Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Tuesday, 20th October 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday stated that youths should be allowed to exercise their fundamental rights in the #EndSARS protest.
Naija News reports that Nigerian youths have taken to the streets to call for an end to widespread police brutality.
Despite the protest, security agents have clamped down on protesters in Oyo, Abuja, Lagos and other parts of the country.
Speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with Buhari on Monday, the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare quoted Buhari as saying that it was the right of the youths to protest and make certain demands from their leaders.
According to the minister, the president asked the protesters to give his administration time to address their demands as the team set up has already gone to work.
Sunday Dare said in part: “Mr. President said the youths of this country have spoken and he has heard and he has since gone to work for the youths of our country. “The President promised that he will ensure that the reforms he has promised are met, he will make sure that the reforms are long-lasting and that the reforms will deliver for our country a police force that we will be proud of.
“He appreciates the fact that they have brought the SARS issues to the fore through their peaceful protest.
The Lagos State Government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the closure of public and private schools indefinitely in the southwest state.
Naija News reports that the closure of schools in Lagos was announced in a press statement on Monday by the state’s Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi.
The statement which was titled, ‘Lagos directs students to stay at home’, quoted Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the Commissioner for Education, as saying that the schools were shut down over “tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.”
This is coming at a time #EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance by Nigerian youths grounded academic activities in some schools in the state on Monday.
The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Government has directed all pupils/students in public and private schools to stay at home following the tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.
“A new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.”
Suspected hoodlums on Monday stormed the #EndSARS Protests in Benin City, Edo State capital.
The hoodlums could be seen in videos invading the Benin Medium security prison on Sapele Road, releasing some inmates.
Three police stations were reported to have been burnt by the hoodlums.
Some of the police stations affected include the Ugbekun and Idogbo Police Stations in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has faulted claims that its website was hacked by a group of unidentified hackers.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity of the agency in a statement on Monday, October 19, confirmed that though there were attempts to breach the agency’s website, it was not hacked as claimed in some reports.
Naija News understands that a legend group of hackers popularly known as Anonymous, had earlier claimed responsibility for hacking the EFCC website.
However, EFCC while reacting to the report, described the claims as false and urged the general public to disregard the reports noting that its website is up and running fine.
The statement reads in part; “The EFCC, therefore, urges members of the public to disregard the report, in addition to the one which also claims that the Commission’s website had been hacked.”
“Though there were attempts, over the weekend, to compromise the website by some cyber criminals the attacks were successfully repelled. The EFCC website is up and running.”
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commended the youths who are advocating for the reform of the Police either through #EndSARS protests or Prayer Walks nationwide for embracing peaceful approach.
CAN in a statement on Monday which was signed by its President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle also made suggestions on what government has to do to resolve the crisis.
The statement further commended the sacrifices; time, money, and other risks the youths have invested in the quest for a reformed Police and a better Nigeria as a whole.
Revd Ayokunle in the statement, also called on the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the disagreements with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) so students can return to classes and the lecturers can get paid.
Other national issues such as unemployment of youths, general insecurity, bad roads, citizen welfare and other issues were also touched by the CAN statement.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Monday imposed a 24-hour curfew across the Edo state till further notice.
This was made known in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq, on Monday.
Naija News reports that the curfew is to take effect from 4 pm, today, October 19, 2020.
“This decision has become necessary because of the very disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #EndSARS protesters,” the statement said.
“While the government of Edo State respects the rights of its citizens to undertake legitimate protests, it cannot sit idly when hoodlums have taken laws into their hands to cause mayhem on innocent citizens and the state.
“By the directive, schools and businesses are to shutdown activities accordingly. Those who cannot move safely are to stay put between now and 4pm till calmness is restored.
“Parents are advised to rein in their children, youths and wards, to forestall further breakdown of law and order.
“The responsibility of government is to protect lives and property and maintain law and order, therefore, anyone found outside in violation of the curfew would be dealt with according to the law.”
Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, the Chief Of Army Staff (COAS), has directed soldiers to rout the remnants of Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.
He stated this on Sunday during the training of officers and live firing demonstration of newly procured VT4 MBT and ST1 tanks for the Nigerian Army Armoured Corps at the Geji firing range in Bauchi.
The army chief stated that in combating Boko Haram soldiers must combine their firepower as provided for them by the Nigerian Army in form of weapons and vehicles.
According to Buratai, the newly acquired weapons and training will enable soldiers to exterminate Boko Haram remnants in the region.
He said: “If you go to the field, you must be decisive. You must deal with them when you combine firepower mobility and shock action. The adversaries have no option than to be dealt with accordingly.”
Buratai said he came to the event from Borno and Yobe States where he visited officers and men under the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ and expressed the hope that soldiers from Armoured Corps in Bauchi will mobilize to the two states with the newly purchased vehicles to go and round off the fight against insurgency.
The Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has alleged that the #EndSARS protests currently rocking many cities across Nigeria may have a hidden agenda unknown to the general public.
Governor Buni, who is also the caretaker chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was quoted to have said this on Monday during a BBC Hausa Service programme.
According to him, the protests should have ended since the federal government has responded and promised to address all the demands of the protesters demanding an end to police brutality in Nigeria and total reform of the entire Police Force.
Buni further stated that if not well handled, the current protests may be hijacked by hoodlums and other criminal elements which may lead to anarchy.
He said: “Hoodlums can utilize the gathering to cause confusion and terrorize other innocents citizens. The ongoing protests show that there is a hidden agenda after the government has responded to the protesters’ demand.
“Nigeria is a country accommodating people with several motives and demands which include restructuring and disintegration, thus, we should be careful.
“There are criminals who see the disbanded police unit as threat to their criminal activities”.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu once again on Monday, 19th October, appealed to #EndSARS protesters to sheath their swords.
The Governor appealed to the protesters to end the nationwide protests while the government addresses their demands.
Sanwo-Olu made the call in a statement after he inaugurated the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on SARS brutality and Human Rights violations in the state.
The eight-man panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, other members are Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society); Taiwo Lakanu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ms Patience Udoh, representing the Civil Society; Mr. Segun Awosanya, Human Rights Activist, Mrs. Olutoyin Odusanya, Director, Citizens Mediation Center, as well as a representative of the youth-led protest and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
Sanwo-Olu noted that the State has set up a N200m fund for compensation of individuals and families affected by SARS and other forms of Police brutality while officers found fingered will be tried and if found guilty, will face punishments ranging from demotions to outright dismissal.
While asking for time to meet all their demands, the Governor assured protesters that he is on their side and would relent until justice is served.
15 people have allegedly been killed, since the recent #EndSARS protests started, Amnesty International has claimed.
For more than a week, Nigerians have being protesting against police brutality and constant abuses by Nigeria police’s notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protest led to the scrapping of the unit by the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu who replaced the unit with another called Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT).
However, the protest has snowballed into calls for sweeping changes in the West African powerhouse.
According to AI, one person died in the northern city of Kano on Monday while four others died in Benin City, Abuja and Osogbo over the weekend, Amnesty spokesman Isa Sanusi told Nigeria News.
A week after the protest started, a death toll of 10 last Thursday, was recorded.
That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.
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