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Nigerian House Of Reps Demands Apology From Britain On Gowon’s Looting Allegation

1 December 2020 - 11:24am

The House of Representatives has resolved to invite the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, over the “unsubstantiated” claim by a member of the United Kingdom parliament that Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria’s former Head of State, looted the public treasury.

At Tuesday’s plenary session, the lawmakers also delegated its Foreign Affairs Committee to investigate the claim while stepping down some prayers sought in a motion on the matter.

The lawmakers questioned why the British government has not issued an apology over the parliamentarian outburst.

The resolution of the House followed a motion from a lawmaker, Yusuf Gagdi, who is from the same constituency as Gowon.

The House agreed that the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, should write to the speaker of the UK parliament to express displeasure over the unfounded allegations.

The Nigerian lawmakers also agreed that the letter should demand that the UK parliamentarian who made the allegation offer a public apology to Gowon, as well as the people and government of Nigeria.

Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, had accused Gowon of looting half of Nigeria’s Central Bank when he left office.

Speaking at the parliament’s recent debate on the #EndSARS protest, Tugendhat said: “Some people will remember when General Gowon left Nigeria with half of the Central Bank, so it is said, and moved to London.”

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"My Police Husband Harasses Me With Gun, He's Irresponsible"—Wife Tells Court To Dissolve Marriage

1 December 2020 - 11:19am

A woman, Iyabo Donald, has petitioned a Customary Court in Mapo, Ibadan, to dissolve her six-year-old marriage to her estranged police officer husband, Richard, who treated her like a criminal.

She said in a statement before the court’s president, Chief Ademola Odunade, that fear and panic had only characterised her matrimonial period with him.

Iyabo said, “My lord, it is usually one day, one trouble with me in Richard’s home because he tortures me like a common criminal. If I go out or do anything, he is not happy.

“He tracks me around the house with his gun and even locks me out at midnight with our two children.

“Besides, Richard monitors my movements in town. Worst still, he is such an irresponsible man because he neither caters for the children nor I.”

While validating Iyabo’s statement, her mother begged the court to act fast as Richard could kill her daughter if the marriage were not dissolved.

Iyabo’s mother said in her statement, “I can’t count how many times I have settled quarrels between them and on each occasion, Richard went back home to unleash mayhem on her.” 

Meanwhile, Richard, though admitted he was guilty of the charges, but promised to turn a new leaf, thereby objecting to the suit against him. He prayed the court to save his marriage.

Odunade, in his ruling, pronounced the marriage dissolved in the interest of peace. He also awarded custody of their two children from the wedding to the petitioner, Iyabo. He asked the defendant, Richard, to pay a sum of N10,000 as their monthly feeding allowance, including funding their education and welfare.

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Police Lack Sophisticated Weapons To Tackle Insecurity—Police Service Commission

1 December 2020 - 9:10am

The Police Service Commission has said that the police lack adequate and sophisticated weapons to tackle the security challenges in the country.

Reacting to the brutal killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State by the Boko Haram terrorists, a member of the Police Service Commission, Austin Braimoh, said in a Television programme in Abuja on Tuesday, that the onslaught would be forestalled if the police had lethal ammunition to face the insurgents. 

“We do not have the required armoury to face internal insurrection,” Braimoh said. “Like what is happening in Borno State, you will agree with me that the police are the number one institution that is supposed to be on the ground to maintain peace. By the time the military liberates the territory, we are supposed to have a strong police presence in that environment.

“The unfortunate development of the slaughter of over 43 innocent farmers may have been averted if we had the right presence of policemen in that place. The spokesman of the president, while defending what happened yesterday, alluded to the fact that when these farmers go into the field, they usually enlist the services of the Civilian Joint Task Force.

“The Civilian JTF go before them, give them some level of protection from these insurgents, and when they close, they also escort them.”

Braimoh, a commissioner in the PSC Board, also talked about the importance of the government to fund the police, as well as annual recruitment to fortify the workforce that will combat insecurity.

“If we keep bringing 10,000 men on board every year, we will certainly get to the required number,” he said.

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Senate Confirms Yakubu As INEC Chairman

1 December 2020 - 7:58am

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the second term of five years.

This comes five days after the Senate Committee on INEC  screened Yakubu following his nomination for appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The senators, who spoke before his confirmation, described him as highly qualified for the job.

Yakubu was first appointed INEC chairman in November 2015, taking over from Attahiru Jega, who supervised the 2015 general election.

See Also Sahara Reporters EXPOSED: How INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Allegedly Paid N3bn To Secure Reappointment 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

PHOTONEWS: Former @INECnigeria Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Engages In Rent-a-crowd To Boost His Screening At Nigerian Senate With A Fake Group - There Is No Group Known As “All Political Parties” In Nigeria

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) November 27, 2020

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African Action Congress Kicks Against Baseless Prosecution Of Sowore

1 December 2020 - 7:51am

Omoyele Sowore

The African Action Congress has expressed its dissatisfaction with the trumped-up charges and trial of its national chairman, Omoyele Sowore, and another associate, Olawale Adebayo, by the Nigerian government.

AAC on Tuesday expressed disappointment with the bogus charges and persecution of the duo by the government for demanding good governance.

Omoyele Sowore

The party warned that it would embark on solidarity march to the Federal High Court in Abuja while demanding that all baseless charges against Sowore and Adebayo be dropped.

Sowore @YeleSowore is the national Chairman of @aacparty & has been actively involved in Nigeria's democracy for over 3 decades as an activist of repute. In August 2019, he spent 5 months in detention over his activism and has since been under city arrest till now. #FreeSowore

— African Action Congress #AAC (@aacparty) November 27, 2020

We will storm Federal High Court Abuja on Dec 10th & 11th 2020 in solidarity with @YeleSowore & @IamMandate . We will also demand all bogus charges against them be dropped. Protest is not a crime & every attempt to criminalize it will be resisted! Join us massively! #FreeSowore

— African Action Congress #AAC (@aacparty) December 1, 2020

Reacting to the party's tweets, a Twitter user @jharmo tweeted, "Sowore will appear at the Federal High Court Abuja on Dec 10 and 11. The @MBuhari regime has been using the judiciary to adjourn every sitting because they have no case to prove. We must storm the court in solidarity as protest is not a crime. Enough is Enough. 

Sowore will appear at the Federal High Court Abuja on Dec 10th & 11th. The @MBuhari regime has been using the judiciary to adjourn every sittings because they have no case to prove. We must storm the court in solidarity as protest is not a crime. Enough is Enough!#FreeSowore

— Towolawi Jamiu #EndSarsNow (@jharmo) December 1, 2020

"Imprisoned for more than four months, under city arrest for more than 11 months, denied access to the family for more than 15 months, all for calling a peaceful protest! @YeleSowore must not spend another Christmas without access to his family. Drop all charges against him." 

Imprisoned for more than 4 months, under city arrest for more than 11 months, denied access to family for more than 15 months, all for calling a peaceful protest! @YeleSowore must not spend another Christmas without access to his family. Drop all charges against him.#FreeSowore

— Towolawi Jamiu #EndSarsNow (@jharmo) December 1, 2020

Another Twitter user, @ValentineOjo5, wrote that "The court should stop adjourning a case that has no legal backing. Let us hear the verdict now, or nobody goes home for Christmas. You can't be giving Boko Haram Amnesty, Paying Bandits while peaceful protesters are being detained illegally." 

The court should stop adjourning a case that has no legal backing. Let us hear the verdict now or nobody goes home for Christmas. You can’t be giving Boko Haram Amnesty, Paying Bandits while peaceful protesters are being detained illegally. #FreeSowore#RevolutionNow

— Valentine Ojo (@ValentineOjo5) December 1, 2020

"The strategy of this government is to keep him still 2023 election before he is released because they don't want him to disrupt their evil agenda towards this country. APC and PDP are afraid of this guy!" @MineUyi tweeted. 

The strategy of this government is just to keep him still 2023 election before he will be released, because they don't want him to disrupt their evil agenda towards this country.APC and PDP are afraid of this guy!

— Kanye West (@MineUyi) November 27, 2020

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Lagos Judicial Panel Knocks Police For Adopting Delay Tactics To Frustrate Cases

1 December 2020 - 7:13am

The judicial panel investigating police brutality and human rights violation in Lagos is exasperated by the delaying tactics of the police in the ongoing cases.    

Head of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, a former judge, said the panel could no longer move at the pace of police as unnecessary adjournment could frustrate the work of the panel.

Okuwobi faulted the police for applying for another adjournment in the case of Ekekwe Ndukwe, a business who informed the panel that the police allegedly broke his spine when he was thrown off a two-story house.

She said the police should expedite actions in all petitions for the panel to be able to deliver within the stipulated time.

"We could not move ahead because of you. We have an assignment with a defined date. We can't continue like this," she said.

"This is what transpires in a normal court," she added, pointing out that such delaying tactics would not work with the panel.

The police representative pleaded for more time to invite witnesses, but Okuwobi warned that the panel could close the cases and give judgment if the police fail to meet up with the schedules.

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BREAKING: Reps To Summon Buhari Over Borno Killings

1 December 2020 - 7:09am

The House of Representatives has resolved to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to address members in plenary over the security crises across the country.

Earlier, plenary at the House of Representatives turned rowdy on Tuesday as members were sharply divided over a motion seeking to invite Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to explain the rising spate of insecurity in the country.

The House was considering a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.

Part of the prayers was to invite Buhari to appear on the floor of the House and address the lawmakers in plenary.

Efforts by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; and Chairman, House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, among others, to have the prayer dropped proved abortive, Punch reports.

Gbajabiamila’s plea that a state of emergency is adopted instead was also rebuffed.

The speaker was forced to ask that the lawmakers have an executive (closed-door) session.

Emerging from the closed-door session, Gbajabiamila asked one of the sponsors of the motion, Ahmad Jaha, to amend the motion.

Jaha prayed the House to invite the president as proposed in the original motion.

The Speaker put the amended motion to a voice vote, and the lawmakers unanimously adopted it.

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Oh My Niger State! By Mathias Baba Tsado

1 December 2020 - 6:52am

Mathias Baba Tsado

In a few hours from now Niger state workers would down their tools because of the governor's inability to live up to his constitutional responsibilities, the workers were paid 70% of their salaries in June 2020 the labour union in the state have been in negotiations with the state government since then to refund the 30% cut from their June salaries but to show them how the governors despises them, he paid 50% of November salaries on the 27th of this month citing low FAAC allocation to the state.

Many of the helpless workers I spoke to are lamenting the untold hardship they have to endure under this insensitive government of Gov. Sani Bello, some have resorted to corporate begin to survive, this is callous and barbaric for lack of more accurate words to describe the governor's actions.

The state governor through the commissioner of information mentioned that the security of the state is more important than the workers salaries, I often wonder how these guys think, they cannot in their wisdom find the nexus between economic stability and security of the state, it is unbelievable that the government would take such dangerous position, perhaps because no one can really hold them accountable for security expenditure, they can hide under this guise to appropriate monies for themselves and their cronies and go Scot-free.

Mathias Baba Tsado

This is very sad and unacceptable, the people deserve their salaries, it is not a privilege but their right, the government has none excuse whatsoever to tamper with the rewards of the people's sweat, "the worker is worthy of his wages" anyone that wishes to go against this provision would face the wrath of both man and God.

While I call on the state governor to look for the money to pay the people their full salaries for the month of November and the areas of 30% for the month of June, I admonish the the good people of the state to learn the lessons from this current hardship occasioned by the mismanagement and incompetence of this government and try as much as possible to avoid  giving power to  people without proper interrogation.

The current state of roads in Niger state cannot be ignored, Minna to Bida is nothing but a deathtrap, people now have to pass through Wushishi to connect to Bida, this is very unfortunate, this is the same road that the state government collected a loan of $180m sometime in 2019, that is over N65b, its frustrating to hear that the condition of the road rather than improve has gone worse than it was before.

The condition of the road is a reflection of every other infrastructure in the state  from government schools, to hospitals to even state offices, it is beyond imagination that the same government would even dare to think of not paying full salaries for the people.

The people of the state have been through tough times, they have endured government recklessness and mismanagement, the same people who voted the government are now forced to regret their decisions, simply because the government lacks the capacity to be creative and innovative.

Niger state is blessed with tremendous natural resources and a vast land for agricultural services, but aside from that niger state proximity to Abuja should have been a good incentive to drive development in places like Suleija, the potentials of suleija has remained untapped because of our dependence on federal allocations, this is indeed too pathetic.
Suleija is blessed with good topography that can be developed into a major modern city with all sorts of facilities to serve as an alternative to Abuja and attract some major organisations to the state, the value of such is unimaginable, but our government officials cannot even dare to think within the box not to talk of outside it.

This is just one opportunity, there are several others for niger state that would dwarfed other states FDI and IGR but these many opportunities remained unutilized, from fishing to animal farming to tourism the opportunities abound, the state should actually be the food basket of Nigeria, but sadly even the rice mill that should put us at pal with Kebbi state is a shadow of itself, sugarcane used to be everywhere in kutigi down to Jebba to Mokwa, sadly all of these opportunities are not being used to attract sugar factories that would create thousands of jobs for our youths despite signing MoU with Dangote in 2017.

If we can have an active governor in niger state, our people will enjoy the good of the land, a governor that will come with a comprehensive plan on how to turn the potentials of the state into considerable development, create millions of jobs for young people by attracting good businesses to the state, how long do we have to continue with these clueless bunch of opportunists whose only credentials are their fathers names?
Let us wake up as a state and demand for a better dividends of democracy because we deserve better.

The total amount of civil servants salaries in niger state is about N2.5b per month, this should never be a problem for a thinking governor in niger state even without a drop of allocation from the federal government.

2023 is already here, the politicians are everywhere jostling for power, let's not allow ourselves to fall into another wrong hands, let us interrogate their plans for the state and make our choice devoid of religion and tribal sentiments, let us elect competent leaders across the state, this is my candid advice to all Nigerlites.

God bless our State and our dear Nation.

Mathias Baba Tsado

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Insecurity: Again, Senate Asks Buhari To Fire Service Chiefs

1 December 2020 - 6:31am

The Nigerian Senate has again called on President Muhamadu Buhari to sack all Service Chiefs due to their failure to ensure adequate security in the country.

The resolution of the senate was a sequel to a motion sponsored by Kashim Shettima, Senator representing Borno Central.

Shettima drew the attention of senators to the killing of over 45 farmers at Kwashabe village, about 20 kilometres north of Maiduguri, Borno’s capital.

The upper legislative chamber also asked the Nigerian government to equip the troops with modern weapons.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Marshal Ibok- Ete Ibas are all overdue for retirement, critics of the government say.

Despite calls for their sack, President Buhari has kept them in office.

See Also Sahara Reporters Enough Is Enough, Sack Service Chiefs Now, Northern Activists Tell Buhari 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

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Enough Is Enough, Sack Service Chiefs Now, Northern Activists Tell Buhari

1 December 2020 - 6:23am

Following the brutal killings of at least 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State on Saturday, some northern human rights activists have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig the country's security architecture.

The activists made this known in a communique released after an emergency meeting in Kaduna on Tuesday.

Signatories to the communique are Nastura Ashir Sahriff- Coalition of Northern Group's Board of Trustees Chairman(Kano), National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, Abdul Ahmed Isiaq- (Kaduna), Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gugungu, National President of Arewa Youths Forum(Kaduna), Jibril Tafida- (Kaduna).

Others include Engr. Bello Bichi (Kano), Murtala Muhammad(Kaduna), Mandir Guruza, Arch. Mathias Joseph(Plateau), Engr. Ibrahim Ndagi (Niger) and Aminu Saleh(Bauchi) as well as Shetima Yerima, leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum.

They noted that there might be low morale among the military personnel on the front-lines occasioned by fighting equipment and the long-overdue retirement of those heading various branches of the armed forces.

The communique read, "We say enough is enough of these killings of innocent and unarmed civilians in Borno State, brought about by the seeming inability of the nation's troops stationed in the state to help avoid this kind of massive attacks and killings.

"We categorically call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the nation's service chiefs for their inability to save the country this tragically-embarrassing experience that has dire consequences to our international image.

"It is our conviction that until President Muhammadu Buhari promptly applies a major paradigm shift in the security architecture, we will continue with this bad and alarming rounds of the tragic and embarrassing situation.

"There is also the need for not just total overhaul of the security architecture in Borno but also the outdated intelligence-gathering method. The time to end this madness and now, the nation can't afford to wait any longer.

"We commiserate with the families of the farmers who were killed while trying to earn a living legitimately. Our heartfelt condolences go to the entire people and government of Borno State."

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"Absolute Nonsense"—Nigerians Knock Army Over General Adeniyi's Demotion

1 December 2020 - 6:12am

Nigerians have expressed their rage and disappointment with the Nigerian Army for convicting and demoting Major-General Olusegun Adeniyi, over a viral video, where he was seen complaining about poor weapons to the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai.

Adeniyi, in March, had in a viral video asked the Nigerian government to fortify the army with sophisticated weapons to combat the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East. 

He also complained that insurgents were outgunning troops, noting that intelligence failure was responsible for an attack by insurgents that claimed dozens of soldiers.

FLASH: @HQNigerianArmy Removes General Adeniyi Who Disclosed Weakness of The Military Against Boko Haram In Leaked Video

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) March 31, 2020

See Also Military Court Martial Convicts, Demotes Major-General Adeniyi Over Leaked Video 0 Comments 4 Days Ago

The tribunal on Monday ruled that Adeniyi be demoted for at least three years for violating military social media guidelines.

The verdict came eight months after a video of Adeniyi complaining about a lack of military equipment to combat Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East went viral.

His aide, Private Tokunbo Obanla, whom Adeniyi said had his phone with him, was also sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour.

Sources said Adeniyi pleaded guilty to three-count of unlawful use of social media, and damage to service property amongst other issues.

While Adeniyi's legal counsel had vowed to appeal the ruling of the martial court, Nigerians flooded Twitter with furious reactions.

"But he only stated the situation of the things respectfully, he wasn't insulting or rebellious," @dejinski tweeted. "They (the military) want to hear the truth, Lai Mohammed already lied that they have everything, that Buratai is the real Zombie Fela sang about."

But he only stated the situation of things respectfully, he wasn't insulting or rebellious. They don't want to hear the truth, Lai Mohammed already lied that they've given them everything, that Buratai is the real Zombie Fela sang about

— Dejinski (@dejinski) December 1, 2020

GodCreatureSon tweeted, "You only demoted him in uniform, not in the eyes of over 200 million Nigerians that welcome his truthful statements. If I were Gen. Adeniyi, I wouldn't appeal but pray for the wrath of God to happen amid his enemy."

While reacting, @Muhamman79794451 tweeted, "Demoted for telling the truth? Nigeria at verges again!"

Demoted for telling the truth Nigeria at verges again

— Muhammad Auwal (@Muhamma79794451) December 1, 2020

Another Twitter user, @chinwengo tweeted, "This is Nigeria for you. Not worth dying for. Can you imagine the man had died? What was the compensation for the ones that have died (in the hands of terrorists)? Now, someone will tell me, 'think of what you can do for Nigeria.' Nonsense!"

"Absolute nonsense! I'd rather labour for a foreign country than Nigeria," @estomolola said.

Absolute NONSENSE. I rather labour for a foreign country than Nigeria

— Awesome Rebel with a cause #EndSARS (@estomolola) December 1, 2020

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IPOB To Wike: Stop Lying Like Lai Mohammed, We’re Not Responsible For Your Father’s Church Explosion

1 December 2020 - 5:08am

Nyesom Wike

The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra has said its members were not responsible for an explosion which rocked a church reportedly owned by the father of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

No fewer than five hoodlums invaded the church, Christian Universal Church International, on Azikiwe Street Mile, 3 Diobu, Port Harcourt and detonated the explosives suspected to be dynamite, on Saturday night.

Nyesom Wike

The group, in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said IPOB had no involvement in the attack.

IPOB said Governor Wike and the police should stop dragging its name into the explosion, adding that it had no such plans.

The group said, “The attention of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, ably led by our great leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has been drawn to the fabricated and state-sponsored propaganda peddled by Nyesom Wike and his co-travellers that peaceful and innocent members of IPOB are responsible for an alleged attack on his father’s building on Saturday night.

“We want to state categorically and for record purposes that IPOB knows nothing about the said purported attack. We do not indulge in explosive devices, and we do not have any intentions to do so soon.

“We have said it on numerous occasions that violence is not part of the plan in our quest to restore Biafra. Any day we decide to take up arms against the state, which is not in our immediate contemplation, it won’t be done in secret.

“The whole world is now aware of the heinous crimes against humanity committed by Gov Wike against innocent Biafrans living in Obigbo Rivers State. Wike and his people used the nationwide disturbances that trailed the EndSARS protests as a cover to murder hundreds of innocent men, women and children in Obigbo Rivers State. He never denied it; in fact, he boasted about it during his numerous televised interviews.

“We seek to advise the Nigerian police and Wike to stop peddling outlandish lies in the mould of Lai Mohammed. Wike used a mere concocted allegation and without recourse to judicial process, to unleash another round of genocide on Biafran soil in Obigbo.

“Wike seems to be using the same tactics the Nigerian government deployed to infuse violence into peaceful #EndSARS in Lagos and Abuja. The public is now wiser.”

See Also Sahara Reporters Police Arrest Suspects As Explosion Rocks Nyesom Wike Father’s Church 0 Comments 6 Days Ago

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The Zabarmari Rice Farm Massacre: Why We Cannot Be Silent By Stan Chu Ilo

1 December 2020 - 4:39am

Nigerians and the rest of the world woke up on Sunday morning to the sad news of yet another gruesome massacre of fellow Nigerians by suspected Islamic terrorists. According to the United Nations, in the early afternoon on 28 November, local time, suspected militants attacked civilian men and women while they were harvesting crops in Koshobe village and other rural communities in Jere Local Government Area, near Maiduguri, Bornu State.

These 43 brothers and sisters of ours were all beheaded. The UN originally reported that 110 people were killed in this barbaric attack, but later the UN retracted its report and simply indicated that many people have been killed, some others including women have been abducted, and many others are unaccounted for.

No one knows exactly the number of people killed, human life in Nigeria has become so devalued, and so expandable that we are never sure of the number of people killed in these all too familiar killings. Many of us will remember that after the killing of young Nigerian youth in Lekki by operatives of the state, no one was sure immediately after that terrible crime about the exact number of young people killed or injured.   

Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria described this recent incident of yet another mass killing in Nigeria as “the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year”; while in a statement issued by his spokesperson, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for “the immediate and safe return of the abductees and those still reported missing.” 

We may never know the number of people killed on that farm; nor will we ever find our missing brothers and sisters, just as we didn’t know the number of Chibok girls kidnapped, and how many of them are still missing. This is because we have an irresponsible, and insensitive federal government, and we live in a nation that has accepted violence, gruesome mass killings, and crimes against humanity being committed in the land with impunity without anyone or group being held to account. Already it is business as usual in Nigeria, a day after such a heinous crime was committed in the land. It was not the main news of the day in Nigeria. Life goes on…

What we have heard from President Buhari is his usual empty condemnation after yet another horrible mass killings and dismemberment of Nigerians by Islamic terrorists. My questions to President Buhari are: How can outrage, and prayer for the souls of the departed be a targeted and strategic response to this crime against humanity? What are your plans to bring the perpetrators of this crime to book? What is the plan of the federal government to take care of the many families whose breadwinners and families have been lost in this tragic and inexcusable manner? Why should Nigeria accept the semi-permanence of 830,000 Nigerians living as refugees according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

 As the Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, who quickly deployed the military on the streets of Nigerian cities to suppress the peaceful protests of angry and hungry Nigerian youth, why can’t our president turn this constant expression of outrage or surprise in the face of crimes against humanity being committed in Nigeria on a regular basis by these terrorists, into a plan and strategy for an effective fight against terrorism, particularly in North-Eastern Nigeria?

The President must admit that he has failed in his primary duty to the country—protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians. What happened on the rice fields of Zabarmari is a crime against humanity. It is not only barbaric, inhuman, and un-Islamic; but it also shows that there are people in this geographical space called Nigeria whose animalistic instincts, hatred for humanity, and basic impulses will never be contained through empty threats by our President or the Governor of Borno State.

The expression of outrage by President Buhari is not a military strategy for counter-insurgency nor is a presidential prayer for the souls of the dead an effective surveillance and anti-terrorist tracking response that should be measured and directed at these terror cells. The present security apparatus and counter-terrorism efforts of the nation have also failed our people in Zabarmari and in the entire North-Eastern Nigeria, just as they have failed in Southern Kaduna, Katsina, Benue, and in the asymmetrical terrorist acts being committed by Fulani ‘herdsmen’ in other parts of Nigeria outside the North.

The federal government must dismantle this present corrupt, ineffective, and highly compromised security apparatus in Nigeria. Interestingly, Buhari has populated the leadership of the entire Nigerian security services with his Muslim kith and kin, which sadly has failed in protecting even their own Muslim brothers and sisters against terrorists. It might not be out of place to also wonder if the Nigerian security apparatus has become compromised and working in cahoots with these terrorists.  If the U.S special forces could effectively carry out a covet assault to successfully rescue an American hostage, held by these husks of humanity, who abuse the name of Islam by associating it with these heinous crimes and unspeakable evils, why can’t the Nigerian state do the same?

 There are two painful conclusions that I address to my fellow Nigerian citizens and those who are interested in the future of this dying and troubled nation.

The first is that this massacre of vulnerable and struggling farmers in the rice farm of Zabarmari should wake us up from slumber on this normalization of violence in Nigeria. The basic architecture of the Nigerian state today can only be understood today as designed and sustained through violence—both structural violence and physical violence as well as excess violence by the state, and violent barbarism by non-state actors. This basic architecture of violence dishes out small deaths, occasional massacres, and mass killings like the one that happened over the weekend. This architecture of violence churns out the semi-permanent death-dealing policies through our officeholders, political systems, structures, and institutions of state designed to benefit the very few, while the rest are left to starve to death and to rummage in garbage dumps or condemned to a life of poverty, low quality of life, inexcusable suffering, mendicancy, and deaths from preventable and treatable ailments.

On the other side of the coin is the non-state actors like the Islamic terrorist groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), that operate freely across the North-East and beyond, and whose fighters roam freely across the porous borders of the neighboring countries in West and Central Africa like Chad, Mali, Niger, Cameroun, and Burkina Faso. These groups have been growing in number and their attacks have grown more brutal and barbaric under the present Buhari regime for reasons which defy all logic. The main reason Nigerians supported Buhari en masse in 2015 was because he promised to bring back the Chibok girls, defeat radical Islamic terrorism in Nigeria, restore public safety; and law and order in Nigeria while fighting corruption. 

On all scores, President Buhari has failed the nation. His government has been a disaster in many ways as Nigerians drown in deprivation and desperation under the crushing weight of the triple Nigerian national pandemics of Covid-19, poverty and radical Islamic terrorist cells which like cancer have metastasized to every part of the country. The frequency of these callous attacks on innocent Nigerians, their increasing barbarism and their soft targets who are usually the poorest and most vulnerable everyday Nigerians is occurring under President Buhari, who is an Army general. The number of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria has more than doubled under this administration as many people are fleeing from their homes and living in refugee camps, not only in the North East, but also in Kaduna, Kano, Benue, and Katsina among other places.

If the federal government has any anti-terrorism or anti-insurgency plan it is simply not working. The massacre in Zabarmari is a grim reminder that most of our farmers in Nigeria are no longer safe in their farms. In my home state of Enugu, and my town of Achi, there are reported cases of people being killed in their farms, and in their ancestral homes by so-called ‘herdsmen.’  If the government cannot guarantee people’s safety even in the sacred space of their own ancestral land, and in their farms, and in their villages why should such a government continue to exist? 

The final point here is the need for us to reject this normalization of violence and deaths in Nigeria. It seems that Nigerians and our governments have embraced violence as our normal way of life in the country. I am personally surprised that Nigerians have not shown any outrage following this heinous crime against humanity committed against these hapless farmers in the Zabarmari farm of Bornu State.

We can no longer be silent as a people when lives are being wasted this way in Nigeria. We cannot be silent when our young people have become so debased by our neglect and poisoning of their minds that they hate their fellow citizens this way and will heartlessly slit the throats of fellow brothers and sisters in this orgy of violence and thus desecrate our land. We can longer be silent or unconcerned maybe because those who were killed were not from our state, region, religion or ethnic group. We cannot be silent because we have become exhausted at the frequency of these deaths and thus become desensitized to the destructive nature of these terrorist acts on who we are as a people, on the future generation, and on our African cultures and values of life, community, and fraternity.

We cannot be silent when our government, especially our President has failed to protect our lives, while most of our politicians and their acolytes live in gated communities and deploy special security units and private security outfits to protect themselves, while the defenseless masses of our people are  left to die in the hands of these husks of humanity, whose cup of horror is now overflowing. It is in speaking up against these crimes against humanity in Nigeria, and in showing outrage, and in raising our voices to denounce this insensitive and ineffective government that is responsible for the worst economic calamity that most of us have seen in our generation both in the first Buhari regime and in this painful second regime, that we can find hope for the future out of this necropolis (a land of deaths) that Nigeria has become.

There is so much suffering, violence, and death in Nigeria. The majority of Nigeria’s young people are out of school and out of work; our healthcare workers and teachers have not been paid salaries for months. Poverty is spreading like wildfire in Nigeria, and nothing seems to be working in the country, while the national life has become a tale of doom and gloom as Nigerians suffocate under the punishing weight of the triple pandemic and of structural violence built on systemic and unjust structures, terrorism, and police brutality. This is why Nigeria has become a land of the dead, where dead bodies are common sites. These victims of the Zabarmari farm massacre are yet another collateral damage of our failed and dying polity. Cry, the beloved country.

Stan Chu Ilo is a Catholic priest of Awgu Diocese in South-East Nigeria, research professor of World Christianity and African Studies at DePaul University, Chicago, USA; Honorary professor of Theology and Religion at Durham University, Durham, England.

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#ENDSARS: Lagos Panel Bans Media From Using Mobile Phones During Session

1 December 2020 - 4:26am

The Lagos State Judicial Panel on police brutality has banned the media from the use of mobile phones during the session.

The restrictions in place are to stop the media from live-streaming the ongoing session.

The panel session has enjoyed huge media coverage with media streaming the sessions and testimonies of the victims of police brutality.

However, in enforcing the new rule, the panel at the sitting on Tuesday pasted a notice on the walls and doors.

Some of the notices read, “Please switch off all mobile phones,” “use of phones is restricted beyond this point.”

Justifying the restrictions, the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (retd.), cited security consciousness as the reason for the restrictions.

The Lagos State Judicial Panel has been on for about a month with victims of police brutality recounting their experiences.

The panel had also grilled officers of the Nigerian Army and the Lekki Concession Company on their involvement in the shooting of peaceful and harmless #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate.

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The Current Nigerian Crisis: What, Really, Are The Fundamentals? By Omotoye Olorode

1 December 2020 - 4:18am

Omotoye Olorode

Again, Complaints, Complaints, Complaints!

Yet, only three options with their possible combinations are being clearly canvassed: one is to do nothing; another is to organize for splitting the country; the third is to struggle for a class-based social transformation.

Some of us, following the footsteps of our Comrades who are already on the other side of eternity have spent our entire lives struggling in various organized forms to achieve the option of class-based transformation!

Omotoye Olorode

We are at the moment of truth. Instead of unending and unproductive social media harangue, our compatriots should just pursue their own preferred options.

If people want public debates, let's have them. These social media pontificating are genuinely exasperating! They are neither based on history nor or empirical contemporary realities.

COVID-19 palliatives are hoarded by the ruling class across the country; they're auctioning public assets to themselves; they are stealing Nigeria blind at federal, state and local levels; governors are asking for state police and autonomy yet they treat local governments as their private estates; they refuse to pay minimum wage; they are all mute on debilitating increases in the cost of food, water, fuel, and power!

In all towns and villages across tribal and religious-confessional lines, there are tiny millionaire enclaves eyeball-to-eyeball with sprawling poor people's slums!

And behind the US, UK and China, the Nigerian ruling class, across tribal and religious-confessional lines, is reported to have the biggest outstanding order of private jets!

They turn the deprived and unemployed youth into their thugs and into parasites. When these same frustrated people are angry, they criminalize them, calling them hoodlums, vandals, miscreants, terrorists, etc.!

Even peaceful protests have become crimes!

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Boko Haram: Why Buhari Has Not Fired Service Chiefs –Garba Shehu

1 December 2020 - 4:05am

Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, says the clamour for the sacking of service chiefs is ‘out of place’.

According to Shehu, the president has the prerogative to appoint or sack any of the country’s service chiefs, adding that the president keeps the service chiefs as long as he is satisfied with their performance.

Garba Shehu

The horrific killing of at least 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State last Saturday sparked a fresh call for the sacking of the country’s service chiefs.

Reacting to the call by several Nigerians, who also want the president to rejig the country’s security architecture, Shehu said the decision to sack or retain any of the service chiefs is entirely the president’s.

He spoke on Monday night in an interview with Arise TV monitored by The PUNCH.

The presidential spokesman said, “I am not aware that the tenure of service chiefs is subjected to any law or regulation that is clearly stated. They serve at the pleasure of the president and (if) the president is satisfied with their performance, he keeps them. The buck stops at his table —with due respect to the feelings of Nigerians.

“The clamour for the sack is out of place considering that the president is not subject to the opinion of opposition political party which has clamoured for this all the time. It is entirely his determination; he decides who he keeps as his service chiefs and for how long.”

Boko Haram was reported to have first tied up the farmers, who were working in rice fields, before slitting their throats.

Shehu had said the farmers had no military clearance to be on the rice farms when the attack happened.

His reaction was greeted by outrage on social media as many Nigerians lambasted him for blaming the dead.

Explaining further last night, Shehu said, “My suggestion in the earlier news report is that the military had not certified those areas as being free of landmines and terrorists’ intrusions. Whether there are processes for getting licences or commissions, it is not for me; the military is in a better position to describe those processes.”

See Also Sahara Reporters Did Farmers Killed By B'Haram Get Military Clearance Before Resuming Farming Activities? Garba Shehu Asks During BBC Interview 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

VIDEO: Nigerians Hit Out At President @MBuhari's Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Over Comment Blaming Victims Of #ZabarmariMassacre@GarShehu

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 1, 2020

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Lagos Assembly To Probe Alimosho Council Boss, Others Over Alleged Multi-million Naira Fraud

1 December 2020 - 3:58am

The Lagos State House of Assembly has invited the Chairman of Alimosho Local Government Area, Jelili Sulaimon, for questioning over alleged corruption, conversion of public properties and others.

In the invitation letter signed by the Acting Clerk of the House, ATB Ottun, the chairman was asked to come along with one Alhaji Abdulahi Enilolobo, and other key functionaries of the local government as well as some documents.

The letter read, “I am directed to draw your attention to a petition forwarded to the House by Legalmetrics Attorneys dated 16th November 2020 on the above subject (copy attached) and to invite you to a meeting with the Committee on Public Accounts (Local) on Wednesday, 2nd December 2020 at the conference room, 5th floor, members’ wing, Assembly Complex, Alausa, Ikeja by 11.00 am.

“You are kindly requested to come along with Alhaji Abdulahi Enilolobo, other key functionaries of the local Government and document(s) (if any) to have fruitful deliberation on the matter.”

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Ex-UNILAG Governing Council Member Faults Reinstatement Of Vice-Chancellor, Ogundipe

1 December 2020 - 3:56am

Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

A retired Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Boniface Oye-Adeniran, has faulted the Nigerian government’s decision to reinstate the embattled Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.

The Ministry of Education had on November 11 announced the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to reinstate Ogundipe who was controversially sacked by the Governing Council of the University, formerly chaired by Wale Babalakin.

Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

Oye-Adeniran, in an open letter to the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the action of the ministry has “undermined discipline in Nigerian universities.”

The former governing council member of the institution alleged that the report of the visitation panel submitted to Adamu was one-sided because the majority of the members were biased towards Ogundipe.

The letter read, “Why did you set up an inappropriate panel to investigate the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos? Why did your Ministry produce terms of reference that were deliberately designed to cover up the scandalous mismanagement of the University of Lagos under Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe?

“Why did you dissolve a brilliant, purposeful and selfless body of external members of Governing Council of the University of Lagos made up of the following persons? Dr B. O Babalakin, (Chairman), Alhaji Ali Hussein, Rev Yomi Kasali, Dr Saminu Dagari and Dr Bayo Adaralegbe.

“The chairman of the panel noted in his letter to you that the Special Visitation Panel set up for the University of Lagos was not an objective panel. It was a fraud on the nation as it was clearly and openly one-sided. Why did you remove an outstanding Governing Council to support management that has engaged in contract splitting which is a crime under Sections 20(e) and 58(3)(d) of the Procurement Act? 

“Honourable Minister, this sort of criminal activity should not occur in any decent society much less a university. Is this the sort of university that the Ministry of Education wants? The panel also saw evidence of frivolous expenditure which was one of the reasons why Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe was removed from office.

“It will be impossible for any council to manage a university in this country if the recommendations of the panel are implemented. Did you have to go this far in undermining the educational system in Nigeria to protect Ogundipe’s gross mismanagement of the University of Lagos? We, the concerned alumni of the University of Lagos, ‘Unilag for Good,’ demand answers to these questions.”

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Nigerian Who Threw Grandson From Fourth Floor Has Mental Issues – Malaysia Police

1 December 2020 - 3:55am

The Kuala Lumpur Police in Malaysia has said that a Nigerian man alleged to have flung his four-year-old step-grandson from a fourth-floor apartment unit in Malaysia resulting in his death, is allegedly suffering from mental issues.

The Kuala Lumpur Police Chief, Datuk Kamaruddin, stated this, adding that the tests conducted on the suspect's urine found him to be on medication.


He noted that the suspect had been remanded for seven days.

"A urine test was conducted, and we found that he is on medication. It is also understood that he has some mental health issues. No record of treatment has been found yet, but his friends and family have said this," the Police Chief Said.

See Also Sahara Reporters Nigerian Man Throws Four-year-old Grandson Off Apartment In Malaysia 0 Comments 5 Days Ago

The 42-year old Nigerian, whose name was not disclosed yet, had been arrested on Sunday for tossing his step-grandson out of a window from the fourth floor of an apartment in Danau Kota, Setapak.

The Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department had said preliminary investigations showed the man tried to rape his 24-year-old stepdaughter, who was the victim's mother.  

The suspect also allegedly hit and stomped on his wife and four stepchildren before lifting his grand-stepson and throwing him out of the window of the main room.

The police said the suspect's 49-year-old wife then shouted for help and rushed to get help from the neighbours and security guards to save herself and her other children.

"The suspect tried to escape by jumping out through the window and was injured. He was detained by the public and security guards at the apartment," the police had said.

Nik Ros Azhan said the suspect sustained injuries on his hands and some parts of the body and was taken to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further treatment.

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Buhari’s Regime And The Conflict Of Loyalty By Adebayo Raphael

1 December 2020 - 3:12am

Adebayo Raphael speaking at a public function.

Perhaps a most pungent issue at the heart of Nigerian politics today is the issue of loyalty. A single factor with which a leader can become a god and a nation a superpower among peers; the absence of which, however, a politician or a nation may fail terribly. 
Following the ruinous thirty years of military dictatorship and the hope, perhaps misplaced, or mismanaged, of better days that accompanied the beginning of our twenty-year-old democratic dispensation; Nigeria is facing a second-to-none period of catastrophic governance under the so-called democratic regime of General Muhammadu Buhari. And, contrary to the hope of the fifteen million people who elected him in 2015, he has performed woefully and done mighty damage to every fabric of the Nigerian polity. 
In the last five years, Nigeria has become a melting pot for all sorts of crises: from insecurity which is now vastly multifarious to a recession-ridden economy, then a phantom war on corruption which is quickly followed by bogus infrastructural projects, often accompanied by an untamed penchant for foreign loans, which has now reached a ludicrous height and which, as a matter of fact, is nearly three times its figure at the beginning of 2015. Not to mention the wretchedly disturbing yet trivialized fact that 105million Nigerians, of the 200million population, now live in extreme poverty. Even so, more Nigerians are falling into that ditch every six seconds. 
Adebayo Raphael speaking at a public function.
Hardly would anyone see a country where these issues are as stark as they are in Nigeria and expect for there not to be uneasiness, disenchantment and a profound loathing for the government in power. Every aspect of the highly promising social contract which Nigerians had with the incumbent government in 2015 has now been violated, and dare I say, with towering recklessness and impunity. But that is not the worst of all. 
As a federal republic, Nigeria has in place a system of checks and balances that ought to make our democracy representative and resistant to tyranny or abuse by the minority. Within this system is where the executive, legislature and judiciary find an essential place of pride. Each of these arms of government ought to play the role of a Gatekeeper, especially if any of them becomes callously and irrationally deviant. Sadly, none of these arms of government has been able to live up to their responsibilities, or shown as much grit for the fulfilment of same.
Perhaps, however, none is more indicative of untamed viciousness, dereliction, confusion and stark hopelessness as the Buhari-led executive. And unfortunately for Nigeria, the other arms of government that should check the excesses of the executive appear to be obsequiously loyal to General Buhari, in a way that is arguably unprecedented in Nigeria’s history in the last twenty years. 
For example, General Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure as the president met a strong bulwark when he sought a constitutional amendment to become Nigeria’s president in three consecutive sequences. The Senate unanimously rejected this move after a long and hard battle that witnessed several death threats, intimidation, blackmail and an astonishing campaign of bribery. About $500million was allegedly budgeted for this grimy agenda and yet it failed because there were gatekeepers who refused to let their guard down. 
At the centre of this ‘gatekeeping’ is the question of loyalty: to whom should a public servant’s unflinching loyalty go? The 2006 rejection of Obasanjo’s third term bid by the Senate provides an exemplary answer to this question; the constitution and the citizenry. Such was the valiant role of the late Professor Dora Nkem Akunyili, who, as a lone voice against an awfully powerful lot of obsequious cabinet members, stood to defend Nigeria’s constitution during the late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua’s administration. Again, buttressing the clarity of loyalty for public servants. 

Another good example that I must mention, is the compelling speech of Sir Geoffrey Howe in the House of Commons in the late 1990s, which, incidentally delivered the coup-de-grâce to the era of Thatcherism. Described by the Library Journal as Margaret Thatcher’s “true-blue political servant for ten long years,” Howe’s resignation from Thatcher’s cabinet, despite being the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, came at a time when Thatcher’s economic policies had become sickeningly unpopular to the British people, and as Howe wrote in his memoir “Conflict of Loyalty,” the “…recklessness with which she (Margaret Thatcher) later sought to impose her own increasingly uncompromising views,” – as always, if I may add, did not help her standing. 
During his speech, Sir Howe explained how he needed to decide between his loyalty to the then Prime Minister – as a friend and cabinet member, and his loyalty to the nation. He chose the latter. No doubt, at the centre of Howe’s resignation is the same question of loyalty posed above, which, presently, is elusive to especially Nigeria’s legislature under General Buhari’s regime. A failure to choose the constitution and the people over the sentimental, self-driven and obsequious loyalty to the president, has with time, emboldened the Buhari-led government to mount a pedestal of callous arrogance and impunity. This has proved costly for Nigeria’s democracy which is increasingly disappearing in the face of a mighty and ferocious tundra of tyranny. 
There may be no better way to answer this most-important question of loyalty in contemporary politics than through the words of the United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley who said: "We are unique among militaries. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take an oath to an individual. No, we do not take an oath to a country, a tribe or religion. We take an oath to the Constitution.” While this may have been an exhortation to the U.S. military, it is also a fitting message to Nigeria’s elected representatives in the legislature, particularly the 9th National Assembly. 
The ongoing assault on Nigeria’s democracy, economy and the Nigerian people by the Buhari-led regime, incites a compelling and urgent need for the type of loyalty that we saw with the 5th Senate, Professor Dora Akunyili, Sir Geoffrey Howe and General Mark Milley. 
If the 9th National Assembly is unclear on where to find the premise for this all-too-necessary display of loyalty, they only need to look to Chapter II, section 14 (2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 as amended, which declares that the “security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.” This act of loyalty is what the Nigerian people need and deserve. For it is indeed an act of loyalty for the legislature to impeach a president that fails woefully like Buhari has failed to live up to his purpose. Anything short of this is simply treachery and the Nigerian people must respond accordingly.

Adebayo Raphael is a Human Rights Activist and Writer. He can be reached on Twitter @Adebayo_Ralph.

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