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#EndSARS: KUDOS TO VICTORIOUS NIGERIAN YOUTHS, IT IS VICTORY FOR NIGERIA AS SARS BECOMES HISTORY – Dr Abubakar Alkali

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IMG 20200927 WA0012 #EndSARS: KUDOS TO VICTORIOUS NIGERIAN YOUTHS, IT IS VICTORY FOR NIGERIA AS SARS BECOMES HISTORY - Dr Abubakar Alkali
     DR ABUBAKAR ALKALI
       [email protected]

KUDOS TO VICTORIOUS NIGERIAN YOUTHS, IT IS VICTORY FOR NIGERIA AS SARS BECOMES HISTORY – Dr Abubakar Alkali

Convener, Movement for a New Nigeria (MNN)

The doggedness, resilience and unprecedented persistence of the great Nigerian youths came to the fore yet again during the peaceful and highly successful #EndSARS protests which led to the disbandment of the unpopular police special anti-robbery squad (SARS).

With the overwhelming success of the #EndSARS peaceful protests, the indomitable Nigerian youths have proven that real change can come to Nigeria. These young men and women have proven beyond any iota of doubt that genuine change is on its way in our dear country.

Clearly, through these nationwide protests, the brilliant, strong-willed and united Nigerian youths have established the fact that it is now time for the young generation to take over power and bring new ideas into governance in Nigeria. It is time!

Everyone is saying and supporting the maxim that 2023 IS FOR THE YOUNG GENERATION.

The combined effects of sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 have guaranteed the right to peaceful protest for every Nigerian citizen. The #EndSARS protests are legal and effectively covered by the 1999 constitution as long as they remain peaceful.

Indeed the indomitable Nigerian youths must be commended for bringing about genuine change by putting a stop to alleged extra-judicial killings, brutality, molestation and other forms of illegal activities of the dreaded SARS.

It was a beauty to watch how these inspired young men and women took the bull by the horns to correct one of the many ills confronting our dear nation. They assembled in groups often times holding one another’s hands, they were standing up for hours on end under the hot scotching sun, often sitting down when they are gassed out to take some rest, holding their smart phones in place and not missing the opportunity for a quick selfie or shirt video. They were united, determined, focussed and displaying a posture of ‘no retreat, no surrender until SARS is history. Neither tear gas nor live bullets could stop them. Their determination was total.

It is imperative to condole the families of all those who lost their lives in the protests. May their gentle souls rest in peace and May the almighty give their families the fortitude to bear the loss Amin.

In these interesting assembly of youthful volunteers at the #EndSARS protests, there were no questions of Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Nupe, Fulani, Efik, Istekiri or Urhobo. There were no questions of whether you are a Northerner or Southerner.
They were all NIGERIANS.

United we stand. Divided we fall. That’s the spirit. This country is naturally united but poverty, bad leadership, hunger and lack of jobs have created unnecessary divisions amongst us. Our leaders take advantage of the artificial division amongst us to secure votes and win elections. Nigerian youths are saying NEVER AGAIN!

The youths deserve all the accolades for ensuring that the protests were largely peaceful.

Nigerian youths have made history. The #EndSARS protests and its unprecedented success is history made by the gallant Nigerian youths. They not only ended SARS but also rekindled the hope of a new Nigeria which respects its citizens. A Nigeria that will work for all not just a select few. A Nigeria that can take its rightful place in the comity of nations. A Nigeria that we all can be proud of.

Thumbs up to all the freedom fighters who have inspire all of us. The inspirational Omoyele Sowore, the fully hijabbed and respectable Hajiya A’isha Yesufu, the dogged Deji Adeyanju and a host of other youth leaders who motivated all of us through the #EndSARS campaign. Guys, you have written your names in gold. You all stood up to be counted and history will never forget you. Now it is no longer North or South, it is about Nigeria.

EndSARS PROTESTS AS THE TONIC FOR A NEW NIGERIA

For so long, Nigerian youths and other pro-democracy, pro-people and pro-progress groups have been searching for a common front to promote the emergence of the right leaders in our dear country. For this long, the resourceful Nigerian youths have tried to create a platform to push our leaders to do the right thing. Our youths are very much fired up to promote good governance that will usher in availability of jobs and spread of economic prosperity to all. It is clear the #EndSARS protests have provided that platform. We are on the March for a NEW NIGERIA.

It is critical that Nigerian youths and other pro-democracy, pro-people and pro-progress civil society groups maintain the momentum generated by the #EndSARS campaign.

The great Nigeria youths can use the momentum built by the #EndSARS campaign to push for the following reforms:

  1. A drastic downward review of the humongous jumbo salary and allowances currently enjoyed by our senators and members, House of Representatives. The N200 billion annual budget of the National Assembly is not justified by the current astronomical levels of poverty and joblessness in Nigeria. It doesn’t make sense to pay our senators and representatives a monthly salary of N30 and N20 million respectively while leaving their constituents sleep with empty stomach.
  2. An end to the current high level insecurity in Nigeria. The disturbing rising state of insecurity in Nigeria can actually bring the whole nation down and is unacceptable. The North is increasingly being ravaged by kidnappings and general state of lawlessness. Criminal kidnappers are gradually taking over several local governments in Katsina and Zamfara states. If nothing is done, all major forests in Northern Nigeria will be occupied by kidnappers through they will creep into the cities to launch attacks and creep back into the bush thereafter.

It beggars belief as to how a criminal who kidnapped an innocent citizen or preparing to launch an attack to kill someone can make phone calls for weeks without being tracked, intercepted and apprehended using technology. What are our information and communications technology (ICT) experts doing if they cannot intercept a bogus call from the kidnapper demanding ransom? Why can’t there be a software or other digitial devices which can intercept the call of a kidnapper using an unregistered SIM card?
If kidnapping and terrorism are to be stopped in Nigeria, technology has to be used. It is a simple issue of our ICT experts working in collaboration with the security agencies such that when any criminal calls are identified, the location should be given to the security agents who will do the needful: launch attacks at the specified locations and smoke out the kidnappers and such criminals. How can Nigeria with all its resources allow rag tag kidnappers to hold her to ransom? This is a pity indeed.
Where to start from is to BLOCK ALL UNREGISTERED SIM CARDS.

  1. An end to the high cost of education in Nigeria. Education should be free at primary and secondary levels. The current deplorable state of public schools calls for concern hence the need for government to invest heavily in public primary and secondary schools.

It doesn’t matter whether you are from the North or the South, you should join this fight for a NEW NIGERIA

It is no longer about the region you come from or the language you speak: it is about Nigeria.

It is no longer about the state or local government you come from. It is about Nigeria.

It is no longer about ethnicity, tribalism or townsmanism, it is about Nigeria.

JUSTICE FOR SARS VICTIMS
It is fair to say that the SARS chapter will not be fully closed unless justice is served on all Nigerian youths and other citizens who illegally suffered in the hands of SARS. The high-handedness and savagery of SARS operatives who are paid to protect citizens has been proven through videos and stories on social media on the excesses of SARS.
Yes, SARS has arrested several armed robbers but they have often times, also inflicted harm on innocent citizens.

It must also be stated that all SARS officers cannot be the same: there are some SARS officers who distinguished themselves as professionals and fully abided by the rules in the discharge of their duties. These officers have lived above board and should be commended. But even at that, there are several erring officers -undoubtedly in the majority – who blackmailed the good ones and made SARS look like another Nazi. The outfit was gradually moving to the edge of the precipice before the #EndSARS protest cut it short.

In the light of the gross human rights violations by SARS and to effectively close the obnoxious chapter of this discredited police unit, it is imperative that all officers involved in the mistreatment and brutalisation of innocent citizens be dealt with according to the dictates of the law. This will serve as a deterrent to other wannabe officers who might want to take the same illegal route of extrajudicial killings, torture and any actions that counter the ethics of the police profession. Actions of all police officers must be in accordance with the laws of the land.

A judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the gross human rights abuses of SARS is pertinent.

URGENT REFORMS IN THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE.
WELFARE: The successful #EndSARS protests have yet again rekindled the debate on the urgent need for reforms in the Nigeria police force. It is not a matter for debate that a well motivated and strong police force is sine qua non to the emergence of the new Nigeria of our dreams. Most government policies cannot achieve their desired objectives without a strong police force. Clearly, the police force as currently constituted is too weak to effectively fight crime or help government pursue its developmental objectives for several reasons. Chief among these reasons is the fact that the conditions of service of the police is one of the poorest in the country. A police officer who gets paid N50,000 or less per month cannot lay down his life for the country in the name of fighting crime as he watches a senator rakes in N30 million per month aside other bounties. Apart from primary school teachers, the police are arguably the least paid public servants in Nigeria. Yes the federal government is trying to improve the welfare of the police force with some salary increases but more needs to be done.

UNDERPOLICING: In the face of the alleged human rights abuses associated with the police, there is the need to enforce a strong and effective ethical conduct to guide officers and also instil discipline within the ranks of the force. Under-policing needs to be addressed urgently. The country is grossly under-policed as several communities in the villages and crannies are without any police presence. There should be enough police officers for the effective security coverage of the country particularly in the rural areas.

The current trend under which the average ratio is (1:500) one police to 500 citizens is utterly unacceptable and should be reviewed to (1:50) in line with international standards and global best practices. To further reform and increase numbers in the police force, it is highly recommended that the federal road safety commission (FRSC) and the national security, civil defence corps (NSCDC) should be harmonised and merged with the police to form one strong and effective police force. By the way, most of the job specifications of these agencies are borrowed from the police force.

Even with the clear and glaring problem of underpolicing, too many policemen are posted to the cities and very few to the rural areas where they are mostly needed. While in some states, some villages have no policeman, it is very common to find about 30 policemen, road safety and civil defence officers at Banex junction in Abuja in the comfort of their patrol vans playing with their smartphones. One could also commonly notice about 5 or more traffic police better known as ‘Yellow fever’ at junctions in Abuja sitting down on the wooden police shelter at the middle of the road and whiling away time while on duty. Why can’t some of them be posted to the rural areas to help in fighting the criminal kidnappers?

If Nigeria is to make a headway in tacking crime and criminality at the grassroots, there should be at least one police station in each of the 5974 wards in Nigeria.

COMMUNITY POLICING.
The federal government is spot-on to prioritise community policing as a way to rejig the security architecture in the country and fight crime at the grassroots. The noble model
of community policing should emphasise and promote constructive engagement of the police with traditional rulers, community leaders and youth groups to proactively preempt and decimate any planned attacks on our citizens and economic infrastructure particularly oil
installations. Most kidnappers operated in rural areas so there is a more serious requirement of the police in the villages than in the cities.

FOOT PATROL: The new modus operandi of the police force should emphasise foot patrol.

The police should attack crime before it happens rather than wait for crime to happen before it responds.

The police can effectively preempt any criminal activities from happening by patrolling the streets in cities and towns so that crimes can be detected in good time and nipped in the bud before they happen.

To augment police patrols, there should be police booths built up and down our cities, towns and villages so that police officers on foot patrols can easily reach out to their colleagues in the fight against crime.

In conclusion, it is fair to say that the #EndSARS protests are clear signals that our dear country is on the path of national rebirth.

The great Nigerian youths have started the journey to building a New Nigeria. This momentum must never slow down and all protests must continue to be carried out in a peaceful non-violent manner and based on the dictates of the law and laid down procedure.

All of us, the good people of this nation have a moral obligation to give maximum support to the gallant Nigerian youths fighting for our dear country. We must remain committed and united in the task of building the new Nigeria of our dreams.
Nigerian youths will take over power in our great country at some point: this is now a matter of when not if.

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Fuel scarcity looms as violence stalls depot operations

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images 2020 10 23T185619.382 Fuel scarcity looms as violence stalls depot operations

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria has warned about a looming petroleum scarcity in the country owing to attacks of petroleum tankers by hoodlums and the stalling of operations at petroleum depots across the country by # EndSARS protesters.
IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State , Dr Joseph Obele , stated this on a programme on Rhythm 93 . 7 fm monitored in Port Harcourt on Friday .
Obele noted that about 10 petroleum tankers had been attacked and destroyed nationwide by the protesters, although lives were not lost .
He added that if the situation doesn ’ t improve before stocked petroleum products ran out in filling stations , scarcity would be inevitable.
The state chairman said, “ About 10 of our trucks have been attacked nationwide by protesting youths, although there have not been casualties .
“ Supply and distribution of petroleum products haven ’t really been smooth being that 90 per cent of our supply came from Lagos and there has been a skeletal supply schedule in Lagos for the past one week .
“ Thursday ’s case was worse , all the depots in Nigeria were shut down , we don ’t produce these products , we buy from depots and tank farms and if these depots do not give us products , we fear that when we run out of stock , petroleum scarcity will happen . ”
Obele , however, ruled out the possibility of the association embarking on strike , adding that such an action would only further worsen the suffering of Nigerians at these trying times.

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Over 17 Police Stations Burnt In Lagos – Police Spokesperson

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images 2020 10 23T185354.194 Over 17 Police Stations Burnt In Lagos – Police Spokesperson

Official Police spokesperson says over 17 police formations across Lagos State have been totally or partially razed by fire.
The police in Lagos, on Friday, warned that the burning of several police stations across the state will lead to retrogression and a waste of money that could have been deployed to other projects.
The police spokesperson in the state, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, gave the warning in an interview in Lagos.
“The implication of this is that money that has been set aside to do other projects and develop certain areas will have to be channeled into repairing these damaged stations.”
He said that over 17 police formations across the state have been totally or partially razed by fire, set on them by thugs who infiltrated the #EndSARS protesters.
“Also, it will make our work harder now because we will have to enhance our patrols in order to cover more grassroots areas that are normally covered by the burnt stations before.
“I doubt if some of the grassroots stations will ever function at full capacity again, taking into consideration the damaged vehicles and computer equipment that have been lost,” the officer said.
Mr Adejobi said that several reports had reached the command, alleging that hoodlums are attacking various neighbourhoods unabated as a result of the breakdown of law and order.
Last Wednesday, hoodlums took advantage of the breakdown of law and order to loot at Karonwi Avenue, Itire, Surulere.
The looting started around 8.30 p.m. till midnight as several shops and houses were broken into and goods worth millions of naira carted away.
Mr Adejobi said that the command, normally, on receiving such complaint, would direct the police station nearest to the area to quell whatever violent force was threatening the peace of the residents.
“However, the police have suffered a lot of damage, therefore, cannot quickly re-enforce officers to such areas of unrest because our vehicles and tools of operations have been destroyed,” he said.
The police officer also said that the morale of police officers across the state has dropped because of the psychological effects of watching their source of income go down the drain.
Mr Adejobi urged youth to put an end to the protest which he said had been hijacked by hoodlums to engage in inter-rival gang war and looting with impunity.
“Every aspect of the economy has been put on hold, and a lot of repairs and catching up will have to be done once normalcy is restored,” he said.
The affected police stations include Idimu, Igando, Layeni, Denton, Ilenbe Hausa, Ajah, Amukoko, Ilasa, Cele Outpost under Ijesha, disbanded SARS office under Ajegunle, Ebute-Ero, Mushin (Olosan), Ojo, Ajegunle where two patrol vans were set ablaze, Ikotun and Ojodu.

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“Build A Statue For Everyone Killed At Lekki Toll Gate” – Cross River Commissioner

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images 2020 10 23T184424.823 "Build A Statue For Everyone Killed At Lekki Toll Gate" - Cross River Commissioner

Cross River State Health Commissioner, Dr. Betta Edu has suggested that the Lekki Toll Gate should be permanently brought down and be replaced with a statue of the #EndSARS protesters who reportedly lost their lives on Tuesday, October 20, IgbereTV reports.
According to her, the victims’ names should be written in bold letters so that they can forever be remembered as heroes who died for a better Nigeria.
She wrote in a tweet:
“Bring down Lekki Toll Gate permanently, build a stature for everyone killed that night! Write their names in bold letters… let us forever remember our heroes who died for a better Nigeria. we will never forget #20:10:2020 #SARMUSTENDNOW #EndBadGoveranceInNigeria.”

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