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Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

LIVE: President Buhari Addresses Nigerians

22 October 2020 - 11:05am

Video of Channels Television Live Channels Television Live

#EndSARS Politics Breaking News News AddThis :  Featured Image :  Original Author :  SaharaReporters, New York Disable advertisements : 
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President Buhari To Address Nigerians Thursday Night

22 October 2020 - 10:40am


President Muhammadu Buhari will address the security situation in the country by 7:00pm today.

This is according to a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina.

The President’s address comes a few hours after he met with the service chiefs amid the outrage over the shooting of the #EndSARS protesters by security operatives on Tuesday.

The statement reads, “Following detailed briefing by security chiefs on the current situation in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari will make a national broadcast Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 7pm.

“Television, radio and other electronic media outlets are enjoined to hook up to the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority and Radio Nigeria respectively for the broadcast.”

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Angry Youth Invade Warehouse In Lagos, Loot Alleged COVID-19 Palliatives

22 October 2020 - 10:37am


Rampaging youth in Lagos on Thursday invaded a warehouse where suspected COVID-19 palliatives were stored at Mazamaza community in Oriade Local Council Development Area of the state.

The COVID-19 palliatives were reportedly said to be meant for residents of FESTAC-Okota but were withheld in the warehouse located on Benster Crescent, popularly called Monkey Village.

In a viral video, the youth were seen looting the warehouse and carting away food items such as rice, beans, yams and other edibles.

Video of Lagos Residents Break Into State's Warehouse, Made-away With Undistributed COVID-19 Palliatives Lagos Residents Break Into State's Warehouse, Made-away With Undistributed COVID-19 Palliatives WATCH VIDEO: Lagos Residents Break Into State's Warehouse, Made-away With Undistributed COVID-19 Palliatives...

They later asked residents in the area to move into the warehouse and pick some items.

This comes barely 24 hours after thugs discovered a warehouse where suspected COVID-19 palliatives were hidden at the palace of Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos.

There have been attacks on private and government-owned properties across the state, following the crisis that erupted as a result of the killing of #EndSARS protesters by security operatives.

On Tuesday night, Nigerian Army personnel killed over 10 peaceful demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate area, sparking rage all across the country.

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Abuja Protesters Halt Action To Restrategise, Business Owners Resume Operations

22 October 2020 - 9:53am


Normalcy has returned to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, after the destruction of lives and properties by suspected thugs and security operatives, who took advantage of #ENDSARS protest to unleashed terror on innocent Nigerians.

Many residents were seen on Thursday going about their normal businesses without any form of molestation.

There was free flow of vehicular and human movement along major roads in the.

Also, business activities resumed in many parts of the city as shops and offices opened for operation.

Residents, who summoned courage to come out, were still being cautious of their movement while others remained indoors for the fear of being attacked.

The organisers of the protest have for now put it on hold to enable them to plan and restrategise to avoid it being hijacked by thugs.

One of the participants, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the Nigerian Government sponsored miscreants to attack peaceful protesters.

He stated that when they could not succeed with that mission, they decided to ask the military to open fire on unarmed protesters.

He, however, submitted that the movement remained undaunted irrespective of the provocation and coordinated attack on them by both thugs and security operatives.

It was observed that some parents, who rushed to pick their wards from schools on Tuesday for fear of an attack, have now allowed them to go back.

Meanwhile, there were reports of violence in Gudu and Lokogoma areas of the city on Thursday even though this could not be confirmed.

Armed policemen and soldiers have been deployed to all entry and exit points in Abuja.

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Police Response Team Frames Four Men, Tortures, Extorts N612,000 From Them In Anambra

22 October 2020 - 9:40am


Six operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team have been accused of allegedly extorting N612,000 from four men in Anambra State.

The four men were also tortured by the operatives.

They were reportedly framed through a dubious attempt to sell a vehicle to one of the men, Sunday Ibeh.

Justus Ijeoma, the lawyer to two of the men, Chizoba Anibueze and Sunday, said the fated chain of events started when another victim, Madu Kenneth, reached out to Anibueze that he had a vehicle for sale.

Anibueze made the proposition to his friend Sunday, both of whom are traders at the Onitsha Main Market.

The said car belonged to a person, who was stuck in the country due to COVID-19 and was trying to return.

However, there was no car and there was no seller.

The police officers were operating through an individual nicknamed Senator.

He invited Kenneth and the fourth victim, Ubah Jeremiah, to come to Oba in Anambra State to inspect the vehicle.

When they arrived, the pair said they were not the buyers but were allegedly forced at gunpoint to call Sunday and Anibueze.

According to Ijeoma, the arrested party and the soon to be detained ones agreed to meet in Ogidi close to Onitsha for the phantom inspection of the car.

Picking up the trail of events, Sunday recounted in an interview with SaharaReporters that Kenneth and Jeremiah were nowhere in sight when they reached the venue of the meeting.

“Chizoba insisted that we hold on, saying Kenneth’s vehicle was in the hotel’s car park. As soon as Chizoba put his phone to his ear to call Kenneth, some police officers came and arrested us, saying anything we said would be used against us in court,” Sunday said.

Kenneth’s car was used to convey the men to the Ihiala Police Station.

Sunday said the person, who drove them, was visible in a video of the mythical car put up for purchase.

The police officers whom Sunday reckons numbered about six, purportedly proceeded to torture confessions out of the men when they arrived at the police station.

“They wanted me to confess that I brought money to buy a stolen car, I refused,” Sunday said.

“They handcuffed me, tied me up and put three heavy rods on my waist and started beating me heavily.

“They realised that they were torturing me for nothing, then decided to bring me down and place me in a cell,” he added.

The men had their phones seized, with the officers in charge allegedly given strict warning not to make any calls on their behalf.

When guards were switched, however, the order was not communicated.

“I begged the new guard to help me call my wife and that is how we met Barrister Ijeoma.”

Offended that Sunday was able to make a call, the men transferred their victims to Neni SARS.

Sunday said he was fortunate not to spend a night in this famous hell.

He was able to bail himself out with N50,000 but his three companions were not so fortunate.

The others were moved on to Oji River in Enugu State where they were made to pay N50,000.

According to Sunday, the men were pushed out of the vehicle and given N5,000 from the bail sum they paid as transport.

Sunday, Anibueze, Kenneth and Jeremiah had all their belongings seized including N512,000.

Anibueze forfeited N112,000, while Sunday left N400,000.

“When they came to bail me, I told my family I was ready to die in the cell until they gave me my money, my family advised me to leave with my life first,” Sunday recalled.

The men were given an address and a phone number in Abuja and asked to come collect their money, they were told it would be kept as exhibits.

Further findings by SaharaReporters revealed, however, that the trail of the mysterious Toyota Camry (Spider) wound through Lagos before reaching Anambra and continued to Abuja.

The person, who shot the video that sneered Anibueze and Sunday said in an interview with SaharaReporters that he was apprehended by these set of officers in Lagos at the venue of a car deal.

The reporter had posed as an interested lawyer to get him to speak.

The male, who refused to reveal a name, said he went to Coker-Aguda in the Surulere area of Lagos to seal a car purchase deal.

Unknown to him, the IRT operatives were waiting.

According to the individual, the police officers made him call a contact on his phone, who has experience in disposing stolen cars.

He called Senator, who in turn reached out to Kenneth and Jeremiah.

“One guy sold a car to me,” he narrated.

“When I went to go and collect the car, I was arrested.

“There is a guy called Senator, he called me that he wanted to buy a car but he did not know I was apprehended. He arranged for people that want to buy it.

“It was in Lagos they arrested me, they took me to Anambra State – those policemen from Abuja. Senator knows the business; he knows how to sell cars that have been collected from other people.

“When Senator called me that he needs a car, those people told me to tell him that there is a car that he should come and buy it.”

He went on to explain that the police officers saw Senator’s number on his phone and pressed for the deal.

The car dealer also insists the four victims ensnared by Senator knew the phantom car was stolen.

Sunday maintained to SaharaReporters that neither he nor Anibueze knew the story behind the mystery car.

Jeremiah maintained that the deal came from Senator and he had no inkling that he had become an ‘informant’.

The car dealer said he was taken to Abuja where he settled the officers but refused to state how much he paid though.

Sunday and Anibueze’s lawyer, Mr Ijeoma, said one of the operatives involved in the alleged extortion scheme directed him to speak with his superior to determine how the seized monies will be released.

The victims were able to obtain the contact of three of the officers, Michael Johnson, Magaji and Charles.

These men allegedly conned several other people before departing for Abuja.

“On the day I was taken to Ihiala Police Station, I saw them settling with the owner of a towing van and three of his staff,” Sunday recalled.

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#LekkiMassacre: General Buhari Has Killed Again! By Dr. Issa Perry Brimah

22 October 2020 - 9:30am


Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's President.

Over the years of General Muhammadu Buhari’s “democratic” tenure, while development and progress has been minimal at best, and all sorts of terrorists reign supreme across the country, retaining it as the world’s most terrorized nation, what has become hallmark, is the former dictator’s intolerance towards civil protests and his growing record of state-perpetrator violent massacres of Nigeria’s youth.

Black Tuesday’s unprovoked massacre of dozens at Lekki Toll gate is just the latest in a frighteningly unending pattern that continues to escape consequence.

In December of 2018, after Buhari dared to comment on US president Trump’s alleged call for violent illegal migrants to be forcefully turned back at the US border, an obviously irate New York Times, decided to let Buhari know that his many massacres had not gone unnoticed. The US editorial released a thoroughly produced investigative journalistic documentary exposing how General Buhari directly supervised the massacre of at least 45 Nigerian protesting youth in Abuja that October. The documentary can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6-6wV0agvs&t=11s

Proving Buhari’s complicity in the string of barbaric massacres perpetrated by Nigeria’s overhanded, unhinged and wildly reckless “security” services, the heads of these armed agencies who have been serially implicated in these massacres, remain in office to continue to send citizens to early graves, as Buhari has never held any accountable and even retains them in office beyond their tenures.

Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's President.

Below, I repost my 2017 list of Buhari’s massacres which I sadly promised to update at the time I sent it to the press, and with sorrow in my heart, I now update as promised, with the most recent #LekkiMassacre.

List of President Buhari's Massacres, Secret Burials From 2015-2017 As Reported – First Published September 20th, 2017

[https://www.thenigerianvoice.com/news/257501/list-of-president-buharis-massacres-secret-burials-from-20.html]

There is a growing list of state perpetrator massacres, with the victims either declared missing or discovered to have been secretly buried in mass graves in the two plus years of the administration of Nigeria's elected military dictator Muhammadu Buhari.

Below are some of them:

Description: Massacre and Secret Burial. Between December 12th and 14th of 2015, 1000 minority Shia Muslims were killed and buried secretly in the middle of the night by a joint action of Nigerian military, fanatic civilians and the Kaduna state government. The Nigerian government months later admitted to killing and secretly burying 347 citizens.

Number Massacred: 1000

Location: Zaria, Kaduna state.

Date: December 12th - 14th, 2015

Excerpt: "The Kaduna State Government on Monday announced that 347 persons were killed during the December 12 Shiite/Nigerian Army clash in Zaria... The burial of the victims was done in secret... Mr. Lawal, who led a six-man government witnesses before the panel, said 191 corpses were taken from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, and were buried at Mando area of Kaduna. He said 156 corpses were also conveyed from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, to the same Mando area. The official said the corpses were those of youth members of the Islam Movement (IMN) ...The state government said the corpses were committed into a single grave (mass burial) at the Mando area jointly supervised by the state government officials and about 40 men of the Nigerian Army, led by an officer in the rank of a Major."

Source: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/201615-kaduna-govt-says-347-shiites-killed-by-nigerian-troops-given-secret-mass-burial.html

Status: No resolution, no compensation, no repudiation.

---

Description: Massacre of One. Eighty-seven-year-old, Octogenarian, Alice Agbemrehwue Omadefe of Ovre-r'Eku, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State went missing after soldiers recruited by Presco Plc and Newcross Petroleum Limited violently attacked over 500 protesting women. The protesters said that their oil wells and farm lands had been forcefully taken over by the two companies and the Edo State Government.

Number Massacred: 1

Location: Delta state.

Date: March 2016

Excerpt: "It was a pathetic sight as this reporter, who was monitoring the protest took to his heels alongside the protesters when soldiers chased the women most of whom are in their eighties into the adjoining bushes around the site, wiping them with tree stems while others kicked the women as they tried to run away from the scene. In the ensuing confusion, some of the protesting women sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital while others fled into the bush. Among those who fled to the bush to escape the fury of the soldiers was Madam Alice Omadefe, whose whereabouts are now a source concern for her family and the community."

Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/03/delta-community-raises-alarm-over-missing-octogenarian/

Status: No resolution, no compensation, no repudiation.

---

Description: Massacre and Secret Burial. From May 29th to June 3rd. Over 100 pro-Biafran protesters killed in coordinated massacre by Nigerian army and police. Many killed while sleeping in a school near St. Edmund Catholic Church Onitsha. Random killing of groups of civilians in Asaba and different parts of the South East.

Number Massacred: 100+

Location: Onitsha, Anambra state

Date: May 29th - June 3rd, 2016

Excerpt: "In Onitsha, dozens of trucks and vans filled with soldiers in combat gears raced down major roads and streets. Any gathering of three or more people was at risk of being fired upon... Three military trucks were used to cart away heaps of dead bodies... A security source, another SSS source and a military police source individually confirmed that a mass burial occurred in the afternoon of Wednesday, June 1 in a military cemetery, near Yahweh Church, inside the Onitsha Military Barracks."

Source: http://www.premiumtimesng.com/investigationspecial-reports/205176-special-report-onitsha-massacre-pro-biafra-supporters-coordinated-sss-operative.html

Massacre images (Warning: Gory): https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-east/204918-photo-news-inside-massive-extrajudicial-killings-nigerias-south-east.html

Status: No resolution, no compensation, no repudiation.

---

Description: Large scale massacre of dozens of villagers by Nigerian Army in June of 2016

Number Massacred: 30-500

Location: Ngubdori and Alamderi villages in Borno state.

Date: June, 2016

Excerpt: "At one point, two men stepped from inside their homes. The soldiers shot both of them, witnesses said. Seven other men came out of their homes and were shot, too.

“We watched so many of them killed like that,” Mallam said. Then the soldiers turned their weapons on the crowd, gunning down 13 more men. The soldiers grabbed a canister of fuel, doused rags and set fire to all the grass huts before leaving."

Source: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/world/africa/nigeria-civilian-massacre.html

Status: No resolution, no compensation, no repudiation.

---

Description: At least 26 unarmed civilians massacred during invasion of the house of Biafra secessionist leader Nnamdi Kanu after loyalists reportedly threw stones at a military convoy deployed to his street. Videos showed the house completely riddled with bullets and bodies sprawled around. Many of the victims' bodies were reportedly found where they died of bullet wounds in near by bushes. Nnamdi Kanu and his parents are still missing.

Number Massacred: 26+

Location: Umuahia, Abia state.

Date: September 14th, 2017

Excerpt: "THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, said Sunday night that five people were feared dead and about 30 others injured when gunmen suspected to be soldiers allegedly attacked the country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/five-feared-dead-suspected-soldiers-attack-kanus-home/

Status: No resolution, no compensation, no repudiation.

To be updated...

Complied by Dr. Issa Perry Brimah; @EveryNigerian

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Too Many Rogues In Nigeria Leadership By Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq.

22 October 2020 - 8:09am


Pelumi Olajengbesi

I have only just come across a short clip showing people in a warehouse filled with COVID-19 palliatives which were left un-shared even with biting lack and poverty turning many into internet beggars during the early to mid-term of national lockdown some months ago. I have to wonder, what sort of greed and wickedness could have driven our leaders to hoard much needed life-saving supplies at a time when people would have been overwhelmed with gratitude over just one bale of rice, beans or garri?  

Why then are we now acting shocked that those palliatives which were secretly stocked are now being raided by the same people who should have freely received it in the first place? Are we truly surprised that poverty have made many to lose all sense of civility and restrain? 

I am reminded of the biblical story of a rich man with 99 sheep who sought to take and kill a poor man’s only sheep to serve his guest. Having exerted the monopoly of opportunity and power to capture those goods, our leaders still took the poor man's one sheep- the dignity of his existence, through avoidable lack and impoverishment, and now turn up their nose on this desperate men and women who have been reduced to petty pilferers. 

At least the rich man in the bible owned the 99 sheep, but those goods seen in the raided warehouse which filled it from bottom to top and across a stretch, belong to the masses, and should have been distributed to the masses before, during or after the national lockdown to ease the difficulty occasioned by the pandemic’s impact on economic life. 

Pelumi Olajengbesi

A desperate man does not live off principles especially after uncovering deliberate wickedness by his or her leaders. Those goods were either bought with taxpayer’s money or gotten from public contribution and intended for distribution, but those who had the privilege to turn these provisions over to the people sat on it and took for themselves the abundance of the land. 

I do not write this to condone the actions of those seen in the video carting away load after loads of goods, but I am as equally appalled, if not more enraged, by the terrible leaders entrusted with these items who failed their people and office by turning public goods into private acquisition. 

Whoever was in charge of that particular warehouse should hide his or her head in shame. It is indeed a crying shame made even more sorrowful when one realises that but for the civil unrest in the country, we may never have known of those hoarded stocks. It then means that there could be many more COVID-19 palliatives ‘cornered’ by some mongrels we call leaders. 

It is in this same country that we’ve found warehouses filled with rotten money of local to hard currencies, hidden away and forgotten. It is in this same country that NEMA officials have been accused of turning donations to IDP camps into personal merchandise to be sold for gains or largely hoarded for private use. It is also in this same country that snakes and monkeys have been accused of swallowing large sums of monies. It is therefore unsurprising that issues came to a head. 

The #ENDSARS agitations clearly morphed from an outcry against police brutality to accommodate widespread disaffection with poor and evil leadership. This is why there was such a momentum, resilience and popularity with the protests. 

There is clearly a leadership crisis in Nigeria, from those who hoard power to those who hoard food or money. The prognosis is the same: majority of our leaders are enamoured of affluence and opulence while insulated from the dire reality of the masses. If we do not address this leadership crisis, and quickly too, the next warehouse to be raided and completely emptied would be the pretensive nation called “Nigeria".

Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq., is a Public Interest Law and Founding Partner at Law Corridor.

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UPDATE: Situation At Ikoyi Prison Under Control, Says Nigerian Government

22 October 2020 - 8:03am


The Nigerian Government has said that it has been able to control an attempted jailbreak at the Ikoyi Custodial Correctional Centre in Lagos.

The government also said that no inmate was able to escape as security operatives swiftly moved in to calm the situation in the facility.

Tension At Ikoyi Prison, Gunshots Fired Around Facility | Sahara Reporters https://t.co/geasWRM6oS pic.twitter.com/Upn7iFmbHg

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) October 22, 2020

The Ministry of Interior in a tweet, also said that firefighters are on ground extinguishing the inferno.

"The situation at the Ikoyi Custodial Centre is under control!

"Armed squads of the @CorrectionsNg, @CIVILDEFENDERS, @PoliceNG and men of the Nigerian Army are providing security at the facility. @Fedfireng is dealing with the fire.

"Ignore rumours of inmate escaping," the ministry tweeted.

Trouble, it was gathered, started on Thursday morning following a disagreement between an inmate and official of the prison.

The matter escalated quickly, forcing prison officials to adopt stringent measures to bring the situation under control.

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#EndSARS: Thinking About The Mental Health Of Our Z Generation And Millennial By Olabisi Deji-Folutile

22 October 2020 - 7:54am


Olabisi Deji-Folutile

This is a moment of sadness in Nigeria’s history.  Eyes are filled with tears.  And the hearts of many concerned citizens are heavy with grief.  I had silently prayed for things not to degenerate to this level. But here we are. Today, I bemoan my nation, Nigeria, the country that wastes its best and pampers its criminals.

For the first time, I saw fear in my children. They just couldn’t believe it. I had tried my best to explain to them how unreasonable people holding trust for us in this country could be but apparently they didn’t get my point. Their reaction to the shooting at Lagos Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night showed that they didn’t get my earlier admonition. They kept asking me, as they saw different videos of security operatives opening fire on youths, if what they were seeing were indeed true.  At the end of the day, everybody kept to themselves. They just couldn’t imagine living in a country that is being run like a zoo. I soon realised that my children were not the only set of youths in shock over the happenings in the country in the last few days. As a matter of fact, a report by Franktalknow.com shows that many Nigerian youths are having a similar experience.  You can’t blame them. Many of them belong to either the Z generation or are millennial. It is probably their first time of experiencing a thing like this in their country.

Why are we this brutal to ourselves?  And how do we explain our own contradictions as a nation? A country that can be so forgiving and generous to the extent of proposing a bill to send  Boko Haram insurgents abroad for foreign study with taxpayers’ money even when it is obvious that such a venture may end up being a waste of  resources. This is a country that treats bandits with kid gloves and begs them to have mercy on their victims -- a country where governors negotiate with bandits. This is a country where an Inspector General of Police could flagrantly disobey the President’s order to move to a state to restore order and forestall further attacks on villagers by suspected herdsmen. Yet the same country does not see anything wrong in deploying soldiers to fight peaceful protesters who were merely protesting against police brutality. Our security forces are afraid of confronting bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and other criminal elements in the society but eager to kill the weak and innocent. I have read accounts of people that claim the protesters were stretching their luck too far and that the government could not afford to keep watching them. Probably, such people should be reminded of the ongoing protest in Hong Kong which has been on for more than a year. The country is yet to open fire on these protesters.

Olabisi Deji-Folutile

For me, the events of the past few days have further proved the ineptitude of our leaders. It seems all that goes on in their brains is how to remain in power. They view all actions as being political, so they take rash decisions in their desperation to retain their positions.  Unfortunately for us as a nation, we have a culture of subservience to our leaders. The leaders think they are too big to be questioned and the led have grown accustomed to swallowing everything they are served no matter how unpalatable. This is the culture that the protesting youths were trying to challenge.

It is a pity that deaths and bloodshed were all these youths could get for daring to challenge our culture of silence in the face of repression. The preponderance of opinion among these protesters is that this is their first time asking the government for anything. They said they never bothered the government when they had to buy their own generators for power supply, construct boreholes for water or provide other infrastructural facilities for themselves. They said they have not even forced the government to provide seats for them to sit in classes or toilet facilities or libraries. They have learnt how to cope without these basic amenities.  To them, all they wanted was to feel safe in their own country and all they got was massacre.

I am more concerned about the mental health of these youths.  One of the characteristics of the Z generation is that they are easily stressed and depressed.  Already, the Coalition of Mental Health Professionals in Nigeria is circulating contact details of counsellors and therapists that youths could reach to protect their mental health. Many of these youths are probably in their mid-20s and early 30s. They’ve not seen a major uprising against the government before. Their idea of protest is most likely what they see in organised countries. And since they don’t see these countries killing their youths, they can’t imagine that their own government is sending soldiers to kill them.  The last major bloody national protest in Nigeria happened in the 90s over the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election.  Many of these youths were not born then and the ones born were probably too young to participate in the protest.  Unfortunately for them,   the Federal Government has removed history from the school curriculum. The subject was replaced with social studies and government. Meanwhile, these subjects cannot replace History as they teach things of the present whereas history is about studying events of the past in order to build our today and prepare us for tomorrow.  Many of these youths don’t even know anything about the June 12 struggle. Can you imagine one of them telling me that the Lekki massacre was the worst thing that had ever happened in Nigeria? That tells you their level of ignorance of historical matters in this country.

One can only imagine the mental stress many of these youths are going through now, especially with stories like that of a Computer Science undergraduate of a federal university killed in this melee. This was someone who had written his final exam as far back as January and who should have gone for his mandatory one-year National Youth Corps Service but for the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). He was only waiting for the union to call off its strike so that he could complete his clearance.  He was reportedly killed while sitting inside his compound on Wednesday. A few hours before his death, he had tweeted, “Nigeria will not end me”.

How can a government hate its people with so much passion?  The soldiers in Sambisa Forest are complaining of lack of equipment to fight insurgents; they are being killed daily. Some of them are committing suicide in frustration. There are kidnappers all over the country terrorising, abducting, raping, killing and collecting ransom from their victims. Our security operatives are too weak in dealing with such; but very strong in rolling out military tanks against peaceful protesters. This was after the government had deceived them that they had the right to protest.  They opened fire on protesters and described them as miscreants.  Now, what on earth could make a government fighting miscreants send people to switch off the cameras, wiring and lighting at the Lekki toll gate before sending gunmen to kill peaceful protesters?  And the same government still has the effrontery to tell the citizens that the shootings were measures beyond his control!

Is it not ironic that the youths’ agitation is centred round ending brutality and part of the reasons why they refused to leave the streets was because they were not convinced that the government was serious about the few pronouncements it made.  The youths asked the government to end brutality and the government showed them the kind of brutality that they couldn’t imagine in their lives. Even if the protests have been hijacked as claimed by the government and its sympathisers, where is it written in our law books that miscreants should be killed extra judicially?

Now, hoodlums have hijacked the protest from the organised youths. Interestingly, we didn’t see this level of chaos and destruction before the so-called security operatives were called in to restore order. Yes, the real miscreants have taken over-the miscreants that come out of state vehicles to attack peaceful protesters. And as usual, our leaders will soon start negotiating with them.  The miscreants needed to open the prison doors for their colleagues; they must unleash terror and arson. After all, they too have a   right to protest. They are Nigerians and the creation of our system.

Nonetheless, it is worth emphasising that what we have seen in the last few days in Lagos especially is a clear case of poor leadership.  One of the attributes of good leadership is the ability to predict the outcome of actions before they happen. This helps in determining the decisions to take and the ones to avoid.  That is the essence of critical analysis.  Anyway, there is no point crying over spilt milk. The deed has been done; we can only hope that our leaders will have the humility to learn from their misdeeds.  

To the Nigerian youths, I salute your courage, hope and trust in this country.  Let’s continue to be optimistic that the blood of the innocent would not be shed in vain and that we will all see a better Nigeria of our dream.

Olabisi Deji-Folutile is the Editor-in-Chief, Franktalknow.com and member, Nigerian Guild of Editors. Email: bisideji@yahoo.co.uk

 

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#ENDSARS: Sanwo-Olu’s Cross And The Meaning Of Lekki Toll Gate By Azu Ishiekwene

22 October 2020 - 7:45am


Azu Ishiekwene

It was hard to keep up with the torrent of posts as the power of social media was deployed in all its ferocity for good and evil. Through it all though, one thing was constant on my mind on Tuesday night: the images of vulnerable, distressed youths fighting for their lives. You couldn’t make up the chaos, if you tried.

How did Lagos, a city of refuge, become a shooting range against defenseless young people waving the flag and singing the anthem?

How was it within the powers of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to declare a curfew published within hours of enforcement, but beyond him to contain the consequences? What was he thinking when he declared the curfew after midday in a city where even at the best of times commuting is a nightmare?  

Azu Ishiekwene

It may have been unintended, but switching off of the lights worsened the confusion and provided cover for the rogue soldiers to start shooting even before the official curfew started.

Photos of a chap who allegedly led the rogue mission are floating out there and surely the military high command does not think we’ll be fooled into treating this as a redux of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s Unknown Soldier?

Yet, if Sanwo-Olu did not have the slightest hint of the deployment and was at his watch throughout that dreadful Tuesday night, he could have engaged citizens as the events were unfolding through any of the multiple channels available to him, instead of waiting till the next day to promise a futile investigation.

Comparisons are pointless, and even a disservice to the memory of the dead or wounded. But the temptation is irresistible, even though it’s with a man possessed of exhibitionism. Would Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State standby and allow what happened at Lekki Toll Gate happen in Mile 1 Diobu? How easy would it have been for Sanwo-Olu to establish a lasting bond of trust with the youths if he braved that awful night and showed up right by their side in that moment of need?

Before Tuesday night, Sanwo-Olu had handled matters fairly well. His visit to Aso Rock to present the demands of the #ENDSARS protesters to President Muhammadu Buhari, his regular engagement with them, and his #5for5, benchmarking the state’s commitment to the protesters’ demands, were signs that he was a cut above Governor Simon Lalong and the rest who lined up on all fours at the Presidential Villa asking for SARS to get medals for meritorious services.

After COVID-19 left over 35 percent shortfall in state revenue, it’s not unlikely that Sanwo-Olu has been under pressure to reopen the country’s commercial capital for business and therefore wanted to clear the streets - especially the Lekki Toll Gates, which generate about N220million weekly for the government.

Also, reports that hoodlums were hijacking the protest in some parts of Lagos, extorting commuters and unleashing violence on policemen and attacking police stations were genuine causes for concern.

Yet, a number of such mindless attacks happened not because the Police were belatedly and reluctantly advised not to shoot at genuine protesters, but because they bluntly refused to secure genuine protesters who begged in vain for help, allowing miscreants to hijack things.

One of the main organisers, Feminist Coalition, for example, was prepared to pay private security companies for protection, but they refused, citing fear of official reprisal. That vacuum emboldened thugs. Where they feared to tread, the same government that would not secure peaceful protesters gave thugs lift and cover to unleash mayhem.

Sanwo-Olu’s precipitous declaration of a curfew may have been intended to spring a surprise, and to prioritise safety. The backlash however exposes the weakness and predatory culture in the current security system, which his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has failed to address and against which the #ENDSARS protests have been all about.  

If the governor paused for a minute to reflect on his own #5for5 marker, he would have seen that even the first item - the disbanding of SARS - had not been done! Anyone who takes the announcement of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu that SARS had been disbanded seriously, is either a fraud or a convenient liar. How can the IGP say one day that SARS had been disbanded and then announce the next day that a new SWAT unit had been created from the ashes of a rotten SARS?

And the protesters are supposed to clap for Adamu and tick off a new SWAT team as answer to prayer? 

Sure, Sanwo-Olu promptly empaneled a judicial commission to hold the perpetrators of police brutality to account; and also announced a N200m fund to compensate victims, but how were the protesters to accept these gestures in good faith when all parties know that police is squarely a federal matter and President Buhari to whom the police answer exclusively, is reluctant to make any structural changes?

The offences committed may be within the purview of the state, and hopefully, some of the states may succeed in bringing errant SARS officers to book; but any fundamental change in the structure of the force to root out abuse and brutality lies with the President.

The political elite has never been as confused as the current #ENDSARS #ENDSWAT protests have shown it to be. And this confusion - sometimes mixed with amusement, admiration and fear - has forced governments across the country to respond by throwing everything in the old rulebook at these bees of protesting youths perched on its most vulnerable parts.

Exactly how do you tackle formlessness, something you cannot deny, but yet cannot bend?

In June, a UK-based private country risk assessment firm, Verisk Marplecroft, predicted that even if COVID-19 recedes, the economic fallouts will not, especially in countries with underlying structural problems and weak institutions. 

The firm said by the last quarter of this year, a number of countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, would be hard hit by street protests on a scale that could leave already fragile governments bereft. 

Nigeria, Iran, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo were specifically mentioned; but we had obviously not reached that page of the report when #ENDSARS happened.

What to do with a bunch of youths who after 12 days of continuous and escalating protests in defiance of water cannons, teargas, tyre-slashing and live bullets, still continue to insist their voices must be heard and their demands for justice and accountability met?

The old toolbox has failed. The youths have taken a leaf from Egypt where young protesters are demanding an end to authoritarian rule; Hong Kong where for months now and still going, young people have been demanding protection of their civil liberties; Lebanon where frustrated youths defied state institutions to force an incompetent and corrupt government to resign; Thailand where the military and the monarchy have been playing ping pong with the future of the country; and even France where the Yellow Shirts has protested, morphed and splintered from social movement to a political force on minority rights.

Like Occupy Wall Street nine years ago, none of the protests in any of these countries needed leaders to organise. #ENDSARS protesters have also seen enough of the downsides of crowning leaders from the outset of social movements to make the same mistake.

It’s regrettable that private property, including media houses, are now being targeted by hoodlums. That madness must stop. The wanton destruction and random killings must stop and those who instead of going where the trouble is decided to turn the Lekki Toll Gate into a shooting range have a lot to answer for. 

Lekki Toll Gate symbolises the spirit of #ENDSARS protests. It has exposed the incompetence of the political elite’s response and deep-seated social problems swept under the rug. Where government tried to muzzle protesters by blocking access to funds from commercial banks, the protesters resorted to cryptocurrency. 

Where government hired thugs, protesters acted as their own security, using drones and apps to track pilfering. Where government played the ethnic and religious cards, protesters stood together across tribal and ethnic lines in fellowship, even levying themselves to provide prosthetic limb for a disabled youth. 

Where the government offered food as bribe and prevented ambulances from going in, protesters prepared their own food, improvised their own medical supplies and cleaned the streets. Where they could not trust either mainstream media or government propaganda channels, they invented “Soro Soke”, their own radio podcast.

And where government played its ultimate card of unprovoked violence, the protesters responded by taking refuge under the banner of a bloodied national flag, singing the anthem. It has been a teachable moment, something completely new, for protests everywhere.

Some have suggested that the protests would not be a success until the youths marched on Aso Rock in their bloodied vests. I disagree. 

The measure of successs of a social movement is not necessarily how many items it ticks off its demand list. The very ability to highlight the items and bring them so poignantly to the consciousness of society is, in and of itself, resounding success.

And that chaotic Tuesday night at Lekki Toll Gate may well be the tipping point.

Ishiekwene is MD/Editor-In-Chief The Interview

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SERAP To Sue Nigerian Government, Vows To Compel Administration To Protect Citizens

22 October 2020 - 7:35am


SERAP Logo

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has said that it will take legal action against the Nigerian Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and compel it to protect the lives and properties of citizens.

The suit, according to SERAP, comes after the inability and unwillingness to stop the ongoing crisis in the country.

SERAP Logo

The rights group in a tweet said it would not desist from taking the legal action if the President doesn't arrest the situation.

"President Buhari’s government seems unwilling or unable to stop the violence, looting and killings by armed thugs in Lagos and other places.

"We'll sue to compel @NigeriaGov to protect people's rights to life, security and liberty if this is not urgently addressed. #EndSARS," SERAP tweeted.

Recall that the country erupted into crisis when armed thugs, police and military began to attack peaceful protesters in different states across the country.

Over 50 protesting Nigerians have so far been killed.

Angry citizens have since begun attacking government properties while thugs are also seizing the opportunity to carry out attacks on the livelihoods of innocent Nigerians.

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BREAKING: Angry Mob Set Ablaze Governor Akeredolu's Campaign Office In Akure

22 October 2020 - 7:28am





The violence being recorded in various parts of Ondo State took a new twist on Thursday afternoon as a mob set fire to the campaign office of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Akure, the state capital.  

Angry residents had been damaging public buildings and those of persons they consider to be part of their problem after security operatives started attacking and killing peaceful protesters in many parts of the country.

Two police stations had earlier been attacked in Ondo while a mob attacked the Nigerian Correctional Centre in the town and freed prisoners in the facility.

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BREAKING: Tension In Delta State As Thugs Burn Police Station, Invade Warri Prison, Free Inmates

22 October 2020 - 7:14am




Tension has gripped Delta State as armed thugs set ablaze a police station in Asaba, the state capital, on Thursday.

The miscreants, SaharaReporters gathered, allegedly invaded the Warri Correctional Centre (Okere Prison) in the Warri South Local Government Area of the state, shooting sporadically and setting free some inmates at the facility.


Our correspondent reliably gathered that the thugs numbering over 100 stormed the police station at Akwuofo, Asaba, at about 1:00pm on Thursday and set the entire building on fire.

They moved to the police Special Protection Unit in the area in an attempt to set it ablaze but were repelled by security personnel there.

As at the time of this report, banks and business premises had been shut down in the area for fear of being attacked by the thugs.

It was also learnt a protest was currently ongoing at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area of the state by young persons, who have barricaded all major roads leading in and out of the community.

Recall that the office of the Federal Road Safety Corps along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha Expressway and the beautification garden at Koka Junction, Asaba, were on Wednesday night set ablaze by thugs.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had on Thursday morning announced a 48-hour curfew across the state.

See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Governor Okowa Imposes Curfew In Delta As Thugs Set Ablaze FRSC Office 0 Comments 1 Day Ago

The governor also ordered the closure of all public and private schools in the state until November 2, 2020.

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BREAKING: United States Condemns Use Of Excessive Force By Nigerian Army On Peaceful Protesters

22 October 2020 - 6:59am


US President, Donald Trump.

The United States Government has condemned the shooting and killing of anti-police brutality protesters in Lagos.

The Nigerian Army had on Tuesday opened fire on peaceful protesters, killing at least 12 persons according to Amnesty International.

US President, Donald Trump.

In a statement on Thursday, the US said, “The United States strongly condemns the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos, causing death and injury. 

“We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces. 

“Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law.

“The right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles. 

“We call on the security services to show maximum restraint and respect fundamental rights and for demonstrators to remain peaceful. We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families.”

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I’ve Not Spoken With Buhari Since Lekki Shootings, Lagos Governor, Sanwo-Olu Says

22 October 2020 - 6:52am


Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, has said that he has not spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari since the Lekki shootings by men of the Nigerian Army.

Sanwo-Olu said he tried to call Buhari twice but was unable to reach him.

The governor made the revelation on Thursday while speaking with Arise TV in Lagos.

He said, “I made phone calls to the president throughout this week, twice yesterday first time he hadn't come to the office and the second time I was at the FEC meeting so I did, I haven’t spoken to him directly but I actually did call to want to speak to him but like I said he was at FEC meeting and probably had his briefing.

“He was the one that asked the Chief of Defence Staff to call me and I think it was when he got my message. He (CDS) said to me, that it was the President that asked him to call. I don’t have a report to say. We haven’t spoken.”

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Nigeria’s Deputy Power Minister, Jedy Agba, Orders Perpetual Detention Of Journalist For Indicting Him In 2012 Dana Air Crash

22 October 2020 - 6:47am


Jedy Agba

Nigeria's Minister of State for Power, Jedy Agba, has ordered the arrest and perpetual detention of the Publisher of Power Steering Magazine, Oga Tom Uhia, for revealing his role in the 2012 Dana Air crash.

Recall that a Dana aircraft crashed and killed 153 persons on-board and six others in Lagos.
Jedy Agba

The Accident Investigation Bureau in its final report said mechanical failure and pilot error caused the crash.

Uhia, in the June edition of the magazine, indicted Agba in the crash.

The journalist was picked up by security agents on October 14, 2020, three months after the publication and had since been kept in detention.

The journalist is also yet to be charged to court on any charge.

"The Minister of State for Power has detained Journalist Oga Tom Uhia for alleged defamation of character. Sequel to the publication of Jedy Agba's alleged involvement in the Dana Air crash as published in the June edition of Power Steering Magazine," a source told SaharaReporters.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists has described Uhia’s arrest as abuse of power, challenging the minister to seek judicial remedy through the courts if indeed he had a case against Uhia.

"If the Minister of State, Power, Mr Godwin Jedy Agba, feels strongly that he has suffered libel or defamation, what he ought to do is to seek legal remedy through the courts rather than using the police to arrest and detain Mr Tom Oga Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine for over 72 hours now without being charged to court,” the statement said.

“We call on the IGP to unconditionally release Mr Uhia and advise Mr Jedy Agba to follow the due process of law if he is persuaded, he has any case," the NUJ said.

The NUJ vowed to resist any attempt to stifle press freedom and gag journalists in the performance of their constitutionally guaranteed role of holding the government and its officials accountable to the people.

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BREAKING: We’re Watching Events In Nigeria, International Criminal Court Says

22 October 2020 - 6:36am


International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has said that it was currently monitoring the activities of law enforcement agencies in Nigeria over allegations of crimes against humanity perpetrated against peaceful protesters.

Fatou Bensouda, ICC’s Prosecutor, said the international court was looking out for indications Rome Statute crimes were being committed.

International Criminal Court Alamy

In a statement on Thursday, she said, “My office has been closely following the tenets around the current protests in Nigeria and the reaction of Nigeria's law enforcement and security agencies.

“Any loss of life and injury is concerning.

“We have received information alleging crimes and are keeping a close eye on developments, in case violence escalates and indications arise that Rome Statute Crimes may have been committed. 

“I call for calm and restraint.”

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BREAKING: Mob Set Police Station Ablaze In Ondo, Break Into Prison

22 October 2020 - 6:26am


A mob has razed the Divisional Police Station in Okitipupa area of Ondo State, SaharaReporters has learnt.

The mob was chased away from the street by the police before they carried out the attack on Thursday afternoon.

It was also gathered that the mob attacked the Nigerian Correctional Centre in the town and freed prisoners in the facility.

A resident of the town, Mr Iyiola Okeriola, told SaharaReporters that the mob had earlier razed Okitipupa Local Government secretariat during the attack. 

He said, “The policemen were trying to enforce curfew in the town when the mob got enraged and went to the station and set it ablaze.

"Some thugs who have political motivation have hijacked the protests and are currently fomenting trouble."

Not less than 50 motorcycles seized by the police and parked in the station were released by the mob.

This comes less than a day after some angry youth attacked another police station in Akure and set the facility on fire.

Another set of angry citizens had earlier destroyed the Special Anti-Robbery Squad facility along Oda Road in Akure, the state capital.

Tee-Leo Ikoro, spokesperson for the Ondo State Police Command, who confirmed the attack, said the police are yet to estimate the total value of items damaged during the attack.

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Tension At Ikoyi Prison, Gunshots Fired Around Facility

22 October 2020 - 6:17am


There is currently tension at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in Lagos, SaharaReporters has learnt.

It was also gathered that sounds of gunshots are being heard around the facility.

Trouble, it was gathered, started on Thursday morning following a disagreement between an inmate and official of the prison.

The matter escalated quickly, forcing prison officials to adopt stringent measures to bring the situation under control.

The latest incident comes days after thugs allegedly invaded the Benin Prison to free inmates.

There is yet to be an official statement on Thursday’s incident at the Ikoyi Prison.

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Ending SARS By SWATting Citizens Like Flies? By Ogaga Ifowodo

22 October 2020 - 5:12am


Ogaga Ifowodo

As news of outbreaks of arson and looting started taking over the reports of the hitherto peaceful EndSARS protests, I hoped and prayed that for once, the government would buck the trend and resist the temptation to send soldiers and anti-riot policemen to clear the streets by mowing down protesters.

The reported incidents were indeed worrisome: police stations set on fire and guns allegedly stolen, the gates of the prison in Benin broken down and its inmates set free, streets and highways blocked and commuters and travellers stranded, among other actions. But these pale in the light of the cold-blooded massacre of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. The account of the mass murder, corroborated in the main by phone-shot videos that have gone viral on social media, show that soldiers had, prior to shooting, removed the closed-circuit cameras and killed the floodlights, clearly with the aim of concealing their identity and any incriminating evidence. At least nine persons were murdered but there’s testimony that the soldiers carried away many corpses. There had been no account of rioting at the Toll Gate, the protesters conducting themselves in the generally acknowledged peaceful manner they have gone about expressing their grievances for two weeks against a nation that has seemed to delight in shaming and degrading the vast majority of its citizens since independence. Thrown into sudden darkness — the darkness that has symbolically enveloped the country — the protesters sat down or stood quietly, many waving the flag and singing the national anthem. Yet the soldiers pumped live bullets into their midst. Out of that blood-curdling scene has now emerged the truly ominous emblem of a blood-spattered flag making its gloomy rounds across internet chatrooms. Some have even replaced the white of the flag, standing for peace, with the red of the blood now being spilled gratuitously by the army, deadlier than SARS whose atrocities sparked the protests in the first place. 

It was indeed Bloody Tuesday in Lagos as protesters in Alausa, according to eye-witness accounts given to Amnesty International, were also shot at by a team of policemen from the state’s Rapid Response Squad. At least two people died and one person was critically wounded. Since 8 October when the protests began, ignited by the brutalisation of a victim by SARS operatives in Ughelli, Delta State, no less that 56 fellow Nigerians have been killed but the figure is most probably higher. Nigerian policemen and soldiers, nurtured by the culture of shooting first and last and never asking questions, cannot be expected to know of anything called irony. But I hope that President Buhari, and certainly Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a professor, sees the inescapable irony of ending SARS by SWATting the life out of even more of the younger citizens who have borne the greater brunt of police brutality. SWATting citizens as if they were just so many flies massed at the gate to one of the well-appointed abodes of the rich and privileged ought not to be any empathetic or responsible government’s reaction to popular expressions of grievance.

 

 

SWAT, the knee-jerk acronym-cursed replacement for SARS, has been dubbed Sars With Another Title. A timely clarification. 

Ogaga Ifowodo  

The chorus of official lament of the violent turn of the otherwise peaceful protests has underlining it the idea that the use of deadly force is now justified. But because the reported violent turn is so sharply out of character with the undoubted peaceful conduct of the thousands and thousands of protesters who have insisted on staying in the streets until concrete action is taken on their demands — after all, SARS, as checkpoints, has been disbanded several times before since the clamour against it began three years ago — the talk in the streets and on social media is that the violence is sponsored. Fifth columnists, or “hoodlums and miscreants,” in the words of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, have “hijacked” and tainted a legitimate and frankly overdue explosion of anger and frustration. But this begs the question of who is organising the hoodlums and miscreants into such well-coordinated forces of brigandage. Or why soldiers ordered to do police duties while Boko Haram and rampaging herdsmen sack whole towns, murder farmers and take over their lands will not merely make arrests or shoot in the air to disperse rioters but choose instead to shoot to kill unarmed protesters. The view that the perpetrators of violence are sponsored saboteurs whose goal is to create a ruse for ending the #EndSARS revolution budding in the streets gains credence with videos circulating across social media of gleaming black SUVs with fully-tinted windows conveying thugs to protest sites or ferrying them away after they had sown mayhem.

It appears the army has denied any involvement in the Lekki massacre. For their sake and the sake of us all, I hope they had no hand in it. But the army must know that at this point nobody outside government circles will believe them. So, the onus is on them and the government to prove that no soldier was within shooting range of the peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate after dark on Tuesday, 20 October 2020. More than that, an independent enquiry into the massacre must be conducted, including a ballistics report on the ammunition pumped into the crowd. Photos of some of the bullets which missed their targets are on display on the internet and will be available as Exhibits A.

It is obvious that the resort to infiltration and sabotage through orchestrated violence as being credibly alleged by the protesters, not to mention the resort to the use of lethal force, is driven by irritation and anxiety. Despite promptly disbanding SARS, the plucky youths have remained in the streets. Rather than go home and congratulate themselves and continue to wallow in their joblessness and despair, they have broadened their demands to include accountability and good governance. Thus, providing the perfect opportunity for a potentially unstoppable uprising fuelled by the pent-up anger and frustration of these many, many unrelenting years of poverty, hunger, dehumanisation, death and despair. Every state governor who has received a delegation of the protesting youths has acknowledged their intolerable ordeal. But the agony and anguish of the youths is the same that their parents and guardians feel, perhaps even more acutely given their more onerous responsibilities. This is what Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State admitted in his response to the Lekki massacre. We cannot, he says, “suppress the voice of the Nigerian youth. They have suffered untold pains and expressed their frustrations in the last two weeks,” adding that as leaders, “our duty is to start to right the wrongs. We need to start the process of rebuilding a nation that works for all. We need to take steps to recreate hope for our people, the youths inclusive.”

This is the proper understanding of the militant fervour defying guns in the streets. Those youths may very well be the saviours of a nation teetering once again and perhaps for the fateful last time on the precipice of self-destruction. As, indeed, they have done periodically since the Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact protests of 1962, the misguided but idealistic Five Majors Coup of 1966, the (Colonel) Ali-Must-Go Free Education Jihad of 1978, the Great Anti-SAP Protests of 1989, down to their critical role in the June 12 (1993) pro-democracy struggles. It would be a grievous mistake to see the inchoate revolution in the streets as a mere protest for police reforms. SARS which had long forfeited any reason for its existence — I read somewhere that the man who set it up now regrets his work, but it is not his fault, really — was merely a catalyst for the opening of the floodgates of the citizens long-suppressed but seething sorrow borne of deprivation and demoralisation. SARS was just a notorious part of the whole called the Nigerian edifice: it symbolised the unmitigated violence of governance in the lives of the people. Call #EndSARS, then, a synedochical revolution. At any rate, President Buhari must now accept the urgent need to speak to the crippling heartache of the youths in the streets. He cannot delay any longer to announce a bold course of change that would restructure — okay, re-engineer, since restructuring seems such a forbidden word in the corridors of power — the country to do what Governor Okowa says must be done to make Nigeria work for all of her citizens. That is the only way to calm the streets and make the youths go home. Time is running out. And the nation, slowly shutting down due to the increasing number of states imposing curfews, waits with bated breath. Act now, Mr President!

Ifowodo, lawyer, poet and writer is principal partner at Remedium Law Partners.

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