Isoko Youths Protest ‘Illegal’ Detention Of Their Leader

Isoko Youths Protest Alleged Illegal Detention Of Leader

 

Angry youths from Isoko barricaded the popular Ughelli-Asaba Highway on Friday with a call for the release of one Umuakpo Ovie.

The protesters said Ovie – the President of the Isoko National Youth Association – was arrested by the police, an act they claimed was initiated by some people in government.

The aggrieved youths who came out in their hundreds blocked both sections of the road, carrying placards with various inscriptions in which they accused the state government of taking sides with a factional president parading himself as their leader.

However, not even the presence of security officials could deter the protesters from condemning what they called ‘an illegal arrest’.

In an interview with Channels Television, one of the protesters Amos Okpoko accused the government of being insensitive to the plights of the Isoko people.

Okpoko said: “We have always protested against the insensitivity of the state government towards the Isoko people, our road is in a very terrible state as we record series of accidents all the time.

“Our president has also been arrested illegally by some people in government. We hereby demand his release with immediate effect.”

The government, however, denied the allegations saying the said president had been released.

Mr Aniagwu, who spoke on its behalf, reiterate government’s commitment to infrastructural development in all parts of the state without preference to any ethnic nationality.

“It is not true that the state government is taking sides with anybody that is not legitimately the leader of the group; the governor (Ifeanyi Okowa) is very much interested in the peace of that area.

“There has been a lot of internal issues before now and, of course, you know that we have to listen to both sides. I can assure you that the young man in question has been released and the government will definitely resolve all issues,” he said.

On the condition of the road in the region, Aniagwu said, “That particular road was awarded when we came into office and it was divided into three different sections.

“When we came in, the country went into recession for more than 16 months but now that things have begun to pick up, we will try and effect some repairs on the road.”

Honduras Roads Blocked In Protests Against Election Results

Supporters of the presidential candidate for the Honduran Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship, Salvador Nasralla, clash with riot police and soldiers in a protest in Tegucigalpa on January 20, 2018. PHOTO: Orlando SIERRA / AFP

Activists blocked roads and clashed with police in Honduras on Saturday as part of nationwide protests against the contested re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds jailed since Hernandez was declared the winner of the November 26 run-off election — after a three week stretch of often-interrupted ballot counting that stoked tensions and sparked accusations of fraud in the Central American country.

The left-wing Alliance in Opposition against the Dictatorship is heading a protest campaign insisting that the election was stolen from its candidate, former TV anchor Salvador Nasrallah.

The opposition called for a “national strike” on Saturday to block the country’s main roads ahead of the start of the president’s new term in office on January 27.

The government deployed police and soldiers to confront protesters.

One demonstrator was shot dead Saturday, opposition leader and former president Manuel Zelaya told AFP, identifying the victim as Anselmo Villareal, 60.

Seven other demonstrators were detained and two police were hurt, police spokesman Jair Meza said.

A military spokesman, Lieutenant Jose Coello, told AFP that some highways had been blocked “but they are being cleared in a peaceful manner.”

Coello said police confiscated tires, presumably to be set ablaze, that protesters were carrying in their vehicles.

Protesters blocked the country’s main highway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula at a point about 100 kilometres (65 miles) north of the capital, local media reported.

In Tegucigalpa, police fired tear gas at protesters trying to block a road and burn tires. The demonstrators responded by hurling rocks.

Hernandez has implicit backing from the United States, which is pouring millions of dollars into Honduras and neighbouring Guatemala and El Salvador to improve security conditions there.

Those three countries, collectively known as Central America’s “Northern Triangle,” are the biggest source of undocumented migrants heading to the United States.

AFP

Benue Residents Take Protest To National Assembly

Some indigenes of Benue State have taken their search for justice for victims of herdsmen killings to the National Assembly.

They took their protest to the legislature, occupying the entrance of the National Assembly, on Thursday, 48 hours after both chambers of the lawmakers debated the issue.

The protesters demanded that both the Senate and the House of Representatives speed up their investigations, and ensure that all those behind the killings face the law.

The Deputy Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Honourable Chukwuka Onyema, who addressed the protesters on behalf of the Federal lawmakers gave assurance of the government to address the situation once and for all.

“We have set up a panel, the panel is going to come back to us and tell us their findings. I don’t think anyone in his right senses will sit down and allow this kind of thing (the killings) to happen. We have called on security agencies and we are going to do our best. You will hear of our resolutions and when we come up with our resolution, I think the whole of Benue will be proud of us,” Onyema said.

Youths Protest Poor Power Supply In Niger State

Youths in Niger state have staged a peaceful protest on Thursday against what they termed an epileptic power supply by the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

In October last year, they issued a four-week ultimatum to both the AEDC and the transmission company in the state to either improve on power supply or vacate the state. But the state government, including the House of Assembly, waded into the matter.

Speaking to Channels Television’s correspondent, the youths however, noted that they were not satisfied with the outcome of that resolution, hence, the reason they decided to embark on the protest.

NLC, Kaduna Teachers Defy Police Warning, Continue With Protest

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), on Thursday, went ahead with their protest in Kaduna despite warnings and tightened security by the Police.

The protesters were seen marching through the major roads in the state capital and insisted on proceeding to the Government House, where they intend to submit their protest letter to the governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Philibus Wabba, said: the Police cannot deter us – people determined can never be defeated and therefore, we are determined, we will make our point.

“We will submit our letter of protest, and if they like they should act but I think it is a welcome development because workers have seen that despite our olive hand of fellowship, to try to see how those issues are resolved on the table, we have seen that with impunity, the decision of the National Industrial Court is being set aside, with impunity, people are not allowed to exercise their freedom of association and this is not what we bargained for,” he added.

NLC President.

Read Also: Police, Soldiers Mobilise To Stop Planned Teachers Protest In Kaduna

This comes despite resistance by Policemen and other security operatives who mounted surveillance at major roads and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat in the state capital to prevent the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), from going ahead with the protest.

Policemen were also drafted along the Kaduna-Abuja highway to prevent NLC members from other states and the FCT from entering into Kaduna state for the anti-government protest.

Briefing journalists, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh said the police were worried that hoodlums might want to take advantage of the public.

He said, “We tried to speak with the leadership of this labour union for them to see reasons why it is completely dangerous because we are apprehensive that their intention is going to cause a breakdown of law and order because the hoodlums are likely to hijack it.

“They insisted they are going to come out. They insisted that this march is a must. As you can see we have to manage this crisis with all caution because they blocked the public highway, they prevented lawful citizens from lawful movement and you know how long it took them to occupy this roundabout.

“Honestly we are resolved to ensuring that they will not lead us into a situation that will bring about a breakdown of law and order but I can assure you that the security is on top and we are going to manage this crisis until it is over.”

Police, Kaduna Govt Threaten To Arrest NUT Members Over Planned Protest

The Kaduna State Police Command and the state government have warned members of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) against embarking on any illegal procession or protest around the state or engaging in any act that violates the law or threatens the peace of the state.

The warning came against the backdrop of a planned protest scheduled for Thursday by the NUT and Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), following the sack of over 21,000 teachers who failed a competency test in June last year.

The State Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh who addressed journalists in his office on Wednesday, warned against further unlawful assembly, lawlessness, incitement, and acts capable of breaching the peace across the state.

He also added that any breach of peace by the striking teachers would be dealt with decisively.

On its part, the state government, while warning the teachers on the consequence of embarking on any unlawful procession or assembly under the law, insisted that no amount of sentiment or blackmail by the Union will result in subjugating the future of two million school children to the caprices of unqualified teachers.

The spokesman for the state government, Samuel Aruwan, equally told reporters that government had already secured a court warrant to arrest any union officials or individuals that violate the penal code of the state government which include unlawful procession and assembly.

He explained that government has proposed a package to help ease the post-service transition of disengaged public servants, adding that there was no way to even contemplate retaining teachers who have shown incompetence in discharging their responsibilities.

“The Kaduna State Government is encouraged by the overwhelming support of parents for its Education reforms. Ordinary people clearly understand that the government is making public primary schools better for the sake of citizens and their children. They have seen failed teachers and the NUT disrupt schools as they try to force others to join the strike, and they know that it is the government that is standing for their interests.

“No amount of sentiments will result in subjugating the future of these two million children to the caprices of poor teachers. Not strikes. Not blackmail. Not craven indulgence in tired clichés. The urgency of serving our people does not permit us to retain unqualified or redundant workers just because they were able to sneak in. Perhaps the labour unions are unable to identify or grapple with the great issues of the day if they are not prompted by external actors, but not every social actor shares that affliction.

“There is no way to even contemplate retaining teachers who have failed badly, and who are actually in need of adult education classes in Literacy and Numeracy.”

Furthermore, Aruwan noted that the same NLC and NUT officials who formed part of the committee that supervised the competency test, are among those planning the protest, a development that he described as an attempt to “save face”.

“It is instructive that NLC and NUT officials were part of the committee that organised and supervised the competency test. They requested that 60% be accepted as a pass mark for teachers writing a Primary Four exam, but are reluctant to admit to their members that they endorsed the logic that unqualified teachers must go. To save face, they have shamelessly tried to repudiate their participation in the process.

“The government has proposed a package to help ease the post-service transition of disengaged public servants. But nobody should foster the delusion that this government will be browbeaten into surrendering the interests of the majority for a vocal and selfish minority.

“The last time the NLC and NUT organised what they called a peaceful rally, they attacked the Kaduna State House of Assembly and destroyed public property in addition to engaging in an unlawful assembly and other violations of the Penal Code of Kaduna State. The Attorney-General of Kaduna State has filed criminal complaints and has obtained bench warrants for the arrest of those involved in the fomenting the chaos of Wednesday, 8th November 2017.

“Government is committed to protecting the lives, property and livelihoods of the citizens of Kaduna State, and will take firm and decisive actions against any persons or group that seek to undermine this. The security agencies have already made it clear that no body or group will be allowed to repeat those messy incidents or threaten law and order in Kaduna State in the guise of a march.

“Trade unions cannot hold our state to ransom, by shamelessly insisting on the retention of bad teachers, or baselessly claiming that a state must spend all its resources on 1% of the population,” Aruwan stated.

Residents Of Edo Community Protest Herdsmen Attacks

The People of Ojah community in Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State have protested what they have described as incessant attacks on them and their farmlands by alleged herdsmen and have therefore, called on relevant authorities to urgently address the situation.

The protest is coming on the heels of an attack on a member of the community at his farm on January 4, by five persons, alleged to be herdsmen.

The people lamented over the fact that despite reporting initial attacks on their community, nothing was done about it and the onslaught has continued.

They, however, pleaded with the government to come to their aid to prevent a recurrence.

This follows news of similar attacks in other states such as Rivers and Benue which left many dead.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the tragic events and prior to having a closed door meeting with the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom today (Tuesday), he ordered the  Inspector General Of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to move to Benue state in an effort to stop the killings.

Read Also: Buhari Orders IGP To Move To Benue

Alleged Herdsmen Killing Of 33 Persons Sparks Protest In Benue

Alleged Herdsmen Killing Of 33 Persons Sparks Protest In Benue

 

Hundreds of youths on Wednesday stormed the popular Food Basket Roundabout in Makurdi to protest the alleged killing of at least 33 people by herdsmen in Benue State.

The protest led to a gridlock in the area, causing traffic obstruction for motorists travelling through the state capital to the north and southern regions of the country.

PHOTOS: Youths Protest Alleged Herdsmen Killings In Benue

The aggrieved youths have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in what they described as “terrorist killings” in their state.

Some of them were in tears as a vehicle conveyed another corpse into the crowd to prove their claims of the ongoing killings, following a reported attack which occurred on Tuesday night.

The protest came barely 24 hours after the State Security Council meeting which held at the Government House in the state capital.

Addressing reporters shortly after the meeting on Tuesday, the state governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, said he had received reports of 20 persons allegedly killed by herdsmen in the state.

During an on-the-spot assessment visit to some of the affected communities, Governor Ortom said an additional 13 deaths were discovered, taking the number of those killed to 33.

The governor, who was addressing some members of the affected communities, said: “Mr President has been briefed about this development, all the security chiefs have been briefed, and our Security Council today directed that security men should come and protect lives and property in this community.

“So I want to appeal to you to be calm, to be law-abiding, and there is no going back on the law that we signed; by the grace of God, it will be implemented.”

The killing of another resident following Tuesday’s reported attack sparked the protest by the youths who have asked the President to come to their rescue.

In a bid to contain the protest, personnel of the Nigerian Police and Nigerian Army were caught up in a faceoff with the irate youths who insist on occupying the road all through the week.

PHOTOS: Youths Protest Alleged Herdsmen Killings In Benue

 

Youths in Benue State protested against the killing of at least 33 people by suspected herdsmen in the state.

READ ALSO: Alleged Herdsmen Killing Of 33 Persons Sparks Protest In Benue

Hundreds of angry youths on Wednesday stormed the popular Food Basket Roundabout in Makurdi, the state capital, to condemn what they described as “terrorist killings” in their state.

The youths, who were carrying placards with various inscriptions, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the reported killings.

See photos below;

Internet Restored In DR Congo After Deadly Protests

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila. PHOTO: Phill Magakoe / AFP

Internet was restored in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday after the government cut services for three days on the eve of protests against the president, AFP reporters said.  

The Congolese minister for telecommunications Emery Okundji ordered mobile operators to cut internet and SMS services “for reasons of state security” on Saturday.

Catholic and opposition groups on Sunday pushed ahead with banned demonstrations, which were met with a deadly crackdown by authorities, who fired tear gas into churches and bullets in the air to break up gatherings at Catholic masses.

At least eight people were killed and dozens arrested, including 12 altar boys leading a march in Kinshasa.

Internet cuts are common during anti-government demonstrations in the vast, mineral-rich central African country, which has been wracked by tension over delayed elections.

“Internet cuts, even short ones, disrupt economic growth, interrupt essential services, undermine investor confidence and degrade the country’s image,” according to a study published in September by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA).

Protesters want President Joseph Kabila to promise he will not further extend his time in power in DR Congo, a mostly Catholic former Belgian colony.

Elections to replace him have been delayed and are currently set for December 2018.

UN chief Antonio Guterres has urged Kabila, in power since 2001, to abide by an agreement to step down.

AFP

Thousands Gather In Togo To Protest President

FILE PHOTO: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP

Tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged the streets of the Togolese capital on Saturday, the latest in a series of mass protests against the rule of President Faure Gnassingbe.

Anti-government marches have been held across the country nearly every week since August, attracting hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding the exit of Gnassingbe, who has ruled for more than 15 years.

“We will never tire. This time we are going to see this fight, which started several months ago, through to the end,” said a motorcycle taxi driver who joined the marches in Lome on Saturday.

“Nobody will give up because we are already seeing the end of this regime,” another protester told AFP.

The scion of one of Africa’s longest-ruling dynasties, Gnassingbe took power in 2005 after the death of his father General Gnassingbe Eyadema, who ruled the country for 38 years.

Opposition parties have persistently called for the introduction of a maximum two-term presidential mandate and a two-round voting system.

However, Gnassingbe has refused to rule out running for president again.

Although Saturday’s demonstration passed peacefully, there have been confrontations with police at several previous rallies, most recently on Thursday when 12 people were hurt after officers fired tear gas at protesters.

Osun Workers Takeover Secretariat In Protest

As Nigerian workers resume from the Christmas holiday today, December 27, civil servants in Osun take over Abere secretariat in Osogbo, the state capital protesting over unpaid salaries.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state as early as 7:00 a.m. occupied the entrance gate of the secretariat to ensure total compliance to its directive of going on an indefinite strike.

See Photos below: