“It was unfortunate that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in some parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected,”.
This was the the submission of President Muhammadu Buhari to former Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria, Friday in Abuja.
In a virtual meeting with the former leaders, President Buhari reiterated that the Government will not fold its arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.
At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The President recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.
He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including:
”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.
”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.
”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”
The President declared: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.
”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”
President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives have been lost, a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.
Reiterating his pledge to Nigerians from the nationwide broadcast Thursday, the President reaffirmed:
”We will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.
”We shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”
The President thanked the former Heads of State for attending the meeting and their invaluable comments, observations and advice, adding that ”Nigerians expect nothing less from responsible statesmen.”
Each of the former leaders commended President Buhari for steps taken so far to restore calm and order to the country and also applauded the presidential broadcast of Thursday as detailed and soothing to the country.
”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you,” former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said.
The former heads of state were unanimous in their view that generation of employment and growing the economy including through direct foreign investments were critical to checking youth restiveness.
They also expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of civilians, policemen and soldiers killed as a result of the violent protest, and reaffirmed the commitment to respect the fundamental rights of citizens, including for peaceful protest as enshrined in the Constitution.
The former Heads of State also condemned the divisive and inciting pronouncements of separatists, and were of the opinion that such acts should be stopped.
Equally, the former Leaders commended the actions taken by Governors to address the demands of the ENDSARS protesters and their efforts to check the excesses of those who perpetrated violent acts and conduct.
Finally, they called on youths to pursue peaceful means, in seeking redress through engagement with Government and encouraged further conversation with the youths and other stakeholders in the country.
FG Petitions CNN Over investigative Report On Lekki Shooting, Threatens Action
The Federal Government has written a petition to the US-based Cable News Network (CNN), demanding an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Tollgate shooting, to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.
The government berated CNN for its investigative report on the #EndSARS protest in Lekki area of Lagos, pointing out that the media outfit breached the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness.
In the petition written by the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications) in CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia; the government said that if the international media organization does not carry out its demand, it will take any action within its laws to prevent CNN from making the #EndSARS crisis worse.
According to a report from Mouthpiece NGR, the government’s letter dated November 23, 2020, is titled “Re: How a bloody night of bullets quashed a young protest movement”.
The letter reads
FG Will Replace Properties Destroyed By Hoodlums, SGF Assures FRSC
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha has assured the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) that all the properties of the corps that were destroyed by hoodlums at the aftermath of the ENDSARS protest would be replaced by the federal government.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja when he visited the Corps to inspect some of the vehicles and bikes recently purchased, he noted that about Eight Commands across the country were affected as well as 28 vehicles.
Lagos: Ijanikin office of FRSC, VIO set ablaze by hoodlums
He said the federal government would look into the plight of the corps and ensure that the vehicles were replaced to enable the officers carry out their activities effectively.
Mustapha noted that during the yuletide, officers of the corps would be needed to help protect the highways and ensure it was safe for motorist to travel on.
On his part, Corps Marshal of the corps, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi said the vehicles that were procured would be given to states and commands that got affected by the hoodlums attack before others commands can get theirs.
He said about 16 patrol vehicles were procured alongside some ambulances and towing trucks hence, the towing trucks would be deployed to Lagos State due to the traffic nature of the state.
#EndSARS: Ooni Of Ife Lauds Muslim Community For Its Role For Restoration And Sustenance Of Peace In The Country.
By Yahaya Idris, Osun.
….. Hosts Leagues Of IMAMS President, says ‘Peace has no substitute’
The Arole Oduduwa & Oon of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, on Wednesday hosted the President General, League of Imams and Alfas from South-West region of Edo and Delta States respectively, Imam Jamiu Kewulere, at his Ile-Oodua Palace, Ile Ife.
In a statement Signed and made available to Journalists in Ile Ife Osun State by Comrade Moses Olafare, Director, Media & Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, said Critical national issues affecting the country including the #EndSARS protests which was hijacked by hoodlums were fully discussed in the interest of the country.
According to the statement, Ooni Ogunwusi, the Spiritual Leader of the entire Oduduwa Race worldwide who is also the Co-Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria(NCTRN), lauded the Muslim community for its role in the restoration and sustenance of peace in the country, adding that peace has no substitute.
“The kind of peace we enjoy in the South-West is unique to us in that it amazes people of other parts of the country how we live harmoniously regardless of our religious differences.
“I am impressed by your good works and those great moves you planned to move for the development of Nigeria and I am ready to join you because I am for peace and tranquility. We are also working with Christian Associations and practitioners of traditional religions too and the response is the same, they are for peace too.” Ooni Ogunwusi said.
on his part, Imam Kewulere who was flanked by top clerics across the region described the Ooni as an unequaled peace ambassador, who makes the supposed hard responsibility of peace keeping easy in the country.
“I wish to request your Majesty to convoke a meeting of the forum of all prominent Yoruba political leaders, religious leaders from both the Christian and Muslim circle and leading traditional leaders in Yoruba land as urgent as possible.
“The convocation should be made to deliberate and discuss the present state of events in Nigeria especially as it affects the Yoruba. It should also be part of the forum’s task to proffer solutions and way out to the seeming looming crisis.
“Kabiyesi, as much as I know that you are making frantic efforts towards the projection of Yoruba race, the time has come for all the Yoruba opinion leaders to sincerely and genuinely come together to address issues affecting the country and that of the Yoruba race in particular. The convocation of the forum of opinion leaders being proposed herein will go a long way to proffer solutions to some of the societal ills such as the ones that precipitated the recent #EndSARS protests.” The cleric requested.
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