- Senate Stands with Buhari, Tells Protesters to Leave Him Alone
The Senate Tuesday lashed out at civil society organisations (CSOs) protesting the prolonged medical vacation of President Muhammadu Buhari abroad, asking the protesters to leave the president alone as he had not violated any law.
It noted that Buhari, before his medical trip to the United Kingdom, fulfilled the constitutional requirement of informing the National Assembly of his vacation and transmitted power to the vice-president.
Some CSOs had in the past two days besieged Abuja, demanding that the president either resumes duty immediately or resigns his position.
The protest march, which was led by entertainment icon and activist, Mr. Charles Oputa (Charley Boy), however, took a new turn Tuesday as the police dispersed it, firing tear gas at the protesters that had gathered at their Unity Fountain, Abuja rendezvous.
The police explained later in the day that it disrupted the protest to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
The Senate in a reaction to the protest by its Chairman of Media and Publicity Committee, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, cautioned the protesters against overheating the polity with what it called their unreasonable demands, saying their actions were creating unnecessary tension in the country.
It said the protests could divert the attention of the federal government from its efforts at tackling the economic and security challenges facing the nation.
“The president has broken no law and therefore we do not see any justification for this diversion and noise making,” the Senate said, adding: “The sponsors are merely seeking cheap publicity at the expense of the peace of Nigeria.”
It denied the claim of the protesters that the president’s absence had created a vacuum and disrupted the workings of government. “We, in the National Assembly, are satisfied that there is no vacuum. The federal government is working. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is providing the required leadership. So, there is no reason for the protests.” it said firmly.
According to the upper legislative chamber, “All Nigerians now should focus on praying for the safe return of the president. We in the Senate are happy about the report by the governors and party leaders who recently visited President Buhari in London and we know he will soon return to continue to provide leadership to our people and the rest of Africa.
“We, therefore, call on the protesters to stop all these demonstrations and let their sense of patriotism overshadow the zeal for activism by joining other Nigerians to pray for the president, the acting president and Nigeria as a country at this critical period.”
But the protesters were swift in replying the Senate Tuesday, saying the position of the upper legislative chamber was an embarrassment to Nigerians, who were asking necessary questions on the whereabouts of their president.
The protesters under the aegis of #OurMumuDonDo said they would not back down from their request calling on the president to either resume or resign, despite the harassment by the police.
The leader of the group, Oputa, in a statement Tuesday said the Senate had failed in its constitutional responsibilities by not asking necessary questions on the health status of the president.
“I am disappointed in this country. But let it be known that no amount of intimidation on us by security agencies will deter us from demanding explanations from the government,” he said, adding: “They must be accountable to Nigerians because they were elected into power by us, and it is on this basis that they will account for their actions. We are tired of the back and forth stories from the Presidency on Buhari’s whereabouts.”
Oputa stated: “Also, to compound the mess Nigerians are in, it is disheartening for the Senate that ought to ask questions to be the very ones supporting such show of shame. Indeed, the feeling out here based on their position is that they are nothing but Buhari’s errand boys. I guess the Senate is desperate to please the president. They have failed Nigerians when most needed.”
He said the position of the Bukola Saraki-led Senate that the protesters should leave Buhari alone as he had violated no law was outright ridiculous.
“Saraki’s position,” he contended, “is a desperate attempt to patronise the president.”
Police Disperse Protesters
The second day of the protest by campaigners urging Buhari to resume work or resign had ended in pandemonium Tuesday after riot policemen fired tear gas canisters and water canon to disperse the crowd.
The first protest held on Monday by the group that called itself ‘Concerned Nigerians,’ was largely successful.
But they got more than they bargained for in their resolve to resume the sit-in and even extend the protest to the Presidential Villa when policemen disrupted the procession at the Millennium Park and Unity Fountain in the Central Area of the federal capital.
In the process, many of the protesters, including Oputa were injured.
Two journalists from the stable of Silver Bird Television, Uyi Amadim and Femi, were also brutalised along with Oputa.
He later fainted after inhaling teargas but was revived by sympathisers, who poured water on him.
Subsequently, policemen neutralised the protest by preventing the protesters from assembling at the Unity Fountain.
They also stopped the group from proceeding further to the National Assembly gate and the State House.
But the leader of Concerned Nigerians, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, accused the police of high-handedness and said no amount of police assault would deter the protesters from continuing on their call on the president to either resume or resign.
He insisted that nobody in the country had the right to stop the citizens from gathering.
Adeyanju said: “The president should resign if he is incapacitated. We are not interested in the lies the cabal is telling.
“The police told us that they have an order from above, claiming that our protest is embarrassing the government, and we queried them to know who gave the order.
“Buhari is a complete servant and Nigerians have the right to ask questions about the health of the person that is serving them.
“The cabal in Aso Rock cannot continue to take the president in and out of the country at will, and continue to tell us lies.”
The police, however, said it dispersed the protesters to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
According to the FCT Police Command spokesperson, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, “In the early hours of today, 8th August, 2017 the Police intervened and prevented breakdown of law and order, and disturbance of public peace in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja by dispersing some miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements that have infiltrated the protest being carried out by a group of concerned Nigerians under the auspices of Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement at Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja.
“It will be recalled that ‘Our-Mumu-Don-do Movement’ carried out their protest on Monday 7th August, 2017 at the same venue and were accorded necessary Police presence to safe guard public safety and public peace, and protect their rights to freedom of expression, rights to peaceful assembly and association, and right to freedom of movement as provided for in sections 39, 40, and 41 of the 1999 constitution as amended.
“However, yesterday 8th August, 2017 the same group assembled at the same venue but allowed miscreants, hoodlums and other unruly individuals to infiltrate the protests, who started blocking the major roads adjoining the Unity fountain, obstructing traffic and preventing movements of other innocent citizens from going to their means of livelihood, and thereby exhibiting unruly behaviours and other violent acts very likely to cause the breakdown of law and order and disturbance of public peace.”
Manzah explained that the police personnel intervened at the point the Concerned Nigerians group lost control of the crowd and prevented miscreants, hoodlums and other criminal elements from hijacking the protest to cause mayhem and chaos.
He added: “It is pertinent to state here that the FCT Police Command is fully aware and recognises the constitutional rights of every citizen including ‘Our-Mumu-Don-Do Group’ to assemble and move freely in any part of the Federal Capital Territory, but the command will not allow any protest under any guise to turn violent and jeopardise the prevailing peace, law and order currently being enjoyed in the FCT.
“The command wishes to assure all residents and visitors to the territory of adequate security and protection of lives and property of everyone including those who choose to express their constitutional rights of protest with decorum.
“Consequently, members of the public, parents and guardians, religious/opinion leaders and other interest groups are advised to prevail on their children and wards, followers and adherents not to allow themselves to be used by any group to cause disturbance of public peace and breakdown of law and order.”
Meanwhile, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said Buhari should be made the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he failed to resign.
Speaking at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) forum in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital Tuesday, Fayose criticised the Presidency for shrouding Buhari’s health in secrecy.
He said he was excluded from the delegation that visited the president in London because the organisers of the trip knew that he would “definitely reveal the truth”.
Two weeks ago, Buhari hosted seven governors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the PDP at the Abuja House in London.
Fayose said if he had joined his counterparts on that trip, he would have observed Buhari closely and disclosed the outcome of his findings to Nigerians.
He asked: “Why did they not take me to London? Why didn’t they take me there?
He answered: “They obviously knew very well that I would listen to the man and know whether his voice is clear or not. Then, I would be able to tell Nigerians the truth.”
He added: “Leadership must come with a certain measure of strength. If you don’t have strength, how can you govern the country?
“So, we need a president that is hale and hearty. If our president doesn’t want to go, let him become the minister of foreign affairs in London. These are statements of fact.”
Over 1M Nigerians Have Completed Online Voters Card Pre-Registration – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) affirmed that over 1 million additional voters have completed their online pre-registration for the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) within the last four weeks across the country.
INEC’s national commissioner, and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this through a statement released in Abuja on Monday.
Of the 1 million new eligible voters, 259,450 people have completed their registration in Osun State and it is currently been followed by Edo state with 98,286 new voters.
These two states were closely followed by Anambra state with 65,014, followed by Bayelsa with 63,250, and later Lagos State with 61,991, this came as Yobe with 1,893, followed by Sokoto State with 2,453, Jigawa 2,593, and Zamfara with 2,769 were some of the least stare registered.
The state’s distribution of the online fresh registration released by INEC in Abuja on Monday showed the weekly update provided by INEC for week four which also reveals that the commission received 1,135,395 applications.
The figure of the total applications received includes those for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards, and update of voter information record, etc.
According to the commission, the distribution of the 1,135,395 total applications by age group showed that 740,063 of them were youths between the ages of 18 to 34 years.
The applications from the middle-aged of between 35 to 49 years old were 278,042; the elderly from 50 to 69 years were 102,578; while the old from 70 years and above were 14,712
The distribution by occupation indicated that artisan constituted 75,877 of the total applications; farming/fishing – 81,096; public servants -25,298; business -230,551; house wives -25,816; students 355,227; civil servants 44,093; traders 97,624; others/not specified 199,813.
Also, the distribution by gender showed that females constituted 492,449 of the received applications while males were 642,946 as well as showed that 12,274 of the applicants indicated to be persons living with disabilities.
Okoye, providing an update on the online pre-registration which started nationwide on June 28, disclosed that the commission, also on Monday, commenced physical registration at its 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.
According to the statement, “As of 7 am today, Monday, July 26, the number of new registrants has risen to 1,006,661. The detailed distribution of the registrants by age, State/FCT, gender, occupation, and disability for week four of the exercise has been uploaded on the commission’s website and social media platforms.
“However, the distribution by age still shows that 740,063 (or 73.5 percent) are young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 34. As earlier announced by the commission, physical or in-person registration begins today, Monday, July 26 at our 811 state and local government area offices nationwide.
“The exact locations of the designated centers have already been uploaded to our website and social media platforms. For further details, citizens are encouraged to contact our state offices through the dedicated telephone numbers provided in the uploaded publication.
“‘Nigerians who pre-registered online can now complete their registration at those centers based on scheduled appointments. In addition, other Nigerians who prefer to register physically/in person can now do so at those centers.
“Both online pre-registration and physical/in-person registration will continue simultaneously until the suspension of the CVR exercise on June 30, 2022, to enable the commission to clean up the data and compile the voters’ register for the 2023 General Election.”
Okoye appealed to all citizens who wished to register to approach any of INEC’s state or local government area offices nationwide to do so, as the commission entered the next phase of the CVR exercise.
Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs
Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.
The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.
He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.
Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.
Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.
“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.
“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.
“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.
“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.
“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.
“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.
“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.
“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.
“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.
Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic
The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.
An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.
According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.
President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.
The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.
“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.
“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.
DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.
“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”
Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.
“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.
Government4 weeks ago
Justice Binta Nyako Grants FG Request, Remands Kanu in DSS Custody
Technology4 weeks ago
Opera Becomes the World’s First Alternative Browser Optimized for Chromebooks
Economy4 weeks ago
130 Countries Signs Commitment to Global Tax Rate, Nigeria Abstains
Naira3 weeks ago
Naira Exchange Rates Today, Monday, July 5, 2021
Business3 weeks ago
How to Redeem Gift Cards, Gift Card Rates in Nigeria
Government4 weeks ago
Buhari Arrests Nnamdi Kanu, Repatriated Him to Nigeria on Sunday
Business3 weeks ago
Jeff Bezos Steps Down as Amazon CEO- How Much Power Will He Give Up?
Finance3 weeks ago
African Development Fund Extends $83.6 Million in Grants to Boost Ethiopia-Djibouti Electricity Trade