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Tension Mounts Over Rivers Rerun Elections

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  • Tension Mounts Over Rivers Rerun Elections

Disturbed by the mounting tension ahead of Saturday’s rerun election in Rivers State, the Federal Government has warned against the killing of innocent citizens, especially members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have continued to trade accusations over acts capable of causing violence during the exercise.

The Director, Corps Welfare and Health Services, Mrs. Abosede Okaku, who represented the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Suleiman Kazaure, during a sensitisation session organised for corps members in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the military and other security agencies had been directed to protect them. According to her, the Federal Government will not take it lightly with anyone that harms any corps member.

Mrs. Okaku implored security agencies to ensure the safety of all the corps members who have volunteered to participate in the elections.

“ On December 10, we are having major election here in the state and you will be involved. We asked corps member to volunteer, we did not make it compulsory. It is only those corps members that volunteered that will take part in the election. Do not be involved in electoral malpractice, else, you will face the wrath of the law.

“Avoid bribery and corruption, destruction of electoral material because they are punishable. The DG has liaised with the security operatives, the IG, commissioner of police, the Army commander, Federal Road Safety Commander and others for your security. Your security is very important to us. We will not allow any attack on our corps members.”

On allegations by Governor Nyesom Wike that the police leadership was partisan and shunned him, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris said he would not respond to any allegation levelled against the force in the media.

Idris who spoke at a meeting with zonal commanders and commissioners of police yesterday in Abuja hinted that the deployment of personnel for the elections had commenced. He directed all the commissioners of police in the adjoining states to be on ground as he would be in the state on Thursday to assess the level of preparedness.

On the Wike’s allegation

that the police leadership was compromised, having withdrawn his chief security officer and other security details, the IG said: “We have very serious security issues to address in this country, I don’t want to trade allegations on the pages of newspapers, we have 36 governors in this country and I think we have good relationship with all of them.”

The APC National Secretary, Mala Buni described the allegations of withdrawal of Wike’s security aides and an assassination threat on the governor as a hoax meant to deflect attention from the reports of an alleged arms buildup and other sinister plots the Wike-led PDP administration planned to execute on the election day.

“Nobody is after Wike. The governor and the PDP’s diversionary and false alarm are hinged on the reality that they will lose the legislative rerun elections once security is tightened. Again, the PDP and the governor are haunted by their horrible past misdeeds. Nigerians recall how Wike, then a PDP minister used federal institutions to harass, intimidate and threaten the life of perceived political enemies, particularly Chibuike Amaechi who was then the governor,” he said.

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose raised the alarm that Wike “would be placed under house arrest” before the election.

Fayose revealed that an intelligence report from top security sources at his disposal vividly confirmed that if Wike resisted the arrest, “anything may happen to him.”

Speaking yesterday in Ado Ekiti after presenting N93.4 billion appropriation before the House of Assembly for passage, the Ekiti governor noted he had it on good authority that those plotting the nefarious act would not hesitate to kill Wike if he resisted the plan.

He said the alleged withdrawal of Wike’s CSO on Monday was a prelude to the planned intention of those he branded “as potential dangers to the country’s democracy.”

In a statement yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it would deploy 10,294 staff to conclude the national and state assemblies elections in Rivers State.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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#EndSARS: Here is the Complete Speech of President Buhari

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The Complete Speech of President Muhammadu Buhari

Following the Lekki Massacre, president Muhammadu Buhari delivered the much-awaited speech. However, the speech failed to touch on the massacre or the people affected, infuriating millions of Nigerian youths that have committed so much to the struggle and lost so much.

Below is the complete speech.

“Fellow Nigerians,

It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.

Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders

These are in addition to many other initiatives such as:

a. Farmermoni,
b. Tradermoni,
c. Marketmoni,
d. N-Power,
e. N-Tech and
f. N-Agro.

No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.

The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.

Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.

We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.

But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.

In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.

I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions.

Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.

Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint.

I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Passport, Visa Trend as Nigerian Youths Look to Move Out En masse Following Disappointing Presidential Speech

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Passport and Visa Trend on Twitter Following Disappointing Presidential Speech

Nigerian youths have started looking for a way to exit the country following a disappointing Presidential speech after security operatives opened fire on peaceful protesters on October 20, 2020 at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria.

The youths, who have been protesting and demanding an end to the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), had assembled at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 to sustain their protest before the commencement of a 24-hour curfew declared by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

However, shortly after they sang the national anthem, they were attacked by security operatives in one of the goriest scenes ever witnessed in the country. Despite calls for prosecution of perpetrators by both international and local civil rights organisations, the Federal Government has denied the occurrence even when Sanwo-Olu had earlier said forces beyond his control had made dark notes of history in the state.

This coupled with President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to acknowledge the killings and occurrence in his speech on Thursday, negatively affected the youths that for the first time went all out to demand a change in one voice.

Feeling dejected with the situation and most importantly hopeless about the future, they were forced to start seeking an exit from an uncertain future to a more predictable economy govern by sane people.

Since the failed presidential speech, Passport and Visa have been trending on Twitter as Nigerian youths now shift their focus to traveling out of Nigeria, a nation expected to plunge into the second economic recession in four years in the third quarter under President Muhammadu Buhari.

The inflation rate increased by 13.71 percent in September with the nation’s unemployment rate at 27.1 percent or 21.8 million amid rising economic uncertainties, weak foreign reserves and a currency that has been devalued twice this year.

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#EndSARS Protesters Kill as Security Operatives Open Fire at Lekki Toll Gate

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Security Operatives Open Fire on #EndSARS Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate

Nigerian security operatives deployed to Lekki Toll Gate following the announcement of a 24-hour curfew by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, opened fire on peaceful protesters on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

According to numerous accounts of protesters, the army started shooting even before the curfew announced to commence by 9 pm on Tuesday.

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