Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Thursday, 22nd October 2020
The Presidency has reacted to the killings which occurred at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza on Tuesday.
Recall Naija News reported that the toll gate plaza was bombarded by operatives of the Nigerian Army, who shot at unarmed #EndSARS protesters.
Since then there has been an uproar of angry protesters who stormed various facilities especially those owned by the Federal Government and the Lagos state government to set ablaze.
Through the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina, the presidency appealed for understanding and calm across the nation.
The statement released also reeled out the steps taken so far to address the demands of #EndSARS protesters.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Wednesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take responsibility for the genocide that happened on Tuesday, October 20 in Lagos State.
The opposition party condemned the killing of citizens who were exercising their civil rights at the Lekki Toll Gate.
PDP in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, charged President Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency to take responsibility for the shooting and reported killing of peaceful protesters by military operatives at the Lekki toll gate.
The opposition party said this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that a well-structured response from the President as the number one citizen of the nation, would have calmed frayed nerves and averted the crisis rocking the country at the moment.
According to Ologbondiyan: “President Buhari is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces and the buck stops on his table.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has condemned the attack on protesters of End SARS at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday night.
Gbajabiamila noted that the Incident is a reflection that Nigeria has not grown despite celebrating 60 years weeks back.
He called for thorough investigation into the incident that led to the death of some innocent Nigerians.
The Speaker in a statement released through his media aide, Lanre Lasisi, said, “Events in my home State Lagos, last night (Tuesday) and up until this afternoon (Wednesday), have left my heart heavy and my spirit disturbed.”
“After sixty years, our democracy should have grown beyond the point where conflicting visions of nationhood result in violence on the streets and blood on the ground.”
“It is unavoidably and painfully clear that there were a number of casualties as a result of gunfire at the Lekki Toll Gate.”
“Therefore, there needs to be a quick and thorough investigation to determine the facts of what happened last night in Lagos. Our nation urgently needs and the Nigerian people deserve an accounting of the acts that led to the events of last night”.
“I urge for calm whilst we get a truer picture of events.”
Nigerian Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka has blamed soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their roles in the confrontation with #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate plaza in Lagos on Tuesday.
Soyinka also advised the state governments who have declared curfews to review their stands and demand the immediate withdrawal of soldiers from their domains.
He noted in his statement on Wednesday, titled ‘DÉJÀ VU– In tragic vein,’ in which he reacted to the Lekki toll gate shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters by security operatives that the government approach to the situation is very wrong.
Soyinka noted that it is not the best line of action to lock down states that were just gradually picking up on economic activities after the forced COVID-19 lockdown. He also blamed the federal government for the hasty deployment of soldiers which he said has heightened the tense security situation rather than provide a solution.
He balmed the insensitivity of the government for the decision to deploy soldiers when the citizens were demanding the withdrawal of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Prof Soyinka further told the affected state governors to demand the immediate withdrawal of soldiers deployed by the Federal Government and then engage the communities within their jurisdiction for peace to return.
Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to the ongoing unrest in different parts of the country as a result of the killings of citizens by security agents in various states across the nation.
Obasanjo in a statement on Wednesday, October 21 urged President Muhammadu Buhari to act with immediate effect on the crisis before it is too late to do so.
According to the elder statesman who served as a military and political leader, the situation at hand demands leadership and mature leadership as such. Obasanjo also admonished the youths, most especially the #EndSARS protesters to allow for peace to reign in the country.
The leader acknowledged the fact that the citizens have the legal right to make legitimate demands, he, however, urged them to stay calm. He revealed that his heart was heavy and that he was deeply concerned about the ongoing situation.
He stressed that the country was at a critical moment and urged the incumbent president to restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force on citizens who they are supposed to protect.
Mohammed Adamu, Inspector-General of Police, on Wednesday directed all police operatives attached to VIPs in Nigeria to be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Adamu, however, exempted the police officers attached to Government Houses, the Senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives.
The directive of the IGP is coming a few days after the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, was disbanded following the mass protest by Nigerians.
The order was contained in a police wireless message dated October 21, 2020, addressed to all state Commissioners of Police.
The wireless signal with reference number, CB:4001/DOPS/SPU/FHQ/ABU/VOL./ORDER AND DIRECTIVES, said, “any commander who violates this order will bear the consequences.”
The signal, which was signed by the AIPOL, Protect, Force Headquarters, Abuja, read in part, “Any protect personnel found escorting or guarding any VIP with or without a firearm is deemed to be deployed by the commander and the commander will be sanctioned.”
All affected officers were directed to report to their respective command’s Commissioner of Police.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has condemned the shooting of protesting youths in Lekki, Lagos State and other parts of the country.
The world leader of the Anglican Church who is a personal friend of President Muhammadu Buhari, said he had earlier advised the President to ensure that lives are protected.
Welby made his position on the shooting known in a message he posted on his Twiter handle, @JustinWelby.
The cleric wrote on Wednesday, “I condemn in the strongest terms the reported deliberate shooting of unarmed protesters in #Lagos and other parts of #Nigeria.”I have urged President @MBuhari directly to ensure that lives are protected – and I say that again now.”I mourn for Nigeria. May God save Nigeria.
The ongoing Senior Schools Certificate Examination, SSCE, has been suspended by the National Examinations Council, NECO, due to unrest in some states in Nigeria.
This is coming few hours after protesters of the End SARS movement were shot at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday night.
Although the examination body conducted the Economics paper on Tuesday and Physics practical on Wednesday, some states were unable to conduct the exam due the ongoing protest.
NECO in a statement released through the Department of Examination Administration (DEA) on Wednesday, has directed all its staff on the field for the examinations to return to the office.
According to NECO, “The Management and Governing Board of the National Examinations Council NECO is compelled by circumstances occasioned by the End SARS protests which led to imposition of curfews in some states thereby making it difficult for the council to move sensitive materials across the country, to put on hold papers for Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24, October.”
NECO, however, said that “the papers will be written between 17th to 19th November after computer practical paper on the 16th”.
It also pointed out that “examinations will continue on the 27th of October”.
Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana and other legal practitioners have joined heads to file pieces of evidence for the trial of Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) before the International Criminal Court.
Falana himself disclosed the development when he was speaking on a live phone interview on Arise TV on Wednesday morning, October 21, Naija News understands.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) applauded Nigerian youths protesting against Police Brutality across the states for been bold to take photoshoots and video evidence before and after the shooting at Lekki Toll Gate on Tuesday night.
According to Falana, while they keep on with the compilation of the evidence for the international trial, they will also approach local courts. He recalled how Shiite members were murdered in Kaduna State by the Nigerian Army who claimed they were blocking the same COAS.
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has reacted to the attack on End SARS Protesters at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday night.
The cleric condemned the actions of the Nigerian military and the police.
Adeboye in a statement released on Wednesday noted that the actions of the security operatives have worsened the situation.
The cleric called on the youths to stay calm and avoid any illegal act.
He wondered why the police was yet to arrest attackers of peaceful protesters across Nigeria.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms, attacks launched by the Nigerian military on unarmed young people, who have been peacefully protesting police brutality over the last 12 days as #EndSARS protests.”
“I am confounded that prior to the sad events at the #LekkiTollGate, the Nigeria Police failed to arrest the weapon-bearing hoodlums who were attacking the well-organized and non-violent #EndSARS protesters.”
“The condemnable actions of the military risks driving the agitations of the young people underground, thereby making the situation unmanageable.”
“I call on the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the tragic events at Lekki and other parts of the country, give justice to all victims even as it engages the #EndSARS protesters to reach a common agreement to end police brutality.”
“I am also appealing to the Youths to allow peace reign & stop any form of action that would give the military any other form of excuse to attack”, the cleric wrote.
That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.