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What To Know About Nigeria’s #Endsars Protests

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The ENDSARS protests against police violence show no sign of stopping as thousands continue to take to the streets despite announcements of reforms by the federal government.

 

The demonstrations erupted this month and were initially focused on abolishing the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), accused of unlawful detention, extortion and extra-judicial killings.

 

But after the government announced the unit would be dissolved, thousands of mainly young protesters have remained out on the streets pushing for genuine change in the country.

 

– Why did the protests start? –

In early October a video spread on social media showing what looked like a SARS officer attacking a man in Delta state.

 

The video was shared massively in the country of 200 million people and thousands started sharing their own stories of police abuse online.

 

“Nigerian youth have campaigned against SARS for years,” Bulama Bukarti wrote for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

 

But the recent video “resonated with thousands across the country and led to youth pouring out en masse onto the streets.”

 

– Why did the protests spread? –

In the course of days, the hashtag #EndSARS topped the global trends on Twitter, supported by world famous Afrobeat popstars like Davido and Wizkid.

 

There was a violent crackdown by police on some of the first protests. At least 10 people were killed and hundreds were injured according to Amnesty International. The brutal response drew more people onto the streets and emboldened protesters began to push further.

 

– Who supports the movement ? –

As numbers have swelled at home, eye-catching demonstrations have also been held abroad, most notably involving the large Nigerian community in London.

 

“The diaspora’s participation was immensely impactful because Nigerian politicians are easily unsettled by negative news outside the country, especially in the West,” said Bukarti.

 

Following in the steps of Nigerian celebrities, international stars like Cardi B, Kanye West and Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey joined in and expressed support for #EndSARS.

 

– How is the government responding? –

Bowing to the pressure, president Muhammadu Buhari announced on October 11 that SARS would be dissolved, with immediate effect.

 

He said the move was “only the first step” in more extensive reforms to Nigeria’s police. A new SWAT unit was announced to replace SARS, with promises that it will be “ethical”.

 

SARS officers will not be eligible for the new unit and will have to undergo psychological evaluation before being redeployed, police said.

 

The government said police abuses will be investigated and prosecuted. But these announcements have not appeased the street and demonstrations have continued.

 

– How long will protests last? –

“Nigerians are sceptical of the authorities’ pledge to end police atrocities because the past claims of reforming SARS have turned out to be empty words,” said Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria. Demonstrators have made five demands that include structural police reforms and better pay for officers.

 

“Senior ranking officers are known to maintain a perverse bribery pyramid which requires that poorly paid rank-and-file officers transfer bribes extorted from citizens up the chain of command,” wrote Leena Koni Hoffmann, associate fellow at Chatham House.

 

Many of the demonstrators have begun calling for more wide-sweeping change as they look to seize the moment to bring real change to their country.

 

While Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, more than half of the populaton lives in poverty and youth unemployment rates are significant.

 

In the streets and online, the youth has been asking for more and better jobs, an end to power cuts, more freedom of expression and better representation in politics. For some, like Bukarti, “this may just be the beginning, rather than the end, of massive protests in Nigeria.”

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ICPC arraigns two FRSC officers for extorting motorists

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Kayode Oyero

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.

 

 

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Education

NECO RESULT RELEASE

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RIVERS STATE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

Press Release

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

Signed
Sir. Chidi Adiele
Permanent Secretary
Rivers State Ministry of Education

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Sunday Igboho storms Ogun, vows to flush out killer herdsmen

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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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