Good morning Nigeria, welcome to Naija News roundup of top newspaper headlines in Nigeria for today Friday, 23rd October 2020
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 22nd October 2020 addressed Nigerians on the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests which had rocked the nation over the past few days.
The #EndSARS protests started as a peaceful protest demanding an end to the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force.
After the SARS unit was disbanded, the protests continued both online and on the streets demanding better governance in Nigeria.
However, some hoodlums have in recent days, hijacked the protests and have taken advantage to unleash mayhem in some cities, destroying both private and public properties, as well as looting shops and destroying infrastructures.
Following the developments, the President on Thursday addressed Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast where he lamented that the situation had degenerated into a security challenge.
He highlighted that his administration remains committed to protecting the citizens of the country and their properties and won’t allow criminals to cause trouble.
He also appealed to protesters to leave the streets and engage the government on how to meaningfully respond to their demands.
Click here to read the full speech.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced that henceforth, any contract below N5bn will not be awarded to foreign firms.
The development was confirmed in a Twitter post on Thursday, October 22, by Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media.
According to the presidential aide, the decision is in line with the proposed Local Content Bills being considered by the Nigerian Senate as reiterated by and the Hon. Min. Of State Works & Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu at the public hearing organized by the National Assembly.
Announcing the development, Bashir tweeted; “The FG directs that contracts not above N5bn will no longer be awarded to any foreign firms, this is in line with proposed Local Content Bills being considered by the Senate, the @FMWHNIG’s Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, @sadiqatfifty, states that at a public hearing organised by the NASS.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the postponement of bye-elections in 6 Senatorial Districts and 9 state constituencies.
The Nigerian electoral body disclosed this in a statement released on Thursday, October 22, signed by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee.
According to INEC, the decision was as a result of current security challenges in the states where the bye-elections are scheduled to hold.
The commission, however, said it will continue to monitor carefully situations in all states and constituencies involved, and will reach out to all stakeholders in the next two weeks to review the situations.
The fire outbreak at the Ikoyi Correctional center on Thursday has been controlled, according to the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS).
The service further stated that was no jailbreak in the facility, but the fire incident affected some parts of the centre.
The spokesperson for Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) in Lagos, Rotimi Oladokun, noted that there is no cause for alarm.
He said: “There was fire on a part of the correctional centre but it has been contained. It did not affect the inmates in any way. There is no jail break and all is fine.”
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has maintained that the reports that its operatives shot some unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate plaza on Tuesday remain mere allegations.
The Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche stated this on Thursday while fielding questions on the incident from defence correspondents at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Enenche added that he is not permitted to speak further on the incident so as not to compromise the outcome of the findings by the Commission of Enquiry already constituted by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu.
It will be recalled that the Tuesday Lekki toll gate shootings has attracted wide attention and criticism at both local and international levels.
But Enenche on Thursday who was reluctant to answer questions related to the shooting, declared that the alleged role of the military in the incident is nothing, but pure speculations and urged Nigerians to remain calm and wait for the outcome of investigations.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared that he is yet to personally speak with President Muhammadu Buhari about the Lekki shootings on #EndSARS protesters which happened on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu said though he has made attempts to speak directly with the President, the attempts have been unsuccessful.
He noted that he called the president’s office twice on Wednesday – first, he was told Buhari is yet to resume at the office and then the second time, he was informed the president is presiding over the weekly Federal Executive Council Meeting (FEC).
The Governor made the disclosure on Thursday during his interview on Arise TV.
He added that he later got a call from the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin who mentioned that he was calling on the order of the President, so he believes his message must have been delivered to Buhari.
He said, “I made calls to want to speak with the President yesterday. First, he hadn’t come to the office and the second time he was at the FEC meeting. So indeed I haven’t spoken to him directly but I actually did call to want to speak to him.
“But like I said he was at the FEC meeting…He was actually the one that asked the Chief of Defence Staff to call me. I think it was when he got my message because when the Chief of Defence called me, he said the President asked him to call. I haven’t spoken to him directly, maybe later today that might happen. I don’t have a report to say this is what he said because we haven’t spoken.”
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, has stated that the 24-hours curfew imposed on the state due to the breakdown of law and order might be eased on Friday.
He noted that the state government will take the step once the streets are cleared.
“Once we see the streets are cleared up and all the agitation and high nerves have gone down, we might slow down the curfew by tomorrow (Friday) or next tomorrow (Saturday) at the latest,” he said.
The Governor made the disclosure on Thursday during his interview on Arise TV.
Maj. General Babagana Monguno (rtd), the National Security Adviser, on Thursday, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari is set to reveal solutions to the protest against police brutality and bad governance in few hours.
Monguno, however, did not disclose what the solution would be, but noted that the solution would be acceptable to all parties.
He stated this during an interview with State House correspondents at the end of a meeting of the National Security Council presided over by the President.
He said, “The President himself, I have just left his office, is also going to deal with these issues in a specific manner apart from what has just taken place in council.”
“I believe in the next couple of hours, Mr President will come up with certain solutions that will be agreeable to the entire federation.”
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained what he meant when he described the individuals behind the Lekki Shooting as ‘forces beyond his control’.
Sanwo-Olu while speaking on Arise News on Thursday said he made the statement because he does not have power over the Military.
He said, ”What I was trying to explain is that the hierarchy and chains of command of the military is not something that I know or have responsibility for, so I do not pretend that I have such powers to control or activate the military.”
According to him, there may be more to the End SARS due to the audios, visuals intercepted by security operatives in the country.
”There have been audio communications we have heard that connote or suggest that there is more to the End SARS than all of us thought.”
”I cannot begin to make extensive comments or comments that might sound insensitive. I think these are the work of the security operatives. I am sure they are in possession of some of these materials, audio/visuals that we have seen and it goes to some quarters that we need to investigate that some of these things are deeper than we have seen on the street.”
”It is the work of the security operatives to try and ascertain clearly. At my level, I cannot speculate if they have not been verified and confirmed.”
No less than 58 inmates of the National Correctional Service Centre located in Okitipupa, the headquarters of Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State have been released by hoodlums on Thursday.
It was gathered the hoodlums stormed the center, burnt down a vehicle, and forcefully released the inmates.
It was also gathered that several items were also destroyed on the premises of the prison service.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Command of NCS, Ogundare Babatunde has confirmed the incident.
That’s the top Nigerian newspaper headlines for today. Read more Nigerian news on Naija News. See you again tomorrow.
Source: Naija News