Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Monday, 19th October 2020
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Sunday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari noted that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS has ended.
Lawan during the meeting stated that President Buhari ordered the dissolution of SARS and not the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu as widely believed.
He disclosed this while speaking with State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting with Buhari on Sunday.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila was also in attendance.
Lawan said: “Since the issues raised by the protesters have been accepted by the government, the time has come for the protests to stop. Government needs to have time to implement the demands of the protesters, the protest has yielded the desired result. SARS was ended not by the IGP but President Buhari himself.”
“Buhari made a presidential statement and that would be the first time any president would say end SARS and SARS has ended.”
2. #EndSARS: IGP Reveals 7 Qualities Members Of The New SWAT Team Must Have As Training Begins On Monday
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu on Sunday reiterated that the training for the new tactical team, Special Weapons And Tactics Team – (SWAT), set up to replace the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) will begin on Monday, 19th October.
The training will hold at the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Training School, Ila Oragun, Osun State and the PMF Training School, Ende Hills, Nasarawa State.
The IGP in a statement on Sunday, promised that the new Police Tactical Team will operate within very high professional and ethical standards, rule of law, and dictates of best international policing practices.
He added that to ensure the new team meets the standard expected by Nigerians, the Police Force will partner with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other Development Partners.
While assuring once again that no member of the disbanded SARS unit will be allowed to join the new SWAT team, IGP Mohammed disclosed other qualities that must be possessed by the new operatives to be drafted into SWAT.
He said: “The officers selected for the training are young, smart and energetic officers who have acquired not less than seven (7) years working experience with clean service records – no pending disciplinary matters, no record of violation of rights of citizens or misuse of firearms – and are physically fit to withstand the rigour of SWAT Training and Operations.”
The IGP’s commitment was contained in a statement on Sunday titled “NPF NEW TACTICAL TEAM COMMENCES TRAINING MONDAY OCT 19.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, has revealed it’s willingness to re-negotiatiate the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.
The union is considering the re-negotiation due to the effect of the outbreak of Coronavirus.
ASUU Coordinator in Sokoto Zone, Dr Jamilu Shehu, stated this during an interview with The Nation in Katsina.
He further stated that the union will honour the Federal Government when it gets an invitation.
“What I want to put out here is that ASUU is ready for renegotiation, should the government come up to say, look, implementing the 2009 agreement is no longer feasible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought a lot of challenges.”
“If they ask us, ‘can we re- negotiate afresh on that agreement?’ The answer is yes.”
“We are just waiting for the invitation. Whatever government has in mind; it is there that it will be discussed. And whatever government comes up with at that time, our representatives cannot say yes or no, it must be brought back to our members for our final say. It is only our NEC that has the right to accept government offer or reject it.”
On the issue of reopening of universities, he noted that ASUU is kicking against the re-opening of universities because it is not convinced about the preparedness of these institutions to comply with stipulated NCDC’s COVID-19 protocols on opening of schools.
In a bid to bring to an end the insecurity challenges been faced in Borno State, Governor Babagana Zulum has declared one-day special fasting and prayers in the state.
Zulum in a statement released on Sunday, October 18 in Maiduguri, the state capital, urged all citizens to participate in the exercise with the same enthusiasm, devotion, and faithfulness as it was done in February this year in the state.
Naija News understands that Borno State had on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, held a fasting and prayer programme to seek the face of God for peace and an end to insecurity in the state.
He, however, stated categorically that there will not be a public holiday in the state, nor will there be any sought of dramatic gatherings.
Speaking on the exercise on Sunday, Governor Zulum said, “I hereby declare Monday, Oct. 19, for the second round of statewide fasting and prayers for peace in Borno.”
”I will like to request, with gratitude, that we approach the fast with the same enthusiasm, devotion, and faithfulness as we did on Monday, Feb. 24.
“I will like to clarify that there will be no public holiday on Monday and there will be no dramatic gatherings. What is required is the purity of our intentions and submission to Allah as we fast and pray from our homes, offices, market shops, other businesses and places of legitimate endeavours.”
Femi Falana (SAN), Chairman, the Alliance for the Survival of COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has warned the Nigerian military against killing any #EndSARS protester.
In a statement to newsmen, Falana vowed to drag Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, or any of his men if any protester is killed.
He insisted that in no instance had soldiers being deployed to suppress the protesters in Hong Kong, United States, France, South Africa, Belarus and even in Sudan.
The senior lawyer stated that the Army’s Operation Crocodile Smile has been declared illegal by Nigeria court with competent jurisdiction.
“ASCAB recalled that the Federal High Court in July this year granted a perpetual injunction restraining the army from such an exercise in Femi Falana SAN v Chief of Army Staff (FHV/L/CS/1939/19.
“Every bullet that goes out from the barrel of the gun, is owned by the people of Nigeria adding that it is a crime under international law to release these bullets with the hope of taking human life,” the group said.
Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Sunday noted that the protest against police brutality in the state capital was hijacked by hoodlums.
The Osun State police command confirmed the death of two people during the protest.
Oyetola while speaking during a press conference noted that the suspected political thugs attacked him at the scene of the protest at Olaiya Junction and not protesters.
He further stated that the incident would be investigated with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book.
He said, “The attempt which was carried out by political thugs was pre-planned and our government shall investigate the matter with a view of bringing the perpetrators of this heinous act to book.”
“As the Chief Security Officer of the state, we shall ensure that lives and properties of our people shall be protected and anybody found culpable of causing unrest shall be made to face the wrath of the law.”
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, and the leadership of the National Assembly has been charged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 302 concerned Nigerians over increase in electricity tariff and fuel price.
The development was disclosed by SERAP in a post on their Twitter account on Sunday.
The rights body called on the Federal High Court in Abuja to declare the hike in electricity tariff and fuel price illegal.
“We’ve together with 302 Nigerians asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to declare illegal & unfair the hike in electricity tariff/fuel price because top level public officers cannot continue to receive the same salaries while asking poor Nigerians to make sacrifices,” SERAP tweeted.
“Joined in the suit as Defendants are President Buhari, the Vice-President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).”
“In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/330/2020 filed last week, we’re seeking: “an order directing & compelling the RMAFC to cut the salaries, allowances & other emoluments payable to the Defendants, in line with current economic realities & principles of justice, fairness & equality.”
President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has stated that the protest against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS is no longer peaceful.
This is coming after Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, was attacked by hoodlums during #EndSARS protest.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, stated this while speaking on NTA on Saturday.
Mohammed noted that the attack on Oyetola is a clear indication that the protests has been hijacked by hoodlums.
The Minister further stated that protesters might mean well, but they are no longer in control of the movement.
“Peaceful protest is an integral part of democracy and that is why the Federal Government in the last 11 days has treated the protesters in a very civilized manner,” Mohammed said.
“But, if you look at what happened to the governor of Osun state, it has gone completely beyond peaceful protest against excesses and abuse of power by the police.”
“There is no where in the world where a government will fold its arms and allow the country to descend into anarchy.”
“We are no longer dealing with #EndSARS but a volatile situation that can lead to anarchy if government does not take some very firm steps to protect the lives and livelihood of innocent Nigerians,” he said.
The General Overseer of Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, has endorsed the #ENDSARS protests across various states in Nigeria.
Naija News reports that Bishop Oyedepo endorsed the #EndSARS protests while speaking during a service at the auditorium of Cananland in Ota, Ogun state, where he added that the protests are justified because “Nigerians have been pushed to the wall.”
This online news platform understands that protesting youths in Nigeria are agitating for the end to police brutalization and extrajudicial killings of Nigerians. The protesters have been on the streets for more than a week now, protesting the brutalities, humiliation, and extortion of Nigerians, especially the youths.
On the backdrop of the protests, Bishop Oydepo stressed on Sunday that young people have the right to protest, warning security operatives not to attack them.
According to him, “Every man has a right, legitimately so, to express their displeasure and pains. I kept quiet for a while because in 2015, I warned this nation, vehemently, consistently, because I saw the dangers ahead and you can tell,” he began.
“The most gruesome season in the history of the nation is the last five years where lives have no value, wanton killings here and there.
“Now they have faced the youths and because they don’t know who is next, they have the right to say enough is enough. Any system that has no value for human lives is irrelevant.
“And now, it would be a sacrilege to shoot the protesters who are not looting, who are not ravaging. When you push a goat to the wall then you will know that goats have teeth to bite.
“It is a sacrilege to kill youths during a protest, this protest is legitimate,” Bishop Oyedepo said.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has backed the #EndSARS protest calling for an end to Police brutality in Nigeria.
He made this known in a statement on Saturday released by his media aide, Tunde Rahman.
Tinubu stated that SARS’ brutality and untoward conduct against innocent youths and other Nigerians have gone on for too long.
The former Lagos state governor, however, denied sponsoring the protest rocking most state across Nigeria.
He stated that he could not have sponsored such a protest where he too has been labelled a target by the organizers.
Bola Tinubu stated that despite the protest being peaceful it was affecting the economy of Lagos State and Nigeria in general.