Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Friday, 16th October 2020
The federal government has directed all civil servants to return to work as from Monday, 19th October, 2020.
This directive was communicated on Thursday during a COVID-19 press briefing by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Sanni Aliyu, was also present at the briefing.
By the directive, all federal government workers who have been at home since March as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak are expected to resume duties at their various workplaces by Monday.
The directive however noted that civil servants will only go to work on alternate days so as to ensure social distancing as civil servants on grade level 12 and below return to work.
All Ministries, Departments, and Agencies have been directed to ensure compliance with full COVID-19 protocols.
It will be recalled that only civil servants of Salary Grade Level 12 and above as well as those on essential duties have been going to work.
The Federal House of Representatives on Thursday summoned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, over the ongoing #EndSARS protest.
Naija News reports that the An ad hoc committee set up by Reps on the ongoing nationwide protests asked the IGP to appear before the special panel on October 22, 2020.
The panel will also conduct town hall meetings across the country to take hear from Nigerians on the matter.
Recall that Nigerians have taken to the streets to protest extrajudicial killings and brutality by the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has fixed February 18, 2023, for the 2023 Presidential election in the country.
This was disclosed on Thursday by the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu in his goodwill message at the inauguration of the National Assembly special adhoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution.
He noted as part of his speech that the country has about 855 days to the next general election.
The Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, has warned all Police Officers and their commanders against the use of force on citizens, most especially during peaceful protests.
In a statement released on the official microblogging site account of the force on Thursday, October 15, the IGP reiterated that citizens have fundamental rights of freedom of expression, assembly and movement and these must always be upheld and protected by the police.
Mohammed again urged protesters to continually conduct themselves peacefully and guide their ranks against infiltration by criminal elements.
Speaking about the 5of5 demands of the #EndSARS protesters, The IGP said, “The Force leadership has heard the voice of the people clearly and is irrevocably committed to doing everything possible to address the observed ills, punish the offending officers and enthrone a people-friendly police force.”
Governors of the 19 northern states in Nigeria have opposed the disbandment of the infamous Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police.
This was made known to State House correspondents by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, stated that SARS has been useful in the fight against insecurity in the region.
According to him, northern states do not believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
He said: “SARS is not made up of bad elements alone as it also includes personnel who are doing their work diligently.”
Governor Lalong, however, called on the federal government to reform the unit to enable it to discharge its functions “optimally”.
All the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camps across the country have been approved to reopen on November 10.
The Federal Government announced this on Thursday morning, October 15 through the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
The Minister made the disclosure via a post on his verified microblogging site account today, Naija News reports. Dare assured that the full COVID-19 protocols will be enforced during the exercise.
“The Resumption of the NYSC Orientation Camp for prospective Youth Corpers has been approved and opens on November 10th 2020. Full COVID-19 Protocols will be enforced,” Mr Dare tweeted.
The Chairman of the National Union of the Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo, has denied sending thugs to attack #EndSARS protesters in Lagos.
The Lagos NURTW boss made his known on Thursday through his spokesperson, Jimoh Buhari, and also later released a video on Twitter.
“We have no hand in the attacks. People should stop accusing us wrongly. Were the thugs wearing NURTW uniforms? Is MC Oluomo holding a political office? He has no hand in the case,” he said.
According to Oluomo spokesperson, members of the NURTW were also victims of police extortion and it would therefore be unwise of them to thwart a protest that seeks to bring an end to police brutality.
A member of the transport union lamented that the heavy traffic caused by the continued #EndSARS protest across the state is having an effect in their livelihood.
“On a normal day, I do 10 trips. Since these protests started, I have had to reduce my trips to five. It is worse that we are burning fuel and our buses are not operating at full capacity because of the COVID-19 protocol.
“Long hours in traffic cause fuel to burn faster and we are losing money due to no fault of ours. So, some boys decided that it was time to get these protesters off the roads,” he lamented.
The inflation rate in Nigeria has hit 13.7% – the highest level in about thirty months since the country recorded a 13.34 percent rate in March 2018.
This was disclosed by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its Consumer Price Index report for September which was released on Thursday, 15th October.
The report partly reads, “The consumer price index which measures inflation increased by 13.71 per cent (year-on-year) in September 2020.
“This is 0.49 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in August 2020 (13.22) per cent.”
Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria has ordered the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to arrest and prosecute policemen responsible for attacks and killing of #EndSARS protesters.
The 36 state governors made this known in a communique by Governor Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), issued at the end of a teleconference meeting held on Thursday.
The governors also stated that Nigerians who have been affected by police brutality or other actions should be compensated
They berated IGP Adamu for not consulting widely before dissolving SARS, adding that despite the excesses of the unit, SARS assisted in tackling insecurity, particularly in the north.
“Governors were unequivocal that all police officers who participated in the abuse or actions that might have led to injury or the death of innocent citizens must be fished out and brought to book while other Nigerians who have been adversely affected by police brutality or other actions that were injurious to them or their loved ones, should be compensated.
“Members also recommended that the IGP, the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Council should immediately review the Remuneration and Emoluments of police officers and explore ways to fund this in order to incentivize and motivate police officers who have pledged themselves in service of the country,” the communique read.
“Members also agreed that the concerns of the public went beyond a need for Police/FSARS reforms and included a demand for better governance; They noted the need to engage, consult the public and take decisions that address the underpinning issues leading to the protests; Members noted that some States had already started the process of engaging protesters and urged all States to engage all stakeholders for a collectively agreed resolution.”
The Federal Government of Nigeria has laid the blame for the #EndSARS protests currently rocking various cities across the country at the doorstep of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige on Thursday, said if the union was not on strike, students will not be available to participate in the protests.
Ngige made his view known in Abuja during a meeting with ASUU on how to end the lingering strike action which has kept the doors and gates of the nation’s public universities closed.
He, however, added that the government will do all within its power to ensure that the strike is called off and students and lecturers return to classes.
The Minister led the federal government delegation to the meeting while the ASUU delegation was led by its National President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi.