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We Cannot Back Down By Omoyele Sowore

Sahara Reporters - 2 hours 8 min ago


Omoyele Sowore

Greatest Nigerian youth! Ever-resolute Nigerian comrades! Greatest Nigerian people!

Over the past few weeks we have made history in this potentially great country of ours, our much beloved but mindlessly betrayed Nigeria. In their organization, sense of purpose, energy and passion, the protests of these last few weeks have been unprecedented in the history of our Nigeria. Millions of youth, joined by older allies, took to the streets as well as social media to demand accountability from public officials and governments that have done nothing to shape a positive present and future for the young people of this country.

In a historic moment, Nigerians, mostly but not exclusively young, stood up to say enough is enough. You rose to fearlessly demand to take back your country. You stood stoutly and proudly to insist on your collective human rights. You raised stalwart voices to declare that Nigeria belongs to all of us, its citizens, not to the grubbing coterie often described as “stakeholders.”

Indeed, Nigeria is not the property of that thieving, visionless clique with fancy cars, private jets, and choice property in the country and elsewhere in the world. Nigeria does not belong to the self-aggrandizing ones who occupy the cozy spaces of Aso Rock, the National Assembly, or state houses. Nigeria is for Nigerians—for all Nigerians!

Omoyele Sowore

The clear signal from the events of the last few weeks is that the time for the Nigerian revolution is NOW close at hand.

The masses, workers and youths of Nigeria are the country’s most dynamic asset. Despite the abject failures of those who govern the country at state and federal levels, the Nigerian people have endured and survived. At great cost, they have worked to keep the ship of the Nigerian state from sinking. And now they have served notice, to their misleaders as well as the world, that the time for the Nigerian revolution has come.

General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and political leaders at the state level had a choice. They could have recognized the opportunity of this historical moment. They could have embraced the magnificent energies and vision demonstrated by the Nigerian youth as they made peaceful demands for change. They might have learned something from the protesters’ ability to organize effectively and in a truly democratic, non-hierarchical fashion. Instead, Mr. Buhari’s authoritarian government, in collaboration with various state governors, displayed their disdain for the vast majority of Nigerians. They demonstrated that Nigeria is far from a democracy, but rather a veritable military dictatorship clothed in civilian garb. The Nigerian state has shown its contempt for its much-abused citizenry, its intolerance for the exercise of democratic rights—especially the right of citizens to demand transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights. We are not—and we will not be—deterred.

We condemn the outrageous bloody clamp down on peaceful, unarmed protesters. We decry the unleashing of carnage on Nigerian citizens who were exercising their right to make demands for pro-people policies. To compound its criminality, the government has orchestrated a massive cover up of its gruesome assaults on law-abiding citizens.

Mr. Buhari’s decision not to recognize the rights of the peaceful protesters led to the breakdown of law and order. That decision ultimately resulted in needless loss of lives, serious injuries at the Lekki Toll Gate, and widespread destruction of property.

We assure the Nigerian regime that we are determined to identify and name each and every victim felled by its brutal tactics as well as the perpetrators of the crimes of murder, torture and inhuman treatments of our compatriots at these barricades! We will demand justice for each one! We will neither forget nor accept the atrocity of Nigerian streets overflowing with the blood of the Nigerian people. 

We do not struggle in isolation. We have learned from our brothers and sisters in the Sudan, Senegal and the United States that we must not relent in our struggle for our rights. Backing down is not an option. The time to organize and mobilize anew is now!

The time has come to expand the mass-based movement for change. Nigerians have shown their preparedness to disavow ethnic, religious or other forms of division. Instead, we are seizing the moment to work together across a variety of lines in order to build a movement that is truly pan-Nigerian in character and scope, fueled by demands for justice and social change, energized by the vision for a country that is for everyone, not for the parasitic few.

We must engage in mass political education. Nigerians must know their rights. Those who serve as police officers as well as in other uniformed services must realize that the era of rampant brutalization of citizens is gone.  Part of the revolutionary impetus is that citizens must grasp the political, economic and social systems that govern their lives. 

There is no question that the political parties have failed Nigerians, and that they are beyond redemption. It is clear that new alternatives are needed. Nigerians ought to collectively strategize and mobilize to take power and restore it to the Nigerian people. This is the time to reclaim Nigeria!

I urge all Nigerians not to be discouraged. Let us not relent. Our common enemies have acted like the bullies they are, but they have also acted out of deep anxiety. The exploitative system that has enabled them to oppress and dispossess Nigerians has been shaken—and is on the verge of collapse.

The time has come for Nigerians to retrieve their country from the hands of the greedy elite. There is no excuse for any Nigerian citizen to go without food, shelter, education and dignified work. The Nigerian military must return to their barracks and cease treating Nigerian people as enemy combatants. The Nigerian police are ripe for fundamental retraining and re-orientation to focus on the task of combating crimes rather than wreaking havoc on Nigerian citizens. 

The moment is here. It is time for Nigerians to join hands and be animated by the same purpose: to fight for our lives and envision a better future. The time for the Nigerian revolution is NOW!

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Omoyele Sowore Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Tell Nigerians Who Ordered Lekki Shootings, Prof Osundare Urges Buhari

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 3:06pm


Niyi Osundare

Poet-laureate, Prof Niyi Osundare, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to tell Nigerians the person, who ordered soldiers to kill some unarmed protesters in the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State on Tuesday.

Some youth across many states in the country have been protesting against police brutality and the excesses of men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Niyi Osundare

After the reported shooting of some of the protesters before the commencement of the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, several prominent Nigerians have been urging Buhari to address the nation.

The President’s address, which eventually came on Thursday night, generated attacks from Nigerians as he kept mum over the Lekki episode.

According to the PUNCH, Osundare spoke in a statement on Thursday titled, ‘President Buhari, Say Something’.

He said many saw Buhari’s silence on the matter as a sign of contempt while others said it was due to lack of concern.

Osundare said, “You have an urgent, even existential reason to prove them wrong. Tell us: who ordered the Lekki Massacre? Who oversaw its execution? What sanctions are you putting in place for those perpetrators? The Nigerian people are waiting to know. The whole wide world is waiting.”

#EndSARS Human Rights News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Governor Obaseki Extends Ultimatum, Gives Escaped Inmates One Week To Return

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 3:03pm


The Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has extended the ultimatum issued to inmates, who escaped from the Benin Medium Security Correctional Centre and Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre to return to the facilities by one week till Friday, October 30, 2020.

The governor had earlier given the fleeing inmates till Friday (today) to return.

In a statement on Friday by Obaseki’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, the extension by one week followed the positive response so far observed within the last few hours.

The statement reads, “The extension of the ultimatum is as a result of the positive response from the prisoners, as a good number of them have since returned to the two correctional facilities. The new window is to allow more prisoners to return to the centres willingly.

“The governor has reviewed the curfew time in the state to commence from 6pm to 6am daily, as against 4pm to 6am. The adjustment will take effect from Saturday, October 24, 2020. The security situation in the state is seen to be improving and we appreciate Edo people for adhering to government’s directives.”

News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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Blood, Tears, And Sorrow At Lekki All Hail The Young Martyrs Of Our Revolution By Achike Chude

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 2:59pm


ACHIKE CHUDE

And so they have done their worst. And their worst was to send the whole gamut of the instrument of war against our people, young men and women, who for the first time in their lives and the history of this country stood for their nation. Their sacrifice and blood will water the tree of Nigeria's liberty. They have not died in vain. For those in pain. Those who have been horrified that this murder of innocent young protesters could happen in a democracy, take heart. The blood of these Martyrs will reach the heavens in search of vengeance. That call will be answered bountifully.

If only the perpetrators understand what they have done and the consequences of this most heinous of actions. If only they understand that they have set off a chain reaction with an import so severe and debilitating to themselves. They will learn a lesson that man in the fullness of his arrogance has refused to learn - that no man or woman controls all the variables of life. The politicians and godfathers who took this action, the military commanders who gave the orders and the soldiers who pulled the triggers that snuffed the lives of these brave martyrs will learn that in this life and in the life to come they all will be held accountable and the consequences of their actions rendered fully.

Tribute to the new Nigerians - the young men and women we had thought lost who have suddenly found their way and mapped out a new direction for their beloved but much abused country.

ACHIKE CHUDE

Tribute to the young men and women who have today 20/10/20 at Lekki, Lagos, paid the ultimate price in service of their country. Their blood will be avenged multiple fold by the workings of the heavenly constellation in conjunction with the human elements.

Shame, shame, shame, to those who dare to call themselves political leaders in this country. All they have done is to continually bring derision and opprobrium to the entire people of Nigeria by their parochialism and kleptocracy. Graft and sleaze have been the hallmark of their 'service to the Fatherland' and their trademark has been the divisions they sow among Nigerians. They are a scourge to our nation.

Their cup will be full sooner than later.

Nigeria and Nigerians! We shall overcome.

Take heart and remain strong.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Achike Chude Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

#LekkiShootings: A Day Of Sorrow, Tears And Blood By Seun Awogbenle

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 2:57pm


Seun Awogbenle

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 will forever be remembered as the day the Nigerian flag was soaked in sorrow, tears and blood. It will remain a dark day in our nation’s history and the day tyranny, oppression and evil triumphed over good, patriotism and statesmanship!

Peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, were attacked in the most brutish, brutal and barbaric manner by armed men in military uniform, the ones the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has now described as forces directly beyond his control.

Seun Awogbenle

It will never make sense to me the reason for the violent crackdown on unarmed protesters, who had nothing but flags in their hands and songs of the national anthem in their mouth. The protesters were attacked, shot, injured and ultimately killed for demanding an end to police brutality, public accountability and a broader demand for good governance.

I was at the Lekki Toll gate on Saturday, four days before the dark Tuesday, I joined other young Nigerians united in our resolve and commitment for a better Nigeria to protest against police brutality and demand our right to life from a government that has consistently shown scant regard for the protection of human lives. At the protest on Saturday, we were all full of energy, passion, zest and vigour, little did we know of the horror and carnage to come in the days ahead.

While lives have already been lost, many injured and others broken, I think the most disappointing reaction amidst our national mourning, is the deafening silence of the man who should preside over this country, Muhammadu Buhari, more than 48 hours after the carnage struck, Buhari has neither provided explanation on who authorized the shootings or even offer soothing words of in this time of grief and sadness. By this action, the President has clearly shown a lack of empathy and compassion that is untenable and unbecoming of a leader.

Guess what? At a time Nigerians are asking questions and demanding answers and justice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s vice President, could only offer words of prayers, love and light as some may choose to call it. Astounding! Nigerians demand answers, not prayers! 

There are too many questions that the President must immediately answer, at whose behest was armed military men deployed to shoot live rounds at peaceful demonstrators, where are the men who shot the live rounds at unarmed protesters? Have they been arrested, when will they be prosecuted? Has the top military hierarchy been sanctioned?

I watched the shooting of the unarmed protesters like everyone else on the Instagram live of popular Nigerian DJ, songwriter and musician Obianuju Catherine Udeh (DJ Switch), at some point the number of people on the live was as much as 150,000 viewers. It was a very sad scene to see, live rounds were shot at innocent and defenceless citizens indiscriminately, a classic case of man’s inhumanity against man!

For starters, the deployment of armed military men to crackdown on peaceful protesters is unconstitutional, illegal and a gross abuse of executive power. We have consistently seen this wilful violation of the sanctity of our constitution again and again, it will never make sense, it is pure dictatorship, tyranny and oppression.

The right to peaceful protest and assembly is a fundamental right that is constitutionally guaranteed, citizens must never be intimidated, harassed or killed for expressing their rights, the government has a duty to protect protesters, not maim, injure or kill them. The excessive use of force on unarmed protesters is evil, wicked and inexcusable!

Our demands as young people are simple, a right to life, without being killed, the setting up of judicial panel of enquiry to investigate all atrocities committed by the now disbanded members of SARS in all the states, improved salary and welfare of police officers, justice and compensation for the families of those who have been killed by SARS officials. We believe these demands are not too much to ask from a government that we voted and elected into office.

I am particularly sad, and crestfallen by the lives that have been lost as a result of the protests, which is most fundamentally because the Nigerian Government has failed to provide protection for protesters as required by law. It is most atrocious that the government rather than protect protesters would rather deploy the military to attack unarmed protesters for demanding public accountability. Are we now in a military state?

My heart is with the families of those who have lost their lives, while praying that God rest the soul of our departed heroes. We will continue to remember them for their bravery and gallantry, in the face of oppression and tyranny. We will continue to honour their memories by recommitting ourselves to the fight for a better Nigeria, their stories will through us!

We will never forget 20.10.20, it will forever be remembered as the day the Nigerian flag was soaked in sorrow, tears and blood.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Seun Awogbenle Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Call Me A Poet By Evans Ufeli

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 2:48pm


Call me a poet,

When the cock crows.

One who will scribble this stories on the parchment of remembrance,

From the edge of our country homes,

At the pasture of our livid experiences,

How our feet were soaked in the blood of our sores.

And we crawled on the rough road,

With bullets sprinkled on our thighs

 

Call me a poet,

Who knows how we came down,

As the generation whose bloodlines lingers on the echoes of anguish, leaving footsteps of blood on the farlon threshold.

Killed by the day, robbed by night,

And jailed at forenoon.

 

Call me a poet,

SARS! Mean. Fierce. Blood!

When they took our lives, like it's theirs, our blood like their wine

We wailed to the high heavens. Stained in the sins of the state,

The transgressions of the sovereign,

And the genocide of a country ungoverned.

On this space we called up the future,

Walking on the sinister trademark of state forces.

 

Call me a poet,

To reach out to Adofi Etua,

Today is our day of recompense,

From these graves of our confidante,

We march into your reckless souls,

Drowning you in the evil of your tempest,

Camping around the shadows of our grievances to pour out pain to the deaf throne of your iniquities. .

Where you drag us to the dangling portion of your greed.

 

Call me a poet,

To take back our cowries,

From the Lekki gate of blood,

Where our struggle was stolen by the sovereign,

Whose unknown soldiers cracked up our fortitude, leaving our resolve stronger.

 

Call me a poet,

To take these lessons,

Before I go to Rabbi to bring back the ark of prescience.

Nnasu is propelled to roast these inordinate charlatans,

Who delude the prognosis of our redressive allegiance and will our sacred entrails to the sand of hate.

Call me a poet!

 

Evans Ufeli Esq

© 2020

October.

POETRY AddThis :  Original Author :  Evans Ufeli Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

EndSARS Protests: When Will Buhari And Sanwo-Olu Order Military To Gun Down Their Children By Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 2:41pm


Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

It looked like a child’s play in the eyes of the vagabonds in power. The proclamation roared over and triggered the atmosphere by Nigerians, that the freedom we all waited to witness had arrived.

Unfortunately democracy does not exist in Nigeria after 60 years of independence. A failed country with unfortunate political office holders; the blood of all the innocent people shall hunt all of them as they ordered for the removal of CCTV cameras at the toll gate and switched off the lights.

Nigeria is a contraption, a country where our constitutional rights have been violated and deprived us of justice. A country where people who swore oaths to defend and protect its citizens are the same people that gave orders to kill Nigerians.

Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed

A King who ushered in peace will never be forgotten and the one who brought in turmoil and desolation like General Muhammadu Buhari is doing presently by giving an order to gun down unarmed protesters, will also be remembered.

General Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on the matter in his toxic national broadcast proved he is complicit. Human lives matter nothing to him especially because he is confident that his children are in a safe place where no harm can touch them, that is why he was not bothered to address Nigerians in first place, or because it wasn't Miyetti Allah cows that were killed.

Nigeria has suffered a lot in the hands of this wicked government under General Buhari’s watch. What happened at the Lekki Toll Gate is a genocide and a planned work orchestrated by Buhari and Sanwo-Olu. The bullet that killed the innocent people will hunt you, for the law of karma is inevitable.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The children of nobody are the target audience during any protest, the government officials sponsored thugs to disrupt a peaceful protest and blamed the protesters. The Buhari government has bred more evils and unchained their devils to go after people who are agitating for good governance.

The Senate and reps should as a matter of urgency pass a vote of no confidence on the General, and ask him to resign honorably or get impeached. Right now, Nigeria is bleeding seriously, and we are already sitting on a keg of gunpowder. If not managed well, Nigeria will explode within the blink of an eye.

The current situation in our country and the insulting speech of General Buhari show clearly that Nigeria has no president or leader at any level. There is temptation and confusion all over the country as government-hired hoodlums destroy properties.

When the pot was cooking yams, no one heard; not until the yams got into the mortar to be pounded that noise broke out. General Buhari was deaf to listen to people’s requests. Those who ordered the killings of unarmed protesters in Nigeria will not survive this at the end of the day.

Hong Kong protested for two years without killing any of its citizens. Here in Nigeria, the peaceful protests are not up to a month, yet we have lost many lives and properties. And some people who gave orders to kill the protesters claimed to be the father of all democracy.

We plead and urge all the foreign countries to place permanent visa bans on all Nigeria politicians who have committed crimes against humanity, including their children and wives. Their families residing abroad should be repatriated to Nigeria immediately.

These politicians have ripped us off both front and back, the hardship and hunger in the land is unbearable.

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

What Next For PWDs As Government Excludes Them From COVID-19 Intervention Programme

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 2:25pm


The outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria like in other countries, brought the nation to its knees as all sectors of the country were halted. From agriculture to economy down to sports, the outbreak of the pandemic continues to affect every single person but in different ways.

As the effect of the virus bites hard, the government stepped in to cushion the effect by providing palliatives to citizens.

The Nigerian Government claimed to have spent billions of naira in palliatives distribution across the country. Despite this spending by the government, People with Disabilities have continued to lament their non-inclusion in the programmes as well as not carrying them along in the post-COVID-19 plans and information.

Assessing the palliatives programme, a joint report by civil societies revealed that the aid was hijacked and diverted by politicians.

A survey was carried out across Lagos State and one of the respondents of the survey claimed that a lot of the palliatives came from the NGOs, private organisations and individuals and they are more than what the government shared.

Recounting how they were affected by the virus, PWDs said despite being the most vulnerable to the outbreak, they did not receive any help from the government.

Ada, a special needs lady, said she had to rely on help from family members during the lockdown to survive.

She said, “Several measures have been taken since the outbreak of the virus but less consideration was given to us as people with disabilities and we are the most vulnerable in the society.

“While I could not go to my work and had no money coming in, I had to rely on assistance from family and friends.

“The government said they shared food materials but we only heard about them in the media.”

Lanre, a resident of Ketu, a Lagos suburb, who works as a cobbler despite his disability, said patronage dropped significantly, forcing him to to close his shop till the government fully opened the economy.

He said, “When I did not get palliative from the government, I was relying on the money I had saved.

“When it finished, I went to open my shop but nobody patronised me for about a month and had to close it until now that everybody is coming out.

“During that period of lockdown, feeding and paying bills was hell for me because I do not have anybody to meet for assistance and my family had to eat.”

Condemning the palliatives distribution process, CSOs in the country noted that the major problem was the inequality in the distribution of the relief materials.

CSOs noted that some clusters got more than others while the government ignored the PWD clusters.

“There were problems of distribution as some clusters got more packs than others, and the whole process became chaotic.

“There was the issue of coordinating with the PWDs. A better result would have been obtained, if there had been a relationship with the Joint National Association of Persons with disabilities, and Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs.

“Identifying who to give the palliative would have been easier if the synergy was there, synergy was clearly absent,” the CSOs said.

Suggesting the way forward on inclusivity and engagement with PWDs, President, Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of Nigeria, Mrs Joko Dawodu Omotola, said while the neglect by the government could not be described as deliberate, it should immediately move to ensure PWDs were well catered for even beyond COVID-19.

She stated that 50 PWDs from clusters were able to get support from private individuals and non-governmental organisations.

She said, “The Lagos state government was looking for ways to alleviate the sufferings of the people so what they did was to quickly give palliative but was not properly planned because I don’t expect the state to want people with disabilities to struggle with the other set of people in getting palliative.

“For stabilization, financial support is needed. Aside from finances, needs of the clusters are being considered, we have advocate groups with intellectual disabilities and there are so many in our clusters that have severe conditions that parents need to stay and sit with them before they can eat and do anything.

“It is sad to say that we are the most neglected but we have been trying to create awareness and as soon as COVID-19 is over, we can then swing into action.”

She also urged the government to push for a balance in matters concerning PWDs, adding that the government should include PWDs in its social intervention programme.

Omotola advised all state and local governments to replicate the establishment of PWD commission by creating functional offices that should be manned by the different PWD clusters at their levels to deal with the challenges facing the PWDs effectively.

Similarly, Dr Adebukola Adebayo, Chairman, JONAPWD Lagos State Chapter and Disability and Inclusive Development consultant, stressed the need for the government to give economic packages for minor and major businesses, individuals and organizations.

He added that the system has to be put in place for disability inclusion which should be by defaults from the government.

Adebayo said, “In the case of children with disabilities, does the government have the knowledge or understanding of how to cope with these children or are they building capacity for staff but as the case may be?

“I have not seen any interventions to strengthen the capacity of government officials on how to include the disabled in their interventions.

“Secondly, CBN came with an intervention to support small and medium scale enterprises in order to get their business back on tracks. There have to be lots of supportive systems from the government to buy into the products produced by the PWD’s and also to access the market easily.”

Adebayo also urged CSOs to find a way to get people's support whether the government was inclusive or not.

He added that when the government fails to carry out its responsibilities, CSOs and private organisations should fill in the gap by calling the government to its responsibilities or approaching private individuals who will be willing to assist PWDs clusters in the country.

This report was done with the support of the Internews

PUBLIC HEALTH News Reports AddThis :  Original Author :  Oyetunde Tobi Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

CSOs Condemn Growing Calls For Passage Of Social Media Bill In Nigeria

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 12:47pm


About 15 civil society organisations have decried the growing calls by different individuals and government affiliates for the passage of the social media bill in Nigeria by the National Assembly.

The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill better known as Social Media Bill prescribes sanction for abuse of social media.

It was sponsored by Muhammad Musa representing Niger East senatorial district.

The CSOs, in a statement, argued that the overwhelming demand for police reform in Nigeria was a product of government’s insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians and any attempt to pass the social media bill will only further agitate the polity and widen the distrust of Nigerians towards the government. 

They called on the Senate to reject the bill.

The statement reads, “We have watched with dismay the growing demand from different individuals and government affiliates following the crucial role the social media has played in the recent EndSARS protest, that the social media bill should be quickly passed by the National Assembly. 

“The coordination and consistency of this obnoxious demand, especially at a time when Nigerians have been very vocal against police brutality and are demanding a better Nigerian police institution through the social media, has compelled us to immediately decry such demand as insensitive, retrogressive and anti-democracy. 

“The overwhelming demand for police reform in Nigeria today is a product of government’s insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians for a very long time. In the same way, any attempt to pass the social media bill will only further agitate the polity and widen the distrust of Nigerians towards the government. 

“Considering recent events in the country, particularly the escalation of violence against peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos, and other parts of the country, it has become extremely important for the Nigerian Government to demonstrate its commitment to accountability to the people; and the social media remains a very crucial platform where citizens can lead such conversation. 

“In addition, recent developments in the country proves that the social media is playing an invaluable role in deepening Nigeria’s democracy and promoting citizens’ demand for accountability, hence; a very important thing that government must do at this time is to ensure that any conversation about restricting digital freedom or freedom of speech is sharply considered a threat to Nigerians and Nigeria’s civic space.

“It is our hope, therefore, that the National Assembly would take the lead in demonstrating government’s commitment to the Nigerian people in these trying times, and kill the social media bill once and for all, and make sure that a more democratic approach is employed to deal with fake news in the country.”

Free Speech Politics News AddThis :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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I JUST HOPE, A Note To Nigerian Youth By Olorunfemi Adeyeye

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 12:39pm


Femi Adeyeye

Are you confused at the moment? Weak? Hearts shattered? 

I want to tell you that you are not alone. It’s understandable and permissible. You feel less patriotic? No. You are a patriot; a brave one at that. You are not a coward for feeling broken at the moment. The cowards are the ones who can not own up to their evil deeds in broad daylight. 

I only hope you now agree that the goal is bigger. The state and system you are fighting, brutal. The rots, deeper. That our demands should be radical and strategy, wider. 

I hope you now know it’s way beyond electing a “good person”. It’s about electing a good political/socio-economic system that would prun even the worst of us. I hope you know that a government that can clamp down on young protestors to the point of killing them gruesomely, would do worse during elections just to remain in power. 

I hope you now know your enemies. I hope you won’t forget how you showed to the World, through organizing the protests, that transparency and accountability should be the hallmarks of governance. I hope you take these everywhere you go to. 

I hope you now know that you don’t have to talk tough to be killed by the state. The State can kill you for merely sitting on the floor dumb, if your sitting on the floor threatens their business empire. The flag and national anthem mean nothing to them. There is no sense of nationhood in the State. It’s all kleptohood. 

Femi Adeyeye

I hope you now know that the state would do all to protect its business interests. Kill and spin narratives. None of them, across all tribes, has resigned out of shame or even out of a sense of humanness. I hope you won’t forget how they control the media reportage. 

I hope you won’t forget how your oppressors prefer spending billions to quench your thirst for freedom, to acceding to your genuine demands. I hope you now know that they are afraid of you and your unity. 

I sincerely hope you won’t cheer your oppressors and invite them to public/convocation lectures, except to stone them. It’s not violence. It’s called resistance. 

I hope you will boycott their meetings if they would be bold to call any, even through their proxies. 

I strongly hope you won’t walk past your fellow oppressed when he’s being brutalized by any state agent. 

I hope you won’t forget these lessons as we forge ahead. 

Above all, I hope you now know that when you fight, you may win. But when you don’t, you have already lost. 

Comrades. It’s a marathon but we can get there fast. Take a deep breath. Lace your boots. We move!

#EndSARS #RevolutionNow 

Opinion AddThis :  Original Author :  Olorunfemi Adeyeye Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

European Parliament Endorses Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Job

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 11:01am


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union, has endorsed Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Sven Simon, member of the European Parliament, in a tweet announced the decision of the parliament after a discussion with Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea’s candidate for WTO job.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

So far, 79 out of the 164 states that comprise the WTO have endorsed Nigeria’s first female finance and foreign minister for the job.

They urged the European Union to express support for the candidacy of the former World Bank director.

He said, “On 19 October, the EP’s Steering Group of the Parliamentary Conference on the World Trade Organisation organised exchanges of views with the two remaining candidates for the role of Director-General of the WTO.

“On this occasion, both candidates gave us an extensive account of their plans for the future of the organisation and the approach they would choose in order to deal with the crises that are currently threatening the multilateral trading system.

“Both candidates are extremely experienced, well qualified and knowledgeable, and have their own clear visions for the WTO’s future and priorities, and the Director-General’s role in shaping it, as well concerning the important role for parliamentarians in that future.

“During the discussions, we appreciated, in particular, the vision that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala presented for tackling the substantial challenges the organisation is facing.

“Her assessment of the existing problems of the organisation revealed a deep understanding of the fault lines dividing the WTO’s membership.” 

I am pleased to announce, that the @Europarl_EN is endorsing @NOIweala as the Director-General of the @WTO. After our joint hearing on Monday we are convinced by her vision for the future of multilateralism and advise WTO members to support her bid. pic.twitter.com/7MplMi3Szs

— Sven Simon MEP 🇪🇺🇩🇪 (@svensimon) October 21, 2020

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Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu, Relaxes Curfew

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 10:49am


Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has relaxed the curfew imposed in the state with effect from Saturday, October 24.

He made the statement during a briefing on Friday after the inspection of damage across some facilities in the state.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

The governor said from Saturday, people will be allowed to go out from 8:00am till 6:00pm.

He said the situation will be reviewed on Monday.

The governor said the level of destruction recorded in the last few days was unprecedented in the history of the state.

The Lagos State Government had imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state on Tuesday as part of efforts to curb rising tensions from the #EndSARS protests.

However, the situation worsened when unarmed protesters, who gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate area were shot by personnel of the Nigerian Arm

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Journalist Arrested On Orders Of Nigerian Minister Still In Detention 13 Days After

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 9:19am


Tom Oga

Tom Oga, a journalist and Publisher of Power Steering Magazine, is languishing in the detention of the Nigeria Police Force 13 days after his arrest without trial.

Oga was arrested on October 13, 2020 at about 5pm by operatives of the Nigeria Police Force led by CSP Ibrahim, detectives Usman, Daniel and Elijah on the instructions of Jeddy Agba, Minister of State for Power, over an allegation of defamation.

Tom Oga

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Oga, 73 years old, has not been allowed access to his lawyers in the past days, fuelling anxieties about his health.

Agba, a former Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Matketing Division of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company before becoming a minister, was irked by a particular report by Power Steering Magazine linking him to a crude oil fraud.

Colleagues of the detained journalist and the umbrella association of journalists, the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Abuja, have made repeated attempts to intervene in the matter without success.

Oga's lawyers, Alexander Oketa and Evans Odeh, said reliable sureties had been presented to the police to secure the conditional bail of their client but despite meeting up with the demands, police are yet to release him.

Speaking with SaharaReporters, Oketa said, "We were granted access to him for the first and second day only. Afterwards, police haven't allowed us access to our client. 

"The bail condition was onerous but we were able to provide the surety. Despite that, the police are yet to release him. One of the policemen confided in him that my client would not be released on bail."

Dan Ekah, a media consultant to Power Steering Magazine, in a statement said, "On the register at the Force CIID cell, there is no trace of his name. This meant that anything could have happened to him in these 10 days he has been in police custody and the police would have neatly denied he was in their custody."

Oga's unlawful detention without trial is coming at a period Nigerians are clamouring against police brutality and state repression.

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Normalcy Returns Gradually To Akure As Security Operatives Patrol Major Streets

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 9:07am





Normalcy is gradually returning to Akure, the Ondo State capital, as security operatives patrol major streets of the city after violence erupted following days of peaceful protests across the country.

SaharaReporters observed some youth clearing debris left behind on major sections of the city caused by the destruction of public properties. 

Despite the 24-hour indefinite curfew imposed by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, residents of the state are beginning to move around in order to attend to various needs.

Youths in Akure have warned thugs taking advantage of the #EndSARS protest to perpetrate evil and destruction to stay away from the city. 

They also called on the federal and state governments to look into the agitations of the youth demanding an end to bad governance and high cost of living. 

Mr Adekambi Oluwatuyi, President of Akure Youth Coalition, said they will not allow thugs take advantage of the situation under any guise. 

He said, "The genuine intentions of the peaceful protesters should be guided against being hijacked by hoodlums for their self-seeking political agenda. 

"The peace enjoyed by residents of Akure and environs is an asset we treasure. 

"Any youth who avail himself to be used as an object of destruction to threaten this asset is an enemy of the city and will be treated as such going forward."

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Nigerian Journalist Wins 2020 African Fact-check Award

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 7:17am


Taiwo Adebulu

Taiwo Adebulu, a Nigerian journalist, has won the 2020 African Fact-check Award.  

His story "FACT CHECK: Nigeria told UN that 7 varsities run strictly on renewable energy, but is this true?" was rated as the best among 192 entries from 27 countries across the continent.

Adebulu, a reporter with TheCable, an online newspaper, had investigated how Nigeria's Minister of Environment, Mohammed Mahmood, had grossly misinformed the United Nations at its Climate Action Summit in 2019.

Taiwo Adebulu

In a ceremony on Thursday as part of the virtual African Investigative Journalism Conference, Africa Check, organisers of the competition, said the impressive entries submitted for the 2020 award showed the growing and vibrant practice of fact-checking on the continent.

“In what has been a year like no other, we’ve received the highest number of entries in the history of the African Fact-Checking Awards: 192 entries from 27 countries across Africa.

“We’ve gone from strength to strength since our inaugural awards in 2014, when we had about 40 entries from 10 countries. This growth can only be a wonderful advertisement for the growing and vibrant practice of fact-checking on the continent,” the organisers said.

Adebulu, who holds a Master’s in Communication Arts from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, is also a recipient of the 2020 BudgIT/Civic Hive Media Fellowship.

In 2017, Adebulu won the Sustainable Development Goals category of the Zimeo Excellence in Media Award in Ethiopia. 

He was a finalist for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Journalism 2018 and recently won the 2020 PwC Media Excellence Award.

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A Civilian Despot And A Nation In Ruins - #EndSARS Movement In Autocratic Democracy By Ken Eneduwa

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 7:08am


Ken Eneduwa

20th October, 2020 was a day of horror in Nigeria. Well-meaning, harmless protesting Nigerians were reported to have been injured and killed by the Nigerian Government in the most reckless and senseless manner at the Lekki Toll Gate. This is happening in a nation that claimed to practice democracy. This is genocide against the Nigerian people and President Buhari must be held accountable. We should be calling for General Muhammad Buhari's head on a platter for the extra-judicial killings of innocent, peaceful protesters. 

There is no other justification to establish that returning Muhammadu Buhari, a bloodsucking demon as Nigerian President in 2019 was a huge mistake. This is a man who in his first tenure showed clear disdain for the nation's constitution, an Islamic fundamentalist, tribal bigot and wicked soul who do not care about the people. 

In the prelude to the 2015 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari issued an ominous threat that “the blood of dogs and baboons" would be shed if he lost at the poll again, having previously tried unsuccessfully three times to become the civilian president of a democratic Nigeria he had spent his military career thwarting. 

There were already portends in the atmosphere that another loss by Nigeria's former military head of state would usher in a nationwide spate of violence emanating prominently from the core north where he held and enjoyed a cult follower-ship, especially amongst violence-prone extremist groups such as Boko Haram who once picked him as their spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan's government, and who he, Buhari, severally described as “our aggrieved brothers". Sadly, majority of us allowed such a candidate with an unrepentant loathing for democracy and a support base drawn from extremist groups find his way to the ballot and eventually win same in 2015 is evidence of how desperate politics is the bane of true democracy in Nigeria, and Africa as a whole. 

General Buhari's victory at the polls in 2015, and again in 2019 refereed by a highly compromised electoral body, would go on to usher the country into one of its most divisive eras, rising bad debts, state-sponsored terrorism through extra-judicial killings and the entrenchment of bigotry and nepotism in the country's national life. As difficult as it is to believe that a civilian president could out-perform former military heads of states, including himself, in corruption, political assassinations, terrorism and, government-led pilfering of the national treasury, General Buhari truly has ripped Nigeria and Nigerians of what little gains have been made in its democratic experiment. 

Ken Eneduwa

In the north, lives have become mere statistics. Daily reports keep overwhelming media coverage as bandits, extremist groups and Fulani herdsmen carry out ethno-religious cleansing without restrain or caution from their kin, Muhammadu Buhari- Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief of all security apparatus of state. While the maurading Fulani herdsmen have gained international notoriety and have been ranked on Terrorism Index as the fourth most dangerous terrorist group in the world, they’ve continued to be feted by General Muhammadu Buhari who attempted through an Executive Bill to snatch people’s farms and lands to give to his kinsmen under the guise of a scheme called “Cattle Colony”, later modified to RUGA – Rural Grazing Area. However, note that “RUGA" is in fact a Fulani word that means “human settlement”. General Muhammadu Buhari’s scheme was therefore to use legislative espionage to claim people’s ancestral lands and homes to satisfy the expansionist desires of his nomadic kith. 

The north-east especially continues to be ravaged by the criminal activities of Boko Haram, an insurgent group General Buhari has severally defended, and as President, has offered so much money in the form of unjustifiable ransoms. Nigerian soldiers have mutinied several times alleging internal sabotage within the military. Some of those bold enough to confront this reality, mostly of southern extraction, are either court-martialled or are curiously lost in battle from ‘friendly fire’. General Muhammadu Buhari's military twice bombed IDP camps, later claiming both instances to be errors yet failing to prosecute those who’s alleged error caused the lives of several refugee children, men and women. In fact, General Buhari’s failure to relieve his underperforming Service Chiefs has led to the conclusion that he is more concerned with regime protection than he is with successfully prosecuting the war against insurgency in Nigeria. This notion was again tested and found true in the wake of unravelling police brutality in Nigeria enabled by the tacit support of the agency’s hierarchy at the behest of General Muhammadu Buhari and his oligarch cronies. 

The #ENDSARS momentum presented a rare opportunity for General Buhari to acquit himself of public suspicions as a blood-thirsty ruler but was squandered away as those who came out to protest against police brutality have equally been brutalized and some, fatally so. At the time of writing this, at least twenty persons have lost their lives and over one-hundred cars burnt completely as rogue police officers and thugs sympathetic to General Muhammadu Buhari have been on a killing and maiming rampage all over the country. There are several videos on various platforms on social media showing men, allegedly from the Department of State Service, as well as those of the Nigerian Police Force directly coordinating the attacks on peaceful protesters in the Federal Capital Territory. Buhari's Hausa/Hausa miscreants left to roam about the city baying for blood. There is no doubt that the peaceful protests all over were sabotaged by rage state security with approval from the presidency. 

While the nation is scorched by the cruelty of its police officers and state-sponsored thugs, General Buhari has remained aloof, refraining from taking charge to restore peace and order. He only deigned to address Nigerians through a pre-recorded speech where he rambled incoherently through a litany of false promises intended to temporarily assuage public concerns while failing to address the root causes for the peaceful protests and demonstrations nationwide. Offering the voice of Jacob but dealing the hands of Esau, General Muhammadu Buhari, during the #ENDSARS protests, have only further cemented his reputation as an autocratic brute with an aversion to truth, peace and order. In his supposedly live broadcast to the nation, no regards or mention of the fallen heroa of this currently struggle. 

General Buhari's divisive politics and general incompetence, in the following years, may be the last straw to break the back of Nigeria’s thread-hanging Republic, sending down the path of a bloodier Civil War or outright fragmentation of its parts along ethno-religious lines. 

The man who once threatened that “the blood of dogs and baboons” would be shed is living up to his words by letting the nation burn while he sits in opulence and safety in unminding of his sworn oath to protect the lives of the citizens of Nigeria. The man who once cried on national television begging to be voted in before resorting to open threats of violence is today basking in fateful victory while un-looking as the seams of a fragile democracy are unbundling under his heavy handedness. The same man who became the only military Head of State to subvert a civilian government when he overthrew President Shehu Shagari through a military coup in 1983, is today disrupting the democratic gains of the world’s most populous black nation through brute force and an affront on the nation’s rule of law. Nigerians must put aside their differences and arise to the challenge of protecting Nigeria from Buhari's violent incompetence. The man is in 2020 as he was in 1983, an albatross of evil and destruction, lacking of integrity and wilfully petulant to lawful processes.

Buhari must be prevented from frittering away the remnants of the soul of Nigeria. There is a clarion call today to #ENDBADLEADERSHIP carried along in the spirit of the #ENDSARS protest. 

My heart bleeds, the bloodshed is enough. Ask yourself, what would Buhari be rememebred for apart from HARDSHIP, SORROW, TEARS and BLOOD? 

It is time for the bloodsucking demon called Buhari to go. I would have suggested he does the honourable thing by throwing in the towel in order to save what is left of his person for his retirement, but then I realized the vampire of a man has no honour in him.

Buhari MUST go, NOW! 

We must join hands to make this demand of the young generation a success to signal a new era in Nigeria.

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Mob Sets Fire To Shuttle Buses In Ondo Community

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 5:00am





An angry mob has burnt all shuttle buses parked within the premises of the Okitipupa Local Government Secretariat in Ondo State 

The buses are used for transporting pupils and students to schools in Ondo. 

The mob had earlier destroyed the local government office and set it on fire before doing the same to the buses.

"It is heavy destruction in the Okitipupa. The youth are angry and their agitations were hijacked by hoodlums to perpetrate this evil act. 

"They had earlier burnt down a whole police station and even the local government office was not spared as they set it on fire. 

"They also razed a high vourt and we are seeing the burning of shuttle buses among other properties. This is too sad," one resident, Mrs Bisi, told SaharaReporters. 

An official of the local council disclosed that law enforcement agents have been invited to access the level of destruction.

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Nigerian Army Arrests Soldier Who Asked Colleagues Not To Kill #EndSARS Protesters

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 4:36am


The Nigerian Army has arrested Lance Corporal Harrison Friday, who advised his colleagues not to attack #EndSARS protesters, a report by Premium Times said.

In the video uploaded last week, the soldier, who was wearing a mask, had asked his colleagues to understand that the protesters were fighting for a better Nigeria and must be supported by all citizens including the military.

Thousands of Nigerians have been protesting nationwide for the past two weeks to demand comprehensive police reform and more broadly, better governance.

Friday said in the video that he had intelligence reports military troops might soon be deployed to end the demonstrations.

“My advice goes to every fellow soldier, you guys should not be fooled or used, we are the youths. The fight of every civilian is our fight. My advice goes to the new people in the system, I’m talking about 19 and 20 NA. For this struggle they will deploy you. I’m hearing rumours that want to deploy some soldiers to scare the protesters.

“Remember, if you people are deployed, if you take an unlawful order and your fire and you fire a civilian, people you are firing – remember the bullet may go and hit your brother or your sister. 

"Remember that the fighting that these people are fighting is our fight. If Nigeria is ok, nobody will fly out of the country. Soldiers have run away from this job, some to Dubai, seeking for greener pastures. If every soldier is well paid, every civilian is well paid. Nobody will leave the country,” he said in a video where he wore a mask.

However, the army said the soldier had been hiding “behind the mask to commit cyber crimes”.

In a tweet accompanied by the soldier’s pictures on Wednesday, the army said his arrest was part of operation “Crocodile Smile”.

“The hooded soldier hiding behind the mask to commit cybercrime has been apprehended in the ongoing cyber  operation in support of Crocodile Smile VI. Rest assured, cyber criminals have no hiding place,” the tweet read.

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Buhari Meets Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gowon, Others Amid #EndSARS Protests

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 4:11am


President Muhammadu Buhari is currently hosting a virtual meeting with some former Nigerian leaders including Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Ernest Shonekan and General Yakubu Gowon.

Although details of the meeting, which was ongoing at the time of this report, were not disclosed, it is believed to relate to the #EndSARS protest for police reform and the violence that had resulted from it.

While Buhari is presiding from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the former leaders are participating virtually.

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno(Rtd) are also attending the meeting.

Security chiefs including Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai, are also present.

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Troops Take Over Oyigbo As Mob Wreaks Havoc In Rivers Community

Sahara Reporters - 23 October 2020 - 4:04am


Troops of the Nigerian Army and some policemen have taken over the Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State following fresh mob attacks in the area.

The state Police Command had said members of the Indigenous People of Biafra were responsible for killing two of its operatives and burning of two police stations in the area on Wednesday.

According to PUNCH, gunshots rent the area from Thursday night till Friday morning as soldiers repelled the hoodlums but there were still flashes of violence in Oyigbo.

Governor Nyesom Wike had placed a 24-hour curfew on the local government but residents said they could not sleep because of the shootings.

Chairman of Oyigbo LGA, Gerald Aforji, while reacting to the incident on Friday morning, said soldiers had intervened to restore calm in the area.

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