Fellow Nigerians, It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.
I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS.
The choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of our Constitution and other enactments; … but this right to protest also imposes on the demonstrators the responsibility to respect the rights of other citizens, and the necessity to operate within the law.
As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.
On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.
Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.
The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated.
So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.
All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.
Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country. The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.
On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society.
These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:
a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders.
These are in addition to many other initiatives such as:
a. Farmermoni, b. Tradermoni, c. Marketmoni, d. N-Power, e. N-Tech and f. N-Agro.
No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done. With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.
In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.
Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country. We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.
We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected. But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position. or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.
In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.
I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions. Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.
And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect. Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.
I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint. I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.
This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation. Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
ICPC arraigns two FRSC officers for extorting motorists
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has arraigned two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps over alleged extortion of motorists.
The two officials, John Asegu and Otom Asueni, were brought before Honourable Justice H. Aprioku of the Rivers State High Court 11 sitting in Port Harcourt on two-count of extortion and gratification.
ICPC, according to a statement on Monday, told the court how the duo forcibly collected various sums of money totaling N3,500 from motorists as a “fee“ to allow the motorists pass their checkpoint along Port Harcourt-Ahoada expressway, even without being charged for any traffic offence.
The Commission also accused the defendants of using their position as public officers to confer undue advantage upon themselves by soliciting for, and accepting gratification. The defendants were arrested on the act after ICPC mounted a sting operation on them following intelligence
ICPC in a Charge No: PHC/3905ICPC/19 averred that the duo’s actions were contrary to and punishable under sections 8, 19, and 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, and if they are found guilty they shall on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for seven years without option of fine.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted them bail.
They were, however, remanded in prison because of their inability to meet up with the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned to the 26th of March, 2021 for commencement of trial.
NECO RESULT RELEASE
RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The Rivers State Ministry of Education informs School Owners, Administrators, Parents and Guardians that the results of the 2020 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) have been released.
The Ministry enjoins all candidates who sat for the examination to visit their schools for collection.
The Ministry states that:
HENCEFORTH, Candidates seeking to register for SSCE must present original copy of their BECE certificate as a prerequisite for registration.
Candidates who have registered for the 2021 SSCE must present their BECE certificate before the completion of their registration.
Candidates seeking to benefit from the state government’s bankrolled UTME registration must also present original copy of their BECE certificates.
Public and Private Schools by this announcement must ensure students seeking to be admitted into SS1 to SS3 present original copy of their BECE certificates at the point of registration
The Ministry solicits the cooperation of all heads of schools to drive this course.
Schools can apply for the BECE certificates at rivemis.riversstate.gov.ng
Sir. Chidi Adiele
Rivers State Ministry of Education
Sunday Igboho storms Ogun, vows to flush out killer herdsmen
A Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho on Monday, stormed some parts of Ogun State and vowed to flush out killer herdsmen in the troubled areas in the state
Igboho, who stopped briefly in Abeokuta around 4pm and had a brief interaction with his supporters, later proceeded to Ketuland where some soldiers allegedly connived with herdsmen to flog some farmers for not allowing them grazing their cattle on their farms in Yewa-North Local Government Area of the state.
While addressing his followers in Abeokuta, the activist said, “I observe there is an injustice from the herdsmen because they know the power that they have in the Federal Government. So, they behave as if Yoruba people are nobody. They kill our people, they kidnap our people, and they rape our women.”
“Any Fulani herdsman who engages in kidnapping would be flushed out,” Igboho vowed.
When asked whether he would limit his activism to Igangan, his hometown in Oyo State, Igboho said, “Not only Igangan, we are going to visit all Yorubaland and ensure there is peace everywhere.”
The activist lauded the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, for allowing him in the state.
Appreciating the gesture, the activist said, “We have not visited the governor, we will do that after we have flushed the Fulani herdsmen out of the state.
“I am going to Yewa because that is where the Fulani are wreaking havoc.”
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