for a very long time with all the empty promises. So, I think it’s high time we moved.

“Today, Ebonyi State is 99.9% APC; the remaining per cent are the National Assembly members and some of our elders’ council. I know too well that all of them will soon join us in APC because in Ebonyi State, there is no opposition.


PDP hits Umahi for joining APC [THE NATION]

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi came under attack from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday for defecting from the opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The PDP held an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting attended by all its leading lights to discuss the Umahi defection.

Its national Chairman Uche Secondus said the party will not be swayed by “Umahi’s antics”.

The opposition party’s Board of Trustee (BoT) Chairman Walid Jibrin said Umahi’s defection will not affect the fortunes of the party, adding that the governor was deceived by APC leaders to defect.

Jibrin said: “APC will disappoint Umahi and I feel sorry for him. The entire members of the PDP chapter in Ebonyi have assured us that they will not follow the governor to the APC or move to any other party.”

Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe hailed federal lawmakers from the state for not going on a “frolic with Umahi”.

He said: “Our members from Ebonyi State, the caucus of the National Assembly from Ebonyi State, wish to use this opportunity to thank the party for taking a proactive action that strengthened their resolve not to go on a frolic with the governor of that state. I am telling you that the National Assembly Caucus very strong and intact.”

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said though painful, Umahi’s defection will not affect the fortunes of the party during the 2023 general elections.

Tambuwal, who chairs the PDP Governors Forum, said the remaining 15 PDP governors will work together to ensure that the party takes its rightful place in the nation’s political space.

The one-time House of Representatives Speaker said: “This is a clear statement from all of us, the 15 governors of PDP working together for the unity and stability and strengthening of our party.

“We are individually committed to good governance, providing leadership in our respective states, continue to make our party proud, to continue to make our electorate proud and we are repositioning our party for the future with the last drop of our blood.

“We remain committed party members and we shall continue to work with the National Working Committee, the BoT, for our party to continue to grow in strength and wax stronger and stronger.

Deploring the political, economic and security situation in the country, Secondus charged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue the nation from imminent collapse.

He berated the Federal Government for the soaring external loans and lack of accountability.


Post-EndSARS: 100 killed, 269 assets burnt, says govt [THE NATION]

The grim reality of the looting spree and massive destruction that followed last month’s #EndSARS protests came to the fore on Thursday.

No fewer than 100 people – including six soldiers and 37 policemen – were killed in the orgy of violence.

Destroyed, vandalised or looted were 269 private and companies’ assets.

Not less than 243 government facilities were burnt or vandalized and 81 government warehouses looted.

1,957 inmates were set free from eight Medium Security Custodial Centres in six states  and 31 employees of the Prisons Service were injured. The states are: Edo, Lagos, Abia, Delta, Ondo and Ebonyi.

There were about 196 injured policemen, 164 police vehicles destroyed and 134 police stations burnt.

Minister of Information Lai Mohammed gave the statistics in Abuja at a news conference.

The figures are an update on what Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu released on October 30. Adamu put the nationwide death toll as 73.

But the figure of 205 destroyed police stations he gave is higher than the figure given yesterday by the minister.

The government insisted that there was no massacre of demonstrators during the #EndSARS protest in Lekki, Lagos.

Mohammed said what is being portrayed as “social media massacre” or a “hoax massacre,” a case of massacre without bodies.

The government condemned Wednesday’s CNN report on #EndSARS protest in Lekki as “irresponsible journalism.”

It said the CNN should face sanctions for relying  on unverified and doctored videos.

Worried by the carnage, the government said there is no going back on its plan to regulate the social media.

It said social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties.

Mohammed asked the international community not to be misled by posts on social media seeking imposition of sanctions on Nigeria.

He said: “The role of the human rights organizations, in particular, became suspect after they simply ignored the brutal killing and maiming of security agents during the crisis and instead continued to dwell on the bodiless and bloodless ‘massacre’ at Lekki Toll Gate.

“They did not see anything wrong in the public and private properties that were burnt or looted, neither did they see anything wrong in the fact that some of the businesses that were looted belonged to struggling young men and women. All they could see in their biased view of the whole situation was a hoax massacre.”

He said the Army, the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Immigration Service were attacked by hoodlum during the #EndSARS crisis.

He said: “The Federal Government will therefore not accept a situation in which some so-called human rights bodies and jaundiced media organisations will continue to harass the security agencies over their roles during the crisis.

“Soldiers, policemen and other security agents deserve commendation, not condemnation, except, of course, their critics are saying they are not human beings and that their own rights do not matter.

“It is depressing and demoralizing to continue to vilify men and women in uniform, who themselves were victims of senseless violence unleashed by hoodlums.”

He said the government was satisfied with the roles of the military and the police during the crisis.

He added: “At this point, it is important to say that the Federal Government is very satisfied with the role played by the security agencies, especially the military and the police, all through the EndSARS crisis. The security agents were professional and measured in their response.

“Even when their lives were at stake, they exercised uncommon restraint. Their professionalism and measured response saved many lives and properties. For example, despite arresting hordes of looters during the violence in Lagos, the army treated them humanely and even counseled them before handing them over to the police.

“The same cannot be said of those who unleashed mayhem on the security agents, killing and maiming them, sometimes in such a barbaric manner that is unprecedented in these parts.”


Govt, ASUU talks raise hope of end to strike [THE NATION]

An end to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may be in sight.

The Federal Government on Thursday promised to “bend backwards” to meet ASUU’s demands “half-way”.

Both parties will meet today as talks to end the strike which began on March 23 continues.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, faulted comments by ASUU zonal coordinators, saying they should not be speaking for the union.

To him, the zonal coordinators were becoming a “nuisance”.

Ngige said: “We are meeting with their national leadership tomorrow (today) and those in the zones are advised that it is serious indiscipline to be talking on behalf of their national body.

“The zonal branches are becoming a nuisance with all their comments on matters that are being conciliated.

“All those zonal coordinators are attention seekers; we have no business with them. They are not the ones we are negotiating with. By organisation structure, they are not supposed to be talking.

“At our meeting tomorrow (today), the Federal Government will do everything possible to meet ASUU half-way.

“The government will bend backwards to see how we can accommodate their demands in areas that have almost been completed.”










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