A Chief Superintendent of the Nigeria Police Force Catherine Ugorji has been selected for an award in peacekeeping.
In a press statement by the National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre, ( UNIC) Nigeria, Oluseyi Soremekun, Ugorji was selected by the United Nations as one of the two runners-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the year award for 2020.
She is currently serving with the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).
Ahead of school resumption, the Joint Action Committee of Non-Academic Staff Union, National Association of Academic Technologists and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria University in the Imo State University, have resolved to resume their strike.
This follows the failure by the state government to pay salaries and entitlements owed to staff of the institution in the last eight months.
In a statement signed by Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, JAC Comrade Eugenia John-Anorun, the union lamented that a good number of legitimate staff of the University have not received salaries since March this year thereby making life unbearable for them.
According to the statement, the government has continued to make selective payment of salaries since February 2020 including the removal of the JAC Chairman from the salary schedule since July this year for undisclosed reasons.
The statement accused the government of non-remittance of outstanding staff pension deductions to staff retirement savings account, non-remittance of check-off dues to the unions, and nonpayment of earned allowances contrary to the memorandum of understanding entered into between the government and the University.
The union warned that the attempt by the government to enroll staff of the University into the Treasury Single Account would infringe on the university autonomy noting that the unions would resist such measure as such tertiary institutions have their peculiarities.
The military says it has killed 35 suspected terrorists in Borno State, within the last week.
This is part of efforts to restore peace in the North East and the country in general.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Coordinator of the Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche while confirming the death of the terrorists says the military in conjunction with other security agencies across the country progressed satisfactorily with significant successes.
“The land component of Operation Lafiya Dole conducted robust operations, the troops executed several attacks in the terrorist hideout, repelled their attacks, locations and forstalled attacks on the IDPs convey”.
General Enenche explained that these operations led to the neutralization of armed bandits, the arrest of suspected bandits and their collaborators, rescue of kidnapped victims and recoveries of rustled cattle as well as a large cache of arms and ammunition.
“During the encounters, the superior power of home troops resulted in the decimation of several Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP elements.
“Two, three, and eight of their fighters were killed in contacts by the troops all in Gombe State.
“Large ammunitions, materials meant to produce IEDs were captured from the terrorists”, he added.
He further revealed that in a similar operation, the troops successfully repelled two several attacks by the Boko Haram members and ISWAP, two communities in Borno State.
General Enenche reassured Nigerians of the unwavering commitment of the Armed Forces to secure the country for all human activities to thrive.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has condoled with the families of an auto accident in Enugu State.
Atiku sympathised with the families through his Twitter handle on Friday.
He said, “My deepest condolences to the affected families, management and staff of Presentation Nursery and Primary School, the Catholic Diocese of Awgu, owners of the school, and the government and people of Enugu State. May their souls rest in peace.
“The gruesome accident in Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, in which scores of lives, many who are school children is heartbreaking”.
The gruesome accident in Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, in which scores of lives, many of them school children were lost is heartbreaking.
The Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, has reviewed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state and recovered some looted items.
In a state broadcast on Friday, the governor said that the curfew will now be from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, starting from October 30, 2020.
He appealed to residents to maintain calm. as it is returning to the state, noting that 50% of the looted items have been recovered.
He said 86 out of the 110 looted tractors have been recovered and more are being surrendered.
Governor Fintiri, therefore, commended the conduct of citizens who have remained law-abiding in spite of the extreme difficulties they had to endure as a result of the measures taken to restore normalcy.
He assures the people of the state that these measures are in the interest of the state and a way of preventing the hoodlums from reloading the state into anarchy.
Human rights group, Amnesty International has asked the Federal Government not to cover up the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSARS protests but rather bring to justice those involved.
In its latest report published on Wednesday, the rights group released details of the timeline of events from when the protests started on October 20, 2020.
“Amnesty International is again calling on Nigerian authorities to bring to justice those behind the shooting and to protect those who are exercising their right to freedom of assembly,” the report read.
“The organization is still investigating the shooting and the reported removal of bodies of those killed by the military in an attempt to remove evidence.”
The rights group noted that it had been monitoring developments across the country since the #EndSars protest began on October 8.
“What happened at Lekki Toll Gate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings,” the group added.
“One week on, the Nigerian authorities still have many questions to answer: who ordered the use of lethal force on peaceful protesters? Why were CCTV cameras on the scene dismantled in advance? And who ordered electricity being turned off minutes before the military opened fire on protesters?”
According to the Country Director of Amnesty International, Osai Ojigho, “The initial denials of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting was followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military’s attack against the protests.
“Many people are still missing since the day of the incident, and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath.”
Tracking the military’s movements
The human rights group equally said it tracked the military’s movements before the incident as narrated below:
Amnesty International’s Crisis Response experts investigated and verified social media videos and photographs that confirm the Nigerian security forces were present at the Lekki Toll Gate when the shootings occurred.
At 6:29pm local time in Lagos, two military vehicles were filmed leaving Bonny Camp on videos shared on social media.
Later footage shows four vehicles with flashing lights in a convoy, and they appear to be vehicles used by the Nigerian military and police.
The same vehicles headed east along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue – which changes its name to the Lekki-Epe Expressway – in the direction of the Lekki Toll Gate.
On this route, the vehicles pass several international embassies and consulates, including the Japanese Embassy and the Australian High Commission.
Further photographs and footage capture the vehicles arriving at the toll gate, before the peaceful protest is disrupted by men in military uniform and gunfire is heard.
As night time descended, protesters continued to film and share videos of the shootings. Later in the evening, videos of the victims were also shared on social media.
Protests Against Police Brutality
Nigerians had taken to the streets, peacefully demanding an end to police brutality, extrajudicial executions and extortion by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force tasked with fighting violent crimes.
According to Amnesty International, at least 56 people have died in the nation since the protests began.
In multiple cases, it added, security forces used excessive force in an attempt to control or stop the protests, noting that based on its investigations, the protests had been peaceful until force was used.
The Taraba state government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on Jalingo, the state capital, and Wukari Local Government Area.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on New Media, Musleem Aruwa, the curfew will now run from 6:00 pm to 7:00 am until further notice.
“There will be free movement from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, the remaining hours remain restricted.
“The government will continue to monitor the situation until normalcy is restored completely”, he said.
Mr. Aruwa urged the citizens to go about their legitimate businesses as the government and other security agencies have adopted tougher safeguards to protect lives and properties.
He asked residents with useful information on criminals in the state, especially those involved in the recent looting to inform security agencies nearest to them.
“Those who took part in the shameful looting of public and private property should return such items to their ward heads, village/Districts heads, or the local government chairmen as these categories of leaders have been directed to collate the looted items for safekeeping, so that they can be returned to government and other private businesses affected”, he added.
The Ekiti State Government has directed workers on Grade Levels 02 – 07 in the State Public Service who been away from office since March 23, 2020, to resume work.
A statement by the Head of Service, Peju Babafemi, says the state government has reviewed the steps taken in containing the virus, including the provision of equipment and materials to prevent the spread in our offices.
“The Governor, His Excellency, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has therefore directed all workers on Grade Levels 02- 07, hitherto at home to resume work with effect from Monday, November 2, 2020.
“It is noteworthy that despite the stay at home order and the limited resources available to government, Ekiti State Government has continued to demonstrate an unflinching commitment to workers’ wellbeing and career development.
“I urge all the workers to show more dedication to duty in ensuring effective service delivery to Ekiti people as they resume.
“All Accounting Officers should provide the necessary support for their staff and ensure compliance with all COVID-19 protocols in the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)”.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has appealed to members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) to halt its plans to attack oil facilities in the region.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Deputy Senate President, Yomi Odunuga, says going ahead with the threat would create an economic setback for the country and additional environmental degradation in the area.
Senator Omo-Agege’s appeal came on the heels of recent threats by a coalition of nine militant groups in the Niger-Delta region expressing readiness to resume hostilities by attacking oil and gas facilities if Federal Government did not meet the demands of #EndSARS protesters across the country.
After an emergency meeting in Delta State last week, the militant groups under the aegis of the RNDA, also announced their preparedness to disavow the ceasefire accord with the Federal Government and engage military forces.
Specifically, they threatened to resume attacks on some identified oil facilities in the region if nothing was done to redress the issues of poor welfare, armed oppression and inequality in the standard of living between the citizens and political elite.
But speaking when he hosted a delegation of Oil and Gas Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSCON) in Abuja, led by elder statesman, Chief (Dr ) Wellington Okrika, the Delta Central lawmaker urged the agitators to sheathe their sword and allow peace to reign.
He assured that their demands would be tabled before The Presidency.
The senator stressed that with the nation still battling with the challenges posed by Covid-19 and the aftermath of #EndSARS Protests which was hijacked by hoodlums, it cannot afford another militancy problem at the moment.
“Whatever it is, we must maintain peace in the Niger Delta. I say this in view of the new agitations by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers. We are just coming out of the #EndSARS protest which, of course, we all witnessed how a peaceful protest was hijacked by those with sinister agenda. We are all witnesses to what happened afterwards even when we must acknowledge that in a democracy, protest is a right provided those that do it do so peacefully without abridging the rights of others,” Omo-Agege said.
Speaking further, he urged HOSCON members to “go back to our people in the Creeks and tell them we are here for them. We are here to champion their request. We don’t want the peace of the Niger Delta to be disturbed or disrupted. We are here to protect the interest of our people. Yes, I may be the Deputy President of the Senate today but, I am first of all, a Senator representing my people. I am here and I am your own. I am your eye. We shall not disappoint you.
“Take this commendation to our brothers in the Creeks that they have done well in keeping the peace and we will table their request before the authorities as they have channelled that request through me. We shall ensure the right things are done”.
On the Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly, Omo-Agege argued that the annual contribution of 2.5 per cent actual operating expenditure by oil companies to the Host Community Development Trust Fund would be increased to, at least, 5 per cent.
He also reiterated his call at the Second Reading of the bill on the floor of the Senate where he made a case for gas flaring penalties to be paid to the host communities and not the Federation Account.
He pointed out that the funds would be used to ameliorate the living conditions in Niger Delta communities, as they remain the ones that bear the burden of environmental degradation from the oil industry.
“That I come from the oil bearing communities is one of the reasons why I am DSP today given our contribution to the economy of the country. It is only natural that I champion anything that would promote the interest of the people of the Niger Delta.
“The PIB is a very crucial bill. If properly handled it would bring a lot of Foreign Direct Investments into the oil economy. This is the best time to take advantage of the oil we have and the best way to do so it to encourage FDIs and this can only be achieved when the Niger Delta is peaceful. That is why I am suing for peace.
“Let the Niger Delta Region begin to look like the region that produces the wealth of the country. The Host Community component of the PIB law is of utmost importance to us in the National Assembly and we believe it should be a win-win for all stakeholders. And so, we are determined to ensure that we have an improvement on what we have before. I am also confident that we have made a good impression with our colleagues and we would get something favourable for the oil-bearing communities.
“I also believe Gas Flaring Penalty cost should come to the Host Communities and I am sure we have impressed it on our colleagues to allow that to stay. That money shouldn’t go to the Federation Account but to the people whose environment are impacted by gas flaring”, he added.
The bill is currently before the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Petroleum Downstream and Gas for further legislative work.
Earlier, Chief Okrika, called on the Deputy President of the Senate to intervene in the issues brought before the Federal Government concerning the PIB, gas flaring, 13 percent derivation payment to the states instead of the oil-bearing communities, the N98bn gas flare fund and the controversy surrounding the Pipeline Surveillance Contract.
He lauded the legislative interventions of the senator, adding that members were impressed with his contributions not only on issues concerning the Niger Delta but his general contributions on matters relating to national discourse.
Other members of the delegation include Dr Mike Emuh (National Chairman), Mrs Josephine Odungide (National Women Leader), Princess Christy Ejeh, Anthony Oghenovo, Jonathan Osigho, Joy Richard and Ann Izi.
The Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, met with drivers, and representatives of the youth groups, asking them to work together to bring back peace in the state.
Governor Makinde also met with representatives of #EndSARS protesters, stating that every resident has a duty to ensure peace because “the opportunity to go about our businesses and activities must be protected.”
He said that the meeting was to ensure the buy-in of all stakeholders to ensure that the Police return to their duty posts immediately, as according to him, a society without security is heading towards anarchy.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor as saying that despite the recent protest against Police brutality and demand for a better country, which he said was a worthy cause, people must know that the Police and the people would have to come together to build a better society together.
He said: “Our Police will come back now. Somebody talked about State Police. Well, that is a constitutional issue. We are putting the request forward because members of the State House of Assembly are here. Oyo State alone cannot make the reforms.
“But while we are waiting for that, Oyo State has passed a law for the operation of Amotekun. Only yesterday (Monday), I signed off for them to immediately recruit 1,500 personnel. They have conducted an interview and I am sure that that personnel will start their training by the 1st of November and we will have the passing out for them about the 15th of November.
“We have 351 wards in Oyo State and I give you the assurance that you will see an Amotekun operative in all the wards in the state. They will work hand in hand with the Police authority, but they will also report to me directly. And I will take the responsibility for their actions. If any Amotekun operative in any corner of Oyo State behaves unruly, hold me accountable.
“So, I want you all to go back, support our traditional rulers. Let the people know that both the Police and the people have to come together, work together and build a better society together.”
The governor, who also stated that the state government decided to set up platforms for reporting police brutality and right abuses, said that the measure would fast-track the job of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, which he said will be inaugurated next week.
He stated that 46 persons have so far reported infractions and rights abuses, adding the representatives of the youths and artisans will serve on the panel of inquiry.
Governor Makinde also said that in order to ensure accountability, the government had decided that representatives of youth organisations and the artisan groups present would also serve on the panel that will oversee the disbursement of the 500 Million Naira Victim Compensation Fund for victims of Police brutality and his administration’s N500 Million for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) support fund for youths.
He said: “I have listened to the #EndSARS representatives and also listened to that of the artisans, okada riders and Micra operatives. One thing that came out of the presentation you made is, the government will come and go but our state will remain. So, I will say it is not how long but how well. What can we do to ensure we are doing the right thing in our state and environment?
“The peace, security, and the opportunity to go about our businesses and activities must be protected. And that is why I have called this meeting. We need you, the artisans, okada riders, youths, and even the EndSARS protesters, to come together and protect our state and tackle the challenges before us. That is why I called this meeting to seek your buy-in; to have you take ownership of the policies that we are rolling out and to also make you part of that process.”
According to him, the demographics in the state and the country show that youths are much and some of them are well-read, noting that the government has to engage them and that this is what his government stands for.
“As we are expanding our economy, a lot more people will be taken from poverty to prosperity. We have made the plans, put some things together but we only need your cooperation to have that done,” the governor said.
He assured Taxi drivers and Motorcycle riders that their request for mitigation of offences as well as the request for tax certificates have been received, adding that the state government would standardize their operations and ensure a better working environment for them.
The governor added: “I need to also tell you that at Gate, there is a programme we are organizing for the Okada riders. Any money we collect from you Okada riders and Micra operatives will be accounted for and we will plough it back to make things better for you. The project will be completed very soon, maybe in a few weeks’ time. Once we have ourselves organized, our problem is half solved.
“The youths asked for a sense of belonging, but I already addressed it. Concerning the N500m I earmarked, you will be a part of the people that will monitor the disbursement.”
While speaking at the event, the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Debo Ogundoyin said that youths need to be involved in politics to ensure things run properly.
He demanded constitution review, review of the 2014 national confab report, review of Exclusive Legislative List and the Electoral Act to guarantee accountability.
Former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, who is also the Special Adviser to the governor on Security, Fatai Owoseni (Rtd), asked the youths to constructively engage the system, adding that they cannot be complaining about police brutality and extra-judicial killing while also perpetuating the same wrongdoing.
“2023 is very close, let’s register to vote and use our votes to make Nigeria a better place,” the retired Police Commissioner said.
Some South West senators on Tuesday visited Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House Marina, over the damaged carried out by residents who hijacked the #EndSARS protest.
The senators include; Ibikunle Amosun, representing Ogun Central, Oluremi Tinubu, Lagos Central, Solomon Adeola, Lagos West, Opeyemi Bamidele, Ekiti central, Ajayi Boroffice, Ondo North, Abiodun Olujimi, Ekiti South, Tolu Odebiyi, Ogun West, Lekan Mustapha, Ogun East, Adetunbi Olubunmi, representing Ekiti North, among others.
Senate Deputy leader, Ajayi Boroffice who spoke on behalf of the Senators said they are deeply hurt by the extent of damage carried out in Lagos.
He assured the state government of all necessary assistance To help rebuild all damaged infrastructure in the state and urged the Federal Government to support Lagos financially to cushion the effect of damages.
Senator Boroffice added that the Senate is working on a constitutional approval that will fast track and make sure that the demands of the youths are met as soon as possible.